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Posts Tagged ‘Abby Livingston’

Take Me Out To The (Soft)Ball Game

Wednesday night was the 4th annual Congressional Women’s Softball game. It’s one of the official kickoffs of summer for D.C. and it pits a gathering of female journos against a bi-partisan collection of female politicians. The journos were led by team captains Amy Walter from ABC News, Abby Livingston from Roll Call and Brianna Keilar from CNN. The captains for the Congressional team were Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

The announcers for the game were Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Klobuchar acknowledged early in the game that she might have problems with all the baseball terms since she had spent “all day debating catfish and the farm bill.”

The journos, who call themselves “The Bad News Babes,” got off to an early start with AP’s Kasie Hunt getting a base hit to start the game. The cheering section for the members of Congress was mostly made up of staffers, although Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor made appearances.

It wasn’t long before relentless attention whore Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took over the microphone to help call the game. He said that Gillibrand, who was pitching the the Congressional team, reminded him of “a young Whitey Ford.” This prompted Mitchell to tell the senator it was time for him to “go back to the stands.” Other notables in the crowd included the recently-announced D.C. Bureau Chief for Buzzfeed, John Stanton, Sec. of Labor, Hilda Solis and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) with his wife, Elizabeth. It’s worth noting that the congressman was on the Bad News Babes side of the field to cheer on his daughter, Jackie Kucinich of USA Today.

Wednesday was the official start of summer and, right on cue, it was hot as hell. So, we can hardly fault John Harwood for guzzling one of the free purple Gatorades being handed out at the game. Also spotted was MSNBC’s Luke Russert sporting this loud pink T-shirt and a backwards Buffalo Bills hat. His buddy, Politico’s Jake Sherman, dressed himself with a little more sanity.

The Bad News Babes poured on the offense for most of the game until House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrived late in the game. That’s about the time that the Congressional bats opened up and made the game competitive again. In the end, the press was too much for Congress and they won 13-10. We asked Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner, who went 3-3 in the game what the key to the win was. She says, “Other than the innate killer instincts of reporting applied gracefully to a baseball diamond? My biased analysis is that we out-classed and out-sassed the other side, led by our three tireless captains, Abby, Amy and Bri. My former sports reporting analysis says the key to our win was what I like to call sports amnesia–forgetting the last play or inning and coming back stronger. I was especially impressed by Abby and our third baseman/relief pitcher Gregory Simmons, who even in times of softball duress both showed the mental grit we needed to win.”

Congratulations to the Babes on their win. The event raised awareness for breast cancer and benefited the Young Survivors Network, a group that assists women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

CNN’s New Guard Greets Fox Newsers

A peculiar welcome wagon awaited Brit Hume and Karl Rove outside Fox News’ Washington bureau on Wednesday night.  Before they could enter the studios for their respective hits, both Fox Newsers were forced to pass by some 200 guests of CNN’s New Guard fete.  Awwwwkward.

“Rove looks like he could use a drink,” remarked one party goer.  “Call him over,” suggested another.

But unfazed by the clinking of glasses and rumble of voices, neither FNC personality gave more than a glance at the crew who had congregated on the patio of Johnny’s Half Shell, right in front of Fox’s North Capitol Street headquarters.

Sipping vino and noshing the night away, under glowing CNN logos were ‘new guarders’ such as DOD’s Doug Wilson, UN Foundation’s Heather Wong, Wally Adeyemo from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, W.H. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, State Department new media guru Alec Ross, CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, Doug Heye, Ayotte press secretary Jeff Grappone, Reid communications director Adam Jentleson, Jen Psaki, Thune’s Kyle Downey, Duke University’s Ronnie Chatterji, Rand Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley and Becca Glover from Rep. Issa’s press shop.  They mixed and mingled with CNN’s Sam Feist, Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, Edie Emery, Megan Grant, Donna Brazile, Jill Chappell, Sarah Baker, Jen Scoggins, and media types such as The Hill’s Judy Kurtz, Kelly DiNardo, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, and soon-to-be Roll Call’s Abby Livingston.

At the end of the evening CNN bid their guests farewell with a gift: network-branded umbrellas, in case of rain.

Livingston on the Move Again

In February of last year, Abby Livingston left her gig at NJ‘s Hotline to join “John King, USA.”  Now that she’s added CNN producer to her resume, Livingston is on the move again.  This time she’s headed to Roll Call as a reporter on the politics team.  Memo from Scott Montgomery below:

“We are pleased to announce that Abby Livingston is joining Roll Call as a reporter on our politics team. Abby comes to us from CNN where she is a producer on ‘John King, USA.’ Previously she was TV Editor at The Hotline and worked in the NBC News Washington Bureau as a research assistant to Chuck Todd, where she combed through video archives from the 2008 presidential race to find interesting stories.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Abby set out for a career writing soap operas. But, as she told us, ultimately she discovered “I love politics.” We were impressed by her enthusiasm and tenaciousness. When we asked her to give us some story pitches, she cold-called Sharron Angle. We think she will be an all-around great addition to the newsroom.  Abby’s first day will be Oct. 3.”

