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Archives: September 2011

Sunday Morning Panels: Only Males Need Apply

It’s that time once again to see how many meat popsicles are appearing on the Sunday morning political talk show circuit. Last week fared a bit better than the week before. This week isn’t looking so good for the female population.



NBC “Meet the Press”: 1

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Vice Chairman, House Democratic Caucus
Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction
Mike Murphy, Republican Strategist
E.J. Dionne, Columnist, WaPo
Peggy Noonan, Columnist, WSJ

The Chris Matthews Show: 2

Nia Malika Henderson, WaPo, John Heilemann, NY Magazine, Rana Foroohar, TIME, David Ignatius, WaPo.

ABC’s “This Week”: 1

Matt Katz, Statehouse Reporter, Philadelphia Inquirer
Mark Penn, Democratic Strategist
Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks
Jake Tapper, Senior White House Correspondent
Nicolle Wallace, Republican Strategist, Author, It’s Classified
George Will, ABC News, WaPo

Fox News Sunday: 1

Brit Hume, FNC, Mara Liasson, NPR, Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard, Juan Williams, FNC

CBS’ “Face the Nation”: No roundtable, 0 female guests

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.)
Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.)

CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: 2

Lauren Ashburn, founder, Ashburn Media Company
John Avlon, Newsweek/The Daily Beast
David Frum,
Erin Burnett, anchor, OutFront
Eric Deggans, media critic, St. Petersburg Times

Note to Readers:  On ABC’s “This Week,” Jonathan Karl did not end up appearing on the program. The above report has been changed to reflect this. He was originally scheduled to appear on the program but in a subsequent schedule was taken off. Chrstiane Amanpour interviewed Martha Raddatz, who was not on the panel, but reported in from Afghanistan.

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From ‘Real Housewives’ to Will Ferrell’s Mistress

Mary Amons, of ‘Real Housewives of D.C.’ fame, is taking her acting to a whole new level. This week she’s in New Orleans trying out for a significant role in a Will Ferrell movie. Get this — it’s as his mistress. There’s talk of a semi-nude scene.

“Which I hope she’ll get paid a lot for because he’s totally disgusting,” snarked a Washington publicist.

Examiner Flacks For Fox News

3-2-1. “RRING! RRING!”

The predictability in the air was palpable on Wednesday afternoon when we published a story on the abrasive comments Current TV’s David Shuster made about Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace over the weekend.  You may recall how Shuster took his stink with the FNCers to CNN’s airwaves on Sunday, telling Howie Kurtz that the trio had no business moderating a presidential debate due to their lack of campaign trail experience.

Communicating extensively with FBDC, Shuster reaffirmed his remarks and even took things a step further.  He charged that Fox has lost all “credibility/watchability” since Brit Hume‘s semi-retirement. He also explained that conversations with “friends” inside FNC prompted him to criticize the network on CNN.  After finishing with Shuster, FBDC contacted longtime Fox News Communications Director Irena Brigante for a response or comment on the matter. Included in the note was a graph of quotes from our earlier conversation with Shuster.

So we waited. No response. Deafening silence. Still, not surprising.  That is, after all, typical treatment for journalists who’ve been blackballed by Fox News PR.

“That’s how they operate. There’s a black list. So if they’re isolating you it means you pissed them off or were nice to someone at another network.,” said a TV insider who is familiar with Brigante’s operation.

“F–k her,” added another media insider with a key vantage point to know her history. “That’s her stock and trade to alienate people and never talk to certain media outlets. I’ve had this conversation with everyone in the media.”

But wait there’s more to FNC’s blacklist than the silent treatment.  Things generally play out like this: While most of the network’s press shop is busy miming hateful replies to your request, one of the spokeshags hits the phones to sell your scoop or share your inquiry with  one of their pet publications. Which is precisely what happened this week.

