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FishbowlDC

Many Fishes in the Bowl

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Former FishbowlDC editor Patrick Gavin gets the exit interview with former FishbowlDC editor Betsy Rothstein

In the write-ups I’ve read about your departure, you see words like “edgy,” “controversial,” etc. How would YOU describe your tenure/approach to the job?

I would describe my approach as “real” and “truthful” — not things people in Washington handle too well.

What’s interesting about you is that in person you’re kind of quiet and soft spoken and polite and yet the blog gave you this reputation for having one of the sharpest pens in town. Is that an accurate take?

Yes, I think it’s an accurate take and something I always found (find) so funny. You know me as normal, low-key. Others think I’m a witch or a villain. “Normal” is all relative of course.

Did you have a temptation to write a mic-dropping, middle-finger raising last post?

(Laughing) I do like the image of a middle finger. It’s very occasionally satisfying. But no, I loved my job and appreciated the audience that read my work.

The FishbowlDC Interview With Washington Free Beacon’s Bill McMorris

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McMorris-300Say hello to Washington Free Beacon writer Bill McMorris, a writer covering the labor beat for the Washington Free Beacon. Brooklyn born Bill has contributed to the conservative-leaning watchdog.org. McMorris is the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Robert Novak Fellowship. He’s been known to sport a mean bowtie, and tweets under the handle @FBillMcMorris (according to Bill, the F stands for “Fancy”).

Let’s begin.

How often do you Google yourself? I try not to do it too often because I’m William J. McMorris III. The first time I Googled myself I found out my dad got sued.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? “I’ll have it ready in five minutes.” It always takes longer, making it the cruelest thing you can say to an editor. I make sure to say this daily.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Politico’s Jon Allen is always interesting. I never miss anything from The Weekly Standard‘s Matt Labash, Andrew Ferguson, or Free Beacon‘s Biff Diddle. But the only must-read byline I know of is on the Washington Free Beacon Staff. That guy’s always got the scoops.

budweiserIf you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? The 30 percent of my body that’s not water is recycled Budweiser.

Do you have a favorite word? Karate.

What word or phrase do you overuse? I overuse semicolons in stories and the F word in conversation.

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi, Meghan McCain or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why. McCain only because I haven’t heard of the other two and I haven’t been kicked out of a restaurant in a couple years.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in the course of your journalism career? Basically every conversation I’ve had that hasn’t involved my journalism career.

Tell us a funny story from your time as a journalist. Can be long or short. I once approached Dennis Miller at some fundraiser in Santa Barbara and said “Excuse me Mr. Miller, I’m sorry to interrupt” and he said “Yes, you are. Go stand over there.” I stood in the corner and to my surprise he came over and gave me a great interview when he finished his conversation.

FE_DA_0124_Lewinsky-279x300The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Jodi Arias or Monica Lewinksy? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) Monica Lewinsky is too old to repopulate, isn’t she? My wife’s way more violent than Arias, so I think I could handle it. I’m the oldest of nine kids, so we’d have the earth back up and running in no time. Read more

Morning Chatter

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Fish-1FishbowlDC Fan Club Board

President: WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten.

Vice President of Useless Affairs: Wonkette‘s Rebecca “Facts Never Get in the Way of My Stories” Scheinkopf

Resident know-it-all: Commentary’s John Podhoretz (a.k.a. Podwhore)

Dreams about FishbowlDC: Washingtonian‘s Ben Freed

Biggest Fan Ever: Slate‘s Dave Weigel

Sunset photo expert: Fox News’ Ed Henry

Words of #ThisTown Wisdom

“It’s the one thing you can’t do in Washington – don’t screw up and tell the truth.” — CNN Contributor Kevin Madden on “Out Front” Wednesday night.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 6:03 a.m.

images-1Important Q to Ponder

“Jon Stewart vs CNN. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Know more by following ‘Know More’ with @dylanmatt.” — WaPo Executive Editor and expert internal memo writer Kevin Merida.

Anonymous email to FBDC: “I imagine, even tho it doesn’t launch for a few days, that you could write the John Harris “internal” memo to staff now on the Politico magazine, tho don’t know how you can top the last few. All of Washington is in awe of Politico self-congratulatory messages.”

WTF?

“Senate just passed a bill to ‘improve provisions relating to the sanctuary system for surplus chimpanzees.’” — Politico‘s Manu Raju.

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The Boy Scout

“Was going to Vine Roger Daltrey rehearsing ‘Stand by Me’ in Stat Hall but was informed no audio/visual per management.” — NBC’s Luke Russert.

Perennial words of wisdom

“A lot of reporters using a lot of time today criticizing other reporters, time that could be spent, well, you know, reporting…” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin.

UnknownJourno is anti-Flan

“Free dessert idea: If you like your flan, you can keep it.” — Politico‘s Blake Hounshell.

