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Archives: September 2012

Morning Cuteness: Drudge Gets Flirtatious

If your eyes were peeled on Drudge around 9 p.m. last night, you likely noticed the series of cute winks emanating from homepage. Nice touch.



Penguin Books Sues Ana Marie Cox

The Smoking Gun has a pretty nasty scoop on The Guardian‘s Ana Maria Cox. Seems she owes a decent chunk of change to The Penguin Group for a book she never wrote.

They write:

“Blogger Ana Marie Cox, who signed in 2006 to author a ‘humorous examination of the next generation of political activists,’ is being dunned for her $81,250 advance (and at least $50,000 in interest). Her Penguin contract totaled $325,000.”

Seems the book would be right up her alley. Cox isn’t the only writer being targeted by Penguin, but she does owe the second largest amount of money in the bunch. Others named in the suit include a Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat and Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel.

We’ve reached out to Cox for comment. As many know, she know longer lives in Washington and now resides in St. Paul, Minn. Read the full story here.

Morning Chatter


ATTENTION SHOPPERS: “They’re just like us!”HuffPost‘s Jennifer Bendery with the accompanying photograph.

Geraldo’s drunken Yom Kippur

“I’m filled with profound introspection for Yom Kippur fast- drinking baccardi rum and coke zero (no fruit) I am delirious drunk and starving” — FNC’s Geraldo Rivera rolls in with the anti-Yom Kippur. Way to go Geraldo! You better start now for next year.

A warning to drunken journos

“D.C. police will begin administering breath tests for suspected drunken drivers on Sept. 28, mayor’s office says.” — Washington Examiner‘s Alan Blinder.

Arianna has a sweet time in Italy

“Having dessert at the @HuffPostItalia launch party with Montserrat Dominguez.” — HuffPost-AOL’s Arianna Huffington.

Chuck Todd admits he’s biased

“I’m biased about Yom Kippur .. I love the holiday because the idea of atoning is just a refreshing way to soul cleanse.” — MSNBC and NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Tips From The Pool…Into the Deep End

“Motorcade left Kent State at 6:37 for the drive back to the airport. One member of the crowd outside Kent State held up a thumb as if requesting to hitchhike with the motorcade, which, alas, did not stop.” — NYT‘s Helene Cooper in a Wednesday evening White House Pool Report.

Christiane has a polyp 

“Unfortunately I’ve got a polyp on my vocal chord which I am having removed Friday. Wish me luck and a healthy voice!” — CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Funniest mispronunciation this week: CNN “Reliable Sources” Howard Kurtz‘s pronunciation of the surname of State Dept. Spokesman Philippe Reines: Rinds (as in pork rinds). The actual pronunciation of the “Fuck off” spokesman is Rains. But who knows, maybe Howie was sending a deeper, subliminal message. The screwup came on the heels of Reines blasting CNN for revealing contents of the diary of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi.

Ass-y lawyer calls out CNN’s Hamby on Twitter

“@PeterHambyCNN Enjoyed speaking to you for the Ohio article. I’m Mark Weaver, not Mike Weaver. thx.” — Mark R. Weaver, Esq. Really Mike? Did you ever think to just email Hamby and not be such a d–k on Twitter?

Why Washingon D.C. Gossip Sucks

If you’re looking to get drunk and also have a snack, The Hill’s Judy Kurtz is here to help. In a story published yesterday, she tells us about some new and exciting cocktails that are debuting at a Capitol Hill restaurant, Art and Soul. They were created to celebrate eight swing states up for grabs in the coming presidential election.

For example, to commemorate Iowa, they are debuting the “Meat and Potato, an homage to Iowa that has house-oaked vodka and candied bacon.” That doesn’t sound too appealing. And they only get worse. You can also get the “Wisconsin’s Cheese Head, made with Death’s Door Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and a shiraz floater, topped off with a cheddar cheese cube.” I love gin. I love cheddar cheese. Yet, I never want those two things in my mouth at the same time. They might call it “The Cheese Head,” but I call it “Your Rock Bottom.” Go get help.

Maybe the worst of the bunch is Ohio’s “Peanut Butter Buckeye, a mix of vodka and peanut butter syrup with a chocolate powder rim.” What a great way to tell the world, “I think I’d like a slice of pie while also getting a little drunk.” Here’s a tip from a professional drinker: If you make a cocktail that an 8-year-old might think sounds yummy, it probably isn’t.

