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Archives: September 2012

Sunday Morning Panels: Mostly Males Need Apply

Today we check in with the Sunday morning political talk shows to see how many ding dongs will appear on the programs to assess the male-female ratios. As usual, NBC’s Chris Matthews always rolls in with a solid two females on his panel. The others are not always so consistent, but this week they have a decent turnout.

NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show”: 2

Guests: John Heilemann, New York magazine; Howard Fineman, HuffPost; Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News; and Trish Regan, Bloomberg.

CBS’s “Face the Nation” With Bob Schieffer: 2 

Newt Gingrich, Michelle Rhee, Hedrick Smith, author, Bob Woodward, WaPo, Mark Zandi, economist. (Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) will be one of the main guests appearing on the program.)

CNN’s Reliable Sources With Howie Kurtz: 2

Ana Marie Cox, The Guardian, Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, Gregg Doyel, CBS Sports, Darrell Hammond, and Chrystia Freeland, Reuters.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” With David Gregory: 1

Ralph Reed, Chuck Todd, Katty Kay, BBC, Richard Engle, and Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell.

ABC’s “This Week” With George Stephanopoulos: 2

Haley Barbour, Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, ABC News Contributor, Matthew Dowd, ABC News Political Analyst, and Politico‘s Maggie Haberman.





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Ask Piranhamous Anything

Today we have another installment of: “Ask Piranhamous Anything.” And we do mean anything. Send your queries to This isn’t an advice column — Piranhamous doesn’t know what the hell you should do with your life any more than you do — and worse, he doesn’t care. Try to keep your questions short — we want to keep this fun, simple and insightful.

1. What did you think about the president going on The View? Are the ladies smart enough to interview Obama and what show should he do next?

What do I think of it? I’m not surprised. The President has spent most of his campaign wrapped in Nerf, talking mainly to friendly media fielding softball questions. Why not do The View? Especially when the alternative is to, you know, do his job. I’d rather a president meet with allies who are interested in stopping Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, but I’m old fashioned like that. Why bother with Bibi Netanyahu when Whoopi Goldberg is available? They’re both Jews after all, right?

2. Should a State Dept. spox be able to tell a reporter to “fuck off” and get away with it or not?

I don’t want to live in a country where anyone can’t tell anyone else to “Fuck off!” and get away with it. That said, “fuck off” is much worse than telling reporters to “Kiss my ass!” yet that was a story reported endlessly when a Romney spokesman did it. And I’d really hate to have a country where a shitty video is blamed for riots and murders it had nothing to with and the man who made it ends up in prison on bullshit charges of probation violation because President Obama needs a scapegoat to distract from his national security failures. Wait, I guess we have a country like that right now. Oh well, fuck off!

3. Who’s the best interviewer among these three and why: The Daily Beast and CNN’s Howie Kurtz, CNN’s Piers Morgan or Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart?

Dear lord, that’s like picking the guy you want to rape you in the prison shower – it’s going to be a horrible experience any way you look at it. I guess I’d pick Jon Stewart, but only because it would remind me of the old SNL skit “The Chris Farley Show” where he knowingly asks uninformed questions and just rambles. Howie and Piers ask uninformed/stupid questions but think they’re smart, at least Stewart admits he’s a joke.

Will Kurtz Question Cox About Penguin?

Here’s a burning question: This weekend CNN’s Howard Kurtz has invited The Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox onto his media program “Reliable Sources.” In an ideal world you’d think this would mean he’d ask her about the Penguin Books lawsuit to the tune of upwards of $131,000 they filed against her for not writing a book she was allegedly contracted to write.

Cox wouldn’t respond to us about it, but surely Howie can get something out of her, right?

But maybe not. Kurtz has something of a pattern of not asking the hard, timely questions — such as in the case of former Politico reporter Joe Williams, who pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-wife back in May and is on probation until November. Just after the news of the assault broke, Kurtz had him on his program and not surprisingly skipped all questions about it entirely.

We’ll be watching Howie! Can’t wait!

Righty Journos Chuckle at MSM’s Expense

The one jab that never fails to elicit laughs from conservatives is the one about MSNBC and how “nobody” watches it. There was a lot of that at last night’s Media Research Center gala.

