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Posts Tagged ‘Christian Bourge’

Journos: Will They Sleep Tonight?

We posed a question to a mass of journalists, many covering the midterms, and most everyone obliged. One reporter, who will remain genderless, wished to be anonymous because of fear of his or her PR department. We thank everyone for participating, especially Mr. Weigel from Slate – no FishbowlDC roundup would be complete without him. And then Politico‘s Mike Allen, who finally sheds light on that perennial ‘Does he sleep?’ question. But there is no pecking order here. You’re all our favorites (except when we fight with you).


THE QUESTION: Will you sleep tonight and how will you stay awake and alert?

Politico‘s Mike Allen: Vandy has promised I can sleep the first three years when I’m dead.

The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack: I hope to. I have a couple television interviews at 1 am and 7 am so the plan is to catch a power nap in between. But trying to fall asleep on Election night is like trying to fall asleep as a kid on Christmas Eve: very hard.

The Daily Caller‘s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson: Of course not; Nicorette.

FNC’s Greta Van Susteren: Coffee and more coffee.

HuffPost‘s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington: Even when I was a little girl in Greece, and had no idea who any of the American candidates were, I’d refuse to go to bed until the last vote was counted.  This year will be no different, which means I’ll probably be up until Veteran’s Day.  I’ll stay awake by practicing saying “Speaker Boehner,” “Senator Angle,” “Senator Rubio,” and “Senator Paul” with a Greek accent.

Slate‘s Dave Weigel: I’m in Nevada, so I’m three hours behind the east coast, allowing me to stay up into the witching hours with no problems. Next election: Fiji.

The Hill‘s White House correspondent Sam Youngman: I plan on sleeping like a NyQuil-drunk baby. I’m far more geeked up for POTUS’s presser tomorrow than tonight’s results. That said, the junkie in me will probably be glued to the TV late into the night with nothing but my nerdiness to keep me awake.

Roll Call‘s John McArdle: I brought my sleeping bag and some other camping gear in case I get a chance to grab a bit of sleep. Whether that will actually happen is still up in the air. If I start to get tired I’ve got this cued up on my computer. Watch here. (The color of the sleeping bags? “One I brought for myself is grey and orange. Brought a red one for one of my co-workers. Both from REI.”)

The Atlantic‘s Joshua Green: Yes, I intend to sleep tonight–and prefer to do so the old-fashioned way, not awake and alert, but soundly, with Ambien CR and lots of pillows.

TWT‘s Eli Lake: I am in New Orleans for a conference on geospatial intelligence. I will sleep well with the knowledge that many government agencies and defense contractors are watching.

FamousDC: Some of us are already in bed, the rest are armed with RedBull and champagne.

HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim: I will deviate from my norm and drink light beer. It’s a necessary sacrifice I make for readers.

C-SPAN’s Steve Scully: This is the night we LIVE for.  It’s a Political High, combined with a few
Triple shot venti lattes from Starbucks.

Politico‘s John Harris: I will intend to get at least a few hours sleep but past experience suggests there’s a good chance I won’t be successful. Tonight will be no problem even if I don’t. Ancient experience in college and more recent experience with three kids makes it not that hard for me to go on short sleep rations. But by Wednesday evening I’ll be a wreck.

The Daily Caller‘s Mike Riggs: Funny you should ask. I just completed the final task in my election night pre-game game plan. First, I metro’d home, then I smoked a spliff, took off all my clothes, and did three sets of jumping jacks in front of a full-length mirror. I’m putting myself down for a nap now. Around 11 p.m., I’ll head back to the office and carry on straight through to lunch tomorrow. Cigarettes, diet red bull, and a fear of sped-up dreams will keep me sharp. (Note to readers: A spliff for the uninformed is half weed, have cigarette tobacco, rolled up like a joint.)

Yahoo! News’s Michael Calderone: I’m hoping to get to sleep shortly before the Sun comes up, but we’ll see how things play out. I’m at Yahoo’s election headquarters in New York where coffee and soda are plentiful, so I think that’ll help with staying awake. Also, there’s a Foosball table nearby that may prove crucial for regaining concentration (and preventing insanity) in the early morning hours.

