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Things You Might Have Missed…

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.

TIME’s Top 10 Bonanza

TIME is doing a pretty spectacular series of Top 10 lists for 2011 — everything from Top 10 Political Gaffes and Top 10 People Not Running for President to Top 10 Campaign-Debate Moments.

Here are our favorites. You can sift through the rest here.

Top 10 Political Gaffes: We’re going with Herman Cain. He earns slots 1, 3, and 9 for his hilarious takes on Libya, Abortion and the Constitution, which he confused for the Declaration of Independence. A very close second is Michele Bachmann‘s usage of “John Wayne” to play up her candidacy announcement in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. Little did she know that it was really serial rapist/murderer John Wayne Gacy who hails from there.

Top 10 People Not Running for President: There’s NJ Gov. Chris Christie, Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. John Thune, who gets the shortest, saddest profile in the bunch after taking himself out of a possible run on Feb. 22.

Campaign moments: We like #10. “Newt Gingrich Runs Against the Moderators.” TIME‘s Adam Sorensen writes, “It all started at an Aug. 11 debate, when a question from Fox’s Chris Wallace launched Gingrich into a tirade about ‘gotcha questions’ and ‘Mickey Mouse games.’ His serial know-it-all act can come across as condescension, but his media-critic schtick has proved primary gold.”

CQRC Welcomes Tiny Pilgrim

The turkey coma has finally worn off enough to offer belated our congratulations to CQ Roll Call’s Peter King.  Peter and his wife, BNA’s Heather Rothman, celebrated the holiday by welcoming to the world Eli Wilson King at 10.29 pm on Thanksgiving Day.  The little pilgrim weighed in at nine pounds, seven ounces and measured nearly 22 inches.  Fun fact: Eli’s big sister Abigail was born the day after Christmas two years ago.  Congrats to Peter, Heather and Abigail.  And welcome to the Fishbowl, Eli!

Note to readers: The bizarre pilgrim baby photo is not actually Eli but it is representative of the way we imagine him.

Connection Newspapers CEO in the Clink!

Clink! Welcome to the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville – new home of Peter Labovitz, president and CEO of NOVA-based Connection Newspapers.  The 70-year-old media executive has officially turned himself into the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin a six-month jail term for tax fraudSentenced on September 27, 2011, Labovitz left behind this month a$6 million Old Town, Alexandria mansion and moved to this medium security facility in the southeastern part of New York state, near Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and 70 miles northwest of New York City.

At FCI Otisville, Labovitz will be allowed to receive visitors on Fridays from 1.15 to 7.45 pm, Saturdays from 8.00 am to 2.45 pm and Sundays from 8.00 am to 2.25 pm.  According to the FBP’s Inmate Locator, Labovitz will be released on May 2, 2012.   The back story here.

Cribs: DSK Dream House Edition

Do you have a taste for the finer things?  …luscious gardens, exquisite pools, chef’s eat-in kitchens and hotel housekeepers?  If so, you’re in luck!  For a sensible $5.2 million you could live the DSK dream in Washington because Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anne Sinclair’s Georgetown home is on the market.  Power realtor Nancy Taylor Bubes (best name ever) nabbed the 3-bedroom, 4.5 bath listing and is now hawking the house via glam, glossy postcard.  See the mailer below and more about the scandal-ridden residence here.

‘Above the Fray’ Fellowship Accepting Applicants

Applications for the ‘Above the Fray’  fellowship are being accepted from now until July 1st.  A partnership between the John Alexander Project and NPR,  the fellowship will offer one promising journalist the opportunity to cover under-reported stories from a region lacking significant mainstream media attention. The selected individual will spend three months filing on-air and online stories for NPR.

Above the Fray is the keynote program of the John Alexander Project – named in memory of former ABC  News producer, John Alexander, who collapsed and died suddenly in 2007, while on assignment with Ted Koppel in China.

For more information or to apply for the fellowship, click here.

NPR Parties Hard on 40th Birthday

If all you’ve ever wanted was an NPR button, today is your lucky day. They’re celebrating their 40th birthday by giving out buttons at Chinatown Coffee Co. Hurry up before they run out which, if this bucket of buttons is any indication, will be never.

