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Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Burns’

Politico Sends 8 Scribes to Long Island

Leading up to what is sure to be a nail-biter of a second presidential debate Tuesday night, Politico has sent a whopping eight scribes to be on-site at Hofstra University.

They include Alexander Burns, Edward-Isaac Dovere, Reid Epstein, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin (let’s hope JMart’s teenage tweeting style improves), Lois Romano, Roger Simon and Glenn Thrush.

Live from the newsroom in Roslyn hosting Politico LIVE at 8 p.m. will be always dynamic duo of fast-talking Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and cheerful Mike Allen. Viewers will be able to watch on C-SPAN 2 and in Washington on News Channel 8.

Politico‘s ‘Special’ Veep Debate Coverage

POLITICO is promising “special coverage” of this Thursday’s vice presidential debate, including a “special” edition of “POLITICO LIVE” and a full stream of the debate.

A Look Ahead…On Thursday morning blogging duo Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, will host Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and the Commission on Presidential Debates’ Frank Fahrenkopf and Mike McCurry for an in-depth conversation on what’s expected from Joe Biden and Paul Ryan that evening and how it will affect Election Day.

Doors will open at 8 a.m. ET at 401 West Main St. in Danville, Ky.

Politico Live begins at 8 p.m. with the dynamic Jim VandeHei and rarely blinking Mike Allen. They’ll be joined by reporters in Danville, plus Jonathan Allen, Editor-in-Chief John Harris and Lois Romano and “other POLITICOs joining from the POLITICO newsroom.”

They’re promising  it all — stories showcased on Politico, live blogging with Haberman and Burns, and video features from Danville. A release states the debate will be covered by VandeHei, Allen, Burns, Jennifer Epstein, Reid Epstein, Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Juana Summers, and Glenn Thrush on the ground in Danville.

NewsChannel8 will carry Politico Live starting at 8:30 p.m. C-SPAN will air Politico Live starting at 10:30 p.m.

No. of times the word “POLITICO” was used in all caps in the release: 15.

The FishbowlDC Interview With Politico’s Irascible Morning Money Man Ben White

Say hello to Politico‘s Ben White, who writes the “Morning Money” column covering the nexus of finance and public policy. Before Politico, he covered Wall Street for the NYT. Other publications he has worked for include WaPo and the Financial Times. He lives in New York City. As some of you may have noticed, Ben has something of a temper problem. Of course not remotely to the degree of Politico Pro Editor Tim Grieve, who was recently voted FishbowlDC’s “Worst Temper in Washington” in our Summer Superlatives. But Ben has his moments, like a recent rash of irritation he felt during a trip to Washington at the Madison Hotel where he had made a reservation. When he arrived, they wouldn’t honor his reservation. Suffice it to say, Ben wasn’t pleased and felt Twitter shaming might do the trick. One other important thing about him? He appears to have a man crush on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as you’ll see below. In all sincerity, the finance reporter has a self-deprecating wit we’ve grown to appreciate in recent weeks, so we wanted to find out a little more about what makes him tick, or rather, what ticks him off.

Have a look.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be?  Soda Stream version of diet coke. I drink so much of it I have to make my own.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Worst thing I’ve said: “Do you have any idea at all how financial markets actually work?” The answer: “No, I really don’t.”

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I don’t have one favorite. I love tons of reporters. Right now I’m in special awe of Maggie Haberman for her tenacity and productivity. It’s astounding and frankly I think she must be on steroids.

Do you have a favorite word? I have three. Jacob and Rafi, my two boys, and Jenna, my love.

Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, FNC’s Juan Williams or NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Tell us why. Blitzer. Because everywhere he goes is the Situation Room and that’s where I want to be. And his silvery beard mesmerizes me and has all the answers.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had while on the campaign trail and who was it with? My favorite was Karen from Arkansas with the huge hair and sequined blue dress who was most looking forward to her delegation’s party for Bill Clinton.

The population is dying out and you are required to save civilization as we know it. You have a romantic evening ahead of you (to save the planet) and you have three possible dates. Pick one. 1. Wolf Blitzer, Juan Williams or Candy Crowley. Just joking. Your real three options: 1. Lindsay Lohan 2. A much younger Madeleine Albright or 3. Chelsea Clinton. If I can’t have Blitzer, I’d go with Madeleine Albright because her story is so incredible and she is so breathtakingly smart.

