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Archives: May 2013

10 Reporters We’d Drink With

Maybe we see conspiracy a little too easily after months of talking Benghazi, the IRS and Weiner’s mayoral race. Maybe FamousDC’s recent Ten DC Reporters You Should Know list is just an honest, fun-loving story that has nothing to do with the fact that FamousDC is the brainchild of Story Partner’s Amos Snead. Story Partners is a PR firm “with a history of influencing outcomes” and, as we understand these things, PR firms sometimes use flattery when dealing with reporters they need to… influence. We’re sure that the promised follow-up 10 Hill Staffers You Should Know is just a straight-forward list as well.

And we were ready to move on.

But then our questions to FamousDC about selection criteria and how the list was put together—or narrowed down from suggestions made by FamousDC’s contacts, as the story says—have been so far met by silence.

One thing we expected to find, and really didn’t, though, were self-congratulatory tweets from the journos who made FamousDC’s list. More often, it was journalists who knew someone on the list retweeting, because the association means that they are also awesome. Bloomberg‘s Claire Compton wins best response:

Ten reporters you should know: @famousdc . Better list: Ten reporters you should drink with.

— Claire Compton (@KClaireCompton) May 30, 2013

Agreed. So here it is, FishbowlDC’s 10 Reporters You Should Drink With.

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British Author Finds ‘Humility’ In Missing TV Interview Due to Oversleeping

Matthew Hancock, a British Minister of Parliament and author, must have made sure to set an alarm for a party in D.C. celebrating the American publication of his book Masters of Nothing. He was there on time Tuesday, unlike an uncomfortable episode he experienced in London earlier this year.

“I haven’t heard about it for a while but it’s very nice of you to remind me,” Hancock, 34, told FishbowlDC, when asked if he still gets grief for the time he failed to show up for a TV interview in London. He missed the spot because he didn’t wake up in time.

“What it reminds us is we’re all flawed,” he said with a laugh. “And if you assume that anything can be done perfectly, whether a regulation implemented perfectly, or a minister gets up on time every day, we’re all going to fail. We’re all flawed individuals and we need that humility in policy making to get things right.”

What a deliciously P.C. answer.

What was particularly troublesome (read: hilarious) about Hancock’s sleep-in is that the segment he was booked for was about… Read more

The Fight Over Off The Record (and Ron Fournier’s Blooming Twitter Addiction)

The Department of Justice must really feel like they screwed up, because Eric Holder is making the apology tour and meeting with various media outlets. It’s an effort to build bridges over the Obama administration hunting of leaks in the media, which many feel is overly aggressive. Naturally, there’s one little hangup: The DOJ wants the meeting off the record. While an off the record meeting with a high-ranking government official is hardly groundbreaking in Washington, the optics are pretty shitty. Here’s the Attorney General, who led a media witch hunt, who now wants to have an open dialogue with the media, who feels slighted and no one can know what was said.

National Journal’s Ron Fournier  penned a thoughtful piece on what “off the record” really means, and gives reasons why the media should ignore Holder’s request for silence. Fournier sums up the problem with this off the record nonsense by saying that ”it puts a reporter in the position of a priest: Keeping the government’s secrets.” Fournier reminds reporters that this story isn’t about them or their rights, but it’s about the next President, who might be worse than Presidents Bush and Obama combined.

Fournier was really proud of the piece. Oh, how do we know? Read more

What’s ‘Not Looking Good’ For NBC’s Betsy Fischer Martin?

Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Producer for NBC’s “Meet the Press,” did Thursday morning what so many of us have done before: Tweeted something that was never meant to be tweeted.

“Tell them we are not looking good and we don’t want to prevent him from going elsewhere,” the ominous tweet said before it was quickly deleted.

What could it possibly mean?

We went straight to the source for answers. “Glad you are on deleted tweet watch – the world is truly a safer place,” Fischer Martin told FishbowlDC in an email. “It was actually part of something I had in my cut/paste clipboard that I somehow pasted into a tweet on my blackberry. Silly me. Thank goodness it was vague and clean!”

She continued, calling her tweet “a true Washington mystery that will no doubt capture the attention of millions of Fishbowl readers dying to know the meaning of all those pronouns!”