MRC, a conservative media watchdog org, celebrated its 25th anniversary and presented its tongue-in-cheek Dishonors awards at the National Building Museum.

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham presented the first two awards, one of which was the “Obamagasm” award. The nominees were MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (“Isn’t it a surprise when you see him talking about Obama and he still has his clothes on?” Ingraham said.), ABC’s Diane Sawyer (“of the perpetually heavy breathing voice”) and CNN’s Piers Morgan (“Britain’s own alien life form”). Matthews won for declaring in July that President Obama is “the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect American.”

The second award — the “Vast Right-Wing Knuckle-Draggers” award went to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, for saying in September 2011 that the GOP wants to build “a time machine, to go back in time…” Ingraham described Roberts as “Thomas no-one’s-ever-heard-of-me Roberts.”

Media bashing was given a rest for the William F. Buckley award for Media Excellence. It was presented by conservative columnist Cal Thomas as a tribute to Andrew Breitbart. The audience gave a standing ovation at the conclusion of Thomas’ remarks.

Two more anti-media awards were given out: The “Damn Those Conservatives to Hell” award (to NBC’s Ann Curry, for her interview with Republican V.P. candidate Paul Ryan in April) and the “Barbara Streisand Political I.Q. Award for Celebrity Vapidity” (to actor Sean Penn, for saying on CNN in October 2011 that the tea party wants to “lynch” Obama).

Finally, MRC President Brent Bozell handed out one last award: “The Worst Reporter in the History of Man” award. This one was chosen by cheers from the audience. It was initially a tie between former CBS anchorman Dan Rather and ABC’s Katie Couric. After a second round of cheers, Couric was named the “winner.” An embarrassing photo of Couric dancing at a private party in 2006 was projected on banners hanging from the ceiling.

The banners were a fixture for awkward photos throughout the evening. To the right was the spaced-out image of RNC Committee Chairman Reince Priebus that displayed when he spoke on stage.

Notables: The Daily Caller‘s Neil Munro, The Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder, The Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein and Charlie Spiering, Slates David Weigel, The National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg, The Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes, GOP mega donor Foster Friess, WMAL’s Chris Plante and CRC publicists Ashley Morris and Kelley Hudak.

Quotable: “I better put this down.”– An MRC goer who was spotted drinking directly from a champagne bottle. She put the bottle down when she saw us attempting to snap a photo.

Roll Call Unveils Interim Editor

This just in from CQ Roll Call‘s Susan Benkelman:

 ”In light of Scott’s departure, I’ve asked Randy Wynn to sit in the Roll Call editor’s chair on an interim basis. The Roll Call editor job has been posted, and candidates will be interviewed in the next couple weeks. We’ll close the posting on Oct. 5, and we want to have the editor in place well in advance of the launch of the redesigned paper on Nov. 13.”

Scott Montgomery recently resigned to go to work for NPR. Wynn is presently Deputy Executive Editor for News, CQ Roll Call.


Dumbass Pitches

Today, we pull ourselves out from under the avalanche of stupid ideas that come our way from PR flacks to bring you another edition of Dumbass Pitches. Rather than let them pile up, we share the dumbest ones with you. Today, we bring you one of the most Dumbass Pitches we’ve ever gotten. It’s for a book called HELLO, MY NAME IS PABST: Baby Names for Nonconformist, Indie, Geeky, DIY, Hipster, and Alterna-Parents of Every Kind. From the get-go, I’m pissed off. As if naming your baby after a beer isn’t trashy enough, they are talking about Pabst, one of the nastiest, most putrid cans of swill that people call beer. But, I’m getting ahead of myself..

This is a baby name book. But, not just any baby name book. It goes beyond the traditional names like Hunter, Morgan and Tucker to bring us a world of alternative and bizarre names that will make the children’s grandparents recoil in horror. The book calls itself  the “ultimate guide for next-gen parents looking to find that distinctive name for their future indie rock star/ Def Jam poet/ abstract artist.” In other words, if you are a parent that worries more about picking a cool name than, you know, raising a healthy child, this book is PERFECT for you.

So, what kind of names are we talking about? Here are some of the actual chapters pulled from the pitch and our reaction:
•       “Names That Fit Into Skinny Jeans (Pimm, Vette, Sloane) No matter how styles shift over the years, a name that can pull off skinny pants will always be in vogue.”

