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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Freed’

Washington Post Employees Picket Changes to Retirement Plans

After announcing major changes to future retirement medical benefits and pensions for nonunion employees and plans to pursue the same for its union employees, several dozen Washington Post employees picketed its entrance Thursday afternoon, carrying signs that read “Another Wall Street Smash and Grab” and “Shame on Bezo$.” The recent changes came one year after the paper’s sale to Jeff Bezos, founder of

Washintonian’s Benjamin Freed writes:

“The picket line appeared to be made up of mid- and late-career employees from the editorial, circulation, and advertising departments. The demonstration included some familiar bylines, like fedora-clad Metro columnist John Kelly, reciting chants like ‘Post employees, unite and fight! Make Jeff Bezos do what’s right!’ “

Washington Post staff writer Fredrick Kunkle, a co-chair of the local union who’s been with the paper since 2000, told Freed that pursuit of a strike is “too soon” to consider.

For more, click on over to Washingtonian’s Capital Comment.”

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In Case You Missed It: Congress Has Never Been Richer

In Case You Missed It: Stains Out, Puddles In

The FishbowlDC Interview With DCist’s Ben Freed

Say hello to DCist’s new Associate Editor Benjamin Freed. He makes a point to tell me his byline is “Benjamin R. Freed.” Like we care? He says he has a good imitation of NBC’s Tom Brokaw. But then again he says a lot of things. We’re only kidding. Formerly an arts and entertainment writer for Washington City Paper, Freed, who hails from just outside Albany, N.Y., has been known to turn mouthy, get in the occasional Twitter fight and thinks death when it comes to the Kardashian sisters. His dirty little secret involves watching MSNBC’s Al Sharpton‘s show. This is his mug shot photograph on DCist — we’re far from photography experts, but we’d like to suggest that they snap his picture during the daytime or else turn on the flash button. For the past two years he has been a contributing writer to Washington City Paper. He has also been moonlighting as a copy editor for Congressional Quarterly — who knew?

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? DIY Coke, wherein you have to mix cola concentrate with carbonated water.

How often do you Google yourself? Somewhere between obviously introverted and borderline self-obsessive.

Whats the worst thing youve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? I can’t believe I took this stupid assignment.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? In my age group, Amanda Hess. I can’t think of anyone who writes about personal identity or relationships in a more intelligent or engaging fashion. I’m also a big fan of C.J. Chivers. Read The Gun and you’ll understand why.

What is your dream job? I’d love to do just about anything at Wired.

How did you land the DCist gig? It was either me or Monkeyrotica.

Why journalism? Thought it would be fun to write for the paper at Brandeis, where I went to college. Then one day Tom Brokaw visited campus. He told me to “raise hell.” true story. Too bad this interview isn’t in person, my Brokaw voice is pretty good.

Do you have a favorite word? I used “cadaverous” in a pretty clever context a couple weeks ago.

Who would you rather have dinner with WaPos Ezra Klein, Slates Dave Weigel or TPMs Brian Beutler? Tell us why. Eh, I’d rather get a drink with Kriston Capps, who’s introduced me to all three of them at various points. Besides, I think I owe him a beer.

What swear word do you use most often? Fuck.

Youve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) God, what an awful question. OK, Jonathan L. Fischer, Ally Schweitzer, Aaron Leitko and Andrew Beaujon. We’re just going to talk about Fan Death and Future Times and we’ll be canceled in a week.

To borrow from Politicos Answer This (with a FishbowlDC twist): Picture someone in Washington who youd like to strangle (if such a thing were legal). Without naming him or her, please describe them in the nude. Just kidding. Tell us what you think of them. He recently topped an ignominious list at Salon, and Joe Scarborough thinks everything he says is pure gold. He also wouldn’t know how to use “ignominious” in a sentence. Not Willie Geist.

What TV show do you watch that youd be embarrassed to admit to and yes, were asking you to admit it. Politics Nation With Al Sharpton. Have you seen his MSNBC promo with the pie? I watch in hopes that he just spends an hour talking about pie.

Read more

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Juiceboxer Chris Hayes bears a resemblance to Harry Potter

A travel writer chills out in Maine

“Chilly, rainy day in Maine = guilt-free afternoon nap *sigh*” — Travel blogger and Poshbrood site creator Elizabeth Thorp in a weekend Facebook update.

