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Archives: July 2013

Project Fishbowl: The Hill’s 50 Beauties

This morning we enter Project Fishbowl to closely examine The Hill’s 10th Anniversary “50 Most Beautiful People List.” This year saw a few changes as they allowed White House Administration people to enter the fray in addition to political types on Capitol Hill and K Street. There’s also a dandy new layout that allows for easy viewing and flipping through the winners. Here we offer our raw reviews of the beauties – FishbowlDC style. Warning: To the easily offended (you know who you are) you might want to skip this because we won’t apologize.

In no particular order… let’s begin.

Piranhamous:  Very sexy in that ‘lock you in his basement’ kind of way.  Too soon?

Peter: I think I recognize this guy from my grandma’s “Shop Teachers of the Mid-Atlantic” calendar she had in 1984.

Anonymous journo: So, the West Wing was allowed on this year’s list. But who said anything about daytime TV shrinks?

Justin: Right out of GQ, obviously.

Betsy: Bald and plump with a “Magnum, P.I.” stache. Literally doesn’t get any better than this.

Piranhamous:  Caught on Camera!  Stephanie Green’s pearls attack curling-iron-haired cutie!!!

Peter: That necklace is made of human teeth.

Anonymous journo: Glad she listened to the flight attendant and fastened her seat belt.

Justin: The necklace scares me a bit—or a lot. But I love the smile.

Betsy: How many “cuties” can one list have? Please, STOP the usage of that word. Serious question: Can a necklace self-strangle a human being?

Piranhamous: Jai from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy proves there is life after reality TV.

Peter: They let Billy Elliot on the list! His face screams, “Bro, do you even pirouette?”

Anonymous journo: Oretga’s face never moves. Even during his daily Capitol Hill parkour workouts (involves jumping off balconies and buildings).

Justin: But did he stick the landing? I can’t pass judgment without this vital piece of information.

Betsy: Who let Pee Wee Herman on the list? Is that even appropriate?

Piranhamous: I loved his rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA Finals.

Peter: “And Emmanuel Lewis as Webster…”

Anonymous journo: Where’s the yearbook quote?

Justin: Just… no. Our society already exploits children way too much, I won’t be a part of it.

Betsy: Has someone called Child Protective Services or checked the milk cartons? This can’t be legal. Read more

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Captivate Queen City Readers at Cincinnati


While Cincinnati is a regional mag, editors pride themselves on living up to standards more akin to national pubs.

Similarly, although the magazine is aimed at an “affluent, upper middle class, well-educated readership,” editorial is not pigeonholed by demographics, said executive editor Linda Vaccariello.

A feature in the May 2012 issue, for instance, detailed the short but rich-in-spirit life and bizarre death of a punk drummer nicknamed “Bones.” She explained, “We knew this was the sort of human-interest story that our readers are compelled to. They read the newspaper; they’re just as puzzled as the rest of us about who this guy was and how he came to lose his life in such a strange circumstance.”

For details on pitching etiquette and editors’ contact info, read How to Pitch: Cincinnati.

Sherry Yuan

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What You Should Think, Editorials Edition

This week, we spent some time reading a whole lot of editorials, mostly so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights, and low-lights:

Do doctors have too much sway over Medicare payouts?

WaPo asks the question, then never really comes out and answer it. If you read between the lines, you get that though they want to say “yes” all the evidence really points to “no”—so they avoid making any kind of reasonable conclusion because it doesn’t fit the narrative they really want. Most of the editorial talks about a 31-member panel of doctors, part of the American Medical Association, that recommends what it thinks doctors should be reimbursed for certain procedures. This is bad, apparently. A service provider negotiating with the government over what it will be paid for its services. Horror! Should Apple have no say over the price when the government wants to buy some iPads or iPhones? Why should doctors be different? Never mind the fact that the government, by WaPo’s own admission, is free to roundly reject the doctor’s suggested prices and did about 30 percent of the time the last time the list was updated.

Just how predictable is the Washington Times?

Read more

Woman Allegedly Canned From ‘Unnamed News Program’ For Trying to Snag Interview With Prince Harry

So,  an“Unnamed News Program” fires people for “unauthorized” emails to the Royal Press Secretary of Great Britain?

Please someone get in touch with us and let us know if employees at seasoned, respected news stations around Washington really must get permission from their bosses before sending email, because that’s essentially what a Tumblr post written by an alleged former UNP employee claims. It’s called: “I Got Fired and Somehow the World Hasn’t Ended…”

“Lala” wrote that three months after leaving New York City and heading to Arlington, Va. to work for UNP, her world turned upside down.  She explained, “On May 17th, I hit a speed bump when I got fired from my new job. No, not laid off. Fired. And I can’t help but wonder: is this what happens when we take risks? Should I, going forward, expect to be punished for moving outside my comfort zone and trying to do what’s in my heart?”

