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Archives: December 2011

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Note to Readers: We’re going fishing today (ice fishing, if necessary) so we won’t be around. We will return tomorrow, so send us your items anyhow and we’ll get to them on Friday. The only way we might interrupt this day off is if Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Rear end Wis.) goes jogging or injures his rump in any way. So please, congressman, do not take up jogging today or any fat burning exercises targeting your derriere. Friday is fine.


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Office madness

“Someone in my office is playing reveille. I hope this is interview-related.” — NPRFreshair.

Number of times BigGov’s Andrew Breitbart tweeted at us on Wednesday with no response in return: 7. Seems a little desperate for you. By the way, the lunch offer still stands. Your goons are not invited.

An odd message from NYT

“If you received an email today about canceling your NYT subscription, ignore it. It’s not from us.” — @nytimes. The email included an option to stay with the pub and get an exclusive 50 percent off for 16 weeks. PBS’s Gwen Ifill chimed in, “And here I was, looking forward to that 1/2 off deal.” Oh, but it turned out that it was the NYT. They sent the email by mistake to eight million people. Read more about this debacle here. A FBDC reader sent us the email he received from the NYT with one word in the email: “Ridiculous.” The subject line: CORRECTION: Important information regarding your subscription. Dear New York Times Reader, You may have received an e-mail today from The New York Times with the subject line “Important information regarding your subscription.” This e-mail was sent by us in error. Please disregard the message. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. Sincerely, The New York Times. The only trouble? This FBDC doesn’t even subscibe to the NYT. “This morning I had received a solicitation to continue my home delivery subscription to the times,” he wrote. “Only problem: I don’t have a subscription.”

Knox finally makes it to Iowa — in one piece

“Luggage made it. Rental car was there. Hotel res’ intact. I will now set about trying to smell like something other than wombat in feet sauce.” — AFP‘s Olivier Knox. For more on Knox’s travel mishaps this week, read here.

From the Road

“The weather is so unseasonably nice in Iowa that I’m driving with my windows down.” — Politico‘s James Hohmann.

Weiner and Franks: Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter?

“Anthony Weiner & Barney Frank- what a cute couple!” — A commenter on The Blaze website in reaction to a story on a new book in which ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner allegedly says he wants to mix it up with other weiners.

Mitt Wants to Put Big Bird in His Place

GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is in Iowa today discussing all the things he’ll cut if he gets elected to the White House in 2012. Among them, a certain large bird from Sesame Street.

“We’re not going to kill Big Bird, but Big Bird has to have advertisers,” he said, explaining that he plans to strip PBS of government funding.

C-SPAN captured the speech here.

Top 5 ‘Touching’ Holiday Moments

For many of us, Christmas is a special time of year. Gathering with family. Creating lasting memories for children. Celebrating the religious meaning of the holiday. And luckily for us, several DC journalists let us sneak peeks into their touching holiday moments this year. We’ll recap our favorites in the Top 5 “Touching” Holiday Moments.

5 - CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller spending Christmas in Hawaii. Knoller begins the day wishing us a “Merry Christmas from Honolulu. Sun rising over Waikiki.” Thanks Mark. Many of us are spending the time with insufferable in-laws or obnoxious extended family. Glad you’re having fun. Just to add insult to injury, Knoller tweeted us this picture.

4 - NPR’s Scott Simon and Fox News’s Ed Henry Christmas Bromance. Henry’s something of a whore where bromances are concerned. He had a thing for CNN’s Ali Velshi, which died when he fell hard for FNC’s Bret Baier when he switched networks. Now he apparently fancies Simon. As Christmas Day wound down, Simon tweeted that he was enjoying a dinner of “Cheerios, yogurt and a glass of wine.” So, now we know the recipe for holiday cheer. A continental breakfast and booze for dinner. Henry chimed in and you can see their exchange below.

This is clearly the true meaning of Christmas. Two journos mutually admiring each other for all the world to see.

3MSNBC’s Luke Russert Cares for the Troops. On Christmas Day, Russert declares “Happy birthday Jesus!” and includes this classic clip from Full Metal Jacket. He reminds us to remember the military on “this most cherished day.” Thanks, Luke. I’ll do that right after I finish watching Full Metal Jacket with the kids.

2The Obligatory Holiday Message. There are simply too many to list here, but you KNOW who we are talking about. The journalist who, but takes time out of a busy Christmas morning to wish all their fans a happy holiday. For example, Wolf Blitzer from CNN took time from his Christmas Holiday to say “Merry Christmas. I hope this coming year brings all of us peace, good health and happiness.” Or Jeff Sonderman, former Managing Editor for TBD, who takes time out of his holiday to say “Merry Christmas, everyone. May it be a day of peace and joy in whatever way you desire.” We get it, folks. You want us to have a happy holiday. You could always step away from Twitter and enjoy the holiday quietly, you know.

