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Posts Tagged ‘Christina Wilkie’

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day


Supermodel Elle MacPherson and a bland and bald companion show up to the WHCD dinner. On their way into the ballroom, he grabbed her ass.

Overheard: “Aren’t you SOMEONE? Because you look like someone.” — a common refrain all weekend long from journos and politicos trying to figure out the identities of wonks and D-listers attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and its surrounding parties.

CNN correspondent connects with her idol: Diane Sawyer

“Ohhhhh my. Can we say journalism idol. Diane Sawyer. #nerdprom” — CNN’s Brooke Baldwin.

Lindsay Lohan on getting invited to D.C.’s prom

“Lindsay Lohan on getting #whcd invitation through her lawyer ‘I thought I was in trouble, like ‘Oh, no, wha…’” — HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie.

Weigel moves, better said, tweets his way through the crowd

“Too many tuxedos. Can barely see the double agent I need to assassinate. #SXSW” – Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

Prom coverage…

“This really used to be about the White House correspondents, let’s be honest, it really isn’t anymore.” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin on C-SPAN coverage during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. “That’s the state of things today. Celebrities drive the culture.”

Reaction on Kimmel from BuzzFeed‘s Ben Smith: “Kimmel’s best stuff has been fat jokes and blind jokes #yikes #whcd” And from resident know-it-all NYT David Carr: “Obama kilt it. Kimmel had half a set of amazing jokes. #nerdprom.” More importantly, actress/activist Mia Farrow weighs in, saying, “This is painful #jimmy #WHCD” But Tom Hanks‘s son, Colin, disagreed. “And @jimmykimmel slayed as well. Extremely fun evening.” From Politico‘s Jonathan Martin: “Kimmel, first real round of ‘oooos,’ for saying Olbermann ‘has more pink slips than Marcus Bachmann.’” And JMart’s colleague Maggie Haberman: “Please bring back Seth Myers. #help #whcd”

Kurtz gets acquainted with food on Planet Earth

“Ah, mystery meat in gravy and some kind of creamed corn thing. #nerdprom” — The Daily Beast/CNN’s Howard Kurtz acting like he has never seen food before last night at the White House Correspondents’ dinner. Exposé expected on “Reliable Sources” this morning.

Sklar stays at the Hilton

“I stay here every year whether I go to the dinner or not.” — Mediaite founder and lawyer Rachel Sklar, appearing on C-SPAN from her Hilton hotel room during the dinner on C-SPAN. She said she $119 for at least one night at the Hilton this weekend by purchasing her room online. During his performance, Jimmy Kimmel, who was also staying there, said the place isn’t that nice.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things we Think You Ought to Know…)

Three “deeps” from CNN’s Christiane Amanpour: From the University of Rhode Island wesbite: “According to Christiane Amanpour, URI class of 1983, ‘URI changed my life forever and it has a deep, deep, deep place in my heart.’”

Guilty as charged! NBC’s Chuck Todd at Washington University in St. Louis spoke on the media covering “political stunts” such as the Mitt Romney etch a sketch. This quote was reported this week in the independently run student newspaper called Student Life: “Do you completely ignore it? Or [do you see it as] the campaigns are engaging on this and it’s your job to cover what the campaigns are engaging on?” Todd said. “You end up guiltily covering some of these petty things.“ Read the full story by Michelle Merlin here.

Has Ifill crossed a line? HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie reported late Thursday that the Media Research Center, a well-established conservative outlet, is criticizing PBS’s anchor Gwen Ifill for emceeing an event last night at Whitman-Walker Health clinic where Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius will receive an award. In a nutshell, MRC thinks Ifill is crossing a line. Read the full story. Earlier in the day, just after lunch, WaPo‘s Erik Wemple reported that he asked Ifill about it. She said she won’t be endorsing Sebelius, nor did she know who she’d be honoring. “I really do try to do the arm’s-length thing,” Ifill told him. Wemple’s piece doesn’t bash Ifill. Quite the contrary. He says unless he sees an HHS puff piece he is “disinclined to grouse” about her appearance. Meanwhile, elsewhere in WaPo, the event appeared on D.C. Wellness Calendar. The way it reads sounds fishy: “’Be the Care’ Gwen Ifill hosts ceremonies honoring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Whitman-Walker Health, 1701 14th St. NW. 202-797-3510. www.whitman-walker.org. $150, minimum donation.” Meanwhile, elsewhere in WaPo, around dinner time in a weird meta exercise, “The Reliable Source” gossip column reported Wemple’s news just in case readers missed it earlier in the Opinion Section, which can be found with the new online web navigation tool by scrolling to Gaithersburg and back.

What Luck! HuffPost Reporter Christine Wilkie Spotted on ABC7 With George Clooney

Unfortunately for actor George Clooney, he was arrested today while protesting in front of the Sudan embassy in Washington. But the good news is the ABC 7 cameras captured a very enthusiastic Christina Wilkie as she walked with Clooney before the arrest.

