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Archives: April 2005

Inside the Bubble

After deciding that the White House Correspondents Association awards weren’t enough (they are, in theory, the centerpiece of tomorrow night’s prom), Wonkette has announced her Inside the Bubble awards.

Terry “The Real American Idol” Moran wins best hair, while John Roberts took worst hair, robbing Howard Fineman of his due (or should we say ‘do’?). Olivier Knox from AFP was voted most fun to sit with on short rides, while NPR’s Don Gonyea got the most fun to sit with on long rides since his “soothing voice [is] only occasionally interrupted by pledge drives.” Mike Allen is hardest working, while Scott McClellan is most likely to get facts wrong.

And perhaps the coup de grace? The laziest award went to “everyone.”

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Bumiller’s Brunch

bumiller.jpgThe talented and always insightful and controversial Elisabeth Bumiller, the NYT’s White House reporter, was this Friday’s profile in the Hotline. (And, yes, for the record, we would have plugged the fantastic folks at Hotline here even if Fishbowl wasn’t Hotline’s date for the prom. So there.)

Born in Denmark, she started in journalism as a reporter in the Gulf Coast bureau of the Miami Herald, covering Everglades drug busts, the “soporific” Naples City Council meetings, and taking “a lot of pictures of pelicans.”

Choosing to go far beyond the standard “my mom/dad/grandmother/grandfather” answer, if she could interview any deceased person Bumiller says she’d sit with Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, where she was once stationed for the Times and where she wrote one of her three books.

Edith Wharton’s “The House of Mirth” is her favorite book, “because it’s an acerbic look at New York society a century ago that is as sharp and true as anything on the subject today,” and her ideal last meal would be brunch: scrambled eggs, gravlox and bagels, creamed herring, roasted tomatoes, link sausage, coffee cake, orange juice, and coffee.

Lastly, Bumiller thinks that city’s best seafood is the take-out crab cakes at Wagshal’s deli in Spring Valley in Northwest Washington.

A Stork for Slate

stork.gifCongratulations are in order for Slate Senior Editor Dahlia Lithwick and her husband, Aaron Fein.

The Supreme Court columnist gave birth yesterday morning to an 8 lbs. 8 oz. son, Sopher Yoav Fein. The baby’s name, fittingly enough, is a variation of the Hebrew word for writer or scribe.

Everybody is healthy.

Losing Some Pounds

The media really seems to be struggling this week in covering Tom Delay. A day after the Associated Press made repeated reference to “Speaker” Delay, the Post has not one but two Delay-related corrections:

#1: “The headline on this analysis that appeared in The Post overstated the opinions expressed by legal experts. The experts said that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is in danger of being declared in violation of House rules, but they did not characterize such a finding as ‘likely.’”

#2: “Because of the use of an inappropriate currency exchange figure, early editions April 24 understated the cost of some of the expenses incurred by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and his aide Susan Hirschmann during a 2000 trip to London. The correct estimates, based on a conversion of English pounds into dollars at the prevailing rate in June 2000, are $790 a night for DeLay’s room in London, $145 for room service, $13 for a valet pressing, $302 for a private car from Heathrow airport and $184 at a hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland. Their room bill also lists a charge of $434 for six theater tickets. Hirschmann’s hotel room in London cost a total of $3,109 for four nights, and her other charges totaled $129 at the hotel lounge, $75 from the room bar, $34 from the gift shop and $422 for chauffeured cars.”

What next? Has anyone checked whether that gun he held up at the NRA convention was correctly labeled? Was it actually a gun?

East Room Reax

Last night while watching the press conference we were musing about how the White House press corps would manage to make a news story out of the President saying very little.

Howard Kurtz landed a good angle this morning with his online column, beginning by quoting the LA Times lead on last night: “President Bush, seeking support from Democrats and moderate Republicans for an overhaul of Social Security, said tonight that he favored changing the pension system to enable benefits for low-income workers to grow faster than those for wealthy retirees.”

