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Weapon of Choice: Magic Markers

harveys.jpgHave you noticed those advertisements all over the city for the Steve Harvey show, which airs mornings on 96.3 WHUR? Some Harvey haters – who are still miffed at the station’s spring decision to cancel “The Real D.C. Morning Show” in favor of the NYC-based host — have definitely taken note. And they’ve begun a campaign to deface his mug in an effort to show their continuing displeasure.

“He makes me sick,” one admitted graffiti artist told FishbowlDC via e-mail. “I can’t stand his big monster grin all over the Metro.” The D.C. resident admitted to blackening several of Harvey’s teeth on “about five” advertisements. He says he has friends who’ve done the same.

Have the big-wigs at WHUR noticed this development? We haven’t heard back yet, but we’ll let you know.

Even Cute Chihuahuas Can’t Distract Us

Now, now, we don’t want to go overboard picking on the Express’ copyediting process (or lack thereof). But we really think that yesterday’s top headline under that pretty picture of the wet doggy, “Little Relief from Butal Heat,” is quite a story, indeed.

We learned from a drug Web site (we love learning about drugs) that butal compound happens to be a pain killer and relaxant, often prescribed to relieve migraine and other tension headache symptoms that don’t respond to regular over-the-counter analgesics.

No confirmation from scientists if heated butal is less effective, but that seems to be what Express is implying — although no story could be found to back up the headline’s hot, hot proclamation. We do have confirmation that the newspaper’s copy editing team should probably stay out of the heat (we caught nine other mistakes throughout yesterday’s issue, but won’t bore you with those silly details).

They Like Her, They Really Like Her

So what if former Examiner gossiper Karen Feld has allegedly had a few run-ins with journalists recently (and in the past)? She’s got plenty of support from the National Federation of Press Women, a group of about 5,000 women — and men — who toil in the communications field. Her wild and wacky Web site (check out the photo cube, if you dare) has won a national award from the group, which will be presented at their annual meeting.

“I once won their sweepstake award, which meant the largest number of awards in any given year of anyone nationally,” gloats Feld. We smell a comeback. (Or is that Campari?)

Laura, Don’t You Kiss and Tell?

We’ve got a tiny beef with WaPo’s Laura Sessions Stepp, exceptional sex writer that she is. We’ve been asking her for weeks to answer a few of our questions about how she gets teenage college boys to open up about their problems with impotency (which must lead to some awkward stares in the locker room) or how she finds researchers who know that girls tend to give up their virginity in the summertime with more frequency (surprise, surprise, said researchers are from Mississippi).

No response. No vacation messages on voicemail or from e-mail. No love.

And now Gawker is trying to edge in on our action, yesterday honoring Ms. SS with one of their first “Great Moments in Journalism” awards.

Let’s just say that if you grant those NYC Gawkerphiles an interview before us, we just might have to call for a boycott. We’re even willing to give you the first-ever Golden Goldfish FishbowlDC Award, if you would just take a moment to look our way. (We’re batting our eyelashes this very moment.)

An All Music Channel?

Here’s a follow-up to the news we recently reported that Jay Winter Nightwolf, an 89.3 FM program host, is helping create a new DC-based Native American television channel: His one-hour self-proclaimed “most dangerous show on radio” this week featured almost 20 minutes of music. Cultural offerings are nice, of course, but insiders say that the same musical interludes get overplayed week in and week out because the host is sometimes late to the studio — at least once arriving several minutes after the show began, leaving his guests much perplexed. This week, he mistakenly called all three of his guests Michael, even though only one Michael was in studio. One of the non-Michaels called him out on the air regarding his repeated error.

Randy Flood, who directs the NATV project and hired Nightwolf, did not respond to requests for comment on Nightwolf’s work progress thus far involving the new TV endeavor. Nightwolf’s NATV bio, however, provides some insight: “Receiving an overwhelming amount of e-mails from all over Indian Country, America, Europe and Australia, Nightwolf literally interviews guests from all over the world.” Literally, huh? And lots of e-mails, too! Get this man a television program, ASAP.

Liberal Journalist Receives Liberal Kick in the Butt

On Monday, we told you that a person associated with the liberal Center for American Progress was shown the door recently when he tried to cover a meeting sponsored by the conservative Young America’s Foundation. Conor Clarke, a writer with the organization’s Campus Progress online publication, has now detailed what it feels like to get shown the door by young Republicans:

I went to the conference, as a reporter for The Washington Monthly, to engage with conservative ideas and continue the research on college organizing that I had been doing all summer. I also agreed to blog on the event for campusprogress.org. But it was not to be…I was approached by YAF’s spokesman, Jason Mattera, on my way to see Newt Gingrich.

“Who do you work for?” Mattera demanded, with a touch of petulance.

“The Washington Monthly,” I told him.

“Are you writing for anyone else?” “I’m blogging for Campus Progress.”

