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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Frates’

Politico Scribe Wins Coveted Award at Karaoke

Pictured with Politico’s Dave Catanese are the ladies of Russia Television — Krissy Frazao and Alyona Minkovski. Lauren Lyster was a third backup dancer, but is not pictured above.

Politico‘s Dave Catanese won “The Schieffer,” the highest award at Karaoke in the Capital last night at the Rock n’ Roll Hotel. He and the women of Russia TV performed Niki Minaj’s “Superbass.” Catanese praised his backup singers, saying, “The ladies, dressed in hot pink skirts, were wonderful dancers that obviously clinched the victory for us.”

Other performances of the evening included CBS’s Bob Schieffer, NJ‘s Chris Frates, The Hill‘s Sam Youngman, who sang “A Country Boy Can Survive,” and NBC White House Producer Shawna Thomas, who brought down the house with “Before he Cheats,” and a fiddler, Alex Ruiz, who played “Devil Went Down to Georgia” in a duet with TWT‘s Peter Parisi. Both Ruiz and Parisi were dressed in black with Parisi alternating between a black cowboy hat and red devil horns as the song progressed. (This is completely normal, we swear.) Freelancer Stephanie Green promised over Twitter to “make a fool of myself again tonight for Karaoke in the Capital.”

National Journal to Fete Frates

On October 12th National Journal will influence the influencers with booze and food at a launch party for Chris Frates‘s new blog, Influence Alley.   In a note that accompanied the invitation, Frates called the site “a one-stop destination for the need-to-know intell on what Washington’s lobbyists, message mavens and corporate chieftains are doing to move the needle.”

The event will be held from 6.30 to 8.00 pm at PJ Clarke’s Sidecar.  Like most NJ events, the fete is loosely invite-only.  In other words, you can RSVP to their automated system if you get your hands on the invitation.

Pssst Politico…NJ’s ‘Influence Alley’ Has Arrived

NJ has officially launched “Influence Alley,” a new digital community for news and analysis on the people, relationships,  companies, and finances that make Washington’s influence industry run. At the helm of the feature is former Politico reporter Chris Frates.

Things could get ugly. Some may recall the dust-up that occurred when Frates first moved to NJ in June and allegedly inappropriately used a list of Politico subscribers. Frates and NJ disputed the theft claim by Politico but still agreed to pare down the list. Another stinging detail: Politico‘s own lobbying blog is called “Influence” and is run by Anna Palmer and Dave Levinthal.

A media observer told FBDC, “I notice a pattern here: Politico has a real good idea, executes it well, so NJ copies them and executes it, well, not as well.”

Frates will essentially do just what he did at Politico – as described in an NJ release, he’ll report on fundraising efforts, advocacy campaigns, talent acquisitions, media buys, the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street, and all the news that lands at the intersection of money, politics, and policy.

Not surprisingly, NJ Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier has high hopes for the new blog. “Anyone looking to be successful at their work in D.C. – or simply to understand why and how the levers are pulled here – needs the kind of insight and reporting that Chris Frates is producing at ‘Influence Alley,’” he said.

To sign up for the “Influence Alley” email newsletter visit here. Follow on Twitter: @InfluenceAlley.

UPDATE: Another “media observer” wanted to weigh in with an opposing view this afternoon. “Roll Call had a full-fledged special lobbying section before Politico existed and NJ magazine has covered lobbying for many years. And Legal Times long ago dubbed their lobbying coverage ‘Influence’ and I believe used the URL. The point is that everyone copies everyone in this world, and the idea that Politico broke so much ground here is kind of silly.”

Politico-NJ At War Over Alleged Theft of Subscriber List by Former Politico Lobbying Reporter

Politico brass, which has a reputation for aggressively protecting its brand, fired off a legal threat to NJ officials this week after former lobbying reporter Chris Frates sent a note to a list of contacts that looked suspiciously like a subscriber list. In fact, many of those contacts were part of Politico‘s subscriber list. Frates (pictured at left) now works for NJ. He was among the original reporters at Politico and worked there for more than four years.

We caught on to the scent of something deeper when we noticed that Wednesday’s Politico Influence blog had this relatively hidden disclaimer at the bottom.

“EDITOR’S NOTE: Some POLITICO Influence readers recently received emails sent to an improperly obtained subscriber list. We apologize for this. Please rest assured that POLITICO has not sold or intentionally shared our confidential subscriber list. We have taken action to prevent further improper use of this list. Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have reason to believe you are continuing to receive unwanted emails.”

