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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Compton’

Ashley Judd Mixes, Mingles With Journos

Actress and pretend Senate hopeful Ashley Judd held court in Atlantic Publisher David Bradley‘s gorgeous kitchen last night at his pre-inaugural bash. The party, dubbed “Downton Bradley” for its hoity-toity guest list, was a who’s who of Washington D.C. where the living room was filled with everyone from TIME‘s Joe Klein, CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett and CBS’s Norah O’Donnell to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan with wife, NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent for ABC News Radio Ann Compton, WaPo and MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, Debbie Dingle, wife of Rep. John Dingle (D-Mich.), whose surname persistently comes out “Dungle” on the iPhone, CBS Washington Bureau Chief Chris IshamAtlantic Publisher Justin Smith, Hungarian Amb. Greg Szapry, Comcast Executive V.P. David Cohen, and AOL Co-founder Steve Case.

The dining room, meanwhile, had its own plateful of D.C. V.I.P.’s — former White House Press Sec. Joe Lockhart, former PBS’ Jim Lehrer (yawn), CNN and Newsweek/The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz, BuzzFeed Bureau Chief John Stanton and reporter Rosie Gray, Roll Call HOH’s Neda Semnani and Warren Rojas, National Journal Publisher Bruce Gottlieb, NJ‘s new spokesman, Ben Fishel (former flack to ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Penistown), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Media Matters), reporter Chris Frates and Atlantic Spokeswoman Natalie Raabe, NJ National Correspondent Ron Fournier, NJ‘s Ron Brownstein and Washingtonian‘s Carol Joynt, who described her recent quick bout with the flu despite having a flu shot. Also in the dining room: Lobbyist Heather Podesta.

In the foyer was a male guest with a neck beard (see pictures after the jump), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), lobbyist Jack Quinn and wife, Susanna, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and outgoing Sec. of State Hilary Clinton‘s former Chief of Staff Melanne Verveer.

It was the kitchen, however, that was the apparent nerve center of Bradley’s house. With beautiful creamy couches and a blazing fireplace, and the surprisingly down-to-earth Bradley in the corner chatting up guests, it was there where we spied on Judd mingling with D.C. insiders such as HuffPost‘s Howard Fineman, who wore a bright pink tie and signature mane of longish silver locks, Bloomberg View‘s Margaret Carlson. Judd was accompanied by an unidentified partially balding man. Also roaming the kitchen was Fineman’s sister, Elizabeth Schroeter, in from Colorado. Asked about her brother, Schroeter said he was a “really good guy.” Judd, with a red flower in her hair, struck various poses throughout the night. Most noteworthy, however, was her stick straight posture, even when sitting, and her ability to stick her chest out when engaged in casual conversation. Let’s just say she was well aware that flashbulbs were capturing her every move.

Out on the enclosed patio were more guests to gawk at and grill.

(Pictured above left: Atlantic Publisher David Bradley)

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No Bitching About the ‘Liberal’ Media Please

Jason Grumet‘s Bipartisan Policy Center has managed to bring both parties together for one night in hosting “A Century of Service” to honor the public lives of former Republican Sen. Maj. Leaders and BPC Founders Howard Baker and Bob Dole. The event is Wednesday evening.

Among the VIP attendees: Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Pat Roberts, Sen. Lamar Alexander, former Sens. Tom Daschle, George Mitchell, Bill Frist, Trent Lott and many others will gather at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

As the D’s and R’s come together, hopefully complaining about the elite or liberal media can wane for one evening only.

The invite-only GOP-honored soiree is expected to draw a host of journalists including Ron Brownstein and Ron Fournier of NJ, James Bennett, The Atlantic, Ann Compton and Jonathan Karl, ABC, Peter David, The Economist, Politico‘s Patrick Gavin and Reagan lover James Hohmann, Jim Engel, Fox, , Roll Call‘s Neda Semnani, The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz, Capitol File‘s Sarah Schaffer, The Examiner‘s Paul Bedard and Nikki Schwab, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, and CNN’s Kathleen Koch.

More details can be found on the homepage of the BPC’s website here.

Gorillas in Our Midst

Politico‘s Byron Tau reported this weekend on White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s odd word choice at Friday’s press briefing.  Carney surprised the press corps while talking about the current political battle between the White House and Republicans over the payroll tax on Friday. Carney said “Pick your metaphor, window dressing, or gorilla dust”… Wait. Gorilla dust? What the hell is gorilla dust?  Mark Knoller and others in the press immediately picked up on it and asked Carney for clarification. The Double Tongued Dictionary defines it as “bluffing, posturing or hollow attempts at intimidation.” Of all the analogies floating around Washington, we’ve never encountered Gorilla Dust before. So we reached out to Jared Rizzi, Producer & Washington Correspondent for POTUS Radio on SiriusXM, who interacts with Carney on a regular basis. He says this isn’t the first time he has heard the expression. He tells FishbowlDC that an old Political Science Professor at the University of Notre Dame used to say it.