*We originally posted that Abby left NJ in 2011.  She actually left in 2010.

The FishbowlDC Interview With @DCjourno

In the just over three weeks he’s been tweeting, Washington has wondered about the identity of @DCjourno, who describes himself only as “an important political reporter in Washington.” The stinging parody account takes aim at Washington media, and the resemblance to real journalists is uncanny and to some, scary. “Just always a little too close to the bone,” said one reporter, relieved to have so far been spared mention. ABC’s Jake Tapper admitted there was a “subtle genius” to the account.

But others don’t think he’s genius at all. As one D.C. Editor put it, “Just read his stuff. An “important political reporter in Washington.” Bullshit. I’ll bet you my car nobody’s ever heard of this guy. Anyone who thinks [NJ's] Marc Ambinder is worth writing about can’t be over 23.” The journalist added, “It has a faux insider feel, like someone who watches too much Morning Joe.”

Some see a self-loathing. Still others just find him loathing. “I don’t give too much credence to people too chickensh*t to put their name behind something because, obviously, once we know who they are, we’ll soon realize that they’re just as douchy as the rest of us,” said a longtime Washington journalist. “Likely: Even more douchey.”

@DCjourno recently told the NYT, “Several of my followers still don’t understand that I’m a parody. They think I’m just a cool D.C. journalist, which really says it all.”

And it’s easy to see why he has some people fooled. Just like the journalists he mocks, he’s always speaking with “senior administration officials.” He suggests good people to follow, including WaPo‘s Ezra Klein (“Few understand health care better than Ezra,” he tweeted sarcastically) and Politico‘s Mike Allen (“Follow foreign policy guru @mikeallen for updates on Egypt. He’s tweeting from the frontlines in Rosslyn”). He always directs his followers to “must reads” and “smart takes.” In fact: “If anyone out there sees a tweet that i can re-tweet with “Interesting … ” in front of it, DM me!”

Tapper suggested his followers check out the stream to see what really went down at former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs‘ farewell party. Apparently, “Gibbs telling the Mark Knoller/vodka-filled-plastic-guitar Vegas story.” Later: “Ambinder talking abt 19th century German philosophy. Gibbs goes, ‘Marc, we know you’re smarter than us. U gonna hit this jameson or not?’” And later still: “Alright, Vietor just challenged me to a dance off with your pants off. Zeleny is the judge. Have a good night, everyone.” Slate‘s Dave Weigel said that @DCjourno was “winning the evening” with his fake live-tweets.

The guessing game has grown more intense as @DCjourno’s follower count has risen, now to more than 3,000 people. CNN’s John King, USA producer Abby Livingston tweeted: “More ppl care about who is @dcjourno than who authored ‘o.’” ABC News’ Political Director Amy Walter agreed: “Ha. So true.”

Asked if he’s @DCJourno, The Daily Caller‘s Mike Riggs adamantly denied it to FishbowlDC, saying, “As much as DCJourno pretends to be in this world, but not of it, whoever’s writing those tweets cares deeply about Beltway culture and the assholes who maintain it. I don’t. Or at least, not enough to glorify its participants through caricature. I’m flattered that you think me even-tempered enough to maintain such a ruse, but I’m not your man, and I don’t know who is.”

@DCJourno wouldn’t give us any clues whatsoever about his identity, but did agree to an interview by e-mail. He wouldn’t, however, allow any follow-up questions. We tried to press him on a couple of things, but no such luck.

Are you actually a D.C. journalist, or more of an observer? I am an actual D.C. journalist, hence the Twitter handle, @DCjourno.

Why are you anonymous? Will you ever reveal yourself? I’m definitely not anonymous. Pretty much everyone in this town knows me now.

Are you a man or a woman? Man.

Find out what @DCJourno likes to do in his spare time and why he’s so looking forward to Tammy Haddad‘s garden brunch…

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NJ Parties Like the Pink Panther

It was Night 4 of NJ‘s flurry of launch parties at the rented space on E St. Thursday night was thought to be the mother of parties so far. The room was packed. So much so, that partygoers periodically slipped out into the cool air when they couldn’t take the crowding. Or, when they hoped to flee the towering wine-drinking man in blue linen who pawed some female guests (he wasn’t with NJ and appeared to be a straggler who wandered in off the street. At least one woman pushed him away).

