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Archives: March 2013

Ex-Politico Hot Head Editor Joins NJ

Tim Grieve, the famously short-fused editor at Politico Pro, has joined the crew at NJ as editor of the publication’s website.

“Tim is one of Washington’s most accomplished journalists and digital innovators,” said NJ President President Bruce Gottlieb in a Friday release. “We are thrilled that he will spend the next chapter of his career here, delivering National Journal‘s trusted voice on politics and policy to engaged citizens across the nation.”

Congratulations to Grieve on the new gig.

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Anderson Cooper Says He’s Not Piers Morgan, TWT‘s Emily Miller Says ‘Thank God’

Emily Miller, senior opinion editor for TWT, appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360″ Thursday to debate the need for more federal regulations on guns. Miller is a gun enthusiast and TWT‘s resident expert on all things gun related.

Her segment with Cooper and Democratic Strategist Cornell Belcher was relatively tame, save for a few interruptions and exasperated sighs here and there.

During one of the livelier moments, Cooper, who argued at length for gun control, explained his impartiality. “The thing I don’t understand– and I asked the NRA this and I don’t take a position on this,” he said, “I’m not– it’s not my job. I’m not Piers Morgan here…” Miller jumped in here to say “Thank God.”

Morgan, whose own CNN program airs after Cooper’s (a re-run of 360 airs again after Morgan’s show), has been one of the most outspoken and aggressive TV personalities to call for more gun control since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

Full video of Miller on “360″ here.

Daily Caller Reporter Learns to Fight

After being mugged for the second time in her life, Alexis Levinson didn’t take up martial arts. She spent a weekend at Kelly McCann‘s civilian training course in Frederickburg, Va., for “Kembativz.” It’s an intensive self defense program that specializes in “pounding the fuck out of people,” in the words of the McCann, the main trainer.

Levinson, a reporter for The Daily Caller, wrote about her experience at great length in a Tuesday story headlined “A weekend at Kelly McCann’s Kembativz civilian training center.” The course is three days long and Levinson did it twice– once in January and again this past weekend. She took the course after being mugged in November in the Eastern Market area. She was ambushed, thrown to the ground and kicked while her stuff was taken.

Asked if she feels like she could adequately kick someone’s ass the next time an attempted mugging occurs, she said maybe.

“There are some things that just hurt whether you’re 6 feet tall or weigh under 100 pounds,” Levinson told FishbowlDC. “That was actually the whole point of the course — it wasn’t about being able to beat someone up, but rather about being able to do enough damage to the attacker that they are no longer a threat to you. At which point you run.”

Of the things that “just hurt,” Levinson singled out getting hit in the neck. “Getting hit in the neck really, really hurts,” she said. “Like, I never really thought about that as place to hit someone, but it’s really painful.”

Levinson writes in her story that finding her inner anger was one of the more difficult points of her training. She’s apparently more of a lover than a fighter at heart. Until she was paired up with the exotically named KajaRead more

Freebeacon Does Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook (A La ‘Game of Thrones’)

If kingdoms of the Middle Ages had their own Mike Allen. Or, “Mike Allyn,” as the Free Beacon‘s C.J. Ciaramella puts it in his parody of the popular Politico Playbook.

Ciaramella posted a “Westeros Playbook” early Friday morning, a mock tip sheet in the style of Playbook and based on the popular Medieval fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” on HBO.

In the parody, Playbook’s “little bird” tips come from “a little raven”; the “Behind the Curtain” feature is alternatively “Behind the Veil”; and the sponsored messages in Playbook, usually from some energy or manufacturing company, are instead fake advertisements for a whore house (“At Chataya’s House, our experienced and exotic women provide weary gentlemen with the finest pleasures of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond”).

Non-viewers of “Game of Thrones” are likely to miss most of Ciaramella’s cute references… Read more

Morning Chatter

The Media Critic

The new Prince book from Toure sounds interesting. – CNN’s Jake Tapper

Spring Fever

You guys, this is the last Friday of the year for which baseball is not an option. - Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner

Never Forget

The song “Friday” by Rebecca Black is two years old this month. – Politico’s Byron Tau

Conversations Between Two Journos

“Somewhere in my family’s junk there is a receipt, signed by Lincoln, for a bunch of fixed roads/sidewalks in dc. No joke.” – Politico’s Ben White

WaPo’s Plumline author Greg Sargent writes back, “uh, dude? might be worth digging that out.” White replied that he’s “been on hunt for some time.” Best of luck, Ben.

The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball Wins The Toner

For her reporting on the 2012 presidential election, The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball was selected as this year’s winner of the Toner Prize.

“Ms. Ball’s coverage is a superb example of journalism that helps us understand our electoral process and illuminates the people and policies that shape us as a nation,” said Lorraine Branham, dean of Syracuse University’s S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, in a release. “This is reporting with the engaging detail and informed insights that were hallmarks of the reporting of Robin Toner.”

