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Posted at 2:56 PM ET, 06/10/2010

Fenty seems ill-prepared in TV interview

By Tim Craig

As the incumbent mayor, Adrian M. Fenty (D) enjoys the advantage of getting plenty of face time on local television news to try to boost his image as he campaigns for a second-term against Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.

But the Gray campaign is buzzing today about Fenty's appearance this morning on the Fox 5 morning show. It's looks like, the Gray campaign says, Fenty's weekly appearance on the show might not be the sort of face time candidates strive to obtain.

Appearing on set with the morning anchors, Fenty appeared ill-prepared to answer questions about the triple shooting last night near Howard University, the Washington Post story this morning about questionable DUI arrests in the city, or his views on the Office of Campaign Investigation into whether D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee improperly solicited private money to fund the teachers' contract.

When asked for an update on the shooting last night near Eighth and V streets NW, Fenty said he hadn't "gotten a full briefing."

"I'm sure you guys have reported how tragic it is," Fenty said. "It certainly could have been much worse cause it's a very crowded area. I just hope everyone pulls through."

The hosts then asked Fenty about D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles's contention that 400 people were recently convicted of driving while intoxicated based on faulty breath tests. Specifically, the anchors wanted to know whether the city was considering restitution for those who were wrongly convicted.

"I actually haven't been briefed on this for several months," Fenty said. "I don't know what the attorney general reissued this week, I will have to look at it."

Fenty, fumbling over his words, then tried to explain how the mistake was made. When asked if he expects lawsuits, Fenty replied, "Again, I have to get more fully briefed - I didn't realize you guys were going to ask me about this question."

The anchors then moved to civic activist Robert V. Brannum's complaint to the Office of Ethics that Rhee violated election law by soliciting private money to fund the teachers' contract.

"I just agree with the chancellor and the editorial board of The Washington Post," Fenty said. "I don't even understand the cause of action for what she seemed to do wrong. ... It seems frivolous in nature."

The anchors pressed ahead with a follow-up, but Fenty didn't seem willing to continue the discussion, saying the Washington Post editorial board "has put this claim in its place."

The anchors, appearing increasingly frustrated with Fenty's responses, then quickly ended the interview. This wasn't the only time Fenty has struggled through a television interview. During the February snowstorm, Fenty made national news on NBC4 when he sparred with the anchors over the city's response to the snowstorm.

-- Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  | June 10, 2010; 2:56 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Comments

Fenty being Fenty...I saw this interview this morning. He is such and embarrassment.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 10, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

You have got to love it--Fenty referring to the Washington Post's editorial page.

Where would DC be without the WP? Now we know who is really running DC.

Posted by: bnew100 | June 10, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

So the editorial board of the WaPo runs the city now. Nice!

Posted by: brightj15 | June 10, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

bahahahaha "I agree WP editorial board"

Posted by: thelildiva4u | June 10, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why anyone is shocked, this is this Mayor all day long. He reads everything from his blackberry...he is not capable of being informed on his own. He doesn't read the newspaper umless the Editorial Board of WAPO tells him they are doing a GREAT story on him and Rhee. He is very uninformed to be the Mayor of the Nations Capitol.

He just proved what everyone has been saying that the WAPO Editorial Board is running Washington DC and NOT this MAYOR!!!

Posted by: lacairaine | June 10, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Somebody better call Jonetta Rose Barras.

She will have an explanation for his poor showing this morning.

Posted by: gordonbundy | June 10, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Fenty stumbled over a question. I guess he shouldn't be Mayor. That never happens to normal people.

Posted by: politicalrealist | June 10, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Craig, does JoAnne Armao know you wrote this? Will your paycheck be docked this week?

Posted by: duncanjo | June 10, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

He skates answers, stumbles over words, slurs his speech every week he is on Fox. It's one of the best places to what a mistake it was to elect him in the first place.

Posted by: candycane1 | June 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The phones were ringing after 7:20 am this morning from those who watched this interview this morning. This article articulated it very well...but, to be honest this is the case every week when he appears. I don't even know why FOX5 continues to have him on.

Posted by: winston61 | June 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"As the incumbent mayor, Adrian M. Fenty (D) enjoys the advantage of getting plenty of face time on local television news to try to boost his image....
___________________________________________

As the incumbent mayor, Adrian M. Fenty never misses the opportunity to get his butt in front of the camera and soak up the spotlight just to feed his ever enlarging ego.

Posted by: starclimber9 | June 10, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

If the engagement of some of his campaign foot soldiers are any indication, he must be pretty worried about this upcoming election. There have been multiple complaints on community listervs about their aggressive tactics during door knocks in Ward 4. It begs the question of why it is necessary to force an endorsement from a citizen if you're running a campaign with confidence?

Posted by: logosdesigns | June 10, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fenty is not ready for his close up!

It's obvious here that Adrian thought he was going to enjoy puff piece coverage and bask in the opportuntity to slam Vincent Gray NOT! (note the fake smile upon his introduction) In fact, he was not ready for a "real" interview that consisted of questions concerning real problems and issues that any "in tune" Mayor would be ready to address.

Does anyone think that Mayor Corey Booker (Newark) or Michael Bloomberg (New York) would not know the details of how three people were shot near a major university or a major nightclub? Wouldn't the old Ward 4 Rep. Fenty howl in protest if Mayor Williams arrived on television and phoned in this level of performance. This guy can't use the Internet on his Blackberry and get "caught up to speed" before he rolls into the studio?

Does anyone really - really - believe this guy is deserving of continuing to be Mayor of the Nation's Capital?