Guests enjoyed cocktails, fancy hors d’oeuvres and the sounds of a live jazz band. They complained of too few bathrooms and a sweltering indoor temperature.

The dimly-lit warehouse space was enveloped in red velvet curtains. NJ Daily Editor Jason Dick loosely bragged that he had attended party after party and wasn’t tiring of it.”This is how we roll,” he joked. “I take my cues for living from the old Pink Panther movies with the martinis.

“It’s a little bit more fun than I anticipated,” he said, referring to the new web site launch and subsequent parties. “We started this back in February and it was hard to see where it was going. We’re all working as hard as we ever have. There’s a lot more steam in our strides.”

NJ brass did their best to squash talk of a NJ-Politico rivalry. But partygoers chattered about it. “For me, Politico is a start, but I’m not going to get a lot of substance out of it,” said a guest. Others felt the party logo looked too much like Politico. Dick dismissed the so-called feud, saying there much less animosity and more friendship than people know. “I have a lot more friends than enemies at Politico,” he said. He laughed, saying people had tweeted earlier in the week about whether NJ and Politico were going to “meet in a parking lot with knives and guns.”

Fournier said he was “excited” about the launch but just as excited to make it an early night and get home to his wife and child.

Many a journo turned up. Find out who and see more pictures after the jump…

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Brave Journos Get Competitive Over Karaoke

NBC’s Luke Russert and CNN’s Brianna Keilar won “Best Duet” for Livin’ on a Prayer

(All photos taken by FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic.)

Milling about in a darkened upstairs barroom last night at the Rock & Roll Hotel, the mood amongst journalists was a low buzz of excitement. Some of Washington D.C. ‘s nerviest participants in the charity competition were there having pre-Karaoke drinks. They showed not even a trace of anxiety.

One such performer was CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, all decked in cowboy attire and accompanied by a CBS reporter and correspondent, Kaylee Hartung. Schieffer was moments away from performing with his band, Honky Tonk Confidential. Asked if he was nervous, he laughed and replied, “I’m so bad I’m so past that. Anyone with as little talent as me is beyond being embarrassed.”

Peter Parisi, a TWT copy editor, was particularly chipper in his red gingham button-down and blue jeans. He told me he had performed Karaoke dozens of times and was more than ready for his performance. “Sonny and Cher. I Got You Babe,” he said, when asked what he’d form. “Cher had a previous engagement so I’m going to have to do this alone.”

Journalists soon moved downstairs to the stage area. In the crowd, but not performing was NJ “The Hotline’s” Executive Editor Reid Wilson, Politico‘s Natasha Lennard, The Hill‘s Tricia Barba , Susan Crabtree and Christina Wilkie, QGA and FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic, Chicago Sun Times D.C. Bureau Chief and Politics Daily Flotus columnist Lynn Sweet, Washington Examiner’s Julie Mason, NJ‘s Matt Cooper and Major Garrett, CBS News’s Christine Delargy and CNN’s Abby Livingston. Upcoming performers included NBC’s Luke Russert (who knew he could sing?), Politico’s Shira Toeplitz, Slate‘s Dave Weigel (who knew he could, er, dance?), CNN’s Brianna Keilar, HuffPost contributor Stephanie Green (lovely voice), Washington Life‘s Michael Clements (borrowed Green’s long fur tiger print coat for the performance; one journo said he wears coats like that only to funerals) and TPM (but soon-to-be CQ-Roll Call‘s) Christina Bellantoni.

CNN Senior White House correspondent and “Dynamite” performer Ed Henry was spotted by the bar horsing around with his backup singer children, Patrick and Mila, prepping them for the big event. He admitted to some pre-performance jitters. “Covering the White House is easy compared to this,” he confided. “This is sink or swim.” But Henry persevered and won “Best in Show.” (See a complete list of performances, more photographs and award winners after the jump.)

Nerves or not, a decent-sized roster of journos soon took to the stage.

Amongst White House scribes, the competition grew tense over Twitter with lots of smack talk. One of those talkers was The Hill‘s White House correspondent Sam Youngman. Once on stage, the lights beamed on him and he looked utterly relieved.  “This is awesome, I can’t see any of you,” he told the crowd. He had planned to sing three short verses of “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” by Warren Zevon, but during the performance appeared surprised when the song seemed to stretch on so long. Still, he held his own, sang in tune and thankfully, unlike some of the other performers, didn’t try to hit any high notes.

Jaws dropped when…

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Courtovich Hosts Journos For Annual Gaucho


Courtovich took this pic of Gaucho decorations.

