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Posts Tagged ‘Andy Barr’

Politico’s ‘Lifetime’ Ban From FNC; Was It Ben Smith’s Fault?

It’s well known that the staff at Politico is between the sheets with MSNBC and on the outs with FNC. An excerpt from the to-be-released An Atheist in the FOXhole published by Salon confirms that fact and provides a little more detail:

Sometimes entire organizations were given lifetime bans [at Fox News]. The website Politico wrote something a few years back that rubbed Roger the wrong way (we were never told what exactly the transgression was) and word went out to all the shows: No more Politico reporters as guests. Also, any anchors who mentioned the site on air had to use the phrase “left-wing Politico” — an absurd designation for a publication that usually played it down the middle.

A web search shows Politico has, in the past, been referred to as “liberal” or “lefty” at FNC. Those references seemed to take place exclusively on FNC’s morning show “Fox & Friends” and with particular zeal from co-host Steve Doocy.

It’s common knowledge that many current and former reporters at Politico (and a lot of different publications on Planet Earth) are on the outs with FNC and FNC PR in particular, with editors and scribes dealing with intense squabbles. But is Ben Smith to blame for the deep rift? Read more

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Fmr. Politico Reporter Criticizes Politico

Coming soon: A Guide to Burning Bridges by Andy Barr.

Barr, a former Politico reporter who is now working as Communications Director for the Richard Carmona Senate campaign, has openly criticized his former employer in a seething, sarcastic tweet.A little background: In 2003 Cristina Beato was named Asst. Sec. of Health, but not without ensuing confirmation controversy. Barr is ragging on a story published today by John Bresnahan and Manu Raju. The story has Beato trashing Carmona. This is Barr’s turf and one he’s obviously protecting.

Politico’s oh so credible source couldn’t get confirmation because she “fabricated or inflated portions of her résumé”

— Andy Barr (@AndyBarr34) May 21, 2012

Update and correction: Barr left his job working for the Arizona Democratic Party four months ago to work for the Carmona campaign. We’ve corrected the above to reflect this.

Daily Caller‘s Anti-Politico Policy Goes Up in a Blaze

This week The Daily Caller and Politico got into a public war with internal ramifications. Initially it was over a story that The Daily Caller‘s Jonathan Strong broke about Rep. Michele Bachmann‘s (R-Minn.) migraine headaches.

After Strong broke the story, Politico assigned a few reporters the task of finding out more and rewriting it. They credited The Daily Caller, but not without calling the publication “conservative” and not without using the word “confirming.” The sentiment that translated: Politico has “confirmed” what The Daily Caller has written.

That didn’t sit well with The Daily Caller‘s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, who then instituted an office-wide policy of referring to Politico as liberal. The decision was largely emotional and many reporters interpreted Carlson’s edict over email as half-joking. After all, he told them, from then on Politico was to be referred to as a liberal publication based in suburban Virginia. The new Executive Editor, David Martosko, (the dude with a seriously long rap sheet) took the letter of Carlson’s law so seriously that he was intent on sifting through old stories and adding the words.

Martosko did not ultimately go through with his mission. Nor did the new policy last. As the week wore on, The Daily Caller had its first leak to a conservative New York-based publication called The Blaze, which reported the alleged new policy by way of an anonymous source. This marked trouble within the ranks of The Daily Caller, a young publication known for its fraternity-like atmosphere. No betrayal of this nature had ever happened. Some chalk it up to inevitable growing pains.

But an office meltdown ensued. Publicist Kurt Bardella sent a sharp but polite note to reporters saying all press inquiries need to go through him, Carlson or Martosko, an act that some reporters found condescending even if that was not his intention. We’re told this was among some 30 emails Bardella sends internally daily. Others are, at times, relieved by Bardella’s insistence on a certain way of handling things, thinking “Thank God” when he steers the publication away from negative press. Carlson, meanwhile, held an office meeting, expressed anger over the leak, and encouraged staffers to come talk to him and get whatever they need to off their chests.

The gist of the office meeting: Don’t go blabbing to other publications about internal matters. Colleagues have one solid suspect, but no one would bet their lives on the mole’s identity. And so far, no one has cracked under the stresses of intense peer gossip.

Since the migraine story, other anti-Politico stories have emerged on The Daily Caller website that irked Politico. They include a spate of stories insinuating that Politico leans liberal — one about Politico‘s David Rogers, another on Politico reporter Andy Barr leaving the publication to go work for the Democratic Party in Arizona.

Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei, who wouldn’t comment on this matter further, told The Blaze, “I know Tucker well, and feel quite confident he doesn’t actually believe we are a partisan publication. Just like our other readers, Tucker knows we pride ourselves in fairness and fact-based reporting. Perhaps it was a simple editing error in his shop.”

