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Media Magic

Hello Buttercup!

A new feature in which we point out how journalists suck up to themselves, each other and others in a particularly buttery fashion.

A SWAK for FNC’s Ed Henry: In this morning’s Politico Playbook, Mike Allen slathers movie popcorn style butter onto White House Correspondents’ Association Prez Henry by calling him the “assertive guardian of the organization’s brand” for threatening legal action against GBK, a marketing firm that wanted to open a “gifting suite” for celebs attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this weekend. Come on, Mike Allen, this wasn’t necessary. Yes, yes, we all adore Henry for the de-celebrification of this year’s WHCD and for acting like he doesn’t know what BuzzFeed is. But stop the madness. For one thing, it’s too late to widen the hallways of the Washington Hilton so Ed’s head can fit through. For another, the news spoke for itself — the organization apologized. See the item in today’s edition.

FBDC Fever: Just to show we’re not immune, FBDC’s own Eddie Scarry tweeted out “Morning Chatter” last night, writing the following. By the way, hugs for Eddie. I appreciate the compliment and we factor stuff like this into raises, so don’t stop on my account.


TWT Execs Want To Train You to Kill

Here’s a fun one.

This morning, TWT Chief Digital Officer (whatever that is) John Solomon‘s company, Packard Media Group, LLC, which powers TWT Editorial Page Editor Wes Pruden‘s site, Pruden & Politics, sent an advertising email to Pruden’s mailing list.

Subject line: Vicious SEAL Team hand-to-hand secrets — cancelled.

This is apparently the last “heads up” Pruden’s listees and a handful of “other Tea Party members” will receive about a video that is about to be permanently canceled. “I’m not screwing around here,” warns Bob Pierce, President of FightForce/TRS, who sounds rather violent himself.It’s the SAME set of wicked ‘end-it-now’ tricks used by likes of our U.S. Navy SEALS and Israeli Special Forces.

Forget the belts. Or long hours of practice — busy soliders don’t have time for all that, he says. The video, which costs only a $7.95 shipping fee, promises to teach you to control and dominate any violent situation you might find yourself in with anyone of any size. After just one watch!

Purchase the video and Pierce claims you will learn the following:

1. How to properly use your knee cap (to inflict maximum damage)

2. The punishing “nose bridge” (inflicts mind-numbing pain)

3. The thumb rake (blinding)

4. The Israeli Special Forces bone crusher (can shatter specific delicate bones)

The testimonials are fabulous. Read more

Carney Attends Reading of White House Press Poem

Greg Clugston, White House correspondent for the Salem Radio Network, forwarded his poem from this year’s Christmas party in the White House press briefing room basement.

He said the party was attended by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who was present for a reading of the poem.

Glugston has written a poem each year since 1998. This is his 14th one, titled, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: 2012 White House Press Basement Version.”

An excerpt:

Suddenly, on the South Lawn, there arose such a clatter,

Obama looked up to see what was the matter.

Then what did appear, to wondering eyes?

But a man of great stature — and considerable size.

His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

Chubby and plump and his eyes a bit misty,

There stood New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

He had come from the coast, badly battered by Sandy,

Seeking FEMA assistance and some holiday candy.

Christie praised POTUS for keeping Jersey afloat,

A far cry from his GOP convention keynote.

Riding high in the polls, Christie’s eyes held a gleam,

Was he thinking of running in 2016?

Full poem after the jump… Read more

Ben Sherwood is Pretty Excited About Emmys

ABC News Prez Ben Sherwood sent the following email to the news division regarding ABC’s seven Emmy wins. CBS also got seven awards; NBC earned three and CNN reeled in two. Just so happens the whole world gets to see Sherwood’s note. Imagine that! See who got shout-outs. And congrats to World News Tonight Producer Judy Isikow, the woman who should take the day off…

Read more

Donate Your Wrinkles for a Good Cause

Listen up TV journos.

Paul Ruff, a plastic surgeon in town, is donating 100 percent of the proceeds of Botox and Juvederm injections to a good cause: breast cancer.

