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Archives: June 2013

Journos to Feast on Bone Marrow

The new D.C. restaurant, Béarnaise, is offering media members dinner Friday night along with a tour and Q&A with its chefs, Chef Spike Mendelsohn and Chef Brad Race, who are partnering with Mendelsohn’s sister Micheline Mendelsohn.

The dinner was originally attended to be lunch on Friday, but organizers pulled a last-minute switcheroo, making it Friday night so apparently more journos could attend.

Guests attending the dinner, which is set to start at 5:30 p.m. will sample the entire menu, which hasn’t yet been publicized. According to organizers, they can expect french onion soup, steak frites, brussels with bacon, escargot, bone marrow (?) and desserts.

Though organizers were eager to disclose that they would be serving bone marrow, they were not so quick to disclose which media organizations will be attending.

Mendelsohn and his fam also own Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza. The new restaurant sounds a bit fancier, as it is inspired by Mendelsohn’s experiences in France.

Come On, Get Happy With Time’s New Issue

Are we happy? Not really, according to this week’s Time Magazine cover story—”The Pursuit of Happiness”—by Jeffrey Kluger and Jon Meacham.

They cover what’s uniquely American about the pursuit of happiness (mostly, that we’re free to try and actually pursue being happy) and explain just how stupid we are for usually looking for it in the wrong places. But, there’s a catch. Even when we do look in the right places, it’s harder than ever to achieve happiness, they say, because the world has become just too fast-paced and frenetic.

That last point is debatable, but the story is worth a look for anyone who could use a little more joy in their life. And that’s all of us.

Time also did a poll, asking just how happy we are. Some highlights:

  • Since 2004, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves a optimists has dropped from 79 percent to 50 percent
  • 60 percent said that they do not feel better about themselves after spending time on social media
  • 76 percent believe other people make themselves look happier than they actually are on their Facebook page
Also in this issue, Jon Meacham explains what the founders really meant when they put “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, and Katie Steinmetz breaks down what science says helps us or hurts us in that pursuit in a clever infographic by Heather Jones.
The issue is available online now and hits newsstands Friday.

Some other stories that caught our eye…

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Daily Caller Communications Aide to Reason

The Daily Caller’s former Communications Aide Pat McMahon starts his new job at Reason Magazine this week. As some may be aware, McMahon was replaced by Clark Hennessy, who, in his first few weeks on the job, went viral when he tweeted out that H.N.I.C. lyric about RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

McMahon told us he left The DC on good terms and will miss all his pals there. He looks forward to attending their parties as a guest.

“I’m excited about my new role at Reason, as a communications specialist,” he told FishbowlDC. “Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful during my first week. I’m looking forward to working with an awesome group of people!”

Examiner Plucks Reporter from TWT

Yet another reporter has left TWT for the Washington Examiner, bring the total number of TWT reporters swiped by the Examiner to three. This time it was investigative reporter Luke Rosiak, whose first day at the Examiner was Thursday, according to an inside source.

The publication recently rebranded itself as a mostly-digital political and policy news organization with a weekly print magazine. It appears to have been rebuilding its staff as well, going on a hiring spree after letting its entire local news staff go. The Examiner also recently scooped Susan Crabtree and Sean Lengell from TWT, as well as pulling defense reporter Tim Mak from Politico.

We hope it will easier for Crabtree, Lingual and now, Rosiak to get to work now that their office isn’t in a public transportation dead zone.

Afternoon Reading List 06.27.13.

Greenwald responds to “personal attacks and smears” — Since breaking the story about the NSA’s secret surveillance program and staying in contact with Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian has come under fire from not just government officials, but also fellow journalists. In a column, Greenwald responds to the smears and writes that he knew he would become a target of “all sorts of personal attacks and smears.” Having befriended Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, Greenwald knew the tactics employed by the government to try to lower the leaker’s credibility. The journalist said he wasn’t surprised when he received an email from a New York Daily News reporter emailed him to ask about old lawsuits in which Greenwald was involved, including a dispute with an adult video producer and a multi-member LLC that he was part of, as well as back taxes owed from Greenwald’s old law practice. As Greenwald writes, “I’m 46 years old and, like most people, have lived a complicated and varied adult life.”

Ten Commandments of Doughnuts — Frustrated by the fact that doughnut shops have no standard set of rules to adhere to? Well worry no more, WaPo’s Joe Yonan laid out the “Ten Commandments of Doughnuts for those who make and sell them.” The list includes keeping doughnuts fresh, not going overboard with the oil, keeping it simple, using high-quality ingredients and enough filling and make sure the doughnuts are visually appealing, among a few others. The guidelines are very well thought out, and we can tell Yonan has eaten his fair share of doughnuts (no, we’re not calling him a fatso). Reading the list brings to light all the little things most people don’t think about that make going to a doughnut shop a memorable experience. Hopefully some doughnut-shop owners took note of the guidelines and will step up their game before your next visit.

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Yahoo News Gets a New Look, Might Try To Take Over the World

Yahoo! News is rolling out a redesign this morning for U.S. that will update its look to match the new homepage that debuted a few months ago.

The differences are subtle, but mostly good. Gone is the big blue header that previously took up valuable real estate at the top of the page. Now, it’s just a search box next to a small Yahoo! News logo, both of which stay with you as you scroll down the page.

One of the biggest changes is that local weather takes a top spot in the right sidebar, though the center news stream—which is now customizable—still appears in a blog format underneath a few featured articles just like it used to.

