- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Public relations mavens are weighing in on Rep. Anthony Weiner’s crisis-management skills and his chances of recovering post-Weinergate. “Can he repair his image? He can never truly get past this story. He has mortally wounded his political career. But that doesn’t mean he can’t star in a reality show or host a program on CNN,” says former Fox News producer Jess Todtfeld, now president of Success In Media, a Manhattan consultancy.

“Anthony Weiner can recover from this mistake. He didn’t break the law and is lucky to be a Democrat from New York City rather than a Republican from the Bible Belt. Immoral isn’t illegal, and while I believe this will damage his reputation, he will be forgiven and this won’t destroy him — although his wife may,” says Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, another New York City agency that advises Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg and the Bennie Hinn Ministries, among many.

Meanwhile, one entrepreneur is marketing “an invention for shirtless politicians” — the Quik Pod, a handheld, extendable camera tripod. “He can photograph himself shirtless and be properly centered in each photo. Great for Twitter feeds. Converts to a tabletop tripod when hands are not available to hold the camera,” says inventor Wayne Fromm. “I’m proud to be of assistance to members of the government.”

THREE, NOT 2,300

“I am only going to allow small bills. Three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table,” observes presidential hopeful Herman Cain, on his preferred length of congressional legislation.


Among the first of significant books marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11: the New York City Fire Department’s “FDNY 2001-2011: A Decade of Remembrance and Resilience,” featuring an introduction by former President George W. Bush.

“Our nation must never forget the 343 members of the Fire Department lost on September 11, 2001. … On this solemn anniversary, I ask for God’s blessings on the members of the FDNY and their families,” Mr. Bush says in the 112-page, large format book, which features dozens of department photos from the day of the attacks, and the aftermath — some previously unreleased.

The book will be published in July; order from www.fdnybook.com and half of the cover price goes toward public safety efforts in New York City. It also will be available in bookstores and from the publisher (www.mtpublishing.com).


Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann got a fat pay raise when he signed on with Al Gore’s Current TV; “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” debuts June 20. As newly named “chief news officer,” the pundit will make $10 million a year at Current, up from $7 million he made at MSNBC, says Hollywood Reporter correspondent Marisa Guthrie who adds, “Olbermann believes he can lift Current out of obscurity.”


All Glenn Beck, all the time? Rumors that the Fox New host is starting up his own broadcast empire are true. GBTV is here, described as a “live streaming video network” with a reasonable access fee: $10 a month. More than 80,000 people already have subscribed to the new undertaking, which showcases a “launch webcast” at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The network goes fully operational in September with a daily two-hour “Glenn Beck Show,” a six-camera simulcast of his three-hour radio show, and Beck University — “because we can no longer rely on textbooks hijacked by progressives,” Mr. Beck explains.

“GBTV is the future. The confines of traditional media no longer apply,” he continues. “GBTV is about getting active in the community, participating in stories and finding new ways to deliver news, information and entertainment directly to the audience.”

Among Mr. Beck’s regular talent lineup: S.E. Cupp, Brian Sack, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere. The “hybrid business model” is overseen by former Fox News executive Joel Cheatwood and thriller author Brad Thor, a self-described “strong supporter” of the Heritage Foundation. See the launch and subscription information at www.GBTV.com.


“Our research suggests that when employers become more aware of the new economic and social incentives embedded in the law and of the option to restructure benefits beyond dropping or keeping them, many will make dramatic changes,” says the business journal McKinsey Quarterly, in a new analysis of health care reform.

“The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that only about 7 percent of employees currently covered by employer-sponsored insurance will have to switch to subsidized-exchange policies in 2014. However, our early-2011 survey of more than 1,300 employers across industries, geographies and employer sizes, as well as other proprietary research, found that reform will provoke a much greater response.”

How much?

“Overall, 30 percent of employers will definitely or probably stop offering employer sponsored insurance in the years after 2014,” the survey says.


• 72 percent of Americans favor reducing U.S. assistance to foreign countries as a way to reduce the national debt.

• 83 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

• 66 percent overall favor raising income taxes on those who make over $250,000 to reduce the debt.

• 49 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

• 65 percent overall favor reducing military commitments overseas.

• 56 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

• 62 percent overall approve limiting tax deductions for large corporations.

• 62 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,509 adults conducted May 25 to 30.

Yeas, yeahs, nays, neighs to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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