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Is This War?

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

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz: As Capable as a Head of Lettuce

Reuters media columnist Jack Shafer joins the bandwagon of writers kicking Fox News’ Howard Kurtz in the gut these days. Only he’s slightly more gentle about it, saying Kurtz’ capabilities are intact, now if only his new producers over at Fox News would get their shit together. Read more

Allbritton Buys Capital NY, VandeHei Named President

Watch out New York. Politico owner Robert Allbritton just took a bite out of the journalism industry there by purchasing Capital New York, an online news site created by  Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran.

Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei has been named President of the new venture. He will remain in his role at Politico in Washington and still spend the majority of his time there. Benson and McGeveran will remain as co-editors. Katherine Lehr will be VandeHei’s number 2 and will be moving to Manhattan. In the next month they will hire on two dozen new reporters, with more to follow. Cally Stolbach, central on Politico‘s business team, will split her time between Washington and New York as Capital‘s new Director of Business Development.

Things could turn into a bloodsport. Word on the street is that they’ll be poaching the “best and brightest” from New York publications. Inside sources explain to FishbowlDC that it’s clear they see weakness in the New York Times as they saw in WaPo in 2007. They think they can go into their core areas – city and state politics, media – and beat them at their own game by instituting a new one. “It’s game-on with the Post and Bezos,” said one source. “We all have different approaches and audiences, but the fight for dominance was just taken to a whole new level.”

See Allbritton’s lengthy memo. It was dispatched to staff last night just after midnight. Read more

Mark Levin Calls Ana Marie Cox ‘Dumb’ After She Calls his Book ‘Boring’ and Insane

Breitbart.com‘s Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro ran a bread and butter post today in which conservative radio personality Mark Levin calls Guardian‘s lefty writer Ana Marie Cox “as dumb as it gets.” He throws in an “anal sex aficionado” descriptor just for fun.

The reason? Read more

HuffPost Writer Pulls Heartstrings, Bashes Leibo for Snarky This Town

It’s really tough to compete with death.

Still, we think NYT‘s Mark Leibovich wins out over the views of HuffPost‘s Nancy Doyle Palmer, who writes a pretty fierce piece against the value of his summer blockbuster This Town. Headline: “This Town, My Town, My Loss.” Her husband’s unfortunate passing and the publishing and popularity of Leibovich’s book coincided.

Really, it’s apples and oranges. But try telling that to Nancy (or not, yikes!). Read more

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