Carlson would not speak to FishbowlDC on the record for this story. A quick scan of The Daily Caller website, however, shows a story on Politico and it is not described as a suburban liberal publication. Although reporters have not be told that the policy has been nixed, the idea of the office-wide policy is dead in the water.

Even so, we highly suspect the spark of tension between the two publications is far from over.

Fox News Blasts Politico: “Liberal Slant Revealed”

Fox News put Politico on blast this morning, charging the site with ‘liberal bias’ after the Daily Caller exposed that Politico reporter Andy Barr was leaving journalism for a job with the Democratic Party in Arizona.  As Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell discussed Barr’s beat and coverage on “Fox and Friends,” FNC ran banners that read “SITE’S LIBERAL SLANT REVEALED” and “BARR’S EXIT EXPOSES POLITICO’S TRUE COLORS.”

Though the story is not nearly as sensational as FNC’s headlines, Barr’s departure does represent another hash mark in the list of journos who have hung up their hats for jobs in politics.  For example, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is the former Washington bureau chief of TIME magazine. Politico’s Jonathan Allen left the publication for a gig with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and then returned to Politico less than a year later. CNN senior producer Sasha Johnson is now at the Department of Transportation.  Both Jill Zuckman and Peter Gosselin left their jobs with Tribune to join the Obama Administration.  As did longtime ABC and CBS News reporter Linda Douglass who left broadcast journalism for a job at the White House.  Douglass, like Jonathan Allen, eventually returned to media.  She’s now a VP and Head of Communications for Atlantic Media, which owns National Journal and The AtlanticSteven Rattner, Obama’s car czar, spent nine years writing for the New York Times.  And Moira Bagley, former Roll Call reporter and Daily Caller Opinion Page editor, now works as communications director for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).

UPDATE: It was brought to our attention that FNC’s morning package was not just sensational but also hypocritical. In 2010 Megan Whittemore, who once covered Capitol Hill for Fox News and, joined the office of now House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) as a deputy press secretary. On the flip side, we almost forgot about WaPo reporter turned Biden flack Shailagh Murray.

Despite the sensational banners, generalizations and tabloid approach to journalism, “Fox and Friends” has a point.  What do you think: does a reporter’s departure for a job in politics prove slanted coverage in the past?

Mystery of Politico Scribe’s Resignation Solved

Late yesterday afternoon, The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas broke the news that Politico reporter Andy Barr has left the publication to go to work for the Democratic Party in Arizona. Barr, a national reporter for the publication since 2008, covered, among many stories, some on ex-Alaska Gov. and presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.

The conservative Daily Caller charges that Barr isn’t the only Democrat working for the publication and slanting the news in that direction. Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris vehemently denied the accusation.

Read here.


Politico Announces Four New Hires

As Politico loses two significant employees in the past two weeks — reporter Andy Barr and Deputy Managing Editor Erika Compart — today they announce the hiring of four new employees. They include Elizabeth Breckenridge, Director of Administration, Josh Boak, an economics reporter, and two new lobbying reporters David Levinthal and Anna Palmer.

See the memo from Asst. Managing Editor of Partnerships Beth Frerking after the jump…

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Andy Barr Leaves Politico For Job Outside Journalism

Longtime Politico reporter Andy Barr has left the publication. His last day was Monday. We’re told he’s leaving journalism for a political job. Barr, who covers national politics, has worked at Politico since September 2008.

“I left Politico on very good terms,” Barr told FishbowlDC. “I was lucky to work with a lot of outstanding reporters and editors. Many of them are very good friends, and it was hard leaving a job with so many great people. I hope they continue to enjoy the amazing success I was lucky enough to be a part of and I am grateful for the many opportunities I was given there.”

Best wishes to Barr in whatever comes next.

Here’s his farewell letter to colleagues:

Hey – Wanted to let all of you know this is my last day at Politico. It’s been a great few years and I loved getting the opportunity to work here. I’ll follow up with details on a happy hour or something but for now just wanted to give you all my personal contact info. E-mail is BLANK my cell is BLANK.

– Andy

Morning Apologalooza

It’s just after 9 a.m. and the morning is already dripping with apologies and regret.

Shortly after 6 a.m., TIME‘s Mark Halperin called President Obama a d*ck  on “Morning Joe.” Politico‘s Andy Barr and Patrick Gavin were first in Washington to tweet on the matter. “I thought he was a d*ck yesterday,” Halperin told the morning panel. Scarborough immediately called out for a delay. “Delay that, delay that,” he said. Not even an hour later the apologies began flowing and at 7:07 a.m. a full story appeared on Politico‘s website by Tim Mak. Halperin took “full responsibility” for his gaffe and apologized.