But she didn’t tell us what the message was about or who it was intended for. We’re left to guess that on our own. So here’s our best guesses as to what’s “not looking good” for Fischer Martin… Read more

CNN’s Zucker Offers Pre-Weekend Praise

What makes CNN so special? Is it Wolf’s new glasses, that delicate moment when Anderson breaks into giggles while reading the Ridiculist or when he interviewed Cleveland kidnapping hero Charles Ramsey without cracking a smile as Ramsey winked, discussed cheeseburgers and called him “bro,” Tapper reeling off the “World Lead” or Piers losing his shit with the gun activists he invites on his show? Well, that’s a burning question that’s still evolving. Nonetheless, CNN’s Jeff Zucker offered his employees a warm note of appreciation and congratulations on the network’s 33rd anniversary.

Zucker isn’t sparing in his praise.

He writes, “It’s a tribute to every one of you that we are enjoying success on all of our platforms. We’ve launched some terrific programs. We have been awarded some of our industry’s highest accolades. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But this has been a good year for CNN thus far, and none of that happens without you.

See the full memo and watch the video… Read more

Female Peers Try to De-Wad Erick Erickson’s Twisted Panty Tirade

Female peers of RedState and FNC’s Erick Erickson took to the web Thursday to play mommy to a grown man, offering unsolicited advice over his declaration that women ought not be the family breadwinners. After Pew released the news that 40 percent of women in homes with children under 18 were the breadwinners, Erickson went on his radio show and said men should be the predominate providers in the family and that it’s his preference that the woman not work and stay at home with the children.

“Ladies, if you want to work that’s fine,” he wrote in a follow-up story on RedState in which he stated in elaborate detail that he and his wife have had their struggles. “If your position in life makes it advantageous for you to be the primary bread winner, that’s fine. But your individual circumstances and mine should not hide the fact that there is an ideal and optimal family arrangement whether we in our own lives can meet it.”

Maybe the best line of the piece: “Many feminist and emo lefties have their panties in a wad over my statements in the past 24 hours about families.”

As rabid feminists and lefties twisted themselves (and maybe their panties too, who knows?) into knots over his stance, female peers swooped in to both save him and scold him. “Dear @EWErickson,” began Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, who often hosts FNC programs. “You are polluting your own feed w/ the nasty retweets. You empower them. Rise above!”

FNC’s Greta Van Susteren, who once called then-FNC Contributor and now FNC “Fox & Friends” host Tucker Carlson “a pig” with “no judgment” for running a Daily Caller story on Mike Tyson‘s crude womb-shifting thoughts on Sarah Palin, took a more direct approach. “Have these men lost their minds?” she wrote in a Thursday blog post in which she also wondered (to herself and thousands of her boisterous followers), “And these are my colleagues??!! Oh brother… maybe I need to have a little chat with them. Next thing they will have a segment to discuss eliminating women’s right to vote?”

When Erickson creates controversy he goes big, like last week when he cracked on President Obama not being aware of the Oklahoma tornado. He continued to dig a hole (please, no offense to feminists, it’s just an expression) for himself Thursday by writing, “In many, many animal species, the male and female of the species play complementary roles, with the male dominant in strength and protection and the female dominant in nurture. It’s the female who tames the male beast. One notable exception is the lion, where the male lion looks flashy but behaves mostly like a lazy beta-male MSNBC producer.”

Male journalists on the left also had wisdom. “When accused of sexism, make sure to use the phrase ‘panties in a wad’ in your defense,” wrote Salon‘s D.C. -based Alex Seitz-Wald on Twitter. To which Mother JonesDavid Corn remarked, “Is it sexist to assume they wear panties?” Not to be excluded from those most likely to advise Erickson, Media Matters’ John Whitehouse wrote, “So Erickson wants to use his sexism as an opportunity to push his radio show? Ask Rush how that story ends.”

Just in case you think Erickson’s sexist… Read more

White House Press Corps Hacked!

Looks like @whpresscorps forgot to turn on Twitter’s new two-factor authentication.

Someone appears to have hacked into the account as dissatisfied tweets about that off-the-record meeting with Attorney Gen. Eric Holder yesterday began appearing around 2 a.m. HuffPost first reported the news this morning at 4:41 a.m.

The official web site was hacked, too, and replaced with a single page of links to hashtags like #Benghazi, #DOJ, and books like James Rosen‘s The Strong Man about Watergate and the must-read The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama’s True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer.

