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Archives: April 2006

Our Talented Brother

FishbowlNY is dropping mad knowledge–and humor–today with two interesting and notable posts.

  • FishbowlNY notes that Tony Snow’s website is still active (and asks “why”?) and points out this: “Snow’s site had posted versions of the 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that ignited a firestorm when they appeared in a Danish newspaper in September. They’re still up there, with a disclaimer that they are “fake.” It’s a disclaimer that probably appeased Fox execs at the time. Trouble is, they don’t look fake.

    “In any event, it begs the question(s): Why is any part of the site still up? And is Snow’s elevated profile and documented history as a pundit going to smack the White House in the face every time a political controversy arises?”

  • And damn if this didn’t make us giggle:

    Other interesting Snow stuff from around the web today:

  • Ron Nessen, White House press secretary under Gerald Ford (and, like Snow, a journalist-turned-spokesperson) has some advice for the new guy.

  • Jay Rosen weighs in

  • Doing her best Public Enemy impersonation, TNR’s Michelle Cottle raps, “Don’t Believe the Tony Snow Hype.”

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    The Woman Behind Russert

    fischer2.jpg’s Erin McPike sits down for an interview with Betsy Fischer, executive producer for (the oh-so-popular) “Meet The Press.”

    Some interesting excerpts:

    Q: On a lot of shows, Tim Russert asks many high-profile, frequent guests, “Are you running for president?” Can you speak to Russert’s desire to push that question and whether it causes some guests to shy away from appearing on the show?

    Fischer: Well, it’s just something that Tim likes to do. Of course, we’d always love every senator to announce their intention to run on “Meet The Press.” But you never know when that’s going to happen, so Tim always has to ask the question and be ready for that. So he does have a good time asking those questions, and we always like to “save the tape,” as they say, for when minds get changed…

    Q: Will Mr. Russert be pulling out the infamous wipe-off board any time soon, or is that just saved for a presidential election year?

    Fischer: [Laughs] It really proved to be the perfect way to kind of give an outlook and give a score-by-score of what was going on that election night.

    All the fancy graphics in the world couldn’t just say, “OK, here’s what you need to get to win,” and “here’s what states are still in play and who’s going to get these states,” and it was just an easy way to show the viewers exactly how that was going to play out. He did a little bit of it the last election cycle, and I’m sure we’ll be doing it again….

    Q: How did Tim Russert’s role in the CIA leak investigation affect the show? He came out and explained it, to some extent, but he seemed to avoid a lot of the buzz that some key players dealt with.

    Fischer: I really don’t think it had an impact on the show. Tim was very up front from day one in this whole situation. NBC put out a statement, and he talked about it on the show as well, and we certainly did our share of discussions about the topic on the show. He was very frank with how he was involved in the situation, so I really don’t think it had an impact on the show at all.

    Post’s Spinner To Stay Stateside

    Word from the Post’s Metro desk today that former Iraq correspondent Jackie Spinner, who authored “Tell Them I Didn’t Cry: A young journalist’s story of joy, loss and survival in Iraq” upon her return, has finally found a new beat. She had complained earlier that her editors hadn’t really known how to handle her, but now she has an assignment that suits her background. From the Metro Desk:

      New Regional Military Affairs Reporter

      We’re pleased to announce that Jackie Spinner will be Metro’s new Regional Military Affairs reporter. She’ll be reporting on the home front of an institution she covered under fire and with distinction until five months ago in Baghdad. There, in two tours totaling 13 months, she survived mortar attacks, car bombs and a kidnaping [sic] attempt….

      In her new assignment, Jackie will cover the region’s large military community, including the impact of planned closings of some local military bases. She will be part of the Virginia staff but will work out of the newsroom downtown.

      Jackie has been a reporter at The Post since 1995. She’s covered commercial real estate and accounting policy on the Business staff, and Southern Maryland and Prince George’s County for Metro. She grew up in Illinois and now lives in Mt. Rainier. She says she misses her goldfish, left behind in Iraq.

