Don’t interrupt Barney Frank

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is one of the most entertaining interviews going right now.

An interview with the House Financial Services Committee chairman always makes for riveting television; you never know what will happen next. Conflict between the TV host and Frank can emerge at any moment.

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For example, Frank last week was so angry that he couldn’t fully answer a question posed to him on CNBC. He literally stopped the interview, saying, “I apologize, but this interview is over. … I try to respond but you want to interrupt me, you don’t like what I’m saying — you can find someone else to interview.”

A review of TV transcripts of Frank interviews show a pattern — Frank apologizing (not exactly so sincerely) and then lashing out at anyone who is cutting him off.

During a May interview on CNN, while appearing with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Frank said, “I’m sorry, Michele, please don’t interrupt. I know you don’t want to hear this.”

Later in the interview, Frank said, “I’m sorry, Michele, why do you keep interrupting? I’m sorry you don’t like what I’m saying.”

In March on CBS, Frank scolded the TV host: “I’m sorry. Can I finish the sentence?”

A day earlier he’d appeared on PBS with Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), and Frank fired away at his Financial Services colleague: “Excuse me, Scott. Please don’t interrupt.”

Some broadcasters don’t take any crap from Frank.

In a memorable 2007 interview on Fox News, Neil Cavuto asked, “Congressman, is it incumbent upon you to be so condescending, or do you want to answer my question?”

Frank countered, “You’re not going to run this like a junior high school class.”

A frustrated Cavuto ended the segment by saying, “All right, all right, for God’s sake, all right, Barney Frank, thank you, congressman.”

Nothing compares to the titanic 2008 showdown between Frank and Bill O’Reilly, when the Fox commentator called Frank a coward on three separate occasions.

In the video, which has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube, Frank screamed, “I’m not going to be bullied by your ranting. You can rant all you want, you’re not going to shut me up!”


Rep. Blumenauer has really, really old magazines

The more things change, etc, etc.

That was the point of an anecdote offered by President Obama on Monday during his speech in Chicago. But the story he told also offered a glimpse into a lawmaker’s fondness for old magazines.

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Obama said, “You know, the other day, a friend of mine, Congressman Earl Blumenauer [D-Ore.], handed me a magazine with a special issue titled ‘The Crisis in American Medicine.’ One article notes ‘soaring charges.’ Another warns about the ‘volume of utilization of services.’ Another asks if we can find a ‘better way than fee-for-service for paying for medical care.’

“It speaks to many of the challenges we face today. The thing is, this special issue was published by Harper’s magazine in October of 1960, before I was born.”

Blumenauer, meanwhile, was 12 at the time. ITK can easily imagine a young Blumenauer enjoying the wonky article.

David Broder celebrates birthday early

He’s been called many things, from “the high priest of political journalism” to “the nation’s most respected political analyst,” as well as less flattering terms by public officials he’s written about since 1966 as a reporter and columnist for The Washington Post.

 But to his family, friends and fellow journalists, David Broder is simply a great guy and great journalist who happens to be turning 80.

 Oh yes, and his wife Ann is also turning 80 this year, which is why more than a hundred people, including their four sons and daughters-in-law and grandchildren, as well as some of the biggest names in journalism, turned out Sunday for the couple’s dual birthday celebration.

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 Broder, the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-inning national political correspondent and columnist, and his wife, a civic leader and political activist in their Arlington, Va., neighborhood, left the speech-making to their sons and former colleagues like former Post reporter and Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon, who credited Broder with unselfishly helping advance  the careers of dozens of people like him when they were young reporters.

 Among the big names, past and present, of Washington journalism who turned out at the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn were Washington Post. Co. President Don Graham; former Post Executive Editor Len Downie; Gwen Ifill, host of the PBS program, “Washington Week in Review;” political pollster Peter Hart; syndicated columnists Jack Germond and Georgie Ann Geyer, and Dan Balz, the Post’s chief political reporter.

 Broder, who joined the post in 1966 and has covered every national campaign and convention since 1960, offered no hints about his future. Nor did he explain why he celebrated his 80th birthday well before his actual birthday in Chicago Heights, Ill., on Sept. 11, 1929.


McCain’s new wheels

Sen.John McCain (R-Ariz.) Tweeted on Monday that  he is getting a new car — a Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Think about the politics involved in a senator buying a car. With the American auto industry in bad shape, he’s got to go domestic.

McCain chose Ford, the one American automaker that turned down bailout money. And as one of the most ardent Republican supporters of combating global warming, he went with a hybrid.

 

Bob Cusack, Al Eisele and Eric Zimmermann contributed to this page.