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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Hoffman’

Local Author Seeks Funds to Uncover Rockefeller Mystery

National Geographic Traveler Contributing Editor and author Carl Hoffman is on a mission to complete a book about the mysterious disappearance and assumed death of Michael Rockefeller, son of Nelson Rockefeller, along the coast of southwest New Guinea in 1961. Reports say he drowned at sea. But rumors persist that he was kidnapped and held hostage or that he willingly, according to Hoffman, “abandoned the modern world and live in the jungle.” Another theory has him eaten by the local Asmat.

The book is not National Geographic Traveler related. Hoffman is purely under contract with William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins.

But Hoffman insists he can’t complete the book, THE LAST WARRIORS OF THE SPIRIT WORLD: Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Journey in the Land of the Asmat, without securing funds to head back overseas to conduct further investigations. So he’s asking for your help. In the form of donations as low as $10. At the moment he has 63 backers who have pledged $6, 390 of his $23,500 goal. He has eight days to go. “There are layers here — mystical, brutal, enlightening — that need to be explored,” he writes in a story about his project. “And I can only do that by going back.  And diving deeper into the world of the sacred. …The costs are overwhelming me.  To be in Asmat I need a guide, a translator, a boat, fuel – gas alone costs $10 a gallon there.”

So far, donations have come from friends, acquaintances, strangers and people who loved his last book, The Lunatic Express, and had written him letters.  “I received $250 from a soldier in Afghanistan who’d read and loved Lunatic while he was there, and wrote me a note after reading,” he told FishbowlDC, noting that the money is “finishing money” to get him back to Papua for two months to keep paying his researcher and translator in Europe, as much of the information is from Dutch archives.

Why not ask the Rockefellers? “The Rockefeller’s want nothing to do with this project,” he explained by email. “They publicly maintain that Michael was lost at sea and have no interest in deviating from that; I offered to show Michael’s twin sister, Mary, my research, but she never responded.  And I’ve worked some other channels and gotten nowhere.”

Lastly, Hoffman is offering potential donors a way to see up close what he’s doing. “By the way, for the really well heeled Washingtonian who has everything, I’m offering a personally escorted trip to Asmat, one of the remotest places in the world,” he wrote.  “Priceless and unforgettable.” The catch? The contributor has to cough up 10k, the maximum donation and pay his or her own expenses.

Could be the trip of a lifetime.

Make a pledge here.

 

 

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — The Mindmeld Edition: A melding of everything worthy, weird and otherwise from the past four days.

Journo’s cat sets her alarm clock

“The cat stepped on my iPhone dock alarm clock last night and set it to go off at 7 a.m. Which it did. Which was wonderful. #gah” — WaPo Express‘s Sara Schwartz in a tweet that Politico‘s resident cat lover Patrick Gavin might appreciate. We’re sure Gavin’s cats don’t have tricks like that.

White House scribe details Michelle O’s attire down to thighs

“The top of the first lady’s dress was a bright orange racerback; from mid-torso to mid-thigh it has a green and white jungle-like print; the final piece that fell to the knee was a grayish pattern.” — Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein in a Sunday Pool Report from Hawaii.

Corn on Bachmann on God

“Short version of Bachmann campaign event: God, God, God, God, God, God.” — Mother Jones‘ Washington Bureau Chief David Corn.

Necessary Tweet of the Day

“Here’s to a new year in which cell phone and Twitter users learn the value of an unexpressed thought.” — AP Radio News’ Jon Belmont.

Reporter does what it takes

“This crazy Iowa wind blew the address I need out of hand & across the parking lot. I literally parkoured [sic] over a fence to get it. #nprlife” — NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro.

Journo loses cologne to TSA

“Leaving my new Christmas gift (cologne) in SC because it was .2oz too much. Thanks TSA.” — FBDC’s and The Blaze‘s Eddie Scarry, who explained that the cologne, Cool Water by Davidoff, was a sentimental re-gift from his father.

Not surprisingly, Walsh criticizes an R

Leslie Stahl admitted that interview was part of a Cantor push to soften and humanize his richly deserved awful image. Ick.” — Salon Editor-at-Large Joan Walsh of Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview with House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor.

Ahh…the warmth of the holidays

“Nice to see the TSA in ATL not give a hard time to the 3 yo with the toy gun who refused to let it leave his hand.” — RedState.com Editor-in-Chief and CNN Contributor Erick Erickson.