Video of Carney’s explanation below.

Separated at Birth: ABC’s Ann Compton

There are a few different ways to look at ABC White House Correspondent Ann Compton. Her lookalikes include conservative commentator Bay Buchanan and former first lady Laura Bush.

A Candid Convo Without the Boys on the Bus

On Dec. 13, several Washington female journos will convene to discuss their experiences on the campaign trail and the upcoming presidential election.

The reporters — ABC’s Ann Compton, NPR’s Mara Liasson, and WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty — will join The Atlantic’s Linda Douglass in a candid conversation at the Newseum. The event, which boasts a coffee and dessert reception, is being underwritten by ExxonMobil. A description: “With the 2012 election looming and popular interest in the political press corps surging, the discussion will combine analysis of the election and insight into political strategy as the evolution of women’s presence in political reporting and what it’s like to be a woman on the trail.”

More info: Contact Elizabeth Vargas at evargas@theatlantic.com.

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.

The Power Inside a Power Party

Washington is known for its “important” power lists. Most publications have them. There are lists for top lobbyists like Washingtonian‘s “Hired Guns: The City’s 50 Top Lobbyists.” Both The Hill and Roll Call also boast top lobbyist lists. There are lists for important people everywhere (TIME‘s 100), for socialites (Washington Life‘s Young and the Guest List) and there’s FNC’s “Power Player of the Week.” This week The Hill presented their annual summer “50 Most Beautiful People of Capitol Hill.”

Politico‘s 50 to Watch party Thursday night at Barcode in downtown D.C. was unusual in that not even those attending knew whether they had made the list or whether they were just being invited to a party with booze and balloons.

“I had no idea. I had no clue,” remarked ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton on her way into the party upon discovering that she’d made the list under the category of New Deans of the White House Press Corps. “What fun!” She continued, “Having been here since I was brand new at 27, to be discovered is really cool.”

Many who didn’t make the list made jokes. NRSC Spokesman Brian Walsh told me he was unofficially #51. And Sen. John Thune‘s (R-S.D.) press secretary Kyle Downey agreed to be #53. Walsh’s illustrious dog, Rudy, slid in at #52.

HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington showed up just to mingle. She knew she hadn’t made the list. Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) made the list and few understood why with all the “formers” in his title.

The concept of a power list? “It’s very Washington,” said a GOP flack at the party who wished to remain anonymous.

A sampling of who made the list: CBS News’ Mark Knoller and Bill Plante, American Urban Radio’s April Ryan,  fundraisers like Alison Baker of Straus Baker, Paula Dukes of Rizzo Dukes Group, Joanna Brooks, a religion columnist, Greg Giroux of Bloomberg Government, David Waldman, a liberal blogger. TV Faces included Brett Baier (FNC), Sam Feist (CNN), David Gregory (NBC), Phil Griffin (MSNBC) and Norah O’Donnell (CBS).

Waiters and bartenders at the party had chiseled physiques and wore tight-fitting Politico T-shirts. “What’s not to like?” replied one waiter when asked if he liked the T-shirt. “It says Politico. And then people ask me what Politico is and I have no idea.”

Oh, look! Another White House Dean. April Ryan, a correspondent for American Urban Radio who most recently landed a seat on the WHCA board, also made the list. Like Compton, she was surprised and tickled to make the cut. “It’s amazing,” she said. “I’m thankful. It’s nice that someone recognized the work I do. I wasn’t doing anything to be recognized. I just do my job. It’s an honor.”

WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart was in the crowd. Asked what these power lists accomplish, he replied, “The most important thing they do is they let people know quite possibly who they should be paying attention to in a serious manner rather than the folks they are already paying attention to. Most of the time the people we think are important aren’t as important as we think they are or they think they are.”

Politico‘s Mike Allen (pictured above in a photograph that makes him look like a cartoon character) had a different, POLITICO (all caps) sort of response when asked to comment on the list. “This is the next generation of newsmakers,” he said. “These are the people who are going to win the cycle.”

Some were excited about the list. “I like the lists,” said ABC’s Polson Kanneth. “Everyone loves a good list.”

As mentioned earlier, The Hill‘s “50 Most Beautiful People of Capitol Hill” came out this week. Party banter inevitably turned to it. One male who had previous been on the beauty list expressed shock over this year’s list. He looked almost embarrassed to have once been on it. Another partygoer expressed outrage, “It’s not just that they were not that attractive. It’s that some were actively ugly.”

While the bar quickly filled with political and media types who appeared to be enjoying themselves, not everyone there was so hot on the concept of power lists. An intern from Ghana perusing the 50 Politicos to Watch glossy magazine at the bar remarked on lists like this in general: “They’re all corrupt. But I have no evidence to prove that.”

And there was publicist Janet Donovan, who also doesn’t appear to think much of lists. “I hate lists,” said Donovan. Drifting into the crowd of important people and those watching them, she added, “They’re condescending.”

For more on the White House Deans, read Politico Patrick Gavin‘s story here.

Find out who else was in the crowd…

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Happy Birthday Mike Allen!

Today is the birthday of “the man the White House wakes up to.” That’s Politico‘s Playbook Author Mike Allen, who was born in 1964 in Orange County, Calif.

You won’t see this news in his own birthday section — he’s not that sort of guy. So we wanted to shower him with Happy Birthday wishes here. (h/t ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who tweeted the news this morning, saying, “Happy Birthday Mike Allen, the one birthday you won’t read about in Playbook.”)

We have remarks from a special person in Allen’s life: NJ‘s Marc Ambinder, who lobbed a public grenade at Playbook last week at the Page One screening/panel at the Newseum. Ambinder specifically criticized Allen’s select birthday listings for “further politicizing Washington” and for “pushing the Administration’s agenda.” The pair later exchanged relative niceties over email.

Ambinder’s birthday message for Allen is as follows: “Happy Birthday to the best-sourced, most jealousy-inducing and nicest journo I know (and like to occasionally public tweak).”

NYT‘s Mark Leibovich, who wrote the immense 2010 profile on Allen, remarked, “Is it his birthday? If it wasn’t in Playbook, how can we be sure he (or anyone) was really born? It’s the DC equivalent of the long-form birth certificate.”

When asked for birthday comments for Allen, Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris wrote: “Mike and I have known each other for 20 years–we were both young reporters in Richmond–and I think we’ve been friends longer than any of his other Washington colleagues. He was a force of nature then and is a force of nature now. One of the most exceptional journalists of his generation, and one of the most exceptional people.”

We at FishbowlDC wish Allen a very Happy Birthday.

UPDATE: ABC’s Ann Compton tweeted a birthday message to Allen today. She wrote, “Happy Birthday to the guy in the only picture on my WH booth wall.” See the photograph after the jump…

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Time-People Party a Blend of Pomp, Cynicism and Booze

The fallout from WHCD continues.

The TIME-People party on Friday night at the St. Regis was jammed with members of the media with nearly all networks and publications represented. We spotted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer by the bar, NBC’s Norah O’Donnell by the couches, FNC’s Chris Wallace and wife, Lorraine chatting with ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton, who was all decked out in a long-sleeved, sparkly cream dress. TIME‘s Richard Stengel could be seen mingling with the likes of MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie and actor Steve Buscemi. Asked by one scribe how he felt about being shot by mobster Tony Soprano, Buscemi said, “If you’re going to get shot, might as well be by Tony Soprano.” Partygoers whispered about Bristol Palin being in the mix. Though much discussed, guests didn’t approach her in droves. She mostly stuck to quiet spots with her aunt and avoided anyone who tried to interview her.

We finally met up with Gawker‘s Political Editor Jim Newell, who described his blazer/khaki ensemble as “country club casual.” He said WHCD weekend is “obnoxious” but didn’t see the damage of stars mingling with Washington types. “I don’t understand why it has become celebrified,” he said. “Why do they come to this nerdy insider’s banquet?” A reporter in atttendance who wasn’t allowed to bring a plus one complained, “These assholes won’t let me bring my wife!”

Guthrie took exception to the negative undertones. She said she was looking forward to the dinner. “It’s fun to see your colleagues,” she said. “I enjoy it and I’m not cynical about it.” She told me she was planning to wear a long, black Michael Kors dress. “Really boring,” she said, downplaying her gown.

By and large, the party was enjoyed, especially those gift bags that many lugged out.


Wolf Shines at RTDNF First Amendment Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation held court last night at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington D.C..   Journalists from around the country attended the black-tie affair to celebrate the 2011 First Amendment Award recipients: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Hearst’s David Barrett and Raycom’s Susana Schuler, and pay tribute to the tenth anniversary of September 11th.  The program also honored nine reporters who displayed special poise and bravery during the 9/11 attacks.  ABC’s Martha Raddatz, ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, Warren Levinson of AP Radio, CBS’s Byron Pitts, CBS Radio’s Charlie Kaye, Jeanne Meserve of CNN, Rick Leventhal of Fox News, NBC’s Rehema Ellis and NPR’s Melissa Block all received special recognition for their dedication to journalism during the national crisis.

Guests at the event were treated to a luxe, three-course meal including scallop appetizer, tender beef entree and tasty chocolate pastry dessert.  And though the dinner was delightful, the highlight of the night was certainly the presentation of the Leonard Zeidenberg Award to Wolf Blitzer.  The award was presented by Turner Broadcasting Chairman and CEO Phil Kent who gushed, “I love this guy”  before playing a hilarious video tribute to the Wolf-man (below and worth the watch).

*Interesting side note:  Blitzer takes off on a whirlwind tour with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week.  Among their destinations: Egypt and Tunisia.

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