The HuffPost reporter described the scene to FBDC in an email:

It was a zoo, with about 50 reporters all angling (and elbowing) for the same shot. We spoke to Clooney on the way over to the protest, though, so we already had a good interview in pocket when we got there.

HuffPost videographer Sara Kenigsberg was in the middle of the action, while I sneaked onto the wall of the embassy of Mali so I could catch the dialogue between Clooney and the cops, which was friendly but nothing newsworthy.

Wilkie told us that she didn’t see her cameo on ABC 7 today.

A Soiree to Remember…

To celebrate its 5-year anniversary under President Jason Grumet, the Bipartisan Policy Center, which the NJ has called “one of Washington’s most attractive destinations for former lawmakers, Cabinet members, and others”, is hosting an “Open House” tonight. Expected media in attendance…Capitol File‘s Publisher Sarah Schaffer and Editor-in-Chief Kate Bennett, Self Magazine’s D.C. Editor Marc Adelman, The Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, Twitter’s Adam Sharp, HtuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie, Bloomberg’s Darin Ohlandt, former CNNer Kathleen Koch, TV Chef Jose Andres, CNN’s Linda Roth, Business Round table’s Kirk Monroe and Susan G. Komen’s Kiki Ryan and former TIME scribe Tim Burger.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — Behind the Curtain in Des Moines


The Rachels: RealClearPoliticsScott Conroy says on Twitter, “What they’re watching at Santorum’s party #iacaucus.” The Rachels tortured us early Wednesday morning with a very special episode of “Up With Chris Hayes” at 1 a.m.

Fishbowl Des Moines (Adios, Mike Allen, we’re taking back the night.)

Luntz’s puffy coat

“Frank Luntz on Fox News has the biggest, puffiest down jacket I have ever seen in my life.” — Zach Wolf, ABC News Political Unit. (Photo credit: Yahoo! News’s Chris Moody.)

Confusion on the campaign trail

“Ron Paul staffer gets confused thinks I work ‘the times’ instead of ‘in these times’ asks if I want to speak to the Congressman.” — Labor journo Mike Elk.

Journo loses his belt; disaster averted

“At the lovely Capitol in Des Moines to join @BretBaier. Fortunately we’ll be seated so my lost belt shouldn’t result in YouTube hilarity.” — ReutersSam Youngman.

Birthdays: “Happy 1st birthday to Wee-Bey, the dog. The one year old goldendoodle will be celebrating by licking his balls.” — FBDC’s Peter Ogburn. (h/t Ogburn and h/t Mike Allen for h/t) Asked about presents, Peter remarked, “I did get Wee-Bey a present. The exciting new E-Book from Politico, The Right Fights Back.”

The Beauty Experts

Sarah Palin‘s half-beehive is back!” — Politico media writer Keach Hagey. (Photo credit: Business Insider’s Glynnis MacNicol.)

“Loser or not, Michelle Bachmann looks fabulous.” — HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie. Wilkie also observed Ron Paul‘s wife, saying, “Carol Paul is rocking a fur collared coat. A big one. Indoors. At a campaign event. Thoughts? #iacaucus.”

“First time a presidential candidate’s on-stage surrogate has EVER has a neck tattoo. #iacaucus” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake.

Lizza lets loose

“Can we all agree the Iowa Straw Paul is f*cking stupid now?” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, who also wrote, “I picked a terrible night to be on deadline for a 10,000 word piece not about GOP politics.” But our favorite Lizza from the night is by far this: “What’s on Marcus’s lips?” (In reference to Michelle Bachmann’s hubby, Marcus.) On another note entirely, what the f$%# was Marcus doing buying their dog, Boomer, sunglasses in Iowa?

Tapper pays Busey a compliment (wink! wink!)

“I cannot understate the importance of the Gary Busey endorsement, then withdrawal of said endorsement, of @NewtGingrich.” — ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.

Spotted: Journos being  journos

“Spotted in Des Moines, midnight Central: A bunch of reporters who thought they would be drunk and/or in bed right now.” — The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball.

Watch out. Harwood’s caffeinated.

“Modern media life: Up 4 am in Iowa. 19 hours of live shots. Charter flight to NH. Arrive hotel. Now, coffee…then more live shots.” — CNBC’s and NYT‘s John Harwood.

Arianna cracks on CNN’s John King

“Waiting for John King to get sucked into his Touch Screen Map, Poltergeist-style.” — HuffPost/AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington.

And back in Washington…

The weather outside is frightful

“NEVER GOING OUTSIDE AGAIN and also other irrational things because it’s just so so cold.” WaPo‘s Lindsay Apple.

An evening in

“Leftover palak paneer? Check. Bottomless iced tea? Check. