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Archives: September 2011

CNN’s New Guard Greets Fox Newsers

A peculiar welcome wagon awaited Brit Hume and Karl Rove outside Fox News’ Washington bureau on Wednesday night.  Before they could enter the studios for their respective hits, both Fox Newsers were forced to pass by some 200 guests of CNN’s New Guard fete.  Awwwwkward.

“Rove looks like he could use a drink,” remarked one party goer.  “Call him over,” suggested another.

But unfazed by the clinking of glasses and rumble of voices, neither FNC personality gave more than a glance at the crew who had congregated on the patio of Johnny’s Half Shell, right in front of Fox’s North Capitol Street headquarters.

Sipping vino and noshing the night away, under glowing CNN logos were ‘new guarders’ such as DOD’s Doug Wilson, UN Foundation’s Heather Wong, Wally Adeyemo from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, W.H. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, State Department new media guru Alec Ross, CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, Doug Heye, Ayotte press secretary Jeff Grappone, Reid communications director Adam Jentleson, Jen Psaki, Thune’s Kyle Downey, Duke University’s Ronnie Chatterji, Rand Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley and Becca Glover from Rep. Issa’s press shop.  They mixed and mingled with CNN’s Sam Feist, Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, Edie Emery, Megan Grant, Donna Brazile, Jill Chappell, Sarah Baker, Jen Scoggins, and media types such as The Hill’s Judy Kurtz, Kelly DiNardo, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, and soon-to-be Roll Call’s Abby Livingston.

At the end of the evening CNN bid their guests farewell with a gift: network-branded umbrellas, in case of rain.

Today’s Most Popular Stories 9.28.11

Every afternoon we surf your sites for the most popular stories of the day. Here are the top headlines for September 28, 2011:

Washington Post: Is Christie ready to be president?

Washington Times: Senate delays jobs bill to take on China

Washington Examiner: Property tax credit trips up politicians

Bloomberg: St. George Mayor on Disincorporation of Town

USA Today: Nude awakening: Athletes posing in ESPN’s Body Issue

NPR: Reebok Agrees To $25M Settlement In Refunds For ‘Toning Shoes’

The Hill: Energy Department approves $1 billion in solar energy loan guarantees

Politico: Defiant Team Perry’s plan: Hit harder

Roll Call: Senate Strikes Deal on CR, Disaster Funding

National Journal: An Unlikely Path: Members of Congress Without Bachelor’s Degrees—PICTURES

The New Republic: The Permanent Candidate

The Daily Caller: New audio: NC governor struck serious tone on suspending congressional elections

Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks

The Washington Examiner‘s Yeas & Nays is following in Politico CLICK’s footsteps in at least one sense this week by committing the same offense CLICK did just days before.

Today the Examiner writes up an item as if it is their own. They provide a one-word link without ever uttering the publication’s name. Ironically, that would be Politico. That one-word: “headlining.”

See the Examiner item here. See the original source — Politico (See? Not that hard to write) — here.

Rashbass Shuffles CQ Roll Call Ad Group…Again

When CQ Roll Call’s Laurie Battaglia was fired in February, the Economist Group positioned her departure as a job elimination due to their strategy to separate the advertising department from circulation sales.  In a memo to staff, Economist Group CEO Andrew Rashbass announced that Publisher Mark Walters and the organization’s ad folks would be reporting to Paul Rossi at the group’s parent company.  But Rashbass’s strategy was either short-lived or just an excuse to show Battaglia the door because the organizational hierarchy is right back to the way it was prior to her termination.

In an internal memo today, Rashbass shifted responsibility for Walters and his team back to CQ Roll Call, under new Managing Director Keith White‘s watchful eye:

“Dear all

I am delighted to announce that with immediate effect, Keith White will be responsible for all of CQ Roll Call. Since January, Mark Walters and the advertising side of the business have reported to Paul Rossi, EVP & Managing Director – Americas. Mark will now report to Keith. Keith also joins the GMC (Group Management Committee).

I should like to thank Paul for his help with CQ Roll Call advertising over the past nine months. He has provided his usual exceptional vision and inspiration and along with Mark and his team has reestablished our leadership in the DC advertising market.

Please join me in congratulating Keith on his promotion.

Best wishes,  Andrew”

Kisses to Politico’s Video Dept. Love, Christie

After Politico ran a late Tuesday afternoon montage of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s adamant and repeated denials that he’s running for President, they got a shout-out last night from the big guy himself.

That would be Christie, not God.