For the entire month of October, Ruff will contribute the funds to Wrinkle Erase for the Cause, which concentrates on awareness, education and research. In the last three years the organization has raised over $100,000. This year’s goal: $50,000.

The fine print: BOTOX® ($15/unit) and JUVÉDERM® ($575-$675/syringe). Ruff Plastic Surgery is located at 2440 M St. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC.

ABC7′s Cooper: I Didn’t Try to Make Paul Ryan Cry

Just one week after Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, ABC7 news reporter Rebecca Cooper landed an interview with the Wisconsin representative. The one-on-one aired Saturday.

Cooper asked Ryan fairly standard questions about the economy, the federal budget and life on the campaign trail. At the end she asked what Ryan, whose father died when he was 16, imagined his dad might have have thought. Ryan said he “almost choked up” the day before when he met with a Catholic priest who told him his father was “smiling down from heaven.” Ryan told Cooper she, too, was going to get him “all choked up.” Cooper went on anyway. “Is there one moment you wish he could see this week?” she asked. “You know, I know he’s up there,” Ryan quickly responded.

And scene.

“I definitely wasn’t trying to make him cry,” Cooper told FBDC. She said she simply noted “this was quite an incredible week” for Ryan and imagined he must have wondered what his father would have thought. Cooper, who admitted it only takes a rerun of Little House on the Prairie to cue her own tears, said she could tell Ryan isn’t someone who cries easily. “I’m a crier. [Speaker] John Boehner’s a crier. Ryan’s definitely not,” she said.

Cooper said despite it being the early stages of Ryan’s candidacy (“They don’t want any Joe Biden moments”), his handlers were very comfortable with the candidate doing an interview with her. She said ABC7 was allotted five minutes to do the interview but the campaign let it go for 12. “They’re totally comfortable with him,” she said.

Washington Media Mysteries

Noticeably absent from today’s Washington Examiner is Paul Bedard‘s Washington Secret’s column. Where could he have gone? We checked his Twitter profile for a clue–nothing. Bedard hasn’t tweeted since Friday.

We started to worry that Bedard, lover of doughnuts, may have had a bad experience with Krispy Kreme. For all we know he could have passed out on a public toilet in Chinatown and needs our help. So we emailed him. Still nothing. Fortunately, the Examiner‘s Executive Editor Stephen Smith got back to us and told us Bedard is on vacation.

Bedard’s specific whereabouts are still unknown, however. So we started to wonder: Where would a man who writes on secrets head for a vacation? Our best guesses:

  1. To sift through Mitt Romney‘s tax returns
  2. To search President Obama‘s college transcripts.
  3. On a mission to discover conservative columnist George Will‘s real hair color.
  4. Fox News HQ in New York just to hang out.

Next mystery: Where is Joe Scarborough‘s Politico blog?

Using a high-res magnifying glass, we were able to locate it on Politico‘s homepage. When the blog was launched at the start of the year it was prominently placed with its own caricature of Scarborough and link under the rest of the Politico blogs. It has since been reduced to a small link underneath the “Opinion” header, simply marked “blog.” And it hasn’t been updated in more than a month.

FBDC reported in early June that Scarborough’s blog was losing steam. An NBC publicist assured us he was posting “frequently” though never intended on posting daily. How about monthly?

We reached out again to MSNBC and Politico on the matter.

‘Big Enuf 4 U’: Health Dept. Promos Condom Giveaway

The Department of Health in Washington, D.C., boosted its anti-AIDS initiative this summer by giving out more free condoms and expanding its Rubber Revolution campaign. As if thinking about, talking about and looking at condoms in public isn’t awkward enough, Rubber Revolution is adding to its media blitz with the poster pictured at right. This is posted in Dupont Circle.

Featured on the poster are two African American males holding hands under the slogan “Big Enuf 4 U.” The poster says suggestively, “Pick up a condom and put one on.”

We emailed the D.C. Department of Health to see what “Big Enuf 4 U” means, exactly, and to find out if the slogan may have been inspired by a 14-year-old boy’s online chat room user name. That was at 8:30 a.m. No answer. We called again just after 10 a.m. and reached Department spokesman Michael Kharfen who told us he was in a meeting but would get back to us by 11:30 a.m.

Kharfen emailed at noon to let us know he was still in a meeting but would call shortly. By 1:45 p.m. we still hadn’t heard anything. Worried he may have fallen down a Metro sidewalk vent, we called Kharfen back. No answer. We stalked him twice more over the next 15 minutes. He finally answered and sounded okay but said he would need to call us back in five minutes. Shockingly, no more excuses. He called us back.

The Department conducted focus groups, Kharfen said, with a “cross section” of the District’s population to discuss concerns people have about using condoms. “Several themes emerged,” he said, “one of those is they’re not comfortable. Another is ‘I’m too big for them’ or ‘my partner is too big for them.’”

Kharfen said “too big” is a reference to penis size but that despite the poster featuring two African American men, the campaign is not intended to specifically target D.C.’s black population, despite the fact that African American men are known for having large ding dongs.

As for the incorrect grammar and spelling on the poster, Kharfen said the Health Department chose the style because many people connect on the Internet and through text messaging. “That’s the way that those kinds of words are spelled [there],” he said.

The Department has not received complaints about the posters, Kharfen said. Nor have they received a lot of press — amazingly FBDC is first to question Kharfen on the poster.

The fun continues on Rubber Revolution’s website where visitors can attend “Condom University.” Some fun facts listed on the site:

  • There’s a town in France called Condom.
  • “Condoms can hold up to 3 bags of potatoes” (and yet the site cautions against using two condoms at a time “because the friction will cause them to tear”).
  • The body heat and pressure put on condom that’s been stuck inside a wallet “decrease the condom’s effectiveness.”

As an aside, FBDC’s Peter Ogburn says he’s making plans to have “Big Enuf 4 U” tattooed to his body. He didn’t say where.

Morning Oopsies: What the Hell is ‘OLITICO’?

Last we pointed out that Politico Mike Allen‘s use of “buro” was confusing in that was he referring to a “bureau” or a “burro” — we hoped for the small donkey. Afterward we got mail saying “buro” is really a very common newsroom slang.

We’re all for shortening things up to sound cool. But these may be going overboard.

1. On Saturday at 3:33 p.m. Allen fired off a version of Politico Playbook that slightly altered the name of his publication, and we’ve gotta say, it’s catchy. We can envision a day when it might be just “TICO” for short.

Date: Sat, Jun 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM
Subject: Fw: OLITICO Playbook, presented by Goldman Sachs – 136 days to election – How the two sides will spin Supreme Court ruling — Obama personally hits Romney’s Bain record: ‘outsourcing pioneer’ — Luke Bassett, Kirk Whitworth, Justice Thomas b’days

2. And this morning Allen switched up the word “hardball” but hey, what do we know, maybe MSNBC Chris Matthews‘ late afternoon show ought to be free of a hard “d” after all. Weirder still, at 10:33 Allen sent a “RESEND” on Playbook so we were sure the “d” would be back in. Nope. Still gone. Still “Harball.”

Date: Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 8:24 AM
Subject: POLITICO Playbook, presented by — DEFENSE BIGS PLAY HARBALL: THREATEN MASS LAYOFFS IN FALL — JEN PSAKI RETURNS FOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN II — Obamacare crushed in TV ad war — Tita Freeman, Josh Lahey, Justice Sotomayor b’days

Hazy (i.e. Maddow) Looking Hot

I’ve Got a Lean Forward Ad Goddammit!

A journo writes in, “Hate to admit it, but Maddow looks pretty hot on a bike.” The individual was referring to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who, at least in D.C. amongst Washington’s most disturbed journalism crowd, is often confused for MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

We couldn’t be more pleased to display Hazy’s very first Lean Forward Ad. It’s kind of like taking your first breath or steps in baby shoes. Congratulations Hazy! You’re so smooth on that bike. You’re officially one of the gang.

Our journo also took liberties with Hayes’ helmet, saying, “I think they put one on Hayes so he doesn’t hurt himself when bad climate change news comes in. Also, to protect him from [Wired's] Spencer Ackerman hitting him in the face during chicken fights at the Boy Band pool.”

Watch the ad here.