Overall the design is cleaner and simpler. Read more

Morning Chatter

“No, I told you I don’t watch the news. … I don’t watch the news.”Rachel Jeantel, star witness in the George Zimmerman trial during cross examination, discussing how she knew this was thought to be a “racially charged event.”

Defending Glenn Greenwald

“The smears against @ggreenwald begin: Glenn has not been kind to me in the past, but these attacks are disgusting.” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, who links to this story.

Advice for NPR

“#NPR pull on your Big Boy Pants. Declare independence from federal handouts.” — WTOP VP of News and Programming Jim Farley.

Phew! Glad that’s settled!

“To be clear, I’m not editorializing, I’m asking questions out loud. I don’t know the answers.” — The Guardian‘s National Security Editor Spencer Ackerman.

Dan Savage reacts to DOMA decision

“Human rights are universal, marriage is a human right, gay people are human, we exist in this universe. #NotThatComplicated.” — Syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who was recently in Washington for a book signing at the W.

Reporter complains in Paris

“Hey, Paris: I was cool with McDonalds, sorta OK with Starbucks. But SUBWAY? Get it together.” — Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox.

Hey Bolt Bus: What the hell?

“Dear @BoltBus: can someone please explain to me why I’m on I-97 towards Annapolis right now? This is worst route to DC I’ve ever seen.” — Reason mag’s Preston Cornish.

Dedication is…

“NOTE: your pooler explored the possibility of an in-flight pool report via a call from Air Force One. But by the time we were preparing to make the call, the transcript of the previous exchange with Carney was already being sent out to the list.” — NYT’s Michael Shear in a White House Pool Report en route to Africa.

And decency is…

“Congrats to @newtgingrich, @stefcutter, @VanJones68 & @secupp: new hosts of new Crossfire. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. #CNN” — CNN Contributor Paul Begala.

Black bear in Maureen Orth’s hood 

“So this is the black bear that was running around my mom’s neighborhood this AM in #DC Red Panda started trend.” — NBC’s Luke Russert. Orth writes for Vanity Fair. By far the worst response to Luke’s tweet came from retired San Diego-based “white liberal guy” Bob LaPolla, who wrote, “@LukeRussert it was your dad reincarnated.” WTF planet are you living on, LaPolla?

Chyron of the Day

CNN puts it all out there today with this fabulous chyron today during the George Zimmerman trial. Here, the extremely caucasian attorney questions Rachel Jeantel, the breakout “Precious” star of the trial.

Later in the day, that chyron changed to this:

FishbowlDC Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance


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Media Turns Out For SCOTUS Decisions

The Supreme Court has been busy this week, and while there’s plenty of excitement inside SCOTUS, most of the action was outside in the flurry of cameras, notebooks and audio recorders in the hands of scrambling reporters covering the decision.

Today’s landmark decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, and Proposition 8 drew not only an army of journalists, but also swarms of same-sex marriage proponents, along with a few supporters of traditional marriage. The Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision that DOMA was unconstitutional and voted that Proposition 8 was invalid.

The temperature and humidity were both fairly high, but that didn’t keep gay rights advocates, whose spirits were equally as high, from hanging around outside the court for hours to talk to as many reporters as they could. Much of the media also stayed for hours to talk to them.

Richard Bennett, a federal employee, was one of many excited same-sex marriage advocates wandering the sidewalk in front the court.

“I’m very happy about the DOMA ruling,” Bennett said. “This is going to make a significant difference to me in terms of benefits.”

Bennett echoed the feelings of many in the crowd that it’s a state by state battle now for nation-wide recognition of same-sex marriage.

“It bothers me that every day when I leave my home, I’m married, and when I get to work, I’m not married anymore,” Bennett said.

Barney Frank, the recently retired congressman from Massachusetts, was also on site to talk to reporters. Frank, who is openly gay, was swarmed by journalists armed microphones and notebooks to get his opinion on the decisions.

Many broadcast networks set up camp on the sidewalk just outside of SCOTUS, cutting in and out of live shots on the scene. The interns sprinting back to their respective organizations with the decisions have gotten media attention themselves, courtesy of BuzzFeed.

Interns and veterans alike both sweated it out as they remained in the heat looking for different stories and angles. There were many gay marriage advocates, but FBDC only saw one supporter of traditional marriage who was actively protesting the decision.

His name is Ronald Brock, and he’s a missionary who drives what he calls a “truth truck” around the country to preach Christian ideals. His reaction to the decision, he told FBDC, was, “Supreme Court, you are not God,” which was printed in big letters on a sign he held up.

“The Constitution hasn’t changed, God’s word hasn’t changed, we’ve just lost are moral marbles,” Brock said.

He added that the media coverage of gay rights issues has played a role in the country’s acceptance of same-sex marriage. Acknowledging that he was possibly the only one opposing the SCOTUS decision on DOMA, he said that gay rights advocates take action, while traditional marriage supporters are only willing to talk and not take action.

Brock was certainly doing a lot of talking to reporters, as most were making sure to get quotes from both sides of the argument, as he held his sign.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. was also present, and very excited. They sang “Make Them Hear You” and the National Anthem in front of the steps of the Supreme Court for a swarm of media. Bob Sheavle, who has been in the chorus for over a decade, said the group has been heavily involved in same-sex marriage advocacy.

“Singing for something as deep as your sexual orientation, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Sheavle said.

By early afternoon, the crowd was starting to thin, as well as some of the media. Many were braving the heat, though, such as Brian Mooar  and his crew from NBC News (shown above), and continuing to cut to a live broadcast or talk to what was left of the crowd.