“I don’t mean to be an advertiser for Politico, but they put a minute and 53 seconds of my answers strung back to back to back to back together on the question of running for the presidency,” Christie said. “… Everyone go to, I’m not going to bore you with it now.”

Self-praise alert…Politico‘s own Juana Summers wrote up the mention.

Here’s the montage by Alex Trowbridge.

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NJ Loses Beard to WaPo

Nearly a year to the very date that he arrived to NJ, David Beard is leaving for WaPo. He left the Boston Globe last year around this time to go to work for NJ as Digital Editorial Director.

Does Beard have ants in his pants? Could WaPo finally be getting serious about addressing their digital issues?

“It’s true!” confirmed NJ Spokeswoman Taylor West. “He’s been a valuable member of our team, but we’re very happy for his new opportunity. His excellent deputy, Alissa Swango, will take over the day-to-day operations of the digital team and will help us with the hunt for a Digital Editorial Director whose focus will be on long-term strategy. That search has already begun.”

Congratulations to Beard. The journo joins Terence Samuel, the beloved editor who also recently left NJ for WaPo.

The Teleprompter is Alive


In what is among the strangest, most absurdly detailed Pool Reports we’ve seen in a year and a half is this one from The Daily Caller‘s Neil Munro from President Obama‘s education speech at an area high school this afternoon.

We hope you’re, um, seated. (Pssst…don’t feel badly if you get lost around the third seating area.) The video cameras double for monsters. And that teleprompter? It’s alive and well, plural — and present.

“1.30 pm.

Two flights up to an old gym at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, we see aan dueicen that consists of Roughly 60 kids and adults sitting behind the podium. 14 rows of adults sitting in front of the podium. each row has roughly 25 people, split evenly between adults and teens. A third seating area, comprised of four bleachers, each with roughly 20 adults and students apiece, was placed to the right of the stage, or to the left of the speaker. That’s roughly 500 people, evenly split between adults and teens.  A four set of bleachers, with another 20 people, was also on the left.  At least seven videocameras watch from from behind the main floor. The crowd was overwhelmingly African-American.  The temperature rose rapidly, and people were fanning themselves even before the president appeared.  The teleprompter were present.”

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know…)

Roll Call HOH’s New Offspring Feature – In a new occasional series, HOH will introduce readers to the offspring of lawmakers. This means grandkids, nieces, nephews, spouses of pols who grew up on the Hill and now work here.

A Journo Reacts to Nancy Grace Wardrobe Malfunction… “Headline: Nancy Grace suffers wardrobe malfunction on ‘DANCING’ My reaction?: Nothing could make me click onto that link.” — Pittsburgh Tribune‘s Salena Zito.

Reporters Attack Washington Examiner Editorial: A couple of Washington journos took the Washington Examiner to task for a Tuesday editorial exalting the benefits of driving a car. “If you don’t drive a car, you hate freedom,” bristled Politico‘s Byron Tau on Twitter. And ThinkProgress’s third tier Boybander Matt Yglesias, with his personal account, also weighed in, saying, “Car exhaust fumes are toxic, no matter how much the Washington Examiner dislikes trains.” Read the alleged offending editorial here.

Turtle Journalism…It’s never a surprise at this point that certain sections of WaPo lag behind like tortoises that actually don’t win any race. Yesterday “The Reliable Source” rewrote a story about Prince Charles brushing off media tycoon Joe Allbritton regarding his cookie company. The story had already been written by both the London Times and the Daily Mail — both published about it on Sunday. WaPo cited the Times and then proceeded with their own independent reporting — some of the answers to which were already in the Daily Mail. They reported that a spokesman for Clarence House, a royal home that shares the grounds of Buckingham Palace, said he didn’t know how much Allbritton had invested. But the answer: $750,000 (Daily Mail). Their link on the London Times doesn’t lead to the story because readers have to pay a pound to get inside. Read the WaPo story here. And for the Daily Mail read here. (Full disclosure: FBDC aggregated the story on Monday. We’re not crying attribution foul as the London papers broke the story.)

Story Deserves Prominent Treatment: Roll Call has an intriguing, short, online-only story today about a stray shooting that landed bullets inside the home of a Capitol Hill staffer named Raj Barhwani who lives there with his wife, Jessica. One bullet was found in their newborn’s bassinet. Read here. We got the locks taken off the paywall for this one.

With Friends Like David Shuster…

…Who needs enemies at Fox News?