Convo Between Two Media Types

This morning’s conversation is between RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer and BuzzFeed Political Editor McKay Coppins.

Sean Spicer: “Hey @BuzzFeedPol how u haven’t written abt these videos youtube.com/playlist?list=… @BuzzFeedBen @mckaycoppins @BuzzFeedAndrew”

McKay Coppins: “@seanspicer weird forum for this Sean. I think you have my email.”

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Summer Superlatives: BEST BANGS

And the winner is… Breitbart News‘ and Townhall‘s Lisa DePasquale. The choices included U.S. News’ Nikki Schwab, HuffPost‘s Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim (who got a huge plug from his boss Arianna Huffington), NBC’s Russert, and first lady Michelle Obama. DePasquale won with 30.89 percent of the votes. Grim came in a close second with 27.34 percent. Russert’s side-swept bangs, however lovely they are, didn’t fare so well — he got just 19 votes.

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MOST DESPISED FLACK IN WASHINGTON

And the winner is… Breitbart News Matthew Boyle with 40.48 percent of the vote. In second place at 19.64 percent is NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring. Other options included: Clintonland’s Philippe Reines, White House Press Sec. Jay Carney.

FUNNIEST JOURNO IN WASHINGTON

And the winner is… Reason.com Editor Nick Gillespie with 313 votes. Runner up is The Daily Caller‘s Will Rahn who got 176 votes. Other options included: BuzzFeed‘s John Stanton, Yahoo! News‘ Olivier Knox, NJ‘s Elahe Izadi and The Sunday Times‘ Toby Harnden.

Morning Chatter

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“I wonder if he lurks on Twitter, if he has a secret Twitter account. … Does he have the BuzzFeed app?” — BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, referencing President Obama at “BuzzFeed Brews” last night at Jack Rose Saloon in conversation with ex-Obama aides Tommy Vietor and Jon Favreau.

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Commenter abhors FLOTUS and POTUS abbreviations

“FLOTUS – POTUS – Such stupid and ugly abbreviations… Wish they’d go away forever. Please stop using them. What’s wrong with First Lady and President? Answer: Nothing.” — Rose, who remarked on this post.

In case you think you’re having a bad day…

“Man breaks into home, rants about zombies, then is shot to death, according to police” — LAT

And now, an incredibly boring parody of Politico Playbook by TNR….See here. Or don’t. But either way you’ve been warned.

Meanwhile…Slate has a magnificent photo magic show that’ll help you determine if MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow is the son of Frank Sinatra or Woody Allen. See here.

 Atlantic Wire headline on Politico’s Monday memo: “Politico Has No Time For Your Loser Attitude”

WTF?

“Would be pretty great if @Morning_Joe called itself ‘Morning Jehosephat’ for just one day.” — TNR.

imagesSuzanne Somers on the radar screen

New York Mag’s Jonathan Chait: “Suzanne Somers writes an anti-Obamacare Wall Street Journal column. Her views are not as deep as you might expect.” Read here. He points out, “If your newspaper is going to publish a weekly column by Karl Rove, you have already crossed whatever conceptual boundary might stop you from publishing Suzanne Somers.”

“Anybody who criticizes Suzanne Somers has to go through me first. National treasure.” — “The Takeaway” congressional reporter Todd Zwillich.

Question to Ponder in Privacy of Your Own Home: “Dude. Why didn’t they just have the NSA design the Obamacare website?” — CNN’s Zach Wolf.

Morning Chatter

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JASPER GLAMOR SHOT: “Saturday, in the park. Except it is NYC not Chicago. And October not July. But still.” — Fox News’ “The Five” Dana Perino.

The Vocabulary Police 

“Odd way for NYT 2 phrase it: ‘teenagers are now abandoning Facebook in lieu of Twitter’ [shouldn’t it be, in favor of?” — C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman. He links to this story.

Confessional: breastfeeding

“Though I stopped six years ago, I spent almost six years of my life breastfeeding seven children (including twins). So, yes, I’m all for it.” — NationalReviewOnline Contributor Colette Moran.

UnknownThe Ass Kisser

“I gotta say, I expected to enjoy the early bio stuff about @krauthammer on the @BretBaier special. But ended up being glued for whole thing.” — NationalReviewOnline‘s Jonah Goldberg, a member of the Fox All-Star team.

Flack encounters rudeness at Safeway

“The cashier at Safeway at 6:30 am is about as polite as you’d expect (she isn’t).” — Ellen Carmichael, GOP operative and former spokesman to presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 9:10 a.m.

