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Archives: September 2009

Tag: “Fearless Reporting. American Values.”

“Fearless reporting. American values.” John Solomon tells us that’s TWT‘s new tag line that will soon be rolled out to accompany TWT Digital’s new “WT” cube logo seen in the picture below.


FishbowlDC’s Brag Book: Meet Tara Taghizadeh

Meet brag book’s latest Tara Taghizadeh. This entertainment reporter was most recently employed at Gannett News Service as the entertainment reporter. She’s also worked for National Geographic, US News Ventures, Post-Newsweek Tech Media and Ryan Publishers in London.

What working journalist do you most admire and why? David Carr of The New York Times, Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker, Jack Shafer at Slate, and Andrew O’Hehir and Heather Havrilesky at to name a few. They never disappoint. I always look forward to reading their stories and walk away having learned something.

Proudest moment in your career? I have been fortunate enough to interview various authors and celebrities, but I suppose my interviews with fashion designer Liz Claiborne and the comedian Lewis Black were memorable. Claiborne was quite intimidating, and Black (whom I consider one of the best comedians in the biz) was an absolute pleasure to interview.

Another proud moment: When I was at National Geographic, I was freelancing on the side for a wonderful book publisher called Counterpoint in DC, where I had the opportunity to work on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, “Invisible Allies,” which they were publishing. It was a real thrill to be a part of the process of publishing the work of a literary giant like Solzhenitsyn.

What is something that most people don’t know about you? I have lived in seven countries and three continents.

Check out some of Tara’s recent work here and here, her LinkedIn profile here and you can reach her by email here.

Tara’s Q&A is continued after the jump…

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Diane Graces Cap File‘s Fall Issue

It’s ABC’s Diane Sawyer who graces the cover of the latest Capitol File, but the mag’s real “it” girl is new Editor-in-Chief Sarah Schaffer. FBDC caught up with Schaffer for the scoop on the fall issue, which should hit newsstands October 1st…

Diane Sawyer’s on the cover- what timing! Was she picked before her big announcement as the new “World News” anchor? And why?

We’re thrilled to have Diane Sawyer on the cover, and at such an important time in her career as she prepares to take over the helm at “World News.” We chose her for our fall issue because we admire her body of work, warm spirit and long career in journalism. We’ve had this cover planned for a long while now, but as it turns out the timing worked perfectly for her- and for us! In our interview she talks about her journo mentors and favorite stories, as well as her early days working in the Nixon White House. It’s a good read.

What new features can we will see in this issue and can we expect to see in future issues?

Where do I begin? We’ve made some design tweaks and pumped up our coverage of the District’s food and fashion scenes. We’re also introducing a new special section called Obsessions. It’s an annual guide to what we’re, as the name suggests, obsessed with right now in Greater Washington. And more than ever before we’re taking a peek inside the lives of the people who define Washington’s culture-politicians, power players, media types, artists, philanthropists and local business leaders- with features like our On the Record piece, a first-person essay (this month’s is by Mark Shriver; he talks about his family’s legacy) and our Life of the Party page, which polls two politicos- one from the left and one from the right- on their hobbies, passions, annoyances and favorite DCisms.

Sawyer has a three-page spread, in which she discusses what has changed in journalism over the course of her career, her favorite and most harrowing interviews and even dabbles into her personal life.

You’ll also recognize a certain contributor’s name this issue of Cap File. Matt catches up with a few DC media types, including Luke Russert, George Stephanopoulos, Ed Henry, Amy Holmes and Dana Priest this fall about their favorite local haunts.

Some dets from Sawyer’s Cap File interview after the jump…

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TWT‘s Duin Nabs Two Awards

Julia Duin, religion editor for The Washington Times, recently snagged two awards from the Religion Newswriters Association, the professional organization for journalists who cover religion in the secular media.

Duin was the second-place winner in the Religion Reporter of the Year category and took third in the Cornell Award competition.

For more details see TWT here. Congrats to Julia!

CQ-Roll Call FAIL: Brian Nutting Fired?

