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Archives: March 2013

Politico Editors Spotted Reading Tanabe’s Book

In an interview with Deborah Kalb, ex-Politico writer Karin Tanabe, who wrote The List, a novel based on her experiences working at the male-dominated, competitive publication where long hours are a given, spilled a few more details on the aftermath of writing the controversial book.

For instance, some Politico reporters have refused to read the book and shun those that do. Still, some editors couldn’t resist.

“Well, I haven’t heard anything negative except a murmur that a few reporters there refuse to read my book and chastise others for doing so! Fair enough. But I’ve also heard that two editors were spotted reading it inside the newsroom and I’ve had wonderful support from friends who are still there and friends who have gone on to other media jobs.”

Tanabe, who lives in Washington and Dubai, is working on another book about the auction industry. Her protagonist works at Christie’s in New York.

 

Rare Teaches Parrot to Talk

In the spirit of promoting the new conservative publication, Rare, or just f–king around on a recent Cox Media Group corporate retreat in Orlando, Editor-in-Chief Brett Decker stopped at a McDonald’s to order a gallon of Diet Coke and bumped into these parrots eating pistachios and French Fries. Naturally he taught the blue one in the middle to say “Rare is cool.” He also threw the coke in a certain mayor’s face, saying, “Sorry Mayor Bloomberg. This is Florida — a free state.”

See the actual parrots below.

Fly Your Byline to a Global Audience

Tyler Brûlé, founder of Monocle, first got the idea for his global pub from observing consumers at airports. “It was frequently Wallpaper* and The Economist. I decided to merge elements of the two but refine the package,” the journo/entrepreneur/publisher told Mediabistro.

Although the pub’s staffers are likely to be seen reading The Financial Times and The International Herald Tribune, editor Andrew Tuck says Monocle has its own definition of what’s newsworthy. “We think that a lot of news organizations, especially [those committed to] daily or weekly news, tend to run around in a herd,” he said.

Monocle also strives to take care of its writers. “If a writer goes on a story for us, they will have a water-tight itinerary, they will travel with a reasonable airline, and they have my mobile number and know that if they want to give me a ring at midnight if anything has gone wrong, that’s what I’m here for,” said Tuck.

Got an idea that’s perfect for the pub? Read more in How To Pitch: Monocle. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

WaPo’s Wemple Gets Amnesia on TBD

Either WaPo‘s Erik Wemple got a heady PTSD reaction from writing his incredible suckup piece on Politico (headlined “Politico aces PR”) or else he just really wants to forget that his failed former publication, TBD, ever existed. A third possibility: He was trying to be funny, which, if the case, wasn’t clear or funny.

Wemple was ultimately Editor-in-Chief of TBD, a publication that was about as popular as Salon‘s Joan Walsh at a Daily Caller pool party with Dominican hookers or Dave Weigel in a Speedo (guess we have summer on the brain). It’s a shame he’s not prouder of the experience, even if it did fail. As Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Joan Collins also has wisdom: “Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much.”

Here’s what Wemple tucked into his piece complimenting all the ways in which POLITICO, Politico or politico has succeeded in getting the word out. Pretty soon the media blogger may need stickies to put all over himself just to piece together what he ate for breakfast or his past at the “Allbritton entity.”

2) Embrace of television: Politico took grew up in the offices of Allbritton Communications Co., the Rosslyn shop that also houses WJLA-TV (ABC 7) and NewsChannel8. (Disclosure: I previously worked for a now-closed Allbritton entity that shall not be named here). That means it germinated among television cameras, a culture that it has ridden to prominence.

 

 

Free Fall Q & A With FP’s Kevin Baron

Foreign Policy magazine’s Kevin Baron, who typically writes The E-Ring blog, is filling in for Gordon Lubold this week to write the early morning Situation Report. So we caught up with him to see how that’s going. A bit of background on Baron: He came to Foreign Policy last July. Before that, he worked at National Journal for 10 months, and previously significant stints at Stars & Stripes and the Boston Globe. What lured Baron to FP was a newly created national security “channel” on their website to beef up defense reporting. It’s called a “channel” but doesn’t involve TV footage. He explains that the “The E-Ring” — his section — is named for a part of the Pentagon where you find all the big shots, such as former Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta. As a Pentagon reporter, Baron has traveled the world — Angola, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Korea, Slovakia, Qatar, Djibuti, Egypt, Israel as well as Afghanistan (four trips) and Iraq (four trips). “I don’t get to go on the fun trips like Paris and Rome,” he says. Baron marks the Peruvian chicken as the best food at the Pentagon. He explains that the “Pentagon press cave” is a fire trap because there’s only one door going in and out and only a couple windows. He couldn’t take a picture for FishbowlDC because it’s not permitted and he’d have to get clearance. But he says it’s nothing much to see — a bunch of cubicles, a long common desk. And no wireless. “They took away our wireless,” he says. Reporters must plug in through ethernet cables. To use a cell phone, he has to walk to the “outer ring” or near a window.

What’s your usual beat? I do the Defense Blog. I’m a national security reporter. I cover the Pentagon. I’m at the Pentagon almost every day. I cover Capitol Hill when it’s related to national security stuff. 

What time do you wake up and get to work? For this week, the Situation Report is a morning news letter. We have a pretty global audience. A lot of it is pre-reported the day before. After dinner, before bed I’ll do some writing. I get up 5:30 in the morning, put on coffee, feed the dog and start to piece it all together. I check the overnight news, especially the overseas Afghanistan reports. So I’m at home in my pajamas. I’ve been handing it in between 8 and 8:30. There’s no hard rule. It depends. It’s meant to be something to read after you get to your desk.

