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Archives: May 2006

Separated At Birth

If Christopher Hitchens were to ever storm out of a saloon in order to hunt down an editor who had chopped his prose to pieces all in the name of “word count,” we suspect it might look something like this:


(It’s actually actor Ray Winstone playing Captain Stanley in the new movie, “The Proposition”)

The Post Is (Not) For Lovers

In this month’s Washingtonian, Harry Jaffe reports on the Post’s reactions to newsroom romance.

    In past decades, when the Post treated its reporters like family, it sent husband and wife teams to report from foreign bureaus: Fred Hiatt and Margaret Shapiro in Moscow, followed by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser; Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan in Mexico and now in London. Alan Sipress and Ellen Nakashima are in Jakarta.

    But no more.

    When Ceci Connolly asked to be posted in Mexico City with her husband, Manuel Roig-Franza, the Post declined. As a part of the newspaper’s cost-cutting crusade, it refused to assign Connolly, a veteran political and health care writer, to correspond from Mexico.

    Connolly is heading for Mexico, anyway.

With some of their top reporters taking the buy-outs, with circulation on the decline, with other reporters heading to greener pastures…is the Post in any position to play hardball with people’s love lives?

Print v. Broadcast

Roll Call’s Tory Newmyer writes up the latest in “Handheld-gate” in today’s paper (sub. req.).

The heat is on between print journalists and broadcasts journalists covering Capitol Hill.

    In an hour-long session last Thursday, broadcast journalists vented about the resistance print reporters have thrown up to their campaign for freer camera access to the area outside the Senate chamber.

    At the same time, they indicated a willingness to strike back by publicly noting that print reporters are allowed to use space on the second level of the Senate Radio-Television Gallery only at the discretion of broadcasters, who have first claim to the area.

    And they moved to ensure that reporters for print outlets secure credentials from the broadcasters before capturing sound or video material for Web-based pieces.

    Radio and TV reporters asserted that the moves were not meant as a threat to print reporters. Rather, Brian Wilson, a Fox News correspondent and chairman of the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association, said they were intended to show that broadcasters “are willing to work with our print brothers and sisters, whereas they’ve thrown us under the bus.”

    But Richard Cohen, a National Journal correspondent who serves on the board representing the periodical press, rejected Wilson’s characterization.

    “We’re not trying to throw anyone under the bus,” he said. “We’re trying to protect the interests of the members of our gallery. We’ve had serious questions and concerns about how the Radio-TV gallery has been operating, and from what I’ve heard about the meeting [last week], I continue to have concerns about how they’re operating and whether they’re willing to work with other galleries.”

What is the future of reporting in the Senate’s Ohio Clock corridor? Will print reporters continue to reign supreme there? Or will broadcasters get expanded coverage rights there? Or will the Senate say “to hell with ‘em” and kick all the bums out?

Tapper’s Back…

tapper2.jpg…and he’s better than before.

ABC News today announced that Jake Tapper (one-time haiku genius and video game trend-spotter) will be their new senior national correspondent. In addition, Tapper will serve as ABC News Senior Political Correspondent during the 2006/2008 elections.

We’re also excited that Tapper will take to the blog again, albeit at a new location: “Political Punch.

Other notable moves around town:

  • Washington Business Journal’s new reporter — Vandana Sinha — begins this week covering their Commercial Real Estate beat.

  • CNN publicist Alissa Rooney is hanging up her hat at CNN and heading up north to Boston.

  • Emily Lenzner, executive director of communications for ABC’s DC bureau, This Week and Nightline (and listed in this month’s Capitol File Black Book under “Tastemaker”), is departing ABC and heading to NPR where she will become their Director of the Communications Division and of the Media Relations Department (a new position that essentially = VP of Communications…Andi Sporkin’s #2).

  • James Ridgeway, formerly at the Village Voice, has been named Mother Jones’ Washington bureau chief.

  • Washington Times photographer Liz Baylen is leaving the paper to try her hand at freelancing in New York City.

  • White House Pregs Corps

    stork.gifAlright White House Press Corps:

    Try doing a better job solving this riddle than you did trying to figure out which WH reporter served on the Malvo trial jury (translated: You didn’t figure it out).

    Who’s the “pregnant reporter”?

    From today’s Pool Report #1:

      After two-minute ceremony as reporters were being led out of office, Bush asked a pregnant reporter how she was faring in the stifling heat and said he had seen her during earlier event and was worried about her. He also inquired when her baby was due.

    Write us at fishbowlDC at mediabistro dot com

    Russert Gets Around


    What the heck was Tim Russert doing on “Late Edition” this Sunday? Well, the obvious answer is hawking his new book (even though he carefully hid that by also talking about Iraq, President Bush’s poll numbers, gay marriage, and blah blah blah.)

    That led to this interesting exchange between Wolf Blitzer and Russert:

      BLITZER: We’re the last word in Sunday talk. You know that, right?

      TIM RUSSERT, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Because if it’s Sunday, it’s “Meet the Press.”

      BLITZER: And we’re the only one that’s seen live around the world in 240 countries.

    Russert has also been jumping over to other networks (like Fox) to hawk his book as well.

    This raises a number of questions:

  • While it’s permissible for Russert to go elsewhere to hawk his book, is going to a competitor show appropriate? Or is it just a slick way of getting around the fact that he can’t hawk it on his own show?

