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Taking Out The Trash

Awkward Interactions at Heritage Foundation’s Launch of The Daily Signal


Last night at Sixth Engine, The Heritage Foundation celebrated the Tuesday launch of its new site The Daily Signal, a digital-first, multimedia news platform.

Amidst drinks with clever names like the “Editor in Chief” and the “Teaser” alongside delicious samplings of Korean style chicken tenders, heaping bites of tuna tar tar, and brussels sprouts, FishbowlDC was so rudely interrupted by the self-proclaimed ‘Christian, Conservative, Southern, Zionist, that is Everything the Left hates Heritage Action Legislative Strategist (description a la his Twitter bio).”

During a conversation with a writer for Heritage Action’s blog The Forge, said “strategist” apparently felt threatened by FishbowlDC speaking to his ex-fiance. The “strategist” – who I met just seconds earlier – felt the need to tell me his engagement with whom I was previously speaking ended four weeks ago.

Unable to hold back a smirk caused by the absurdity of this man’s relationship woes, he trice assumed I thought the situation was funny. Newsflash: I barely know who you are, let alone care about your relationship status.

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Mice Close Washington Post Cafeteria

mice1The Washington Post Director of Administration and Operating Services Jeff Cox yesterday announced to Post staff in a memo that the outlet’s cafeteria has a problem…with mice.

The “evidence” was discovered by DC’s Department of Health on Monday, and today marks the second day of its closing.

See the memo after the jump. Read more

Is Ed Henry the Reason for Mice Problem in White House Press Room?

Rumors of mice in the White House have been swirling as of late, but word on the street is that they’re just after Fox News’ Ed Henry. No firm answers yet as to why, so we can only guess at this point. Does Ed leave crumbs of food on his desk? Does his work space offer an abundance of places to hide?

Earlier today, Henry Tweeted about the debacle and it’s left us wondering.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 00.05.18

According to the White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler, “Suspiciously, the CNN booth, which is right next to Fox’s, has not had its defenses breached by a single mouse, prompting questions among veteran, unserious reporters about whether White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is indoctrinating mice to despise free markets and releasing them late at night in the Fox booth.”

We here in the Fishbowl are taking this matter very seriously. Please send any relevant photos (of Ed’s workspace, other spaces in the White House press room where mice have been spotted, reasons why the mice may have an affinity for Henry) to We vow to follow this micecapade until the ordeal can be swept under the rug.

MoJo Smacks Down Examiner Writer ‘Investigating’ Michael Hastings’ Death

A Mother Jones story today by Gavin Aronsen comes out swinging at Kimberly Dvorak—the so-called journalist “investigating” Michael Hastings death—and for good reason.

Dvorak has been pushing unsourced and, in some cases, debunked conspiracy theories about Hastings’ death at (most notably that he was assassinated, but she’s also open to the idea that he could’ve faked his death, too). Being that we’re talking about, this would make her only mildly annoying. Except that now, a San Diego TV station has started giving her airtime. That’s only led to papers like Britain’s Independent, Fox News (of course), and others citing her work.

When asked for comment by Mother Jones, she says, “I’m going out on a limb reporting this. Journalists are becoming so irrelevant right now.” San Diego’s TV station refused to comment for the story.

An excerpt from Mother Jones:

“Dvorak’s reporting—and mainstream media outlets’ embrace of it—is ongoing. On Monday, Dvorak reported that she had ‘confirmed’ a claim made last week by Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, that Hastings was working on a profile of CIA Director John Brennan at the time of his death. (The news that Hastings had been investigating Brennan first appeared in the Los Angeles Times the day after Hastings’ death in June.) ‘It’s curious how his wife came out and talked about [Hastings' death] and kind of had a smile on her face and didn’t seem like a grieving widow,’ Dvorak says.”

This isn’t the first time someone has taken issue with Dvorak. Huffington Post writers Jason Linkins and Ryan Grim pointed out way back in 2010 that not only had she fabricated a story about the Mexican Los Zetas gang seizing ranches in Texas (Dvorak claims border security as one of her areas of expertise), but also ripped off a legitimate story about an Immigration and Customs Enforcement informant who played both sides of the drug war.

So why do legit outlets keep giving Dvorak a pedestal to shout from? Maybe they just don’t have time to use Google to check her bona fides, or lack thereof?

AnonymASS Tipster of the Moment

AnonymASS writes in last week apropos of nothing tangible:

“This is the worst website I have ever seen you a horrendous fucking bitch.”

Note to ASS: We appreciate the incredible grammar prowess of “you a.” Please keep writing. Oh wait, is this Politico‘s Patrick Reis? Right, he much prefers to insult his own colleagues.

Politico to Hire Down?

Politico typically tries to hire up. They snag reporters from the aggressive media mindset of Manhattan. They steal people who haven’t been places long — such as the recent hire of Lois Romano from The Daily Beast. She’d been there under a year and at WaPo for nearly three decades.

But now they’re setting their sights lower and perhaps just nearby at TBD.

Ryan Kearney, who has written for a site that prides itself on writing about cupcakes and weird rubber dolls they send to the private homes of Washington reporters, is on his way out of the long failing TBD and is now interviewing at Politico. He has great experience interviewing cardboard stars like Natalie Portman and James Franco — really poorly done interviews he does (we think they are supposed to be funny) with life size cardboard versions. Is this what Politico wants? Watch out Alex Trowbridge, you could have some heavy (eye roll) competition headed your way. Whether he’ll land the job is anyone’s guess. If they’re planning to invent a new beat called “FishbowlDC” he’s a shoo in. If not, well, then they’re on their own. Maybe CLICK could use his expertise.

