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Tick Tock: WHCD 2013

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a blur this year as stars, journalists, nerdy political types — and Psy — rubbed elbows. Well, not Psy, he was busy smoking. But the rest of ‘em fawned and frolicked around the Washington Hilton oohing and ahhing at one another’s evening wear. People watching was admittedly pretty phenomenal. As evidenced by the shrieks coming from young, female bystanders salivating at the mere sight of a star. Each time an actor or well-known journalist walked by, they screamed and barked things out at them like faux paparazzi. In a moment of hilarity, one journalist, who shall remain nameless, was heard biting a security employee’s head off as they kept constantly trying to herd and push a small smattering of people waiting by the door from one end to the other. “I have two tickets, I have a right to be here and I’m not moving,” the person snapped in a display of spectacular irritation. Security immediately backed right down and eased away. And the lesson is? Yelling wins! (By the way, pictured above: actress Kate Walsh.)

4:35 p.m. Betsy tells Eddie she need 15 more minutes. He replies, “Are you trying to squeeze in a size 8 dress again?”

5:42 p.m. Eddie is running slightly behind because he has no idea how to tie a bow-tie and he couldn’t get the Tucker Carlson consult. As usual, Carlson skipped out of town for the WHCD. We learned later in the evening that he’s in New Orleans riding Go Karts with Daily Caller Publisher Neil Patel.

6:13 p.m. Settling in at the lobby of the Washington Hilton for some major people watching. MC Hammer sighting. Girls screaming, “WOO HOO! WOO HOO!”

6:14 p.m. TIME‘s Zeke Miller enters in a wrinkly blazer.

6:15 p.m. DJ at Atlantic party may have Tourette’s. Ticking and chirping, etc…

6:16 p.m. Fox News Correspondent Peter Doocy sighting. This guy is too tall and everywhere this weekend.

6:17 p.m. Washington Examiner Nikki Schwab sighting. Her hair is in curls this evening. Very pleasant interaction.

6:18 p.m. Woman walks into the Hilton wearing a kimono.

6:19 p.m. It’s Kathleen Turner. The gaggle of girls in the lobby: “Kathleen we love you!!!”

6:20 p.m. Amy Poehler walks by. “Ahh ahh we love you Amy!”

6:21 p.m. CBS’ Gayle King has entered the hotel in a stunner of a kelly green gown by Vicky Tiel.

6:22 p.m. A rando woman who won’t stop yapping is saying to her friends, “I’m walking around the house going, does this match?”

6:23  p.m. The NPR greeter awaiting NPR party guests in the front of the hotel looks like he should be at the airport. He’s a vision of nerdy perfection.

6:24 p.m. Washington Examiner‘s Byron York walks into the hotel and promptly walks down the wrong set of stairs.

6: 25 p.m. It’s Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera! He’s all smiles for anyone who approaches. Up close his mustache is nothing short of thick and amazing.

6:27 p.m. A Jon Huntsman sighting. He walks in with a lovely blonde (presumably his wife) on his arm.

6:28 p.m. We get reprimanded for the second time for standing in the “wrong” place. Is there a right place? Who knows?

6:30 p.m. Holy shit. It’s Nicole Kidman. Bradley Cooper follows shortly thereafter.

6: 32 p.m. House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor is hanging out by the entrance.

6:35 p.m. Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis drawing major stares in the lobby. Wilde’s flowing chocolate brown dress is unbelievable beautiful.

6:37 p.m. A young woman walking with CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley has ample cleavage.

6:40 p.m. Sightings: White House Press Sec. Jay Carney. Chicago Sun TimesClarence Page. Kathleen Sebelius. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

6:41 p.m. Dave Weigel, a big FishbowlDC fan, has been spotted. Later he’ll watch us like a hawk even though we’re not snapping his picture tonight or bothering him whatsoever.

6:45 p.m. The kid from Glee! is here. Wasn’t he at Tammy’s?

6:50 p.m. Publicist and Hollywood on the Potomac blogger Janet Donovan spotted in the bar line at the Atlantic, CBS, NJ pre-party. Janet insists this is her last year doing this. “I’ve been doing this since 1971,” she says wearily. “Enough is enough.”