Sure enough, just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday the Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, who has taken the bait before, wrote FBDC explaining that she, too, was working on a Shuster/Fox News piece.  What a coincidence!  In the note, she posed a question about Shuster’s misspelling Baier’s first name. FBDC replied.

Schwab’s story published Wednesday. The piece contained zero new news and cited only Shuster’s comments to FBDC – coincidentally the very same quotes we’d sent to FNC PR when we originally sought comment from them. Schwab advanced the story with nothing more than a remark from an unnamed Fox News spokesperson regarding the quotes we’d emailed Brigante earlier in the day.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

We reached out to both Schwab and Editor Stephen Smith, posing virtually the same question to each of them: Does the Washington Examiner see anything ethically challenging about Fox News using their publication as a mouthpiece? So far, no response.

TMZ’s Levin to Pop Into D.C. for a Visit

That’s right. TMZ’s Executive Producer Harvey Levin is coming to the National Press Club Speakers luncheon on Oct. 24 to discuss — what else? — the future of news coverage in a speech entitled “Will the evening news become TMZ?”

Levin will discuss how the TMZ news model, with its online and TV components, has changed the way people receive entertainment and political news. He’ll address the rapid 24-hour news cycle and threats to accuracy and rigorous journalism standards, as well as TMZ critics who dismiss its coverage as crappy celebrity gossip.

“Number one–we don’t do gossip; we do news,” Levin said in a PRNewswire release. “Number two–everybody takes our stories.  If you look at CNN, if you look at all the shows, a lot of people tell us they literally get their rundowns from our site.”

Sunday Show Preview: 10.02.11

NBC’s Meet the Press: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA); Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA); Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA); Mike Murphy, Republican Strategist; E.J. Dionne, Washington Post; Peggy  Noonan, Wall Street Journal.

CBS’s Face the Nation: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) and Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS).

ABC’s This Week: Herman Cain.

CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Dick Cheney, former Vice President & author of “In My Time”; Liz Cheney, daughter and co-author of “In My Time”; Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.), former CIA Director; Jane Harman, former U.S. Congresswoman; Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS).

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Lauren Ashburn, Ashburn Media Company; John Avlon, Newsweek/The Daily Beast; David Frum,; Erin Burnett, anchor of OutFront; Eric Deggans, St. Petersburg Times.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: John Dickerson, Slate Magazine and CBS News; Sam Youngman, The Hill; Major Garrett, National Journal; Joan Biskupic, USA Today.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Zbigniew Brzezinski.

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show:

Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling, Hip Hop artist and actor Common, and Harvard Law professor and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice Dr. Charles Ogletree.

Platts Energy Week: former Dept. of Energy Loan Director Walter Howes, former CFTC Trading Director Michael Greenberger and A123 Systems CEO David Vieau.

C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).  Reporters are Steven Dennis, Roll Call and Gregory Korte, USA Today.

Bloomberg & WJLA’s energyNOW!: Redskins owner Dan Snyder and players Lorenzo Alexander and Oshiomogho Atogwe.

Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman: Desmond Lachman, American Enterprise Institute; Martin Baily, Brookings Institution; Gregor Peter Schmitz, Der Spiegel.

Politico’s Turn the Table after the jump.

We’ll update ‘em as we get ‘em.

Read more

FBDC to Crash Wilson-Pecnik Wedding

What do Ken Spain, Chuck Todd and Reince Priebus have in common?  If you answered: “they’re all attending a wedding that Matt and Betsy plan to crash,” you’re right on the money.  Just kidding!  Weddings are a snooze-a-palooza.  We’re only interested in the reception after National Journal Hotline Editor Reid Wilson and Veronica Pecnik tie the knot tomorrow evening.

We hear the hitchin’ will go down at the Decatur House around 5pm.  But don’t worry if you weren’t invited.  You can sneak in with FishbowlDC when the bride and groom hit Lafayette Park to capture their marital bliss on camera.  Just remember to wear your eatin’ pants and empty your handbags before the nuptials – we’ve heard rumblings of a raw bar.