Um, Happy New Year?

“Ooh. Time for another round of my favorite neighborhood game: Fireworks or Gunshot?” — Reason Magazine Associate Editor Peter Suderman.

Words to live by…“Don’t forget: Resolutions are for quitters.” — Capitol File Editor-in-Chief Kate Bennett.

Birth Week: Nibbles Knox, son of AFP‘s Olivier Knox. A note from Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner: “Happy birthday to the famous Nibbles Knox! May this year be filled with all the legos your little heart ever could desire @OKnox” — (quote by and h/t to Shiner. h/t to Politico‘s Mike Allen for the phrase h/t.) HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIBBLES!

Things are getting weird in Iowa

“Local reporter, desperate for people to interview, asks Jeff Zeleny if he’s media or voter. #blending” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel on NYT‘s Zeleny.

“Lady sitting next to me at Atlantic, Iowa, diner, on being a campaign reporter: ‘I think that would be a terrible job.’” — Politico‘s Reid Epstein.

“Went to the lobby to get coffee. When the desk clerk saw my bed head I thought he might offer me medical treatment.” — CBS Political Director John Dickerson.

Funky Convo Between Two Journos

TPM‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro: “Happy Des Moines time new year to the crew @TPM, best support staff a road warrior’s ever had.” HuffPost‘s Elise Foley: “#puke.”

Travel writer starts new year on funereal note

“And…my first day of the year starts w a funeral. Sort of nice, though. #perspective.” — National Geographic Traveler Contributing Editor Carl Hoffman.

A given…“Sorry in advance for all the irresponsible things I’m going to do to 2012.” — HuffPost’s left-wing media reporter Jason Linkins.

Editor salutes his Beagle

“Smartest living being in the house today: Fred the Beagle, who laid his head on the remote during the Jets game and changed the channel.” — Digital First Media Editor-in-Chief and former TBD GM Jim Brady.

Just who is Ben Smith?

“@benpolitico Someone from buzzfeed’s at this Santorum event trying 2 explain who u r to Iowan lady of certain age. She seems mystified alas.” — The Hill‘s Niall Stanage.

ME ME ME ME ME

“@danielabrams: dan abrams” — Mediaite founder Dan Abrams. To which Weigel replied simply, “#fail.” (To Abrams we give Tigi’s Bed Head line of conditioner called Self Absorbed for his lux locks.)

Is he SERIOUS?

“Is it New Years Eve 2011 or New Years Eve 2012? I get confused every year.” — Cheoff Geoff Tracy, husband to CBS Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“If you’re tracking, tonight’s Santorum Sweater Vest Color is navy blue. Or black. On CNN live now.” — Digital Producer for CNN Erin Burnett‘s “Out Front” Mark Joyella.

The FishbowlDC Interview with National Geographic Traveler’s Contributing Editor Carl Hoffman

Sometime during the holidays, Carl Hoffman will take off to New Guinea to investigate the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller for a new book, Somewhere in Eden, set to publish in 2013. Authorities declared Michael (son of Nelson) dead in 1963. He either drowned or was killed by locals, Hoffman explains on a cold, rainy morning at Tryst cafe this week. Most days National Geographic Traveler and Wired’s Contributing Editor can be found in faded Diesel jeans on a faded couch there or down U Street at Big Bear. Born and raised in Washington, he graduated from University of Massachusetts/Amherst where he majored in Social Thought and Political Economy. He’s always lived in Washington minus his studies at U. Mass, traveling post college and a year as a ski bum in Vail. “Do you want a bio or something?” he asks helpfully. “I could send you a lot of shit.” Thank you, Carl. We appreciate shit and a lot of it. Hoffman’s bio says he has driven the Baja 1,000, ridden reindeer in Siberia, sailed an open dinghy 250 miles, and traveled to 65 countries. It also says his three children make fun of him often. He recently memorialized his father, Burt Hoffman, who he deems his greatest writing mentor. And rightfully so — his father, who died of lung cancer in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was Editor of the Washington Star and National Journal. Though Hoffman’s clearly at home in Washington, he says it might soon be time to leave. “Might be time to go live in a crowded, exotic, dirty city far away for a little while,” he muses aloud.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Grapefruit soda.

