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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Bolton’

A Vodka-Laced Book Party

photo-27Freelance journalist and Stateless Media founder Peter Savodnik opened his up his sleek, spartan Columbia Heights apartment to a number of journalists this weekend to celebrate the release of his new book, The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union (Basic Books). The book hits the shelves Tuesday.

The party, sponsored by Top of the Hill Distillery in Chapel Hill, N.C. and Heritage Distilling Co. in Gig Harbor, Wash., grew more spirited as bottles and bottles of Topo and Heritage Vodka disappeared.

Freelancer James Kirchick, now back in Washington from Berlin, attended the festivities and promptly dropped his glass of vodka on the floor setting off a splash that reached all of my toes. He won’t soon hear the end of this.

A description of the book from the publicity department of Basic Books: “In this book Savodnik brings to light one of the most important, and perhaps the last-to-be-explored, dimensions of the Kennedy assassination— Lee Harvey Oswald himself. In order to do so Savodnik drew on new research and conducted in-depth and exclusive interviews with Oswald’s Russian associates, such as his ex-girlfriend, friends, and co-workers. Focusing on the almost three years he spent in Russia, Savodnik shows how Oswald’s original plan to abandon materialistic America for the promise of a country supposedly based on collectivism and camaraderie fell so short of his expectations and ultimately led to his return to home—and to Dallas.”

Who showed up to the party? Read more

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A Journo Interviews Weiner’s Ex-Phone Sex Girlfriend: What Was it Like?

Heading to Vegas to hunt down former Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) ex-phone sex girlfriend isn’t the worst gig in the world. Her name: Lisa Weiss. She’s a blackjack dealer who works at a major casino on the strip. The casino has threatened her with termination if she does additional media interviews. But what the hell? Throw caution to the wind. This was a documentary film, and The Hill‘s political reporter Alex Bolton was up for the task. His employer allowed him to take a break from his congressional duties to freelance for Stateless Media, a new Washington, D.C.-based film company that produces short films on political and international matters.

Many of the questions he asked were concocted before he flew out there. For the shoot, they had to line up a cameraman and a sound guy, and Weiss insisted on Stateless Media getting someone to do her makeup. Her nocturnal schedule allowed for a late-night interview that stretched out for nearly three hours, lasting until 1 a.m. Naturally they smoked cigs and drank wine throughout.

“Hey, it was Thursday night in Vegas — the city is one big party and what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas,” Bolton told FishbowlDC.

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‘Chutzpah!’ A New Film on Anthony Weiner

Just when you thought all the mindblowing clips on New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner were caput, we have “Chutzpah!” a new documentary film by Stateless Media.

The film was produced by Peter Savodnik and reported by The Hill‘s Alex Bolton.

“HEY TELL WEINER HE’S A REAL DICK!” a man in a blue tank top and a beach hat shouts into the camera. Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — Happy New Year!

Travel Bitches

“If an airplane itself could have influenza, I’m on it.” — Politico‘s Dave Levinthal.

“Guy behind me on plane whacks me w/ suitcase as putting it in overhead. ‘Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you.’ Cuz I’m REALLY tiny #HappyNewYear.” — Joanne Bamberger, mommy blogger, former news anchor and author of “Mothers of Intention.”

And a travel apology…“Off to Paris for a bit. Nice to see you again, turkish air. Please carry me safely to my destination and sorry for any anxiety exhibited.” — Seyward Darby, freelancer, former online editor at TNR.

Press aide tells everyone to calm down

“Folks out there w/ crazy theories about what’s going on in House. All ridiculous. Just figuring out best path forward. Stay calm, carry on.” — House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor aide Rory Cooper during fiscal cliff negotiations.

For a gay old time…

“Two tickets for @GayPimp‘s #GayestWeekendOfAllTime this March in Florida? Yes, please.” — Syndicated columnist and Bullfight Strategies’ Karl Frisch.

Loesch takes a breather from laptop

“I’ve not opened my laptop since December 21st. Rare. Christmas vacation was lovely, but am ready to roll up the sleeves again.” — Ex-Breitbart.com’s Dana Loesch, who is now suing her former employer. Considering the backlash she received after the Sandy Hook shootings, in which she accused President Obama of playing politics with the deaths of children, this may have been a welcome relief.

Breitbart newbie on first-name basis with U.S. leaders

“In case anyone didn’t notice, we have now officially jumped off the fiscal cliff. Thanks John , Barry and Harry!” — Breitbart.com‘s Matthew Boyle, who hopes to one day fill the shoes of the late Andrew Breitbart.

