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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Fishel’

NJ’s ‘The Hotline’ Gets Nipped, Tucked

National Journal‘s “The Hotline” went under the knife this week for a makeover. In journalistic terms this means an “upgrade” and “redesign.” The upside: The bandages are off and Hotline gets a new look, a user-friendly interface and “powerful” political tracking tools. The downside: Some employees lost their jobs in the process. How many is unclear. We know at least two names of Hotline employees — Chris Peleo-Lazar  and Dan Roem — who had their duties eliminated.

“Fun fact, it’s Dan Roem and my last day at NJ’s Hotline. Loved working here but alas they’re moving to a new system,” Peleo-Lazar wrote FBDC. “Don’t know what’s next. I don’t know exact details of the new thing but they are ending my section entirely.”

NJ Publicist Ben Fishel told FishbowlDC: “A few jobs were eliminated and two people were reassigned to other positions at NJ.” He declined to offer specifics on exactly how many jobs were eliminated.

The new “Hotline”… Read more

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National Journal Party Has Potty Issues

By Eddie Scarry and Betsy Rothstein

National Journal‘s pre-White House Correspondents’ Dinner “Making News” party Friday could easily go down as one of this year’s nicest, most well-planned parties in the coolest warehouse space we’ve seen in awhile. And maybe it will if attendees forget that for a large portion of it, the restroom for hundreds of guests was out of order.

That’s right. There was one toilet available for the entire warehouse full of partygoers, and the top floor, which contained the toilet, was for V.I.P.’s only.

“That’s hood,” one attendee waiting outside the restroom remarked about the potty problem. “Poopgate, drink slowly,” said another, explaining that one employee advised him to pace himself. When Fox News’ Peter Doocy approached the first-floor restroom area, he was told he could not enter. “How long do you think?” he asked the woman standing guard. “Alright, I’ll let it go.” (We sincerely hope he held it in, not let it go.) Another partygoer cracked, “All these people are going to have to piss on themselves. This might be the shortest party ever.”

The attendant said she had people requesting buckets and cups.

The party took place at the two-story bar in Georgetown called The Powerhouse. It was on the bottom floor where they stationed event workers in front of the hall leading to the restroom, alerting guests from about 10 p.m., when the party started, to about 11:30, that the toilets weren’t working. Only that one VIP restroom upstairs was available. But without one of the exclusive red wristbands, how were most of the guests going to relieve themselves?

“If it gets too bad we’ll have to open up the VIP area,” said NJ Communications Director Ben Fishel at the time.

At one point a team of men carrying what looked like… Read more

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

That National Journal is nixing some of its own reporters out of this weekend’s parties revolving around the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Last night was the shindig at Publisher David Bradley‘s beautiful home in Kalorama, to which even some senior journalists  were not invited. More were allowed into their “Making the News” party last night co-hosted with The Atlantic at The Powerhouse in Georgetown. But tonight’s pre-party at the Washington Hilton? It’s a no go. Read more

NJ Editor Helps Duck Family Cross Street

Animal X-ing? Duck that.

National Journal‘s Communications Director Ben Fishel tweeted a photo Friday afternoon of his colleague Jonathan Miller, deputy daily briefing editor, lending a helpful hand to a group of ducks.

National Journal employee and crossing guard stop all traffic on Virginia Ave. for duck family #DuckDynasty,” Fishel’s tweet said. The “Duck Dynasty” hashtag is a reference to an A&E reality TV show about a family that got rich selling duck hunting gear.

“Of course when I tweet about ducks its my most successful tweet ever,” Fishel told FishbowlDC when asked about the tweet. The news has so far received two retweets.

In Fishel’s photo, Miller can be seen walking behind what appears to be a mother duck ushering her eight-ish ducklings across a road. In the background is a crossing guard with her hands out to her side as if to say, “What the flock?!

Update: Fishel writes in: “We’re up to like eight retweets, but whatever.”

Journos Get Ready to Rumble

National Journal’s “The Hotline” is hosting its fifth annual “Political Pursuit” games they call the “ultimate face off” of political trivia. It’s meant to be a kick-off to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend and takes place Thursday night at the Newseum with The Hotline‘s Editor-in-Chief Reid Wilson playing game show host.

As some may recall, two years ago the event blew up (so to speak) when a member of the audience had a bout of extremely loud gas. The individual went outside on a balcony to cool off while attendees attempted to contain their laughter out of politeness to the gaseous victim.

This event is sold out for the general audience, but media may still request passes by contacting Ben Fishel at bfishel@nationaljournal.com. You can also follow along with the Twitter hashtag #PPursuit.

The event is at the Newseum and includes pre-game cocktails.

This year’s participating teams are… Read more

Who Is ‘Rand Black’? An NJ Mystery

Each weekday morning NJ‘s Communications Director Ben Fishel sends out an email blast with links to the magazine’s top reads. In the subject line is a short summary of what’s in the email.

“Whom Does the Colbert Bump, Bump? GOP Adopts Buzzfeed Model, What Ails American Politics? and More” is an example of a normal subject line to one of Fishel’s emails. Tuesday morning’s email from Fishel, however, contained an anomaly. “Obama’s Budget Plan, Can Rand Black Attract Black Voters? CNN Revives Crossfire, And More,” it said, emphasis added.

Who is Rand Black?

A link in the email went to a story on Sen. Rand Paul‘s (R-Ky.) upcoming speech at Howard University, a historically black college. Presumably, that’s the story the subject was referencing.

In an email, Fishel confirmed that “Rand Black” was a mistake and that he was “in the middle of issuing a correction.”

National Journal Explains Hacking Incident

Last night we reported that National Journal President and Atlantic Media General Counsel Bruce Gottlieb had sent a company-wide internal memo Wednesday explaining to employees that NationalJournal.com had been invaded by “unauthorized” parties. NJ Publicist Ben Fishel responded to our burning questions on the matter.

FBDC: What could happen if someone downloads malware from the site?

BF: We are not able to determine what malware could have been uploaded to someone’s computer as a result of this – so we are encouraging everyone to use standard anti-virus software to remove any existing malware and to protect themselves from future malware.

See the remaining questions…

Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Here we have the fantasy baby of our own FBDC’s Eddie Scarry and Mark Levine, a determined radio correspondent we affectionately refer to as “Queen Levine” for his dramatic email exchanges with Eddie. We must say, they’d produce adorable offspring. We’ll call her “Levina Scarry.”

Valentine’s Day Success Stories

“The Obamas went to Minibar tonight. That is a serious I-never-have-to-face-the-voters dining option. Also delicious. …How did he get a reservation?” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

“My parents spent Valentine’s Day at Disney World. Their 1st time w/o kids! How romantic. And cute! I’m super jealous.” — WJLA’s Mike Conneen.

“We were so stuffed from our Valentine’s Day lunch that we had a quiet dinner at home.” — Chairman of Accuracy in Media Don Irvine.

Stupid Question never to Ponder: “Is there a special app that will protect my tweets so morons can’t read them?” — Commentary‘s John Podhoretz. Note to Podhoretz: If you don’t want morons reading you then you shouldn’t be on Twitter.

Uh Oh.

Conservative radio host Dana Loesch: “Pick battles wisely folks so that they move our agenda forward, not back, or cause needless division. We’re all on the same side. Smiles!”

Conservative blogger and author Michelle Malkin: “I don’t get people who lecture me not to engage liberals on Twitter. This is a social ENGAGEMENT tool. For, you know, ENGAGING.”

Bureau Chief: Outraged by Poopy Cruise

“CNN has a ‘sweet home Alabama’ cryon for the poop cruise. I want those responsible put in a sack and thrown off a bridge.” — BuzzFeed D.C. Bureau Chief John Stanton.

Washington sex terms

“Lots of Washington terms are appropriate for Valentine’s Day: Holds, Mark up, Pocket veto, Rider, Score, Whip, Yield.” — Paul Brandus of WestWingReports.

Valentine’s Day Downers

“Totally having a 2 star meal at Brasserie Monte Carlo tonight. I’ve been bumped by the waitstaff at least a dozen times.” — Ben Harris, Rockville-based communications professional.

“When your boyfriend does last minute Valentine’s Day shopping you get a card in Spanish.” — National Journal‘s Ben Fishel. (Actual card at left.)

“Oh angry, loud single ladies getting drunk and wearing fake mustaches at this bar, Happy Valentine’s Day.” — Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner.

“So much sappy music on the cab radio tonight. Can’t imagine why.” — Greenwire‘s Jessica Estepa.

“What a nightmare. Not one not two but three separate accidents and TWO lanes closed for roadwork on 395.” — Fox News Producer Kara Rowland.

The Media Critics

“CNN led am show with cruise nightmare OVER Russian meteorite!” — NJ‘s Josh Kraushaar.

“If a Free Beacon reporter asks your group for tax forms you don’t want to provide, tell Politico you’ve been assaulted by racists #protip.” — Newsweek-The Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake.

See the current names on our FishbowlDC Fan Club Board. Read more

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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