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New Kid on the Beat

Four New Hires at Politico Pro

Politico Pro editor Tim Grieve sent out a pretty cutesy memo earlier this week, opening with “breaking news to report on health care reform – and it’s not all coming from Capitol Hill.” Actually, none of it is coming from Capitol Hill. It’s all coming from Politico Pro. Four new hires this week:

  • David Nather, formerly of Bloomberg, Congressional Quarterly, and the Dallas Morning News
  • Lester Feder, who has reported for Newsweek, The Nation, and Slate
  • Deputy energy editor Bob King from the Palm Beach Post
  • and web producer Brittany Hackett

Read the full memo….

Read more

Meet Byron Tau, Ben Smith’s D.C. Assistant

Politico‘s Ben Smith has one of those names that you can’t just say “Ben” or “Smith” — they must be blended together for full effect. So in the latest in Ben Smith news, the Brooklyn-based blogger has a newly hired assistant in Washington. Meet Byron Tau. We think you can just call him “Byron” or “Tau” but he could well turn into “Byron Tau” like his superior. Tao’s official title on the masthead is Editorial Assistant, but an internal memo calls him “Ben Smith’s assistant.” He has been on the job just under two months.

When asked what he prefers to be called and a myriad of other questions, he told FishbowlDC, “Don’t get me in trouble with Mr. Smith!”

(We wouldn’t dream of it.)

Tau sought the job by responding to an ad on Ben Smith’s blog. The ad called for someone who a) reads the blog (check) b) has a pretty geeky and detailed grasp of the political landscape (check) and c) a fast and clean writer (jury is still out but we assume Tau has passed Ben Smith’s muster). Tau interviewed for the job via Skype.

Ben Smith said he received a “flattering” number of resumes for the position, dozens from “people who would have been great.” Among the qualities he saw and sensed in Tao: extremely hardworking, reliable and able to fill in for a blogger, who say, wanders off to Israel for a week. “One of the things that impressed me about him was that, along with working as a reporter and attending grad school, he was working as a bartender on weekends; that combination seemed like basically the skill set I was looking for,” he said.

Aside from being Ben Smith’s assistant, just who is Tau?

“Never was based in NYC, though I wish I was sometimes,” he told me. “Better restaurants, apparently or so the New York Times is trying to convince us. Before Politico, he freelanced and interned at the NJ’s Hotline, TNR and Roll Call. Tau graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada where he “developed a serious tolerance for cold and also a tolerance for being mistaken for Canadian by Americans. I am NOT Canadian and never want to be,” he said half-jokingly.

Mr. Tau, welcome to the Fishbowl.

Al-Jazeera English Moves Worldly Anchor to D.C.

Al-Jazeera English has a new attractive face in town — it’s 28-year-old news presenter Imran Garda.

Garda has anchored from all over the world, including the Sudan, Turkey, Egypt, Namibia, India and South Africa. His blossoming career began at 20 for Supersport in South Africa in 2002.

Check out the D.C. Internationalist’s report here.

Photo credit: Mohamed Nanabhay

First Day on the Job…


(Good thing her last name isn’t Smith. This is the Tuesday issue of the NYP.)

Politics Daily Says Hello to New White House Reporter

alex_wagner_fader.jpg Alex Wagner starts her White House reporting gig at Politics Daily this week. She even jumped right in and appeared on Sunday’s online all-women “Woman UP” show hosted by Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger.

On Monday, Henneberger explained, Politics Daily’s Lynn Sweet (D.C. Bureau Chief of Chicago Sun-Times who writes PD’s Daily Flotus column) “showed her around and made the other kids promise to play nice.”

Wagner’s past: She was Executive Director of Not on Our Watch, a global advocacy and grant making organization focused on stopping gross violations of human rights. The organization is led by the actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. (“The guys were my bosses,” she says. “Clooney and I did a trip to the Darfur border (along with Ann Curry from NBC and Nick Kristof from the NYT) and Damon and I did a trip to the Zimbabwe border – both last year.”) She was Editor in Chief of The Fader magazine in New York City, where she won several awards for the magazine’s coverage of burgeoning cultural movements in Brazil, China and South Africa. The magazine is devoted to promoting new musical artists. She spent four years at the magazine. Before The Fader, she was the cultural correspondent for the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

She once worked for a lifestyle magazine called Bikini.

Wagner has appeared on CNN, the BBC, MTV and VH-I and has been featured in the NYT, WSJ and WaPo.

As for her first week, she remarked to FishbowlDC: “Reporting from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might possibly match Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe in terms of sheer chaos and intensity. Only the sandwich options are a lot better.”

To watch her in a video on The Fader, go here.

Labash Quasi Apologizes To Maddow Fans

<img alt="RM.jpg" src="/fishbowlDC/files/original/RM.jpg" width="288" height="371" class="alignleft" hspace="3" vspace="3"/The Weekly Standard’s/Daily Caller’s Matt Labash is as readable in Volume II of his budding advice column as he was in Volume I. I’m already hooked on Ann Landers Gone Wild.

In this episode of “Ask Matt” he discusses his regret (if you can call it that) for calling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow the “sexiest man alive.” Actually, he says, after introspection, he’s “eternally enthusiastic about lesbians.”

Read the column here.

New Kid on the Beat: Stephanie Green

What’s tougher than being the new kid on the block? How about being a new journo on the beat?

That’s why FBDC is offering fresh-to-the-scene journos a chance to crash network in “New Kid on the Beat.” Each week we’ll streamline the ‘meet and greet’ process for a DC media newbie by introducing them to our readers.

Stephanie Green, The Washington Times


Beat: Style Reporter covering the First Lady, Fashion, and Special Events

Start Date: December 2008

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Career Highlights: Former market editor to Capitol File Magazine and style reporter for The Alexandria Times

First entree into journalism: Editor of high school newsletter

First entree into world of style: Fashion model in teens, New York and Europe

Favorite First Lady and why: Dolley Madison. She was the original Washingtonienne… sexy, funny, and a hostess par excellence.

Dream Interviews: Anne Boleyn, Louis XIV, Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Degas

Something that my colleagues wouldn’t know is: Geneaology is a hobby of mine. I have discovered all my ancestors who bravely fought in the American Revolution. I have a maniac obsession with early American history.

Favorite Carbonated Beverage: San Pellegrino

Industry Idols: Anna Wintour, Helen Thomas, Veronica Guerin

Know a freshman or transplant journo who deserves a career kick start? Submit their contact info and position and we’ll handle the rest. Think of us as your digital welcome wagon.