A rare nod to CNN

“CNN is the only big cable news network doing fiscal cliff coverage right now. (I mean, if you’re a geek.)” — The Daily Caller and The Week‘s Matt Lewis on New Year’s Day.

And now, a New Year’s Eve observation on facial hair: “Back on CNN with the bearded ones–Wolf Blitzer and Robert Reich–at 8:30. All agree. No taxation of facial hair.” — Americans for Tax Reform Prez Grover Norquist.

The Self-Appointed Media Critic…

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Capitol Hill Republicans Cry Bias in The Hill

Capitol Hill Republican aides and at least one lawmaker are hopping mad this morning about what they perceive to be a blatantly biased headline and story in The Hill Thursday afternoon. They insist that the story by Alex Bolton is clearly Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid‘s (D-Nev.) spin reported as fact.

The gist of Bolton’s story: Reid announced that he was cancelling additional floor votes Thursday so Brown couldn’t bow out of debating his opponent Elizabeth Warren. The headline that has GOPers on the Hill “furious” is this: “Reid cancels Senate floor votes to force Scott Brown to debate Elizabeth Warren.” Politico‘s headline on the same story, by the way, is: “Reid: No votes so Brown can debate.” Brown had told a Boston paper that votes may prevent him from participating in the debate. Brown and Warren did square off in their first debate last night.

Still, among the things upsetting the GOP applecart is the charge that the publication’s headline and lede do not use quotes or do anything to demonstrate that this is Reid’s opinion.

“If The Hill doesn’t want to appear as if it’s doing the bidding of Harry Reid and the DSCC, the newsroom should wait more than 24 hours after being forced to change an anti-Brown piece before launching a second unfair attack,” said a senior Hill Republican who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

When asked for comment on the bias charge, The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon replied… Read more

What Will Journos Remember Most About Michele Bachmann’s Presidential Campaign?

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) ended her presidential campaign Wednesday morning following a dismal finish in the Iowa Caucuses. Countless journalists will miss seeing her throughout the rest of the primary. She was fun, feisty and fabulous, if at times factually challenged — she did confuse John Wayne for John Wayne Gacey — but who cares? It was part of her charm. Still, her memory lives on.

We posed the question to Washington journalists — what will you miss most about covering Bachmann? Here’s what they had to say.

Chris Geidner, Metro Weekly‘s senior political writer, told FBDC in an email he appreciated the national discussion Michele and her husband Marcus raised concerning his work with a Christian clinic, which reportedly practices reparative therapy for gays. As for a report from WaPo Thursday speculating that Michele may retire from the House, Geidner said, “We’ll have to wait and see (her on Fox News).”

And WaPo‘s Aaron Blake, who hails from Minnesota remarked, “Hearing that lovely Minnesota accent, dontcha know. Now I’ll have to watch ‘Fargo’ or worse, call my relatives, to revisit my roots.”

TWT columnist Emily Miller pointed us to a piece she wrote Wednesday: “It’s certainly a relief that the debate stage will be less crowded,” she wrote, “but it’s worth noting what has been lost: the Tea Party’s highest-profile opponent of Obamacare.”

In late December, Bachmann ran a campaign blitz through Iowa, stopping in each of the state’s 99 counties within 11 days. Human EventsTony Lee told us he’ll miss that energy. “Sometimes, I could not help but wonder if she had more body doubles than children when looking at her schedule of events,” he said.

But Bachmann’s flamboyant doggy sunglasses shopping hubby may be missed just as much as the candidate. “Marcus.” That’s the only word The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas responded with when we asked what he’d miss most about Bachmann’s campaign.

Pappas’ colleague Jeff Poor said he’ll miss watching MSNBC’s Chris Matthews‘ analysis of Bachmann now that she’s out of the race. “It was like a boy pulling a girl’s pigtails, but instead with an overweight aging male,” said Poor.

Sean Bugg, also of Metro Weekly, was hoping Marcus could bring that sense of style to the White House. “What I’ll miss most is Marcus, especially now that we know what his eye for accessorizing would have brought to the White House. It would have been just like another Jackie Kennedy,” he said.

RCP‘s Erin McPike: “Eyelashes?”

Agence France-PressOlivier Knox: “She is truly one of the most impressive ‘retail’ politicians I’ve ever seen, who worked to build a rapport with every voter at her meet-and-greet events in Iowa. Also? The Christmas carols she played from her bus’s loud speakers.”

Townhall.com and BigGov Columnist Derek Hunter: “Her earnest delivery of every line, her Biden-like verbal flubs, and Marcus, sweet, sweet Marcus. But what I will miss most is the staring contest she had with the nation during every debate… Those eyes were hungry, and the only meal that could satiate that hunger was the White House. Now those eyes will be forever hungry, forever yearning.”

The Hill‘s Alex Bolton: “I’ll miss all the traffic she drives to The Hill’s website, which keeps my editors in a good mood.”

American Spectator blogger and New Media Strategies’ J.P Freire: “A candidate that cites (late Austrian economist) Ludwig Von Mises.”
Anonymous D.C. Journo: “I will miss watching her being asked a question NOT about health care (Guantanamo Bay detainees, the U.S.-China relationship, black holes in space) and somehow correlating that to ‘ObamaCare.’”

Anne Schroeder Mullins, media consultant and formerly with Politico: “Won’t we all miss Marcus the most?”

TPM‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro: “Who’s gonna say ‘Anderson’ now?!” (Santoro is referring to the countless times Bachmann tried grabbing the attention of CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a GOP debate back in October.)

Julie Mason, host of SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S: “I will dearly miss her soothing, mellifluous elocutions — like a soft, wet ear-kiss.”

TWT‘s Anneke Green: “The shot at having a First Gentleman.”

RIP for now, Bachmann campaign. Gone but not forgotten.

So What’s in Your Satan Sandwich?

After Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) described the debt bill as a “Satan Sandwich” we wondered what Washington journos (and the husband of one) would put in their own satanic sandwiches. No, it’s not a pick-up line but say it enough times and it starts to sound like one. Some reporters claimed their brains were fried from the debt deal and couldn’t think up a clever response. Others shot back quick, clear and strange replies. We don’t even want to contemplate the deeper meaning behind the fact that Mediaite‘s Tommy Christopher has his own “dry rub.”

NYT Carl Hulse: “Mine would have to be stuffed with brussels sprouts. It is practically the only food I wont eat. Probably covered in some sort of nasty vinegar.”

The Weekly Standard/Daily Caller‘s Matt Labash: “Satan Sandwich Ingredients: Bottom piece of bread: Monica Cruz; Top piece of bread: Penelope Cruz; Lunch meat: Me; Toppings:  marshmallow fluff, apple butter, and taramasalata. Just to make sure we all stick together. You can also sprinkle some tax cuts for the rich on there  – the Cruz sisters are very wealthy. We will use the spoils to buy ourselves more sticky sandwich spreads. Or perhaps something hotter and spicier. Like  pico de gallo with Red Savino habaneros – which burn our searching tongues like the fires of hell, where Tea Partiers dance, their faces painted red with with the blood of freshly slaughtered Democratic babies. (Is Barney Frank going to eat that pickle?)”

Anonymous reporter: “Steamed Brauchli.” As in WaPo Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli.

Politico White House reporter Julie Mason: “Mortadella, fingernails and a centipede. I will eat it watching the first season of ‘The Bachelor.’”

Roll Call feature writer Emily Heil: “I’m pretty sure someone otherworldly has to be behind the G-man sub at Mangialardo and Son’s over on Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s got like five kinds of meat and this bread that they bake fresh daily–possibly in the fires of hell. I dream of it sometimes.”

The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman: “Any sandwich with hair.”

Qorvis’ partner and former TWT Editor Sam Dealey: “[NRSC Spokesman] Brian Walsh’s dog Rudy, American cheese product, and a side of Freedom Fries. Pretty much what I was served on my United Airlines flight today from San Antonio.”

Geoff Tracy (hubby to CBS’s Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell): “Catchy albeit scary name. Spicy hot perhaps.”

The Hill‘s Alex Bolton: Extra-strength Cholula sauce.

HuffPost-AOL Spokesman Mario Ruiz: “A public option, sliced by fear, w a heaping of revisionism.”

NJ Spokeswoman Taylor West: “Parking tickets. I’ve had to eat far too many of those recently. Oh, and sauerkraut. Because whenever I hear about the smell of brimstone, that’s what I imagine it smells like.”

Publicist Janet Donovan: “A Big Mac smothered in raw onions.”

WaPo‘s Aaron Blake: “Olives, brussels sprouts, Limburger cheese and Vegemite. Also, fire.”

Mediaite White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher: “Oh, that’s easy. Cold Capicola (pronounced “GabbaGHOUL”), fresh mozzarella, a good Genoa salami, prosciutto, imported ham, mayo, and pesto on a saloio roll. Hot chunks of filet mignon, my own dry rub, salt, pepper, sauteed for two minutes, with mozzarella and mayo on a fresh sub roll. For dessert, lots of nitro in the ambulance.”