1Mike Allen’s Christmas Playbook. Just as we were all sitting around to open gifts, the most wonderful gift of all arrived in our inbox. Politico’s Playbook from Mike Allen. We thought that even a robot like Allen would take some down time to enjoy the holidays, but no, he reports to us from “the wilds of Wilsonville, Ore.” He is spending the holiday with his sister and her three children. Can you imagine what Mike Allen must be like on Christmas morning?? Children wildly ripping open their presents. Fire roaring in the hearth. Bing Crosby in the background. And Uncle Mike typing away on his Blackberry trying to win Christmas Day. He takes the time to run through some of the gifts that his nephews received and gives us the gift of a reading list. “7 Ideas for the E-Reader Santa Gave You.” We’ll spare you a list within a list, but the top E-Book that he mentions for us to get is Playbook 2012: The Right Fights Back. That’s right, friends, a holiday book plug. ‘Tis the season for more self promotion! And razorblades, to prepare us for more E-Book mentions in 2012.

The Gizz Preps for Iowa

Human Events correspondent John Gizzi, a reporter since 1979, is heading to Iowa. But first, a preview in (thankfully) under two minutes. “It will be coverage like no other,” a female voice claims of Gizz’s upcoming from-the-road reporting.

Bambi and Gump Get a Library Bump

The Library of Congress is now home to Bambi, Thumper, Forrest Gump and Lt. Dan. On Wednesday James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, selected Walt Disney’s Bambi, Forrest Gump and 23 other titles ”to be preserved as cultural, artistic and historical treasures,” according to a press release.

Americans nominated 2,228 titles this year to be included in the Library. Billington then consulted other film curators and the National Film Preservation Board before selecting the final 25.

You can nominate titles for next year’s consideration at at the NFPB’s hideous website here.

A Postcard From Airport Hell

In what has been a week of travel mishaps, two scribes are coping with the pitfalls of modern travel. Earlier in the week, Politico‘s Roger Simon, en route to Iowa, had his luggage lost courtesy of United. For a good 24 hours it was touch and go whether or not Roger would ever see his underwear again. Thankfully the airport delivery service brought his bag to his hotel. Apparently when he called the 800-number they scoured O’Hare Airport for his bag and found it.

By Monday night Roger was already cracking jokes.

“Yes, I was reunited (no pun intended. or maybe so) with my luggage after journalists far wiser than me said to tweet about it with @united in message. Allegedly United actually monitors tweets. Could this be true? I don’t know, but Andrea Mitchell was gracious enough to tweet back that I could still do her show Tuesday with a two-day beard and old clothes. So I still love the Friendly Skies. And I probably won’t whine about anything else for several hours.”

All in all, a happy ending: “I am reunited with my underwear,” he said by email. “And it gave everybody a chance to tell me stories about when Kerry/Bush/Mondale etc. lost their luggage.”

But on Tuesday Agence France-Presse’s Olivier Knox was not in such uplifted spirits. He left his in-laws home near Philly in duress — meaning his son Nibbles was sobbing about his father being in Des Moines for his birthday. But that was just the beginning of the reporter’s rocky road. Knox’s original Delta flight at the airport? Canceled. He sprinted to catch a new flight. This seemed promising until high winds caused further delays. Next up: While waiting on the tarmac, a woman brought onto the plane in a wheelchair turns violently ill. A seizure perhaps? She must be taken off the plane. The oxygen they gave her on board requires extensive paperwork. This means a roughly two-hour delay.

Knox is appropriately respectful about the ailing woman. “She was definitely having a worse year end than I am,” he deadpanned in a phone interview today with FBDC. He said it was the first time in his 41 years of travel that he’d ever heard flight attendants make a formal request for a doctor on the plane to please get to the back.

Once the flight landed in Detroit, Knox’s connector to Des Moines was — you guessed it — long gone. It was late evening. The airlines booked him a hotel room at the Sheraton. Knox admits he made a rookie travel mistake: “I did not have all my toiletries. I feel like I should apologize to my plane mates.” But looking on the bright side, he said,  “I’m fine. I’ve had my five shots of espresso this morning so I’m in okay shape. The guy who tried to jump the line in Starbucks this morning made it within an inch of his life.”

On a more professional note, Knox expressed concern about coverage. “All of this would be funny except that I think the boss is a bit annoyed that I’m not in Des Moines,” he said. “Frankly, I’m annoyed that I’m not in Des Moines. I’m worried about getting to Des Moines in time to file stories.”

At some point Simon weighs in on Knox’s situation and remarks, “I would rather walk than take Delta. Your experience is one reason why.”

Amusing Knox tweets from the past 24 hours include the following: 1. “I don’t mind gate changes. I mind unannounced, no-one-with-a-Delta-tag-can-help gate changes. Phone rep ultimately helped.” 2. “Day Two of “Get Me To Des Moines.” Your move, Delta.” 3. “Waddayamean “you’re not in the system” ?????!!!!!?????” 4. “CNN panel show blaring right now at Detroit Airport. Like a dinner party to which you want to serve the tainted salmon mousse.” 5. “If you’re just tuning in, I’m on Day Two of trying to get to Iowa. Apologies for the narcissism, trivial jetsam, and travel rage.”

Knox’s flight is scheduled to leave Detroit today at 12:20 p.m. “I don’t want to jinx it,” he said. “Who knows where my checked bag is? Allegedly it is on this flight.” In a somewhat breezy tone, he added, “Fairly routine disastrous air travel experience. You have to laugh a lot.”