In all seriousness, congrats to the happy couple!  We can’t wait to see you tomorrow night when we’ll claim to be Veronica’s second cousins from Sheboygan.

Even Obama Trusts Bret Baier’s Debate Skills

Current TV’s David Shuster may not think much of FNC anchor Bret Baier‘s debate moderating skills. But President Obama does.

In a story by Chicago Sun Times reporter Abdon Pallasch, he reports that Obama had nothing but praise for Bret after that Iowa debate. “Even President Barack Obama reportedly told Fox host Bret Baier after that debate, ‘By the way, you guys did a great job in Iowa.’”

Read the full story on Fox News reaching adolescence here.

A Story With Fat Metaphors in Every Fold

This story is nothing short of spectacular in that it contains the greatest number of overweight metaphors per square inch that we’ve seen since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie began his quest to not be president.

You’ll notice that the woman who wrote this, a CNN national news correspondent known for cracking jokes, has a name often associated with cows. We don’t usually print full stories, but we hope you’ll give us a wide girth to showcase her creativity.

By Jeanne Moos

New York (CNN) – As people ask New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run for president, the debate over his weight is heating up again.

As his profile gets bigger, so does the issue of his size.

Now that he’s a national figure, comedians are starting to make his waistline a punch line.

“Take a look, does he show up? Go to Google Earth,” joked David Letterman.

From late night to daytime talk, Chris Christie’s weight is being tossed around.

“Can you see him as president?” asked Whoopi Goldberg.

“You say no? No. Why not,” said Barbara Walters. “What you said is because he’s hefty.”

For awhile they danced around the f-word.

“I don’t think this country is ready for a fat President again,” said Joy Behar.

“I think that’s ridiculous,” said Walters.

“Imagine this conversation about an overweight female candidate,” said Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Governor Christie is a bonanza for cartoonists like Jeff Danziger, who drew republicans in a life raft seeking rescue while Christie is belly up on the beach.

“I saw him the other day. I was amazed by him. He must be 300 plus, and that’s something he’s just gotta deal with cause you’re not gonna say ‘I’m gonna cut the budget.’ Well, how about starting with supper,” said Chris Matthews.

But Chris Matthews would go to bed without his supper for that remark if Mike Huckabee had his way.

“To criticize Chris Christie cause of the amount of his skin is absurd,” said Huckabee.

The amount of Huckabee’s skin used to be excessive. He lost 110 pounds.

His weight may be the elephant in the room, but Christie talks about it comfortably.

“Well listen, I’ll let all of your audience in on secret, Wolf, I’m overweight,” Christie said on a talk show.

When it comes to portly presidents, William Howard Taft was America’s biggest, at over 300 pounds.

Taft was famous for getting stuck in the White House bathtub. Aides had to come get him out.

He then had a new tub made, big enough for four men. [As shown above.]

At a Christie town hall, one voter saw beyond size.

“And I think having a governor who’s smart and that has perseverance to do what’s right is hot and sexy,” she said.


Gary Johnson’s BCC Faux Pas

GOP Presidential hopeful Gary Johnson definitely gets high marks for persistence. As the former Governor of New Mexico, his press operation is also something to be gazed at like an alien invasion. He hosts conference calls with reporters with the frequency of teeth brushing. His emails list recipients and their email addresses, all loose for everyone to see.

In the journalism world this is frowned upon.

But we’re not complaining. His faux pas is most definitely our gain. We’re now filling a small filing cabinet with lists of journalists’ emails nationwide from Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, and Sioux City to someone named the “mad biologist” and the more expected outlets like Cox News, The Weekly Standard, Talking Points Memo and more.

Thanks Gary!

WaPo’s FW to Celebrate 3rd Birthday

On October 13 WaPo‘s FW (Fashion Washington) is hosting a party to celebrate its third anniversary at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The event is by invitation only.