Conservative writer who helped found The Daily Caller Derek Hunter: “Liverwurst with cream cheese, Dijon mustard and some bacon thrown in to make you think it might not suck, on pumpernickel with a side of having to eat it with Nancy Pelosi. If you’re going to be forced to eat a Satan Sandwich it’s safe to assume you’d be eating it in your own personal Hell.”

Labor journalist Mike Elk: “Right now I am on vacation in San Francisco and they sell all these ‘incredible edibles’ at these medical clinics. Put some of those edibles in a Satan sandwich, you can make any sandwich a really good time. Go to a reggae concert after eating that Satan sandwich and you’ll have a real gooooood time. I mean real good.”

The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle: “Fresh cape cod haddock battered with beer from The Daily Caller kegerator. I’d drizzle The DC beer-battered haddock with hot sauce. What would make it “Satanic” is how I’d get the hot sauce – I’d steal it from whoever in our office happened to have some.” (People actually bring hot sauce to the office?)

CBS White House radio reporter Mark Knoller: “What else. Deviled eggs.”

HuffPost Hill writer Eliot Nelson: “Tempeh, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sprouts, chipotle mayo and worthless T-Notes.”

Human EventsTony Lee: “Lol– honey ham, deviled eggs, ABSOLUTELY NO CHEESE. Let’s say on Rye Bread, slightly burnt.”

Unnecessary Answer of the Lineup: “Um, deviled ham, goat cheese and arugula? Eh, but that’s not very good. This would all be a lot funnier if the deal had been referred to as ‘Satan’s Taco.’ That I could work with.” — MetroWeekly‘s C0-Publisher Sean Bugg (Oh, Bugg, we joke. We love your answer. Who else would say “deviled ham?”)

Top 10 Funniest Lines from The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful List of 2011

We laughed. We cried. And then like crazed crackheads we went back for more and clicked on all 50 links because we just couldn’t help ourselves. Reading the snippets from The Hill‘s 50 Most Beautiful summer pageant is nearly as much fun as combing newspapers around the country for Weiner headlines or hunting for middle finger graphics. We scoured the pages and found the most memorable of the lot. Enjoy!

10. “I know this sounds kind of cliche, but doing community service, you know how to love others.” — #1 Amy Cheng. This is what we imagine Jonbenet Ramsey said at her beauty pageant before sashaying around the room in clothing fit for a 6-year-old prostitute.

9. “She says she keeps her hair shiny by using a family recipe: She mashes up an avocado with olive oil, rubs the mixture into her hair and lets it sit under a shower cap for an hour. When she washes it out, it shines like a freshly waxed limousine.” — Written by Jordy Yager in the snippet on #7′s Kalinda Stephenson. We’re going out to get the concoction as soon as humanly possible.

8. Rep. Kristi “Noem declined to participate in the interview for this feature.” Even so, they compliment her. The mini-profile says she’d look good in anything, including a potato sack. Please, a potato sack? How about hunting down that potato sack off the House floor and getting her to talk?

7. “She’s really looking forward to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. So if you’re thinking about asking her out, there’s your chance.” — This came from Alex Bolton about our Lens Crafters lady Mandi Critchfeld.

6. “Amelia Wang is cheerful, gracious, winsome — and totally into blood sports.”

5. Megan Howard‘s Relationship Status: “Not single and very happy” (We don’t want to insinuate anything, but what does this mean exactly? More the merrier? Friends With Benefits?)

4. Adam Kohnstamm‘s Relationship Status: Girlfriend (“She says I’m off limits.”)

3a. Lee Lilley is clearly taken unless any of the ladies out there want a semi-balding Kelsey Grammer twin. “Relationship status: “In a serious relationship, and happily so.” As one Fishbowler remarked angrily, “Why does he have to say ‘happily so?’ What’s he going to do, say he’s unhappy?”

3. “The maggots were not good, and they got stuck in your teeth,” said Josh Grossman. “People who’ve had snake say it tastes like chicken — it does. … And scorpions have a weird crunch.” He then admits a bit wistfully, “I missed out on the [meal] where they served tarantula.” As for his go-to food, he calls himself an ‘inventive sandwich guy,’ coming up with a new version every day.”

2a. “I’m the baby [of the family], so everyone’s always in my grill,” said Fleites, who has five older siblings and 13 nieces and nephews.” — About a “dazzling” beauty named Carlos Fleites, whose family members are not apparently big proponents of birth control.

