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Chef Geoff Teaches ‘Political Junkies’ How to Grill

At the risk of conjuring up images of Mike Allen in a “kiss the cook” apron, Politico interviewed D.C.-based Chef Geoff Tracy (a.k.a Mr. Norah O’Donnell) to get some Independence Day grilling tips for “political junkies.” Whatever fun you want to poke at Tracy, the well-done video was created by Alexander Trowbridge and Madeleine Marshall.

Political junkies are apparently not too bright. Some of Geoff’s tips:

  • Keep the grill “nice and clean” with a grill brush.
  • Preheat the grill to “get it all sort of going.”
  • Season meat and leave it sitting out as the grill preheats.

OK, now for the more experienced grillers:

  • Spray meat with Canola spray, which is “the key to getting good grill marks.”
  • Avoid burning down the house by not putting freshly marinated meat on the grill.
  • Meat thermometers read up to 220F degrees; chicken is finished cooking. between 160 and 165, beef between 125 and 130. And whatever other dumb thing you do, do not use a candy thermometer for meat.
  • Geoff recommends picking an American beer on the fourth of July: “It’s an American way of doing things,” he says.

At the end of the video, CBS Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell, Tracy’s wife, shows up to taste the burger. Suffice it to say she didn’t do an imitation of Kim Kardashian in the Carl’s Jr. commercials.

Watch here.

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These are Ali Wentworth’s Fave Shoes?

“These are my favorite shoes for summer!” writes comedian Ali Wentworth, wife of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, host of “This Week.”

Tretorns aren’t exactly upscale Washington cocktail circuit shoes, but seeing how the political couple is still straddling New York and Washington, maybe they’ll work for the ride.

White House Soup of the Day

The White House Soup of the Day, as reported by MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” is…

French Onion.

“This is an easy one,” remarked a high energy Luke Russert who was filling in for Chuck Todd. “You’re going to like this!! FRRRENCH ONION. You can’t go wrong with French Onion. Less on the cheese, more on the onion, that’d be better. Less dairy, more onion. Is onion a vegetable? We’ll count it as a vegetable. Someone tweet me what an onion is.”

South Korea or South Kansas?

President Barack Obama is in South Korea this week for a nuclear summit and much of the White House press pool is in tow. Naturally, many of the reporters are snapping pictures of their journey and tweeting them out for everyone to see.

Now, when you think of South Korea, you probably imagine it would look sort of exotic. Not unlike this:

But it doesn’t seem like these are the kinds of sights the press pool is being treated to.

Here’s a photo Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein tweeted yesterday. She said it was a closed gift shop near the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

Although a creepy Asian ghost face can be seen at the middle-right in the photo, this could easily be mistaken for any Korean store you might find in, say, Kansas.

Epstein also tweeted this photo, which she said is “the river right near the South Korean entrance to the DMZ area,” but if I told you it was actually a view of the Savannah River running through Georgia, you’d never know otherwise.

ABC’s Jake Tapper tweeted this one, identifying the building as the North Korean Pavilion. “You can see a NoKo soldier if you look closely,” he said. Is that really a soldier or is it simply a UPS man dropping off a package at the Suitland, MD, gas utility office?

NBC’s Jim Long sent out this one. “Awaiting President Obama’s speech at Hankuk University in Seoul Korea,” he said. It actually looks a lot like my high school gym. And I didn’t go to school in Korea.

McClatchy Scribe Has Eye For Purple Leaves


This won’t win him a White House Pool Prize, but McClatchy’s Steve Thomma gets points for making us think someone was smokin’ something over on the White House lawn yesterday.

March 22

Marine One landed at the White House at 6:42 pm after blowing half the purple leaves off a South Lawn tree. POTUS into the residence at 6:44.

Hairy Pitch of the Day: The Stache Act (as in Mustache)

You know it’s a fantastic day in journalism when the American Mustache Institute comes calling. This afternoon they sent us a pitch about the Stache Act, a bill they say is being spearheaded by the mustachioed Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.). The Institute claims that he plans to propose to the House Ways and Means Committee. The gist is that mustache maintenance should be tax deductible. According to the Institute’s website, if adopted by Congress, the STACHE Act would provide up to a $250 annual tax refund for Mustached Americans. We’ve called and emailed Bartlett’s office for more details and to confirm the congressman’s alleged seriousness on the matter.

