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Archives: July 2006

Taking Out The Trash, 07.31.06

  • An update to an earlier post: Sue Davis, who’s leaving CongressDaily, will take over Ben Pershing’s position at Roll Call. Pershing will become an editor for the newspaper.

  • Susan Phillips, longtime editor of Connect for Kids, an online
    publication that covers youth issues, has left the position to go on a multi-year African safari with her family. The organization is looking to fill her position soon.

  • George Archibald writes in to let us know the status of his Times expose (see The Nation’s and Robert Redding, Jr.’s updates here): “I have a couple of publishers vying but no firm deal yet. My hope is to have it in bookstores shortly after the new year before the State of the Union.”

  • CNN to boost citizen journalism initiative.”

  • The big story for newspapers is online.”

  • Nicholas Lemann on the relevance of citizen journalism.

  • Lights going out on aging White House press room.” (Farewell party on Wednesday)

  • News from DCRTV:

      JFK Salesman To WaPo Radio – 7/31 – An ad sales biggie jumps from CBS’s WJFK-FM. DCRTV hears Tim McWilliams exits 106.7 after 10 years to join Bonneville’s Washington Post Radio, WTWP. He is considered a “direct business machine” and was very successful at WJFK selling for the Redskins and its “shock jock” talk radio programming…..

      Fox 5 Launches “Edge” – 7/31 – Channel 5/WTTG unveils its “The Edge” 11 PM newscast tonight, as part of a two-hour news and information block that starts with its top-rated 10 PM newscast and ends with a half hour of Geraldo Rivera’s tabloid show at 11:30 PM. Brian Bolter, who co-anchors the 10 PM ‘cast, will solo anchor and be chairless during the 11 PM show. “We’re blowing out the old model of the newscast that viewers have become accustomed to,” he tells John Maynard in the DC Post. Fox 5 News Director Katherine Green says viewers shouldn’t expect to see the same lead story at 11 PM that they might have watched an hour earlier. “The weather is the number one reason people watch news,” Green adds, so “The Edge” will usually lead with the next day’s weather report….

      Vance Reaches Deal With 4 – 7/28 – DCRTV hears that Jim Vance (left), Channel 4/WRC’s longtime news anchor, will be staying right where he is. We’re told that Vance has reached a new three-year deal to remain the big dog on the NBC station’s top-rated “News 4.” No word on the money numbers. There were rumblings a few months ago that Vance, who’s been at WRC more than three decades, and NBC weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a new contract…..

  • TVNewser has broken down the Pew report better than we ever could.

  • “Nets May Not Have to Blur Bleepers.”

  • US News & World Report’s Joe Ciardiello draws real good pictures of Wolf Blitzer on a treadmill.

  • Warning: Impersonating journalists can be hazardous to your health. A person associated with the Center for American Progress was shown the door today when he tried to enter a meeting sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation. An informant says that the individual was impersonating a member of the press. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is expected to brief the group later this week, but members of the press are not invited.

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    Media Biases in Middle East War Coverage?

    The topic of Howard Kurtz’ Reliable Sources yesterday is one that many are gabbing about from Washington’s bomb-free vantage point. The ghastly pictures of dead women, children and older people being carried out of rubble in Qana, Lebanon as a result of Israel’s mistaken bombing of a residential area were the backdrops for the this week’s discussion.

    Michael Ware, a CNN correspondent who’s been in the Lebanon for several days, told Kurtz that crowds of Lebanese very quickly turned their rage on the United Nations headquarters in Beirut. “Israel is not just attacking Hezbollah, it’s attacking Lebanon, is the sentiment on the street,” said Ware. It “feels punitive,” like “collective punishment,” he added.

    “All right,” said Kurtz, and then came the pro-Israel section of the program.

    More when you click below…

    Read more

    Your Dose of Washington Times

    On Friday, Hotline asked “what the effects would be if Washington Times were a drug.”

    The reader feedback? “uncontrolled mooning; you’d feel like you had skinterns crawling all over you; you’d hate the hip-hop; you’d feel trapped underneath a mountain of blue blazers; it’d feel like you had something stuck in your teeth; you’d feel drunk only half the time; anal leakage; a Zoolander-like inability to turn left; nightmarish fantasies about Michele Malkin; craving for sushi; excessive quotation mark use; explosive diarrhea; paranoia; unnatural affinity to the Moon; erections lasting more than 4 hours; unnatural attraction to Ann Coulter; and mass weddings.”

    Oh, and speaking of Washington Times, don’t forget to check out their latest intern blog entries, including “This is your brain on journalism“, “Now hair this“, and “Hot and cold flashes.”

