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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Alexander’

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“Nations Triathlon done in 3:08 (Olympic). Now, about that milkshake…” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin, who completed Sunday’s triathlon. Our own Peter Ogburn also finished the race. His time was six minutes ahead of Gavin’s.

Journo declares she’s not pregnant!

“Tornado has passed. Thank the Lord. I am headed to grocery store. I am nesting (did I just say that). I’ll explain later. NO not Preggers!” — Essence and theGrio columnist Sophia Nelson.

Editor gets socked in face by dog

“Playing with Fergus just now, he punched me in the face. Lesson: Great Danes have a hell of a right cross. Also, #shiner.” — New York magazine’s National Affairs Editor John Heilemann.

Reading between the lines

“Whenever a newspaper announces a major redesign sell its stock short. Redesign is the last refuge of a desperate management.” — Barron‘s Washington Editor James McTague.

The “optics” of Mitt and Ann on MTP

“I am sorry, but this thing about Ann Romney joining Mitt on MTP is just plain weird.” — The optics are horrible- makes him look weak.” — Quinn & Gillespie’s Jim Manley, a former longtime Democratic Senate aide. “Wasn’t it just ystd that Ann Romney was refusing to answer tough political questions? I hope to god mtp won’t let her get away with that.” A follower agreed, asking,”Why can’t the chickenshit go on MTP by himself to actually answer some substantive policy questions? Uses Ann for protection.” MTP Executive Producer Betsy Fischer Martin tried to make it sound all nicey nice, and replied directly to Manley: “We had a long sitdown with Mitt solo this morning. Mrs. Romney joined for a short convo Friday on the Bus! Glad they did it.”

Pundit faces disappointing donut issue at airport

“Seriously, who eats cold donuts? It’s 5:21 am! I can’t stand cold donuts. Don’t know why donut joints at airports don’t have microwaves.” — CNN Contributor Roland Martin over the weekend.

And other traveling journos see glass half empty

“They forced me to check my bag. I assume they’ll lose it. I don’t really need those clothes anyway.” — The Washington Examiner‘s David Freddoso.

“That brief moment of disappointment when you step off the moving walkway and you’re slow again.” – The Takeaway‘s Washington radio correspondent Todd Zwillich.

Homeward Bound

“I miss my kids so much that I can’t wait till I hear them whine.#thatwontlast” — The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack after two weeks of convention coverage.

VandeHei on Maher

“Politico’s VandeHei claims Dems just as big liars as Repubs–classic Politico–and Maher and Katrina call bullshit.” — The Nation‘s Greg Mitchell in reference to Politico Exec. Editor Jim VandeHei’s Friday evening appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

The Birthday Boy

“Yeah, so I’m 25 years old today. Weird. I feel old.” — The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle on Sunday. Happy Birthday Boyle!

Boybander refers to self as “libtard”

“Typical of libtard MSM to expect Team Romney to be able to explain their guy’s pre-existing conditions plan before bragging about it on TV.” — Slate‘s economics writer Matt Yglesias in a moment of liberal irony.

A new ridiculous Twitter vocabulary word from JMART

“So how many more sports bars will chicago send obama to tween now and elex day? Thinking 1x per wk.” — Politico‘s Senior Political Reporter Jonathan Martin whose apparently tween a rock and hard place when it comes to writing on Twitter.

A long and stormy night complete with sewage

  • “On Adams Mill Road during storm, water, presumably sewage, was shooting into the air from under a displaced manhole cover labeled ‘sewer.’” — National Journal Senate reporter Dan Friedman. A storm blew through D.C. Saturday afternoon, leaving many without electricity.
  • “Effing bloody hell. I’ve been through earthquakes forest fires urban riots. #Enough w these#incompetence-driven disasters #OrganizingNow” — Chronicle of Higher Education and author Amy Alexander.
  • “CRAZY WEATHER:Traffic signs, cones blown across Rt. 110. HEAVY downpours. STRONG winds.” — TV reporter Mike Conneen.

 Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

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Morning Chatter

 Quotes of the Day

“When did fact checking and journalism go their separate ways?” — Comedy Central Daily Show Host Jon Stewart to NBC Newsman Tom Brokaw, who appeared on the show last night. His reply: “Everything is so compressed, everything happens with warped speed.”