(We’ll check in with him again when he reaches Iowa.)

Keith Olbermann Still Trying to Matter

TV Presenter and former comedian Bill Maher, ever the tolerant and respectful person, felt the need to reiterate his hatred of religion for those of you who missed his movie (and who didn’t miss that bomb?) by tweeting on Christmas Eve: “Wow, Jesus just fucked #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.”

Maher can’t stand that anyone would disagree with him, so he attacks. It’s his shtick, his rubber chicken (yes, I hear there was a time those were funny, too). It’s not unexpected, it doesn’t shock and the only people who care what Maher thinks are people looking for publicity for being outraged by him and people looking to suck up to him.

With the later choice in mind, enter Keith Olbermann.

You might remember Keith from when he had a TV show on MSNBC. It was a comedy show that took itself seriously. It was cancelled and Olbermann went on to become Current TV’s “Chief News Officer.” For those of you who live in the real world, Current TV is a cable channel you probably have but have never watched and “Chief News Officer” is a made up title to make Keith feel important. He has a legendary ego and psyche as fragile as a snowflake.

Keith, ever desperate for attention now that his twitter feed reaches more people than his television show, felt the need to defend Maher and take a swipe at Fox News in the process.

Olbermann tweeted: “For all those calling for @BillMaher to go to hell for the Tebow tweet: a) shut up b) you know why it’s hell, right? Fox News is on tv there.”

See what he did there? First, he kissed up to a guy whose show he’d like to be a guest on, which will probably work since Maher loves having choir members on so he can preach to them. He also took a swipe at Fox News by saying they’re on in Hell.

The fact is, Hell’s cable package probably does have Fox News, and MSNBC, CNN, Bravo and all the channels people actually watch. What it probably doesn’t have is Current TV. Then again, it might. But, just like here on Earth, no one watches it.

What’s in a Name? If David Gregory, A Lot.

At first glance, the headline would make you think you’d been transported to an alternate universe.

David A. Gregory voted best soap hunk in poll!

The Meet the Press host does have a flair for the (mello)dramatic, and his delivery (mostly the content) does leave a lot of viewers wanting more. But a “hunk”?

Hearing David Gregory referred to as a hunk begs the question, “Of what?”

But upon closer examination you notice the “A” and think, hmm.

Turns out it’s not NBC’s David Gregory, whose middle name is Michael, and while his wife, no doubt, thinks her salt & pepper haired (mostly salt these days) husband is a “hunk,” the soap opera world has its own David Gregory and that’s who won the poll.

This David Gregory, the one with the all-important “A,” plays Robert Ford on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live.

Still, there must’ve been a moment of self-pride when David M. Gregory got the Google Alert with that headline in it.

Two Scribes to Depart The Daily Caller

Two reporters at The Daily Caller are flying the coop for jobs outside the profession. CJ Ciaramella will be reporting for a non-profit. Caroline May will be moving to Rep. Virginia Foxx‘s (R-N.C.) office to become her press secretary.

In a statement to FishbowlDC, Ciaramella, who is known for being among the more talented writers at the publication, wrote, “I will be moving to a new, soon-to-be-named non-profit journalism outfit in Washington, D.C. I love The Daily Caller, and it was nothing but a pleasure and learning experience to work among such talented reporters and editors. I will miss dominating my former colleagues at table tennis. But I’m a sucker for new projects, and this will give me the opportunity to work with a lot of soon-to-be-named friends and
fellow journalists I highly respect. I still plan on contributing articles, bar tabs and table tennis victories to The Caller as often as I can.”

May, too, express gratitude for working at The Daily Caller. She wrote, “It was a pleasure to work at The Daily Caller and it definitely will be tough to leave. The decision to accept a new job was less about leaving The DC and more about the amazing opportunity to work for Rep. Foxx and my home state of North Carolina. As I mentioned, it will be difficult to say goodbye to all the great folks at The DC but we’ll remain friends and I am thrilled to be starting with Rep. Foxx’s team next week.”

Congratulations to both Ciaramella and May.

Chaggaris to Yahoo! News

Steve Chaggaris, former CBS News Political Director and former management of TBD, has joined Yahoo! News as Executive Producer, Elections. The news was posted on the site this morning.

And yes, they like him.

“With talent like Steve Chaggaris, we’re fast making Yahoo! News a must-read for the latest political coverage and analysis,” said Robertson Barrett, VP of Yahoo! News, in a release. “Having notable U.S. political voices, like Steve, is powering our 2012 election team to flood the zone with original reporting in key primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire; score newsmaking interviews with all the major GOP contenders; co-sponsor high-profile debates; and examine the issues crucial to voters in 2012, from immigration to the economy to income inequality.”

Among Chaggaris’ duties will be to “help oversee and coordinate the production of special events coverage, including major primaries, debates, the conventions, and election night.  He will also work closely with partner ABC News as Yahoo! continues to build on the alliance, coordinating coverage plans for these high profile moments throughout the election cycle.” Based in Washington, he will report to the company’s new D.C. Bureau Chief David Chalian.

Chaggaris begins on Jan. 3.

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