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Archives: May 2009

FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes from Today’s Briefing

Paging Rush Limbaugh: Though he had refused to backtrack on the YouTube appellates-as-policymakers clip, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tackled Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s other controversial soundbite, noting at the end of today’s briefing that “I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor” when she cited an advantage a Latina would have over a white man in judging cases. But Gibbs also referenced what he described as related quotations from others on the high court — Alito on his immigrant ancestry and Ginsberg on the female perspective — to back her up.

Muslim World Not One Big K-Mart?: Declining to characterize the U.S.relationship with the Muslim world by assigning a number from one to 10, Gibbs did paint the Obama team’s outreach as a work in progress. Referencing the president’s recent address in Turkey, he said next week’s Cairo speech would not denote “one-stop shopping.”

Relax, You Got an iPod: Gibbs avoided taking the high-school-gossip route by commenting on France’s supposed snub of the Queen for their upcoming D-Day festivities. “We are not in charge of the guest list,” he said. Asked if he wanted to bash the British tabloids (a la remarks about their apparent misreporting on Abu Ghraib photos), he clarified: “That was yesterday.” Gibbs did slyly add that he had “no doubt” the Queen’s attendance would be “important.” Perhaps someone forgot to deliver the Queen’s “Do you like me? Check yes/no” note to France?

Can’t Five Guys Deliver?: Following on the (lack of) news that the president hit up another fast food mecca this afternoon, CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller joked, “Can he get a hamburger in this building?” Gibbs delivered the usual lines about POTUS needing to “get out of the gate a little bit” and enjoy “the ability to walk around.” Knoller took a jab at NBC, asking whether their troops were the reason for the lunchtime trip. “Separate, separate,” Schoolmarm Gibbs cautioned Knoller and NBC’s Chuck Todd. Knoller questioned whether Joe Biden was upset to be left out of this burger run. “You’re on a roll, Mark!” National Security Council spokesperson Mike Hammer exclaimed.

Me and You, We are Not the Same: Chicago Sun-Times Obama guru Lynn Sweet hit Gibbs repeatedly on the purpose of Organizing for America’s story-gathering in preparation for the Hill’s healthcare debate. When Gibbs compared it to journalists’ day-to-day operations, Sweet retorted: “We move the story along.” Clearly considering any number of zingers, Gibbs said, “I’m holding back.” Gibbs eventually clarified, in grownup voice, that the stories are meant to influence the lawmakers who will be crafting healthcare legislation.

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Roomies: Tribune’s DC Bureau to Shack Up w/ Scripps?

FishbowlDC hears that the LA Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun (Tribune’s Washington Bureau) are moving to the Scripps bureau office, where they will share a l0th floor space…

We spoke with Tribune Corporate Communications but they declined comment.

Tuck Announces Righty HuffPo

Better late than never…no one ever said I was quick. Thanks to our Twitter pal @JamesGLynch, I figured out why Tucker Carlson was raiding Best Buy for 30 computers. Carlson is launching the, which he says will focus on the Obama administration by “adding facts to the conversation.”

I’m assuming the is the current name for — the project he announced in February. See video.

Sunday Show Preview for 05.31.09

So our headline has become a bit misleading…really should read “Weekend Show Preview.” That said, I think it is just about complete.

NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory: Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to discuss Sotomayor confirmation hearings.

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos: Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX) and roundtable with former Bush adviser Ed Gillespie, PBS’ Gwen Ifill, New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, and ABC News’ Legal correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg and columnist George Will will discuss the impact of a potential GM bankruptcy, the North Korean nuclear threat, and the rest of the week’s politics.

CBS’ Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and roundtable with WaPo’s Bob Woodward and NYT’s David Brooks

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill: Peter Baker of The New York Times, Joan Biskupic of USA Today and James Kitfield of National Journal will have analysis of the Obama administration’s efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and secure a new arms reduction treaty with Moscow.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital w/ Al Hunt: World Bank president Robert Zoellick will discuss global financial conditions.

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

CNN’s State of the Union with John King: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to discuss Obama’s Sotomayor nom., the economy and the future of the GOP.

Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham: Rachel Brand, Former Assistant Attorney General; Emily Pierce, David Drucker and Emily Heil from RC newspaper.

The Chris Matthews Show: NY Mag’s John Heilemann, NYT’s Helene Cooper,NBC DC Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker, WaPo’s Anne Kornblut will discuss Sotomayor and the Prez’s trip to Egypt.

CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: David Axelrod & Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)on Sotomayor, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA)on Penn Senate race, Alberto Gonzales on interrogation investigations and Richard Ben-Veniste on his new book “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Henry Kissinger on diplomacy with rivals, Selig Harrison and Charles Prichard on N. Korea tests, Joshua Cooper Ramo and Niall Ferguson on global recession.

