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Surprise Surprise

Bowties, Bowling, and Bourbon for BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson

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Photo cred: Mrs. Dayspring

In celebration of BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson‘s 28th birthday, friends gathered for a surprise party yesterday at Pinstripes in Georgetown.

Hosted by CNN’s Matt Dornic and Katelyn Rieley, guests included newlyweds CNN’s Lauren Pratapas and NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring, WaPo’s Jackie Kucinich, Jared Allen, Chris “Gindy” Gindlesperger, Matt Haller, Andrew Kovalcin, Jacob Wood, Zach Graves, Daily Caller’s Chris Bedford, and Michael Steel.

Guests noshed on black Angus mini burgers, pizza, and flat bread.
Cigars and bourbon were the go-to gift, and selfies, strongly encouraged.
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Breitbart Takes Times’ Sloppy Seconds

randpaulWell, well, well, looks like Rand Paul will take his weekly column to a new home that values his unique brand of journalistic integrity. Just hours after he was dropped by the Washington Times, Sen. Paul (R-KY) has been picked up by Breitbart News. In an article that seemed blithely unaware of any “plagiarism scandal” that might have marred the good Senator’s name, Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow welcomed Paul to the site and called him “an avowed reformer.”

In the piece, a Paul spokesman said the Senator was “pleased to partner with Breitbart News and looks forward to the new, wider audience for his columns.” Marlow likewise suggested that the move would help expand Paul’s voice, claiming that Breitbart.com “has surpassed websites such as Politico, the Daily Beast, and The Washington Times, according to web traffic analytics firm Alexa.”

Hm, well at least we can all agree that this is a move Andrew Breitbart himself would be pleased with. As to whether it helps Rand Paul move past this scandal, we’ll just have to see.

Daily Beast Loses Another One -Peter Beinart to Atlantic

sinking shipPeter Beinart is leaving The Daily Beast for Atlantic Media. The “liberal Jewish blogger” (a bit on the nose, don’t ya think, Byers?) will be contributing to both the National Journal‘s magazine and TheAtlantic.com, according to National Journal spokeswoman Emma Angerer.

This follows on the heels of the inimitable Tina Brown‘s exit from The Beast  in September, and the October massacre of more than two dozen writers and editors. Andrew Sullivan (who apparently is moving to DC -welcome back, old chap!) exited earlier this year.

Now taking bets on how long before Barry Diller is doing his own reporting and changing the light bulbs.

TWT Says Sayonara to COO

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The Washington Times hasn’t been a hotbed of stability in the last year or five. And on Thursday they said goodbye to their COO, John Martin. Sources tell FishbowlDC he was fired. He packed up and escorted himself out of the building with a box of his belongings. Security was not required to escort him out. Read more

Morning Reading List 9.30.13

morningreadinglistresizedTV ain’t always not easy: On Sunday, Slate‘s Geoff Pullum took CNN’s Dana Bash to task for the way in which she expressed news of a possible, impending government shutdown. In it, he slowly dissects phrasing she used to articulate what she gathered by speaking to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Why you should read it: It’s not often that an author gets so affected by something that he has to put a damp cloth over his eyes. Read here.

If you’re not already miserable, give it time: CQ Roll Call‘s Steven Dennis offers this uplifting take on the situation on Capitol Hill. He writes about how the dysfunction on the Hill is apt to bring about a depressing holiday season. So forget joy. He even has congressmen who are so frustrated they’ve taken up chopping wood to relieve stress. “It’s not just frustrating, it’s maddening,” said Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper, a Blue Dog Democrat who has long pushed for a grand bargain on the debt. “I’ve started chopping wood just to relieve the frustration,” he said.

Why you should read it: The story offers a more emotional side to how lawmakers are experiencing the potential shutdown. Read here.

Who thought Breaking Bad fizzled?

Read more

Ben Freed Fired From DCist

DCist Editor-in-Chief Ben Freed has been fired after fighting with his employer about publishing a story for BuzzFeed. The news was first reported by WaPo‘s Erik Wemple.

Wemple writes that Freed was given the axe after he freelanced a story for BuzzFeed on the impact of the $250M WaPo sale on local D.C. news. The part of the story that is still a mystery, and we don’t get why Wemple didn’t ask this, is that Freed’s Publisher, Jake Dobkin, told him to spike the story. BuzzFeed said they would be amenable to spiking the story, but also thought it would bring attention to DCist.

And yet… it still ran.

We’ve reached out to BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on whether he’d hire Freed as well as the details of why the story was not spiked. Unfortunately Smith is on vacation until Aug. 12 so we’re reaching out to other BuzzFeed sources.

Developing…

Groundswell, the Conservative Journolist?

A few years ago, conservatives were in an uproar over the now presumably-defunct Journolist, the clubby listserv for liberal journos created by WaPo‘s Ezra Klein. So how will they feel about Groundswell, a conservative cloak and dagger group revealed by Mother JonesDavid Corn and Kate Sheppard this morning?

Apparently, it’s rife with participation from conservative journalists, even those at Breitbart News—whose late founder had loudly decried the idea behind Journolist just a few years back and offered a cash-reward for the full list of participants.

So who was involved?

Read more

BuzzFeed’s Rebecca Berg to Washington Examiner (and Other Recent Hires)

The new political and policy-minded Washington Examiner won’t be heavily promoting its new product until September. But in the meantime, they have some new hires. The most recent of which is Rebecca Berg, formerly of BuzzFeed and before that, an intern for The New Yorker and NYT. Berg went to work for BuzzFeed less than a year ago.

By the way, they’ve dropped italicized “The” from their logo, so they’re now simply the Washington Examiner.

Berg starts Monday as a political correspondent. She joins an interesting cast of new hires and staff of 40 that includes TWT‘s Luke Rosiak, Susan Crabtree and Sean Lengell as well as CQ Roll Call‘s David Drucker, Politico‘s Tim Mak, RealClearPoliticsJoseph Lawler, Heritage Foundation’s Ashe Schow, and Daily Beast‘s Justin Green. There are three reporters from the Examiner newspaper: Chief Congressional Correspondent Susan Ferrechio, White House correspondent Brian Hughes and congressional correspondent Steve Contorno. Others: designers Karen Lomax (Lomax Creative) and Chris Henderson (YourHealth Magazine); videographer Lisa Ruhl (Discovery Studios); and web producer Meghana Kurup (Stars and Stripes).

Congratulations to all.

Ezra Klein: Better With or Without Facial Hair?

WaPo‘s Ezra Klein has finally reached puberty!

The evidence came last night as we caught a glimpse of him on MNSBC’s “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” program hosted by Alex Wagner.

Is he going for a seasoned look? Is he trying to grow up too fast?

We know our preferences where Ezra’s facial hair is concerned, but what are yours? Let us know what you think at fishbowldc@mediabistro.com.

Should he shave it off or keep going?

 

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

That Politico‘s Maggie Haberman was in Washington Tuesday and sitting at — hope you’re sitting down for this — Jonathan Martin‘s old desk. Wait a second… is the New York City-based scribe who has the exact same title that JMart had going to officially fill his shoes? If you missed the pictures of Messy Martin’s war-torn workspace yesterday, see here. Thankfully for Haberman, who doesn’t seem like she’d tolerate a lot of clutter or ever get ambushed by the team on “Hoarders,” the desk was clean.

“I wondered whose polka dot bag that was. Let the rumors and gossip begin!” a colleague remarked.

Not to go all woo woo here… Read more

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