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Fishbowl Five

Fishbowl Five: Former DNC-er, Now Comms Director at Vogue Hildy Kuryk

Hildy KurykJust following the 2013 inauguration of President Barack ObamaHildy Kuryk, who served as the finance director of the Democratic National Committee, left Washington for New York City. Shortly after, Kuryk, who in 2011 was named one of POLITICO’s top 50 fundraisers to watch, joined Anna Wintour’s Vogue fashion empire as communications director, having first met the fashion icon in the spring of 2008 when Wintour was supporting then-Senator Obama’s campaign for president.

Nearly 18 months after leaving her life in Washington politics, we spoke with Kuryk about her new career in the fashion industry often foreign to life inside the Beltway, the intersection of politics and fashion, and what she’s learned most about Washington politics since her departure.

FishbowlDC: What have you been up to since leaving the DNC?

Hildy Kurky: “I left the DNC right after the inauguration in January 2013 and my husband, our son and I moved back to NYC. We are both from New York so it has been great being back in the city and enjoying all our old haunts and finding new ones in Brooklyn where we just moved!”

“In April of last year I started working as the Communications Director at Vogue magazine. I can’t believe it has been well over a year already – time has really flown by.”


FBDC: Where do you see the intersection of politics and fashion?

HK: “In my opinion one of the best things to come out of the 2008 Obama campaign was the idea that individual Americans could take ownership over their politics. Everyone could play a role in that campaign, no matter who you were or where you came from. In a similar vein, with the rise of social media, you have continued to see a movement in fashion toward individual style, the mix of high and low, the street style, the Instagram fashion shoots (that Vogue was the first to do!). Most of all there is a prevailing sense that you don’t have to buy designer fashion to be fashionable anymore – it is about how you present yourself and what your personal message is.”

“Of course I would also be remiss if I didn’t commend our First Lady, Mrs. Obama, on her dedication to young American designers and the spotlight she shines on our industry.”

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Fishbowl Five: Huff Post’s Lauren Weber and Eliot Nelson

In March of this year, The Huffington Post jumped on the morning email tipsheet train, and three months after its launch, “The Morning Email” has proved to be an interesting and informative AM read for many.

Weekdays, TME explores the day’s national, international, and pop culture headlines alongside top tweets and humorous GIFs. Described as a “quick and breezy morning news roundup,” the newsletter is compiled daily by Huff Post reporter Lauren Weber and Eliot Nelson, a political reporter and editor in the Huffington Post’s Washington bureau.

We recently sat down with the two to find out what goes into compiling a successful morning email newsletter, what makes TME stand out among its competition, and who are their writing crushes.

FishbowlDC: What time do you start compiling The Morning Email?

Lauren: I write parts of TME the night before, mostly the less urgent bits (cat videos, lifestyle news and so forth). This prevents me from becoming completely nocturnal. In the morning, I get up around 5:30 or 6 a.m. and start typing away. Once I have a complete draft (gifs included), I turn it over to Eliot.

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FishbowlDC Q&A with DC Vote’s Kimberly Perry

dcvote

DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

National education and advocacy organization DC Vote will host its first annual Three Star Ball: Party With A Purpose next Thursday, May 22 on the National Association of Realtors rooftop. The event is in the name of Taxation Without Representation, a fight for voting rights in the District.

The evening will honor Nancy Bagley, editor in chief of Washington Life and president of the Arca Foundation, and the DC Brau Brewing Company. The ball’s host committee includes José Andrés, Vinoda Basnayake, Dannia HakkiDonald Sherman, Sarah Aburdeneh and Edward Smith.

FishbowlDC sat down with DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry for a Q&A in advance of next week’s event. Check it out, after the jump. And for tickets, click here. Read more

FishbowlDC Q&A with NYP’s Tara Palmeri

Tara Palmeri pictureMany of you remember former Washington Examiner Yeas & Nays gossip columnist Tara Palmeri as the gorgeous brunette who took DC gossip to a whole new level. In 2010, Palmeri left DC for a job at the New York Post. We recently caught up with her to see what she’s been up to, what she misses most, and New York perceptions of DC media.

