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Riddle Me This

Townhall Deems Ezra Klein ‘an Idiot’, the conservative news outlet, blasted WaPo‘s Ezra Klein this week in a headline that left no room for confusion as to how they feel about the boy wonder Washington reporter.

“Ezra Klein is an Idiot: Obama is the Jobs Problem,” the headline blared.

Since they used Klein to be their punching bag and to draw page views for conservatives who’d easily recognize the JournoLister’s liberal views, we thought for sure that the story’s author, Townhall Finance Editor John Ransom, would offer a lengthy, reasoned explanation as to why Klein is “an idiot.” Prior to Townhall Ransom was — no big surprise — a political activist and consultant in Western states.

But no. Ransom waits 13 graphs to even mention Klein. Read more

Politico’s Strange Timestamp Process

Politico‘s story on the Fox News firing of its longtime spokesman Brian Lewis first published on August 21 at 12:48 p.m. EDT. That according to the timestamp provided at the top of the story.

We know Politico likes to keep things lemony fresh. They pride themselves on having up to the minute stories. Today that timestamp has changed. No update. Just changed. On the homepage that timestamp now reads August 22, 6:18 a.m.

See the screengrabs. Read more

Rep. Cohen to CNN: ‘I Still Think of Her as My Daughter’

This morning CNN aired an interview between congressional correspondent Dana Bash and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). Cohen is the congressman who began tweeting to a blonde coed back in February, raising eyebrows as to just who Victoria Brink was. At the time, many wondered if she was his girlfriend. Cohen ultimately said she was her daughter and introduced her at Washington parties as such.

New revelations last week, including a DNA test, however, proved otherwise.

“She said she didn’t know who her biological father was, she said for her mental health she needed it,” Cohen told CNN of the DNA test. “I would have avoided it but I’d do anything for Victoria.”

Cohen said he still feels like he’s her father. “We still communicate and I care about her greatly and I think she cares about me and I hope, we plan to continue to have a relations,” he told Bash. “I still think of her as my daughter.”

The story aired on “New Day,” hosted by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, both of whom quickly jumped in to defend Cohen. Read more

National Journal‘s Inevitable Powerful Women List

Washington is so flooded with powerful, important people lists it doesn’t know what to do with itself. So what’s one more such list that bears about as much importance as another story on why George Zimmerman has gotten so fat and what, if anything, it means.

Two female reporters made National Journal‘s 25 Most Influential Women in Washington Under 35 list that no doubt reached the zeitgeist early this morning in the pub’s magazine. They are Bloomberg White House reporter Julianna Goldman (at right) and NYT economic policy reporter Annie Lowry (at left). No offense to either woman — were sure they’re each fabulous in their own way. But what’s a little baffling is why they were chosen among the sea of female reporters in Washington. There’s no rhyme or reason for the pick and no heartfelt testimonials as they list boring, bland bios for each woman without ever explaining how or why they are “influential” enough to hit the Top 25. They do mention that Lowry is “one-half of a Washington journalism power couple” since she’s married to WaPo‘s Ezra Klein.

They also conceded in the introduction, “Lists like these are highly unscientific, so this year, in addition to soliciting suggestions from our staff, we asked members and readers—through e-mail, Facebook and Twitter—to nominate young women who had already made a difference. We were flooded with responses.”


TWT Gets Amnesia, Forgets Editor Already Returned

Whoever writes TWT‘s press releases must be fighting with the others tasked with writing TWT press releases. And if it’s the same person? Better get him or her a hypnotist and fast because memory appears to be a major problem here.

The first line of one of their three releases Monday states, “The Washington Times announced Monday that award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon is returning after a hiatus of more than 3½ years to oversee the newspaper’s content, digital and business strategies.”

Let’s edit this for facts, shall we? Read more

TWT’s Liberal Roots May be Showing

With heavy changes underway at TWT and today’s announcement that John Solomon‘s full power at the paper will be restored, it’s a valuable exercise to review how things were before when, say, Solomon was previously in charge.

In one memory, Solomon and President Tom McDevitt sat at a fold-up table in the lobby trying to sell President Obama-headlined T-shirts and Obama commemorative coffee-table books. Not exactly TWT‘s market, but hey, what the hell? It’s a free country.

From a TWT insider: “This raises the question, ‘What is the Washington Times?’ TWT’s brand has always been as a conservative alternative to the Post, but Solomon is not and never has been a conservative, having worked at the liberal Post, a liberal wire service and the George Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity. He persecuted conservatives last time he was editor of the paper and pushed a hard pro-Obama line, which went so far as to fill the walls of the building with framed copies of A1 cover pages promoting the liberal president. Looks like the Moonies bought the same snake oil that failed to solve their problems before.”