Tell us a funny story from the road. Can be long or short. In 2000, my man job seemed to be carrying legendary Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory‘s bags around New Hampshire. I think its my best memory from the trail and probably the most useful thing I’ve done in journalism.

What’s the most revolting thing you’ve eaten in your campaign travels? And the best? I ate most of my dinners in Tampa from a vending machine. But best meal was also there, original Cuban sandwich at Colombia Restaurant in Ybor City with former Sen. Mel Martinez.

What annoys you most about campaign coverage? And what gratifies you about it? … 

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“This is how I’m keeping cool.” — NBC Washington’s Angie Goff over the weekend.

Journo encounters threesome

“Just took the dog for a walk in the woods. Happened upon a threesome. Stark naked. Clearly strung out. #dida180 #myeyes #MYEYES” — Takoma Park, Md. writer Carol Blymire.

Daily Caller‘s Michelle Fields as Mother Theresa

“Only in DC does a man walk into the metro with a broken foot and arm and no one offers him their seat.” — Michelle Fields.

Paul Wharton in mourning

“We had the memorial for our loving friend Butch Hopkins today. Just now ‘patched into’ the grief, my heart hurts literally.” — Style expert and TV host Paul Wharton.

Important Q to ponder: “When is the @einsteins finally going to open in Union Station?” — NBC Washington’s Matt Glassman.

Self-appointed media critic

“Anybody know if there’s a network where I can watch two non-subject matter experts debate policy?” — Politico‘s Alexander Burns.

The TV critic

“I mean, the premise of Newsroom is fairly interesting. But did they have to make the primary focus/main character be Sorkin’s scripting?” — C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman.

Russia TV: The go-to network for hard-hitting Joe Williams’ Interviews

“Jesus Christ. Just watched three Euronews packages. Every damn one started with a wideshot of the EU flags. Is creativity that f*ing hard?!” — Russia TV Senior Producer Lucy Kafanov. Um, hey Russia TV, is asking Politico‘s Joe Williams a real, challenging question that f*ing hard?!

Better Left Unsaid

“YES! Got my tweet on #edshow! And got way too excited about it.” — Mediaite White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher.

Interesting co-byline this morning (wink! wink!): Daily Caller‘s Jamie Weinstein and Michelle Fields. Nothing like bonding over Jeremiah Wright.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

A Hot and Sweaty Morning Outside SCOTUS

It was a hot and messy morning for news media at the Supreme Court. The temperature was in the sweaty upper 80s and in addition to all the reporters, crammed onto the court’s sidewalk were TV camera crews (with their all their chunky equipment), tourists looking for real celebrities and hundreds of riled up activists blowing hot air on everyone’s neck.

Good times. FBDC took a look around the scene.

At around 8 a.m there were about 200 people on site, half were activists holding up signs for or against the Affordable Care Act. The other half were broadcast news crews who appeared to have been in place for several hours to secure a good space.

Later, another two hundred or so people showed up. We ran into The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas (a.k.a. Politico‘s Alexander Burns) and the Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney mid conversation. Pappas said he had been outside the Supreme Court since 9 a.m. Carney, who told us he has noticed a recent surge in people confusing him with White House Press Sec. Jay Carney, had just arrived. Pappas and Carney had a brief chat about HBO’s new series The Newsroom. Carney is not an HBO subscriber, so he hasn’t seen it. Pappas, however, is an avid Aaron Sorkin fan and said he watched. “I hope it gets better,” he said.

Shortly thereafter we see Current TV correspondent David Shuster conducting an on-camera interview with an inattentive guest who kept checking his cell phone. Apparently there were hiccups in production. Shuster’s producer Daniel Marans told us, in the faintest of baby whispers, that the audio equipment was on the fritz (likely from all the noisy protesters around), so he couldn’t talk to us for long.

We moved on and stumbled across Yahoo! NewsChris Moody who, despite the heat and godawful humidity, looked perfectly cool. This was around the time that CNN botched its breaking news report which incorrectly stated that the Supreme Court had ruled against the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. Pictured to the right is Moody fulfilling his civic duty and explaining to an inquisitive passerby that the Court had actually ruled the mandate Constitutional.

Side note: While CNN did inaccurately “break” the news on the Supreme Court’s decision, others also got it wrong but somehow have escaped the media glare. They include: FNC and NYP. SCOTUSblog, meanwhile, had its own writeup on the decision before AP did. SCOTUSblog and its small team of reporters were featured in WaPo Wednesday. The blog, sponsored by Bloomberg, on average has about 1,500 visitors each day. In light of the high-profile ruling on the Affordable Care Act, it saw a surge in traffic and was preparing for possibly 250,000 on decision day.

As the news broke, reporters scattered to get reaction from activists standing nearby. We overheard one chubby brunette talking on her cell phone as she walked away from an on-camera interview: “It was a f***ing setup. They put me up against some cute little blond girl,” she said.

Notables: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) seen driving away from the Supreme Court in a Lexus RX 400, co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline Terry Moran, FNC’s Greta Van Susteren, Griff Jenkins and Shannon Bream and former Democratic Rep. David Wu chatting up three young women. No, he wasn’t wearing a tiger costume.

More photos after the jump.

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Journo witnesses oatmeal disaster

“Old man just spilled oatmeal all over his shirt. Thought he could lazily spoon his breakfast without consequence. Now heading to restroom.” — FBDC and The Blaze’s Eddie Scarry in the EavesDropCafe.

Important Question to Ponder: “Even if you’re a hard-core partisan, is it really stimulating to watch hour after hour of TV that just repeats your view of the world?” — Politico‘s Alexander Burns.


White House Pooler Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News focused on movie references in a Pool Report last night in Beverly Hills: “The president appeared before 600 or so hooting, hollering supporters at an LGBT campaign fund-raiser in a ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire – the ‘Pretty Woman’ hotel. They gave him a prolonged standing ovation, chanting “Four more years!” after an introduction from a gay Army doctor. The stage was striking. Obama spoke from a lectern, no seal, with an enormous American flag draped behind him like the scene in ‘Patton,’ his head not even reaching the top of the fourth stripe.”

Self-appointed media critic

“I hear after last night MSNBC is changing its slogan from ‘Lean Forward’ to ‘Bend Over’” –  CNN Contributor and Editor Erick Erickson.

Quote Taken out of Context

“No lisa, but I sure don’t want to eat this crappy breakfast.” — Jason Koebler, tech writer for U.S. News & World Report and music writer for Washingtonian.

Leibovich doubts chumminess of morning show teams

“As citizens, we should all strive for the warmth, rapport and genuine love that seems to pervade morning TV teams. Sarcasm, dudes, sarcasm…especially love how close the morning TV teams appear on those billboards.” — NYT‘s Mark Leibovich getting his Twitter on this morning.

Breitbartonian attacks BuzzFeed Ben

“Someone needs to tell @BuzzFeedBen that when a politician says “jump,” the followup question is “why?”, not ‘how high?’” —’s Ezra Dulis (Always exciting to hear about yet another Ezzy on the planet.)

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“I didn’t know men could be called Bimbo.” — Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson this morning while wearing a traditional Carlson short red dress that stops mid-thigh. Carlson was referring to a Newark security officer who assumed a dead man’s name for the past 20 years. Needless to say, the Nigerian man’s name isn’t his real name, which is Bimbo.

FNC Chris Wallace’s boring admission

“48 out of 52 weeks a year I have chicken.” — Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on Fox & Friends in an appearance with his wife Lorraine for her new book, Mr. Sunday’s Saturday Night Chicken not to be confused with Lorraine’s future book, Mr. Sunday’s Eating Disorders. Wallace’s favorite chicken is apparently some sort of faux fried chicken dish.

Dicking Around

“Courtyard Marriott so confused me I had to walk outside to find my way to the front door.” — CBS Political Director John Dickerson in an unusual state of confusion.

TV reporter gripes about failed delivery

“I hate it when you make an apt w/ a company to deliver a service at your home sometime in a 2 hr window, they don’t show & no call. FIRED!” — WJLA’s Mike Conneen.

Politico scribe wants to stay in Hilary loop

“Was away last week. Did I miss any big Hilary Rosen news?” — Politico‘s Alexander Burns on the CNN Contributor who recently went viral for a tiff with Ann Romney.