How often do you Google yourself? I don’t. I have a Google alert.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? You’re retarded. How’d that go over? Not well. I come from a long line of burn bridgers.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I love C.J. Chivers and Anthony Shadid at the NYT. Both are amazing.

Do you have a favorite word? Why.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Why.

Who would you rather have dinner with – ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s Candy Crowley or NBC’s Andrea Mitchell? Tell us why. I guess I’d want to have dinner with Christiane Amanpour because she’s been a lot places and she’s seen a lot of things. She must have a lot of curiosity of the nooks and crannies of the world. Definitely not Andrea Mitchell.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? Honestly it’s really hard to travel with a dog, especially the places I go. I’d probably pick neither. It’s much better to travel alone – always more interesting. Although the dog, if you got hungry you could always eat.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? It’s silent.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry or iPhone? Absolutely.

What word do you routinely misspell? There’s so many. Every word with an i and an e. Handwriting spelling I always got D’s in. Actually, now I’m a pretty good speller because of spell check.

What swear word do you use most often? Definitely fuck.

Find out why Hoffman gets weepy often…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Coincidence? We think not. Last night FishbowlMatt and I were texting about a variety of hot topics when he entered the Chipotle and saw this.

Deep Thoughts…

“Sun. Grass. Newspapers. People. A family of teeny mice tiptoe through the shrubs in their own private world. #sittingstill #whatching” — National Geographic Contributing Editor Carl Hoffman.

Luke and Maureen off to see Bruce

“On my way to see Springsteen with Luke. Wrote Newsweek cover story on Bruce exactly 36 years ago this coming week.” — Vanity Fair Correspondent Maureen Orth. (The late Tim Russert‘s favorite musician was Springsteen. The musician gave a surprise performance at Russert’s memorial service in 2008.)

The Political Consultant

“Sen. @DavidVitter uses Twitter to congratulate individual Republicans for winning in Saturday’s La. Election #notnecessary” — CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston.

Flashback

“Mechanic told me today my car failed inspection. He had a look of disappointment as I tried to explain what happened #highschoolflashbacks” — The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack.

TWT Senior Op-ed Writer Emily Miller‘s reaction to ex-Gov. Mark Sanford being hired by Fox News: “WTF?”

Really?

“I’m so tempted to ad-lib but I won’t.” — TIME‘s Mark Halperin on this morning’s “Morning Joe.” After calling President Obama “kind of a dick” on national TV we’d think Halperin wouldn’t even think about ad-libbing. This involved a reenactment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s interview to Parade Magazine. Willie Geist played Perry. Halperin played the interviewer.

Happy 24th wedding anniversary to WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty.

ABC’s Klein welcomes baby into world

“A warm welcome to Max Rubin Klein (9lb 8oz!). Future slugger? Congrats to parents Laine and @rickklein and big brother Jack.” — ABC’s Jonathan Karl.

Reminder: TMZ’s Harvey Levin talks to GWU students and then he’s off to the National Press Club for lunch.

If you’re up…

Call Trail Mix blogger Craig Crawford on C-SPAN starting at 7:45 a.m.

Democrats: (202) 737-0001
Republicans: (202) 737-0002
Independents: (202) 628-0205
Outside U.S.: (202) 628-0184

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day — GOP Presidential Debate Edition

“How is this c–t on MSNBC saying Obama created jobs!? I’m stunned at this sh-t ass f–k d–k ‘news’ channel.” — Anthony Cumia from the “Opie and Anthony” radio show in a startling tweet last night that contained no dashes. Rachel Maddow was leading the network’s post-debate coverage.

Promises, promises

“Hey Patrick Gavin, we’ll get you in on that next debate. Forget Harris.” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Co-host Willie Geist joking around with Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in this morning’s post debate analysis referring to Editor-in-Chief John Harris, who co-moderated the debate with NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

The media peanut gallery

“What makes this MSNBC operation so much better than its competitors, I am now seeing, is how its panelists amuse & bemuse each other so.” — BigGovernment’s Andrew Breitbart.

“Why not at least have Joe Scarborough, Jonathan Martin, Pat Buchanan, & Luke Russert doing this?” — The Daily Caller‘s media scribe Matt Lewis.

“Changing the channel now. This analysis is disgusting and sick.” — The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle who was presumably watching MSNBC’s post debate analysis.

