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Archives: April 2005

Prom Dates: Blind Items

We don’t do a lot of blind items on Fishbowl, but here are two concerning Saturday’s correspondents’ dinner that are too delicious to pass up:

  • Which D.C. daily is attempting to lure Martha Stewart by promising her a column on the dinner to meet her probation requirement of all meetings being “work-related”?

  • Which weekly newsmagazine is in a tiff with the agent of potential guest Mel “Passion of the Christ” Gibson over the agent’s demand that the mag pay for the actor’s flight, hotel, and limo to and from Dulles?

The Reliable Source also has some additional guests, although they don’t break down who’ll be attending for each organization: Actors Robert Duvall, Burt Reynolds, Randy Quaid, Ron Silver and Richard Schiff, actresses Anne Hathaway and Patricia Heaton, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Earlier Prom Date versions here and here.


Jennifer Joy Tomkins, the D.C. Examiner’s Real Estate editor and the wife of UPI White House writer Rich Tomkins, passed away last week. Previously, she had worked with Bloomberg News and launched the Washington bureau of a German financial news wire service.

Speaker Delay?

BlogActive, whom you might remember from the fun National Press Club panel with Jeff Gannon, caught another blooper yesterday (previous mega-blooper installment here), this one from the Associated Press.

Since we rarely doubt the authenticity of the world’s largest news gathering organization, you have to wonder if the AP knows something the rest of us don’t.

Maybe Howard Kurtz was really onto something here: “Of course, the speaker of the House can talk to reporters and make news any time he wants. But how often have you seen Hastert do that? He is a classic behind-the-scenes operator, and usually so low key that most Americans probably think Tom DeLay runs the House.”

Or the other option is that the person who fact checks all media stories to ensure that they conform to the oligarch’s vast conspiracy must have fallen asleep on the job, leading to mistakes throughout the monolith of corporate media.

Our guess is the latter.


DCist caught yesterday a whopper of a mistake in the Examiner’s editorial on D.C. congressional representation.

You know an 8 really looks like a 3 if you just cover up half of it.

OPC Awards Honor Nightline, Woodward

koppelopc.jpgLast night during its gala dinner in New York, the Overseas Press Club handed out two noteworthy awards. The 66th annual dinner and awards ceremony at the Grand Hyatt saw NBC News’ Ron Allen headline the announcement of the Club’s 21 awards for distinguished foreign reporting.

ABC News’ “Nightline” picked up the David Kaplan Award for best TV spot news reporting from abroad, earning outgoing anchor Ted Koppel his tenth OPC award–breaking the all-time record held by no less than Edward R. Murrow himself. Koppel’s winning streak dates back to 1970 when he was ABC News’ Hong Kong bureau chief. Nightline and its crew of correspondent David Wright, former executive producer Leroy “Email Man” Sievers, cameraman Rick Bennet, and producer/editor Almin Karamehmedovic were recognized for their piece “Spotlight on Darfur.”

“Ted Koppel has set the standard for superb television journalism, a broadcast genius at tough but respectful interviewing, wry insightful commentary and putting words and pictures together for extraordinary impact,” OPC President Richard B. Stolley said.

Also taking home an award last night was keynote speaker Bob Woodward, who despite winning just about every journalism award in the country (including a couple probably invented just to award him), had never won an OPC award before.

UPDATE: The New York Times has a more complete list of winners, including the Post’s Steve Coll, Philip P. Pan, and Andrea Bruce Woodall.

Today’s a travel day in Fishbowl world, so posting today will be sporadic to nonexistent for the rest of the day. If you’re bored, check out the ratings wars going on over at TVNewser

Get A Seat At The Table

If history is any guide, Saturday’s seating at the Washington Hilton of nearly 3,000 diners for the White House Correspondents Association Dinner will probably be stately and elegant, albeit a little boisterous. It will be, however, the finished polished products of months of work, careful negotiations, frantic invitations, and griping.

There will be, as usual, 261 tables at the dinner–not nearly enough to satisfy demand. Each seat costs a news agency $175 or $1,750 for a table of ten–not nearly enough to stem the demand for an event that is Washington’s version of Fashion Week, the Oscars, and prom all rolled into one.

After the jump, we’ll tell you more about the seating practices and fights than you ever wanted to know.

Read more

Ginsberg on Greehouse: ‘There’s No One Else’

Linda Greenhouse’s book party (for her new work “Becoming Justice Blackmun”) attracted a near majority of the Supreme Court itself Monday night as friends and colleagues feted the NYT legend.

“There’s no one else who captures the court quite like she does,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg told the Source. “And I think we all feel that way.”

Ingraham Has Operation for Breast Cancer

lauraingraham.jpgWord this afternoon that talk radio host Laura Ingraham underwent surgery today for breast cancer.

“You know I hate Drama Kings or Queens, but I am asking for your prayers today and for the forseeable future. On Friday afternoon, I learned that I have joined the ever-growing group of American women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. As so many breast cancer patients will tell you, it all came as a total shock,” the recently engaged radio host wrote on her website. “The sisterhood of breast cancer survivors is inspiring. I am truly blessed.”

She reports that she’ll know more in a few days.

White House Whining

whitehousesouth.jpgThere’s been a very amusing back-and-forth, involving lots of hand-wringing and whining and wailing, over at Poynter media news site. The whole story is not worth telling, but it involves a girl who cried when she got rejected for her internship at Spin, wrote about it, and the mean cruel people who make fun of her for being naive.

Among the fray participants was former White House press office intern Justin “Apologist” McLaughlin, who weighed in with his own gripes about the treatment he received from arrogant members of the press corps:

I learned what “professional journalists” were like my first few days as a White House intern, where among other things, I answered calls from reporters….

There was the Today Show producer who called me a moron, the Houston Chronicle reporter who threatened to set off a bomb because no one had called him back, the freelancer who called me 30 times a day for a measly quote for her measly spec article, the cameraman who yelled at me because security wouldn’t open the gate he wanted them to open, the photographer who had to be man-handled by the Secret Service because he ignored my instructions, the CNBC crew that got in trouble for moving a table in the VP’s ceremonial office that I told them not to move and the small-time Pennsylvania newspaper that thought it deserved special access to Tom Ridge, etc. You get the idea.

Good golly gee whiz. All of that behavior is just unacceptable. Morning show producers getting huffy? Reporters demanding answers to their questions? Local papers attempting to question leaders from their home states? What is this world coming to?

What on Earth could the White House press office be doing to deserve any wrath from people who call on the phone???