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Archives: December 2010

James Packard-Gomez Shows off Dead, Frozen Dog

The ultimate Facebook spill by James Packard-Gomez, the clearly scorned ex of salon owner and makeup artist Erwin Gomez, continues.

And today is just ugly.

In a Facebook post entitled “MY ANIMALS ARE HUMAN TOO AND THEY FEEL…”, as excerpted below, Packard-Gomez displays photographs of his dead dogs that he claims Gomez sent to him – frozen.  The video is frightening. “You are one cruel person Erwin Gomez. To do this our poor Yogi. Yogi never hurt anyone. Poor Yogi,” the male voice is heard saying through what sound like faux tears.

James Packard-Gomez: “What a long Day at work….I Think Is a little Confused so I think I need to post the Videos of How I found my two beloved dogs left DEAD & frozen on my front porch this summer in a staples box with a bag of ice…”

Spotted: Mediabistro Founder in Town

For the past few days, Mediabistro founder Laurel Touby and writer husband Jon Fine have been tooling around Washington. They drove from North Carolina and stayed here in Washington due to the blizzard in New York, where they live. Yesterday Touby unknowingly sent off an ironic tweet:

“Being stuck in DC today turning out to be fortuitous. Lunch w/ @FishbowlDC’s Betsy Rothstein and dinner w/ @Anamariecox!”

On Tuesday, the amusing, health conscious duo were spotted at Filomena in Georgetown (where we dined on Gnocchi and skim salad bar pickings). They were also seen at Filter, a basement coffee shop off Dupont Circle. For dinner, they dined with GQ‘s Ana Marie Cox at Dino.

Shirtless Obama? Forget it


NYT‘s Sheryl Gay Stohlberg reports from Hawaii on why we won’t get to see a shirtless President Obama this year. In 2008, pictures such as this one above of POTUS’s chest surfaced. In August, photogs were prevented from any sort of repeat performance. This time around once again, rules are strict — there’s a no long lens policy and no real ability to take racy pictures.

All you folks who wanted shirtless pictures of the president: Forget it. We are now on the all-private, top-secret snorkeling outing.

POTUS and his family (Michelle, Malia and Sasha) as well as unidentified friends and their children arrived at Haunama Bay State Park at 11:07 am. after a 30-minute ride from the vacation rental. We are under explicit instructions that there will be no long lenses or other sneaky attempts to take pictures. The Obama party will be here for two hours and the whole place is closed off. This park is always closed on Tuesdays to allow the fish and the coral reef time to regenerate. Pool is holding in the (closed) snack shop. Haven’t seen a thing.

65 Precious Minutes of Absolute Torture

Oh Ben Smith — how could you?

The “Bloggingheads, 2010″ conversation between Politico‘s Ben Smith and Slate‘s Dave Weigel on bloggingheads.TV is the awkward journalistic experience of late Tuesday afternoon and perhaps the year. They discuss 2010 and make predictions for covering the year ahead.

Is Weigel trying to be a weatherman? Dressed in a sloppy blue sweatshirt, he takes to the blogosphere airwaves and initially tries to make some sense of the New York snowstorm. Amidst a flurry of blinks, at approximately 4:43 Weigel has a bizarre water sipping moment where he misses on the first try and guzzles again. The casualness of the interview makes a viewer wonder,  might he eat a ham sandwich or take a bathroom break mid-interview?

17:31: Really horrible uncomfortable pause. 20:19: Childrens’ voices chatter in the background. 20:50: Another seriously awkward moment arises when they trip over each other. “Yeah, go ahead,” Weigel says after a priceless WTF look from Smith. Some 40 minutes to go. I fear watching this in its entirety might give me nightmares. 24:49: Weigel brings up the infamous Journolist that got him canned (he officially resigned) from WaPo. He speaks about Palm Beach GOP congressional candidate and now Congressman Allen West. “His campaign realized at some point that it was a good idea to not talk to journalists who might write critical things about him,” and amused Weigel mused. “His campaign manager made it pretty clear that, you know, the fact that I was involved with Ezra Klein‘s email list made it so they couldn’t trust me to write about the guy, so good luck with you getting an interview.” (As most know, Smith was on Journolist too.) 25:40: Weigel takes a weird non-sip of soda through a straw but snatches it away at the last minute. No sip. 40:40 Weigel takes a long, substantial sip of soda. 48:50 Smith uses the word “shellacked.” 52:38: Weigel says he doesn’t want to be “saintly” and avoid writing stories that will hail online traffic, but doesn’t necessarily want to cover the Obama fringe. “Somewhere your Slate masters are wincing,” Smith says with a grin. 56:07 Weigel’s final long sip of soda.