Hail Mary: Moore Makes Press Club Appearance

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*Photo courtesy of The Washington Times

Mary Tyler Moore made an appearance at the National Press Club yesterday to discuss her battle with juvenile diabetes (Type 1). The longtime spokeswoman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) was able to turn the room on with more than just her smile…

From TWT’s G2:
“So, who here thinks I look like Nancy Pelosi?” asked actress Mary Tyler Moore, looking like a taller, leaner version of the speaker of the House as she waded through scores of admiring fans at the VIP reception before a luncheon at the National Press Club.

From Yeas and Nays
Moore said she was worried that people watching her act would wonder if she had some “weird” disease. So then what made her finally decide to come out, one audience member asked?

“I started being attracted to other women,” she joked, before adding it was really due to the foundation.

Nedeau to NYC for Gig at Air America

Jen Nedeau, a progressive activist and feminist blogger, is making the big move from DC to NYC to become the Director of Digital Strategy at Air America Media.

Nedeau began her career in political journalism and has been published by the likes of, and While in New York, Nedeau will continue her part-time gig as Editor of the Women’s Rights blog at as well as her volunteer position as the National Technology Chair with the New Leaders Council, a non-profit that offers exclusive training for young progressive leaders.

Morning Reading List 05.29.09


TGIF FishbowlDC! Short weeks always seem the longest to me…

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line. Here’s what we’re reading this Friday morning…



Global newspaper sales inched up last year, contradicting gloomy predictions that dailies face extinction, as gains in Africa, Asia and Latin America offset slumps in Europe and the US.

As for what’s ailing the newspaper business, Rupert Murdoch blames companies for their indebtedness: “There have been a lot of newspaper deals done in the last 10 years in which people have taken on ridiculous debt.”


Journalist Roxana Saberi says she faced “severe psychological and mental pressure” to confess to being a spy.


News for Sale. Executives at major news companies from The New York Times Co. and The Associated Press on down are arriving at the consensus that they will simply have to find a way to charge people who read their articles online.


The Associated Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CNN and WSB-TV asked a federal judge on Thursday to grant the media access to copies of audio and video court records key to the upcoming trial against a terrorism suspect.

HAT TIP:, Daniel Lippman

IFC’s Make Media Matter Event

If you follow us on Twitter, you might have caught a few my snarktastic tweets from IFC’s Make Media Matter event that was held at the Newseum this afternoon.

Here are a few highlights:

We learned that Tucker Carlson is “not black” but he does think that the price of computers has come down significantly in recent years. He apparently purchased 30 for his office recently.

NPR’s Juan Williams slammed FNC’s Greta Van Susteren with only a few seconds on the clock: “People watch Greta and they think they are watching a news show.”

Even with the time constraint, Van Susteren fired back: “At least people watch.”

CNN’s John King is a self-proclaimed “dinosaur.”

George Stephanopoulos
was locked in the stairway pre-show. Luckily for him, FishbowlDC heard his knock. We also found out that Steph doesn’t believe magazine covers have any influence on the 24 hour news cycle and that his asst. kinda hates me – join the club.

Someone accidentally walked away with Liz Glover‘s Mac but we hear it is safe and sound and back with its momma.

There is life after MTV…don’t believe me? Ask Gideon Yago, the show’s host/moderator.

IFC Media Project airs Sundays at 11:00 pm.

make media matter 3.jpg
Gideon Yago, Tucker Carlson, George Stephanopoulos, Greta Van Susteren, John King, Juan Williams, Marcus Brauchli, and Norman Ornstein

make media matter 2.jpg
John King and Juan Williams

make media matter 1.jpg
Gideon Yago, Tucker Carlson, George Stephanopoulos

Journo Dragged from AF1

Brenda Lee, a writer for the Georgia Informer — a monthly publication based in Macon, was dragged kicking and screaming from near AF1 at LAX today.

Lee said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she wanted to hand Obama a letter urging him “to take a stand for traditional marriage.” Get the full scoop here.


*Photo credit: AP

Secret Meeting of Newspaper Execs at O’Hare Airport

The Atlantic’s James Warren reports that a discreet meeting between execs from New York Times, Gannett, E. W. Scripps, Advance Publications, McClatchy, Hearst Newspapers, MediaNews Group, the Associated Press, Philadelphia Media Holdings, Lee Enterprises and Freedom Communication Inc. is taking place in Chicago today.

The group is meeting about the future of the newspaper industry and how to charge for online access.

Get the full scoop here.