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Fish Poll

Who’s Excited for WHCD Now?

After former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw chastised the D.C. press corps. last year for participating in the increasingly glamorized White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the collective national news media has moved to tone things down.

Is that good or bad?

Politico, The Hill and Yahoo! News are all opting not to bring high-wattage Hollywood celebs to this year’s dinner, as had become the norm in recent years. FNC’s Greta Van Susteren, who in the past brought actress Lindsay Lohan and reality TV star Kim Kardashian as guests, is sitting the event out this time. As usual, The Daily Caller‘s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson won’t attend and will head out of town.

Politico Playbook reported Tuesday morning that an attorney for the WHCA is threatening legal action against a Los Angeles-based marketing firm for using the dinner as a promotional tie for one of its “gift” products. Then there’s Ed Henry, FNC’s Chief White House Correspondent and President of the WHCA, who said last week that he was reworking the event to be less celebrity-centric and more about the scholarships it offers to aspiring journalists.

So what are the expectations for this year’s dinner which takes place Saturday? With a renewed focus on the scholarships and a distinctive step away from the glitz, are people more or less excited? Answer our Fish Poll. We’ll post the results soon.

 

Daily Caller, WaPo Clash Over Hookers

When it comes to using Dominican prostitutes as presumably well-greased sources, whom do you trust?

WaPo‘s Carol D. Leonnig and Ernesto Londoño published a story yesterday that appears to debunk a previous report by The Daily Caller that two prostitutes in the Dominican Republic were patronized by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). The report says a new legal affidavit demonstrates that The DC’s sources were paid to lie about Menendez.

“The Washington Post piece today on Menendez and the Dominican hookers was completely, utterly wrong,” TheDC Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson tweeted. “Our story coming soon.” Though WaPo’s piece says the authors tried contacting Carlson for comment, Carlson tweeted that email time stamps show Leonnig emailed him “more than 30 minutes after posting her story.” We’ve reached out to WaPo for an official time stamp on its story as well as The DC for the time stamp on the email. A WaPo spokesperson simply said, “We stand by our reporting.”

The DC‘s outgoing Executive Editor David Martasko hit back at WaPo with a followup story. An excerpt:

“While the Post said it had an affidavit from a woman in the Dominican Republic admitting she fabricated claims Menendez paid her for sex, that woman was not one of the two prostitutes TheDC interviewed for a Nov. 1 report. …

“Post reporter Carol D. Leonnig did not respond to requests for comment Monday night, and did not provide TheDC with a copy of the affidavit.”

The DC also issued a statement, saying it stands by its reporting.

Here, readers serve as judge, jury and executioner. Take our Fish Poll and vote on whose side you’re taking. We’ll post the results tomorrow.

Most Say Bob Woodward Is Full of It And May Need Diapers In His Old Age

The results of yesterday’s Fish Poll are in.

Asked if WaPo‘s Bob Woodward is “full of shit” regarding his claim that he was intimidated (perhaps threatened) by the White House, a resounding 67 percent said yes. A full breakdown of the results:

  • 40.57% chose “Yes; the email in no way sounded like a threat. And Woodward is at the age where he needs diapers anyway.”
  • 26.42% said, “No; the White House shouldn’t be telling reporters what they’ll ‘regret,’ even if they don’t mean anything violent by it.”
  • 27.36% chose “Yes; this is how hacks and flacks say I love you to one another. Woodward needs to grow up and put his old man pants on.”
  • 6% said, “No; I’d be genuinely worried about waking up next to a horse head if I’d received that same email from the White House.”

Did the White House Threaten Bob Woodward or is He Full of It?

It’s Fish Poll time.

When WaPo‘s Bob Woodward, a guy who has figured out how to bring out the toddler in Democrats and Republicans, claimed on Wednesday that he was threatened by the White House, a media debate started over what exactly constitutes a “threat.”

After Woodward said this week that it was the Obama administration which came up with the sequester idea, a White House official (Gene Sperling, Director of the White House Economic Council) emailed Woodward to say he’d “regret staking out that claim.”