FNC’s Henry under the influence of MSNBC’s Matthews

“ANYONE SEEN MY ‘A’ SECTION OF NYTIMES?? IT HAS YELLOW HIGHLIGHTER ALL OVER IT #chrismatthewstweets” — FNC’s Ed Henry mimicking what he imagines is MSNBC “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews‘ Twitter personality. Matthews showed up on Twitter last night some months after writing just one tweet on his account.  Henry continued, “GEEZ SANTORUM IS ALMOST AS ORANGE AS BRIAN W! #chrismatthewstweets”

Travel writer gets poetic about the rain

“The rain is amazing. It falls and falls and falls, days now, and it’s warm and people huddle and duck and splash and I like it.” — Carl Hoffman, contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler.

Capehart is all over Calista’s frightening hairdo

“Calista Gingrich’s hair. So blond. So sturdy. Discuss. It’s all about the spray baby!!” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart on Newt Gingrich‘s wife’s blond helmet of hair as reported on Twitter by MSNBC Political Analyst Karen Finney, who added that she “merely pointed out the role of hairpspray.”

Is this a healthy obsession?

“So I’ll give a gift to any friend at NBC News who can get me a cut of your election music. I’m, like, that obsessed with it.” — NJ‘s Marc Ambinder.

Mid-debate weather report

“Meanwhile, the lightning in DC is so intense it’s like flashes of daylight out my window.” – Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner.

Where was Howie?

“Find it interesting that @HowardKurtz didn’t live Tweet tonight’s #gopdebate. Perhaps, he wants to avoid a Tweet he will later regret?” — Claritza Jimenez, a Washington, D.C. – based program officer at the International Center for Journalists, on  the lack of The Daily Beast‘s Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz in last night’s discussion. Don’t fret Claritza. If his WeingerGate coverage is any indication, he’ll weigh in about five days from now.

TV scribe loses cable post debate

“My cable went out just as the debate ended. Must live without post-game analysis, somehow.” — ABC’s Rick Klein.

We have a comedian in the house…“Overall I think Tim Pawlenty did great tonight.” — The Daily Caller‘s Senior Editor Jamie Weinstein.

A FishbowlDC Twitter follower told us last night..“I get sick to my stomach each time I see Herman Cain. Nothing personal on Cain, but a bad experience at Godfather’s. Original crust w/pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers. The mushrooms weren’t quite right.”

Debate letdown

“Well that was….dull.” — The Hill‘s Daniel Strauss.

Male bronzer alert

“Huntsman bathed in Clinique Bronzer for Men.” — GOP Consultant Roger Stone remarking on Gov. John Huntsman‘s appearance in the GOP debate last night.

Now for some important news completely unrelated to the debate: “Got an e-mail asking if a portrait in some gallery titled ‘pretty boy’ is me. hhhhmmmm… don’t know whether to be flattered or concerned?” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida.

And this…“Press release informs me that someone has launched a line of socks designed especially for greyhounds.” — WCP‘s Managing Editor Mike Madden.

More weather woes…

“Argh. Power lines near my apartment building have survived blizzards, earthquakes and hurricanes, but not today’s thunderstorms.” — AP‘s Julie Pace.


 

The Two Funniest Journos in Washington Are…

web.jpg What passes for funny amongst journalists? Nipples. The word f–k. Ann Coulter’s boobs. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) being the hue of burnt sienna. And the National Press Club turning the Edward R. Murrow room into an RNC bondage bar.

Journalists performing stand-up in the National Press Club ballroom for the Commedia del Media charity journo comedy competition Thursday night did imitations of British accented broadcasters and one wondered why CNN didn’t allow one of its own to participate in the competition. Few knew that Sue Bennett, a producer for HBO “Real Time With Bill Maher,” was in the audience scouting the talent. NBC, CBS and FOX were also there filming the performances.

Commedia del Media raises money for charities such as Reporters Without Borders. Of the seven competing journalists, two tied for first place: Former CNN scribe and Miltary.com’s Jamie McIntyre and FOX Business Network correspondent Rich Edson. Judges voted for McIntyre, but the decibel machine revealed that McIntyre and Edson tied at 105.6 decibels.

Edson performed well-practiced impressions of British broadcasters and a raspy-voiced Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). Though he said he was nervous, many thought his delivery was near-perfect.