TBD Editor Erik Wemple: Well, primary night was a 2:30 a.m. proposition. I am hoping that general election night works harder and keeps us here much later. There’s nothing quite as fun as updating the site into the wee hours. For alertness, I rely on clean living and push-ups. Perhaps a little caffeine but not much.

The Washington Examiner‘s Julie Mason: I am so hopped up on cold medicine it’s hilarious. My editor is going to have to chug NyQuil to even make sense out of the incoherent mess I will be filing shortly. And then I plan to sleep like the dead.

WaPo‘s Paul Kane: I hope to be in bed around 3 am. I’ve got the House-race beat, so the yes-no on majority status should be known early enough and the rest is just updating the numbers. Caribou Coffee — unofficial sponsor of the late-afternoon break for all Wash Post employees — is doing its job. In ’08 I was up till at least 5 am watching the Coleman-Franken race get closer and closer and closer.

FishbowlDC and QGA’s Matt Dornic: Yes, I will sleep but for journos hoping to go all night, look no further than the supermodel 3C diet- cocaine, cigs and celery.  It’s a great way to stay up and kill a few lbs.

Politico‘s Patrick Gavin: Sleep? Sleep?!? Anyone who’s worked around puppy-kicking porn producers knows that sleep is but an unattainable dream…

NYT‘s Brian Stelter: I plan to sleep between 4 and 5am. Coffee, then sugar-free Red Bull, then then coffee, then sugar-free Red Bull.

MSNBC and NBC Producer Andy Gross: I’m playing the role of “co-pilot” for Nightly News in DC tonight…we also call it “Dr. Downstairs” because I will oversee the production process in our video editing area, which happens to be downstairs here at NBC.  Once we are clear and network Specials takes over the election night coverage, I should be heading home to Clarendon by 9:30pm.  I will however, go out for a drink and watch the returns come in.

Anonymous reporter: I’m forcing myself to take a power nap at midnight and then wake up around 3:45 a.m., drink a  sugar free Red Bull/ diet Sprite combo and do some speed reading of the latest results.

Roll Call‘s Christina Bellantoni: I am not counting on sleep tonight, but packed an overnight bag just in case, and there’s plenty of room in our newsroom to curl up in a corner with a blanket.  I’m on the early shift tomorrow so if I am able to get home for a few hours, I have to be back here at 7:30 a.m.

Al Jazeera‘s Avi Lewis: A nice Argentinean maté if things get desperate. But generally – actually, genetically – adrenaline kicks in on election night, and I never have any problem staying up. Getting to sleep, well, that’s another story. At a certain point in the evening, you just have to realize that you cannot affect the results by watching every minute of the coverage! If you can remember that and drag yourself to bed, you can read all about it as soon as you wake up.

NJ The Hotline’s Amanda Munoz-Temple: A: What is sleep? B: staying awake tonight by consuming as much caffeine as my body will allow me. On top of candy, diet coke, chips… Basically the diet of a 13 year old, to keep me happy and sane.

The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio reporter Todd Zwillich: Three hours if I’m lucky. I’ll stay awake by hosting The Takeaway’s live online election coverage at with with guests and analysts from all around the country, including Jay Newton Small and Studio 360′s Kurt Andersen. Otherwise I’ll exist on coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper. I may dip into my stash of Four Loko as the night goes on. Just sent the intern out for Four Loko by the way.

Human Events Editor Jason Mattera: No, I’m not sleeping tonight. I’ll stay up thanks to four locos, anything with the nickname liquid cocaine will keep me wired. Then again, its other nickname is “blackout in a can” so I may not remember the midterm election even took place.”

Human Events Senior Editor Emily Miller: Mattera needs his locos, but I’ll be wide awake on adrenaline waiting to see Harry Reid weeping like a little girl and Nancy Pelosi sneaking her gavel past Capitol Police in the dead of night.

HuffPost‘s Sam Stein: Only time will tell.