In a subsequent interview with Politico, Woodward maintained that it was indeed a threat. “Come on,” he said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”

Some sided with Woodward. Others said the “regret” line was nothing, similar to telling someone he’d be proven wrong in time… Read more

Michelle Obama at Oscars: Too Much, Just Right?

You could almost hear the collective groan last night as the Oscars flashed to the overly banged (we’re talking hair) Michelle Obama and the announcement of Best Picture. Just as we were enjoying the always refreshing Jack Nicholson, there she was giving a speech.

What do you think dear readers? A nice surprise? Or an oppressive horror show?

Take our poll.

Fish Poll Results Say Menendez is Guilty

The results of yesterday’s Fish Poll are in.

We asked readers to vote on whether they believe reports that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) paid for sex with foreign prostitutes. “Where there’s smoke there’s fire. He probably did it,” was selected by 46 percent of respondents.

“Look at his face. Everything about it says, ‘I’m willing to pay for a good hump’” received 20 percent of the vote.

Tied for third with 13 percent were, “Breitbart called it with Anthony Weiner, so there’s some credibility here at least,” and “Don’t care. But if he did, good for him.”

Seven percent chose, “No, The Daily Caller and Breitbart News can’t be trusted on this one.”

Are Reports of Sen. Bob Menendez Banging Foreign Prostitutes True?

Other than a handful of eyewitness accounts from foreign prostitutes who say they slept with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), there’s no smoking gun to prove he’s guilty of any of it.

Then again, that was about all it took for much of the media to hop on and fully indict former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. And if not fully indict, at least take a closer look at what kind of sausage he was using on his pizza, if you catch our drift.

Menendez has denied the reports, mostly produced by The Daily Caller and Breitbart News, which have gone after the senator with pitchforks. He told CNN the reports were “smears that right-wing blogs have been pushing since the election.” Meanwhile, Politico has at least entertained the idea of Menendez being guilty.

What do you think? Take our Fish Poll and we’ll post the results tomorrow.

Half Say Media Should ‘Try Harder’ When Breaking News

The results of yesterday’s Fish Poll are in…

In light of an excessive fudging of facts as news broke Friday of a shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, we asked: “What’s the media lesson in the Sandy Hook shooting?”

Exactly 50 percent of respondents said journalists should “try harder; we should be more willing to slow down, step back and be careful.”

Nearly one in four (28.26%) took a harder stance. They chose the answer “Some people shouldn’t be working in media if they don’t know how to fact check and get it right.”

The third most-selected answer (17.39%): “Reporters were just doing their jobs the best they could; besides, much of the information reported, though inaccurate, was relayed by officials on scene.”

And finally, just 4.35 percent said, “It’s breaking news; mistakes are inevitable and everyone knows that.”

Now This News has a handy video on this subject. Check it out here (and pay attention to the mood lighting; it’ll guide you on how to feel while watching).

What’s the Media Lesson In Sandy Hook Shooting?

In the heat of the moment last Friday, the news media fudged many of the facts regarding the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Most glaring was misidentifying the shooter as Ryan Lanza rather than Adam Lanza.

Given the severity of the situation, it’s only natural that some would be upset about journalists screwing up the facts. “If you’re wondering why the public dislikes the media, scummy behavior like this doesn’t help,” The Week‘s Matthew Lewis wrote.

BuzzFeed posted the “9 Things The Media Got Wrong About The Sandy Hook Shooting.” TheBlaze (where I work) ran “The Confusing Things About the Conn. School Shooting That Got Reported Wrong.” Kiri Blakeley at CafeMom said botching the facts made both the media and the internet “look pathetic.”

Somewhat more sympathetically, Reuters media critic Jack Shafer wrote a column detailing the inaccuracies, concluding “don’t expect too much [in breaking news]. You won’t be disappointed.”

Going forward, what’s the lesson here? Is there one? Take our Fish Poll… Read more

Put Yourself in the Photographer’s Shoes

Today we ask readers to put themselves in freelance photographer R. Umar Abbassi‘s shoes in the wake of the fatal subway incident in which a man was pushed to his death. Would you have shot the picture or helped pull the man to safety? Abbassi said he was too far away to help. The New York Post published the searing picture on its cover today.

Take our poll.

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