McIntyre tweaked CNN, saying, “They told me one of those cameras is for the Fox News Channel. I’m not used to having so many people watching.” He also razzed cable news broadly. “I like to call it news whiz,” he said, comparing it to the cheese. “It’s a simulated news-like product. You could use it for news if you didn’t have any real news.”

McIntyre spilled that a CNN reporter was to perform stand-up last night, but cracked that the event wasn’t serious enough for the network. He said most networks are “thin-skinned” and prone to “hurt feelings.”

Though he never named the journalist who was to perform Thursday night, FishbowlDC learned that the would-be comedian was Capitol Hill correspondent Brianna Keilar. Keilar dropped out a few weeks ago with the CNN Speakers Bureau declaring her unavailable for the evening. Sources say she had wanted to perform.

McIntyre, the former CNN Pentagon scribe, blamed himself for the correspondent dropping out. He said in 2006 he competed in a Funniest Journalist on the Planet contest in Manhattan in which he took comedic jabs at then-CNN host Lou Dobbs. At the time, CNN was none too pleased, McIntyre said, and a network higher-up phoned to scold him as he drove home to Washington.

Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn was among the event’s three judges. A tough judge, he was. “Actually I don’t like comedy at all,” he said before the routines began. “It takes me a lot to laugh. I do think [RNC Chairman] Michael Steele is really funny. He is my favorite comedian. He cracks me up. He kills.”

Former Time reporter Matt Cooper was emcee for the evening. Before the event, he paced and paced, carefully studying his notes. Cooper, whose cadence resembles that of an actual comedian, spoke of horrible crowds in the Metro, saying, “I’m like, ‘Get off the f–king Metro people.’ Let me be depressed by myself.” He also took a stab at (or else, complimented) Politico saying, “As you know, this extraordinary nuclear agreement was signed. …Later they said the world still needed to come together to fight the global threat of Politico for world domination.”

He remarked on his figure, saying, “I’ve tried to lose some weight. I’ve gone from f–king fat to fat.”

Cooper imitated former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) asking aide Andrew Young to pretend Rielle Hunter’s baby was his. “I’m going to owe you a solid when this is over,” he said in an Edwards drawl. …And I think your wife is going to understand more than you think.”

Aside from McIntyre and Edson, other performers included WaPo’s Melissa Bell (who spoke of men in India pinching women’s nipples as a sign of affection), former NPR reporter Jamila Bey, Politics Daily’s Walter Shapiro, McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef and Department of Transportation public relations officer Doug Hecox.

Hecox on the census: “I’m just waiting for John Boehner where he checks the box orange. The story is not that he’s orange, it’s that he’s really burnt sienna.”

He brought up Coulter’s jugs, saying that he’s going to dress up as President Ann Coulter for Halloween, his favorite holiday. But, he said, he feared that his breasts would be too large. “I’m not saying she’s flat chested,” he said. “I’m saying they both lean too far to the right.”

Shapiro recalled watching 60 hours of cable TV for a story. “It was interesting watching the two IQ points slough off my dandruff,” he said.

Youssef described herself as “Muslimish.” She said, “I drink, I fornicate, but I don’t eat pork.”

The evening closed with Sylvia Traymore, whose imitations included The View’s Whoopie Goldberg, actress Monique, and singer Dionne Warwick. Largely with her back turned to the audience, she stripped off her long-sleeved shirt to reveal a sleeveless top to become First Lady Michelle Obama with well-sculpted arms. She then began furiously brushing her hair into an Obama coiffe. Then she turned and pursed her lips, depicting a typical FLOTUS facial expression (see picture after the jump).

Christina Davidson, the event’s organizer, took to the stage to congratulate the winners and lobby for next year’s journo comedians. “If you have the balls for this, talk to me,” she said.

Journalists in attendance included Politics Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger, her husband, WaPo education reporter Bill Turque, Politics Daily’s Editor Carl Cannon, NYT’s James Risen, Politico’s Kiki Ryan, The Hill’s Susan Crabtree, WTOP’s Bob Madigan and travel writer Carl Hoffman (boyfriend to WaPo’s Bell).

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Emcee Matt Cooper keeps audience laughing between performances.

All photographs by Shauna Miller. More after the jump…

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