Over the weekend Current TV’s feisty substitute anchor David Shuster took a caveman’s club to the Fox News commentators who moderated the most recent GOP presidential debate. He aired his grievances on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” in a tirade he says wasn’t meant to be angry even though the shouting blasting from the TV sounded like he was trying out for The McLaughlin Group. “If I need to smile more, I’ll take that critique and work on it,” the Emmy-award winning anchor told FishbowlDC in an email interview this week, punctuating his sentence with a smiley emoticon.

But even more striking than Shuster’s sharp jabs at Fox News anchors Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace was what came long before he dismissed them as idiots. “I still have a lot of friends there [at Fox News], too” he made a special point of saying when host Howard Kurtz announced that he once worked at the network.

Shuster said his comments stemmed from recent conversations he’d had with those “friends” at Fox News. “Speaking to a few of them on Friday/Saturday is what inspired me, in part, to bring up Brett [sic] and Megyn on Sunday.  Several people in the Fox DC bureau were embarrassed by some of the questions in the debate.  Furthermore, there seems to be a strong sense that Fox News has lost a lot of credibility/watchability with Brit Hume‘s semi-retirement.”

Fox News PR did not return a request for comment.

But a “Friend of Fox” told FBDC, “He may be right about Megyn but not about Brett. Ratings wise Brett does better than Brit did. Of course, Brit has been around Washington for a long time and has a great deal of institutional knowledge. But Brett will get that. Megyn seems to talk to pundits more than newsmakers, that hurts.”

But are Shuster’s attacks credible? “I think David Shuster is a hack who went over to MSNBC and sold whatever credentials he had in order to get a job over there. So my guess is a lot of this is sour grapes,” said right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who is based in an undisclosed location in the Washington area, possibly a bunker. “But he has ceased being a journalist in my eyes long ago, so who cares what thinks about Fox or anyone else?”

Others also sense the irony of a Shuster critique on Fox News. “It’s kind of funny that a guy who was fired for a lack of credibility and honesty with his former employer at MSNBC would feel comfortable commenting on the credibility of others. But a lack of credibility and self-awareness have always been Shuster’s calling card,” said TownHall columnist and WMAL radio host Derek Hunter. “He’s a perfect fit for Current TV – no one cares what he thinks and no one watches that network. It’s a match made in wherever matches no one gives a damn about are made.”

Jeff Poor, TV writer for The Daily Caller, said “Shuster has been going around talking down Fox News and how he has inside info for a few months — since he had the leash taken off after departing MSNBC.” Poor’s referencing Shuster’s recent call for FNC’s Bill Sammon‘s firing. “I mean, take that for what it’s worth as far as his motivations for attacking Fox News – a [guy with an] association to MMFA and fill-in host for Keith Olbermann.”

In the days following Shuster’s fiery performance on “Reliable Sources,” press hits began rolling in. Both favorable and damning. While HuffPost reported a straightforward account of what happened on CNN (Shuster praised them for it on Twitter), BigGov tweaked him, calling him “barely employed” in a banner-like headline.

Shuster was nonetheless grateful for the attention. He told FBDC, “Actually, I thought that was funny. And it was great to see Andrew Breitbart pick up and run the segment. Given the soft and humorous jab at my employment (I’m fully employed, thank you) I suspect Andrew also thinks the debate questions could have been/should have been sharper. In any case, I’m always thankful for Andrew’s attention.”

Did someone say attention? “Shuster, like his pal-in-career failure Olbermann, loves talking about his ‘conversations’ with ‘friends’ ‘inside the network’ as ways to justify whatever lunacy he comes up with to get someone to pay attention to him,” said a Washington journo on condition of anonymity. “I’ve yet to meet anyone who calls either ‘friends’ and even if these conversations did take place, talking to one or two employees is hardly indicative of the overall consensus within a large news organization. But I’m glad someone’s paying attention to Shuster. It must be a nice change of pace for him.”

More Shuster…

Read more

Yahoo!’s Espanol Roundtable Coming Up…

Today at 11:25am ET, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Yahoo! en Español will live-stream the proclaimed first-ever Hispanic-focused online roundtable with President Barack Obama.

Moderated by Jose Siade, Yahoo!’s editor-in-chief for U.S. Hispanic and Latin America, the live 60-minute roundtable will be webcast from the White House and will focus on issues such as the economy, education, health care, and immigration. Watch the event here.

AOL/HuffPost is also getting one of its octopus arms in on the action. Yahoo! will moderate the session and ask questions from Yahoo! users. AOL Latino/HuffPost Latino Voices and MSN Latino will also participate in the roundtable.

Just one request: If New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg could please stop by to pose questions in his native Spanish tongue we’d be eternally grateful. We’re offering a book that might help him along.