    ABC Anchor Just Says “No”

    A plethora of local TV talent turned out for the ABC 7 Family Health & Caregiver Expo this weekend, to sit on stools, sign some autographs and, of course, talk about the importance of being healthy. In addition to headliners Maureen Bunyan and Alison Starling, anchor Beverly Kirk, reporter Adam Caskey and meteorologist Brian van de Graaff all made it by to show off their toothy grins (no cavities in sight) and meet and greet thousands of local attendees.

    kirkhealthy.jpgKirk, who joined ABC NewsChannel 8 in January after a long reporting stint at NBC News Channel, was especially buoyant during her two-hour appearance on Saturday afternoon. While the newscaster normally likes to focus on biotechnology issues, she said it was great to be at the health fair, seeing “all kinds of happy people coming in out of the heat” (although one older gentleman was disheartened to see Kirk at the booth instead of Starling — “Where is Alison?” he repeatedly asked Kirk, who just smiled and said that the cheery morning anchor had already left). She added that she was a little jealous that Kyle Osborne is able to bike and run between newscasts, but due to an old knee injury, she has to take it a bit easier. Still, she enjoys doing gyrotonics, pilates, and playing an occasional game of tennis.

    “We always try to look good,” she said of her fellow newscasters,”so we try to be healthy.”

    drunkenbrain.jpgDespite a bit of good-natured prodding, Kirk would not step inside the “drunken brain” tent, sponsored by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, suggesting that she’s normally “a bit of a teetotaller.” And there was no word on whether Kathleen Matthew’s impending exit from the ABC 7 newsroom will lead to a healthier journalism environment overall.

    Post Names New Dr. Gridlock

    Bob Thomson wrote his first column as the Post’s new “Dr. Gridlock” yesterday.

    “I’ve been a newspaperman for three decades and spent the past 18 years working as a Metro desk editor at The Post. For most of the past seven years, I’ve edited stories about transportation issues, including the Dr. Gridlock column. Now, I’m no longer just commuting. As soon as I turn the ignition key or smack my SmarTrip card on the Metro fare gate, I’m on the job, seeing what we’re up against.”

    Thomson held a chat online today at 1pm.


    Business Week’s Jon Fine is breaking our heart. In the latest installment of Howard Mortman’sBlogs the Famous Media Read,” Fine lists our cousins, FishbowlNY and FishbowlLA and our mothership at, but no love for FishbowlDC. This brings our average down in Mortman’s feature to (gasp!) 52.94. We’re crushed.

    Gannon, Couric & Blitzer Vie for Audience

    Washington Whispers’ Paul Bedard gives us an update on Jeff Gannon’s book progress (summary: not much has changed since the last time Gannon gave an update). The book will discuss “what happened to me and why it happened and what it means for the future of journalism.” FishbowlDC can also tell you that Gannon says a portion of the book will focus on hate mail he’s received as a result of his column for the Washington Blade. He’s also going to share tales of how people within the gay-focused newspaper treat the former male escort on a daily basis.

    Bedard did give us some news to ponder with his coverage of Katie Couric’s raid on Washington, saying that she’s taking the time before her first big CBS Evening News broadcast to “reintroduce herself to key Republicans and Democrats.” Don’t they know her toothy grin by now? Couric, of course, is trending in Wolf Blitzer territory here, who, Bedard notes, is celebrating his first year as host of the Situation Room. The anchor has apparently lost twenty pounds thanks to the “grueling pace” of the show and the fact that he likes to keep himself well-hydrated. Let’s hear it for water.

    Poll of the Day: Reporters Are Like Magicians?

    That very well may be the case, because we’re all apparently using sleight of hand tricks in covering politicians these days, according to presidential adviser Karl Rove in a speech he gave Saturday at George Washington University:

    “It’s odd to me that most of these critics are journalists and columnists,” the Associated Press quoted him as saying. “Perhaps they don’t like sharing the field of play. Perhaps they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their coverage has played focusing attention on process and not substance.”

    Does he mean substance as in the President Bush’s handling of the War in Iraq, the War in Lebanon, or that ongoing Snafu with North Korea? Let’s put it to a vote:

    Hottest Media Types: The Nominations

    hottestmedia.gifWe should have our Top Ten for each of the four categories (Hottest Male, On Air; Hottest Female, On Air; Hottest Male, Off Air; Hottest Female, Off Air) a little later this week. So keep those mouse fingers rested…

    In the meantime, we thought we’d share with you the second batch (see the first here) of our most favorite nomination quotes:

    “a greek Adonis of a political producer”

    “Imagine the boy you chased around the playground and tried to kiss. Or the cutest guy in seventh grade. Now imagine he’s all grown up. Charming and canny — yet with a wide innocent grin and disheveled hair to lend a boyishly sexy touch.”