Now tell me if you see a pattern. The Boston Globe: “President Bush, in a prime-time effort to reverse the perception that his Social Security plan is faltering. . . . ”

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “President Bush acted to jump-start his moribund effort to overhaul Social Security last night. . . . ”

The Wall Street Journal: “President Bush, struggling to give life to his initiative to revamp Social Security. . . . ”

Washington Post: “President Bush made a huge gamble last night in a bid to restore momentum to his flagging proposal to restructure Social Security — and to his presidency.”

By golly, there might be a pattern there indeed.

Prom Dates: The Final (?) Installment

InviteGannon.jpgThe New York Post’s Page Six updates on Jeff Gannon’s attempt to attend the correspondents’ dinner tomorrow night:

“DISGRACED former White House reporter/male escort Jeff Gannon can’t believe no one has invited him to tomorrow’s White House Correspondents Dinner. ‘It seems to me to be odd to exclude the one person who has brought more attention to the White House press corps than anyone else in years,’ Gannon tells PAGE SIX’s Jared Paul Stern. ‘Probably many who would want to extend such an invitation already assume I will be in attendance.’”

The NY Post goes on to report “The dinner usually features several stars and sensational guests such as Paula Jones to liven things up. The sub-par star lineup this year includes Robert Duvall, Burt Reynolds, Randy Quaid, Ron Silver, Patricia Heaton and Anne Hathaway.”

Earlier write-ups on prom dates, here, here, and here.

(Image courtesy of SparklePony)

Live-Blogging POTUS

We tried to retain the services of our live-blogger, previously seen in Austin and the National Press Club, for last night’s East Room POTUS press conference.

When we checked in with him last evening though, his entire report consisted of a Social Security joke involving the President’s pants and “personal accounts” and then 32 pages of the letters zxcvcxvzxcv.

Evidently, after the first six minutes, he simply fell asleep on his keyboard from the boredom. Frankly, we don’t really see how anyone else managed to stay awake, except perhaps people who were temporarily traumatized by Suzanne Malveaux’s pink suit or David Gregory’s green tie…

Any other noteworthy observations out there?

Judy Bids Adieu

After a Inside the Blogs segment where Abbi and Jacki had WAAAYYY too much fun with an donkephant or an elekey or something like that, Judy Woodruff closed off Inside Politics today with a personal item: She’s leaving the network.

Judy: “I’ve had many challenging and exciting opportunities here, most of them in connection with this very special program Inside Politics…. I can’t say yet where I will be, but I will stay in journalism to do long-form projects, and I will teach, and I will do some speaking, and some writing. To you our viewers, I’ll miss every one of you, but we have another whole month to say goodbye.”

Now we’re hearing some interesting details on Woodruff’s departure. Do you have any more details on it? Email us: garrett AT mediabistro DOT com.

Only 12 Leibys To Go!

The news (at least to us) out of Rich Leiby’s Thursday chat is that he’ll be wrapping up as the Reliable Source on May 19.

Get your limited-edition Quidnunc while you can.

BREAKING: Judy Woodruff To Leave CNN

JW 2004sittingdown.jpg.jpgFrom perhaps CNN’s most famous face this morning:

“To my colleagues and friends at CNN:

“I’ve decided to leave daily journalism after 30 years, 12 of them at this network. I’ve had challenging and exciting opportunities, been supported by an amazing and talented group of people, and made lifelong friends. I wish them the very best. I’m discussing several long-form projects in television. I’ll also teach, do some writing and be an occasional consultant and contributor to CNN.

“To all of you at CNN who have been so wonderful to me, I can’t begin to thank you adequately. But thank you. We will stay in touch and we’ll always have memories of good journalism, good times and a few laughs together.”

As an insider said in horror just now, referencing the end of the Brokaw/Rather/Jennings/Koppel/Woodruff era: “What’s happening to this business?”