Hot Dog 02Weiner returns in theater of the absurd

“”I have heard the ‘It’s not the crime it’s the cover-up’ take on this many times; perhaps that’s right,” former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY.) told the NYT by email for a story published Sunday on “Domesticated,” a new play at Lincoln Center about powerful couples and infidelity. “I clearly made it worse by not being truthful, and not a day goes by that I don’t regret being honest with my wife and others. But the way that the revelations were reported, sneered at and joked about makes it obvious that they would have garnered as much attention with or without my transparency.” (Interesting take. Yes, let’s just blame it all on reporters and their sinister pursuit to uncover the man in the bulging gray shorts.)

Morning Chatter

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Something heartening…

“Awaiting my oldest friend — we were 3 when we met — as he makes DC stop on his 1st family trip to the US. #psyched” — Yahoo! News‘ D.C. Bureau Chief Olivier Knox.

Important Q to Ponder: “Skakel was an adult in charge of his own defense. Why would he deserve a new trial based on ineffectiveness of his own lawyer?” — Commentary‘s John Podhoretz.

Uh oh.

“4:42am and it’s already ‘one of those days.’” — ABC7′s Sara Van Aernum.

images-3SHOTS FIRED!

“Yo, @CarlosLozadaWP read your paper’s Jofi Joseph tick-tock today. Search the words ‘Daily Beast’ or ‘Rogin.’ Speak truth to power!” — Politico‘s Glenn Thrush to WaPo Outlook Editor Carlos Lozada. This was in response to Lozada’s recent assertion that Thrush had failed to give Daily Beast‘s Josh Rogin his deserved credit for breaking the anonymous NSC tweeter  story. Lozada didn’t respond to Thrush’s Twitter water balloon, but he did what any self-respecting journalist would do — he retweeted it. For a backgrounder, see our writeup on this situation.

Journo has stress dream

“Woke up from 5 am stress dream that I was going on @FBNStossel unprepared to precisely explain Medicare funding mechanisms.” – Reason Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch.

Morning Chatter

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“Thirty? I have underwear older than that. But Happy Birthday!”Politico‘s Roger Simon in response to some guy in New Hampshire saying he turned 30 and “Haalp!”

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MEGHAN’s DIGS: “Little outside photo shoot for the Financial Times in my hood today!” — Meghan McCain.

Anonymous email to FishbowlDC: “Please pass along my sarcastic thanks for PoliticoPro’s so-called reinvention of policy coverage.”

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Confessional.

“1 of my least fav moments as a reporter: when I’m transcribing from tape and realize I interrupted some1 saying something really valuable.” — National Review‘s Jonathan Strong.

Important Q to Ponder: “So it’s a bad idea to create an anonymous twitter account on which you viciously tear apart your colleagues?” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein.

And this… “I think @BuzzFeedAndrew will get a raise when it’s found out he’s actually running 73 anonymous Twitter accounts.” — BuzzFeed Legal Editor Chris GeidnerAnd this… “Hope CBS doesn’t find out I’m on Twitter.” — CBS White House radio reporter Mark Knoller.

UnknownTravel Bitches

“I know I’m only 5’2″ and sitting in the magic exit row seat with quadruple leg room. But come on tall guys. Enough with the dirty looks.” — Politico‘s Ginger Gibson.

The Nostradamis of Washington

“FWIW, I suspect the entire O’Care website drama will end up being a small chapter in this novel.” — TPM Editor-in-Chief Josh Marshall.

From the peanut gallery…

“Wish @CNN cared about those millions losing their insurance & suffering premium spikes as much as they do those g**damned blackfish.” — Breitbart News editor John Nolte.

Morning Chatter

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TAN MOM IMPERSONATOR?: “In DC at @hilaryr’s dinner with the fabulous @diananyad.” — HuffPost’s Arianna Huffington, referring to CNN Democratic analyst Hilary Rosen. 

images-4Imagine that! Media irks press aide

“Press aide annoyed after Cuccinelli gets 3 questions about the shutdown in a row, asks if ‘anyone has a new question’” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

The Observer

“Oh dear. Someone appears to need healthcare right now behind Obama.” — Garance Franke-Ruta, senior editor, The Atlantic.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 5:19 a.m. (!!!!!)

Confessional I.

“I’ve reached the point where if I don’t tweet for a day, I get calls/texts wondering if I’m alive.” — Free Beacon‘s Lachlan Markay.

imagesOn Bob Lewis’ firing from AP

“Hoping @TerryMcAuliffe calls @AP and asks them to rescind firing of Bob Lewis.” — Politico‘s Roger Simon.

From WaPo‘s Erik Wemple: “Incorrectly asserting that someone lied to a federal investigator — especially when that someone is competing in a gubernatorial race — is nothing short of a high journalistic crime.” There’s some defense of Lewis too. And a request to speak with AP higher-ups which, well, isn’t happening. See the whole story here.

At 8:21 a.m. today: “Do you think @AP’s Bob Lewis deserved to be fired for the McAuliffe gaffe? 1-866-55-PRESS @bpshow” — WaPo‘s Clinton Yates.