One definition of Hell…

“Hell is not other people. Hell is having to listen to recordings of your own ditzy-sounding voice interviewing other people.” — Slate‘s Noreen Malone in a weekend tweet. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, TNR, and the American Prospect.

The Critic takes swipe at Politico

“In otherwise good piece, why does Politico quote unnamed Dems and Repubs trashing other party on downgrade? Plenty are willing on the record.” — The Daily Beast Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz in a weekend Facebook update.

Bardella’s widely varying movie tastes

“Seeing Harry Potter…” wrote The Daily Caller Spokesman Kurt Bardella in a weekend Facebook update. He also wrote, “Watching The Godfather on AMC’s Mob Week.”

Editor heads to pool hall

“Just made a bet at a biker pool hall. Not sure how I ended up at a biker pool hall, but when in a biker bar, do as the bikers do.” — Reason Magazine Associate Editor Mike Riggs in a weekend tweet.

Angry journo gets something off chest

“Hello, jerk store? I found your missing products. They all took jobs as Metrobus drivers. (@unsuckdcmetro)” — WCP‘s Benjamin Freed in a weekend tweet.

Scribe endures a little weekend exercise

“Even more than hangover durations (shockingly enough), 80 miles on the bike now best way to realize you’re not 23 anymore. #everythinghurts” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in a weekend tweet.

Journo writes love note to tourists

“Dear tourists, wite booty shorts + torrential downpours = your jonx on display. Wear underdrawers. Love, DC” – Roll Call‘s John Stanton in a weekend tweet.

He did what?

“Just reorganized my ties. You literally cannot have enough ties.” — NJ “The Hotline’s” Chris Peleo-Lazar in a weekend tweet. This came within a hair’s breadth of making “Unnecessary Tweet of the Day” but…it is Washington, ties are prevalent, especially ugly ones, and this is a first-time offense for Peleo-Lazar.

Washington’s “The Situation” on C-SPAN

“I’ll be on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ Monday morning from 8 to 8:30 am. Tune in! Start your day off by looking at my mug ;) ” — Human EventsJason Mattera in a weekend tweet.


Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Violent anti-Harry Potter journo

“If that was your phone that just played the Harry Potter theme song, please meet me out back so I can smash your phone.” — WCP‘s Benjamin Freed in a Tuesday tweet.

Rep. David Dreier has an admirer

“Spotted David Drier loosening his tie. Leaving the Capitol heading towards Russell. FWIW I like his suit.” — Roll Call‘s new HOH writer Neda Semnani in a Tuesday tweet of the always well-dressed California Republican.

No shirt, no shoes, no Press Club

“Fuck I gotta put on shoes to go to the National Press Club.” — D.C.-based freelancer Mike Elk in a Tuesday tweet. He writes for In These Times.

Scribe needs new strategy to recognize MOC’s

“That’s it. I’m making congressmen flashcards. The pin on the lapel only does so much.” — Roll Call‘s Jessica Estepa in a Tuesday tweet.

One vote for seeing Bin Laden’s corpse

“I would note that most Americans have seen ‘The Falling Man.’ Maybe they deserve to see the OBL photos.” — The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman in a Tuesday tweet.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


D.C. journos chime in on Libya bombings

“Fuck. Another war.” – Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney.

“Massive anti-war protests against Obama in 3,2, never.” – Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

“Odyssey Dawn. Military Operation or band at SXSW?” – SNL’s Seth Meyers. ABC’s Jake Tapper responded: “@sethmeyers21 I saw them at Libyapalooza with No-fly Zone, East of Surt, and Sons of Moammar.” WCP‘s Benjamin Freed also chimed in: “Can’t it be both?”

Newt Gingrich currently going through old speeches on his computer, frantically search-replacing ‘Kosovo’ with ‘Libya.’” – Dan Munz in a Saturday tweet. Last night, he added: “Journalists covering Libya: Wolf Blitzer applauds your work! You have not struggled in vain!” (Munz isn’t a journalist, but he’s a D.C. Twitter-er.)

Who does Mike Riggs hang out with, anyway?

“One of my friends just told me he was leaving soon to attend a (grown) coworker’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. What. The. Fuck.” – The Daily Caller‘s “Daily Baller” in a Saturday tweet.