2. “He runs in Rock Creek Park and goes to the gym, and he went vegetarian for two years to combat an overeating tendency that once plagued him.” — About a beauty named Michael Woestehoff with questionable hair. We’re glad to hear that “overeating tendency” isn’t dogging him anymore.

1a. Dean Thompson is so goal oriented we can hardly stand it: “Another new goal: daily flossing. His dentist gave him a study showing that flossing every day strengthens the immune system. ‘I have scratched in Sharpie in my mirror, ‘floss everyday,’ Thompson said.”

1. Hands down top quote is this one from the exquisitely-named Ify Ike. There’s clearly nothing iffy about her: “My body loves feeling nauseous,” she said, her full lips splitting to reveal a huge smile. “It feels so good to be alive, to realize how much you can push yourself.”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY

Weekend Sighting: Bloomberg’s Jim Snyder and The Hill’s Alex Bolton at Standard, a beer garden on 14th Street NW, drinking German beer and eating soft pretzels.

NBC’s Luke Russert: “The pug is not impressed by his new pillow.”

What comes around goes around

“Trips me out when folks write me a snarkly tweet, then get an attitude when I return the favor. Like they can only do it.” — Washington Watch’s Roland Martin in a weekend tweet.

More Weiner fallout

“As a former Weiner myself, that’s my maiden name, I definitely sympathize with him.” — CBS’s Nancy Cordes on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday.

Father of the Year material, right?

“Promised to take daughter off wife’s hands today. Promised daughter adventure. Thinking B’More aquarium.” — National Review Online‘s Jonah Goldberg in a weekend tweet. Perhaps at some point private matters can be kept at his house so the daughter isn’t perceived as a bother.

Alter gives Abramson the nod

“I’ve known new NY Times editor Abramson since college. She’ll be terrific and she worships right thing—reporting.” — Bloomberg Review writer and NBC News Contributor Jonathan Alter in a weekend tweet.

Journo has message for Senate Chief of Staff

“Note to Senate Chief of Staff who left their @nationaljournal mag at gym: you want to rip off address label before you leave it on the bike.” — Roll Call‘s Shira Toeplitz in a weekend tweet.

Finally a message from Washingtonian‘s Garrett Graff that’s relevant, not pompous or otherwise unnecessary: “Metro is doing bag searches in Woodley Park. It’s an even dumber policy when you see it in action.”

The modern alarm clock

“I love my iPhone with a new, profound depth. Four — count em — four alarm apps got me out of bed today.”  — WaPo‘s Social Media Producer Katie Rogers in a Monday morning tweet.

The Critic

Will the Washington Post ever get tired of photographing and quoting perpetual protester Medea Benjamin? — Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) Speechwriter and Political Advisor Amanda Carpenter in a weekend tweet.  Benjamin is co-founder of Code Pink.

The Hill’s Jeff Young Bids Farewell and Prepares for Bloomberg

Celebration-Drinks-600.jpg Scribes and friends gathered Tuesday night at Post Pub for The Hill’s health care guru Jeff Young‘s going away party.

A list of those who turned up last night: Young’s brother, Tim, his girlfriend, Sommer Mathis (who writes the DCist). Only co-workers and former co-workers were invited. (Full Disclosure: I worked with Young for many years and was invited to the soiree. So this post is going to be free of snark because I don’t have a bad thing to say about the guy.)

Jim Snyder, Roxana Tiron, Ian Swanson, Alex Bolton, JT Rushing, Jordan Fabian, Kevin Bogardus, Walter Alarkon, Kim Hart, Sean Miller, Emily Goodin, Sam Youngman, and Silla Brush. Representing The Hill’s alumni were Greenwire’s Mike Soraghan and The Atlantic’s Chris Good. Remarked Young: “My once-and-future colleague Patrick O’Connor broke my heart — not for the first time — by failing to show up and there’s a special place reserved in hell for Jared Allen, who brushed it off to go play sports or something.”

Young reflected on his time at the newspaper.
“It’s been a hell of a ride these past five years, capped off the a year-plus of health care reform insanity,” he wrote to FishbowlDC. “Mostly, there are some people I’m going to miss when I’m gone. (On a smaller scale, I’m really going to miss my Mac and will have to suffer Windows for the first time in years.)

“At the same time, there are only two people left in this news room, not counting Hugo [Gurdon] and Bob [Cusack], who’ve been here longer than I have. That alone might be a sign that it’s time to try something new. I’m also very excited about what we’ve got cooking at Bloomberg and I can’t wait to get started.”

We wish Young the best in his new job.

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