Last week, in the midst of the CQ-Roll Call layoffs, FishbowlDC posted a “We need answers” email response from CQ editor Brian Nutting. The email demanded answers and clarification from upper management regarding the layoffs and falsities surrounding the Economist‘s acquisition of CQ.

Many outraged sources now tell FishbowlDC that the hero-editor has been let go over his stance and determination to defend his employees’ jobs.

One source tells FishbowlDC:

He is a 27-year veteran of CQ. He fostered many careers at CQ and many are crying this morning in the newsroom. He was fired for “not showing remorse” after sending the email. Before the layoffs he offered to be laidoff himself if it would save his two reporters who were cut. Management said no because they couldn’t afford this severance.

Sounds like management ought to start ordering Prozac in bulk because morale is in the dumpster…

Stay tuned for more details.

***UPDATE*** 11:23 am

A very reliable source sent me this note on Nutting’s firing:

The Gestapo at CQ just fired Brian Nutting…..Because he refused to apologize to Laurie Battaglia. He apparently said “hell no, why would I apologize? I meant it.”

27 years there. And this way, they get out of paying him severance.

***UPDATE*** 11:32 am

Editorial Director Mike Mills sent this memo to staff:

I regret to announce that Brian Nutting is leaving CQ-Roll Call Group, effective today. For 27 years, Brian has been a standard-bearer for editorial quality at CQ, including, in recent years, coaching and mentoring reporters on the techniques of legislative reporting and writing. We thank him for his dedication and his service. Mike

WaPo‘s “America’s Next Great Pundit”

No, Simon Cowell isn’t coming to DC, but WaPo is launching a fit-for-Washington version of “American Idol,” “America’s Next Great Pundit.”

Could you be the next Dana Milbank or Eugene Robinson? Starting today through October 21st, WaPo is taking submissions- ten of which will then compete in “rounds of challenges testing the skills a modern pundit must possess,” including writing on deadline, appearing on video, and fielding questions from Post readers.

The final prize is a 13-week column to appear in print and/or online, at the rate of $200 per column, totaling $2,600.

This is gonna be fun.

Morning Reading List 09.29.09

Good morning FishbowlDC! Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Happy Birthday to Gwen Ifill! A tipster points out that today also marks her ten year anniversary as managing editor and moderator of PBS’ “Washington Week.” U2′s Bono is in town for tonight’s concert at FedEx Field. There’s a private screening of Michael Moore‘s new film “Capitalism: A Love Story” tonight at the Uptown. FBDC will be there so look for coverage tomorrow. How to plant an item on Page Six. How to plant an item on FishbowlDC.

What know and what we’re reading this Tuesday morning…



CNN has launched an iPhone app.

NBC’s Hoda Kotb and Natalie Morales, CBS’ Russ Mitchell, ABC’s Brian Ross and CNN’s John Roberts will be presenters at this year’s RTNDA awards on October 12th.

Check out CBS correspondent Byron Pitts‘ remarkable story here.

Maria Shriver is back at NBC– as a guest editor for a week of special coverage on women, NYT reports. She’ll be a guest on “Meet the Press” October 18th and much of NBC’s coverage will be based on her project, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything.”

And SNL newbie who dropped the f-bomb on Saturday’s show won’t be fired.


Katie Couric interviews The Daily Beast founders Barry Diller and Tina Brown on her webcast, to air today and every Tuesday. Check out a sneak peek of Diller’s comments on the future costs of web content here.


Publication of Sarah Palin‘s new book is being moved up from next spring to November 17th and the anticipated title is “Going Rogue: An American Life.” Did this piece in Slate by John Dickerson inspire the title? (h/t Mike Allen)

Palin’s memoirs were also a topic of discussion on today’s mediabistro Morning Media Menu.

The Daily Beast is taking on book publishing, Beast Books.


“60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager and VF Editor Graydon Carter announced that the two organizations have teamed up to create a monthly poll with results revealed on “60 Minutes” and in the magazine.

