FishbowlNY TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Archives: October 2012

What Does ‘Off-the-Record’ Mean? Just Ask Politico’s Dylan Byers

Politico‘s media writer Dylan Byers had a real knee slapper of a post on Tuesday afternoon concerning the apparent shaky future of off-the-record conversations due to a Des Moines Register editor writing on an off-the-record chat with President Obama. “What does ‘off the record mean?’” his headline asks.

What does it mean, Dylan? Oh goody, we’re going to learn something! But actually, he never answers the question and in his concluding graph says, “There’s actually no clear answer on whether this is right or wrong — agreements always depend on the source and the reporter. But this muddies the water a little bit, and probably portends more cumbersome pre-conversation negotiations.”

Indeed the waters are muddy where Dylan is concerned. In July of 2012, multiple sources tell us he phoned The Daily Caller to inquire whether they’d produce print editions come January. But instead of saying who he was or where he worked, he cryptically said he wanted info on how to advertise in the print edition. Byers offered his first and last name but not his workplace — why bother, everyone knows the famed reporter, right? He called back a second time, questioning a salesperson about that alleged print edition.

Eventually he got around to telling her who he was and where he worked.

An anonymous media insider had this to say about Dylan’s behavior… Read more

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101

Freelancing 101Starting December 1, learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career! In this online boot camp, you'll hear from freelancing experts on the best practices for a solid freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. Register now!

Masked Man: Revealed

Our masked journalists from earlier today is none other than The Week‘s extremely chiseled Marc Ambinder. This is the picture he uses for his personal Twitter account.

Guesses we received included author and ex-Human Events Editor Jason Matterra and FBDC’s Eddie Scarry, ex-TIME scribe Tim Burger and a final, exasperated guess of myself in drag. The correct answer, offered by conservative writer Lisa De Pasquale, who writes, “He’s looking good these days!”

Happy Halloween, Ambinder!

Situps on the Sidewalk, Why Not?

Something strange is in the air at 19th and L St. NW this afternoon. Washingtonian Editor-at-Large Carol Joynt not only captured a guy dancing in the street from her office window, but not long after, a man dropped and began doing sit-ups.

“Must be Halloween,” she writes. “Next I want to see unicorns.”

It’s worth a watch, especially Mr. Sit-ups.

New Media Faces Wild Ride During Frankenstorm

For people lucky enough to have power for their computers or juice in their smartphone, Twitter was an infinitely superior news source than TV during Frankenstorm. Sure, lots of information gets thrown around that isn’t accurate, but that happens on TV, too. If you were in one of the hard hit areas and had a question, you could always just turn to Twitter rather than trying to call an emergency outfit in the middle of the chaos. Reuters has an excellent breakdown of some of the great examples of how Twitter was put to good use.

Of course, as in any fast-moving situation, someone has to act like a jerk… Read more

Featured in Features

Today we’re checking up on what’s Washington’s feature and lifestyle stories…

Local gay author scared to write at night profiled by MetroWeeklyLee Hayes, a gay author who lives in Brandywine, Md., tells Will O’Bryan for MetroWeekly that he’s scared to write his scary stories at night. “The house kind of creeps me out,” he says. ”I’ll just have to write in the daytime.” Hayes typically writes novels with gay themes but his latest is a super natural thriller without any apparent gay undertones. Unless you count the most phallic animal possible making appearances throughout the book: snakes. “If you don’t like snakes, this will help you get over your phobia,” he says.

Slate contributor wants you to contemplate dying– A cheerful Oliver Burkeman, who writes for The Guardian, has an article in Slate in which he encourages people to think about death this Halloween. “Newer studies … suggest that what’s crucial is how you remind people about death,” he writes. “Do it more gently and subliminally, and in the context of topics other than terrorism and war, and it makes people more compassionate, happier, and healthier.” He adds, “There’s no need to spurn the pumpkin-carving or the zombie costumes. But wouldn’t multigenerational graveyard parties provide a meaningful complement to that?” Um, sure, why not?

A timely sexy-women slideshow from The Daily Caller– On Sunday night, much of the Northeast was terrified, wondering whether their homes would be flooded or their relatives and friends killed by Hurricane Sandy. But late that night, The Daily Caller took to the gutter and published “Sexy Sundae II: Beautiful Women Eating Ice Cream,” a follow up to “Sexy Sundae.” It’s a simple slideshow of scantily-dressed women licking ice cream cones. “Not even the impending doom of Hurricane Sandy can stop us from bringing you Sexy Sundae,” the post says, bylined by Scoop Delacroix, the pub’s secretive byline.

See our last pick after the jump. It concerns hanging up Halloween tights once and for all…

Read more

Oops! National Review‘s Greg Pollowitz Fooled By Fake, Viral Sandy Photograph

Several photos gravitated around the Internet on Monday that were alleged to be stunning images of Hurricane Sandy. Turned out many weren’t real and people were tricked. One of whom was National Review‘s Greg Pollowitz.

Pollowitz posted a photo on National Review yesterday of soldiers in the rain guarding Arlington Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “Photo of U.S. Marines guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns from [Monday],” he wrote. The photo is actually from September and the guards are not marines. They’re referred to as Tomb Sentinels or Tomb Guards.

Oddly, in his post, Pollowitz linked to an ABC News article that explained when the photograph was taken and who was in it. He went with the false description anyway.

We’ve reached out to Pollowitz for comment.

White House Soup of the Day

The White House Soup of the Day, as reported by MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” is…

Chicken Noodle.

Host Chuck Todd, who is extremely serious in tone today, made no jokes or cracks about the soup. After all, the soup announcement was intermingled with pictures of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.


Who is This Masked Man?

It’s Halloween! So guess which journo opted to get creative?

Send you best guesses to or to Betsy@mediabistro. We’ll reveal who it is later in the day.

Axelrod and Scarborough Make a Hairy Wager

On Wednesday morning’s “Morning Joe” program, Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod made an on-air bet that he would shave off the mustache he has worn for 40 years if President Obama lost Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania. According to HuffPost, Axelrod said, “”I will come on ‘Morning Joe’ and I will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states.”

That might be a dangerous strategy. Maybe a voter who was planning on voting for Obama will switch his or her vote JUST to see the freakshow that hides under that hair on upper lip. Host Joe Scarborough joined in and said that if Obama won all those states, he’d grow a mustache.

The show resulted in mustache demands right here in Washington… Read more

Romney is Butt of Late Night, Study Finds

No wonder GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney avoids late night talk shows. The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University has a new study out today that reveals that late night talk show hosts hit Mitt more than just about all Democrats combined since the party nominating conventions.

From Aug. 27 to Oct. 3, 2012, the Center analyzed targets of jokes about public figures in the opening monologues of the highest rated late night talk show hosts — Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon.

CMPA Prez Robert Lichter surmised,Romney is leading in the humor race, but being the biggest joke is a race nobody wants to win.


  • Romney was the butt of 148 jokes in late night talk show monologues, over twice as many as President Obama. Obama finished second with 62 jokes.
  • The disparity is greatest seen on David Letterman, who told 44 jokes about Romney and nine about Obama. All four comedians told more jokes  about Romney over Obama.

See how Romney stacks up with the top 10 joke targets after the jump… Read more