    What’s Hot For Prom

    For the 42nd year in a row, here’s our exclusive Prom Buzz-o-Meter, to help all you 3,000+ party-goers tomorrow night focus your attention on the parties most worth attending. We’ve seen the numbers, reviewed the guest lists, polled those in-the-know, and as a handy guide to all you party-crashers out there, here’s FishbowlDC’s picks for the weekend entertainment:

    1) Bloomberg After-Party :: Duh. It’s D.C.’s biggest social event of the year, the creme de la prom, if you will.

    2) Reuters After-Party :: The challenger in the after-party scene has certainly captured the buzz this week and the kstreet locale will offer a worthy late-night option for those stuck on the outside at Bloomberg.

    3) The Dinner Itself :: With dinner-table debauchery assured and Stephen Colbert headlining, the actual centerpiece of Prom weekend looks like it’ll be actually interesting for once. The question: Can anyone, even Colbert, top Laura Bush‘s blue humor last year?

    4) The Atlantic Media Pre-Party :: With sunny skies forecast for Saturday night, the Atlantic poolside party at the Hilton before prom will be the only pre-game in town–grab your booze at one of the other receptions (the lines’ll be shorter) and then wander out on to the patio to celeb spot with the best of them. Yes, if you’re wondering if that’s Joey Pants or Ron Silver, it probably is.

    5) The McLaughlin Brunch :: While Bloomberg may be the ticket that lets you know you’re hot this year, a McLaughlin brunch ticket for Sunday is the sign that you’ve arrived–you’re now the establishment. Welcome to the big-time and don’t forget your garden party attire (big hats encouraged, seersucker optional).

    6) Tammy Haddad‘s Brunch :: Small means exclusive and this pre-pre-prom brunch in the Palisades has an elite host list–like power couple Hillary Rosen and Elizabeth Birch–and delicious food. Upside? Chances of a Valerie Plame sighting are high. Downside? Chris Matthews might corner you by the buffet.

    7) The Capitol File After-Party :: If you’ve been to one Capitol File party, you’ve been to them all. The post-party at Cafe Milano promises the same old crowd in the same old location. You have to be wary of any party that includes Wolf Blitzer right under Ludacris on the “to be seen” list.

    “I Want To Boil My Hand”

    (above: CNN’s Jamie McIntyre)

  • “I Want To Boil My Hand”
  • “Contemplating breaking a bottle and swallowing the glass.”
  • “$10 if you can do something to cause a heart attack.”

    Those were some of the hand-written notes jotted down last night by two attendees during one individual’s set at last night’s “DC’s Funniest Celebrity Contest” (big fan of prepositional phrases today). No, no: We’re not naming names, but we will say this: The shock & awe air attack in Baghdad had less bombs than this guy.

    But, besides that–and once you were able to move past the various jokes inherent in a “Funniest Celebrity in DC” contest (the Special Olympics of comedy, truly)–last night’s comedy event at the DC Improv to benefit Bread for the City was actually quite enjoyable. Comics included Bob Somerby, Richard Siegel, Walter Shapiro, Cal Thomas, Matt Cooper, Rep. Linda Sanchez and Bill Rigardie. Many in the room mourned the absence of Tony Snow, who was, historically, a frequent stand-up at this event. Apparently, he’s got other things on his mind at the moment.

    But the event did make us wonder if the Wonkette boys were actually right: Is Matt Cooper not as funny as everyone says he is? His performance was hyped throughout the night as the evening’s highlight (and they saved him for last). He was certainly okay and his self-deprecation (“Yes, yes, I know I’ve been all over the news recently. Everywhere I go, people ask, ‘Hey, aren’t you George Clooney?’”) helped win the audience over, but he largely commented on news articles he had brought on stage–some worked, some didn’t. He was funny, but certainly not the funniest. (We did, however, appreciate the, apparently true, story from when Cooper arrived in the Oval Office recently to interview President Bush. Cooper: “The president sees me come in and say, ‘Coop! I thought you’d be in jail by now!’”)