The Daily Caller‘s Executive Editor Megan Mulligan: The real question is: Am I awake now? I’m pinching myself to make sure I didn’t dream this whole thing up. When Christine O’Donnell, Jimmy McMillan and Alvin Greene go down, I’ll rest.

The Daily Caller‘s Jonathan Strong: I do plan to sleep tonight, though not much. My wife helpfully gave me a “5-hour Energy” drink to take to work this morning, so that should help.

CBS News’s Nancy Cordes: Sleep is for the weak…we wrap up our live coverage at 2 a.m. and then I start preparing for the Early Show at 7 a.m. They’ll have to prop open my eyeballs for tomorrow night’s Evening News.

Roll Call‘s Andrew Satter: Will I sleep? Depends on how much grief Final Cut Pro wants to give me tonight (2008 wasn’t pretty). How will I stay awake and alert? Well I don’t drink coffee or much caffeine, but I did live in New Orleans which is pretty much like getting a Master’s in Watching the Sun Rise.

The Disenchanted Journo‘s Christian Bourge: My plans are to start drinking around 4:30pm then go to bed early before waking to watch who is on television pontificating around 2 AM. By then the needed twists to the already established Election Day narrative should be figured out. I can then write the real story Wednesday and talk about it on my show, The Capitol Hill Blues. Either that or I will end up arrested by Joe Miller’s campaign staff.

CBS News’s Christine Delargy: “We’ll be on the web practically all night with special coverage so I’ve conditioned by actually not going to a cocktail party with Matt Dornic and Kiki Ryan last night.”‘s Keith Koffler: I will not be going to sleep tonight. I’ve trained my border collie sit by the TV and bark every time he hears the words, “we are now projecting.”

HuffPost‘s Eliot Nelson: I’m just high on the peaceful transition of power.

Politico‘s Dave Catanese: I imagine I’ll sleep at some point. Probably sometime after the cable chatter goes dark. I’m addicted to the blabber. Like potato chips after a night out, can’t put the bag down. But with all the wacky reports out of Alaska, it’s gonna be hard for me to stop reclicking on the returns from the Last Frontier. I will power through on pure adrenaline. This is it right? I can sleep Saturday, oh wait, forgot about Alaska.

NYP Page Six Reporter Tara Palmeri: I’m going to Cuomo’s election party but staying up isn’t that hard for someone who has to be out every night for their job.

Politico‘s Ben Smith: Hmm. Yes, surely, the Courtyard Rosslyn awaits. And they’ve actually added extra oxygen to the air here at POLITICO, so it won’t be hard.

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Fishbowl 5: Christian Bourge’s Life After Layoff

christian bourge.jpg Christian Bourge has been working in DC journalism for 14 years. Best known for his reporting at Congress Daily and his stint with the Washington Times editorial page, Bourge actually began his career with the Washington Post in 1996. Since the mass layoffs at the Times, Bourge has launched his own blog “The Disenchanted Journo” and has continued doing The Capital Hill Blues radio show on XM. FishbowlDC recently checked in with Christian to learn about his life after the layoff and his new projects.

What’s with the name of your new blog? Are you really disenchanted? How could anyone not be disenchanted in this biz? The name just seemed to fit. When I left The Times in January I was amazed when people kept asking me if I would start lobbying. In a way it was a compliment in that I’ve always worked as a very old school reporter, building relationships and getting to know people. But it’s a sad testament to the state of journalism.

We journalists have made money for other people for years. Quality content and reporting, not just getting something first, is something appreciated less and less by media companies despite the fact that without good content, they have nothing. Hence, The Disenchanted Journo.

So, what can we expect to read on your blog? The straight news on what is really happening in Washington and the world without any political or ideological bias. You can expect to laugh, catch some occasional breaking news, and read an honest, informed assessment about what is happening in the world.

People have gotten used to being fed politically driven commentary or self-serving reporting and not reading the real news and analysis behind what is happening. It’s a shame because keeping the public informed and government leaders on their toes used to be the only important thing. At least that is how we like to remember it.

