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Analysis

Mike Allen’s Birthday Reunion

The “Politico Playbook” from Mike Allen is usually filled with insider information that Washington has grown to love. Birthdays, “Facts of Life,” behind-the-scenes political strategy and various other words of wisdom find their way into our inbox each day.

However, on Saturday, Mikey might have been dealing with a slow news day. He gave us a few legit news stories on immigration, but then it took a sharp turn into Bro-ville. He eased us into a story about an “epic” birthday party that his fraternity brothers threw him. Mike describes it this way: “25 Sigma Phil Epsilon brothers and wives converged on Sequoia, on the Georgetown waterfront, from Dallas, Columbus, Indianapolis, Birmingham, Syracuse, N.Y.C., Philly, Princeton, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Suffolk, Newport News, Richmond, Old Town, etc. The guys spanned five class years, and most hadn’t seen each other in 25 to 30 years.”

Allen, who can seem robotic at times, really cut loose and spilled some details on the bash, including old fraternity nicknames. Oh, this is going to be really good. Read more

Hello Buttercup! Harvard Prof Praises Arianna on HuffPost

A feature in which we point out how writers suck up to themselves, each other and others in a particularly buttery fashion.

This one must have been tough to decide. Hmmm….let a Harvard Psychology Professor write a bunch of complimentary things about HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington on HuffPost or not?

Twist their arms. Fine, they’ll allow it.

In a HuffPost blog post Sunday in the Health Living section, Harvard Psychology Professor Ellen Langer wrote a post that had to make Arianna smile. She wrote: “I’m not one for mindless flattery..” — whoa, wait, really? Do we stop her here before she goes down the mindless flattery rabbit hole? –  “so it is with great sincerity that I say that Arianna is a force to be reckoned with. She’s extremely bright and incredibly effective so perhaps it’s no surprise that the event was so successful.”

Langer goes on to say… Read more

What’s Weingarten Writing?

Where in the world is WaPo’s Gene Weingarten? The “humorist” took a week off from his weekly column, so we have been given a “Best Of” from Gene. While, that might seem like an oxymoron, this week’s column is actually quite good.  Plus, it tackles one of our favorite topics: big butts.

The column originally ran in 2006 and it chronicles a curious trip that Gene took to New York to meet with a plastic surgeon. According to Gene, he saw an ad for buttock enlargements, so he lined up an interview with Dr. George Lefkovits, the man who makes big booty dreams come true. Sorry, I shouldn’t be so crass. The doctor told Gene that he tries to “augment and re-profile buttocks”

How does a doctor make the bottom bigger and how is Gene’s derriere doing? Read more

Leubsdorf Claims 50 Years in D.C. Journalism

During MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown’s “shameless plugs” segment this morning, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page without any shame whatsoever gave the shout-out to her husband, Carl P. Leubsdorf Sr.

She began, “50 years ago almost to the day, Carl P. Leubsdorf arrived in Washington to work as the overnight reporter for the Associated Press. He is still writing a column for the Dallas Morning News.”

Asked about his 50th anniversary and to point out stark differences between the press then and now, Leubsdorf told FishbowlDC: Read more

What’s Dana Tweeting?

We’ve documented the twitter habits of Dana Perino, part of the quirky quintet that hosts “The Five” on Fox News several times before. Her tweets almost always fall into the category of self-congratulatory pronouncements or pictures of her hound, Jasper. If it’s not something along those lines, I get very concerned that something is wrong. Her Twitter feed is a steady diet of pics of Jasper in compromising positions. Viewers of “The Five” have even gotten into the act and they send Dana photoshops of the pooch like the one above. Honestly, Jasper looks like he’d fit right in with that pack on “The Five.” Hell, he might even have more intelligent things to say than Bob Beckel. She’s so obsessed with the dog, that when Mary Katherine Ham tweeted that she was going to be on Redeye, another show hosted by Perino’s frenemy, Greg Gutfeld, she told her, “bring up Jasper. He’ll love it. Double dog dare ya.”

She’s also known for just tweeting random thoughts. Read more

The Fight Over Off The Record (and Ron Fournier’s Blooming Twitter Addiction)

The Department of Justice must really feel like they screwed up, because Eric Holder is making the apology tour and meeting with various media outlets. It’s an effort to build bridges over the Obama administration hunting of leaks in the media, which many feel is overly aggressive. Naturally, there’s one little hangup: The DOJ wants the meeting off the record. While an off the record meeting with a high-ranking government official is hardly groundbreaking in Washington, the optics are pretty shitty. Here’s the Attorney General, who led a media witch hunt, who now wants to have an open dialogue with the media, who feels slighted and no one can know what was said.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier  penned a thoughtful piece on what “off the record” really means, and gives reasons why the media should ignore Holder’s request for silence. Fournier sums up the problem with this off the record nonsense by saying that ”it puts a reporter in the position of a priest: Keeping the government’s secrets.” Fournier reminds reporters that this story isn’t about them or their rights, but it’s about the next President, who might be worse than Presidents Bush and Obama combined.

Fournier was really proud of the piece. Oh, how do we know? Read more

Marty’d: The Memorial Day Edition

We are All Just News Junkies Online. If you follow Marty Rudolf on Twitter, you’re used to frequent attempts at conversation. Randomly, he’ll ask questions like, “Does any Sports Fans or Journalists/Bloggers feel like chatting?,” or “Any “Y&R”, “Days” or “B&B” Soap Fans on here?” He’s a lovable oddball who will often tweet directly to actors, journalists and anyone else who will listen. Sometimes, they actually respond.

You never know who may give Marty a response. Read more

Michelle Obama Dated This Guy?

National Journal and The Weekly Standard took very different tacks in their coverage of Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George‘s testimony before the Senate Finance Committee today concerning the IRS scandal.

As a student at Harvard Law School… Read more

The Great Zucchini Falls on Harder Times

In 2006, WaPo’s Gene Weingarten wrote a profile of a children’s performer known as “The Great Zucchini.” Weingarten described a brilliant, but flawed performer. Throughout the piece, Gene convinced us that Zucchini is masterful in the way that he entertains children and wows parents with his comedy/slapstick routine. We also learn that, for all the Zucchini’s successes, he couldn’t manage his money and his personal life was a disaster. In the piece, Gene tells us what the Zucchini has planned for the future. “His business plan? To become the children’s entertainer to the stars, a star in his own right who is flown first class to Beverly Hills, to do parties at $5,000 a pop for Angelina Jolie’s kids, or Britney’s.”

So, how’s he doing?

Read more

Gibbs Post White House: Needs Makeover?

What is going on with Robert Gibbs? The ex-White House aide appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today and he looks, well, different. What happened to him? Take a look at him then and now.

Then and now…

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