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Posts Tagged ‘Caitlin McDevitt’

Politico CLICK Is No More

Well this modest little blog post almost slipped through the cracks. Politico CLICK, the ill-fated Washington-meets-Hollywood blog that has struggled to retain talent is finally kaput:

As 2013 comes to an end, so, too, does the CLICK blog. In 2014, you will find POLITICO’s coverage of the intersection of politics and entertainment on the website’s home page. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading the blog and for your feedback as well. Happy New Year! Caitlin McDevitt

The official demise of CLICK comes more than two years after it was transformed from a slick subsection of Politico into a simple blog. At the time, management said the changes were necessary because “most people seem to prefer to consume these kinds of nuggets in blog format,” and that “[t]he leaner blog style is a bit more flexible in presentation and requires less web production,” allowing for “more time for what the CLICK team wanted, which is more reporting.”

Alas, it seems no one really wanted to consume these kinds of nuggets. But at least now, the CLICK team will have as much time as they could possibly want.

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The Gossip Pages: Who Wrote it Best?

The non-endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney by rapper Nicki Minaj was picked up by Washington’s famed gossip pages such as Washington Examiner‘s Yeas & Nays, Politico CLICK and The Hill‘s In the Know. So who wrote it best?

Some background: Last week a song by rapper Lil’ Wayne made its way online, featuring a verse by Minaj. “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney/You lazy b*tches is f***ing up the economy,” Minaj raps. It was reported (with some skepticism) as an unlikely endorsement of Romney. President Obama was asked about the possible endorsement in a radio interview. “I’m not sure that’s actually what happened,,” Obama said. “She likes to play different characters.” Minaj wrote on Twitter that same day, “Thank you for understanding my creative humor & sarcasm Mr. President… *sends love & support*”

CLICK- Caitlin McDevitt had her writeup published first. She was not, however, the first reporter on her own site to break the news. She picked it up from her colleague Byron Tau who writes for the Politico 44 blog. The lede: “Nicki Minaj was being sarcastic when she rapped about voting for Mitt Romney, POLITICO 44 reports.”

Yeas & Nays- The Examiner‘s Jenny Rogers had her item on the story up three hours later. We like the conversational lede (“OK, so maybe Nicki Minaj didn’t endorse the Romney-Ryan ticket after all”).

In the Know- Last to the ball was The Hill’s writeup by Jonathan Easley. It was published nearly five hours after CLICK’s, one and a half after Yeas & Nays’. But there’s an extra bit of information on Minaj added to The Hill‘s writeup. We learn here that Minaj is “rumored to be a new judge on American Idol.” What’s more, when Easley tweeted out the link to his story, he included lyrics to the song “Monster” which also features Minaj. “Nicki Minaj finally puts Romney endorsement flap to bed,” Easley wrote. “Also, her money so tall that her body gotta climb it.” The tweet was retweeted 22 times and favorited twice. He tells us, however, that he’s not really a big fan. “The primary reason I know her stuff is because I’m a big Kanye West fan,” he said. “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of my favorite albums, and Minaj absolutely killed it on that ‘Monster’ track.”

Winner: Easley’s lede could have used a little punch (“Rapper Nicki Minaj on Monday ended the dispute over whether she endorsed Mitt Romney in a song released last week”) but for demonstrating prowess on the subject of Minaj, we conclude that Easley wrote it best.

Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks

Politico CLICK is still at it, creating gossip you won’t (and shouldn’t) see anywhere else. This week they reported on — what a scoop — Bob Dylan sporting shades at the White House Tuesday.

The headline (no joke): “Bob Dylan wears sunglasses at the White House.”

(We interrupt this item to ask VandeHarris: Do you guys read this stuff before it gets published?)

Caitlin McDevitt goes on to write her vanilla lede: “Bob Dylan sported shades at the White House on Tuesday. The singer wore aviator sunglasses to accept the Medal of Freedom from President Obama who praised him for his career accomplishments.” She names Tony Morrison, John Glenn and former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright as other recipients. WAIT. Did they wear sunglasses too?

So let’s get this straight: Dylan wore SUNGLASSES?

Politico CLICK Runs Year Old Item

Dear Politico CLICK,

Guess what? It’s 2012. And last year it was 2011.

On March 3, 2011, Karin Tanabe, who no longer works at Politico, wrote an item on Kate Upton, now infamous bikini-clad niece of Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a tiny red bathing suit. Tanabe explained in some detail Kate’s Washington connection — which is that her uncle is a congressman. See the headline in bold above.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day 2012. CLICK Editor Caitlin McDevitt writes another item explaining Kate’s unusual Washington connection. She writes, “Kate Upton, the buxom blonde on the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, has a Washington connection.” See yesterday’s headline above.