The hacker also posted tweets to the site that included what looks to be screenshots of visitor logs that show frequent visits to from both the White House and the IRS. At the bottom of the page, the hacker posted a real (and snarky) @whpresscorps retweet from Wednesday about the Obama administration’s perceived bungled handling of a “PR crisis.” The hacker labeled it with the hashtag… #kicker.

Of course this isn’t the first time a news organization has been hacked on Twitter. Read more

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Week-Old Daily Caller Social Media Editor (and Gangsta Expert) Will Live Another Day

The Head Editor In Charge of The Daily Caller has spoken. Clark Hennessy, the brand spanking new Social Media Editor for the publication, ran into an online snarl Thursday when he tweeted something about RNC Chairman Reince Priebus being the HNIC (you can Google it).

Hennessy, a New Zealander who arrived to the pub a week ago and mans the DC‘s Twitter feed, quickly deleted the tweet. But not fast enough as it was retweeted 141 times. And soon the uptight Twitterati went wild, thick with outrage over his gangsta tweet and accusing the young man and The Daily Caller of being racist. Hennessy tried to remedy the situation by tweeting what he wrote again and replacing “HNIC” with “boss.” Good thinking! He also expressed regret: “Apologies for the earlier tweet, clearly been listening to too much Fashawn.”

A journalist soon emailed us, saying, “Whatever you do, don’t do a Twitter search ( for ‘HNIC’ and ‘DailyCaller.’”

We hear the newsroom went a bit haywire yesterday amid the controversy, and that Hennessy was spotted in the office of Publisher Neil Patel. Some feared he may get the axe. But whatever the talking-to amounted to couldn’t have been that bad. Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson told FishbowlDC this morning that Hennessy will not lose his job over this. “As for yesterday’s tweet, it was a reference to a song by Fashawn and not a racist attack on Reince Priebus, whom I don’t even think is black. Still, given the reaction on Twitter and the current standards on accidentally offensive speech, we have executed the employee who wrote it.”

Uh oh. Whah?

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

WHOSE SHOES? “Footwear of the fashion forward men of POLITICO Video.” — Politico‘s Christine Delargy.  Hints: The guy in yellow has been known to frequent Pete’s, a pizza eatery in D.C.; his colleague showing off his fancy boat shoes, meanwhile, frequents Peregrine in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington. We’ll tell you later. But send your guesses and commentary to or to

“I’m wearing pajama bottoms, you can’t see it.”Daily Caller and The Week‘s Matt Lewis, joking (we think) during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

Burning the midnight oil

“hey @woodhouseb do you think holder should resign? what if ashcroft had investigated MSNBC reporter? you wld have been ok with it? comment?” — BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings to Democratic Party Spokesman Brad Woodhouse. Noteworthy: The tweet was sent at 3:25 a.m.

Just in case you think you’re having a bad day…“Not something you see everyday. A plane sticking out the side of an apt building. @ABC7John is live at 4:32am!” — Sara Van Aernum, executive producer of ABC7′s “Good Morning Washington.” The plane ran out of fuel and had to take a pit stop into this Herndon, Va. apartment building. Can you imagine waking up to this sh-t?

Anxiety-ridden TV watcher

“I need a xanax just to watch this thing.” — NPR freelancer Lizzie O’Leary watching yesterday’s Spelling Bee.

Just a normal day at work in Washington

“We are ALL CLEAR !” just received via email at @wusa9 after bomb threat. Broadcasts never interrupted. No evacuations.Thanks @DCPoliceDept” — WUSA9′s Russ Ptacek.

“Weird coincidence. #Tornado drill in #Senate, while #oklahoma has real thing.” — CQ Roll Call Staff Writer Alan Ota.

Reporter wishes she was better versed in car mechanics

“Wish I knew about cars so when mechanic went on ‘If you don’t give me all your money, you will DIE in a fiery mess’ spiel, I could check him.” — NBC Washington Social Media Editor Cheryl Thompson.

From the Dept. of Bragiculture…

“I was only reporter to ride 100k over 3 days w/George W. Bush on mountain bikes w/wounded vets on his ranch last week. 4k words posting soon.” — HuffPost‘s Jon Ward. In case you don’t think he’s the most humble reporter in Washington, he is. Just ask him! Read more