Both stand in front of respective bookshelves — Smith’s backdrop looks more old house; Weigel prefers college dorm room style.

Smith is more eloquent and decently well-kempt in a dark jacket, light blue button-down shirt, no tie. Still, the show is awkward and hideously long, and I tortured myself by watching the entire thing — twice, to the point of wanting to yank on Weigel’s sweatshirt strings. The friendship and professional respect between the men is sincere and somewhat touching. But thumbs way down on this one, boys.

Want to see? Watch here.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Prepping you all for CNN Ed Henry’s Hula video.

Journos are just like the rest of us: They get help from friends

“Correction from previous pool report: brown SHORTS, not shirts. Thanks to eagle-eyed pool report reader Joe Curl for picking up your pooler’s typo.” — NYT Sheryl Gay Stohlberg in Hawaii covering President Obama’s vacation. She’s referring to Joe Curl, former TWT scribe and now working for The Drudge Report.

Movie buffs: Blitzer and Tapper

“Want to see True Grit again. seldom say that about films ive just seen. Really well done.” — ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper in a Tuesday tweet.

“Saw ‘True Grit.’ Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin & Hailee Steinfeld are amazing. Coen Bros do it again!” — CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a Tuesday tweet.

Correspondent in Hawaii wonders about snorkeling security detail

“Obama snorkeling this morning in Hawaii: Wondering how the Secret Service detail works in such occasions…. #floatingflackjackets.” — Agence France-Presses’ White House Correspondent Tangi Quemener in a Tuesday tweet.

Stuck scribe

“Dead stopped on PA turnpike due to accident.” — LAT and Chicago Tribune‘s Congressional Correspondent James Oliphant in a Tuesday tweet.

WCP‘s Benjamin Freed tries to imitate FishbowlDC.

We welcome a funny satire. Sigh. But this one lags and lulls and is hard to get through and doesn’t get close to providing an amusing imitation of the site. I enjoyed the National Museum of the American Indian Soup of the Day (but only if you didn’t make it up). Yucca soup garnished with Quinoa Crusted Shrimp sounds delicious and yes, Chuck and Savannah would likely agree. But remember, Chuck is down on most soups. A few critiques: 1) Those shoes — troubling. They look like they might stink. 2) One to tweets is not “picking on you all day.” But we can arrange an official all-day tweaking if you’d like. 3) I did not tell you to “go fuck yourself.” I said the English translation to “Whatever” is “F.U.”  So technically, that is what I told you. Hope you’re having fun with your Google Reader you “uppity” scribe. And tell your mother I’m not going to pick on you (too much) today. xoxo-Betsy

Blind quote on former MSNBCer soon to be radio sub David Shuster from a female reporter…”Shu is kinda hot.”

CQ’s Fruit is Breathtaking

If you did your Christmas shopping at Walgreen’s on the evening of December 24th, you might work for CQ.  At least that’s what John Dineen‘s December 23rd memo suggests.  According to Dineen, while a lot of people go on vacation or do their holiday shopping, CQ was “grinding out stuff on Congress like a machine,”  “working endless hours,” and are now “ready to collapse in a heap.”  The result?  Breathtaking fruit…or something like that.  Read the exhausting memo below and then take some time off.

