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We All Make Mistakes

Elizabeth Thorp’s Egregious Easter Error

Well this is just a sad day for journalism. Capitol File‘s Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Thorp was live-gramming the White House Easter Egg Roll when a 6-year old colleague apparently misidentified tween star Ross Lynch as other tween star Austin Mahone. Without getting a second source to confirm the erroneous information, Thorp posted the photo to the right (clearly of Lynch) on Instagram, adding the caption, “And then there was @AustinMahone. Best day ever says 6 year old Penelope.”

Just. Awful. What does it say about our country that a 6 year old can’t properly distinguish between Ross Lynch, who plays the character Austin Moon on Disney’s “Austin & Ally,” and Austin Mahone, who is a real life person?? That’s like confusing Harry Styles for Prince Harry! Or Raven Symone for Nina Simone! And then, for that 6-year old’s editor to let an error of this magnitude slip through the cracks -well, that’s just unacceptable.

This is the state of journalism today America! Are you happy? This is what happens when your Buzzfeeds and your Voxeses upend the natural order of things!

Fortunately, Instagram’s community of fact-checkers was on the case. Check out their appropriately vitriolic reactions after the jump. Or, if you care to hear Thorp’s take on the scandal, go here.

Read more

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The Washington Times to Offer Travel Planning Services

The Washington Times today announced its partnership with Yellowstone Hotel Systems to provide comprehensive online travel planning to its readers and the general public. Next up, online dating??

TWT cleverly (or not) is describing the partnership with the slogan “Travel with Trust,” in which “travelers can read an article about an upcoming event or popular travel destination and book the associated trip on the spot.”

According to TWT press release, “The partnership, aimed at providing online bookings of hotels, airfare, car rental, and various other travel services, is poised to take the travel industry by storm. In an industry saturated with travel service providers, The Washington Times has positioned itself to offer competitive online travel technology coupled with its unique ability to produce expert coverage of the world’s top travel destinations, and popular events; coverage which is largely unheard of through current online travel agencies.”

Current functionality only allows visitors to book hotels, but future services will offer airfare and car rental.

We in the Fishbowl will likely stick to Kayak for our travel planning. But should TWT want to comp us some travel (South Africa, please) for review, we’re down!

Nicholson: Media Botched Story on Troop Numbers Proposal

Defense Policy Journal Editor Alexander Nicholson says that many media outlets inaccurately characterized  the proposal outlined yesterday by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to reduce the number of Army service members to less than 450,000. Outlets including CNN, Fox, and The Hill all said that Hagel’s proposal would reduce the Army’s numbers “to pre-WWII levels.” That claim is, in fact, wrong.

The distinction lost on many reporters, said Nicholson, was small but vital.

“Where many reporters, editors, and bloggers are making their mistake is in their assumption that a drawdown to the lowest numbers since the pre-WWII numbers equates to a drawdown to the pre-WWII level,” he wrote on the DPJ’s website.

He goes on to explain that before WWII, the Army was 267,000 soldiers strong. A headline such as the one on Fox News’ website – “Hagel calls for shrinking Army to pre-WWII size” – insinuates that Hagel wants the Army to revert back to 267,000 soldiers. His actual proposal is for an Army at least 65% larger than that -somewhere between 440,000 and 450,000 troops. True, that is less than the 480,000 troops that were in the Army right after WWII, but the reduction is not nearly as dramatic as the headline makes it seem.

So which news orgs got the story right?

Politico nailed it,” Nicholson writes. “As did the Washington Post and the Associated Press, which takes the prize for the best context on the numbers, given that it was the only major piece I could find that simultaneously disclosed what the actual pre-WWII numbers were for comparison.”

You can read Nicholson’s whole article here.

Hayward’s Long Haul

Anchor JC Hayward has been on a hiatus from the noon newscast at WUSA CBS-9 ever since October 1st. That was the day that the D.C. attorney general named her as one of five people involved in an scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from Options Public Charter school for troubled youth. WUSA has indicated that she will be kept off the airwaves until the case is resolved. And now, that’s begining to look like a long time.

On February 3rd, DC Superior Court judge Craig Iscoe laid out the schedule for the remainder of the case, and the trial wont even start until next year. Hayward has maintained her innocence in the whole affair and has requested to be removed from the list of defendants in the indictment. But barring that, it appears the legal proceedings could stretch on for quite a while.

FishbowlDC asked WUSA what their plans were for the fallen anchor, but we were merely given the same one line statement from station GM Mark Burdett that he issued in the wake of the indictment last year:

“JC is a leader in the community and has been a mentor to young people aspiring to work in TV for decades. All of us here at WUSA are hoping for a speedy resolution to these legal proceedings .”

When pressed further on whether Hayward would indeed stay off the air unless and until case was resolved, WUSA gave us the silent treatment.

Conclude from that what you will, but we think JC may need to start looking for a new day job…


Lunch Break

Oh, Lordy. If you’ve been down on yourself lately, take a quick look at some of these unfortunate, unfortunate tattoos. Things could be worse. Click the pic to see the whole slide show.


The Mysteriously Misspelled Word: ‘Eidtor’

Unknown-6It’s one thing to ignore a gnat buzzing around in your ear. It might even be reasonable to smack yourself in the head to rid yourself of such an irritation. But when our resident phone enthusiast, reporter Evan Gahr, took to Twitter on Friday to inform Politico‘s media duo Dylan Byers and Hadas Gold that there was a typo in the word “editor” on the blog, his peskiness was met with silence.


This is how the error looked well after Gahr’s bender about it.


Not one to be ignored…Gahr proceeded down another avenue. Read more

Afternoon Oopsy: ‘Mornings Joe’

So much to adore about Fox News’ Howard Kurtz. After he went on his Tour de Errors, he vowed to slow down and be more careful.

It’s only social media — not that important considering every moron does it. Still, this morning the nation’s premier media writer got the name of an extremely popular morning program wrong.  kurtz

His followers weren’t bothered so much by his spelling error as they were his newfound “Foxiness.” Read more

Afternoon Oopsy: Speed Tweeting With WaPo’s Ezra Klein


Greg Greene, who used to handle digital communications for the DNC, caught WaPo‘s Ezra Klein going a tad too fast just after midnight.


Ezra Klein Lampoons Drudge

White House Correspondents' DinnerUnknown-2

WaPo‘s Ezra Klein had some fun with Drudge on Monday, who mistakenly referred to the journalist as “Erza” as opposed to his birth name.

Take that, Drudge!

Hey, at least Klein showed restraint and didn’t suggest that Drudge light himself on fire. Read more

Aide’s Terrible Slip of the Twitter Tongue

15740027Top White House aide Dan Pfeiffer may soon think twice about shooting the breeze on serious topics on Twitter, especially when the n-word can quickly become the b-word. When the Assistant and Senior Advisor to President Obama shot out a tweet with “bigger” in it this morning, the word came back with an “n” in place of the “b.”

The Twittersphere went nuts.

And word is getting out fast. Outlets like Politico, TWT and The Daily Caller are already publishing posts on it.

The offending tweet at 9:50 a.m. was to NYT‘s Jonathan Martin: “@jmartNYT also a much nigger factor on the right.”

Just four minutes later Pfeiffer wrote, “Obviously a horrendous typo in my previous tweet. My apologies.”

But in cases like these, the damage was done. Read more