Here, Fenty - who did attend law school - can't speak intelligently as to the merits of a lawsuit against his handpicked school system "chancellor" without relying on the media release from her office or the WaPo's self-serving apology (editorial) for Rhee's poor judgment?

This is best Adrian can muster??? Perhaps we were out a little too late tooling around in the Navigator, maybe?

Posted by: dcresident21 | June 10, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

dcresident wrote:

"Does anyone think that Mayor Corey Booker (Newark) or Michael Bloomberg (New York) would not know the details of how three people were shot near a major university or a major nightclub?"

Not to mention, the law school located at the university from which both he and his wife graduated.

Posted by: logosdesigns | June 10, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe he actually said, "It certainly could have been worse" in response to a TRIPLE HOMICIDE. Why don't you say that to the families of the three victims who were killed?

Posted by: thebandit | June 10, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

In Fenty's defense, he can't be expected to know every detail of every shooting that occurs in DC. There's too much crime to keep up with in this city and there are many other issues that require the Mayor's attention on a daily basis. That's why the Mayor hires a police chief. It's their job to fight crime and to get all of the details to solve crimes. However, I do find it odd that he would refer to a WAPO opinion piece when asked a question. Why didn't he just state his view without referring to the paper? I do have a few issues with Fenty but this interview would not encourage or discourage me to vote for Fenty. It just shows that he is a human being with flaws like the rest of us.

Posted by: dcisajoke | June 10, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

CONSIDERING FENTY IS MORE CONCERNED WITH HIS FUTURE AS MAYOR OF DC, HIS LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS DOESN'T SURPRISE ME AT ALL. HE'S THE WORST MAYOR THIS CITY HAS EVER HAD. I WAS BORN IN THIS CITY IN 1952, SO I'VE SEEN THEM ALL. HE WANTS TO BRAG ABOUT WHAT HE HAS DONE BUT HE'S WORKED IN AREAS WHERE BUSINESSES HAVE ALREADY EXISTED; LIKE THE H STREET CORRIDOR; WHAT HAS HE DONE IN TRINIDAD AREA? A 4 YEAR OLD BOY WAS HIT AND KILLED BECAUSE HE AND HIS BROTHERS WERE PLAYING IN THE STREET. BUT FENTY'S IN GEORGETOWN MAKING SURE THE LIBRARY IS FIXED AFTER A FIRE. OR AT THE MARKET ON PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE AND 5TH STREET, SE THAT WAS REDONE AFTER A FIRE. THE WASHINGTON POST RAN AN ARTICLE PRAISING FENTY FOR LOOKING OUT FOR ALL AREAS IN THE DISTRICT. I DON'T KNOW WHAT DC SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT, BUT IT'S NOT MINE.

Posted by: skinfreak | June 10, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

This is not news. Fenty does this on a regular basis on his morning appearances on Channel 4. The anchors ask questions about issues that have been around for months and his go to answer is - I haven't been briefed on that yet.

I am glad that this is getting attention so that more people will tune in realize that he does this on a regular basis.

Posted by: loved1 | June 10, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Some people refer to King Fenty as the "Movie Star", because he loves showing his face before the camera. A Ward 4 D.C. neighbor told me recently, he and his wife ran King Fenty's campaign workers away from their home asking to put a sign in the yard. These Ward 4 senior citizen voters hate King Fenty. LOL

This campaign has turned into a freak show. I am sitting back watching the freaks in the show and loving it. LOL LOL

Posted by: Ward4DC | June 10, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is a joke and its a shame point blank

Posted by: seananthony151 | June 10, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I attended a ward 3 mayoral panel discussion tonight and Fenty was booed at least ten times - in ward 3 - his supposed stomping grounds.

None of the other candidates were booed, but then, none of them told outright lies.

Posted by: efavorite | June 10, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO PROUD TO BE A GRAY SUPPORTER!!!! Tonights Straw Poll in Ward 3 was absolutely what was needed for me to truly understand...the man and the mission as Mr. Gray so eloquently laid out his vision for the District of Columbia. You had to feel the energy in the room, it was palpable.

In the beginning the Fenty supporters (many out of State...paid college students) had this feeling of overwhelming and sweeping success and then as Mr. Gray came out bounding with the eye of the tiger approach I saw them deflate in front of my eyes.

Mr. Gray laid out very clearly and methodically his vision for this city, to continue to build up the city and the residents.

I ALWAYS knew why I was supporting Mr. Gray and NOW I know for certain that I truly am supporting the right man for the job as Mayor of the District of Columbia. Mr. Gray you made me and my family very proud tonight.

"As for me an my house we will be voting Gray on September 14th." One City!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: lacairaine | June 10, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is an inarticulate dummy. Anyone who has ever heard him speak knows that. Kind of reminds me of the Bush administration. A lying, secretive, incompetent crony-ocracy.

Another point. The Fenty campaign was in my Ward 4 neighborhood last week. trie to get me to sign his petition by claiming it WAS NOT an endorsement. Later notice 2 new Fenty signs in the yards of houses that were empty; 1 because the owner was placed in a nursing home last year and the other because the family moved to Montgomery Co. over a year ago. Desperate.

Posted by: mcstowy | June 11, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Fenty was sadly unprepared. I felt okay about the "shootings" response, only because it was a fast breaking story. But I would think that Fenty would know what his AG is saying about the DUIs! Does this mean that we are right in thinking that Nickles is really running the show! And another example of being a bad politician, regarding Rhee, he should have said that he is okay with the investigation and that he expects she will be exonerated. How did this guy ever win?

Posted by: tacard1 | June 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

He sounds like Rocky.

Posted by: shortlady2 | June 13, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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