To the CQ staff:

As the 111th Congress comes to a close, we’d like to take a moment to take stock of what our collective teams have done in the past several weeks, a time when a lot of people get to start winding down, go on vacation, do their holiday shopping. The CQ staff, instead, has been grinding out stuff on Congress like a machine with no off switch. Anyone who follows our products can see the fruits of this work, and it is breathtaking.

We’ve continued to churn out action alerts, news stories, explanatory graphics and analytical takes on congressional actions, and what’s behind them, deep into the night and early in the morning, as the time stamps on indicate. We’ve sent CQ Todays to Capitol Hill and other subscribers every day. We’ve done 49 issues of the Weekly, though our publishing schedule requires only 48. Our legislative action and information staffs are ready to collapse in a heap (and Neda, your hair looks very nice) but won’t give up until the last gavel falls. The news team has produced an excellent stream of stories on everything from appropriations to the START treaty, and in every format from heads ups to narrative stories in the magazine. Our vertical publications arrive in our inboxes each day without fail, even as others appear to be winding down. Our desk and operations staff have worked endless hours to keep this enterprise working.

We have a staff that has us in awe every day, and we can’t thank you enough for a terrific job. We hope you get to enjoy your holidays, and that the recess, though it will be over all too quickly, will bring you all much-needed time to catch your breath.

John and Susan

D. Shuster Gets Fill-In Radio Gig

Politico‘s Patrick Gavin reports today that former MSNBC’er David Shuster ( who was suspended for comments that angered top brass) has landed a substitute radio show.

On Wednesday he will be a fill-in for Jim Bohannon‘s radio show.

Read the full story here. We’ve sought comment from D. Shuster – should he respond, we’ll bring you his comments.

In a previous Facebook comment, D noted a new venture: “I’ll have details about the new venture in early 2011. But suffice it to say I’m thrilled by the exciting and rewarding journalism responsibilities I’m taking on. All of you will be proud. Thanks for your continued support, encouragement, and enthusiasm. Best wishes, David S.”

In the meantime, read Yahoo! News The Cutline’s Michael Calderone‘s story here. In it, Shuster tells Calderone that he “harbors no ill will” against MSNBC.

3 Questions From Facebook

Facebook is pestering Washington today with three tough questions. Employees in the D.C. office are hoping the brief lull in news (aside from CNN Ed Henry‘s Hula lessons) entices FishbowlDC readers who may have nothing better to do today. D.C. journos may be their best bet.

1. Which lawmaker has made the best use of Facebook in 2010 and why? (

2. Which politician made the best use of Facebook this year and why? (

3. Which agency made the best use of Facebook for collaboration, information sharing, and citizen engagement this year?(

In other D.C. office Facebook news, they donned the above festive hats to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. In their very lengthy year roundup of what they’ve been doing since opening up the D.C. office, they hint at a party in 2011 at Facebook.

TWT: Festive to a Fault

Much to his amazement, former TWT sports writer Mark Zuckerman, who now covers the Nats for, got a special Christmas card this year — from his old employer, TWT, you know, the newspaper that laid him off last year?

“Got a Christmas card from … The Washington Times,” he wrote on Twitter. “I don’t even know where to begin with this one. #firedmelastyear #jewish”

But Zuckerman wasn’t the only laid off scribe who got gushy Christmas wishes. Some who still haven’t found new jobs got them along with those who have successfully moved on. Clearly TWT leadership hasn’t updated their mailing list.

One scribe noted, “Always festive and funny at TWT. Fortunately for me, the layoff was the kick-in-the-ass I needed to get me out of there an on to a better place. I’m much better off than I was at TWT, and at a great company with a real vision and an actual business sense and plan.”

Get Ready for CNN Henry’s Hula Dance Lessons

We couldn’t be more excited by the prospect of CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry in a grass skirt taking Hula dancing lessons.

The White House reporter has been living it up in Hawaii covering President Obama‘s family vacation and getting a lot of attention for it. “We’re taking it to the next level,” he says of the Hula dancing lessons that will air on CNN’s Ali Velshi‘s program today at 2:15 p.m. (ET).

We’ve all heard about Velshi and Henry’s bromance. This should be one to watch.