It gets worse.

“The on-paper reason I got fired was that I sent an unauthorized email to the Royal Press Secretary of Great Britain (yes, basically I got fired for trying to email my soul mate Prince Harry—please, laugh, it’s pretty amusing). The actual reason, however, was that my boss was a mean-spirited woman who didn’t like me because I told her she needed to stop being condescending and rude to me. Here’s the long and the short of it:

My boss—let’s call her “Becky”—seemed as though she was not on my side from the moment I got to Unnamed News Program. She wasn’t the person that hired me; the guy who hired me actually had left before I started my job, and Becky had taken his place. While the guy who hired me seemed pretty excited to have me on board, Becky seemed not as thrilled. Becky publicly chastised me, threw things at me when no one was looking, and made fun of me behind my back.” 

It’s one-sided obviously, so we don’t know what “Lala” was really like at work or whether or not her firing was deserved. No workplace could really be as uptight and hostile as the one she describes, right? Surely, not even UNP. Washington media outlets don’t take themselves this super seriously, do they?

Oh… wait. Never mind. Read more

Afternoon Reading List 07.31.13.

Weiner lasting more than four months is doubtful — When Anthony Weiner announced his bid for New York City mayor, his campaign was about a fresh start and using his past to learn from his mistakes. He had mostly been laying low, and it appeared that NYC voters were in support of Weiner’s political comeback. But, as Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Maggie Haberman report, July has not been a good month for the Weiner as another sexting scandal emerged with the now infamously porntastically-named Sydney Elaine Leathers. Most recently, his dismissal of the opinions of the Clintons, who Dovere and Haberman label “the first family of Democratic politics, cements his nose dive that he has little chance of stopping before the Sept. 10 primary. A recent poll puts him in fourth place and shows that 53 percent of New Yorkers want him to drop out of the race.

Why you should read it: Weiner’s campaign has definitely suffered from continued blows, and this piece looks at how he went from a strong mayoral candidate to a running joke.

About those Twitter messages — Speaking of Weiner, Charles C. Johnson of The Daily Caller reports on the varying accounts of the mayoral candidate’s communication with a then-17-year-old girl in 2011. The girl, Margaret Henning, and her family offer differing accounts of just how many messages Weiner sent Henning and what the contents of those messages were. Henning’s mother says he sent two messages, an unnamed family member says he sent three and Weiner says he sent five. Wow, did he foolishly high ball that one that? Leading up to the communication, Henning had made public on Twitter her obsessive love of Weiner, tweeting things like “HE IS MINE ALL MINE HE LOVES ME AND NO ONE ELSE ILY ILY ILY!!!” She also made public her love of caps lock and lack of punctuation. After expressing her Weiner love, he followed her on Twitter until he was called out by Twitter users, but followed her again after multiple tweets begging him to do so. The Daily Caller also pulled some pretty great pictures from Henning’s Facebook page to publish with the story.

Why you should read it: Henning had a very high school-like crush on the then-congressman, which Weiner apparently couldn’t resist after seeing his Twitter handle in so many tweets. Make sure you read the tweets at the end.

Read more

Capitol Hill Goes To The Dogs

For Abby the Shih Tzu mix, Tuesday was a big day. Until last Friday, when she was picked up by animal shelter Homeward Trails, she had been roaming the streets of Washington. On Tuesday, however, Abby got a chance to find a new home at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s Paws for Celebration adoption drive (yes, that was a mouthful)  in the Cannon Caucus Room.

Abby, just 1 year old, wasn’t alone. About 50 other dogs, and some cats, from seven animal shelters around D.C. wandered around the room as swarms of people ate “pupcakes” (cupcakes with pictures of dogs on them) and bent down to pet the animals, while some applied to adopt a new pet.

Among the throng of guests were members of the media who were seen ogling the dogs (we weren’t the only ones). Hannah Jeffrey, a Houston Chronicle intern, could barely tear herself away from Abby (her hands are seen around the pooch’s neck on the next page), and was soon on the phone asking her parents for permission to adopt the dog. Jeffrey applied for adoption despite her parents’ hesitation, hoping photos of her with the dog could sway their decision.

Other media outlets represented include HuffPost, Reuters, Roll Call, Scripps Howard and U.S. News & World Report.