They’re celebrating in a few other ways, too. Like with popsicles! The Pleasant Pops food truck will be parked outside NPR’s D.C. offices at 2 p.m. giving out free popsicles. They specifically stressed that FishbowlDC readers are welcome to the popsicles.

NPR lovers with Twitter accounts are encouraged to change their avatars to one of the NPR-themed pictures found here and the organization will be posting “vintage” photos from their 40 years throughout the day.

Finally, at the end of the day, NPR wants tweeters to tweet out what NPR person they’d most like to have cake with, and tag their tweets with “#happybdayNPR.”

Feel free to partake in all, some or none of these birthday festivities.


Note to Journos: Let POTUS Finish His Answers

The Weekly Standard has video of an interview President Obama did with a local television station in Texas, and TWS‘s Mark Hemingway writes that Obama “testily” concluded the interview with a snide comment.

The Texas-based reporter for News8, Brad Watson (pictured at left) sat down with Obama in the map room of the White House to talk about the the president’s new deficit plans. The interview got heated, with Watson asking Obama why he was “so unpopular” in Texas and reminding him that he lost by a pretty wide 10-point margin in the state in 2008.

Watson also asked whether the Obama administration skipped over Houston to give shuttle orbiters to more Democratic-leaning states, an issue that has sparked controversy in Texas. Obama said flatly, “That’s wrong.” Asked again, Obama said, “I just said that was wrong.” When Watson persisted, Obama looked annoyed. “I just said that wasn’t true.”

But perhaps the most interesting part of the interview came after the questions ended. TVSpy reports that Obama gave Watson, a “seasoned” reporter, a little advice. When he thought the cameras were off, Obama said, “Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?” Watson timidly whispered, “Sorry. Thank you.”

In the news package, Watson wasn’t nearly as shy, saying the president “doesn’t like an interviewer challenging his comments.”

Take note, journalists.

Correction: We originally said Watson was D.C.-based. In fact, he is based in Texas but was reporting from Washington. The post has been corrected to reflect that.

Isham: ‘Not a Snitch’

Earlier today, John Solomon via the Center for Public Integrity published an article that claims the FBI had a mole inside ABC News during the mid-1990s.  The piece suggests that one of the network’s top reporters identified a confidential source while acting as an informant for the Bureau during their investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing.  Gawker advanced the story this afternoon, declaring they’d identified the anonymous reporter as Chris Isham, now VP and Washington bureau chief for CBS News.

In a statement this evening, Isham fired back at Gawker, calling the allegations “outrageous and untrue” but admitted to running information by sources within the FBI for confirmation:

“The suggestion that I was an informant for the FBI is outrageous and untrue. Like every investigative reporter, my job for 25 years has been to check out information and tips from sources.  In the heat of the Oklahoma City bombing, it would not be unusual for me or any journalist to run information by a source within the FBI for confirmation or to notify authorities about a pending terrorist attack.  This is consistent with the policies at every news organization.  But at no time did I compromise a confidential source with the FBI or anyone else. Mr. Cannistraro was not a confidential source, but rather a colleague – a paid consultant to ABC News who had already spoken to the FBI about information he had received.”

FYI, Oxford English Dictionary Adds New Words. LOL!

The Oxford English Dictionary took a few steps forward yesterday in their apparent quest to destroy the English language with the addition of several new words.

Among the additions are “OMG” (oh my God), “LOL” (laugh out loud), and “FYI” (for your information). The internet slang terms join others already part of the dictionary, including “BFF” (best friends forever) and “TMI” (too much information). Though you’d think these words are fairly new to the English language as a result of the Internet, Oxford says otherwise:

OED’s research has revealed some unexpected historical  perspectives: our first quotation for OMG is from a personal letter from 1917; the letters LOL had a previous life, starting in 1960, denoting an elderly woman (or ‘little old lady’; see LOL n./1); and the entry for FYI [FYI phr., adj., and n.], for example, shows it originated in the language of memoranda in 1941.”

Also added: “muffin top,” “couch surfing,” and “la-la land.” And, for the first time ever, a symbol makes it into the dictionary: the heart symbol.

So next time an editor tells you that you can’t use LOL in a story (*cough* Betsy *cough*), let them know you can. LOL.