Yoo hoo, VandeHarris, anyone out there?

Sincerely, FishbowlDC

The ‘C’ in Politico CLICK Stands for Caitlin

And then there was one.

Politico‘s Karin Tanabe has left CLICK, rumored to take a job elsewhere. Her Facebook page is filled with wishes of “good luck” from colleagues.

So that just leaves Caitlin McDevitt (pictured at right) holding down the fort. People who have left under Caitlin’s tenure: Kiki Ryan, Amie Parnes, Patrick Gavin, Natasha Lennard, and now Karin. Not the most impressive managerial resume. Before CLICK, McDevitt worked at Slate’s spinoff The Big Money. She also interned at and Newsweek. She graduated from Georgetown.

We attempted to reach Tanabe, but her email address no longer works.

Take a hint, Jim & John?


Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks

If you’re going to take an edgy play from Us Weekly‘s playbook, then why not take it? Instead, Politico CLICK brings us this creamy vanilla item about two powerful men in dark suits and baby blue ties. It’s challenging to emotionally invest in an item like this. We might care a little if Editor Caitlin McDevitt had a fashion expert rate the ties and bluntly describe how they make each man look. We might enjoy it at all if Politico CLICK took a stance on who they think wore it best. Or better yet, do what Us does — go out and poll people and show the results. In other words, let someone actually win the question they ask: Who Wore it Best?

See the abomination here.

Note to readers: Have an example of why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks? We want to hear about it. Send to

Politico Behaves Unprofessionally

Politico prides itself on winning the morning, right? And the afternoon, the evening and sometimes the twilight.

Well, this time they stole the morning when Politico CLICK Editor Caitlin McDevitt wrote up an item on FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and her husband, John Coale, attending Kim Kardashian‘s wedding this weekend. FishbowlDC broke the news on Thursday afternoon. Politico‘s McDevitt ran her item Friday morning with no mention of where she lifted the news, giving off the perception that she had broken the story. Sure, she quotes Coale, but just because you quote someone does not mean you are breaking news. The Atlantic also ran news of Van Susteren and Coale attending the wedding and cited FBDC.

Politico knows better — or does it?

We’ve noticed lately that Politico CLICK has a growing problem with sourcing — the problem being that they choose not to.

We reached out to Editor John Harris and posed three questions.

1. Is it a Politico policy to not cite other publications that have broken the news you are writing about?
2. Do you plan to rectify this and give FishbowlDC the credit that it should have on this item?
3. Are you aware that CLICK is now accumulating a growing number of posts that blatantly steal from other publications and if so, what do you plan to do about it?

Harris replied to FishbowlDC: “I just don’t know anything about the item you wrote or what Politico wrote. I’m copying managing editor Bill Nichols and Click editor Caitlin McDevitt. Bill will respond, if he thinks best. Thanks for checking in.”

Other items Politico CLICK has taken at a five finger discount as of late include the following: After The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz broke the news that Rob Lowe‘s son was coming to Washington to intern for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Politico CLICK followed up by rewriting the item and “confirming” the news. They did not cite The Hill. In another item on Betty Ford‘s funeral, they wrote the item like they were there and cited no one. The item is weak, but still, it wasn’t theirs. They cobbled it together from other news reports. Which ones? Who knows? And in their minds, who cares?

McDevitt responded to FBDC by email on the Van Susteren/Kardashian item: Hi Betsy, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. POLITICO had this information from our own reporting — an e-mail exchange with John Coale on Thursday — before the Fishbowl item was published. But since you did report the news first, we’ve updated our post to reflect that. Thanks, Caitlin McDevitt

A word of advice: Hold onto your news Washington journos. Thievery at Politico is on the rise. But if you bring it to their attention, perhaps they will be receptive, as they were with us today, and add the proper citation.

Politico’s CLICK Gets an Extreme Makeover

This morning Politico‘s Editor-in-Chief John Harris sent a note to editorial staff about the CLICK section which has been in a state of major reorganization as of late with Patrick Gavin and Amie Parnes leaving the section and a number of other reporters in recent months leaving the publication altogether. In a nutshell, Harris says, the “leaner” section is becoming a blog because that’s how people prefer to get their “nuggets.” We’re not so sure. So far, it’s less like a candy store and significantly more bland — lots of white space and minimal color — just like the other blogs on the site. Today the blog screams Washington — as in red (yawn), white (yawn), and blue (yawn). But we’ll give it a chance, hope for improvements and see how it goes. Check out the new CLICK here.

See the internal memo…

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