A Day in the Work Life of Michelle Fields

The Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields, a “serious video journalist,” went to the National Press Club on Tuesday for a luncheon featuring NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. Why was Michelle there? Who the hell knows?

In what is a new low, even for the self-loving Fields, her entire “report” consists of one 25 second video with an 8 second intro and 5 second outro. That means this obvious Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece is all of 12 seconds long. But a lot can happen in 12 seconds, right? Here’s what there was time for:

  • Michelle screwing up the only question she appears to ask, a simple one at that, and a short answer that was edited, for reasons unknown.

That’s it, that’s all there is.

I don’t know about you, but I can sleep easier tonight knowing what a race car driver I never think about thinks about an important constitutional issue of contraception. (BTW, if you’re getting your political tips or news from any celebrity, do the country a favor and don’t vote.)

And how does a 12 second video require an edit? If you ask someone one question, why not post their entire answer? Considering the question was clearly designed to create controversy and not report on an existing one, why not show the whole thing? I have no reason to believe it was edited unfairly, I just find it odd that it was edited at all.

Michelle’s “report” contains a whopping 53 words. However, if you subtract the 4 in “Videography by Sarah Hofmann,” and the 13 in the written version of the Patrick quote, you’re looking at 36 original words from Michelle for this piece. Eat your heart out, Edward R. Murrow.

They published the post on Tuesday at 10:57 p.m. According to the time stamp, it was updated the next day at 1:32 p.m. What needed updating in a 36-word post remains as big a mystery as why this post exists in the first place.

But “Scoop” Fields wasn’t done there. The budding, um, whatever she is, was hot on the trail of another person in need of being asked a question – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

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Newt’s Moon Plans

Callista stands by her man as he outlines his plans for a moon colony. See the infamous video courtesy of the C-SPAN library.

Mediaite’s Mr. X and Delusions of…Adequacy

Tommy Christopher is White House Correspondent for Mediaite, but who is the real Tommy Christopher? That’s a question no one asked before yesterday, and probably one no one will ask again after today. But it was asked yesterday, and the asking of it started a pissing match between the aforementioned and alleged Mr. Christopher and The Daily Caller’s Jeff Poor.

Poor wrote a story yesterday pointing out that Mediaite’s White House Correspondent’s name is not Tommy Christopher. Fine, it’s true, his name is not Tommy Christopher. But Poor incited Christopher’s wrath by opening his piece with a simple question: “What if the first two words in every story you have written for a particular outlet were a blatant effort to mislead your readers?”

While a pen name is hardly a Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair moment (hell, I use one), the alleged Mr. Christopher never misses an opportunity to promote himself…no matter how small the audience may be, no matter the state of his rusty, smokey, vocal chords.

The apparent Tommy took to the only outlet insignificant enough to care about a non-controversy involving a self-promoting writer – The Ed Morrissey Show on U-Stream. (The interview starts at the 1 hour mark, the fun starts…I’m kidding, the fun never starts.)

The (as of this writing) 82 people who watched Morrissey’s interview with the supposed Christopher were treated to the equivalent of watching paint dry while the painter bragged about how flat the paint is. In other words, it was seriously boring.

The hypothetical White House correspondent admitted that he thinks very highly of himself (though not highly enough to have the dignity to simply pass on a chance to have his Little Rascals “Froggy” voice sent out to an uninterested Internet. He also widely considers himself to be a “public figure,” which he has voiced several times in the past 48 hours. Whatever the imaginary Christopher’s real name is, someone “more famous” than him already has it. This limits the possibilities to everyone on the planet, which just so happens to be the polar opposite of the number of people who really care.

But we do love watching a good fight, and this one has been entertaining, at least in the comment section…

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Who the F is Fred and Why Does he Hate Mormons?

That headline might seem misleading, but it’s 100 percent accurate. It’s just not a candidate anyone has heard of. No, it’s not Gary Johnson, or even Buddy Roemer. As fringe as they are (Johnson is set to leave the GOP and run on the Libertarian ticket), they’re both downright electable compared to the weirdo who took to Facebook to attack the Mormon religion (pictured below are Mormon undergarments).

Meet Fred Karger, long-time campaign consultant, gay rights activist and hater of Mormons. He’s also polling just behind, “What? Who?” in Iowa.

Karger, who bills himself as “the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in American history,” decided to take to Facebook to announce his newest website

A letter on the site’s homepage says, “This web site is by no means meant to harm anyone or any faith.” Yeah, and the sun didn’t mean to be hot either.

Karger’s hatred of Mormons seems to stem from his “organization Californians Against Hate (now Rights Equal Rights) to investigate the LDS Church and the National Organization for Marriage in their campaigns against marriage equality in California and Maine.” So it’s not political, it’s personal.

Unfortunately for Fred, his Facebook announcement of his new website seems to have cost him quite a few potential voters, and it didn’t have any to spare.

All comments, with one exception, were negative with the most common word used being “shame.” One poster wrote, “Run on your platform and stop slamming the Mormons.” But then again, when you create a website like Fred did, slamming Mormons seems to be his platform.

File this under “stupid” and try to forget you ever heard the name Fred Karger. It shouldn’t be too hard to do.