A source who heard about the exchange between Politico and NJ tells us that it is abundantly clear that Frates improperly took the subscriber list when he left for NJ. One tweet that alerted readers and FishbowlDC to alleged questionable behavior by Frates was this one: Yussipick Yussi: “Not sure if it’s ok that @frates takes the @politico influencer email list to promote his new gig.” What apparently got Politico’s attention was that note that Frates sent to his email “list” (for lack of any better word). When Politico sent NJ the legal threat, Frates agreed in an apparent good faith effort to pare down his list and send to a more distinct core contact group.

There was never a discussion about which contacts were considered to be part of Politico’s subscriber list and which Frates assumed were his ordinary contacts.

NJ did not reprimand Frates, nor do they believe that he stole any subscriber list. They did, however, negotiate with Politico in an effort to solve the matter peacefully and without legal complications.

Several lobbyists complained about being spammed by Frates, and made it clear that Frates had walked away with a subscriber list.  The apparent concern was that readers would think they shared their confidential list instead of being what they considered to be the victim of a heist.

We sought comment from Politico management and did not receive a response.

NJ Publicist Taylor West told FishbowlDC, “As far as policy goes, we aren’t interested in anyone else’s lists. People read Chris Frates’s work because it’s need-to-know reporting. We’re not going to have any problem building our own community around his work at National Journal, and that’s what we plan to do.”


Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Unlike Clinton’s Reines, NRSC flak drinks D.C. tap water

“Not sure its newsworthy but FWIW I like to keep it interesting and drink the DC tap water.” — NRSC Spokesman Brian Walsh in a Tuesday tweet. He’s making fun of the WaPo profile written on Sec. of State Hilary Clinton flak Philippe Reines, who, for the profile offers the writer “helpful” tips on “color” about him. One of the stupider examples is that Reines doesn’t drink D.C. tap water.

Weiner’s ‘ultimate blow

“BREAKING: In ultimate blow, Dem leadership forces Weiner to pull his self-nomination for The Hill‘s ’50 Most Beautiful’ contest.” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in a Tuesday tweet.

Politico reporter attended same high school as Gov. Christie

“Chris Christie’s interview with Piers M. was conducted at my (his) high school. Didn’t love it there but glad to see it.” — Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein in a Tuesday tweet.

Journo love

“Things won’t be the same around here without @frates, a real gentleman who always proves that chivalry isn’t dead.” — Politico‘s Amie Parnes in a Tuesday tweet. She’s referring to Chris Frates who’s moving to NJ.

Conspiracy Theories

“First Weinergate, now Hef calls off wedding hmmm …” — CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry in a Tuesday tweet.

Sklar’s charge: Few women in Page One

“I loved Page One. It was a great documentary. But it was depressing how few women made the cut, to speak, from the NYT and outside.” — Mediaite Editor-at-Large Rachel Sklar in a Tuesday tweet. Page One gets screened in D.C. tonight with a Q & A with some of the documentary’s stars.

A brief episode of The Nerdy Shore

“Looking for a good aftermarket power adapter for my two-year-old Macbook. Anyone particularly enamored by theirs?” — WaPo liberal blogger and Nerdy Shore cast member Ezra Klein in a Tuesday tweet.

Reporter falls for his soup

“I love you, Chicken Enchilada Soup from Chili’s.” — The Atlantic‘s Joshua Green in a Tuesday tweet.

Weiner humor

“I cannot get my hands around this whole Weiner story…” — Comedian Ali Wentworth in a Tuesday tweet. She’s the wife of ABC GMA Host George Stephanopoulos.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Did not realize that patch-covered heavy-metal jean vests were called ‘battle jackets.’” — Reason Associate Editor Peter Suderman in a Tuesday tweet. Neither did we, Peter, and we still don’t care. You may think we’re insulting you, but it takes talent to win this award. Just ask Metro Weekly‘s Sean Bugg, who has filled this slot many times.

Morning Steal: NJ Swipes a Politico Original

Politico‘s Chris Frates is heading to National Journal to be their lobbying correspondent. Frates started at Politico in 2007, making him one of their “originals.” His latest beat, one of several he has had there, was the intersection of money, politics and policy.

In Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier‘s memo to staff, Fournier adds insult to injury by using Politico’s own lingo to say that Frates “drove the conversation” with his health care reform coverage. Fournier also notes that of all the “important” people Frates has interviewed, Mister Rogers is among his favorites.

In the meantime, Politico sent its own memo to reporters this morning, asking if any want to apply for a lobbying reporting position: “We want to hear from anyone in the newsroom who thinks he or she is ready for this opportunity,” write VandeHarris. “We’ll be looking for someone who is ready to produce on an intensely competitive beat….in which being first with news and being the most sophisticated in interpreting news are both essential.”

