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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Pareene’

FishbowlDC Interview with WaPo‘s Ben Terris

Ben Terris is a political reporter for WaPo‘s “Style” section, and an all around dapper fellow. When he’s not talking politics or hunting boar, he’s busy plugging his wife’s many entrepreneurial endeavors (see below) -just like a good husband should. A Massachusetts native, Terris got his start in journalism at the Boston Globe before moving over to the National Journal in 2010, and then getting picked up by WaPo in December. We caught up with Ben earlier this month and asked him a few questions for the latest installment of our world-famous FishbowlDC Interview:

You’re about to be served your last meal. What will it be? When I was a kid I sometimes daydreamed about being on my deathbed and eating all types of poisonous berries. I wanted to (and still want to) know what they all taste like, and that was the only way I could imagine finding out without any long-lasting consequences. So either that, or the most expensive cheeseburger in the world.

2014 will be the year of the ____? Best American Magazine Writing

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? Why? Right now I’d be a Genesee Cream Ale. It’s cheap, does the job, and pairs well with Jim Beam. I’m hoping, however, to someday be a Heady Topper.

You’re developing a signature scent. What would you call it? Smellin’ of Troy

Who or what inspires you? My wife. First, she’s killing it as a jeweler, then she starts an Instagram-based pillow company (yeah, yeah, insert Portlandia-themed jokes here), and she’s disciplined enough to keep herself focused and working without anyone telling her to.

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Heil Gets Served and Grilled

More than twenty media types gathered last night at LOOK to eat a course (or three) and raise a glass (or twelve) to Emily Heil’s gig as the new half of WaPo’s “Reliable Source” column.

Neither Amy Argetsinger, who is vacating the column, nor Reliable’s Roxanne Roberts were in attendance but dinner host Janet Donovan still managed to pull together an impressive and multi-generational roster of Washington gossip columnists and journos.  Among those in attendance were Annie Groer, radio hosts Bill Press and John McCaslin, Politico’s Patrick Gavin and wife Anne, Whispers columnist Nikki Schwab, USA Today’s Sue Davis, CNN’s Matt Dornic, NJ’s Ben Terris, K Street Kate Michael, Mary Bird, Washington Life’s Kevin Chaffee, The Hill‘s Emily Goodin, Roll Call‘s Warren Rojas, and LOOK owner Michael Kosmides.

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10 Original Reactions to NYT Shutdown

The Washington and New York media worlds tipped over on their heads today as the NYT shutdown due to technical issues. So we mined Twitter for the best of and — lets face it — endless and some terrible reactionary comments to the temporary interruption. Even crazy bearded Dave Hughes of DCRTV noticed something unusual was happening today: “Journos in a f*ckin’ panic today with the NY Times’ website down. Sheesh…” he remarked.

So who actually had something interesting to say?

Wishful Thinking?

10. “What, you thought Jeff Bezos was going to buy the Post and play defense?” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein.

The Pseudo-Intellectual

9. “Due to an epistemology error, every single sentence and image in the Times was wrong. All the news has been retracted. We regret the error.” Salon‘s Alex Pareene.

The Emotional

8. “I haven’t read Maureen Dowd yet. #PanickingOverHere” — CQ Roll Call‘s Abby Livingston.

7. “Going to grow a mustache & ask cabbies what they think about grand bargains to fill the void in my life #NYTDown” — Matt O’Brien, Associate Editor at The Atlantic.

And the overly helpful…

6. “NYT reporters: b/c im a good dude i will gladly post ur scoops on buzzfeed dot com if you’d like under my byline. you know, b/c i care.” — Charlie Warzel, deputy tech editor, BuzzFeed.

See the remaining five…

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Joe Scarborough Wants You to Know His Show is Doing Just Fine!

After Alex Pareene‘s Monday takedown story in Salon, which essentially laid all of “what’s wrong” with MSNBC at “Morning Joe’s” feet, Joe Scarborough is biting back.

Was he feeling touchy or just being proactive?

It seems like Pareene may have struck a nerve when he wrote that Scarborough’s show “is representative of everything wrong with contemporary political elite thinking.” He then swiped at the show’s April viewership, calling it “the lowest rated of the big three cable news morning shows.”

