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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Walter’

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.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

NBC Washington’s Angie Goff poses for a picture with actor David Arquette at the Elle/Lani Hay dinner at The Ritz last night. Partygoers remarked on how good he looks a year plus into sobriety.

“Heard at Midway after flight quarantined over passenger with rash: ‘I’ve had it with these mfing rashes on these mfing planes!’” — Politico‘s Roger Simon.

Haitian journos welcomed to WH briefing

“Good afternoon, everyone.  Thank you for coming to the White House for your daily briefing.  I want to welcome — we have a group of Haitian journalists here visiting.  I want to welcome you to the White House briefing room.” — White House Spokesman Jay Carney.

Prostitutes and Take Your Kids to Work Day rarely mix

“The roughly half-dozen kids were models of decorum. There they sat, on the sidelines of the briefing room, staring down at the floor. None asked a question. But they might have been thinking “Mom, Dad, when we get home tonight, you’ll have some explaining to do.” — ReutersMary Milliken in their late-afternoon “Washington Extra” newsletter.

Journos are people too?

“Puppy power. OK tweeps, who is the cutest ABC Pup? @winstontapper or @eliwalterwoof? @jaketapper” — ABC News Political Director Amy Walter, who appears to be a part of a bizarre journo trend of creating Twitter accounts for pets.

Reporter, ahem, laps up her evening

“Hill Country consisted of lots of dancing and shots and country music. My night ended w/ sitting on guy’s lap (dare), but #embash goes on.” — Greenwire‘s Jessica Estepa.

Overheard at the Elle/Lani Hay party at the Ritz last night: “Those balls are gynormous!” No word on whether the person was referring to a baby or a donkey.

Spotted at Elle party: Actor Robert Duvall‘s nephew, Teddy. He showed up last year, too.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.


Laymen Can Now Compete in NJ‘s Political Pursuit

NJ is extending its elite Political Pursuit game to the common man. Next Tuesday the publication is hosting its first ever “Qualifier” round in which everyone is allowed to compete in a contest normally reserved for members of Congress and political insiders.

The Qualifier round will be held at 7 p.m on April 17 at the Pour House bar by the Capitol. The winning team will move on to compete in the big leagues at the main Political Pursuit event on April 26 with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Amy Walter and Sen. Tom Davis (R-VA).

“Veep” Stars Walk the Carpet in D.C.

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

The cast from HBO’s upcoming series “Veep” were in town yesterday to promote the political comedy with a screening at the U.S Institute of Peace.

It was mostly peaceful, but packed which made for dicey moments on the red carpet.

“Veep” focuses on a clueless vice president, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and her bumbling staff.

FBDC asked the show’s starring actors about their thoughts on the D.C. culture and what parts of it were amplified in the series.

“The closer you are to the popular kids, the more powerful people feel,” said Tony Hale, who plays a personal aide to the Vice President. “[It's] just like high school. There’s a lot of high school happening in both here and L.A.”

Timothy Simons took special note of Washington’s crappy sense of style. “There’s a fashion sense from 10 years previous,” said the actor who plays the White House Liaison to Dreyfuss’ character. “A general sense that nobody has time to ever buy new clothes. So I think it’s like the clothes you have in college, you just hope that those fit you until you’re 35. And at that point you would have time to shop for new clothes.”

Simons said he prepared for his role by reading “D.C. Interns,” a popular blog about interns in Washington. He said the blog taught him about about “calling interns out on wearing their intern badges” at inappropriate places.

Matt Walsh plays the Communications Director in “Veep.” He told us the first thing he learned about the D.C press corps in preparing for his role is that “the best play in any crisis or any gaffe is to not say anything [else] and to smile your way through it.” Smaller blogs break the stories now, he said, “so you really have to watch every word that you say. You can never be off camera. You’re never off the record.”

NYT's Frank Rich

 

Sarah Palin is famous for her media mishaps when she was the Republican vice presidential candidate. We asked Dreyfuss if she did any media prep for the show. She said she spent more time trying to “pull back the layers of politics” than news media, but that “it really is extraordinary now how every move a politician makes is documented. And one false step and they’re screwed.”

