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Riddle Me This

What’s ‘Not Looking Good’ For NBC’s Betsy Fischer Martin?

Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Producer for NBC’s “Meet the Press,” did Thursday morning what so many of us have done before: Tweeted something that was never meant to be tweeted.

“Tell them we are not looking good and we don’t want to prevent him from going elsewhere,” the ominous tweet said before it was quickly deleted.

What could it possibly mean?

We went straight to the source for answers. “Glad you are on deleted tweet watch – the world is truly a safer place,” Fischer Martin told FishbowlDC in an email. “It was actually part of something I had in my cut/paste clipboard that I somehow pasted into a tweet on my blackberry. Silly me. Thank goodness it was vague and clean!”

She continued, calling her tweet “a true Washington mystery that will no doubt capture the attention of millions of Fishbowl readers dying to know the meaning of all those pronouns!”

But she didn’t tell us what the message was about or who it was intended for. We’re left to guess that on our own. So here’s our best guesses as to what’s “not looking good” for Fischer Martin… Read more

Politico Publishes 3-Day-Old Scarborough Blog Post

A new development in the ongoing mystery that is Joe Scarborough‘s curious relationship with Politico.

At 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Politico published a blog post written by the Republican commentator and MSNBC host headlined “Marco Rubio’s Risky Gamble.” It’s a four-paragraph opinion piece about the balancing act Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is playing to avoid upsetting the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP.

The post only came three days after a separate Scarborough item, which is noteworthy considering how large swaths of time can pass between his posts. But even more noteworthy is that the Rubio item was posted already, in full, at Scarborough’s personal site three days ago (approximately 1.48 years in Politico time). Another element: Scarborough posted something new about Rep. Michele Bachmann‘s (R-Minn.) decision not to run for reelection on his personal site.

Why would Politico, a publication known for functioning in real time, post something so old? Read more

Joan Walsh’s ‘Skeezy Huckster’– Racist?

After calling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) a “skeezy huckster” late Thursday night, Salon Editor Joan Walsh faced a barrage of spankings from conservatives on Twitter who charged that Walsh was being racist.

“Wow, Ted Cruz is kind of a skeezy huckster,” Walsh tweeted. “Will Republicans start to notice?”

Conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch pounced, tweeting back, “Should we ask @joanwalsh if ‘skeezy huckster’ is code for ‘Hispanic?’ Like how she said ‘food stamps’ is code for ‘Black American?’”

“Because he’s Hispanic? Racist pig! #YourRules,” tweeted Townhall‘s Derek Hunter.

“Do you describe all Hispanics this way, @joanwalsh?” asked FreedomWorks blogger Jon Gabriel in a rhetorical tweet.

Their point: If Republicans are racist for using phrases like “food stamp” when talking about President Obama, Walsh is a racist for using “skeezy huckster” when talking about Cruz, who is Cuban.

Walsh didn’t seem to catch the argument her critics were making. Asked if she was being racist in her use of “skeezy huckster” she said… Read more

Ron Fournier’s Absurd Apology

Welcome to the age of over-apologizing.

National Journal reporter Ron Fournier took the opportunity to apologize early this morning for what he says was an insensitive comment he made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” using the word “jihad.”

What he said at 13:10: “The irony here is that President Obama by raising a jihad against the press has now made it more likely that that we are now likely to have what he called dumb wars,” he said. No one at the table flinched. No one even responded to what he said, nor was there a single news article condemning his remarks.

Seriously Fournier? An apology for this?

One of his followers summed up our reaction perfectly.

 

Homeless Man Says He’s Brit Hume’s Son

By Betsy Rothstein and Austin Price

A graying homeless man with an admitted history of mental illness set up shop in Dupont Circle Wednesday afternoon with an elaborate boombox and speaker system. “I love to dance!” he said, getting his groove on amid a sticky Washington heatwave.

So who is he and what’s he doing here?

Adjacent to the stereo speakers and propped up against one of the ledges that surround the fountain was a handwritten sign on a piece of cardboard that contained two scrawled email addresses — his own and presumably that of Fox News anchor Brit Hume.

Here’s where things get dicey. The man claims to be Louis Hume, the son of the journalist. He says he’s not Brit Hume’s biological son, but that Hume raised him in every way that matters. He even has a birth certificate (as pictured here) to attempt to prove his claim and named Brit Hume’s first wife, Clare Jacobs Stoner, as the woman who raised him and his “biological aunt.”

Dressed in cream-colored shorts, a bright white T-shirt that reads, “Help the Homeless” and worn sneakers, Louis (not likely his real name) was dripping with sweat as he pried himself away from dancing for a brief interview.

“He taught me all the proper ways to live, which I paid little attention to,” he said of Brit Hume. “I’ve led a very wild life, I guess you could say. God told me recently that I had to start telling people about meeting him. I guess he doesn’t like the idea.”

He continued, wistfully, “It seems like forever since I’ve seen him. I lived out West. But yeah, he’s my dad. I met God. God gave me a ride, like a three, four, five hour drive. I want to tell the story and be on a lie detector machine so people know I ain’t lying about it. But I’m mostly up here just preaching the gospel.”