From the Dept. of Bragiculture: “Heading back down to do second segment this am @GMA. This one on murder of nfl star Sean Taylor.” — Mediaite founder Dan Abrams.

Confessional 2.

“Made a mistake on MSNBC this am. Said no one beta-tested Ocare site. Should have added ‘until a week before launch.’ And thanks to the folks at PunditFact for holding me to account on that.” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein.

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Anonymous hater to FishbowlDC: “If you took the audience of the Bill Press show and the audience of the Michael Smercornish show, would there be enough for a touch football game?”

Morning Chatter

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fishes sea 1600x1200 wallpaper_wallpaperswa.com_28Convo Between Two Media Types

This morning’s conversation is between TIME’s Mark Halperin and media consultant Mike Feldman, a.k.a. Mr. Savannah Guthrie.

HALPERIN: “4th oldest trick in all White House PR playbooks: sr aides ‘confide’ to reporters that the president is ‘furious’ about some mess up.”

FELDMAN: “What are the top 3?”

HALPERIN: “@feldmike 1) Friday doc dump; 2) game changing leak to @nytimes or Drudge; 3) question motives/values of critics

Journo impersonates lawmakers (in a sense)

“Doing my best impression of a member of Congress by taking off Monday.” — Jared Halpern, Fox News Radio, D.C.

images-1Comfort by way of gravy

“Never before has a breakfast buffet so clearly been the solution to all of my problems. #gravy” — Mandy Jenkins, interactives director, Digital First Media.

Spotted: The Romneys in Peru

“Random: friend is in Peru, on her way to Machu Picchu, and who did she see last night in town square? Mitt and Ann Romney, w/ whole clan.” — NYT‘s Michael Luo.

The Observer

“Nothing like a Rose Garden pseudo-event when sh-t hits the fan. TK-Steve Kroft walk-and-talk? (‘I know Americans are angry…I am too…’)” — Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 7:41 a.m.

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Important Q to Ponder: “Is Jeff Zucker’s plan to have every media journalist host Reliable so there can be no CNN coverage? That would be very him.” — Kate Arthur, Chief LA Correspondent, BuzzFeed.

Morning Chatter

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Stenographer gets religious over bill passage

“‘Praise be to GOD!’ House stenographer Diane Reidy is rushed off the floor and into an elevator…” — Todd Zwillich, Washington, D.C. radio correspondent for The Takeaway. Politico‘s Jake Sherman explained further, “An official house court stenographer took to the microphone & was screaming ab God. She was saying in the hall you can’t serve two masters.” Politico‘s Byron Tau added, “What I thought happened but no one tweeted about it so I thought I hallucinated.” And BuzzFeed‘s Kate Nocera: “The stenographer who started yelling was named Holly, she was taken off the floor. Members really shaken up by it.”

images-2Shutdown: Over!

“More traffic on the road, the grinding sound of leaf blowers on the White House grounds…the federal govt has reopened, lots of work to do.” — Joy Lin, Fox News White House producer.

“So the shutdown ends, but will we be right back in the soup come January?” — ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“My DC cabbie is sad that there is traffic again after three weeks of respite.” — Josh Barro, politics editor, Business Insider.

Question to never ponder: “Do we think any woman in the world actually goes by ‘Blondie’?” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten.

ringingphoneNYT‘s Dean Baquet scolds persistent reporter

“Evan, no news organization in America would report on every discrimination lawsuit filed in every court in every medium-sized city. Even when the author of the story chooses to try to use cheap tricks to goad people into covering his obsessions. good luck.” — NYT Managing Editor Dean Baquet in an email Wednesday to our resident phone enthusiast and investigative freelancer Evan Gahr. He explained to FBDC, “I sent him two other emails about this and also left two messages. And I hung up on his secretary one time when she answered the phone.” Gahr quickly snarked back at Baquet by email, saying: “Wait. Washington DC is simply a ‘medium-sized city’ as you call it. I thought it was actually our nation’s capital. Silly me. As for ‘obsessions’ the New York Times is normally obsessed with alleged race discrimination–except, of course, when the alleged perpetrators are fellow members of your liberal coven.”

Good Question: “So, do eight car trains return on Metro tomorrow?” — C-SPAN’s Jeremy Art.

Editor pissed about shutdown

“On behalf of America (in Cruz sense) I want to thank the Tea Party for this epic shitshow that damaged economy, wasted money for nothing.” — TPM‘s Josh Marshall.

floatinggoldfishThe Announcer

“America, your federal government is back, and open for business. (Well, soon at least.)” — NBC’s Mike O’Brien.

The Observer

“And the bill passes. Congratulations.  Now the House can get back to passing nothing the Senate will agree to.” — NBC News Deputy Political Editor Domenico Montanaro.

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