Skip to comments.Former CNN Chief Rick Kaplan Joining ABC (Anti-Bush War Coverage Virtually Guaranteed)
Posted on 02/19/2003 10:00:45 PM PST by Dont Mention the War
NEW YORK - With a potential war with Iraq looming, former CNN chief Rick Kaplan is rejoining ABC News for three months to oversee special events coverage, the network said Wednesday.
Kaplan was a longtime ABC News producer before being hired to run CNN's domestic operations in 1997. He was ousted in 2000 and has most recently been teaching at Harvard.
Kaplan has "proven his ability at producing and overseeing live television news coverage," said ABC News President David Westin. Westin's top deputy, Paul Friedman, announced last week that he was leaving management for a part-time role.
It's no fun to watch big stories breaking on television "and not have responsibility for any of them," Kaplan said.
Neither Kaplan nor ABC have said whether the three-month stint will evolve into anything permanent at ABC News.
This is a virtual guarantee that war coverage on ABC will be virulently anti-Bush. Mark my words.
I've asked Rick Kaplan to come back and oversee Special Events coverage for the next three months. This looks to be a particularly busy time for all of us covering the news. He's proven his ability at producing and overseeing live television news coverage."TV-3" is the main newsroom/tv studio at ABC HQ, the one you see Peter Jennings in every evening on "World News Tonight."
He's eager to get back in the game, and he can add his skill and experience to our exceptional team. He will report to me and have an office off of the newsroom floor at TV-3. Please join me in welcoming Rick on his return.
"One night in New York two years ago, when he was still the Executive Producer of ABC's World News Tonight, Rick Kaplan dined with Fidel Castro, who was in townfor the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. It was only the most recent of several times Kaplan had broken bread with the Cuban leader, whom he met 20 years ago on a story. These dinners were usually leisurely affairs, lasting even longer than Castro's speeches, with the topics veering from politics to baseball to U.F.O.'s to bull semen. This time, though, Kaplan had to excuse himself early from the group. 'Where are you going?' a surprised Castro asked him. 'I'm actually going to have dinner with my President,' Kaplan replied.
"In fact, Kaplan was due at Caf des Artistes, where, under the restaurant's famous Art Nouveau murals of nude nymphs, President Clinton was sharing supper with the elite of New York's Friends of Bill : White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes, lawyer Susan Thomases, and Kaplan himself, all but Clinton joined by their spouses....
"Suddenly, Kaplan had an inspiration. 'Why don't you come?' he asked Castro. "As one of the television's premier producers for more than 20 years. Kaplan had defined his career by defying rules: to him, nothing was impossible to bring to the TV screen, even if it meant corralling warring parties in the Middle East or South Africa during his years as executive producer of Nightline. Now Kaplan was at it again, trying to overcome decades of enmity in a single grand gesture. Castro paused, for what seemed like an hour, before declining: he didn't want to embarrass Clinton, he explained."
Perhaps Castro reveals his biggest flaw: the belief that Clinton was capable of being embarassed.