Ever the optimist

“Such a gorgeous day outside; surely, it’s only a matter of time before those gawd-awful leaf blowers start up to ruin it….” – WaPo‘s Ron Charles.

Poor cleaning lady

“Indonesian cleaning lady asked for music. Thought she wanted maria callas. Put on opera. She frowned all day, wanted MARIAH CAREY!” – ABC7′s Stephen Tschida. Stephen, Stephen, Stephen. At least you’ll know for next time.

Fishbowl’s favorite amateur photographer, CNN’s Ed Henry, shares some pictures of his trip to Brazil. A sampling:

“@savannahguthrie stylishly swoops into potus trip in #Rio

“G’morn from #Rio, 2 bad i am working all day”

“Sun setting on Rio”

WCP Assesses WaPo: Was the Jet to LAX Worth it?

WCP‘s Benjamin Freed took a fine tooth comb today to the subject of whether WaPo got its money’s worth by sending three scribes cross-country to the Oscars. They included Reliable Source’s Amy Argetsinger, Jen Cheney of the Celebritology blog and Dan Zak, a feature writer. All in all, seven writers covered the Oscars, three on the road, four at home.

Assessment of Argetsinger:

She landed the expected A1 story that “The King’s Speech” won best picture and tweeted her way through the glam party weekend. But WCP went on to compare her coverage with that of WaPo‘s Hank Steuver, who covered the event from Washington: “[She] went 3,000 miles to write essentially the same story as someone who watched the Oscars on TV (Steuver) and cover Graydon Carter’s annual tribute to himself. Not quite worth the airfare, or even a cross-country Greyhound. Our assessment for Argetsinger: Hitchhiking.”

Assessment of Zak and Cheney: Both worthy of plane tickets from DCA to LAX.

It must be noted that WCP sought fit to have Freed in Washington tweeting away for the Oscars, including a “suck dick” remark on award winner Aaron Sorkin that we ran Monday. Argetsinger had no comment for FishbowlDC on this matter.

Read the full story here.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


WaPo’s Dan Zak in Cali: “Cheeky Hollywood hotel thermostat”


“What’re u wearin for Oscar night? I’m sporting Basic Edition by KMART, accessories by 7-Eleven.” — CQ Roll Call‘s Craig Crawford in a Sunday tweet.

“Confession: I love the Oscars. Have watched them every year since I was 10 after successful lobbying campaign to suspend bedtime.” — Politico‘s Kasie Hunt in a Sunday tweet.

“Just so you know, my shirt this evening was designed by Under Armour and my pants by Mr. Carhart.” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in a weekend tweet.

“Who am I wearing? Thanks for asking, Robin. This is from Ralph’s Big & Tall.” — CBS White House radio reporter Mark Knoller in a Sunday tweet.

“DVD copy of The King’s Speech keeps skipping and stopping. #irony” — FishbowlDC intern Alec Jacobs in a Sunday tweet.

“Every time I see Ryan Seacrest on TV I say to people “that man is worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars.” nobody believes me.” — MSNBC’s Luke Russert in a Sunday tweet.

“I have only two wishes for Oscar night: 1. To make my deadline. 2. To meet Charlie Sheen.” — WaPo‘s @ReliableSource in a Sunday tweet.

R-Rated Oscar coverage

“I appreciate that whoever designed Cate Blanchette‘s dress accommodated her breasts with that hole in the front. #oscars” — GQ‘s Ana Marie Cox in a Sunday tweet.

“Sorkin’s speech: An oratorical attempt to suck one’s own dick. #Oscars” — WCP‘s Benjamin Freed in a Sunday tweet.

Bold Oscar observers

“Franco really should have skipped the bong tonight.” — National Review Online‘s Jonah Goldberg in a Sunday tweet.

“I think Gwyneth‘s husband doesn’t WANT to appear in public with her.” — Former ABC “This Week” production coordinator Courtney Cohen in a Sunday tweet. She now works at the public affairs firm Dewey Square Group.

“Maybe I’m high?” — Bloomberg TV’s Lizzie O’Leary in a Sunday tweet.

Vital Oscar observations

Aaron Sorkin‘s hair just won best adaptation award.” — Washington Examiner‘s J.P. Freire in a Sunday tweet.

“Feed suggests those who are most hostile to this stilted show from Hollywood are those who put on stilted shows in Washington.” — The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio Correspondent Todd Zwillich in a Sunday tweet.

“It took 25 minutes for a Charlie Sheen joke?” — Politics Daily Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger in a Sunday tweet.

Wishful Oscar thinking

“A little surprised Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban don’t listen to @cspanradio.” — C-SPAN’s Jeremy Art in a Sunday tweet. (Kidman and Urban were asked what they listened to on the way to the Oscars.)

Journo honesty

“Trying to pretend I am still interested in a basketball game where my son’s team is losing by 30 points.” — WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty in a weekend tweet.

Media Matters employee suffers hangover

“Alka Seltzer= best hangover cure in the business.” — Media MattersTyrone Gayle in a weekend tweet. (Is this winning the weekend Tyrone?)

Update/Correction: Cohen recently left DSG. “I’ve created a Jewish girls take on Jersey Shore’s GTL,” she wrote. “I do GLS: gym, lunch, shopping.”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Happy Valentine’s Day

Love. Arianna Style

“Turning my Blackberry off during dinner #thatslove” — HuffPost@AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington in a weekend tweet.

Why Matt Lewis Won’t Work for Arianna

“Here’s the deal. If you’re in the business of making widgets, it doesn’t really matter who your boss is because widgets aren’t ideological right? But when you’re an opinion writer it matters very deeply the political philosophy of the editorial department. My thing is, I do not have to work for a conservative outlet, but I will not work for a liberal outlet and that was a prime consideration for me.” — The Daily Caller‘s newest employee Matt Lewis on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz.

Quite an offer

“Shoulders and neck killing me. Anyone want to come over and stomp on my upper back?” — WCP‘s Benjamin Freed in a weekend tweet. We hear George Jefferson may be available.

Ezzy’s ‘first world’ issues

“Excel 2000′s graphs are ugly, Google Docs keeps cutting off my labels, and Office online won’t let me copy and paste. #firstworldproblems — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein in a weekend tweet. On Sunday he had an admission: “I admit it: I’m excited for the budget to come out tomorrow morning. #somanygraphs.”

Blogger takes a gypsy cab

“Rode home from the bar last night in an illegal cab — comfortable, convenient, and affordable!” — Center for American Progress fellow and liberal blogger Matt Yglesias in a weekend tweet.

Blogger steers clear of booze during CPAC

“Continued my 5 year streak of not drinking during CPAC. I should get an award. #CPAC11″ — Alexandria, Va.-based Conservative blogger and CPAC event organizer Lisa De Pasquale in a weekend tweet. She writes for LOTUS (Lisa of the United States).

Quote Taken Out of Context

“I’m not a vomit in the club kind of girl.” — Lady Gaga in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Sunday night’s “60 Minutes.”

Linkins’ third-grade explanation on why he gets a paycheck

“Long-winded poorly-written defense for why the Huff Post doesn’t pay a dime to most of its contributors.” — FNC “Fox & Friends” anchor Clayton Morris in a weekend tweet. He’s referring to Jason Linkins‘ recent story explaining what it means to be a paid employee. The 1,756-word story sounds like he’s speaking to third graders with mental problems. He works, writes, “coordinates with colleagues,” attends office meetings, meets deadlines and shockingly keeps weird hours depending on what news is breaking. So, for example, if a congresswoman gets shot in Tuscon? Cancel your hair braiding appointment. That’s why he gets a paycheck and other bloggers don’t. He also knows how to use exclamation points and a lot of them. He starts the horrid piece by saying, “Hi!” Later, “Let’s begin!” And later, “In an office and everything!” Really Linkins? Read if you must.

Susan Page celebrates birthday with Mozart

“Celebrating birthday at all-Mozart concert at @strathmore. Lovely.” — USA Today‘s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page in a weekend tweet. Birthday wishes to Page.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Forget the future, I’m about to Win the Week.” — Media Matters Communications Associate Tyrone Gayle in a weekend tweet in what is the most bland play on Politico‘s “win the morning” phrase we’ve seen lately. Come on Gayle, we know you can improve. Win the water (like the would-be zip lining granny), win the restroom. Win something better than “the week.” Write us. We’ll run your new and improved options.