I didn’t realize national security reporting could be fun and snappy. Is that what your trying to achieve as the substitute Situation Report writer this week while Lubold is on vacation? That’s kind of what I like to achieve in all my writing honestly. That’s just my style. The more uninhibited I am, the better the prose is. Finding the voice can be difficult, especially when you’re trained to not have a voice. Up and coming journalists, I would highly recommend them to [know how to] do it all.

Why won’t you tell us where Lubold is? It’s so awful of you to tell us only that it involves sun, tropical and freckles. I should’ve asked him if he minds. It’s his vacation. I’m not going to publish his vacation. He’s getting sun, he’s on vacation. Is he out of the country or in the United States? I can’t say. [Grumbles and other sounds of irritation.] Come on, you can tell me that. No, I can’t.

You cover very serious world topics. Does it ever make you afraid or put more thoughts in your head as to what could happen? Um, I think it makes you more aware, but not more afraid. Just the opposite. It demystifies everything.

What do you think is the most likely event to happen? We spend so much time covering wars far from our shores. I don’t walk around town looking at security measures. I’m focused on whether the trillions of dollars chasing terrorists in the Middle East has had any effect on, not just American safety, but global security. I think this is the best beat in town in that I literally don’t know what I’m going to cover everyday. One day you’re covering military suicides, the next day you’re writing about whether Chuck Hagel hates Israel. You never know, it’s a great mix.

Coming up… Baron’s thoughts on Prince Harry. Read more

TIME’s Covers

NEWSROOM DISAGREEMENT: TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel writes, “We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples. Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too.”

NPR Wins Peabody for Syria Coverage

NPR wins the Peabody award for their coverage of the conflict in Syria and for an audio chronicle of a teenager’s ambition to compete with the first female U.S. Olympic boxing team, produced by Radio Diaries and broadcast on All Things Considered.

International correspondents Kelly McEvers, based in Beirut, and Deb Amos, a roving correspondent who’s spent three decades covering the region, led NPR’s reports during frequent trips into Syria and from along the border in Turkey and Lebanon. Interviews included Assad regime officials led to the unexpected discovery of unity among Muslim and Christian rebels.

McEvers and Amos share the award with… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

POLITICO TAKEOVER: Aside from Mike Barnicle and WaPo and MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, “Morning Joe” had three Politico employees on set today. They included Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, and reporters Maggie Haberman and Mike Allen.

Dare to dream

“If I could get one less email a day calling me the c-word I would be happy.” — Progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller appearing on CNN Wednesday night.

Predawn Politico Playbook Publish Time: 4:50 a.m.

Journo Love

“When I did @CNN this morning w/ @rolandsmartin I didn’t yet realize I was sitting next to @NABJ’s Journalist of the Year. Congrats my man!” — National Journal‘s Chris Frates, who’s also apparently sporting a mullet lately. Indeed, as reported by Maynard Institute’s Richard Prince, Roland Martin has been named the National Association of Black Journalists’ Journalist of the Year. The award will be presented to him at the national convention in Orlando in August. Martin was previously awarded the organization’s President’s award.

Pundit has issues on Acela

“To the snoring asshat sitting next to me on the Acela: I’m going to do to you what I used to do to my ex when he snored & you won’t like it.” — MSNBC Contributor Jimmy Williams.

First World Problems: Maddow or Morgan? 

“Having a tough time deciding between Maddow and Piers right now. Two totally different shows. No DVR. Who. Will. Win?” — BuzzFeed‘s Dorsey Shaw, who subsequently had these big thoughts on cable news: “Jay Leno should go to Fox News. Matt Lauer should go to CNN. Alex Wagner should go to 7pm. I should take the day off.”

Forget writer’s block…

“Experiencing serious case of Twitter block. Nothing funny or interesting to say about Ashley Judd.” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

Harshness is…

“That sound you hear is 10,000 political hacks unfollowing @AshleyJudd” — Politico‘s Ben White.

Zucker’s Bold Morning Show Announcement: Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan

CNN President Jeff Zucker sent a quick note to staff this morning, filling them in on news of the new upcoming morning program that will replace Soledad O’Brien‘s “Starting Point.”

He wrote: “I wanted to be the first to share with you all a very exciting announcement we are about to make about our new morning show.  We welcomed Chris Cuomo to the CNN family last month, and we are now rounding out the team with our own Kate Bolduan, and welcoming Michaela Pereira from KTLA in Los Angeles.  There will be much more news about this exciting new show in the weeks to come, but today’s announcement gives us a very strong start.  Please join me in congratulating Chris and Kate, and welcoming Michaela to CNN.”

Per a press release, CNN announced today that Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan will co-host the network’s new morning show, which will premiere this spring. Michaela Pereira will join CNN from KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, as the program’s news anchor. News executive Jim Murphy will oversee the program as senior executive producer, and Matt Frucci will serve as executive producer. The show will be broadcast from CNN’s New York City studios.

“I’ve been looking forward to this announcement since I first joined CNN,” said Zucker.

 

Rare Set for April Newseum Launch

Rare, the new conservative media hub, launches April 15 at the Newseum.

Pushing the literal concept of “rare” in a release Editor-in-Chief Brett Decker said Rare will do its best to stir the pot, promising “a refreshing, positive alternative taking on subjects others avoid like the plague. The existing media-entertainment complex can’t be allowed to define the parameters of debate over what this country should be.”

He also commented on the recent internal friction at CPAC. “Controversies at the recent CPAC conference about who’s in or who’s out of the conservative movement demonstrated the wide range of views that make up the red center of America, but what once was a strong coalition has broken down into a bitter family feud in which angry members don’t talk to one another across the dinner table” he continued. “We will provide a platform that serves, connects and resonates across conservative thought to get at the heart of what our enormous national base of readers has in common.”

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