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Head Scratcher: Amanda Bynes Gets Newsy

If you’ve missed Amanda Bynes‘ mental breakdown playing out on Twitter over the last year or so, then you’re luckier than we are. The actress has gone from normal celebrity nutso to throwing a bong out the window crazy in a very short time, all in full public display for her 2.7 million followers.

And then yesterday she shifted the target of her normally insult-laden tweets away from her fellow celebrities and pointed one squarely at President Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama.

“Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are ugly!” she wrote.

And you guys went nuts.

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Cindy Sheehan To Talk Peace At Potluck

Remember Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist most famous for setting up camp outside George W. Bush’s Texas Ranch?  She’s back. Sort of.

Moveon.org sent out invitations to hang out with Sheehan this weekend in Brookeville, Md. at a private home—but you’ve got a bring a dish to share.

“Join us for a potluck dinner for nationally renowned anti-militarism activist Cindy Sheehan,” the invitation said. “We’ll have a chance to talk about what our next steps should be in growing our movement to end war and militarism.” They promise a chance to strategize for peace.

What has Sheehan been up to these last few years? Well, she ran on the presidential ticket with Roseanne Barr in 2012, and stopped paying her taxes.

Weiner Faces Sordid Rumors About Sordid Rumors In Bid for NY Mayor

It’s the rare politician who’s not had to face down a sordid rumor in his or her career, but now it looks like former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and candidate for New York City mayor has to face down rumors about possible stories about rumors, in this case a report of a possibly pending report about a rumored fling with a gay prostitute. Is your head spinning yet?

The item appeared today on Shark Tank, a conservative, Florida-based political blog run by Javier ManjarresIt’d received nearly 500 Facebook likes as of this afternoon with a promise that it’d roil the New York Mayor’s race and was eventually discovered by Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer, who posted a link on Twitter.

Manjerres tells FishbowlDC his “close media source” cited in the article is “rock-solid” and has never been wrong for him, but that he’s posted all the information he knows—which is very little. He thinks his source was hesitant to divulge more to avoid scaring off the sources for the potentially, maybe soon-to-break story. For his part, he did insert a big caveat:

We have not seen any evidence of this supposed allegation and therefore cannot pass judgement on the veracity of those making the charge.  We can only report that the story charging Weiner is supposed to break in the next couple of days and should roil the race.

So there you have it. Of course, Weiner is not the the first politician to face gay sex claims, sordid or ordinary, and he certainly wouldn’t be the first to face gay sex claims that later turned out to be true. In case you need a refresher on the topic, here’s a handy list of 25 LGBT Political Sex Scandals, courtesy of Huffington Post.

World’s Most Obnoxious Birthday Party

Emily Goodstein is turning 30 and she wants to celebrate with YOU. Who the hell is Emily Goodstein?  She describes herself as a “local blogger, photographer, and reproductive justice advocate.” If you look at her website, she also “a sweatpants enthusiast.” Sweatpants are for two people. Pregnant women and fat men. They get a free pass. Anyone else who wears them should consider just wearing a burlap sack out in public to avoid the shame of sweatpants.

Getting to the point of all this, Emily is putting on a bash to ring in her big 3-0 with something called a “birthday conference.” In other words, she’s charging YOU to come to a boring series of panels with people talking about subjects that Emily finds interesting. The BEST two examples she gives are “email organization and cookie decorating.” The invitation has this inspirational gem from Emily: “My 30th birthday is an opportunity to create a convergence of all my favorite things and people,” said Goodstein, “The result is a day that is not only about creativity and celebration, but also elevating serious issues and bringing together some great minds. I can’t think of a better way to kick off my 30s.”

I’ve been to some awful birthday parties. Most notably the one earlier this year where I had to take a 5-year-old to Chuck E. Cheese. But, I would spend a lifetime trapped in a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit before I sit down for a panel on email organization disguised as someone’s birthday party.

Want more details? Read more

Fish Food

(A sprinkling of things we think you ought to know…)

Byers’ NYT story faces Twitter backlash– Politico media reporter Dylan Byerspiece on NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson sparked a debate Wednesday on whether the story was sexist in nature. HuffPost‘s Jack Mirkinson wrote a story rounding up some of the negative reaction to it headlined, “Jill Abramson: ‘Very Unpopular’ Or Just Doing Her Job?” Byers’ story includes an insider account wherein Abramson snapped at an editor to leave in the middle of a meeting and change a photo that was on NYT‘s website. Editor-in-Chief of Guardian U.S. Janine Gibson mocked it. “Spent the first hour of the day apologising to [staff writer] Maraithe Thomas for that time I asked her to change the front page pic a bit brusquely,” she tweeted. “This is the most non-story, story I’ve read in a while,” tweeted CQ Roll Call‘s Emily Cahn, linking to Byers’ story. “People at any major, large company will complain about leader. If it affected quality, it’s a story. NYT won 4 Pulitzers…”

A Koch’d Los Angeles Times, isn’t necessarily a conservative Los Angeles Times– There’s buzz circulating that the conservative Koch brothers are considering purchasing several newspapers around the country, including the Los Angeles Times. Naturally, it has some journalists suspicious, including WaPo‘s Harold Meyerson, that the Times and the others will become out of control right-wing publications. Not so fast, says The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta. “There are several reasons regional newspapers are an awkward fit for anyone looking to counter-program what they see as liberal bias in the news media,” she writes. “The main reason is that all major U.S. newspapers are based in cities.” Franke-Ruta argues that big newspapers are subject to the culture of the cities they’re based in. People who live in cities tend to be progressive, or at least comfortable with with the concept, and the papers, by geographical necessity, have to hire those people. The readers who buy the papers in those cities are no different. If the Times is suddenly an overtly conservative paper, will Los Angeles residents continue to buy it?