I’ve also taken the idea for the column I was supposed to write for TWT – The Good Life – to my website. I know and love great wine, great restaurants and great cigars. I’m a total foodie, wine and cigar snob but that’s not exclusive to expensive food and drink. Growing up in New Orleans will teach you one thing – the fanciest restaurant and the biggest dive should share one thing – great drinks and food.

What’s the biggest misconception about working in journalism in DC? That there is any glamour – it’s all faked. There are a lot of people that believe it is real, or at least have convinced themselves of it, but this is DC, not New York. It’s all an affectation. If you have to import people from New York and LA to make the biggest event of the year (The WHCA Dinner) seem glamorous, you’re not cool. You don’t see many politicians and reporters being invited to the Academy Awards. Al Gore had to lose a presidential election to attend.

Also, that you have to be some sort of schlub. Who says you can’t dress better than a Senator? It puts interviewees on edge if you are dressed better than they are. It’s shallow but true.

Read about Bourge’s plans for the future, his advice for new grads and his book after the jump and don’t forget to check out The Disenchanted Journo here.

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Bourge Says No to Tennis Shoes and Dress Pants

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Bourge says he wouldn’t be caught in this ensemble.

In a witty response to our “Whose Shoes” feature yesterday (the shoes belonged to FNC’s Bret Baier), Christian Bourge, who writes The Disenchanted Journo blog, explains why whoever guessed him as the owner of the white golf shoes couldn’t be more off.

An excerpt:
To set the record straight, I’ve not worn tennis shoes with dress pants or a suit since high school. It’s a look that is best left to too-cool-for-school hipsters, the terribly aged, and those who just don’t give a crap about how they look. Although, I will admit that sometimes it works.

Read the entire piece here.

Bourge also recalled a fashion piece I wrote on him years ago in which I praised him for his tie choice — turns out, he never liked that tie much but enjoyed the ego-boost.

We wish Bourge no “ego-busting” as he moves into the holiday weekend. We’re certain he has a beautiful shoe collection.

> Update There has been passionate reaction to Bourge’s dislike of tennis shoes and dress pants.

From The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman in an e-mail: “I love Bret’s style, and I think it’s a shame that his sartorial choice was mistaken as something Ducky from “Pretty in Pink” might wear — tennis shoes with a suit. What Bret is exhibiting is a classic Ty Webb look (and I don’t just say that because my apartment looks like Ty’s with golf clubs and empty tonic bottles strewn about). A lot of posers can be seen with a golf tee “accidentally” left behind their ear or a glove sticking out of the back pocket, but Bret’s statement says: ‘I’d rather be playing golf than talking to you, and I’m about five minutes away from making that happen.’”

From Capitol News Connection’s Capitol Hill radio reporter Matt Laslo over text: “I’m at the airport and I saw Bourge’s reply so I must reply: I wear tennie’s daily with my suits!!!”

> Update: Fishbowlers, this is getting good. Bourge responds to the responses…

An excerpt:
“I didn’t mean to start a debate over men’s style, was just posting a funny bit of self deprecation. But what the hell.

Yes, Brett may be able to pull the look off. Since I haven’t seen the full picture, I can’t say.

One thing that can’t be disputed is that in this horrible casual Friday world in which we live, where most men where nothing but bad chinos, cheap polo shits and Rockports: American men can’t dress for shit. We live in a town where tasseled loafers with bad made-to-measure super 110 suits pass for sartorial grace.

…I also can’t believe we’re debating men’s fashion. I’m now going to go put on a wife beater, smoke a Cuban while working on my car’s engine, and chug a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon in order to fully reassert my masculinity.

I also just got an invite to Kenwood. I’ll be there embarrassing myself soon.”

Go here and scroll down for Bourge’s full post.

> Update: Youngman strikes back…

“I broke one of my own rules by talking fashion with someone named Christian Bourge.

How the hell did this happen? Ducky and a fashion debate? I really just want to wear my golf shoes to work. They look better with my bad chinos and cheap polo shirts than my rockports or tasseled loafers.