Space on the red carpet was tight (and even tighter with the five-person crew ABC’s Amy Walter and Yahoo! NewsDavid Chalain had in tow) but went smoothly enough.

The actual screening was like an oversold flight. More tickets than seats were handed out and many attendees were left standing.

“Veep” officially premiers April 22.

Notables:

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash (sans John King); Politico‘s Jonathan Martin; Mother Jones‘ (and alleged public tantrum thrower) David Corn; New York magazine’s Frank Rich; HOH’s Warren Rojas; MPAA Director Chris Dodd; The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz (aka Howeesha); The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab and Jenny Rogers; Glittarazzi‘s Ali Lewis and Greg Blakey.

Quotable:

“They just want him to get off.”– An apparently perturbed videographer remarking on the news that George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Whoa! Yglesias does what?!

“Additionally, he enjoys eating his own waste products and is said to have lost his virginity to his own father.” — Slate‘s Matt Yglesias tweets the sentence and provides a link to his Wikipedia page in what has been immense blowback to his gloating of Andrew Breitbart‘s death.

Travel woes

“Early morning flight to NYC meant 2 things. Exhaustion and stuck on the shuttle runway for 45 mins behind a big Trump airplane. #letsGo” — CNN Commentator and SKDKnickerbocker’s Hilary Rosen.

Are you there PETA? It’s me, Stossel

“I was awakened this morning by my cat when she threw up a hairball ON MY FACE. Someone get PETA over here before I do something I regret.” — Scott Stossel, Dep. Managing Editor, Atlantic Magazine, in a relatively recent tweet.

NPR journos weigh in on good writing

Michele Norris: “A well-written sentence has a certain cadence much like a tight musical score.” Southern U.S. Bureau Chief Russell Lewis: “Once you finish your story, read it out loud.”

Rep. Frank gets busted for breaking House Floor rules

“Rep. Frank (D-MA) had words taken down. Comments will be stricken from Congressional Record; can’t speak for remainder of day.” — Ric Anderson, U.S. House Press Gallery staffer. He explains that Frank “characterized Rep. Hensarling’s statements as ‘the most hypocritical and dishonest statement I have heard in this House.’”

Follower insults TWT reporter

“@KerryPicket sucks to be a biotch and work for WTimes. #OldSchool” — #pUNkBoyInSF to TWT‘s Kerry Picket, who retweeted the news. This comes on the heels of actor Alec Baldwin, who remarked on his hatred for TWT on Super Tuesday.

Editor notices disturbing bumper sticker

“Just saw an awesome bumper sticker, ‘I’ll pay for your contraception if you pay for my ammo.’ Deal?” — Townhall.com News Editor and writer Katie Pavlich.

Meanwhile, a Convo Between Two Journos

Today’s conversation is between ABC Entertainment Reporter Sheila Marikar and ABC News Political Director Amy Walter.

Marikar: “How do y’all feel about ‘meanwhile’ as a transition?”

Walter: “It’s a crutch that I lean on A LOT.”

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Female journo wanders into wrong restroom

“So, I am now one of those jackasses that walks into a men’s room b/c her nose is buried in the bberry.” — ABC News’ Amy Walter.

A Washington journalist hard at work…

“[Dana Milbank] enjoying the atmosphere at the [Dylan Ratigan] fete at Sidecar.” — WaPo and MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart. Ratigan was in town to promote his new book, Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry.

Radio personality recalls motherly advice

“Remember how your mom told you cleaning is easier if you just pick up after yourself a little every day? She was right.” — WMAL and The Daily Caller‘s Mary Katharine Ham.

A writer admits his troubles

“Writer complaint. Don’t you hate it when after three hours a paragraph still isn’t right?” — The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf.

Good News, Bad News and Peach Yogurt

First the bad news. U.S. News & World Report was seriously asleep at the wheel Thursday as a Washington Whispers writer fell for a ludicrous, obviously fake Twitter account in writing a story on the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood ordeal. Tierney Sneed wrote the story. The journo wrote, “Jill Biden tweeted Thursday afternoon, ‘When Joe heard about Susan G. Komen not funding Planned Parenthood anymore, Joe threw away his pink-ribbon Harvest Peach yogurt.’” (SERIOUSLY no editor caught this.) And the good news. Washington Whispers staff humbly issued the following correction and didn’t try to sugarcoat any notion that a terrible mistake was made. That deserves at least an emoticon (as MSNBC’s Meghan McCain might say) of respect.

“Washington Whispers published in error a story stating that Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, had sent a message through Twitter saying that the vice president no longer supported the work of the organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The story was based on a fake Twitter account.”

Find a sampling of recent tweets from @drjillbiden after the jump…

Fish Poll: Yesterday we polled readers on the hypothetical of ABC making Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper permanent host of “This Week.” The results were clear: 42.3 percent of you agreed, “Yes, he’s the quintessential Washington insider who knows politics inside and out.” Second highest score comprised 33.33 percent respondents: “Yes, I’m over George Stephanopoulos already.”

Read more

Yahoo! News Celebrates Chalian, Campaign Season

Photo L to R: Rick Klein, Robin Sproul, Richard Kaplan, Ross Levinsohn, Jonathan Karl, Amy Walter, Joe Ruffolo.

If you didn’t make it up to the rooftop of 101 Constitution Ave for Yahoo! News’ swanky soiree on Wednesday night, here’s a quick recap of what you missed:  Thrown by event extraordinaire Philip Dufour, the party was held in large part to welcome new DC bureau chief David Chalian.  In addition, the newsgroup used the opportunity to kick off their 2012 campaign coverage plans and to raise a glass to their partnership with ABC News.

Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo! EVP of the Americas  (and American University alum),  spoke about Yahoo! News’ expanding editorial coverage and presence in Washington to a crowd that included many familiar faces from ABC’s DC bureau:  Ann Compton, Jonathan Karl, Rick Klein, Polson Kanneth, Richard Kaplan, Amy Walter and Robin Sproul.  Also in attendance were WaPo‘s Dana Milbank, Neil Patel of the Daily Caller, NJ’s Chris Frates, Jane Mayer from the New Yorker, CNN’s Dan Lothian and Alex Mooney, Politico’s Marty Kady and Keach Hagey, Judy Kurtz of The Hill, NBC’s Adam Verdugo, MSNBC’s Karen Finney, CQ Roll Call’s Mark Walters and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

D.C. Media Events Can be Nasty Biz

Media event planning can be a dirty business in Washington. In many instances it’s tough to tell who is playing copy cat, but some things are clear: publications are vying to host pointedly similar events and competing for guests and warm bodies to fill their audiences. Getting the events underwritten is no small task. This is also where things can turn sneaky.

We recently reported that Politico was hosting a year out election event to be held the morning of Nov. 1. They sent word via a “Save the Date” note. As it so happens, NJ is hosting a twin gathering on the very same morning. They circulated information about their election preview among D.C.’s community of sponsors and advertisers prior to Politico‘s notice back in March. But word travels fast in Washington — these are some of the same sponsors and advertisers with whom Politico also negotiates.

“Events are definitely a business,” said an industry insider who didn’t want to be quoted by name. “They provide great exposure for media organizations, and they are good opportunities for professionals in D.C. to get in-depth briefings on political and policy issues, but they are also a real contributor to most media companies’ bottom lines.”

NJ‘s election preview event is being underwritten by the National Assoc. of Homebuilders and United Technologies. Yahoo! News is a co-sponsor and the outlet’s journalists will participate in the event. Sessions have been planned. An agenda can be found online. Politico, meanwhile, hasn’t revealed their underwriters, locale or agenda — announcements are expected next week.

To be sure, special outside guests are a hot commodity for these media affairs. Initial email invites from NJ to panelists, ABC’s Amy Walter, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and NBC’s Chuck Todd,  went out the end of July. Still, Politico also secured Todd and Walter, with Todd receiving his invitation from NJ prior to Politico. With Todd and Walter being NJ alums, it’s no shock they’d want them to participate. Just like networks, the dueling event organizers can space them at different times, but the double booking has to be causing some to squirm. Politico‘s other gets: Former Bush Spokesman Ari Fleischer, former White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell and CNN’s Jessica Yellin amid several unknown names from the Des Moines Register, St. Pete Times and Charleston Post Courier.