Jim Courtovich, managing partner of Kearsarge Global Advisers, hosted his annual Gaucho party Saturday night. And he delivered with a great menu (pineapple martinis and chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches were crowd pleaser), late night party (Bob Schieffer’s midnight appearance) and a stellar guest list…

Savannah Guthrie, Betsy Fischer, Jonathan Martin, Jessica Yellin, Matt Cooper, Tammy Haddad, Jeff Zeleny, Julie Mason, John Harwood, Karen Finney, Anne Kornblut, Kasie Hunt, Erin McPike, Sasha Issenberg, Kiki Ryan, Christine Delargy, Rick Klein, Mark Murray, Abby Livingston, Michael Falcone, Ashley Parker, Libby Leist, Amie Parnes, Jay Newton Small, Lizzie O’Leary, Athena Jones, Sunlen Miller and Phil Elliott were just some of the media-types in attendance.

Politico‘s Mike Allen and NYT‘s Mark Leibovich also just missed each other at the party.

Also: Austan Goolsbee, Stephanie Cutter, Juleanna Glover, Christina Sevilla, Michael Feldman, Jill Zuckman and Sasha Johnson.

NJ’s Livingston Heads to CNN

NJ’s “The Hotline” TV Editor Abby Livingston is going to work for CNN as an assistant producer to correspondent John King’s new evening show. She’ll be working closely with executive producer Michelle Jaconi, who produced King’s “State of the Union” show, now hosted by Candy Crowley.

Congrats to Livingston.

NJ Journos are Available — Like Brown’s Daughter

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Atlantic Media Political Director Ron Brownstein (shown above) uttered profound words Thursday night at National Journal’s swank party at the Watergate Hotel’s University Room, where a host of NJ scribes convened to strut their stuff for bookers.

“The bar is open, the most important words in politics,” Brownstein announced. After speaking for a little while, he remarked, “I feel like sitting here I’ve already completed more consecutive words than on “Hardball” without interruption.”

The party was intended for bookers to see potential on-air talent, so the joke of the night was that NJ reporters were “available”, like Sen-elect Scott Brown’s daughters.

Sitting in a row on stools, several scribes had a chance to introduce themselves and talk briefly about what he or she does on a daily basis.

At one point talk turned to the state of the Democratic Party in Congress. CongressDaily’s Erin McPike said a “forensic examination” was going on. The Hotline’s Editor-in-Chief Amy Walter chimed in, “More like a colonoscopy.” And Brownstein: “More like an autopsy.”

The parade of introductions continued:

NJ finance reporter Bill Swindell: “I’m paid to follow Barney Frank around.”

CongressDaily health care reporter Anna Edney: “It does feel like the last year of my life has gone down the drain with this race in Massachusetts.”

In attendance besides NJ people? CNN’s Sam Feist, CBS News Bureau Chief Chris Isham, Christine Delargy, Early Show senior producer Kerri Forrest, Tammy Haddad, who helped organize the event, Hilary Rosen, and producers for CNN’s Larry King.

The party was swarming with NJ scribes from CongressDaily and The Hotline such as The Hotline’s TV Editor Abby Livingston and Wake Up Call’s Maura O’Brien. Additionally, there was Hotline Executive Editor John-Mercurio, U.S. House reporter Rich Cohen, Reid Wilson, Marilyn Werber Serafini, Dan Friedman, Darren Goode, Shane Harris, Margaret Kriz Hobson, John Maggs, Tim Sahd and David Wasserman. In addition, NJ’s Spokesman David Miller and executive assistant Meredith Nettles.

No one from FNC or MSNBC showed, which was noteworthy considering they book so many guests.

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Is that a Blitzer in your pocket…

Or are you just happy to see me? After an evening of [John] “King Royales” and “Blitzer Spritzers,” I got creative with the Wolf bookmarks, one of the gifts in the CNN swag bags from last night’s “New Guard” cocktail party at the St. Regis Hotel. The event was hosted by CNN to help their bookers and producers meet some fresh faces — “one of the challenges in cable news,” expressed by CNN Bureau Chief David Bohrman.

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A wide range of guests turned out for the crowded cocktail. FishbowlDC bumped into Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Marty Makary and Embassy of Syria Press Secretary Ahmed Salkini as well as journalists like Reliable Source’s Amy Argetsinger, Tammy Haddad and Politico’s Kiki Ryan. While CNN producers and bookers hustled to make the rounds at the cocktail, the rest of the party hustled get a handshake or wink (Christine) in with the hunky yet humble Congressman Aaron Schock.

On-air talent like Wolf Blitzer, Jessica Yellin and Jill Dougherty were also spotted mixing and mingling in the crowd.

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Team Larry King: Eleanor Spektor McManus, Hunter Waters and Lisa Marie Thompson

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Abby Livingston, Ashley Parker and Michael Falcone

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