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Posts Tagged ‘Cal Thomas’

Righty Journos Chuckle at MSM’s Expense

The one jab that never fails to elicit laughs from conservatives is the one about MSNBC and how “nobody” watches it. There was a lot of that at last night’s Media Research Center gala.

MRC, a conservative media watchdog org, celebrated its 25th anniversary and presented its tongue-in-cheek Dishonors awards at the National Building Museum.

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham presented the first two awards, one of which was the “Obamagasm” award. The nominees were MSNBC’s Chris Matthews (“Isn’t it a surprise when you see him talking about Obama and he still has his clothes on?” Ingraham said.), ABC’s Diane Sawyer (“of the perpetually heavy breathing voice”) and CNN’s Piers Morgan (“Britain’s own alien life form”). Matthews won for declaring in July that President Obama is “the perfect father, the perfect husband, the perfect American.”

The second award — the “Vast Right-Wing Knuckle-Draggers” award went to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, for saying in September 2011 that the GOP wants to build “a time machine, to go back in time…” Ingraham described Roberts as “Thomas no-one’s-ever-heard-of-me Roberts.”

Media bashing was given a rest for the William F. Buckley award for Media Excellence. It was presented by conservative columnist Cal Thomas as a tribute to Andrew Breitbart. The audience gave a standing ovation at the conclusion of Thomas’ remarks.

Two more anti-media awards were given out: The “Damn Those Conservatives to Hell” award (to NBC’s Ann Curry, for her interview with Republican V.P. candidate Paul Ryan in April) and the “Barbara Streisand Political I.Q. Award for Celebrity Vapidity” (to actor Sean Penn, for saying on CNN in October 2011 that the tea party wants to “lynch” Obama).

Finally, MRC President Brent Bozell handed out one last award: “The Worst Reporter in the History of Man” award. This one was chosen by cheers from the audience. It was initially a tie between former CBS anchorman Dan Rather and ABC’s Katie Couric. After a second round of cheers, Couric was named the “winner.” An embarrassing photo of Couric dancing at a private party in 2006 was projected on banners hanging from the ceiling.

The banners were a fixture for awkward photos throughout the evening. To the right was the spaced-out image of RNC Committee Chairman Reince Priebus that displayed when he spoke on stage.

Notables: The Daily Caller‘s Neil Munro, The Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder, The Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein and Charlie Spiering, Slates David Weigel, The National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg, The Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes, GOP mega donor Foster Friess, WMAL’s Chris Plante and CRC publicists Ashley Morris and Kelley Hudak.

Quotable: “I better put this down.”– An MRC goer who was spotted drinking directly from a champagne bottle. She put the bottle down when she saw us attempting to snap a photo.

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It’s a Christmas Party, Damn It!

Last night we crashed the Heritage Foundation Media Christmas Party held at their posh Capitol Hill headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue because, well, why not? It’s Christmas, the season of giving, and what would giving be without someone there to take it? ‘Tis the season to party crash, after all, and it is the unofficial sport of Washington. Well, right after Hill staffers hooking up with interns.

First impression: Nice digs! The Heritage Foundation has some bucks, and they dropped some buck on the lobby of their 7th floor theater, where the party was held.

Second impression: This was a Christmas party, damn it! None of this PC “Happy Holidays” garbage here, it’s the Christmas season. Christmas tree glistening away in the reflection of the ceiling to floor windows overlooking Union Station, Christmas ties and freshly nogged eggs. OK, maybe not the egg part, but the rest was all Christmas.

Third impression: Top-shelf booze. This soiree was for media types, after all, and even conservative media types love them some alcohol. There was plenty to be had here, Bombay Sapphire, Absolute, etc. No bathtub gin/rail swill here, that stuff is for liberals and this was a 1% party.

Fourth impression: These people know how to eat. The buffet spread had crab cakes (delicious), chicken breast slices (delicious), tiny wieners baked in croissants (huh?). Yes, the tiny wieners were a bit out of place, but they weren’t all that bad, actually. And the dessert table? A diabetic coma waiting to happen, but what a way to go.

Fifth impression: Who goes to a conservative media party? Turns out a lot of people. The room was full of Heritage staff, Hill staff and media types from Human Events, The Washington Times, Roll Call, The Hill, Fox News, etc. Surprising was the age range. While there was a disproportionate share of curmudgeons there (looking at you, Cal Thomas, John Gizzi and Al Regnery), there were a lot of young people there too. Jason Mattera, the soon-to-NOT-BE-Editor-in-Chief of Human Events, Vince Coglianese from the Daily Caller, Conn Carroll from the Washington Examiner, and boybander extraordinaire, Slate’s own Dave Weigel.  Also in the crowd, towering over it and the only thing in the room taller than the Christmas tree was Jim Pinkerton, the 6 foot 9 inch writer/contributor for Fox News.

