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Brag Book

NJ’s Fournier Goes on Book Leave, but First Bellyaches at a Party

On Friday National Journal‘s Editorial Director and national correspondent Ron Fournier went on book leave. The book will center on the genuinely touching National Journal Magazine cover story he wrote about his son’s Asperger’s Syndrome. The story chronicles fatherhood and his own struggles in dealing with his son’s condition. It’s also the journey (“guilt trips,” he calls them) he takes with his son, instructed by his wife, to meet a couple of gracious ex-Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who warmly welcomed the Fourniers on their daily schedules. His wife poignantly says, “‘You can use a job that took you away from Tyler to help him,’ she said, suggesting that we visit historical sites, preferably those connected to presidents, because Tyler loves history and I spent my career covering the White House.”

But at the time the story was published, even some within National Journal felt the piece was mismatched to the publication. A number of journalists also felt uneasy that Fournier had used the cover in such a personal way and expressed as much.

But before he went on leave, last week Fournier attended the This Town book party for Mark Leibovich at an Adams Morgan townhouse called Maison Biltmore. At the soirée, Fournier could be heard complaining about FishbowlDC’s coverage of his impending book. Wow, this was a party for Leibo’s book, but Fournier couldn’t focus on anything but his own? He was heard saying that FishbowlDC had made fun of his son. Really? Is that what Fournier calls it these days when someone points out the possible distasteful concept of publicly exposing your son to attention he may not want, to publicly using your son’s condition to land interviews with ex-Presidents and writing a story on all the reaction his original story received? He turns around and says we made fun of his son?

He may not agree with what we wrote based on reactions some journalists around Washington had to the story that were something less than gushing. But no, readers, we did not make fun of Fournier’s son. See here, here, here, here and here.

Enjoy your book leave, Fournier. We can hardly wait for your return, but somehow we suspect you won’t be able to tear yourself off Twitter for three months. And no, that was not a crack on your son.

CNN’s Zucker Offers Pre-Weekend Praise

What makes CNN so special? Is it Wolf’s new glasses, that delicate moment when Anderson breaks into giggles while reading the Ridiculist or when he interviewed Cleveland kidnapping hero Charles Ramsey without cracking a smile as Ramsey winked, discussed cheeseburgers and called him “bro,” Tapper reeling off the “World Lead” or Piers losing his shit with the gun activists he invites on his show? Well, that’s a burning question that’s still evolving. Nonetheless, CNN’s Jeff Zucker offered his employees a warm note of appreciation and congratulations on the network’s 33rd anniversary.

Zucker isn’t sparing in his praise.

He writes, “It’s a tribute to every one of you that we are enjoying success on all of our platforms. We’ve launched some terrific programs. We have been awarded some of our industry’s highest accolades. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But this has been a good year for CNN thus far, and none of that happens without you.

See the full memo and watch the video… Read more

Joe Scarborough Wants You to Know His Show is Doing Just Fine!

After Alex Pareene‘s Monday takedown story in Salon, which essentially laid all of “what’s wrong” with MSNBC at “Morning Joe’s” feet, Joe Scarborough is biting back.

Was he feeling touchy or just being proactive?

It seems like Pareene may have struck a nerve when he wrote that Scarborough’s show “is representative of everything wrong with contemporary political elite thinking.” He then swiped at the show’s April viewership, calling it “the lowest rated of the big three cable news morning shows.”

“Congratulations to the ‘Morning Joe’ team!” Scarborough tweeted Tuesday evening. “More people watched ‘Morning Joe’ in May than CNN, Headline News, CNBC and Fox Business. Way to go!!” What followed was a self pat on the back in the form of retweets that was so hard, it’s a wonder Scarborough can still stand up straight.

A sampling of Scarborough’s sticky-sweet RTs:

  • “Best morning show ever!”
  • “Great cast, solid reporting and realistic insight. Congrats!”
  • “This is a total given, considering Morning Joe is the best morning show on tv in my opinion and has the best anchor team.”

This continued on for an additional 22 tweets.

And it didn’t stop on Twitter… Read more

Why Are You All So Stupid and Slow?

This just in from the Department of Bragiculture…

Breitbart NewsMatthew Boyle is either looking for someone to Scotch tape a “kick me” sign on his back or else he’s the smartest, most forward thinking reporter in the history of Washington journalism. Both options are possible (but highly unlikely).

In tweets late Monday night, Boyle scolded the Washington Press Corps for being so slow on the whole down with Attorney General Eric Holder brigade. Granted, Holder’s in hot water over DOJ cracking into AP phone records. But in short: Boyle says he told you so.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

We reached out to Boyle to find out if he feels vindicated by the latest news out of DOJ. Read more

From the Dept. of Bragiculture…

No offense, but shouldn’t we actually see tangible results of this “creative genius” before RedState‘s Contributing Editor Ben Howe declares your own creative genius? Ben, please report back to us when you’ve found a cure for cancer.


Malkin Wins Breitbart Award

The Heritage Foundation and the Franklin Center awarded the 2nd annual Breitbart Award to blogger Michelle Malkin at a ceremony in Orland Thursday night. It probably helped that Malkin was also the keynote speaker at the event. It’s an award given to a journalist who best represents the ideals of the late Andrew Breitbart.

While I’m SURE it’s prestigious award and not to take anything away from Ms. Malkin’s accolade, it does seems there are a hell of a lot of awards out there these days. And it gives me an idea.  Read more

‘Top Journalist’ Mike Allen Guesses His Role In Leibovich Book

If nothing else, Politico, along with its Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen, come off completely self-aware in the latest installment of their “Behind the Curtain” series. That is, VandeHei and Allen know they’re in no small way a part of D.C.’s often narcissistic, cynical culture.

In the piece, Allen refers to himself as one of Washington’s “top journalists” and he and VandeHei speculate that Allen is the focus of “at least a chapter” in NYT Chief National Correspondent Mark Leibovich‘s forthcoming book This Town.

“We won’t love the book, either,” Allen and VandeHei write. “It is clear that POLITICO and [Allen's] Playbook are portrayed as enablers of the culture Leibovich lampoons.”

Aside from Politico‘s “Behind the Curtain” the story being largely about… Read more

Site Features Paul Wharton, JT, Redford

There are celebrities. And then there are celebrities for D.C. When you think of Real Housewives of D.C.‘s Paul Wharton, whose show, Paul Wharton Style, starts back up again in May, you think amazing blow dried hair, diva, drama, and well, D.C. celebrity. You don’t exactly think Justin Timberlake and Robert Redford.

But Drink DC, a site devoted to  imbibing in D.C., names a bunch of D.C. bars where you can glimpse so-called celebrities. All of the aforementioned “stars” make their lineup. Wharton is known to hang out at Napoleon in Adams Morgan and sip champagne.

See the feature here.

Who’s the Boss? CBS’ Cordes and Danza

CBS News’ Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes is linking up with actor Tony Danza for the National Make a Difference Day Awards luncheon set to take place in Washington at the end of April. Cordes will emcee the event; Danza will be the keynote speaker.

Make A Difference Day is sponsored by Gannett Co., Inc.’s USA WEEKEND Magazine in partnership with Points of Light and Newman’s Own.

CNN’s Piers Morgan Says He’s Not a Fruit

Of all the crazy denials that rolled in over Twitter this weekend, this one takes the cake — or the fruit — depending how you want to look at it. But in retrospect, maybe when “fastcatmiles” (a.k.a. Connor Thompson of the U.K.) asked CNN’s Piers Morgan the following question he should have left well enough alone.

To which “Pears” actually replied: “Because I’m not a fruit.”

But that’s not the worst of it. Read more