Favorite line of the pitch: “As you probably know, last week on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the American Mustache Institute launched its Million Mustache March.” Actually, we didn’t know. But we’re ecstatic to learn about such a march.

The AMI (which stands for American Mustache Institute, but say “AMI” for a more insidery effect) lists guidelines for anyone wishing  to support their cause. To pledge support they ask that you do the following..Favorite line: “Continue my mustache growth in the extremely rare case that it causes significant decreases in sexual activity, friendships, and approval by society at large.” The AMI disclaimer about how mustache aficionados wear them at their own risk is also incredible. They bear no responsibility for mustaches that make men look like child molesters. See that after the jump…UPDATE from Bartlett’s office after the jump…

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Half-Wolfman Half-Reporter

Politico‘s normally clean shaven Ken Vogel is sporting a new look today with a half-grown beard. Tell us what you think of it. We’ll publish only the answers fit for print. Send to or to

Meghan McCain Makes Christmas Dinner Awkward

Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Cindy McCain, beer distributor heiress, whose only accomplishment of note is being born to rich and famous parents and finding a way to parlay a poorly written blog into a book deal, doesn’t like Newt Gingrich. Why does anyone care what this spoiled woman-child thinks? Because she’s on TV, naturally.

In what can only be explained as a prank that has gotten out of control, Meghan is also an MSNBC contributor who was brought on to represent the Republican Party. Well, it was either a prank or just how far down the food chain MSNBC had to go in order to find anyone willing to call themselves a Republican and regularly appear on their network. Either way, it ain’t right.

Meghan was on “Now with Alex Wagner” earlier in the week to discuss the Republican primary and used the opportunity to unleash fresh hypocrisy on the world.

In addition to claiming that a Gingrich nomination would be “the end of the Republican Party,” McCain decided to attack Newt’s wife Callista, who, in her eyes is a hussy.

Of Callista, Meghan says, “[S]he was a third wife and a mistress and is coming off somewhat icy and [her] reputation of being somewhat controversial within their campaign is doing damage. Maybe just to politicos, but I think it’s something that people, and especially values voters, will bring into the race.”


McCain, herself not a “values voter,” calls Mrs. Gingrich “a mistress.” It’s true, Newt was married to his second wife when they met. But what Meghan neglects to point out is her own mother Cindy, wife of the last Republican nominee, was a mistress herself. Yes, John McCain was married when he met and became involved with Cindy. That this doesn’t occur to Meghan isn’t surprising, since she’s so oblivious to the world around her that she actually thinks people take her seriously.

But that slight to mistresses might make for an awkward Christmas dinner at the McCain house…whichever of the 8 homes in which they’re “Christmasing” this year.

Howard Kurtz as Sherlock Holmes

CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Host Howard Kurtz really sharpened his investigative skills in his Media Monitor segment this week as he delved deep into the mystery behind an “exclusive” interview that aired on WNYW, a New York Fox station. Anchor Greg Kelly didn’t disclose that his guest, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, was his father until the nine-minute segment was nearly over. Kurtz found this and the cutesy way the news was revealed egregious. In the end he deduced that — AHA! — most likely it was Greg who persuaded his father to come on the show. “Couldn’t WNYW have simply asked the younger member of the Kelly family to sit this one out?” Kurtz asked. “OR, and I’m just taking a wild guess here, could Greg Kelly have used his connections to land this exclusive interview?” We don’t need to say it do we? Okay, fine. NO SHIT SHERLOCK.


Whose Shoes?

Here we go. The feature’s back with a vengeance with a brand new pair of shoes on an unsuspecting Washington journalist. As usual, we’ll provide hints throughout the day. Send your guesses at, to or @FishbowlDC. And no, it’s not RCP‘s Erin McPike!

Hint #1: He’s male.

Hint #2: He once wrote an impatient story about POTUS’ pooch Bo before there was a Bo.

Hint #3: He once went dog sledding in the Arctic.

Hint #4: He can wiggle his ears.

Hint#5: He can still recite his fifth grade class in alphabetical order.

Hint #6: He refuses to tell me anything else.