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Brag Book

Wash Life‘s John Arundel Snags Handsome Pic Discussing Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

Congratulations to Washington Life Associate Publisher John Arundel on sharing his thoughts on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom he met 3 times, yesterday on ”Good Morning America,” CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” and on the front page of The New York Post. During a conversation with Hoffman a mere weeks ago at Sundance, Arundel recounts the actor confessing, “I’m a heroin addict.”

Some are accusing Arundel of grandstanding (see his Facebook post after the jump), a charge he denies. We think his new Facebook profile picture -snapped on set, live, from Good Morning America! -speaks for itself though. Great smile, John!

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Read John’s humblebrag Facebook post after the jump…

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Cusack’s Plays Get Noticed

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Watch out Hollywood. The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack is on the move and has received honors for two plays he wrote. “The Promise” won second place in the World Series of Screenwriting in the action/adventure category. The play has also been named one of eight finalists in a screenplay contest run by the All Sports L.A. Film Festival. The winner of the contest will be named an at awards ceremony in North Hollywood in November.

“The Promise” is about the man behind the greatest sports upsets of all time and a reporter who helps him in his spiritual quest for one last championship.

According to Pat Battistini of the All Sports LA Film Fest, they received an overwhelming amount of films and scripts. “The Promise has advanced to our ‘Elite Eight,’” Battistini explained in an email. “We will be announcing the ‘Final Four’ and winner at our Awards Ceremony on Monday, November 11 at 6pm at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood.”

Another play Cusack wrote, “Safe and Effective,” which is about a political conspiracy to conceal a cure for cancer, has been named a quarterfinalist in the “Just Effing Entertain Me” screenplay contest.

Cusack, with his silver streaked locks, is something of a thespian and has appeared in episodes of the HBO series “Veep.”

10 Bylines We Love for Superficial Reasons

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What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot when it comes to a journalist’s byline. So here we’re being shamelessly superficial as we pick out those names in Washington journalism that we like just because of the way they look on paper or sound. No doubt they all work hard, have earned their bylines and have people who like them and love them.

But forget about all that. This is more like a beauty contest for names.

See who caught our eye… Read more

From the Dept. of Bragiculture

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Only in Washington does a member of Congress brag about getting arrested. No doubt it plays well back home.

Rep. Keith Ellison is a Democrat from Minnesota.

 

Meet Mark Leibovich’s Monster

image004As the clock struck 5:16 p.m. Wednesday, the email blast arrived. Or rather, Kurt Bardella, one of the star monsters in NYT‘s Mark Leibovich‘s summer blockbuster, This Town, had risen from the ashes or the lava (Hollywood will figure out the proper visual). Meet Washington’s latest entrepreneur. Meet the town’s former Washington insider, the headline blared. Bardella is starting his own strategic communications firm, strategic being the key word, in that he gets to chose his own “adventure.”

Within mere moments, Politico‘s Jake Sherman, whose own emails may have leaked their way to Leibovich’s inbox for the book via Bardella’s untrustworthy fingertips, tweeted the news. And there Bardella was: out there in the aftermath of a book that would make him both famous for Washington and as infamous as one of the book’s other main characters, Tammy Haddad.

Back in April, I was in the grips of yet another White House Correspondents Dinner pre-party, not Tammy’s to which I’d been pointedly not invited. This one, an unusual warehouse party in Georgetown thrown by National Journal. I didn’t notice a whole lot of White House correspondents outside of ABC’s Ann Compton. One of the more interesting details about the party was that the toilets on the main floor were malfunctioning, so attendants stood outside the restrooms telling guests that they’d have to wait. Or better yet, they’d have to fight their way upstairs to the V.I.P. floor to use the commode. Upstairs, the smell of urine wafted into the hallway.

image002Back downstairs, I ran into Bardella who had flopped into an easy chair on the far side of the room. I’d known Kurt since his days in Rep. Brian Bilbray‘s (R-Calif.) office and had always enjoyed our interactions and found him helpful. By this point, it was well known that Bardella would figure into Leibovich’s book. So I asked him about it. Was he nervous, worried? Would he be embarrassed? While he wouldn’t comment at all on the record, he indicated that he might at a later point and went into a myriad of thoughts I can’t repeat because of our off the record agreement. But one thing I was instantly struck by was Bardella’s ultra-relaxed manner about the whole thing. He knew this was coming. Everybody knew this was coming. And his body language screamed that he didn’t have a care in the world about it.