“Congratulations to the ‘Morning Joe’ team!” Scarborough tweeted Tuesday evening. “More people watched ‘Morning Joe’ in May than CNN, Headline News, CNBC and Fox Business. Way to go!!” What followed was a self pat on the back in the form of retweets that was so hard, it’s a wonder Scarborough can still stand up straight.

A sampling of Scarborough’s sticky-sweet RTs:

  • “Best morning show ever!”
  • “Great cast, solid reporting and realistic insight. Congrats!”
  • “This is a total given, considering Morning Joe is the best morning show on tv in my opinion and has the best anchor team.”

This continued on for an additional 22 tweets.

And it didn’t stop on Twitter… Read more

Fish Food

(A sprinkling of things we think you ought to know…)

New WaPo executive editor is “human Ritalin”-- Martin Baron, executive editor at WaPo, is profiled by National Journal’s Chris Frates. Except “profiled” is usually a word reserved for people who let you in and see at least some of what makes them tick. Baron won’t say what makes him tick. He’ll hardly say anything. It’s even a wonder he agreed to have a story written about him. “Baron is almost a kind of D.C. antimatter,” Frates writes. “He does not talk about himself. He does not discuss much of himself, his personal life or, more important, how he runs The Post…” But what readers do learn about Baron is that he’s a middle-of-the-road, no frills “newsman” in every traditional sense of the word. “Human Ritalin,” as Frates describes it.

“Morning Joe” is “what’s wrong” with MSNBC?– Salon‘s Alex Pareene has a thing for “Morning Joe.” Namely, he hates it. He regularly calls the show’s main host Joe Scarborough a hack, but then again he has an annual hack list in which lots of journalists are hacks. He picks up on any controversial remark. There’s nothing discernibly nice that Pareene has ever written about the show. That pattern continued Monday when Pareene wrote that the reason for MSNBC’s recent decline in overall ratings can be encapsulated in “Morning Joe.” “Every other TV morning show is mostly fluff and weather,” Pareene writes. “’Morning Joe,’” instead of entertainment news updates, has a former member of Congress wave a newspaper at Mark Halperin for a while. MSNBC’s target audience may just be much less interested in listening to people talk about politics in spring 2013 than they were during an election year.”

Former CBS White House Correspondent was once lifted into the air by Shaq– In a column for The Atlantic, co-host of CBS’s “This Morning” Norah O’Donnell details her media diet. Somewhat arbitrarily included in the column

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On Pareene’s 2012 ‘Hack’ List: Oh, Everyone

“Who’s Pareene?” asked Michael Goldfarb of The Free Beacon. He tweeted the question yesterday linking to a Salon column that named The Drudge Report‘s Matt Drudge as 2012′s No. 5 biggest media “hack.”

Assuming it was a serious question from Goldfarb, Alex Pareene, whose mustache sometimes makes him look like a porn star, is a writer at Salon and the news world’s favorite ginger. Each year he names his personal 10 “hacks” in news media that are “hurting America.” While the not-that-much-anticipated list is harmless, it causes a buzz for directly and brazenly (or, as brazenly as can be done sitting at a keyboard) calling out big names in news.

Over the last two days, the list trickled out full of the kind of angst generally reserved for misunderstood teenagers in high school courtyards. In the end, we couldn’t help but think that in a few places, Pareene colored outside the lines.

No. 1 on the list is Politico, which Pareene said is founded on “a myth” that its reporting is “exclusive” when in fact it’s the same old Beltway journalism.

He specifically named Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and White House Correspondent Mike Allen as the driving forces behind Politico‘s hackery. Of Allen, who writes the widely-read Playbook tip sheet, Pareene said he is “paid a fortune” for emailing out “a bunch of links to day-old news stories.” It’s a business model Pareene has apparently mastered so well, it’s a wonder he’s not making his own fortune copying it. Or, maybe he’s pissed he didn’t think of it first?

Pareene dismissed all of Politico‘s election coverage. “No one reading any of these pieces … gained any genuine insight into the state of the presidential race,” he said. And yet, even after the election, Politico maintains high web traffic (though on election night, traffic climbed to 2.2 million page views an hour) which brings in money and allows the publication to expand.

In case Pareene wasn’t aware, it turns out there’s an audience for people who want to read about politics– in fact, every teeny tiny detail on the subject. Pareene doesn’t understand it. He’s kind of like a gorilla frustrated that he can’t make the star-shaped block go through the square-shaped hole.