6:55 p.m. Bob Schieffer holding court at the CBS party. Worlds colliding. Glee! kid spotted talking to Mother Jones Bureau Chief David Corn. WTF?

6:59 p.m. CBS news anchor and producer Julie Chen stands out in bright pink dress that may have been the second best frock of the evening. Olivia Wilde’s gown was hard to beat.

7 p.m. Andy Cohen from Bravo is here. He has some schmutz on his blazer.

7: 05 p.m. Overheard: “He’s very brave here coming with his ugly wife.”

7:06 p.m. Reince Priebus sighting. Later he’ll be a dumb joke in Conan’s monologue.

7:16 p.m. Ed Helms telling his girlfriend that people come here “for the food.”

7:17 p.m. Psy‘s handlers are a bunch of asses. “No, we did red carpet interviews. We’re not doing any more.” Regarding Psy and pictures, guest says, “This isn’t Korea. This is America.”

7:18 p.m. Peter cuts U.S. Treasury Sec. Jack Lew in a line. Way to go Peter!

7:19 p.m. CNBC’s Jim Cramer is yelling. Read more

World’s Most Obnoxious Birthday Party

Emily Goodstein is turning 30 and she wants to celebrate with YOU. Who the hell is Emily Goodstein?  She describes herself as a “local blogger, photographer, and reproductive justice advocate.” If you look at her website, she also “a sweatpants enthusiast.” Sweatpants are for two people. Pregnant women and fat men. They get a free pass. Anyone else who wears them should consider just wearing a burlap sack out in public to avoid the shame of sweatpants.

Getting to the point of all this, Emily is putting on a bash to ring in her big 3-0 with something called a “birthday conference.” In other words, she’s charging YOU to come to a boring series of panels with people talking about subjects that Emily finds interesting. The BEST two examples she gives are “email organization and cookie decorating.” The invitation has this inspirational gem from Emily: “My 30th birthday is an opportunity to create a convergence of all my favorite things and people,” said Goodstein, “The result is a day that is not only about creativity and celebration, but also elevating serious issues and bringing together some great minds. I can’t think of a better way to kick off my 30s.”

I’ve been to some awful birthday parties. Most notably the one earlier this year where I had to take a 5-year-old to Chuck E. Cheese. But, I would spend a lifetime trapped in a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit before I sit down for a panel on email organization disguised as someone’s birthday party.

Want more details? Read more

Why the F#@K is This News?

Yahoo News! is a fine news outlet with an exceptionally fine reporting staff. Yet on Thursday their publicity department released an “exclusive” on former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton‘s potential run for the Oval Office in 2016.

Their exclusive? Read more

Politico’s Mike Allen In 7 Seconds

Regular viewers of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” are often treated to a healthy, peppy dose of Politico‘s Mike Allen. His Playbook segment airs for approximately five minutes as he rattles off his enthusiastic take on current happenings in Washington.

Take that five minutes and imagine what it would be like condensed into a seven second video clip. The closest thing to that in real life is a Vine clip produced Thursday by Politico‘s video producer Alexander Trowbridge.

After Allen hosted a Q&A with White House aide Dan Pfeiffer, Trowbridge got a behind-the-scenes clip of Allen reciting the “best line” from the interview. Vine is a social media platform in which users can publish and share short videos.

“Best line from Playbook Breakfast this morning,” Allen says, staring into the camera with his classically caffeinated eyes. “Dan Pfeiffer says ‘take the job for what it is, not for the next one you want.’”

And it loops over and over and over again. Truly mesmerizing.

“We’ve been playing around with Vine as a way to give our readers a quick look into the Politico newsroom, talking to our reporters- in just 6secs!- about stories driving the conversation,” Senior Video Producer Christine Delargytold FBDC. “We’ve just been deciding day to day on what and who to Vine based on what’s of most interest to our audience on site and social media.”

Donald Trump Looks to Buy CQ Roll Call

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has made the publishers of CQ Roll Call an offer to purchase the publication, FishbowlDC has learned. Details on the deal have not been finalized but the offer is said to be close to $500,000 for all publishing rights and current staff.

“We’re getting out while ahead,” said Andrew Rashbass, chief executive of The Economist Group, which owns CQ Roll Call. “Well, ‘ahead.’ You know what I mean.” Rashbass wouldn’t get into specifics of the terms of the offer but said he’s “just glad” somebody wants to purchase the publication.