In a rare variation on the traditional memo, Politico told employees where Frates was going. They didn’t bash NJ outright, but read between the lines and note their use of quotation marks. They don’t think he’s making the right move or going someplace better. They made it clear they tried to talk him into staying:

“Chris is going to National Journal. Founded four decades ago, National Journal sought in ‘a significant relaunch in Fall 2010′ to infuse its traditional trade publication mission with ‘energy, currency, and speed,’ according to its website. We wished Chris, an all-around good egg, would stay with us. But in extensive conversations about his career he made clear that he is attracted to the challenge of writing the long-form overviews that have been the mainstay of National Journal’s weekly subscription magazine, so we wish him well in this move.”

See the memos…

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CQ Press First Street Unveils With a Spritz of Glitterati

From L To R: Steven Weber, Andrea Bowen, Rachel Leigh Cook, Wilder Valderrama, Robin Bronk, CQ Press First Street’s President John Jenkins and Gloria Reuben

The White Van

Valderrama was ready for his closeup.

Last night journalists were confronted with a couple of things at CQ Press’ First Street launch party at Art and Soul. First off: The stars were late. This left a dense pack of photographers, reporters and event handlers full of anticipation on the edges of a shrunken red carpet for a good while. Secondly: When the Creative Coalition showed up to the restaurant in a nondescript white van about an hour after they were due to arrive, eager fans rushed the van in a quest for autographs. This jangled the already frayed nerves of handlers who snapped and rolled their eyes at the autograph seekers and caused the red carpet procession to be more of a scrambling chaotic frenzy than it already is.

“Each one is worse than the next,” remarked Steven Weber, an actor dispatched by the Creative Coalition to red carpet events like these. He was talking about the red carpet portion of the evening only. Some might know him from NBC’s “Wings” or ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters.” Regardless, he looks familiar and people were chattering about how nice he is.

Valderrama was seen talking quietly and patiently with journalists in attendance. Despite the harried handlers, he methodically signed a slew of autographs on his way inside.

The purpose of the evening was to launch CQ Press First Street, which is owned by Sage, a worldwide publishing house, not The Economist Group. First Street aims to be a one-stop shop for journalists, lawyers and Joe Q. Public to navigate Washington’s lobbying industry. They’ve 30 employees with more hires on the way. So far AP has signed on, but Jenkins is staying silent on who else is. He doesn’t want the competition getting wind of internal info. The cost is $3,750 per year with discounts and scholarships to those who need them. “It’ll open up the transparency and help us better understand what lobbyists are doing,” Jenkins told FishbowlDC, mentioning those scholarships. “We understand journalists would love to have this and money is tight.”

Jenkins says the best part of First Street is that journalists will be able to do in a “millisecond” what would ordinarily take a week of research.

Weber, meanwhile, used his star power to praise CQ Press’ First Street, saying it’s going to be “invaluable.” He said, “It’s going to be a great way to find out who’s paying who off. It’ll be a good tool, a good way to ensure there’s disclosure.”

Once everyone barreled inside, the rest of the evening went off smoothly with speeches, booze flowing, big fried cheese balls and delicious miniature cupcakes with bright Pepto pink frosting for dessert. Journos mixed and mingled and dissected who all the stars were and in what movies or TV shows they’ve appeared. There was also chatter about Rep. Aaron Schock‘s (R-Ill.) shocking abfest on the cover of Men’s Health.

Find out who was there and see more photographs after the jump…

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Politico’s Many Hires and Changes

Politico sent out an internal memo to staff early this morning announcing new hires and changes at the publication.

In a nutshell:

Hillary Frey: New media and style editor. Formerly of the New York Observer.

Maggie Haberman: Joins political team. Formerly of the New York Post.

Kim Hart: Policy and technology reporting. Formerly of The Hill.

Scott Wong: Joins congressional team. Formerly of The Arizona Republic.

Two new health care reporters: Sarah Kliff (formerly of Newsweek) and Jennifer Haberkorn (formerly of TWT).

Read the full internal memo from VandeHarris after the jump. More change ahead as Chris Frates resumes being a lead lobbying reporter. •Two former interns hired. •The publication is looking to hire more editors to “lighten the load of core editors.” Read on…

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DC’s Bravest Media Types Take Stage for “Karaoke in the Capital”

How do you get cardigans and pearls to the Rock and Roll Hotel? “Karaoke in the Capital”… DC’s bravest media types took center stage last night for charity.