Journo questions black v. gay agenda at White House

“I mean how many times has the White House said that cannot discuss a ‘black agenda’-but a ‘gay agenda’ is fine????” — NBC theGrio columnist Sophia Nelson, who has been suffering from kidney stones. On Monday she was in discussion about a black versus gay agenda with American Urban Radio White House Correspondent April Ryan.

Roland on holy roll this morning

“Dear God, you easily lifted us out of a slumber this morning. May we have the courage to lift you up today & worship you without hesitation!” — CNN Contributor and “Washington Watch” host Roland Martin.

Disturbing headline from WUSA9: “Police: Man Had Sex With Woman While She Was Sleeping” — the story, however, is unclear and doesn’t quite match the headline. She woke up with the man on top of her. He had gone with her and her boyfriend to a picnic. Doesn’t explain the sex while sleeping part. Doesn’t say where her boyfriend was. Read the story full of gaping holes here.

Pre-wedding anxiety

“Feeling. Stressed!!! Time for tea and sitting still. And some dark chocolate. #weddingpleasedontkillme” — C-SPAN Producer Lauren Torlone.

Obama on ‘The View’: Uneventful?

“Pool Report on Obama’s appearance on The View: ‘He did not appear to make any major news.’ — The Nation‘s Ari Melber. Obama on ABC’s “The View” airs this morning at 11 a.m. ET.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

In a Staring Contest, Mike Allen Wins

Politico has a relatively new morning feature that is predominately performed by Mike Allen and occasionally Executive Editor Jim VandeHei.

Accompanied by catchy sitcom music they likely dance to when the camera isn’t rolling, they give us a few golden nuggets from the day.

First off, World Headquarters? We didn’t realize Politico is a world-wide operation. Why stop there…why not Universal Headquarters? VandeHei doesn’t call it “worldwide” — that’s a folksy Allen touch. It’s an earnest feature. But something has us both wildly impressed and frankly, concerned. Has Allen stopped blinking altogether? We nearly got hypnotized watching him. Does he have dry eye? In this morning’s edition, timed one minute, eight seconds, in which he pimps out stories by Alexander Burns and new blogger God Charlie Mahtesian, we counted a grand total of zero blinks.

In previous videos for this feature, Allen also never blinks. So if you’re considering a staring contest with him? Don’t do it. He’ll win every time.

Take a look. In at least one previous video, VandeHei and Allen perform the feature together in Vandeland (apparently his office has a name). This is the far more relaxed and superior option as VandeHei brings in some Politico LIVE charm and makes Allen laugh and blink, bringing out the more natural aspects of his personality and coming off as less of a Martian figure in the Politico stratosphere.

WaPo‘s Wemple Goes Crazy on Politico‘s Harris

Politico published a story two days ago (approx. half a decade in POLITICO time) questioning how well informed voters are. WaPo‘s Erik Wemple didn’t find the analysis to be very smart.

The story, written by Alexander Burns and headlined “How much do voters know?,” was accompanied by a large photo of the famously slow, awkward character Forrest Gump. It reads: “It’s entirely questionable whether the great mass of voters has even the most basic grasp of the details … of the national political debate.”

John Harris, Editor in Chief of Politico, said on a broadcast of Politico Live last night that he had commissioned the story, asking Burns to look “at the question of whether voters are stupid,” adding “And a lot of the things [voters] say in these [polls] are just plain stupid.”

Wemple said on his blog today of Harris’ comments, “[He] says ‘stupid’ so many times that he begins to sound that way,” and he sarcastically described the use of Gump in the Politico story as a “stroke of pop culture genius…” Finally, Wemple included a graph in his post showing that more voters today have a college degree than ever before, writing, “Perhaps a smarter take on ignorant voters would have focused on the fact that they’re more educated than ever.”

Of course, a college degree isn’t necessarily the only indicator of how well-informed a voter is on current issues but we get Wemple’s point.

Attention Reporters: Synchronize Your Watches

We’d like all D.C media personnel to take a second and synchronize their stopwatches. There are too many disagreements on how long, exactly, Rick Perry‘s Porky Pig moment from last night’s debate lasted.

WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza clocked it at 43 seconds. Politico‘s Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns put the mark at 45 seconds. Elsewhere, the NYT and The Drudge Report agree it was 53 seconds.

For the sake of clocks, we went back and watched the clip of the Rick Porkey fumble and our verdict is in: 53 seconds of pure, unadulterated awkward.

Watch here.