It’s the audience he should hate. They’re reading Politico. Even if he doesn’t see why they should.

Moving on to No. 2 on the list… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Is it BuzzFeed or is it HuffPost Hill

HuffPost Hill does its best impersonation of BuzzFeed with this email subject line: “HUFFPOST HILL – 25 Photos Of John Boehner Trying To Keep His Conference Together... And Kittens” (The afternoon newsletter has neither inside, so it’s all just a spiteful tease.)

On the Serenity Prayer…

“I hear that serenity prayer was said with typical Boehner grumble. Slight smile. He’s a devout Roman Catholic. Dark sense of humor.” — NationalReviewOnline‘s Washington Editor Robert Costa.

Uh oh. 

“On my way home via @Uber_DC. Am so grateful a service like this exists – would pay anything for the independent reviews and safety.” — Anna Sproul-Latimer, a Washington-D.C.-based literary agent. Clearly Anna hasn’t heard the news.

A complaint about flack emails

“Flack emails I will not read begin with ‘Hey XXX…’” — Daniel Newhauser, House leadership reporter for Roll Call.

NBC’s Chuck Todd gets questionable haircut?

“Did @chucktodd tell his barber ‘give me the Moe Howard‘?” — AP‘s Jon Resnick. Resnick’s joke involved Todd’s hair on Thursday, but it’s got legs. Could also refer to substitute hosts for “The Daily Rundown.” Today it’s WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza. We’ve asked Resnick for clarification on the matter.

The Observer

“Emerging buzzphrase of Dem Senate presser: ‘political gyrations’” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

How to Make it All About Me: “As someone who’s worked in digital journalism for a while, this NYT effort on an avalanche is inspirational.” — WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza. We’re not sure why he felt the need to qualify his statement. We get it! You’re an expert!

In defense of journalists covering tough stories

“Many people express hate for journalists covering tragic stories in their neighborhoods. Honestly, we hate being there, too.” — WTOP’s Neal Augenstein.

Fox News producer needs parka for hearing room

“Senate Foreign Relations hearing room is ridiculously cold. So glad I brought my big North Face parka.” — FNC Senate producer Kara Rowland.

Reaction to Pareene’s Hack List

“Good God, what will Alex be like when he gets old? His list is gripping reading, though, exactly the way Fox News itself is.” –The Daily Beast and CNN Contributor David Frum on Alex Pareene‘s annual Hack List for Salon.com.

Uh oh.

“As of now I have bought zero Christmas presents. Talk about smelling the panic.” — Touré, co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle”.

Editor regrets eating all that junk food; and see who made this week’s FishbowlDC Fan Club Board… Read more

Favorites From Forbes‘s ’30 Under 30′ List

Forbes released it’s annual “30 under 30″ lists today. Featured on the media list are names you’d expect and those for which you’d need to suspend critical thinking to comprehend how this could’ve happened.

But for better or worse, we’ve picked our favorite additions to this year’s list with our own reasoning.

WaPo’s Ezra Klein– Because it’s become increasingly clear that you can’t have a list about media figures without including Klein. Hell, we even made our own entirely dedicated to Klein and his evolving hairstyles.

HuffPost Live‘s Abby Huntsman– Because when you make a list of highly-accomplished media professionals, Abby leaps to the forefront of America’s conscious. But not that America. The other America that former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was always talking about… Read more

Alex Pareene’s Wild Weigelicious Ride

For an outsider, Salon‘s Alex Pareene really gets off on knocking Washington’s journalism culture. He usually goes after The Daily Caller‘s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson with a vengeance. But a latest piece in The New Republic has him ripping through a much larger swathe of journalists on Twitter as a “a cult of cleverness” who feels they must be funny to impress their bosses and gain followers to determine their clout (or Klout, as the case may be). Pareene’s primary question: “Why is the political class so obsessed with being funny?”

An excerpt: “Twitter allows even those obliged to adhere to the bone-dry standards of legacy media outlets to show the entire world how witty they are—and maybe even win a pat on the back from the management types who’ve decided that social media represents the newsroom’s future. The result: a cult of cleverness, where a good joke is rewarded with retweets and new followers, the two main metrics of social-media clout. I’m certainly among those spending far too much time attempting to rack up both.”

We like how he admits he’s part of the problem, not the solution.