CBS announced yesterday another partnership with GlobalPost to expand its foreign reach via the site’s 70 correspondents scattered among 50+ countries. Dets here.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico, NJ‘s Wake-Up Call and Last Call!

Today’s Most Popular Stories 09.28.09

Each day, Ashley Estill surfs your sites for the most popular stories of the day. Here are the top headlines for September 28, 2009:

Washington Post: Polanski’s Attorney Says He Will Fight Extradition to U.S.

Washington Times: Liberals seek health-care access for illegals

Washington Examiner: Iran smolders, Afghanistan burns, and Obama heads to…Denmark

N.Y. Times: In Some States, a Push to Ban Mandate on Insurance

L.A. Times: Website upgrade makes it easier to monitor federal stimulus

USA Today: Three teens charged in fatal beating of Chicago student

CQ Politics: Massachusetts Ready To Allow Fill-In Senator

The Hill: Lack of competitive open seats could hinder GOP election gains

Politico: Wall Street money rains on Chuck Schumer

ABC News: Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll That Asked Whether Obama Should Be Killed

CBS News: 140 Lives Claimed by Philippines Flooding

Fox News: Where in the World is Hitler’s Skull?

MSNBC News: Honduras says will restore civil liberties

CNN: Pretty women can be hard to be friends with

Wall Street Journal: New Sanctions Against Iran Seem More Likely

NPR: FBI Probes Seattle Link To Somali Suicide Bombing

Roll Call: Timeline for Senate Health Debate Still Unsettled

National Journal: Merkel’s Re-Election Signals New Era In German Politics

Bloomberg News: U.S. Stocks Advance on Takeovers; Affiliated Computer Surges

Gallup.Com: More Americans Plugged Into Political News

Kiplinger’s Kickin’ It on “Your Money Bus” Tour


DC-based Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine has joined the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation (NCEF), TD AMERITRADE and to launch the second year of the Your Money Bus Tour.

Kicking off October 1 in Boston, the Your Money Bus is traveling coast-to-coast for one year-visiting more than 25 cities nationwide to offer free financial advice from professional financial advisors.

“At Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, we have been helping our readers save and invest to reach their financial goals for more than 60 years,” says editor in chief Knight Kiplinger.

I say, “Hey Knight, can your bus swing by Georgetown for about a week? I have some financial goals that need a little TLC.”

If not, I will have to catch the bus during it’s DC stop on November 11, 2009. More details on events taking place in each city are available at

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

Notes from a briefing room press insider…

“Call Tommy on Saturday.”: With the WH announcement that POTUS will, in fact, jet to Copenhagen later Thursday to push for his hometown’s 2016 Olympic bid, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had some splainin’ to do about what has changed since Obama had said FLOTUS would lead the pitch. “The president believes health care is in better shape,” RG said in response to citations of POTUS’s original stay-at-home reasoning. But POTUS was also personally enthusiastic about the Denmark jaunt, Gibbs said, while adding that it was “silly” to think POTUS wouldn’t fight for any other U.S. city with an Olympic bid. Further trip questions were deflected to press aide Tommy Vietor in what became a Gibbsian refrain: “Call Tommy on Saturday” (after the IOC’s decision). Dodging a specific question on health care later on, RG jokingly advised: “Call Tommy.”

Tehran Tango: The news out of Tehran that the regime has launched a few missiles, in the style of fellow bad-kid-in-class North Korea, has put a new twist on the drama of this week’s P5+1 meeting on Iranian denuclearization. While identifying the act as a “preplanned” exercise more than once, Gibbs also called the regime “provocative” and said it validated the Obama team’s recent missile defense decisions. “We’re focused on Thursday,” he said, declining to elaborate on sanctions speculation. Foreign policy critics are watching sanctions developments with skepticism about Russian and Chinese cooperation, but Gibbs was on offense: “A few weeks ago no one ever thought we’d be where we are right now,” he said, citing the two countries’ statements on the Iranian nuclear plant revelation as real progress.

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