The FishbowlDC Interview With WaPo‘s Sargent

Say hello to Greg Sargent. He’s the guy manning WaPo‘s liberal “Plum Line” blog. Sargent joined WaPo in 2009, after having worked at Talking Points Memo, New York magazine and The Observer.

In the past, FishbowlDC has documented (at great length) the Twitter brawls between Sargent and his conservative counterpart Jennifer Rubin. He typically doesn’t respond to any of our comment requests on the battles, but luckily we got him to partake in the FishbowlDC interview.

Let’s begin…

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be?

Scotch and soda.

How often do you Google yourself?

Relentlessly. How else can I keep up with all that abuse?

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)?

Take your butter and shove it! (To my boss at a restaurant where I worked as a busboy in my teens — he’d criticized me for giving customers too much butter with their bread.)

Who is your favorite working journalist and why?

Pleading the Fifth.

Do you have a favorite word?


Who would you rather have dinner with – FNC’s Bill O’Reilly, NBC’s Brian Williams or ABC’s Diane Sawyer? Tell us why.

Bill O’Reilly. I want to get a close-up view of his fascinating case of Soros paranoia.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either CNN’s Candy Crowley or FNC’s Greta Van Susteren (significant others will understand). Who will it be?

Sorry, no can do. My significant other is not quite that understanding.

What swear word do you use most often?


You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.)

Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Samuel Clemens, and William Lloyd Garrison.

On a serious note for a moment, if you could have dinner with a person who has died, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln.

Who is your favorite Boybander and why? (Ezzy, Hazy, Weigel, Attackerman, Beutler)

Beutler. He gets what my son is about. And he likes chess.

When you pig out what do you eat?

Chicken tacos with coleslaw and jalapeno/cilantro salsa.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. If it’s a certain kind of underwear we don’t want to know about it.

My Led Zeppelin t-shirt. But I’m not sure what it’s made of at this point.

Find out what bodily function led to Sargent getting a ticket after the jump…

Read more

Madeleine Albright Plays Jazz Drums?

WaPo had a weird bit of entertainment news out yesterday: Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright is a jazz drummer and recently competed at the Thelonious Monk jazz competition. Who knew she could do that? Our cousin, the exquisitely-named Patrick Coffee, over at Mediabistro’s PRNewser also picked up on it.

A Book Talk About Vaginas

When the word “vagina” appears in a book title, chances are high that the book talk isn’t going to be a flop or a bore. Such was the case last night at Washington’s Politics & Prose Bookstore, where a mostly gray-haired audience piled in to hear author Naomi Wolf go on and on about vaginas.

Her new book is Vagina: A New Biography. The sad gist of it: About one third of all women are not sexually satisfied and do not reach orgasm. In other words, her vajayjay or hoo haa (terms Wolf despises to see in so-called serious publications) aren’t properly stimulated and eventually, their bodies say enough and they shut off.

“We need a Republican senator here to hear you!” a masculine, short-haired female audience member with no makeup shouted at the author early on. Wolf quickly acknowledged her and moved on.

Though Wolf never addressed politicians, she did pointedly bash the media for not taking the issue of women and sex seriously enough. “It’s my impression that serious media outlets should respond to these findings and not revert to baby talk,” she told FishbowlDC after her talk. “I think it’s unfortunate that serious media outlets can’t give serious coverage to a serious topic.”

She warmed up the crowd with a couple of self-deprecating vagina stories. This was a hearing aide crowd and a microphone was a must — Wolf wanted to get rid of it at one point, but the spunky marshmallows wouldn’t allow it. “I’m a real pacer and I’m wanting to pace about, but I have a short leash,” she said. They would have fought her to the death if she’d insisted.

“You did a great job saying vagina in public,” the author began to the woman who introduced her. “I’m still getting used to it.” If she felt uncomfortable about it at all, you wouldn’t have known, considering the sheer number of times she said that word, “fucking” and “penis” throughout the talk. For instance, “People don’t have long lingering kisses in movies anymore,” she said. “They go right to the fucking.” By far, the word “vagina” blasted through the book shop more times then we could possibly count.

Wolf recounted how absurd her relationship to the vagina has become and things to which she has grown accustomed. Like the time received a box in the mail with a big vagina label on it. The doorman asked, “Is this yours?”

