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Is This War?

Mocking Newsbusters’ Gasbag Tim Graham

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Considering the difference between “highfalutin” and  “flatulence” once stumped NewsbustersTim Graham, media director for the conservative Media Research Center, it’s not that surprising that “mocking” would also be perplexing for him.

(Hey Tim, in case it wasn’t obvious, we’re officially mocking you.) Read more

WaPo’s Ezra Klein Ages Himself

images-9images-8It’s a strange phenomenon. But WaPo‘s wonky liberal policy blogger Ezra Klein is desperate to be old. Or else the 29-year-old thinks he already is old and has lived through decades and lifetimes and has only recently returned to Earth in a time machine.

Or is he Benjamin Button and actually aging backwards?

Earlier this summer, he grew layers of facial hair, which indeed aged him. Now he’s aging himself once again by declaring how seasoned his vantage point is.

In the process, he has decidedly pissed people off. Read more

Photo Wars: Breitbart Finds Old Carney Pic

PhotoWars_yellowIn which we find photographs on partisan news sites that run the worst possible picture of a person from the opposing party.

Breitbart News has typically been a goldmine of unflattering pictures of people on the left. For Ben Shapiro‘s recent story “Carney: Tea Party Wants Obama to ‘Resign’ to End Shutdown”, they managed to dig up an old picture of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney with a look of maybe anger and surprise on his face. We’re not really sure what Carney is doing in this picture, but we’re betting Breitbart is pretty excited they found it.

jay_carney_surprise_AP

 

Love Him, Despise Him, There’s an Earnest Quality to Ben Shapiro’s Walk Toward the Fire

shapiroBreitbart News Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro isn’t necessarily an angry person, but he plays one on TV, on Twitter and on a new site he’s spearheading called TruthRevolt, a new media outlet he hopes will revolutionize American media as we know it. Quick translation? The 29-year-old Editor-in-Chief wants to destroy the left, as in destroy the advertising dollars that go to what he perceives are left-wing media outlets such as ABC, NBC, CBS and others. In essence, he wants to be the right-wing version Media Matters. An Andrew Breitbart disciple in every cell of his being, he reels off quotes from his deceased mentor with ease. Thanks to some appearances on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” he’s also gotten death threats and keeps a shotgun in his home. By phone, Shapiro is actually quite sweet — he even invited me to Shabbat dinner at his home when and if I’m ever in LA. It’s an offer he says he makes to any new acquaintance.

Now in the fight of his life, he took time on his hilly drive to a Fox News appearance this week to speak with me at length by phone. Amid the anger, we discovered a softer side to Shapiro that isn’t on the warpath.

Why did you decide to do this? Did the conservative gods give you the nod?

B.S.: “As far as the conservative gods, I’m not sure what conservatives gods are, but Andrew Breitbart, one of my mentors and Andrew Horowitz, who I’ve known since I was 17, were big on using whatever tactics are at our disposal to make the left live up to its own standards. When it comes to utilization of market power, to make a difference in the political debate, the right has for a long time been quite shy.”

Why is that?

B.S.: “I think that it is largely because the right sort of believes there was a quasi détente on the question of whether advertisers should be held responsible by consumers for their advertising choices. The right was wrong about that. There was no détente. Interest groups on the left have been doing what we’re talking about for years. Conservatives consumers don’t have anyone serving a similar function on the right.”

 Who are the worst offenders and where is Shapiro’s softer side? Read more

Brring! Brring! D.C.’s Phone Enthusiast is Still at It

ringingphoneWashington D.C. investigative freelancer Evan Gahr is still at it. As in, he’s still trying to figure out why WaPo won’t cover a lawsuit brought forth by a WaPo sales employing citing race and age discrimination.

As we’ve reported, Gahr has called a number of Washington Post reporters and editors and has been hung up on numerous times as well as blocked on Twitter. Gahr seems to relish in the hangups in an amusing sort of way. One point he raises is an interesting one … if it’s a front page story when the EEOC sues BMW for race discrimination why isn’t this a story? On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable that a news organization would not want screw up an internal legal matter by writing about it. Probably not that tough of a call for WaPo execs, but Gahr is still incensed that they don’t appear to be taking it more seriously by slapping the matter in its news or media sections.

Yesterday Gahr spoke with WaPo‘s Steven Mufson, who covers energy and financial news, and thinks he may have made some headway with him. We’ve requested comment from Mufson on the matter.

See Gahr’s version of the conversation.

Read more

Media Critic’s Cancer is in Remission

images-1Journalists in Washington and elsewhere may want media critic Richard Grenell to go away — in the polite sense — just get the hell out of their faces sort of thing.

But he’s not going anywhere. In fact, Grenell’s cancer is in remission.