We should really be focusing on what’s important: preserving Gary Coleman’s legacy. Oh, and Memorial Day.”

> Update: Borge and Youngman are going to be great friends someday. But first, Bourge again responds

“Not sure what my name has to do with any of this. I can only assume that you are somehow questioning the French bloodline delineated by my family name. In my book you are now known as “Freedom Sam.”

…If you do manage to get up the gumption to wear your golf shoes and knee length pantaloons to the White House one day, I am all for it.”

Whose Shoes: Revealed

The guesses for today’s “Whose Shoes” ran the gamut of the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York to Christian Bourge, who writes The Disenchanted Journo, to FNC’s Major Garrett. Other guesses included: Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff, MSNBC’s Domenico Montanaro, ABC’s Rick Klein and Jake Tapper.

Not a single reader guessed correctly until late in the day when Cara Lyons Lege, a retired college faculty member and reader from Frisco, Texas came in with the right answer: FNC anchor Bret Baier.

Thanks to all for playing.
As always, if you have a great photograph of a D.C. journalist’s shoes, please send it to

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Morning Reading List 11.19.09


Good morning FishbowlDC! Happy birthday to Will Jerro. What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday the 19th of November…



D.C.-based journalist Adam Aigner-Treworgy found himself out of work and looking for his next opportunity in the news business. What he found was Stephen Colbert.

FOX uses old campaign footage in a recent story claiming “Palin still drawing huge crowd while promoting her new book.”


Lost man drives nine hours to get newspaper.

WaPo’s Kevin Merida informed staffers yesterday that Maralee Schwartz will rejoin the paper as political editor on a temporary contract. Schwartz took a buyout in April of last year.


AOL To Cut 2,500 After Spinoff


Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Sugarland, Rob Thomas and Usher to headline TNT’s “Christmas in Washington.” Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, the event will be taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Sunday, Dec. 13.


FishbowlDC caught up with Christian Bourge, John Stanton, Tino Anthony, Tom Morris and Elana Schor for a taping of “The Capital Hill Blues” last night. The show airs on XM Channel Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 6pm but you can listen to last week’s show online here.

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Take That Tucker, From CongressDaily

Remember this gem from Tucker Carlson and Ana Marie Cox‘s online chat a few weeks ago on

Annapolis, Md.: Last week during the WHCD, there was some debate about where the term “nerd prom” originated from. For years, this has been a term used by comic book nerds for the annual San Diego Comic Book Convention. My question is this: as a group, who is nerdier? Washington, D.C. media nerds or comic book nerds?

Tucker Carlson: The fashionable answer would be: One group wears thicker glasses, but basically they’re equally nerdy.

But let’s be honest: That’s ridiculous. Nobody’s dorkier than comic book nerds. Even reporters for Congress Daily.

Ana Marie Cox: I feel a little bad about the inadvertent (I swear, a friend mentioned it to me and then I, uhm…) lifting of #nerdprom. And because I KNOW Congress Daily reporters, well.. I think maybe we should consider them Nerd Prom East and Nerd Prom West? I, for one, would enjoy attending both. And I think you’d find a surprising amount of overlap in the interests of the groups.

Well, someone at CongressDaily hasn’t forgotten. And that someone is AM editor Jason Dick, who threw a party at his house this weekend just to prove Tucker wrong.

We weren’t invited (so clearly it wasn’t that cool of a party), but we hear the majority of CongressDaily reporters and a bunch of their editors, among others just let loose. Guests were instructed to bring some form of junk food- the junkier, the better. The best beer served was Natural Light. Also up for grabs- Schlitz, Schafer’s (sounds like some reporters were re-living their college years).

A handful of reporters, who shall remain nameless, experimented with pop rocks and coke (as in a generic form of coca-cola, Tucker) to see if we would explode like the urban myth suggests.

The “nerd” who passes this tidbit along says, “So see? We’re all pretty cool.”

Christian Bourge makes a guest appearance at Jason Dick‘s junk food party.

Photos of the junk food loot after the jump…

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