Donning a cowboy hat, a “Fort Worth Star Telegram” belt buckle, a leather belt that read “Schieffer” and a new beard, CBS’ Bob Schieffer took the stage with duet partner Lauren Moses to sing “Jackson” by Johnny Cash and June Carter. Moses was Schieffer’s ringer- a professional country musician, she has a CD “Fall With Me.”

“Of all the awards I’ve won, this was the most unexpected,” Schieffer said accepting the “Best Duet” award.

The “Best Media Performance” award went to TWT‘s “Green and Glover” columnists Stephanie Green and Liz Glover who sang Madonna’s “Material Girl,” complete with tiaras. Green did an encore performance with Examiner “Yeas and Nays” columnists Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri.

We caught up with Politics Daily’s editor-in-chief Melinda Henneberger just as she was about to hit the stage- she said she was shocked Pat Benatar didn’t show to sing with her. Politics Daily publicist and public relations consultant Sue Bennett was there though, joining Henneberger for “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” which won them the “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” award.

One of our favorite performances of the night was their colleague at Politic’s Daily- Lynn Sweet, who sang (and danced to) the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

Politico‘s Jonathan Martin and Kiki Ryan weren’t on the playbill, but couldn’t resist the karaoke, doing a surprise rendition of “Summer of ’69.”

Congress Daily’s Carrie Dann, Erin McPike, Kasie Hunt and Anna Edmey closed the night with a karaoke classic, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Other performances were by Mother Jones’ David Corn, TPM‘s Christina Bellantoni, Roll Call‘s Shira Toeplitz and Politico‘s Chris Frates.

And there were plenty there just to watch, including Emily Miller, Scott Mulhauser, Sasha Issenberg, Lizzie O’Leary and Kaylee Hartung.

“Karaoke in the Capital” was hosted by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) Mid-Atlantic Chapter and proceeds benefit Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

For now, check out the highlight reel. We’ll have more video, including Schieffer and Sweet, up shortly.

Morning Reading List 10.19.09

Good morning FishbowlDC! Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

What we know and what we’re reading this Monday morning…



NYT‘s David Rohde is penning a five-part series on his captivity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and escape from Taliban kidnappers. Part one debuted in yesterday’s paper.


So balloon boy was all a hoax. Police reports cite CNN’s Wolf Blitzer‘s interview with the Henne family on “Larry King Live” that night.

ABC’s Kate Snow meets KISS.

Fox News has apparently fired liberal pundit Marc Lamont Hill.

And TLC is suing Jon Gosselin.


In a radio interview with CBS News, President George H.W. Bush said the tone of the national discourse lacks civility. “I don’t like it… The cables (TV) have a lot to do with it.” The former President also called MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann “sick puppies.” (h/t HuffPost)


Playbook:, the network’s news on-demand source for video licensing, lists “Barack Obama Eating” at the top of its list of “Popular Searches.” Yields 108 results, from “OBAMA EATS WAFFLE” to “OBAMA HOT DOG STOP” to “OBAMA EATS MOUSE” (means “mousse”).

Sarah Palin has joined LinkedIn.

Former-actor-turned-Politico Kal Penn has been laying low at the White House. He blogged recently about President Obama’s celebration of Diwali and his restoration of the White House Initiative on Asian-Americans. (h/t Politico‘s Josh Gerstein)


Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman has said he’ll step down when his contract ends in September 2010. Politico reports Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., Universal Music lobbyist Matt Gerson, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), a longtime friend of Glickman’s, and internal candidates Richard Bates of Disney, MPAA COO Bob Pisano and federal affairs chief Michael O’Leary are among the names of possible replacements.

NYT: With the war in Afghanistan heating up, the coverage grows. “It’s like the Baghdad class of 2003 is now the Kabul class of 2009,” Richard Engel of NBC said.

AP: Military leaders in Afghanistan have backed off an attempt to ban news organizations embedded with the Army from photographing or videotaping images of U.S. personnel killed in the war.

Iran has released a foreign Newsweek reporter on bail this weekend after four months.


Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart paid a visit to GWU Saturday for two standup performances.

This Wednesday, come to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to see you fave DC journos embarrass themselves with bad singing. CBS’ Bob Schieffer, Roll Call‘s Shira Toeplitz, Hotline‘s Quinn McCord, Mother Jones’ David Corn, Politico‘s Chris Frates, Politics Daily’s Lynn Sweet and Melinda Henneberger, TPM‘s Christina Bellantoni and TWT‘s Stephanie Green and Liz Glover are all taking part in “Karaoke in the Capitol.”

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico