The Upshot
  • New York magazine on cable warsnymag.cableOn Monday night, CNN will launch "Parker Spitzer," the network's latest 8 p.m. challenge to the higher-rated Keith Olbermann on MSNBC (and the even-higher-rated Bill O'Reilly on Fox News). But CNN wouldn't be going after Olbermann if recently ousted network president Jon Klein had his way in poaching Olbermann a few years back.

    According to Gabriel Sherman's New York magazine cover story out Monday on the cable news wars, CNN seriously considered hiring the MSNBC star just as he was gaining traction speaking out nightly against the Bush administration.

    "Jon and I were in very deep discussions on a regular basis for me to go over there," Olbermann told Sherman. "One of the premises was we would have put MSNBC out of business."

    But not everyone was on board, including Klein's boss. CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton wasn't convinced that Olbermann was the right fit for the cable news pioneer. "I'm not gonna be the guy who's gonna turn CNN into an opinion network," Walton reportedly told executives in meetings.

    Olbermann said that he "bailed out when it became apparent that the people above [Klein] were less than sanguine about this."

    So Olbermann stayed put and CNN tried Campbell Brown at 8 p.m. Brown left amid poor ratings.

    But she, Olbermann, Klein, new CNN hosts Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer, MSNBC President Phil Griffin, and MSNBC network stars like Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell all spoke to Sherman about the ways the two cable networks are "chasing Fox."

    Beyond this timely revelation about Olbermann and CNN (#1), newsy nuggets are scattered throughout the lengthy piece. Here's a brief rundown:

    Read More »from CNN tried to hire Keith Olbermann and 7 other revelations
  • Donald Trump for president?

    Donald TrumpTrumpAn unnamed pollster last month surveyed New Hampshire voters regarding Donald Trump's prospects for president in 2012, Time reports.

    The telephone poll included head-to-heads with Trump and other possible Republican candidates and 30 questions specifically related to the real estate magnate/reality show host, according to sources familiar with the survey.

    Time has not confirmed who paid for the survey and Trump has yet to comment, so it remains to be seen whether this is just the latest publicity stunt by The Donald (SEE UPDATE BELOW).

    In recent months, Trump inserted himself into the controversial New York City mosque proposal, offering to buy the property himself. (His low-ball offer was rejected.)

    Trump also prompted a flurry of speculation in 1999 when he publicly flirted with the idea of running for president under the Reform Party label. That bid never happened.

    UPDATE, 10:35 a.m. ET: Trump said on CNN's "American Morning" that he did not commission the poll and doesn't know

    Read More »from Donald Trump for president?
  • Welcome to "First Shots," a daily roundup of early-bird news and a preview of what's to come.

    • The State Department is warning Americans to be vigilant when traveling in Europe. The alert comes days after intelligence officials discovered a plot to replicate "Mumbai-style" attacks. (Associated Press)

    • The Supreme Court begins its new term today with a docket that includes anti-gay protests at military funerals and immigration reform. Justice Elena Kagan will make her debut, although she's recused herself on dozens of cases. (CNN)

    • Good news for millions of Verizon users — the company said it incorrectly charged up to 15 million cellphone users for data or Internet sessions and now plans to issue $90 million in refunds. (New York Times)

    • President Obama will discuss the economy today with the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. The president is expected to push partnerships between private industry and community colleges. (Reuters)

    Read More »from FIRST SHOTS: Travel alert issued for Europe, Baby Boomers need sex ed


(1,980 Stories)
  • Pacquiao plans if Mayweather says no
    Pacquiao plans if Mayweather says no

    Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao has a plan in place if yet another bid to fight Floyd Mayweather fails -- a May 30 bout, possibly against England's Amir Khan. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told ESPN that a backup plan if a hoped-for May 2 blockbuster against unbeaten US star Mayweather falls through is a fight four weeks later in Las Vegas, New York, London or Abu Dhabi. "A lot of places around the world want to host a Manny Pacquiao fight," Arum said. Arum also told ESPN that Khan, a former welterweight champion, is the leading candidate, although Khan would also be a top contender to fight Mayweather if Pacquiao is not his choice.

  • Iran want life ban for Aussie referee after Asian Cup loss
    Iran want life ban for Aussie referee after Asian Cup loss

    Delegation chief Houshang Moghaddas said Iran would lodge a formal complaint against Williams following the dismissal of their protest that had Iraq fielded an ineligible player. Iran were furious with Williams after he questionably yellow-carded defender Mehdrad Pooladi for simulation in the first half of their rollercoaster quarter-final with Iraq. Williams started to run off before being reminded he had already cautioned Pooladi, and returned to brandish a red card -- an incident which enraged Iran coach Carlos Queiroz. Iran, Asia's top-ranked side, were leading 1-0 at the time but the game finished 3-3 after extra time before Iraq won a penalty shootout 7-6 in Canberra.

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