And that did the trick. “There’s the elevator,” Mattera pointed. “I can have one of my interns push the down button.” But it didn’t end there. What happened to the vaunted marketplace of ideas, I asked. The openness and exchange?

Check out Clarke’s full rant, and be nice to him. He’s been beaten up enough this week.

Cocktails in Arlington Last Night?

We’ve seen (and committed) plenty of copy-editing mistakes. But the copy editor of page 21 of today’s Express takes the cake for most mistakes in a single less-than-fifty-word blurb. See if you can make any sense of it:

“PITHY HEADLINE: Missouri, known as own as the Show Me State, is cracking dow the Show Me State, is cracking down on. Gov. Bob Holden on Thursday signed ri, known as the Show State, is on. Gov. sexuall mile of 40-45WORDS. (AP)”

That garbled mess inexplicably appeared next to a small picture of Jackie Chan. Only one word comes to mind: redunkculous (copy desk: Can you spell check that?).

A Pumpkin Spiced Response

Congressional Quarterly reporter Jill Barshay has responded to a few questions from FishbowlDC regarding designer Kelley Hundahl’s complaints about Barshay’s recent WaPo decorating show exposé.

In reporting her piece, Barshay told us she did call HGTV (the station’s response is clearly printed in the article). “I think that’s an indication that both I and the Washington Post sincerely aimed to check our facts,” says Barshay. “If there is an error, I would ask the Post to print a correction. I take such accusations very seriously. For example, in an earlier draft, I thought the candles were persimmon. I double checked and noticed that the sticker on the bottom said, ‘pumpkin spice.’ I requested that the copy be corrected.”

“My overall comment is that my article was not intended to criticize Kelley, but to poke fun (lightly) at the whole premise of a free makeover,” says Barshay. “Come on, who really has gorgeous pillows hiding in their basement that perfectly match the sofa? And it never occurs to these homeowners, until the decorator visits, that these pillows should actually be used in a room?”

Barshay also told us that she bought Hundahl a Starbucks gift card after the decorating disaster — and even sent her a thank you note. “Why?” Barshay asks. “Probably out of guilt. (I have chronic guilt issues — probably something to do with Jewish upbringing.) I felt terrible for criticizing Kelley’s décor plan during the day and I wanted to express my gratitude to her for all the time she spent on my place.”

She says she’d do the Hundahl’s FreeStyle program again “in a heartbeat” and says she’d love for Extreme Makeover Home Edition to one day visit her place.

We second that notion — for us, that is.

Designing Woman Calls WaPo “Tabloid Trash”

kelley.jpgKelley Hundahl (left), a Cleveland Park-based decorating diva, made her debut on HGTV last weekend as a cheerful host in yet another design-on-the-cheap program, FreeStyle. In her first effort, she helped Sherri, a color-challenged suburbanite determine that a tacky red leather couch and a tacky red armoire and tacky red curtains were simply not divine. “Sherri loves color, which is fantastic,” Hundahl said on the program, with nary an eye roll in sight. “She even has a red vacuum.”

But not all shows have gone so swimmingly. Hundahl told FishBowl DC soon after her debut show that she had a terrible experience with Congressional Quarterly reporter Jill Barshay, who was chosen by producers to have a room in her Dupont Circle apartment redone on the program. Barshay, also none too happy with the experience, ultimately penned a Washington Post exposé about her experience. Barshay said that FreeStyle’s producers coaxed her into buying new furniture and also “double-stuffed” (arranged) her home in inconvenient ways.

Hundahl takes exception to Barshay’s Post piece. “A lot of her information in there was completely false,” Hundahl told us, indicating that the newspaper didn’t call to double check Barshay’s facts. “I was really disappointed in the Washington Post–it was all very tabloid trash.” (We’ll have Barshay’s response later today.)

Hundahl, who tells us that she won’t be redecorating any more journalists’ homes in her next thirteen episodes — got her break after auditioning for the network last year. Each week through year’s end, she’ll continue to try to help Washingtonians understand what it means to have style (good luck, girlfriend), and she’s already signed on to host more D.C. segments that will air next year. Tune in on Fridays at 9:30 p.m. EDT on HGTV to see which of your neighbors may garner the tackiest title of all. (Barshay’s episode is tentatively scheduled to air on Friday.)

Media Biases in Middle East War Coverage?

The topic of Howard Kurtz’ Reliable Sources yesterday is one that many are gabbing about from Washington’s bomb-free vantage point. The ghastly pictures of dead women, children and older people being carried out of rubble in Qana, Lebanon as a result of Israel’s mistaken bombing of a residential area were the backdrops for the this week’s discussion.

Michael Ware, a CNN correspondent who’s been in the Lebanon for several days, told Kurtz that crowds of Lebanese very quickly turned their rage on the United Nations headquarters in Beirut. “Israel is not just attacking Hezbollah, it’s attacking Lebanon, is the sentiment on the street,” said Ware. It “feels punitive,” like “collective punishment,” he added.

“All right,” said Kurtz, and then came the pro-Israel section of the program.

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