“Louis Hume” said a few months ago he tried to camp out down by the Fox News studios on North Capitol Street to try to see his “father.” But he said cops chased him off. “I went to Fox News and I said ‘Okay, well listen, my Dad’s working up there. You go tell him to come down here and tell me to leave and I will.’ So they relayed the message up to him,” he said. “My Dad told security, ‘I don’t have a son, my son died.’ So he was saying, basically, I’m not his son anymore, I don’t know.”

This story is heartbreaking on a variety of levels. Read more

TWT’s John Solomon Has Bizarre Tagline

Strange times at TWT. On the front of the Commentary section Tuesday was a column by John Solomon on the AP scandal. Solomon is allegedly chief digital officer, a brand new position that was created especially for him at the start of 2013. But he’s not on the masthead. And then there’s that funky ID tagline included in his Tuesday column. It mentions his former employment as editor, but not that he currently works there. Also unmentioned is his affiliation with Washington Guardian, where he is president and executive editor.

It’s a real head scratcher. His ID tagline in TWT reads: “John Solomon, a veteran Washington journalist, is the former executive editor of The Washington Times and onetime deputy Washington bureau chief of The Associated Press.”

Here’s another chunk of weirdness: Solomon’s deputy, Ian Bishop, is on the masthead as digital editor. But not him?

Seems Solomon’s current affiliation should be disclosed. Why wouldn’t it be? Read more

WaPo’s Limp Citation for Roll Call

A memo to WaPo: Next time you want to give credit to a paper for breaking a story, how about doing it in the first couple of graphs? How about doing it at all?

On Friday morning at 9:58 a.m., Paul Farhi wrote about the flap over Politico yanking a video on its “about” page because Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office got its knickers in a twist about the potential lack of ethics involving a video of his staffer on a page where they’re selling Politico.

The story is well-written and cites Politico Chief Operating Officer Kim Kingsley. But why does it take Farhi eight flippin’ graphs to mention the story and publication that broke it in the first place, which was Roll Call on Thursday at 4:58 p.m.? He writes,

“Roll Call, a Politico competitor, reported Thursday that senate ethics rules prohibit senators and their staff from making endorsements. The publication reports Holmes said he didn’t realize that the video would be used as an ad. He received a written request for a video interview from Politico’s director of marketing, who said the video would be ‘a profile of you first — and how you use Politico second.’”

Farhi told FishbowlDC by email: “I was not aware that Roll Call had broken the story until I got your email (I’m assuming you’re correct, btw). I was first alerted to the story yesterday by a colleague, who didn’t mention where he’d seen or heard about it. I reported it out and filed something short about it late last night. I DID notice that Roll Call had done some fine reporting on this and credited them accordingly.”

Psst…Farhi! Google is your friend.

We also reached out to Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner, who broke the story, for comment.

UPDATE: WaPo‘s Erik Wemple also writes about the Politico-McConnell debacle — because why shouldn’t two media reporters from the same publication delve into the same story? He cites Shiner by name five graphs into a pretty lengthy post.

Big Worry at Bloomberg View: 3-D Printing

The biggest stories this week have been about a trio of government scandals, one involving the IRS, another with the DOJ and a third with the September attack in Benghazi, Libya. But those aren’t the most of Bloomberg View‘s concerns. The 3-D printer is.

Over the last four days, the Bloomberg View daily morning newsletter blast was sent out with staff editorials on 3-D printing as their top story:

  • “Your Future Will Be Manufactured on a 3-D Printer,” 5/13
  • “That 3-D Printed Gun? It’s Just the Start,” 5/14
  • “How 3-D Printing Could Disrupt the Economy of the Future,” 5/15
  • “3-D Printing: the Ultimate Intellectual-Property Threat?” 5/16

To be fair, the Bloomberg publications are primarily financial news publications. Actually, never mind. That doesn’t explain why the dangers of 3-D printing being used to create handguns is more important to BV‘s readers than a conflict involving the IRS. Since that scandal broke last week, BV has published… Read more

Um, Are Journalists a ‘Constituency’?

The Weekly Standard‘s Senior Writer Stephen Hayes quotes NBC’s Lisa Myers in a shady turn of phrase.

Now 167 retweets later, clearly the comment struck a nerve. Politico White House Correspondent Glenn Thrush asks, “What does that even mean?” QGA Communications Exec. and columnist John Feehery replied, “You know what it mean, don’t play dumb with me.” IslandSnoopy also seemed to get the inherent problem here, writing, “Therein lies the problem. The Press should be objective. NOT ‘one of the president’s most important constituencies.’”

Heritage Drops Out of BuzzFeed Event

What, they don’t like beer? BuzzFeed Brews’ more serious event on Immigration is hitting a minor snag as Heritage drops out. Their loss. Daily Caller‘s Mickey Kaus is stepping in.

Editor Ben Smith announced the news last night on Twitter. The Immigration Summit is Tuesday.

See who was supposed to appear at the event here.

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