Speaking of fact checking…“Unfortunately when you look at some of the fact checking, they’re partisan, which is not what a fact check is supposed to be.”FNC’s Steve Doocy on Wednesday morning. At which point Gretchen Carlson chimed in, “It’s kind of sad when you have to have a fact checker to check the fact checker to check the fact checker, but anyway…

Yeah, anyway, The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball gets snappy about facts, saying, “Why is everyone so sure facts don’t matter? Journo self-loathing? Or do we think voters are stupid & illiterate?”

From one reporter named “Ben” to another: Are we fighting?

“Top #DNC2012 moment: running into @BuzzFeedBen and having him ask: ‘Are we fighting about something on Twitter? I can’t remember.’ No!” — Politico‘s Ben White who is referencing BuzzFeed Political Editor Ben Smith.

Journo takes backhanded stab at the Romneys

“You know what this first lady knows nothing about? The price at the pump when you fill up a couple of Cadillacs.” — MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe.

An Important Q to Ponder: “Michelle has become a terrific speaker. But why should that matter — or whether Ann Romney loves her husband — in picking a president?” — Washington Pollster  Stu Rothenberg.

Reporters geek out on C-SPAN

“There is nothing better than the old convention clips playing on @cspan. Love hearing these old speeches.” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake.

“C-SPANis running clips of past Democratic keynotes. Gotta say, I’m digging the trip down memory lane as #DNC12 is about to convene.” — Jennifer Dlouhy, energy reporter for The Houston Chronicle and Hearst Newspapers.

Rave Reviews for Michelle

“Michelle speech offers a devasting contrast of where the Obamas came from with Romney’s privilege without uttering one nasty word. #DNC2012″ — WaPo Columnist EJ Dionne.

“Will be surprised if Dems don’t switch to live video from White House of Pres Obama and daughters applauding FLOTUS speech.” — CBS White House Radio Correspondent Mark Knoller.

“Is it gauche to wonder why #FLOTUS beloved dad didn’t try riding #dressage to help alleviate his #MS symptoms? #justasking” — Editorial Promotions Manager at Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Amy Alexander.

“I’ve never heard such a well delivered speech by a first lady ever.” — CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“Barack Obama always jokes that Michelle gives the better speech. I’m starting to think that’s actually true.” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein.

“Notice how FLOTUS makes her strong points without raising her voice. Very effective. #dnc2012″ — Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn.

Oh no she didn’t! Jo Anne Reed (a.k.a. Mrs. Ralph Reed) kicks Obama to the curb during FLOTUS’ convention speech: “Michelle Obama loves her husband more today than four years ago…well at least someone does…we don’t!!”

Meanwhile…CNN’s Lisa Desjardins announces that FLOTUS’s pretty orange sleeveless frock was designed by Tracy Reese. And Editor-in-Chief Bonnie Fuller puts in a giant plug for the First Lady’s well-toned arms: “Michelle Obama has set sleeveless trend 4 all of female newscasters.”

The Eyebrow Observer

“Tim Kaine’s eyebrow is out of control.” — The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis.

The Random But Nonetheless Poignant Observer

“I see both Malia and Sasha are rocking skinny jeans after 10pm.” — ABC7′s Jummy Olabanji.

Funky reporting admission

“A source told me tonight that he has ‘personal knowledge’ of everything he told me. That’s comforting.” — Politico‘s Jake Sherman.


Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Um, we’re not even going to try to figure this sultry scene out: Sassy stylist Paul Wharton writes, “With my sweet, naughty kitten @Lena_Chase. I could stare at her all day long.”

“You, my dear, should be a politician because that is the biggest load of $#!& I’ve ever heard.” — ABC Bachelorette Emily Maynard on “The Men Tell All” episode last night in which a contestant who called her daughter “baggage” attempts to apologize after taking to Twitter to say he’s not sorry.

Kiss Cam

“Not to be cynical, but press pool was in motorcade to leave then brought back for successful kiss-cam redo.” — NYT‘s Peter Baker.

Will Smith on Capitol Hill

“Actor Will Smith in Russell Rotunda this AM. Haven’t seen him erase any lawmakers’ memories…. yet.” — Peter Cook, Chief Washington Correspondent for Bloomberg Television.

Important Question to Ponder: “Is @DRUDGE_REPORT a satirical site, like a rw version of @TheOnion? Just asking. #amazingheadlines” — Author Amy Alexander, ex-wife to Politico‘s Joe Williams.

