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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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The Weather Channel’s Plea to Waive DIRECTV’s Cancellation Fee

imagesAfter DIRECTV recently dropped The Weather Channel from its lineup, many of the television provider’s customers went to switch service, only to be faced with cancellation fees ranging from $200 – 400. Yesterday, The Weather Channel ran full-page ads in The Washington PostThe New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times that featured an open letter to DIRECTV’s Board from The Weather Channel’s Chairman and CEO, David Kenny, asking them to waive fees for customers looking to switch.

To date, more than 115,000 DIRECTV subscribers have pledged to switch their provider, more than 750,000 have complained about the dropped channel, and 4.7 million people have visited the site, www.keeptheweatherchannel.com. These numbers are up significantly from where they were at just 48 hours ago.

Below is the text of the ad issued by TWC’s chairman. Have you lost access to The Weather Channel as a result of it being dropped from DIRECTV’s lineup? If so, email fishbowljames@gmail.com and let us know your thoughts on the matter.

January 22, 2014

Mr. Michael D. White
Chairman, CEO and President
DIRECTV

Just before midnight on January 13, DIRECTV customers lost access to The Weather Channel.

Since then, over 4 million customers have come to keeptheweatherchannel.com to express their frustration. Over 400,000 have called and emailed DIRECTV. And over 90,000 have pledged to switch providers.

Many thousands have called your customer service centers asking to terminate their contracts since they are now getting less content for the same price. But DIRECTV is threatening them with termination fees of $200 to $400.

We have heard from viewers across the country, like Heather in Texas who wrote, “We just signed on with DIRECTV.…Had I known this was going to happen I would NOT have signed up. I read the fine print (too late) and found that they can do that. It’s wrong.”

We agree. Fairness ought to trump the fine print in your contracts.

The decision to switch providers is never taken lightly. Those who are trying to do so clearly believe The Weather Channel is a valued resource for their families. They are people like @jlawson2011, who tweeted “The Weather Channel saved my life when there was severe weather in my area. Tornado imminent + TWC warning to hide.”

These viewers—your customers—value the fact that since 1982 The Weather Channel has been relying upon the National Weather Service for watches and warnings, which we deliver on a hyper-local basis through our proprietary localization technology.

Your customers were never given a vote about DIRECTV’s decision to drop The Weather Channel. The least you can do is allow them to vote now with their feet by waiving termination fees for those seeking to switch to a provider that still carries The Weather Channel, as every other pay-TV company in the nation does.

Our preference would be for DIRECTV to come back to the negotiating table and restore The Weather Channel to your line up. But as you seem intent on proving a point at the expense of your customers’ interests, then at least allow them to make their own choices without unaffordable penalties.

As our team of more than 220 expert meteorologists tracks winter storms, wildfires in Southern California, and many other potential weather emergencies, a prompt reply—not to me, but to your customers—would surely be appreciated.

Sincerely,


David W. Kenny
Chairman and CEO
The Weather Company

Daily Caller Blogger Probably Not The Best Flack for MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

The Daily Caller‘s Jim Treacher, who writes their “DC Trawler” column, probably isn’t the best advocate for MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who’s show “All in With Chris Hayes” appears to have hit a teeny snag in ratings.

Treacher answers a less-than-subtle Twitter plea from Hayes, who writes, “If you like what we’re doing (and trying to do) on @allinwithchris, now’s a good time to text or email a friend and tell ‘em to watch.”

Treach starts off, “The rest of us can just sit tight, then?” Read more

Viewer Expels Quick Burst of Hate

A gust of hate from our own Peter Ogburn, who also produces the Bill Press show on Current TV and progressive radio stations across the country.

 

AnonymASS Tipsters of the Day

Not just one of you, but two (two!) of you have so little to do with your time that you made it a point to get in touch and express disapproval of yesterday’s spotted feature, wherein Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, paid a visit to The City Church.

Dynamite post of the week (then again, it’s onlybMonday): Spotted: Sen. Harry Reid at City Church. With a great back of the head photo that could have been a zillion other people. Needless to say, I was riveted

As were we. We would’ve said enthralled, though, but riveted works, too.

Re: Reid photo choice: You’d be a great selection to head the photo staff at the Chicago Sun-Times

Ha. Good one. But seriously? How is it that you don’t recognize the back of Reid’s head? Are you really Washington journalists? We don’t think you’re really Washington journalists.