Does Fox News have a “new” anchor you’ve never heard of?– WaPo‘s Aaron Blake wrote an item Wednesday about an interview on Fox Business featuring Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The anchor of the segment was identified as “New Cavuto.” Who? Must be a new host. But a review of the clip shows it was actually longtime anchor Neil Cavuto. That’s unfortunate. A new, and perhaps improved, Cavuto may be just the thing the fledgling Fox Business channel needs. Maybe a “Neat Cavuto.” Or a “Notable Cavuto.” A “Noble Cavuto”? Just Neil for now.

Deja Vu for TIME’s Miller

Being a journalist intent on using Twitter to push every single aspect of a story has its ups and downs. How do you decide what’s interesting, engaging and new? You certainly don’t want to tweet the same thing over and over again? You want to keep it fresh. Unless you’re TIME’s Zeke Miller.

Don’t get me wrong. Miller is a hustler. He seems to appear at every scheduled White House event and share details in a rapid fire fashion. On Twitter, it’s quantity, not necessarily quality, that distinguishes Miller from his reporting companions. If covering a story means transcribing every utterance from an official in a public forum, then Zeke is a pro.

Zeke was in attendance when POTUS delivered statements on Monday afternoon and Tuesday mid-day. On both occasions, Miller set the scene. The only problem is, he tweeted the exact same boring shit for both events.

See for yourself.  Read more

Politico’s Allen Sells Out To Mayo

Politico’s Playbook is known to get quirky on occasion, but Friday morning was one of the weirder entries from Mike Allen that we’ve ever seen. Wedged between a story about SKDKNICKERBOCKER and Hillary Clinton’s chances of running for President was this little nugget:

THE FIRST PLAYBOOK DEAL DU JOUR is a classy condiment recommended by Josh Deckard. Playbook has found Sir Kensington’s gourmet “scooping ketchup” to be quite a conversation piece. Now there’s also mayonnaise, in classic and chipotle. Sir Kensington’s says this is the only U.S. mayo that’s certified non-GMO (genetically modified organisms), with no artificial preservatives — instead, lemon juice and vinegar. Playbookers get 20% off mayo at Sir Kensington’s online store; coupon code ‘mayonnaise.” See a one-pager about Sir Kensington’s. http://bit.ly/10BQh1v … www.sirkensingtons.com

The Playbook Deal Du Jour? Is this a new feature? Did Allen get paid directly for this? Does Politico get a taste of that sweet payday from Big Mayo?

We reached out to Mayo Mikey and got his response on the matter.

 

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Politico Twitter Story ‘Terrific’ and Obvious

A story by Politico‘s media reporter Dylan Byers has divided his readers almost right down the middle in terms of praise and dismissals.

“Former White House communicators enjoy communicating; use newfangled social medias,” Greg Greene, a Democratic operative, tweeted sarcastically with a link to Byers’ piece and a “stop the presses” hashtag. On the other hand, Rick Wilson, a Republican media strategist, called the story “terrific.”

The thing with Byers’ piece — a look at the Twitter activity of former Obama administration officials and aides — is that it doesn’t contain any news. It doesn’t even draw any conclusions. The selling point seems to be that the headline labels the gang of Democrats as “trash-talkers.” And that this trash talking takes place in public via Twitter.

The story notes former Obama adviser David Plouffe who “frequently attacks Karl Rove” on Twitter. Attacking Rove isn’t exactly new. Even Fox News has done that.

And who doesn’t air out criticism on Twitter? And in what way is partisan trash-talking new? It’s not. President Obama‘s team has always talked this way, even before they left the White House or the campaign trail. And they didn’t need Twitter to do it. It’s otherwise known as “campaign politics,” which takes place on TV, radio and at rallies. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s surrogates did it as well (Republican New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu is unforgettable).

The story seems to observe this supposedly new phenomenon where the campaign never ends. Read more

Watch out Premature WHCD Newbies!

Uh oh. Buzzfeed is already inviting guests to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. As we noted early yesterday morning, they invited the lovely and delightful baseball nutbag José Canseco just before midnight the other night and he accepted. The potential problem? They only recently joined the Correspondents’ Association, and no tables have been paid for or assigned.

According to our sources, the association always warns members not to start inviting people until they get confirmed tables. The forms to order tables don’t go out until March 1.
We’re all adults here, right? We’re sure it’ll all work out just fine or else there will be a goofy GIF or listicle in FNC’s and WHCD Prez Ed Henry‘s future. In other words, 50 Cat Expressions That Could Kill. Or, has Ed ever looked at his own boogers on live TV?
As it turns out, BuzzFeed isn’t the only premature offender. Read more

Reporter Avoids International Incident in Vietnam

The Daily Caller’s Jamie Weinstein recently took a trip to Vietnam and lived to tell the tale. He wrote ALL about his trip in this latest piece. Sure, there are fancier places to take a vacation, but the excitement of a place like Vietnam cannot be denied. So, I was intrigued to see what shenanigans Weinstein would get into while abroad.

For the most part, it was a tame trip that didn’t really give us anything new or particularly interesting. Anyone who has paid any amount of attention to the area knows that the traffic sucks, there are scooters everywhere and they try to whitewash history. That’s about all we get from Weinstein’s time there. It’s a very touristy vision of Vietnam. I bet he ate at McDonald’s the whole time.

There were a few takeaways from the trip, though… Read more

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