An interesting subject matter, no doubt. So much so, you’d think Pareene would turn to experts, workplace psychologists, so-called experts or even a wide variety of Tweeters themselves for their thoughts on the matter. You know, actually get out of his own bed head of curls and do some reporting? He quotes only one journalist in his story: Slate‘s Dave Weigel, who, for someone who is embedded in the Twitter bubble, bashes it mercilessly. Weigel, this is terrifying. Are you okay? Furthermore, Pareene, we love Weigel and all, but was absolutely no one else in your myopic inner circle worthy of quoting?

See what Weigel told Pareene… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“It’s so hard to talk these days.” — FNC’s Greta Van Susteren in reaction to V.P. Joe Biden‘s “gaffe” yesterday.

“He’s gotta recognize that he’s gonna be double teamed. Jim Lehrer is part of the cultural left so Mitt is going to have to communicate past Lehrer and past Obama to reach the American people.” — Fmr. Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich on FNC last night.

Not enough black journos on air tonight?

“@rolandsmartin we need a black room twitter debate team tonight since none of us will be on AIR–get some #WashingtonWatch peeps together.” — Preacher Sophia Nelson of theGrio.com, Essence and USA Today.

In the category of bright ideas…

“Today, I think I’ll work on a column giving Mitt Romney some advice because I want people to know how smart I am.” — DoubleThink‘s J.P. Freire.

Journo in-fighting between two guys named Alex

Salon‘s Alex Pareene: “I hope TheDC doesn’t uncover shocking video of me saying soda instead of pop on east coast.” The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas replied, “Don’t worry, no one cares about you.”

Speaking of that video…

  • “Impressive in dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks category: Hannity calling non-news Obama ’07 Hampton video ‘a bombshell abt to be dropped’ on WH race” — CNBC and NYT‘s John Harwood.
  • “If Obama haters think I’m going to expend a ton of energy on this issue, they are nuts. This amounts to nothing.” — CNN Contributor and Washington Watch host Roland Martin.
  • “Oh lawd.. someone send me a link to TEH VIDEEOOHH!!” — Michelle Ray, Social Media Director at Conservative Daily News. It’s here.
  • “Why are liberals so shocked that Fox News, Drudge, and Tucker Carlson practice racist demagoguery? Like being shocked sky is blue.” — David Zirin, Sports Editor at The Nation.

And Breitbart.com editor blesses Drudge, rips MSM

“Squirm, corrupt media, squirm! #GodBlessDrudge” — Breitbart.com’s John Nolte.

Mitt Romney’s Lunch: The Nasty Aftermath

“Can someone please interview the Chipotle worker? I can’t stop giggling. I want to know everything about him.” — National Journal’s Elahe Izadi.

“Romney’s Chipotle order: burrito bowl, pork, rice, black beans, guac, salsa (per pool report)” — HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel.

Important Q to Ponder: “Seriously, why the fuck are people tweeting Romney’s lunch? Who gives a shit?” — Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas.

“Per pool, Romney is having Chipotle for lunch. He and Sen. Portman both had pork burrito bowls with guacamole.” — The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball.

Depression is…

“Sort of depressing to drive around KC and see a liquor store named after Harry Truman.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

Optimism is…“We’re ALL gonna lose in Nov no matter who wins!” — Reason mag’s Nick Gillespie.

The Observer

“Oh good. HuffPost Live will also be live-streaming debates. This brings the total number of news outlets covering the debates to everyone.” — TVNewser‘s Alex Weprin.

Pet Peeves

“People who break embargoes, that’s that shit I don’t like.” — Wired‘s Spencer Ackerman.

Necessary Tweet of the Day

“Fuck man I totally feel for a free Southwest Airline ticket voucher spambot thing on facebook fuck fuck fuck.” — InTheseTimes labor journo Mike Elk.

Convo Between Two Journos: MEOW

The Daily Caller‘s TV reporter Jeff Poor writes, “Question: Why is @BuzzFeed working so hard to get to the smoking gun in this video? You guys can’t wait until 9 pm? Go have dinner… Relax.” To which Politico‘s Shermanator (Jake Sherman) replies, “Yep, you mustve. when someone says publicly they have something that will make news, if u dont chase it, u should find a new job.”

ABC’s Walter involuntary spams followers

“Hello Tweeps. I am not DMing you about some sort of “bad stuff” written about you. It’s spam/hacking.” — ABC’s Amy Walter.

Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.

 

 

 

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