NJ and Politico are utilizing many of their own reporters and editors for the events, so from a guest’s perspective it comes down to who do you want to hear more? From Politico you’ll see the usual suspects of Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Senior Political Reporter Jonathan Martin. From NJ there’s Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier, Ron Brownstein, Charlie Cook and Matthew Cooper.

Different faces, but the concept is the same. Does Washington really need identical events from sparring publications all on the same morning? And if this all seems more than petty, it is except for the fact that these events are vital in gaining a publication significant exposure, buzz and ultimately revenue.

A source at Politico, who spoke on condition of being nameless, argues their event will be richer in content, offering a nearly identical theme to NJ‘s event and a list of  participants: “Although the topics are similar, and we’re delighted Amy and Chuck can join us, we really feel our event is different: we have panels covering a wider range of topics with a broader group of people on stage. We have had a great response since our invitations went out at the end of September and believe our half-day event will be the place for kicking-off the countdown to November 2012.”

NJ Publicist Taylor West, counters, saying, “The National Journal events team is one of the most respected and successful in Washington because they invest the time, preparation, and thoughtfulness that it takes to put together premier events. Our 2012 Election Preview event is no exception, with a can’t-miss slate of confirmed participants, in-depth sessions on each of the critical parts of the upcoming election cycle, and more exciting guest announcements to come. For folks looking for substance and strategy – not spin – this event will deliver the goods.”

Despite the clawing and infighting involved in executing these events, insiders insist these events are key to a publication’s success or failure.

 

Sunday Morning Panels: Only Males Need Apply

It’s time once again to check in on how many one-eyed anacondas will hit the political talk show circuit this weekend. Last week we began our series looking at how many females appear on Sunday morning political talk show panels. Last week was rather dismal, with FNC coming in at a big fat zero and the highest showing, two females, appearing on NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show.” Update: It’s official. This Sunday, ABC’s “This Week” claims the most number of female panel guests.

CBS’s Face the Nation: 1

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics
Norah O’Donnell, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent
John Dickerson, CBS News Political Analyst

NBC’s Meet the Press: 1

Donna Shalala, Former Sec. of Health and Human Services
William Bennett, Former Sec. of Education
Tim Shriver, Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics
Tavis Smiley, PBS

Fox New Sunday: 1

Brit Hume – Fox News Senior Political Analyst
A.B. Stoddard –The Hill
Bill Kristol – Weekly Standard & Fox News
Juan Williams – Fox News Political Analyst

ABC’s “This Week”: 3

Mary Matalin, Republican Strategist
Amy Walter, ABC News Political Director
Donna Brazile, Democratic Strategist
George Will, ABC News, WaPo columnist

CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: 2

WaPo‘s Jennifer Rubin, Current TV’s David Shuster, Craig Crawford, former WSJ reporter Ron Suskind, former Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Connie Schultz, wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

NBC’s Chris Matthews Show: 2

The Daily Beast‘s Andrew Sullivan, NYT‘s Helene Cooper, CNN’s Gloria Borger, and WaPo‘s Michael Gerson.

Testosterone-Filled Roundtable

We’re not extreme feminists here in the Fishbowl. But NBC’s “MTP” roundtable was oozing manliness this week with an all-male panel and a nearly all white male panel at that. The roster included GOP Strategist Mike Murphy, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Politico‘s Johnathan Martin, WaPo and MSNBC’s Eugene Robinson and Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA). Host David Gregory even joked about how they were all sitting around a “boardroom-like table” because that’s hilarious. And all guffawed.

All six men wore dark suits. Branstad and Robinson wore nearly identical red-striped ties. Two of the men — Murphy and Branstad — are particularly pasty and could use some sunshine. Martin looked like he ran into trouble with his hair gel.

Females apparently weren’t available for the panel because they were hanging out over at ABC “This Week’s” roundtable hosted by Jake Tapper in Ames, Iowa. The women around that table included Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Radio Iowa News Director Kay Henderson, ABC News Political Director Amy Walter. Males included George Will and ABC News’ Matthew Dowd.

Go white males!

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