  • What was “Late Edition”‘s reasoning for having him on? Is Russert really that much of a ratings machine?

  • What’s NBC’s reaction to all of Russert’s network jumping?

    What do you think? Our Poll Of The Day question:

    Should Tim Russert Be Hawking His Book On Other Networks?
    Only If Luke Is By His Side
    Free polls from

  • Posties Buying — And Clocking — Out

    You may have seen the “goodbye columns” of both Al Crenshaw and Jerry Knight this weekend. That’s because, as we reported earlier, both took the Post’s generous buy out package.

    (Also interesting to note Knight’s final advice:

      For me the issue is not whether to buy media stocks but whether to sell the Post stock that’s accumulated in my 401(k) account. By any objective standard, I own too much of my employer’s stock, which is the most common investing mistake most of us make. Post stock is outperforming its local peers primarily because of the company’s Kaplan education division, which now generates more revenue — and growth — than the newspaper. Analysts rate most of the local media stocks “hold,” and in the case of the Post stock, I think they’re right.

    Howard Mortman weighs in on that advice here.)

    Here’s an update version of The Buy Out List, as we understand it:

    Al Crenshaw
    Jerry Knight
    Paul Blustein
    Martha Hamilton
    Tom Edsall
    Al Kamen
    Nancy McKeon
    Robin Groom
    Judy Havemann
    Bobbye Pratt
    Chip Crews
    D’Vera Cohn
    Benjamin Forgey
    Caryle Murphy
    Karlyn Barker
    Glenn Frankel

    Maybe Caroline Mayer?

    In other Post-related departure news, Assistant Managing Editor Wendy Ross left the paper on Friday (unclear if she took the buy-out). Assistant Managing Editor, News Desk Ed Thiede said in a staff email, “She may be leaving the building today, but she will always be in our hearts.”

    Post staff writer Serge Kovaleski is also leaving the Post for the New York Times.

    And perhaps most interesting of all, we recently noticed the absence of Post metro reporter (and ASNE diversity writing award recipient) Phuong Ly, who just returned from her International Reporting Project fellowship . She resigned in early May (see her updated bio on her website here). We’ve heard different reasons for why she left (or “left” depending on your opinion), but Ly wrote us to give us her own version of events:

      I left the Post because I wanted to get better as a writer and focus on longer narrative stories on immigration and diversity issues.

    And we’ll just mention this Post item because it’s cool:

    Katharine Weymouth
    , the Washington Post Company’s vice president of newspaper advertising is Tina Weymouth’s (bassist and vocalist for the Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club) niece.

    Memorial Day Roundup

    Some things you may have missed over the weekend.

  • Tim Russert and Chris Matthews, as of this writing, are tied in our Friday poll, “Who Will Eat The Most Hot Dogs This Weekend?”

  • More ruckus over the departure of Elizabeth Vargas.

  • CNN’s John Roberts loves the hog.

  • Is David Gregory’s career about to change?

  • Helen Thomas sits down for an interview with Deborah Solomon for the New York Times Magazine. (And see the ruckus that Solomon’s recent interview with Tim Russert has caused).

  • Time Ordered to Give Internal Documents to Libby

  • What it was like to be a member of the media during Friday’s Capitol Hill “shooting.”

  • Hotline Media Profiles

    We’re playing a little catch-up today with Hotline’s media profiles.

    After the jump, learn more abot CNN’s Elaine Quijano, Des Moines Register’s Tom Beaumont, and the Ralston Report’s Jon Ralston.

    Read more

    CBS News Crew Suffers Casualties


    As most of you probably already know, a car bomb explosion in East Baghdad, roughly one mile from the green zone, killed two CBS News crew members yesterday as they were reporting a routine Memorial Day story. A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were also killed during the attack. CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier (bio here) was also severely wounded. The CBS news team was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

    Cameraman Paul Douglas and sound man James Brolan were both British citizens. Douglas had been to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakitsan, Rwanda and Bosnia for CBS since the early 1990s and Brolan, 42, freelanced for CBS in Baghdad and Afghanistan over the past year.

    Dozier underwent surgery yesterday and today at a U.S. military hospital in Baghdad and remains in critical condition.

    This brings the total of slain journalists since the U.S. invasion in 2003 to 70.

    ABC’s Bob Woodruff, no stranger to the dangers of the job, wrote his thoughts over at The World Newser.

    TVNewser has the text of a statement from the Brolan family.

    Marcy McGinnis, the former senior vice president for news coverage at CBS News, also expresses her grief at Public Eye.

    More thoughts from Vaughn Ververs, ABC’s Dan Harris and Jim Sciutto, Dan Rather, Allen Pizzey, and NBC’s Campbell Brown.

    CBS News president Sean McManus called the tragedy a “devastating loss for CBS News.”

    “Kimberly, Paul and James were veterans of war coverage who proved their bravery and dedication every single day. They always volunteered for dangerous assignments and were invaluable in our attempt to report the news to the American public. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Paul and James, and we are hoping and praying for a complete recovery by Kimberly. Countless men and women put their lives on the line, day in and day out, in Iraq and other dangerous spots around the world, and they deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for the work they do.”