CQ Roll Call has undergone a series of big changes of late. In January there were roughly 30 layoffs, mostly on the business side but a few also in editorial.

“This is huge,” Trump told FishbowlDC. “I’m not ready to say just yet. I have to consider my highly successful, highly rated show ‘The Apprentice’ and how owning a newspaper will affect that. So we’ll see. But I’m thinking I’m probably going to buy it. Maybe.”

FBDC has also learned… Read more

Afternoon Oopsy!


Someone hasn’t had enough caffeine, or a mild case of dyslexia is settling in today for CBS Political Director and Slate‘s John Dickerson who sent out the following subject line to his readers on a story he wrote on Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.


CNN’s Piers Morgan Says He’s Not a Fruit

Of all the crazy denials that rolled in over Twitter this weekend, this one takes the cake — or the fruit — depending how you want to look at it. But in retrospect, maybe when “fastcatmiles” (a.k.a. Connor Thompson of the U.K.) asked CNN’s Piers Morgan the following question he should have left well enough alone.

To which “Pears” actually replied: “Because I’m not a fruit.”

But that’s not the worst of it. Read more

Patch Writer Puffs up CNN’s Amanpour

Citizen journalism is where it’s at, except maybe not for Robert Makofsky, a writer for the Port Jefferson Patch. Makofksy wrote up a dedication for Marie Colvin at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism in — you guessed it — Stony Brook, N.Y., where CNN’s Christiane Amanopour appeared to speak and honor her.

Colvin worked at The Sunday Times from 1985 until her death on Feb. 22, 2012. She died covering the Siege of Horns in Syria. She was 56.

Makofsky writes like he’s your father who never worked in journalism but suddenly thinks, hey, anyone can do this. He breaks all the basic guidelines. He fawns. He repeats himself. He puffs up Amanpour like she’s the greatest woman to ever walk the face of the Earth. Did we mention he repeats himself? He injects himself unnecessarily in the story. His lede: “When I heard that Christiane Amanpour was going to speak at Stony Brook University in honor of Marie Colvin at the dedication of the Center for International Reporting on Tuesday, Feb. 5th, I was overjoyed.”

The event was to honor Marie Colvin. The author, who’s busy falling at Amanpour’s feet, admits he has no idea who Colvin is and never bothers to tell us until paragraph three that she was an international journalist. Read more

NYT Scribe’s Bizarre Description of Politicians

Frank Bruni used to be the food critic for NYT. Since he left that post, he’s continued writing for the paper on a wide range of issues. Most recently, stinky congressional perfume.

Bruni argues that with more and more celebs putting their names on cologne and perfume, D.C. politicians need their own. As far as I can tell, this is a satirical piece from Bruni, but usually satire has hints of humor. This just reads like a fever dream that Bruni once had where he fantasized about what members of Congress smelled like. (Spoiler alert: They smell like martinis, shirt starch and shamelessness.)

Now, this is a odd idea to begin with. It’s not like these politicians are popular people. Just look at the approval ratings of Congress and you’d know that a minority of Americans like what they see. Why would anyone want to smell like Congress? Bruni writes, “Think about it. Actors, athletes, models and singers have signature scents. Snooki has two. So why not one for the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee?” Gee, Frank…  I don’t know why no one ever made the connection that since people buy merchandise that’s been endorsed by professional athletes, they’d be JUST as willing to buy stuff from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Ill.) whose brand might be Au de Fatass, a lovely blend of his favorite foods, shrimp and Cheetos. Or Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), whose scent may be something young, fresh, beachy and Dominican.

Which politicos get their own cologne? Read more

The Top 12 Awe-Inspiring Fur Coats Spotted Inauguration Day

Fur coats aren’t something seen in Washington on a regular basis, but during President Obama‘s swearing-in ceremony yesterday, they were everywhere. There were so many, at one point we had to pause and ask a volunteer working the event if we had stumbled into a furry fandom convention.

Some coats were long, others short, some appeared to have been made from animals in an unidentifiable phylum. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the coats.

1. Standard Fur

2. Sunrise Fur

3. Beautiful Beige Fur

Read more