By the way, this is the FIFTH change of editor in five years.

See the T-shirt they sold…

Read more

With TWT’s Executive Editor Out, Will John Solomon Finally Make The Masthead?

Back in January, after 25 members of TWT newsroom got laid off, John Solomon was named to the elusive role of Chief Digital Officer with Ian Bishop as his deputy in the position of Digital Editor. Bishop made the masthead. Solomon did not. What made matters even more peculiar, is that when Solomon made media appearances, on WTOP for example, they said he was from Washington Guardian, his other news outlet. No mention of TWT.

Even in May of 2013, TWT gave him a bizarre tagline that made no mention of TWT except to say he was a former executive editor there. Was he or wasn’t he working there? His daily doings always appeared to be mired in mystery, even to those on the inside.

Still, now Solomon is getting another boost. Today Larry Beasley, whose contract as President and CEO has been upped until the end of 2015, is promoting him again. At least it sure looks like a promotion — time will tell if they see fit to put him on the masthead. This time, he’s “Editor and Vice President for Content and Business Development.” What this all means is anyone’s guess, as was Solomon’s previous position at TWT. As hilariously explained by Beasley in a statement, this means Solomon is in charge of editorial and business and advertising, because those parts of a newspaper are always supposed to be smushed together as one. No conflict there.

What’s even weirder is that Beasley appears to have no recollection of Solomon’s brusque departure from TWT four years ago as Executive Editor and speaks about his time there as a fairytale dream (all together now: raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…) Most former employees in high editorial posts say he was pushed out, forced to resign. He always insists otherwise.

Just as you think Beasley’s statement will end there, with four graphs and five bullet points inflating Solomon to be the best journalist who ever roamed the Earth (seriously), Beasley casually mentions that Executive Editor David Jackson is gone. HUH? “As part of the recent moves, we’ve said goodbye to some of colleagues, including our Executive Editor David Jackson,” he wrote three graphs from the bottom of the release, one of which throws in yet another compliment for Solomon. “We appreciate the effort he gave us and wish him well in his next endeavor.”

Bye bye Jackson!

See the release with our boldings… Read more

Hey, it Happens! TV Journo Confused by DM

It’s early morning. You haven’t imbibed enough caffeine. You get on your Smartphone and everything falls apart. Hey, it happens to the best of us! And this morning it happened to CNBC’s Eamon Javers. (Full disclosure since they’re so important in This Town: Many years ago, he was one of my editors. I don’t really remember him editing anything of mine though or getting into any fights with him.)

All things considered, it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Javers didn’t insult his boss, Paula Deen or even Politico‘s Mike Allen. Instead, he expressed his trepidation over being out of a pocket for over a HALF HOUR. Oh, the horrors!

At 5:48 a.m., his day seemed to be getting off on a good note.

About an hour later…

And then:


NBC Digital’s Lou Dubois seemed concerned. “You doing ok over there?” he asked. Javers confided, “Twitter is hard, especially before my second cup of coffee.” Dubois empathized, saying, “Coffee makes everything easier.” (WTF, indeed.)

Javers appears to have deleted one tweet directed to CNBC and some guy named “Ivan” that explains his angst about the whole thing.

Read more

Politico Stuffs Foot in Mouth

While criticizing Cox Media Group’s new conservative media outlet Rare for click bait over the weekend, including the occasional kitten post, look what Politico has directly under the story about Rare. Gee, would that be click-bait pics of Victoria’s Secret underwear models, bare-chested beefcake and — yes — a story about a musical cat?

“Rare’s Twitter feed shows a news outlet focused on aggregation — and not every link makes sense in the context of a social media and content hub with a conservative bent,” writes media writer Mackenzie Weinger in paragraph 5. “Sometimes, it just looks like click bait. Take last Friday afternoon’s tweets, for example: In between links to items about President Barack Obama’s approval rating and the White House’s take on his Africa trip, Rare also directed readers to a story with the headline, “Miami woman, young mother dies after botched butt injections.”

Way to go Politico! We like your sense of irony.

See the picture proof after the jump…we reached out to the Politico writer for comment.  Read more

What’s Up With ‘Face The Nation’s Vine?

With more technology comes more opportunity for minor mishaps. “Face the Nation”s Vine account proves it.

Vine is still a new type of online social network, so not everyone in media has caught on yet. It allows users to take 6-second mini-movies and share them with followers. Until Wednesday, the CBS program had uploaded two separate videos to its official account.

The first video, posted in May, appeared to be a behind-the-scenes look at “Face the Nation.” It showed the inside of an office with a few people working at computers and one woman staring into the camera, seemingly confused.

The second video… Read more