He told FishbowlDC… Read more

NJ Gets Nipped, Tucked

scalpelIn his first big act as the new Editor-in-Chief of National Journal, Tim Grieve, is announcing the “new” National Journal today.

And he’s practically bursting with Christmas joy.

So much so, he’s whisking the staff to the conference room today at 3 p.m. to celebrate. National Journal President Bruce Gottlieb, is also in good spirits. In a note to staff, he declared, “Ron Fournier’s story this morning is entitled ‘The Beginning of the End for Washington.’  Here at the Watergate—even with all that is going on in this city today—it feels like the beginning of a very exciting new chapter at National Journal.”

Among the changes: in addition to a largely new team of reporters, the site is “fully responsive,” which, according to an editor’s note from Grieve, means it “will display beautifully wherever you are and on whatever device you’re using be it your gargantuan desktop, your iPhone or your iPad.

There is also a redesign and reorganization of the homepage. Read more

Latest Shots Fired in the War Between Politico and The Daily Caller

dailycaller_editFriday morning, The Daily Caller revealed “TheDC POLITICO Playbook, presented by the Church of Scientology.” It’s a very well-done spoof of the daily roundup that Politico’s Mike Allen sends around each morning. They nail the unconventional style that Allen tends to write in. Naturally, it’s sprinkled with shoutouts to his friends and colleagues. A few of our favorite examples:

HAPPENING TODAY: Luke Russert and Jake Sherman will go to Shake Shack for cheeseburgers and plan to split a shake

PLAYBOOK FACTS OF LIFE: There are 435 members of the House of Representatives

SIREN — MARK HALPERIN on “Morning Joe”: “I think Americans are increasingly frustrated…by Washington.”

While it’s a dead-on satire, this can’t be good for the struggling relationship between the two publications. We plan on getting a statement from Jake Sherman just as soon as he’s done sharing that shake with his bro-dawg, Luke Russert.

Journos Bicker Over ‘Unconfirmed’ Photo

twitterfightingFreelancer and former Politico reporter Steve Friess had a terse exchange with The Atlantic Wire’s Eric Levenson over a scene photographed on the day of the Navy Yard shootings.

In dispute were a few photographs that initially could not be confirmed as associated with the shootings. They were taken by an aide to Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) and tweeted by Tim Hogan, the lawmaker’s flack. AP had a “stop the presses” moment and retracted the images, saying the photographs could not be confirmed. Levenson went a step further: On Sept. 17 he reported that the photographs had nothing to do with the shootings.

Enter Friess, who broke the story for BuzzFeed last night, reporting that the pictures were of one of the Navy Yard employees who died from a gunshot wound to the head en route to the hospital.

Last night Levenson’s story underwent major surgery. To his credit, he made clear what the original post had reported, saying the AP has re-released the photos.

But that didn’t stop the tension between Friess and Levenson. Read more

NYT Smacks Politico: Jill’s Revenge?

It’s tricky to write a story about a new competitor and not come off as a tad defensive and afraid.

The NYT, which has “obsessively” covered every “twitch and shiver” of Politico‘s existence, has a piece out by Leslie Kaufman that appears to be some sort of preemptive strike against the new Robert Allbritton publication – CapitalNY – that claims to be taking aim at the powerful and complex New York media machine that includes the NYT.

To be sure, the story, which published Sunday, adopts a snide tone against Politico. Kaufman describes Allbritton Communications as “the cash-rich media company that owns Politico, which obsessively covers every twitch and shiver of Washington.”

Every inch of the story oozes with the notion that Allbritton – like the failure spinoff pub TBD – may have bitten off more than he can chew. “Is this Jill’s revenge?” asks a Washington media insider on condition of anonymity and referring to NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson. “She was clearly outraged at that Politico piece on her controversial management style. What better way to hit back than to order up a condescending piece about their new pet project. What’s weird is the purpose seems so transparent.” That story, published in April, can be found here.

The downside of the piece: the NYT‘s smacks the newly owned operation down before they’ve even had a chance to find their sea legs. The upside: People like an underdog, they may want a scrappy pub like CapitalNY to show up the NYT.

On an amusing note, they spelled Politico Dylan Byers‘ surname like this: “Byars.” The mistake was corrected by 8:45 a.m.

And something else: The writer explains that Byers jumped in to help CapitalNY “post news” but never explains that he and CapitalNY writer Joe Pompeo beat the NYT on the story of Rick Stengel leaving TIME for the State Department. This story, like the one they published last week, fails to credit Politico/CapitalNY for that story, although sources tell us that the NYT astonishingly explained to them why they wouldn’t be crediting them. Byers and Pompeo contacted NYT Media Desk Editor Bruce Headlam on the matter. Bruce replied to Pompeo’s emails and took Byers’ call.

See our catalog of insults after the jump… Read more

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