But on cable TV one apology is never enough, as evidenced by Ed Schultz‘s recent on-air apology fest to Conservative Commentator Laura Ingraham for calling her “a slut.” Just after 8 a.m. more apologies ensued on “Morning Joe.” This time, however, it was more of a family apology as the entire show took responsibility for Halperin’s use of profanity. “We goaded you into saying it, we didn’t think you were going to say it,” co-host Mika Brzezinksi reasoned. At this point viewers listening closely could hear an audible and defensive “Well…” out of co-host Joe Scarborough, who then trailed the others into a sort of collectively awkward apology zone and said Halperin wanted to be “totally clear.”

This set the stage for yet another Halperin apology: “I want to be totally clear. I can’t explain why I did it. It was inappropriate. It was disrespectful. I’ve already apologized. I will again to the President and say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to viewers. It was the kind of thing that I can’t really explain, but I take full responsibility for it. It was a mistake and as I said, disrespectful, and I shouldn’t have said it.”

Scarborough interjected, “And Mika and I certainly apologize to the viewers.”

But Halperin wasn’t done. He had more to add. “What I said was disrespectful to the President, but it also lowers our discourse and coarsens our discourse and it’s just not appropriate on any level,” he said.

Scarborough also soon jumped back on the apology boat. “This was a mistake on a variety of levels,” he continued. “We all share it and we all apologize.” The camera then turned to co-host Willie Geist, who also, inexplicably, apologized. “We pride ourselves on not being that kind of show,” he said in what was assumed to be a wrap-up of the apology segment. “Today there was a slip by Mark Halperin. He’s a great reporter, and we won’t bore you with the whole back story, but he didn’t intend to say it on television. We apologize for the entire show.”

Next up: Apologies from the control room. Let’s begin with Alex, the employee likely to get a severe seven-second delay button training later today: Scarborough: “Just say you’re sorry, Alex.” Alex, with obvious fright in his voice, dutifully replied, “I’m profoundly sorry as well.” But Scarborough couldn’t leave it alone and this was probably the most comical part of Apologalooza. “What about TJ? We usually blame TJ for everything.”

The camera panned to a rather unemotional TJ in the control room.

“Sure, I’m sorry,” he said, in what was the most lackluster apology of the show.

UPDATE: MSNBC has suspended Halperin indefinitely.

WaPo’s Deputy Fix Returns from Honeymoon

WaPo‘s Aaron Blake, who works for The Fix political blog, returned from his honeymoon this past weekend. He spent two glorious weeks in Puerto Vallarta after a Saturday, May 7 wedding to longtime girlfriend, Danielle Potuto.

The wedding was held at Rose Hill Manor in Leesburg, Va. with 110 guests cheering them on. We asked for the funniest wedding moment. It was when Blake put Potuto in a chair on the dance floor and he and a whole bunch of guys dropped to their knees and sang “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers. “I probably cried more than she did. I’m a wedding crier — I do this at weddings of people I don’t even know all that well,” Blake said.

Washington journos spotted at the wedding: WaPo‘s Felicia Sonmez, Ed O’Keefe and Rachel Weiner, NJ‘s Editor-in-Chief of “The Hotline” Reid Wilson, The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman, Politico‘s Andy Barr, and The Sacramento Bee‘s Rob Hotakainen.

From the Peanut Gallery: Wilson had this to say about the wedding: “Despite the groom’s drawbacks, Danielle looked beautiful. It was a great time, the rain held off, and Aaron proved once again he’s a lucky, lucky man.” Barr chimed in, saying, “After getting over the initial shock that Aaron is capable of showing emotion (and dances, who knew?), the wedding was a blast. Turns out Minnesotans can throw a party. He’s lucky to have her. And as long as she doesn’t have to endure him singing  ‘Tangled up in Blue’ late into a very painful night of karaoke in West Des Moines, they’ll be great together.”And Youngman remarked, “Beautiful ceremony, beautiful bride, handsome if 12-year-old groom and it ended in time to catch the Derby. Thrilled for both Aaron and Danielle.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Big Night for BBC

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Just after BBC News correspondent Lyse Doucet was awarded the prestigious David Bloom Award, Doucet, Katy Kay and the rest of the BBC team held court at the Historical Society of Washington DC, following last night’s annual Radio Television Correspondents Association (RTCA) dinner. Celebs, politicos and hoards of journos packed the glam fete.

Spotted in the crowd were Tara Palmeri of the Washington Examiner, Luke Russert and Chuck Todd from NBC, MSNBC’s Domenico Montanaro, Fox News’ Griff Jenkins and Wes Goler, NYT’s Jeff Zeleny, TVNewser’s Kevin Allocca, The Hill’s Sam Youngman, Capitol News Connection radio scribe Matt Laslo, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, John King, Roland Martin, Meryl Conant, Meghan Grant and Edie Emery, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, Politico’s Andy Barr, Pia Catton, Michael Calderone, Jonathan Martin and MTP EP Betsy Fischer.

Other guests included QGA Chairman Jack Quinn with wife Susanna, media maven Tammy Haddad and Brian Walsh.

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More pics after the jump.

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