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D.C. Weatherman Dunked for Interrupting ‘Bachelorette’ With Flood Report

Washington experienced a downpour Monday evening that resulted in flash flood warnings throughout the area. But hey, why should potentially life-threatening rainfall mean that the most dramatic part of the night’s “Bachelorette” be interrupted for a weather report?

Just as one of the contestants on the ABC reality dating show was confronted on-camera by his incensed ex-girlfriend for not telling her he was competing on a reality show for Desiree Hartsock‘s love (Des is pictured above), ABC7′s Doug Hill interrupted to give viewers a weather update.

Some were aghast at his horrible timing. “I demand an apology for interrupting the climax of the ‘Bachelorette,’” viewer Kelsey Donley tweeted at Hill. And she was only one of many upset with ABC7′s cut-in. Read more

AnonymASS Tipster of the Week

To put this in proper context, on Thursday we reported that The Daily Caller newsroom was heading out on a cruise yesterday. We wrote that we hoped they weren’t going on a Carnival poop cruise and wished them a bon voyage.

So naturally AnonymASS writes in, “You must be breaking out the champagne today! You got to use ‘poop’ again! Maybe somewhere on the web there should be an FBDC Poop page that graphs peak and falliw [sic] periods.”

Dear ASS: Yes, we’re breaking out the champagne! And please, we’d love for you to be in charge of our poop graph department. Now please excuse us as we spend the afternoon guzzling our bubbly. Cheers! P.S. Just for writing in, we direct you to this story as directed to us by NJ‘s “The Hotline.” It involves a man pooping in his roommate’s car. The lead: “Roommates sometimes fight. Other times, they share things from deep within themselves.”

Fundraiser Who Calls Herself a Bitch Lashes Out at Journo, Calls Him a Bitch

Holly Pitt Young, a fundraiser in town, took issue with Matt Laslo, a D.C. freelance print and radio journalist, for announcing a Twitter accomplishment of sorts.

 

Then things got a little ugly.

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PBS’ Gwen Ifill Praises NBC’s Chuck Todd, Gets Gust of Hate Directed Her Way

No doubt PBS’ “Washington Week” host Gwen Ifill didn’t anticipate the sleeping beast she’d wake by complimenting NBC Political Director and MSNBC “Daily Rundown” host Chuck Todd.

But that’s exactly what happened last week when Todd, who is Jewish, traveled to Israel with President Obama and asked one too many questions, three to be exact. “Passover starts in a couple days, I get four questions,” Todd joked. Obama poked at him, saying, “Chuck, how many ya got?” and “Chuck, you’re just incorrigible!” Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also made fun of the reporter, saying, “This is not a kosher question but don’t hog it.”

In a day and age when journalists get verbally slaughtered online for just about anything, including breathing, some of Ifill’s followers were furious about her praise for Todd. There was nothing mild about it. Unlike some journalists, Ifill left it alone and didn’t respond.

Have a look. Read more

Under Pressure From Angry Photog, BuzzFeed‘s Ben Smith Changes Twitter Avatar

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith is a thief, a “jerk” and a “shill for right-wing smear merchants.” That’s according to the photographer whose picture Smith has used as his Twitter avatar for more than a year.

Yesterday Daniel Sieradski, a self-employed photographer in New York, went after Smith on Twitter. “I would really like Smith to clarify his relationship to the Washington Free Beacon, Emergency Committee for Israel and Josh Block,” Sieradski said. “He obviously works for them.” The common link is a pro-Israel cause. The Emergency Committee for Israel is a pro-Israel political group, led by The Weekly Standard‘s William Kristol. Block is president of The Israel Project, also a pro-Israel political group. And The Free Beacon was founded in part by Michael Goldfarb, a well-known pro-Israel political activist.

Smith has reported on or published reports on these groups in the past and has paid loose compliment to Goldbarb in the NYT. For those six-degrees-of-separation connections, Sieradski believes Smith is “a shill for right-wing smear merchants.”

And for that, Sieradski, a self-described “left-wing supporter of a progressive Israel,” wants Smith to stop using the photograph he took. He tweeted at Smith: “I would still also really like [him] to cease and desist from using my copyrighted photograph as his avatar without my consent.” Sieradski also linked to his personal Flickr account that contained the original photo, taken at the American Jewish Press Association 2008 Annual Conference.

“About time to change the avatar anyway,” Smith replied. Read more

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