The Toner Prize, sponsored by the Newhousse School of Public Communications, carries $5,000 and is part of the larger Robin Toner Program in Political Reporting. Toner was the first woman to serve as the national political correspondent for the NYT.

The 2012 competition for the Toner Prize drew 118 entries, according to the release.

Congratulations to Ball.

James Franco’s Strange Slur Against The Atlantic

Actor James Franco has surprisingly strong feelings about The Atlantic blog, which he shared in an interview with Johnny Temple of You’re forewarned: The following is not meant for impressionable toddlers, tweens or anyone who has a problem with the c-word.

JT: If you could make up a word, what would it be? No definitions permitted.

JF: Cuntstuff.

JT: What existing word would you prefer had a different definition? State word and redefine.

JF:  The Atlantic Blog: A bunch of faceless cunts that can suck my dick.

We’ve requested comment from The Atlantic. It’s unclear at this point if the The Atlantic Blog that Franco speaks of is even associated with The Atlantic. A Twitter account for Atlantic Entertainment, which is affiliated with The Atlantic, tweeted the news and wrote, “So James Franco has called something known as ‘The Atlantic Blog,’ ‘A bunch of faceless cunts that can suck my dick.’”

Read the full interview here.

Dinner to Honor Robin Toner Tonight

Family and friends of Robin Toner will gather tonight to honor her memory and watch as the Toner Prize is awarded. The event is part of The Robin Toner Program in Political Reporting by the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

The prize comes with $5,000 and is named for Robin, a graduate of Syracuse University and the first woman to be national political correspondent for the NYT.

Robin’s twins, 15-year-old Nora and Jacob, are going to hand out the award and announce the honorable mentions. Many of Toner’s reporter friends will be coming into town to attend the dinner. It’s been an entire election cycle since she died in 2008. The 2012 election was the first without a Robin Toner byline since before 1980.

HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelious will speak. Those expected to attend include: Jill Abramson, executive editor, NYT; Rick Berke of the NYT; Janet Elder, deputy managing editor, NYT; David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief, NYT; Marty Baron, executive editor of WaPo; Tom Edsall, formerly of WaPo and now professor of journalism at Columbia University; Dan Balz and Karen Tumulty of WaPo, Mike McCurry, former WH press secretary; Larry Kramer, publisher of USA Today; Andrea Mitchell, NBC News; Jerry Seib, WSJ, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

The dinner is being held at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center at the Kaiser Family Foundation in downtown Washington. A reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner.

Judging for the prize… Read more

Garlic-Scented Freelance Journo No Fan of Texting at Networking Soireés

A networking event to mark a business partnership between two fiercely ideological magazines isn’t exactly a wild time. But it’s part of the job for some media professionals in D.C.

Even so, freelance journalist Murray Waas, in the dimly-lit setting shown here, believes that if you’re attending such an event, you shouldn’t be on your phone.

“What is the point of going out when you’re texting?” Waas said to National Review reporter Andrew Stiles Thursday night. Apparently unsure what to make of the unsolicited social commentary, Stiles awkwardly replied, “I don’t know. To look like you have something to do.”

Waas floated around the party, hosted by The Nation and National Review at the Mayflower Renaissance hotel, butting into conversations, preferring to talk directly into people’s ears despite being audible at a normal conversational distance.

The writer made a name for himself during the Bush (43) years, reporting on the White House and, in the early 1990s, reporting on the Gulf  War. He was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Howard Kurtz, then a media critic for the Washington Post, wrote in 2006 that Waas was “getting his day in the sun.” Nowadays Waas updates his personal blog and freelances. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Hill, The Boston Globe, Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic and Reuters, among others.

He’s been featured in a lengthy 2007 WCP piece by Erik Wemple and Jason Cherkis (in the least flattering way) and in a rebuttal by Matthew Yglesias at ThinkProgress (the most flattering way).

“He was one of the biggest creeps I’ve ever talked to, saying things like ‘I’m your friend, right? We’ve been talking for five minutes, [and] I’m your best friend here?’” one attendee at Thursday’s gathering remarked to FishbowlDC. “And he smelled like garlic and booze.”


About 100 people showed up for the event, all wearing name tags. Among them was National Review‘s star Capitol Hill Editor Robert Costa. Read more

Gay Journo Has Virgin SCOTUS Experience

Justin Snow had never covered a Supreme Court case or even been inside the building until this week, when the justices heard arguments on two separate cases regarding same-sex marriage. Perfect timing, if a little overwhelming, for someone who has been with the gay magazine Metro Weekly for not even a year.

Electronic devices aren’t allowed in the courtroom, a particularly challenging rule for journalists who rely on tape recorders and (more and more often) their smartphones to take notes and, you know, report. Snow told FishbowlDC that was the hardest part in covering the hearings. “Selecting what I think are the key statements,” he said, “while feverishly taking notes and then working them into a story for the Web before transcripts or audio is released of the proceedings.”

The other hard part: “Because I’m not a lawyer, sometimes deciphering the legal jargon can be a challenge.”

Like WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart, Snow, who is also gay, gets his fair share of anti-gay tweets. Read more