Fast forward seven months, here we are at Bardella 2.0. Or is it 3.0.? The “2″ might’ve been when his former boss, House Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), temporarily fired him in February, 2011, and he went to work for The Daily Caller while simultaneously writing op-eds for Politico, the publication that got him fired in the first place for leaking those emails to Leibovich for his book. It was Editor-in-Chief John Harris who spoke with Issa and pushed him on whether his own reporters’ emails or phone calls had been improperly shared.

At the time, in a Sunday letter to Issa, Harris wrote, “The practice of sharing reporter e-mails with another journalist on a clandestine basis would be egregiously unprofessional under any circumstances,” Harris wrote. “As the editor-in-chief of POLITICO, my concern is heightened by information suggesting that POLITICO journalists may have had their reporting compromised by this activity.”

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Reporter Punched in Face for Tweets

nainanUnknownThis might be the most spectacular thing to happen to Washington journalism in modern times.

On Wednesday night Daily Beast foreign policy reporter Josh Rogin (above left) was socked in the face for trash tweeting comedian Dan Nainan at the D.C. Improv. The comedian (above right) was arrested in the incident.

The event was the semi-annual “Funniest Celebrity in Washington” contest. Not so funny, right? (Well, actually, it’s still a little funny.)

WaPo reported the news at 12:17 a.m. Thursday morning. U.S. News & World Report beat them to the punch [insert laughter track here] by at least an hour.

Will this stop the relatively mild-mannered Rogin from writing what he pleases in the future?

Rogin told FishbowlDC… Read more

Full Disclosure: WaPo’s Wemple Really F%@ked Up TBD

WaPo‘s opinionated media blogger Erik Wemple wrote a down and dirty piece Monday on Robert Allbritton‘s purchase of Capital NY. Nothing that remarkable in it except for his own disclosures of what a failure he believes he was at TBD. Actually who knows…maybe the story had juicy nuggets, but we were all tunnel vision on those full disclosures. And not one, but two. Come on, Erik Wemple Blog! Couldn’t have been all your fault. Stop being so hard on yourself!

A. “That same year, Allbritton launched Washington-area news site TBD.com, a generously funded project that fizzled in near-record time under the editorial guidance of the Erik Wemple Blog.”

Some 14 graphs later…

B. “By acquiring Capital, the Politico brain trust shows that it’s learned some things since the quick and spectacular failure of TBD.com under the editorial guidance of the Erik Wemple Blog.”

Wemple goes on to discuss the reasons TBD may have tanked, and funny, some seem to have little to do with him. Read more

Do Jim VandeHei and Brian Stelter Have Mental Telepathy?

How cringeworthy.

In NYT‘s Brian Stelter‘s story on Politico owner Robert Allbritton acquiring Capital NY today, he interviews the venture’s new President Jim VandeHei.

We’re not sure which is worse. Stelter asking VandeHei a truly softball question and acting like it’s anything more than that, or VandeHei reading his mindRead more

Journos Who Could Be Porn Stars (Part II)

We recently brought you 10 Washington journalists whose names (only) could qualify them for a certain other profession – the list included such great potentials as Daily Caller intern Gabe Finger, Politico‘s Ginger Gibson and CQ Roll Call‘s Jason Dick. We firmly stand by those choices. But we quickly realized there are clearly 10 more. And hey, it’s August, so if there’s a stray from Manhattan we’re still letting him or her on the list.

Graphic by Austin Price. 

See who made the cut…

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From the Dept. of Bragiculture

Today we have a prime candidate for entrance into the Department of Bragiculture. It’s Jay Lauf, SVP & Group Publisher over at Atlantic Media. Quartz launched its global business product in September 2012. Reporters are based in Washington, Soho and LA.

“The reactions we are seeing to Quartz on Twitter and in emails we receive is almost embarrassingly effusive,” said Lauf in a recent company release.

And just for fun, see if you can find the grammar mistake in his quote.

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