    “She has a penchant for cowboy boots (don’t read into this).”

    “total dreamboat – and smart . Overall yummy rating: 10.”

    “With his gentle brilliance, pioneering pen and lavendar tie, [redacted] is one of the most dashing– and intriguing– reporters on the Hill”


    “Take a chance on a true American original. [Redacted] is the hottest thing since sliced bread. Please don’t let this be a “Hot” list full of fuglies a la The Hill.”

    “she kind of looks like scarlett johansson”

    “She makes briefings worth watching. Any ideas on how I can meet her and if she’s single?”

    “What’s she got? What hasn’t she got. Luxuriant blonde locks, steely blue eyes, an adorable pixie nose you could balance a quarter on and a marathoner’s body that, as Raymond Chandler once said, would make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. Anyone who’s seen her karaoke can testify that she’s got the sultry voice of a latter-day Nina Simone, an encyclopedic knowledge of Motown, (I am credibly informed) the touch of an angel and, it must be said, the liver of Richard Burton. And you’ll thank her as she elbows past you for a scoop you’ll discover only after it airs. The first time I saw her I found myself jockeying for space in a crowded bar to get close to her.”

    “He is, quite simply, the hottest male on-air out there. Waking up to those dulcet tones on [redacted] makes me … well – I just can’t in good conscience write it on a family-friendly website. And when I hear him while I’m in the car, I just have to pull over, lest I cause an accident. True, he has very little chest hair, but it’s absolutely compensated-for by his sweeping, French-cut, blow-dried tresses and square manly jaw. Mmmmm … love the jaw. Delectable. His shirts and pants, yes, they may be a little tight. But they give us such a tantalizing glimpse of that war correspondent body. And the way he fires an automatic weapon — well, be still my beating heart. Why this guy is still in radio, I simply don’t know. Then again, it could be that his quivering, pulsating, mammoth … intellect …. is just too impressive to be contained by television. Sigh. I need to go towel off now.”

    “This dashing Brit *swears* his monogrammed shirts cost $15 in Seoul.
    Like we’d believe that! Clearly this is a man who sleeps on 300 + thread count sheets (and oh how we love that image), and we suspect those shirts are probably priced accordingly. What lies beneath can only be imagined…Screw Freedom Fries, [redacted] is the journalistic equivalent of caviar.”

    “[Redacted] would probably make the cut. Look at that hair, lifted direct from Annie Lennox, and that dress, inspired by Marilyn Monroe. So which is it[redacted]? New wave, or old school! But you can’t pigeonhole [redacted], a native Texan who works for [redacted] — No no! She’s a smorgasbord of culture, and can spell it to boot. ”

    “They breed them blonder and sexier in Florida.”

    “Damn, the sultry Asian thing does it for us.”

    “Those curls are irresistable, even if he does look like he’s about 15.”

    “People with size four waists and 34D chests (an educated guess) should really be in broadcast.”

    “shes hotter than Phoenix in July, look for yourself :)

    “why’s it always gotta be 20-somethings in hoochie-wear that get the attention? [Redacted] is a classy lady, smart, a workhorse, a blast to work with, and absolutely hilarious. Can you believe she works the overnight shift and STILL looks this good? i can only hope to be as hot as she is when i’m in my early 40s.”

    “The new kid on the block: [Redacted] is amazingly HOT! This one’s got real beauty AND smarts. She’s my first pick! Wonder if she is available??? Had the opportunity to work with her a few months ago. WOW! I was waaay impressed. Sorry, didn’t get the opportunity to take her photo–yet!!”

    “gets just as much attention for being totally stunning and sexy as she does for her kick-ass reporting. Plus she’s a sweetheart.”

    “In spite of working for a sweat-shop, she’s always the most pulled-together and composed looking person at the press conferences.”

    “[Redcated] is sort of a Jewish Clooney, he should be in there, too.”

    Heil to The Hill

    Emily Heil will leave CongressDaily in September and join The Hill Newspaper as their Under the Dome columnist and food editor.

    Heil has spent the past three years covering health care and labor issues for CongressDaily (she was at BNA before that). (See Heil’s recent pieces on pension negotiations and stem cells…subscription required for all).

    But Heil has also branched out to write some entertainment/food features for the Washington Post, including ones on how to play racquetball, how to take a ballet class, how to throw a cicada party and places to drink tequila.

    Fun fact: Heil was raised on a chicken farm. Asked how that experience has helped her cover Congress, Heil tells FishbowlDC: “They’re both noisy and smelly.”

    In other CongressDaily news, Sue Davis is leaving the National Journal publication to join Roll Call, effective August 21.

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