FishbowlDC: So what have you been doing since you left DC?

Tara Palmeri: I’ve been a reporter for the New York Post since 2010 when I left the Washington Examiner to work for famed “Page Six” editor Richard Johnson. Writing for the saucy gossip column was a dream job. I reported daily items for nearly two years on New York’s elite before switching to the news desk to be a general assignment reporter.

My first big assignment was covering the John Edwards trial from Greensboro, NC where I was based for nearly two months.

After the trial, I spent my first year chasing national stories all over the country in cities that I probably would have never visited like Bismarck, Reno, and Boise.

Most recently, I’ve been working on investigative and enterprise stories. So if you have a tip, send it my way!

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A New Morning Ritual? WaPo Launches ‘Read In’ With Reid Wilson

Can a morning tip sheet targeted at political professionals thrive without including birthday shout-outs? That’s the question WaPo‘s Reid Wilson has set out to answer this morning. Wilson and WaPo launched “Read In” at 8:00 a.m. -a new morning tip-sheet for Hill staffers and campaign workers. Wilson knows a little bit about the biz -he is the former editor-in-chief of the Hotline at National Journal and has been covering state-level politics for WaPo’s GovBeat for the past several years. FBDC caught up with Reid over the weekend and asked him some questions about his new project. Read on in to learn more, and if you haven’t already, sign up for the newsletter here.

You used to run Hotline at NJ. How is “Read In” going to differ from that and other morning tip sheets?

Read In is going to be laser-focused on its core audience – Capitol Hill staffers and members, the lobbying community, the campaign community, anyone who practices professional politics. My job is to help them do their jobs better, which means giving people a timely and comprehensive look at what they need to know before their first meeting or conference call. Hence the name: This is how people read in to their day.

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For Former Fox 5-er Paul Raphel, Big Risk Equals Big Reward

Many of you may remember him as the boy who made you fall in love with local news, but Paul Raphel isn’t so local anymore. Since the former Fox 5 segment producer and reporter left DC almost two years ago, he’s been with “TMZ Live” and most recently Ora TV’s “PoliticKING” producing his way through LA.

FishbowlDC recently caught up with Raphel to talk about what he’s been up to since relocating to the Hills, what he misses most about DC, and how his perceptions of Washington media have changed since relocating.

FishbowlDC: So what have you been doing since you left DC?
Paul Raphel: I left DC in June 2012 when I moved to California — without a job. I lived on my friend’s couch while searching for work. Professionally, it seemed crazy to leave a perfectly fine, full time job with no real plan but I didn’t want to live with ‘what if’s’ by not taking a chance in Los Angeles – something I always considered doing. A month after moving I was hired at TMZ to be the content producer for “TMZ Live” which, at the time, was their newest show. Our team took the show from two markets to airing on all the major FOX affiliates by September 2013. I have now moved from pop culture to politics and started working for Ora TV in January as a producer on Larry King’s political show PoliticKING. It’s been really exciting to start the year at Ora because it is a very new digital network that airs shows with recognizable names like Larry King and Jesse Ventura.

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Dan Savage on his HUMP! Tour, Sex in DC, and the GOP

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 13.24.15Earlier today, FishbowlDC had the opportunity to speak with love and sex advice columnist Dan Savage, in advance of the DC stop of his amateur adult film festival, HUMP!. The show premiers tonight and runs through Saturday at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

HUMP! films take a nuanced approach to amateur adult films by using parody, documentary themes, animation, and more to give viewers an artistic look at the genre. The festival was created in 2005 by the “Savage Love” author as a sex-positive and creative outlet for amateur pornographers.

Eight screenings are planned for its visit to DC, including Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 at 8 and 10 pm and at 4, 6, 8, and 10 pm Saturday, March 22. Tickets may be purchased at http://humptour.strangertickets.com. The festival’s DC stop is presented by the Washington City Paper, which runs “Savage Love” weekly and online.