    The honor of funniest celebrity had to be reserved for…

    (click below to continue)

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  • Double Takes

    Reliable Source today noticed the same thing that we did at Fox News’ Wednesday bash: That Hillary’s appearance caused more than a few to do a double take.

    So upon receiving this picture, we just have to comment: No, the two big burly men are not bouncers explaining why Sen. Clinton is not allowed in. It’s Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.

    And Hillary finally finds a friendly face.

    Express Gets All Bloggy

    The Post’s newest online experiment launched this week: It’s a new website and blog for the Express–the paper’s free tabloid for hipsters, underpaid Capitol Hill aides, and grumpy commuters alike–that might be best called “DCist Jr.”

    Of course it is DCist Jr., being the creation of Express’ Mike Grass, a former editor, but it also contains a host of special functions the hip city blog doesn’t: including ways to navigate the city and locate places to go. Grass is blogging up a storm at the new site.

    The new site, the paper explains, offers “frequently updated features and a variety of interactive tools including locally-oriented blogs, real-time polling on hot issues and a lively classifieds marketplace.”

    “Each day, thousands of commuters begin their days reading Express, and is a way of connecting them more closely to the communities in which they work and live,” Express publisher Christoper Ma said in the press release for the site, which officially launches next week. “ is our effort to provide neighborhood news of the communities around Metro stops, as well as comprehensive entertainment listings and an extensive classified marketplace in these neighborhoods.”

    Perhaps the biggest sign of the blog’s potential? DCist has been very quiet this week about its alumnus’ new project.

    Post Buyout Could Cost Big Names

    balz.jpgThe Post’s buyout package is causing a big stir in the newsroom: Up to ten percent of the newsroom is being readied for early departure, and with the offer as rich as it is, reporters would be almost fools not to take it. “It’s a very generous offer,” tax columnist Al Crenshaw tells Erik Wemple. “They will give me two years’ pay if I work two more years. And they will give me two years’ pay if I don’t work two more years.”

    Of course, as Harry Jaffe reports, the Post deal “could cut into the core staff of writers who have made the Post what it is in the post-Watergate era.”

    Names like Dan Balz (left), Tom Edsall, Jerry Knight, Crenshaw, Paul Blustein, Al Kamen, and even legend Tom Shales might end up leaving under the deal. For them it maximizes their cash and frees them up to pursue books, teaching, or–as many of the Post buy-outs seem to do–contract writing for the paper again.

    New Poll: Fox #1 Among Magic People On The Other End of the Air Force One’s Phone

    We know that most of the key members of the administration showed up last night at Fox News Sunday’s birthday party, but is it official policy that TVs in Air Force One can only watch Fox?

    The Post’s Jim VandeHei ran into some turbulence earlier today on Air Force One:

    Q: It’s come to my attention that there’s been requests–this is a serious question–to turn these TVs onto a station other than Fox, and that those have been denied. My question would be, is there a White House policy that all government TVs have to be tuned to Fox?

    MR. McCLELLAN: Never heard of any such thing. My TVs are on four different channels at all times.

    Q: Because you have four different TVs. But every time I’ve ever been–

    MR. McCLELLAN: Every TV in the White House also has channels every–has a split screen, where they can–

    Q: Well, they always seem to be tuned to Fox, and there’s been requests, and these are paid for by taxpayer dollars…

    MR. McCLELLAN: … I’ve never known anyone that’s raised a complaint about a request from back here to watch a different channel.

    Q: I’m officially raising it and officially complaining about it.

    MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’m going to go see if we can change the channel for you. Have you called up?

    Agence France Presse photographer Tim Sloan: I was the Fox victim, and I was told–the quote was, “No,” when I asked for CNN.

    MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know who you talked to, so–it didn’t come to my attention. You don’t know who you talked to either?

    Q: Well, the magic people at the other end off the phone.

    MR. McCLELLAN: The magic people at the other end of the phone. Well, I’ll see if this cabin is–

    Q: I was told, “We don’t watch CNN here, you can only watch Fox.”

    No More Soup For You

    More fun with TNR’s adorable contrarianism:

    Damn straight, TNR. You tackle those important issues!

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