Convo Among Three Scribes

This morning’s conversation is among The Nation’s caustic Ben Adler, GQ’s Marin Cogan and Slate’s Matt Yglesias. Adler, your ambitions to be a Boybander have significantly diminished.

Adler: Someone invented it a black and white cookie that is all just the white half and made me very happy just now.

Cogan: That’s racist!

Yglesias: Racist.

A Journo and a Gentleman

“Reprimanded some buddies of mine who catcalled a random women on the street – they were not happy about it, but glad I did it.” — labor journo Mike Elk.

Stupid pothole or stupid scribe?

“I crashed my bike on @DDOTDC‘s stupid pothole in January. Went to ER. Just getting bill now. $2,100. Jeez.” — DCist‘s Ben Freed. Read about his January accident here. We hear he hasn’t been quite the same since.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

Joe Williams: True or False?

On Thursday evening ex-Politico White House Correspondent but still Politico employee Joe Williams finally responded to news that he pled guilty of second degree assault in May against his ex-wife, author Amy Alexander, and is now on probation until late November. We didn’t want to ruin his lies with facts in the moment, as it’s fair to let anyone have his say. But now we’re going to clear up the facts with a good, old-fashioned game of True or False.


1. “On Wednesday a conservative web site published a one-sided account of a dispute between me and my ex-wife, Amy Alexander — an incident that has nothing to do with my journalism career or work with and departure from Politico.” False. As much as Williams would like to lump FishbowlDC in with and The Daily Caller as a “conservative website” to paint himself as a victim of the right, we are a media site that covers all political persuasions. What’s more, Williams thought we were Free Beacon, which he claimed initially broke the story. For a longtime member of the media to not get the difference between FBDC and Free Beacon means he’s out of touch.

2. “The facts: Amy Alexander, my ex-wife, confronted me in February when I came to pick up our autistic son for a therapy appointment. My wife accosted me in front of him and I defended myself. In retaliation to my protective order against her, she wrongfully filed charges against me — several days after the incident. In the best interest of my children, and Amy, I chose to avoid an acrimonious, embarrassing trial.” True or False, who knows? We’ll give this one to you, Joe, as we have no idea if any of this is true or not. But we do know this: Alexander is 5’7″ and 138 pounds. You are a 6′, 200 pound former football player. The Silver Spring District Court documents report that you pled guilty to second degree assault. We’re going to go ahead and assume that the Silver Spring District Court is not part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. What’s more, wow, we had no idea that Chris Brown and Rihanna had moved to Washington!

3. “…the right-wing noise machine decided to add fuel to the fire by publishing half truths taken out of context.” False. Joe, we reported the facts based on the court docs. And once again, we’re not part of this “right-wing noise machine” defense that you’ve created for yourself.

4. “I was with my children when the FishbowlDC reporter called me; I gave her the personal cell number of my lawyer, Shawn Bartley, and urged her to talk to him. Instead, she went through the motions, leaving a message on his office phone even though it was July 4. The story ran without waiting to hear from him, or without calling me back – a step most responsible journalists would have taken.” True and False. I did call Williams on Wednesday afternoon. I heard him say “son” a few times, indicating he was with a child. The call took several tries to complete as the phone reception was poor and the calls kept getting dropped. Williams did give me Bartley’s cell phone. (True) I called it and the cell would not allow me to leave a message, which is why I looked him up and phoned his office. FBDC waited hours before running the story. If it was important for Bartley to get back to us, which, by the way, he has not given a comment to any reporter who has approached him this week, Williams might have told his lawyer that it was vital for him to do so. And sorry to burst your bubble, Joe, but most reporters, with court docs in hand after contacting all the appropriate players for comment, would run the story. So … False on that assertion.

5. “…the right-wing noise machine will relentlessly bully anyone who publicly disagrees with their narrow world view. With this story, they’ve also crossed the line from questionable reporting into full-blown hack journalism.” False. Yes, conservative publications like and The Daily Caller have also been covering this story. But no, we’re not part of a “right-wing noise machine” who is “bullying” you. You’re painting yourself as a victim, and you know what? Didn’t work for Hillary Clinton either. There was no “questionable reporting” here and we suggest if you think so that you and your incommunicado lawyer take it up with the Silver Spring District Court.

Ex-Politico’s Williams Claims Story Was ‘One-Sided’

Ex-Politico White House Correspondent Joe Williams once again resurrected his Twitter account last night to try to cast doubt on a story FBDC broke Wednesday on his pleading guilty to second degree assault against his ex-wife, author Amy Alexander. First off, he strangely declared that the conservative publication Free Beacon wrote the story and proceeded to link to the FBDC piece. The assault took place in February of 2012. In May Williams pled guilty and according to court documents remains on probation until Nov. 24, 2012. Coming up: Williams just informed Mediabistro that he plans to issue a statement regarding the dispute with his ex-wife.

A sampling of his tweets:

  • ex-wife, jackass – and I was not convicted, only accused. typical conservative: light on the facts @Conservative419 @politico
  • @SHannitysHair it ain’t so – they got half the story, and weren’t interested in balance or context.

Memo to Williams: Half the story? We based what we wrote on Silver Spring District Court documents. And not convicted? You weren’t convicted because you pled guilty and pleaded out a number of charges. And balance and context? We phoned you, your ex-wife and your lawyer. You chose not to comment. Your lawyer never returned the call. Your ex-wife refused to comment. There aren’t many more sides than four: You, her, your lawyer, and the court.

Note to reader: Please note in that second tweet by Williams, he is not calling his wife a jackass. Rather, he is calling one of the many angry readers who wrote him online a “jackass.”

Ex-Politico WH Correspondent Joe Williams Pleaded Guilty to Assaulting Ex-Wife

It turns out there’s another side to Joe Williams, the White House Correspondent and former college football player who recently parted ways with Politico. On May 24 of this year, he pled guilty to second degree assault against his ex-wife, paid a $200 fine and received six months of probation. His probation ends on November 24, 2012. Other charges he pleaded out include disorderly conduct and affray (i.e. a public order offense that consists of fighting in a public place). His ex-wife, author Amy Alexander, obtained a year long court order against him that began in February, 2012. The pair has two children whom he regularly sees. According to Silver Spring court documents obtained by FishbowlDC, Williams is to abide by the following:

On February 6, 2o12, there was a hearing at the District Court in Silver Spring, Md. Case type: Domestic Violence. Plaintiff: Amy Alexander. Defendant: Williams Joseph P Jr. The result was as follows:


On February 10, 2012 there was a second hearing. Same plaintiff and defendant. The result was as follows:


We reached out to Williams today by phone to inquire about the court order and the reasons why it was issued. He called this a “ridiculous story” and said he has nothing to say until we speak with his Silver Spring attorney Shawn Bartley. We left a message for Bartley at his office. We requested comment from Alexander. We also sought comment from Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris to inquire if he knew there was a current court order and assault charge against Williams. We also asked what Politico‘s policy is about conducting criminal background checks on potential employees. Most publications simply ask for references.

As has been widely reported, Politico suspended Williams after he told a national TV audience that Mitt Romney is more at ease around white people and called his own publication a “shitburger” when it comes to diversity and race. Williams lawyered up. He went on and off Twitter so much it gave us whiplash. Ultimately Politico‘s Editor, Harris, released a memo declaring that the publication and Williams came to a mutual agreement that Williams should move on.

Alexander filed a previous complaint against Williams in 2007. On August 2, 2007, Alexander filed what looks to be a restraining order against Williams. This appears to be temporary and lasted only from August 2, 2007 to August 9, 2007. On Aug. 9 the case was dismissed after the plaintiff withdrew the complaint. Alexander filed for divorce from Williams in July 9, 2007 after approximately 12 years of marriage. The court granted the divorce on April 7, 2008.

Noteworthy: In 2006, Alexander bylined a “Special to the Washington Post” story entitled “Mom vs. the Machine.” This had to be when the couple were in happier times, as she mentioned him in a piece concerning how to raise her children in the internet age.

An excerpt: “Like many parents, my relationship with technology is decidedly practical. My husband and I, friends our age, and co-workers are comfortable with e-mail and office programs such as Word and Excel. We’re e-mailing photos, downloading music and playing around with digital video projects.”

Williams’ Facebook page depicts him as a typical, loving father. He has many pictures of his children, one of him giving his son a piggyback ride. As noted above, the court order began in February.

UPDATE: Alexander returned our request for comment and replied by email, “I can’t comment on a legal case but will say that I sincerely hope that Joe Williams finds his professional footing and that he also begins to take seriously his responsibilities as the father of our two children.”

By the Way…

The Chronicle of Higher Education is so terrifically busy. So much so that in the past 14 hours Editor Liz McMillen, who fired contributor Naomi Schaefer Riley after she wrote a post that — gasp! — dared to make waves, hasn’t had time to reply to our questions.

Spokeswoman Amy Alexander wrote us twice to inquire if Liz had gotten around to responding to our request for comment. “She’s swamped,” Alexander said, promising that she’d keep checking in with her.

While we appreciate Alexander’s tireless efforts to get McMillen to comment, we’d prefer that McMillen find her spine as opposed to say, another excuse as to why she didn’t back her writer after not implementing blogger guidelines in the first place.

An Editor’s Dangerous Mea Culpa

In a most unusual editor’s note on the Chronicle of Higher Education website last night, Editor Liz McMillen apologizes profusely for what turned out to be a controversial post written by now fired “Brainstorm” blogger, former WSJ editor and Harvard graduate Naomi Schaefer Riley. Like most anything that goes viral, Riley tells Poynter she didn’t see it coming. The topic: Riley asserted the reasons why she believes Black Studies ought to be eliminated.

And the crowd went wild. Racism. Prejudice. So much for brainstorming.

McMillen, meanwhile, all but embarrassingly opens a vein for readers. She writes, “We’ve heard you, we’ve taken to heart what you’ve said.” She goes on to say that they let Riley go and they will “review” their editorial practices.

“It’s obvious they caved to the pressure,” Riley told FishbowlDC this afternoon.

Were these so-called practices ever thought out or spelled out in the first place? Was Riley ever told what she could or couldn’t write? Or was the outcry of online observers — and there are a lot of them these days with loud, shrill, threatening voices — so great that McMillen collapsed under her own lack of direction and standards that were never conveyed to Riley in the first place?

Last Monday Riley posted her story. On Wednesday night she received an email and on Thursday a call from her editor asking her to respond to critics, which she did. Last Thursday her bosses at least found that acceptable as well as her post, which they did not remove. But by last night, just before McMillen threw herself and Riley to the pack of wolves, she had a conversation with McMillen during which she was fired.

“They claim I didn’t live up to standards, but I’d like to see where these standards are that I didn’t live up to,” Riley said, explaining that her bosses knew she had unconventional views. She thought that’s why they hired her. “I don’t really think the standards are being universally applied, let’s just say that.”

She also said that at any other publication she has ever worked, the behavior of her bosses would never fly.

Riley says she will undoubtedly continue writing. “I’m not some anti-intellectual we should get rid of college tomorrow [type], but I have made critiques,” she said. “This was not my full-time job, I will go on with my writing.”

Brad Phillips, who writes the Mr. Media Training Blog, points a damning finger at The Chronicle of Higher Education, calling it the “worst of both worlds.” He told FBDC, “Although I don’t agree with Naomi Schaefer Riley’s viewpoint, it appears that she’s the victim of an editor who buckled under public pressure. Just a few days ago, the blog’s editor was encouraging vigorous debate about Riley’s article; the editor did an about face when it became clear that her readers were upset. The Chronicle is now in the worst of two worlds – appearing to have stifled a voice with no specific rationale, while simultaneously selling their blog as ‘a range of intellectual and political views.’ The Chronicle of Higher Education looks to have lacked clear guidelines regarding appropriate content, and this incident is yet another reminder that blogs need to maintain clear guidelines for their writers.”

In her note to readers, McMillen talks about a “freedom” that Riley and other bloggers have in that their posts go unedited before they are published. “Ms. Riley’s post was not reviewed until after it published,” she wrote in the publication’s defense.

But it is her concluding line that is most grotesque to herself and the publication: “You told us we can do better, and we agree.”

Perhaps she should have thought about that before firing Riley, instead of after. In most newsrooms editors fiercely protect their reporters. Most editors don’t let strangers in the door and watch as the reporter gets bloodied. Maybe McMillen could be a real editor, hold strong and “improve” their ways instead of essentially letting a wild flash mob determine Riley’s fate.

Here’s to hoping all our editors have stronger backbones that that of Liz McMillen.

Note to readers: We reached out to McMillen through the Chronicle‘s publicist, Amy Alexander, for  comment on why she allowed a petition of strangers to determine the firing of their writer and why it appears there were no clear standards for bloggers in place. “Let me forward your request to Liz and have her get back to you. But that’s how we’re handling these requests at this time,” said Alexander. We’ve emailed her our questions and will report back when and if McMillen responds.

See our questions to McMillen after the jump…

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