Jessica Johnson, ASPCA’s senior manager for grassroots advocacy, said the planning started about a month and a half ago. All the shelters at the event had a hand in making it come together.

In addition to the Paws for Celebration event last year, ASPCA also organized a similar Paws for Love event in February. Johnson said it’s a way to give Capitol Hill a much-needed break.

“There’s a lot of tension in Congress sometimes, and this is an event where members from both sides of the aisle can come together and they can agree on dogs and cats,” Johnson said.

Many Hill staffers, along with journalists, were among the throngs of people petting the dogs and asking for their names.

Since the dogs were only able to bark, staff and volunteers from the various shelters and ASPCA gave us the animals’ names and stories.

Here are a few that we met.

Read more

Huma Abedin: The Clinton’s ‘Surrogate’ Daughter

Politico‘s Maggie Haberman, the queen of anonymous sourcing this week with an impressive 16 ways to express anonymity, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today. She spoke about the Clintonland response to he Anthony Weiner scandal, specifically their concern for the candidate’s wife, Huma Abedin.

We were struck by Haberman’s use of the phrase “surrogate daughter.” We know candidates have “surrogates” on the campaign trail. But in the political sense of the word, could anything sound more impersonal and more This Town? Haberman is right — according to news reports former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton has said, “I only have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would [be] Huma.”

“The Clintons are very tired of him. …They didn’t like him since the scandal. They didn’t like that he was name dropping Bill Clinton constantly when he first got into the race. They made it really clear they weren’t getting involved. They are very worried about Huma Abedin who is, you know, like a surrogate daughter to them.”

Morning Chatter

QUESTIONS OF THE HOUR: “Why does she forgive him? Why is it okay with her?” — MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi on “Morning Joe” today on Huma Abedein forgiving husband Anthony Weiner for his marital sexting dalliances. And Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown: “These guys have to keep themselves in check. What is the opposite of Viagra? …I just think it’s the disease of our times.”

GOODBYE OLD NPR 1.0: “I walk this way every day and have never seen this view – gbye NPR 1.0″WaPo‘s Jackie Kucinich.

Journo’s inner conflict involves Hooters

“Conflicting email of the day: Invite to the ‘annual Hooters Charity Golf Tournament in aid of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia.’” — WaPo‘s Carlos Lozada.

Journo says Weiner obsessed with penis (Um, redundant?)

“NYC truly has rebounded from some tough times. I wonder which ones Anthony Weiner thinks are comparable to his obsession with his own penis.” — The Hill‘s Sam Baker.

Reporter gets sucked into depths of YouTube

“I go on YouTube to watch a clip from the Colbert Report. 6 hours later and I’m watching a tutorial on how to speak dolphin. #BlackHole” — TWT‘s Jessica Chasmar.


“Been busy wasting time reporting and writing. What’s going on here on the twizzlers?” — Politico‘s Ben White.

Amazing use of profanity

“Morgan also reportedly called Olivia Nuzzi, a intern on Weiner’s mayoral campaign, a “bitch,” “twat,” and “cunt.” Nuzzi appeared on the cover of the Daily News Tuesday morning for a story she wrote about what she described as her less-than-desirable experience working for the Weiner campaign earlier this year.” — BuzzFeed story on Weiner spokesman calling ex-intern a number of choice names.

Wishful thinking? “The best part is going to be Weiner firing his spox because of course you can’t treat young women crudely and expect to work there.” — MSNBC political reporter Benjy Sarlin.

AnonymASS to FBDC: “You guys suck, DCRTV rules!” Dear ASS (or Dave Hughes) whatever the case may be), I’m not just saying this,  if Hughes is your hero you might want to get your head examined. We hope it’s not a tumor.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 9:18 a.m.

The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful is Out!

This morning we woke up and it’s like Christmas in July. By the crack of dawn FBDC’s Peter Ogburn had already taken a deep dive into The Hill’s annual 50 Most Beautiful list and a mildly filthy one at that. And thank God, because what would our day look like without it?

As one reader renamed it, “It’s become 50 Most Beautiful People After You’ve Had A Bottle of Whiskey.”

Two journalists who made the list are CNN’s Jake Tapper and ABC “GMA” Senior National Correspondent  Claire Shipman. Congrats! (You’ll never live this down. People will remember it for the rest of your natural lives.)

We know first-hand how incredibly hard it is to put this list together, so good job to the good people who did and the beautiful new layout.

Enjoy! We’ll have more on this later.

View the list here.

FishbowlDC Newsstand: Your Morning at a Glance



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