Read on for our Q&A with Savage on the origins of the tour, what we can expect, and naturally, his answers to Push/F@#k/Marry with Fox News’ Bret Baier, CNN’s Jake Tapper, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

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Britt McHenry (Finally) Joins ESPN

579764_984225482261_51763335_nNot only is today St. Patrick’s Day, it’s also someone’s first day at ESPN!

We’ve reported the announcement (as well as the rumors) that Britt McHenry, formerly a sports reporter with WJLA, had taken a new gig with ESPN based here in Washington. And now, it’s finally happening. Today is her first day! FBDC caught up with Britt recently to find out what we can expect in her new role as well as what she’ll miss at WJLA.

FishbowlDC - So. Finally the news is public. How hard was it to keep the secret? Assume lots of people (us included) were trying to scoop your move.
Britt McHenry - Obviously, an opportunity like this is very exciting, and I wanted to get the word out and start work as soon as possible. But, there’s a protocol in handling business matters, and I’m happy we were able to do it the right way through the ESPN release (sorry Fishbowl, still love you guys)!

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Fishbowl Five: Arwa Damon on the Syrian Civil War

Last night, CNN’s Arwa Damon received an award from Oxfam honoring her reporting on the Syrian Civil War. The network’s senior international correspondent has spent a decade reporting from some of the world’s most dangerous and fascinating places -including Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, and now Syria. Earlier in the week, FishbowlDC was able to get Damon to answer some questions for us about her work.

Q: In your reporting on Syria, you’ve been involved with some truly devastating situations. How do you keep from being overwhelmed by all the terrible things that are happening around you?

A: It is overwhelming and at times suffocating.  Seeing others’ pain – watching as they cope with the tirade of emotions that comes with the unbearable loss of a loved one – can leave you feeling utterly helpless.  The only thing we can do is try to the best of our abilities, knowing that we can never fully succeed, to portray that to our audience in hopes of raising awareness and generating change.  The hardest part about Syria is that the sense among myself and many of my colleagues is that we must have somehow failed, that we’re just screaming into a dark vortex.

I can’t even begin to recall how many times I have been asked a variation of the question: “What’s the point of talking to you? The world is mocking us, listening to us, watching the videos you shoot and what’s on YouTube and yet, still mocking us. How can no one care?” And I can’t answer it.  I can’t explain how the world can watch and do nothing.

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Fishbowl Five: HuffPo’s Josh Hersh in Syria

Joshua Hersh, The Huffington Post’s Middle East correspondent based in Beirut, has been in Damascus since Saturday. As one of the few American journos on the ground there, he has a front row seat to a tragic piece of history in the making. FishbowlDC was lucky enough to have Josh answer a few questions for us about what it’s like to report from a war zone and what’s he’s learned about the devastating conflict developing in Syria.

Without further ado, The Fishbowl Five with Josh Hersh:

You previously covered foreign affairs out of HuffPo’s DC bureau, now you’re based in Lebanon. What parts of an international story, especially a war story, do reporters miss by not being on the front lines?

The hardest part to recognize is how inconsequential we often are. That’s not totally true of course — decisions made in Washington and New York play a major role in the course of events all over the world. But even though the people of the Middle East may talk about us a lot over coffee and a cigarette, they don’t really care about us all that much — and they certainly don’t care about the same things we do. There’s a tendency in political discourse in the west — especially on TV, or the halls of Congress — to think what we do and say matters more than it really does. Learning to disentangle our political debates about foreign policy (should Obama intervene in Syria, should there be a total troop draw-down in Afghanistan, etc) from the substantive questions of what’s really going on out in those countries is both instructive and liberating.

It’s also useful to recognize how little people in the world fully comprehend about our politics. Things we see as key distinctions — even something as broad as the fact that the president makes foreign policy, and congress mainly just pontificates about it; or that one party is in control of the White House and the other is not — are often lost on other countries. (And it’s not about intelligence: Next time you read a quote from a political leader in Iran about bombing Israel, for instance, think about whether you really know whether he’s in the part of Iran’s government that actually controls nuclear policy, or just the part that complains about it.)

Much more with Josh Hersh after the jump.

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