 The author touched on a number of juicy topics last night, including sexual rat studies, the pitfalls of porn and why breasts are the way to a woman’s heart… Read more

Cy-Fi: Toure Proves He’s From the Streets

Where we watch MSNBC’s The Cycle and Fox News’ The Five so you don’t have to…

On The Cycle yesterday co-host Toure — a black man with about as much street cred as Barbara Walters — delved deep into the controversial stop-and-frisk police practice that goes on in parts of New York City. (It’s somewhat less controversial in West Village.)

Toure’s colleague Krystal Ball introduced the segment by first telling viewers that Toure has “two kids and a loving wife.” (Viewers are never spared the fact that Toure is married… to a woman!) Ball then kicked it to Toure himself who says he “took the opportunity to make a package very seriously” about stop-and-frisk in Brooklyn. He said it’s “something that my neighbors deal with and something that I fear.”

The video package, straight out of a Scruff McGruff anti-crime PSA, begins in black and white with all 120 lbs. of Toure walking down a sidewalk. “Dramatization” displays in the upper-left corner, presumably for the sake of any color blind people watching. Another black man steps into the frame and yells “Police! Get up against the wall!”

Summoning the acting finesse of Mariah Carey in Glitter, Toure pushes himself up against a brick wall as he’s tenderly frisked by another man. The mock policeman (who we later learn is a retired officer) asks Toure where he lives and what his name is.

And cut. That’s it.

The black and white filter fades away and Toure tells viewers what just happened: “It’s called stop, question and frisk and it happens hundreds of thousands of times each year.”

In the next scene, Toure talks to some guys who probably have experienced this. The conversation happens on a stoop outside of an urban apartment and Toure looks like he couldn’t be less comfortable if he were standing on his head.

The package ends and Toure in-studio says, “It’s a complicated issue. I think about the time I got stopped for real… and it made you feel like you were guilty until proven innocent.”

From there, viewers are left feeling like that they’ve just relived the L.A. Riots; assuming the riots happened in the Hamptons and no one was actually assaulted.

Watch the segment here.

Correction: Sparkle, Glitter — is there a difference? Well, actually there is and we flubbed the name of Mariah’s movie. It is indeed Glitter, not Sparkle.

Bad Girls Club: Coming to D.C.?

It’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting for: Book one of the girls from Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club for your next lobbying event or fundraiser. What could possibly go wrong?

For the uniformed, Bad Girls Club is among TV’s trashiest reality shows in which seven angry women are put in a house with nothing but liquor and food that’s mostly used to sully each others personal belongings.

Sean,” a booking agent for  Falen G and Gia Bianca, tells FishbowlDC what they do on tour. “They party. They host a party. They dance. They do all kinds of stuff,” he said, refusing to give his last name for God knows what ridiculous reasoning. “They interact with the DJ. They’re party girls.”

The release pumps up their bad girls, stating that Falen (mistakenly spelled with an extra “l” by her “strong promotional management team”) and Gia have been featured in “the hottest publications,” including: Black Mens, Straight Stuntin and Stunnaz.

The girls are also “nationally recognized with huge fan-bases” in several cities, including D.C. In the first episode of this season’s BGC, Falen, a resident of Springfield, Va., describes herself as a D.C. celebrity. And like most self-described D.C. celebrities, we’d never heard of her. She’s a real gem though — throughout the show, she regularly borrows money from the other cast members for food and booze.

The tour begins in late October. But “Sean” can’t provide pricing because he doesn’t want “to put that information out there like that.” You’ll just have to call.

Read more

What’s Weingarten Writing?

Thankfully, WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten has moved on to other topics besides bitching about his critics like last week. Sure, it was fun while it lasted, but we need Gene to be able to tackle other important issues in his column. For instance, this week, he brought us the pressing story of the elderly police force of Shaoyang, China. Gene explains that Shaoyang is a city with many problems.

“Problem 1 was an epidemic of littering, spitting and illegal parking by flagrant scofflaws, who are brazen because of Problem 2, which is an insufficiently large police force, owing to Problem 3, which is not enough money in the city treasury, a condition aggravated by Problem 4, which is too many geezers: financially unproductive retirees.”

Gene goes on to explain that the city has now commissioned these elderly to give out citations to said scofflaws, but they also reaped “80 percent of the fees on the tickets they gave out.” The whole story is pretty interesting. In fact, you should read it here. No, that’s not a link to Gene’s piece. It’s a link to the original NYT piece that gives a more thorough account of the story without the painfully unfunny commentary from Weingarten. Gene references this piece over halfway through his article, but what’s the point? It’s already a good story, why do we need his unfunny commentary added to an already well-written piece?