Overall impression: A much better party than expected. Though, admittedly, the expectations were low. Probability of adding this party to the must-crash list for next year? High.

MRC to Host ‘DisHonors’ Gala

The Media Research Center will hold its annual DisHonors Gala on May 7th at the National Building Museum to “celebrate the most outrageously biased liberal reporting of 2010.”

Awards will be given out by presenters Ann Coulter, syndicated radio talking head Neal Boortz, and author Andrew Klavan in categories like:

  • The Obamagasm Award
  • The I’m Not a Political Genius But I Play One on TV Award
  • Ode to Olbermann

The “winners,” if you can call them that, won’t be outed until the gala.

The night will also feature a performance by southern rock band The Outlaws and the presentation of the William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence, this year given to syndicated columnist Cal Thomas.

Morning Dhue

We’ve been keeping tabs on the sudden public admission of alcoholism by ex-FNC anchor Laurie Dhue. This morning just after 8 a.m. she appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” where she spoke with Meredith Viera.

Though FishbowlDC never pretended to be, say, a fireman attending the prayer dinner in Washington hosted by conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas last week, Viera acted shocked that a reporter was covering it.

“You did not know there would be anyone reporting this to the public,” Viera said gravely on this morning show, looking intently into Dhue’s eyes not knowing that many Washington reporters have covered this event in the past, not to mention the next-day journo-filled National Prayer Breakfast where President Obama spoke. Dhue replied, “I did not know there was a reporter in the room.”

But, in fact, there were several reporters scattered throughout that basement banquet room where Dhue admitted the harder details of her life — print, radio and TV. In fact, another speaker was Doug Hill, the ABC7 weather reporter. He discussed the sudden death of his young son, a tough divorce, previous thoughts of suicide and wanting to drive himself off a bridge not to mention his incredible fears of thunderstorms after his childhood home was struck by lightening.

All quotations used from this morning’s Today Show segment were from FishbowlDC’s original report. Dhue said FNC has backed her in her recovery. “They know about my struggle with this and they have been very supportive,” said the ex-anchor who left the network in 2008.

FYI: Dhue reached out to anyone struggling with the issue, saying she’s on Facebook for anyone who wants discuss alcoholism.

Ex-FNC Anchor Laurie Dhue to Appear on Today Show to Discuss Alcoholism

After her bombshell alcoholism admission last week at Cal Thomas‘s prayer dinner at the Washington Hilton, former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue has been invited on NBC’s “The Today Show.” Meredith Viera is scheduled to interview Dhue Wednesday in the 8 a.m. hour.

Her segment is slated for four minutes. She will discuss her addiction, recovery and her path through the news world. She publicly disclosed her alcoholism for the first time at the syndicated columnist’s annual dinner. She was one of four keynote speakers who was asked to tell her story of faith.

Dhue lives in Manhattan.

A Night with Julia: Eat, Pray, Rape.

You never know when the Gods will intervene.

Julia Duin (pronounced Deen), former TWT religion writer and now a faith blogger at WaPo, invited me as her guest to conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas‘s prayer dinner Wednesday night at the Washington Hilton. Apparently the rule is that you must bring a guest. I had been invited because during a recent prayer session, Julia received word from the big guy in the sky that I was the right choice. “I felt the suggestion come down to invite you,” she said.  She wanted to “bury the hatchet” (we had a fiery exchange over TWT layoffs late last year).  When I surprised her by accepting the offer, she notified me that she’d be wearing purple.  Following her lead, I pulled together a purple outfit of my own.

It turns out, Julia’s dress was a cranberry velour number with Asian patterned embroidery. She accessorized with pantyhose, sensible cranberry flats and a large rectangular box of Kleenex. It seems she was fighting a terrible cold.

We exchanged pleasantries as Thomas smoothly worked the room of faith-filled dinner guests. “I’m always excited,” he said. “It’s a great time to be in Washington. The Middle East is blowing up.”

Later I questioned the Born-Again Christian columnist (she was saved at 16) about a recent WaPo magazine story she penned describing a bus encounter on the way to Jon Stewart‘s Rally to Restore Sanity. Had she crossed a journalistic line by chastising the subject for his wife’s abortion? In the piece, Duin suggested that although the fetus had no heartbeat, the man’s wife should not have aborted.

It turns out, she said, WaPo asked for an injection of personal opinion. “I would have never put myself in the story,” she said. “You know how it is, you never put yourself in the story.”

Rape part coming up…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Garrett Graff watches ABC’s “The Bachelor?”

“NPR’s MonkeySee blog writing about The Bachelor is like all of my favorite things on Earth in one.” — Washingtonian Editor Garrett Graff in a Wednesday tweet. Read here.

Pundit delves into weather talk

“Sunshine! Warm temperatures! I can’t believe how diff it is to nyc where all was icy! Can’t believe I’m tweeting about the weather. Sorry.” — FNC Commentator Dana Perino in a Wednesday tweet. To which Agence France-Presse’s Olivier Knox wrote, “Totally appropriate to chirp on twitter, Dana. Carry on.”

Taking offense to “media whore”

“I take offense to the term “Media Whore.” It is disrespectful to sex workers who deserve our support and advocacy” — West Point infantry officer Dan Choi in a Wednesday tweet. To which Metro Weekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg, who typically lands in FishbowlDC’s Unnecessary Tweet of the Day feature, wrote, “Word.” The only reason Bugg is not there today is because of Choi’s choice comment.

TIME reporter blames Anderson Cooper

“Anderson Cooper: if your crew is getting beat up in riots in every country you go to-might that suggest UR the 1 doing something wrong?” — TIME‘s Jay Newton-Small in a Wednesday tweet.

TV journo in Egypt

“#egypt. Both sides using slings to launch molotovs.. It seems like ancient war.. Close, fire, stones.” — NBC’s Richard Engle in a Wednesday tweet.

Complimentary commenter

“She is so HOT” — A FishbowlDC commenter in response to item on Washington Examiner‘s Julie Mason moving to Politico.

Major has ‘computer nightmares’

“Dash it all… nightmares…catching up. Senate votes 47-51 against repeal of #HCR. All GOP vote Yes. Needed 60 votes” – NJ‘s Major Garrett in a Wednesday tweet.

BREAKING: Ex-Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue admits her struggle with alcoholism at conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas‘s prayer dinner in Washington Thursday evening. We broke the story late last night. If you missed it, read here.

Former FNC Anchor Laurie Dhue’s Bombshell Admission at Washington Prayer Dinner

Ex-Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue made a shocking admission at conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas‘s prayer dinner tonight at the Washington Hilton. The dinner precedes Thursday morning’s Prayer Breakfast.

Dhue, one of the evening’s four spiritual speakers, took to the podium of the basement banquet room to tell her story. She admitted her alcoholism publicly for the first time tonight.

“Yes, I would drag myself into work deeply hungover,” she told a rapt audience. “I was cheating my employer and God.”

Dhue, who left Fox News in 2008, offered a snapshot of the gory details: “I thought I had to drink myself into oblivion several times a week. In New York, that was very easy. “I really thought I had to live that way. I suffered in silence. I lived in constant fear. On the inside I was dying….I lived with shame and guilt and a lot of terror.”

Through tears, Dhue told a mostly born-again Christian crowd that she still struggles and still faces the uncertainty of being unemployed. “God takes care of me because he loves me just as he loves all of you,” she said. “God loved me back to life.”

As is the case with many self revelations, one day she looked in the mirror. “I didn’t recognize the woman who was looking back at me,” she recalled. She knelt down and prayed, “It’s over God, but I need your help.”

That was four years ago. She has since found the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

“Prayer to me is like breathing,” she said, admitting that times are tough and that she lost two jobs since getting sober.

In Memoriam: Mary Lou Forbes

Mary Lou Forbes, a Pulitzer-winning, groundbreaking journalist, has died after a brief battle with cancer. Mary Lou is credited with paving the way for many women to rise in the previously male-dominated journalism profession and she was a mentor to such greats as Carl Bernstein and Cal Thomas.

For the last 25 years, she has served as the Commentary Editor for The Washington Times. Her obit here.

Happy 40th WTOP!

Syndicated columnist and broadcaster Cal Thomas, WRC-TV and WAMU-FM reporter Tom Sherwood and WTOP investigative reporter Mark Seagraves. Photo from R&R.

WTOP celebrated a 40th anniversary Tuesday with a party at the Newseum. It’s the top-rated radio station in the DC market.

In attendance: WTOP’s Mike McMearty, Mike Gartell, CBS Radio’s Harvey Nagler, Jim Bohannon, Dave McConnell, NPR’s Ann Taylor, and Bob Madigan, who served as the evening’s emcee.

The guest list wasn’t as star-studded with DC media types as WTOP as planned. R&R reports: “The President had the audacity to call a news conference tonight,” said a top network news executive who was only half joking.

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, who declared Tuesday “WTOP Day” also made an appearance.