They should call this chapter “Instant Regret.” No, skinny pants won’t always be “in vogue” and if you name your kid Pimm, you should go to jail. Forever. The thing about skinny jeans and hipster hats is that they are a trend. In other words, by the time your kid is old enough to walk, he’s the punchline of a joke.

•       “Names You Can Drink at the Bar (Jameson, Hennessy, Stella) This little adventure probably started out with some cans of PBR, and you remember someone ordering a round of Jameson , but then it gets a bit fuzzy, though you swear there was a condom present at some point.”

Because nothing says “I love my child” quite like hand delivering them a drinking problem before they are even born. Just ask my son, Creme de Cassis Ogburn.

You’ll want to read the end of this disastrous pitch…

Read more

Daily Grill: New Drinks, New Food and a Recently Robbed Reporter

After a brief national scare this week, it turns out the U.S. won’t be affected by a global shortage of bacon. That’s good news for the Daily Grill at 18th and M st. in Dupont.

After a three-week hiatus, The restaurant’s bar reopened last night and members of the media were invited to see its new look and try the new happy hour specials. Two of the new menu items, the Capitol Dog and the Crab Cake BLT, are heavy on the bacon.

Along with new food and beers on the menu, the bar was gutted and revamped with new seats, TVs and light fixtures. Here’s how the night went:

We met Carl…

Sitting with the rest of the media who attended was Carl Pierre. He writes for, a startup about startups and the social scene in D.C. “You forget how much you actually use your phone until you don’t have one,” Pierre said unprompted as he watched another guest type on her phone. It turns out Pierre was without a phone last night because he had recently been robbed at H Street Country Club in NE, D.C. He had placed his wallet/phone holder on a table. Inside was $200 cash, his credit cards and his iPhone 4S. He turned away for a flash and it was gone. Pierre used a GPS app on his friend’s phone to locate his. He saw it moving and he followed it a few blocks before approaching “a bad neighborhood.” He gave up on the chase and has resigned to purchasing the iPhone 5.

More on the food, drinks and who showed up…

Read more

Journo Defends Her Big Teeth

Journalists who appear on TV with even a little frequency often have to deal with a microscopic examination of their looks by strangers.‘s Mary Katharine Ham is no exception.

“Thanks, everyone! I love my teeth, too! They’re gigantic, and they came from my parents, and my bros have ‘em, too,” Ham wrote her fans and critics on Twitter earlier in the week. She later explained, “Haters frequently like to pick on my teeth, which I take in stride. Why? Let’s just say I’ve heard it all before.”

Then she posted this childhood photo showing off those choppers. Fans seemed to like this, one remarking, “You grew into beauty like big dogs grow into their feet (if thats really you).”

Bullfeathers to Hold Rally

Just FYI journos…

Bullfeathers restaurant, themed in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, will hold a rally with Teddy of the Washington Nationals on October 2 at 12:30 p.m.   The restaurant has been engaged in a campaign called “Teddy Wins! at Bullfeathers” with staff wearing T-shirts with the slogan.

They are rallying to support Teddy and the Washington Nationals during their playoff run. Fortunately this means prizes: They’ll be selling “Teddy Wins!” T-shirts at a discounted price starting Monday.  With each T-shirt, a raffle ticket will be given, and a drawing will be held at 3:30 p.m. that day with over 20 prizes that include: a grand prize of two tickets to one of the last home games, a happy hour for 15 at Bullfeathers, a dinner for two at Bullfeathers, and many more.

All are welcome.

Morning Doodoo: What’s J-Mart Tweeting?

We have to admit that following Politico SENIOR Political Reporter Jonathan Martin is a roller coaster ride. He generally tweets on good, insightful topics. It’s just HOW he does it that disgusts the soul. It’s usually a mish-mash of shorthand, gibberish and misspellings that make it hard to actually understand what he’s saying. For instance, here’s a recent tweet.

Jonathan puts the “doo-doo” in that “do do do” tweet.  J-Mart tries to get me to buy a book and all I can think about is potty humor. But at least his spelling was correct. Don’t worry. He gets worse.  

THOT OF DAY! Not”Thought of THE day.” Just “THOT OF DAY.” So, he’s just going full-Caveman in his tweets.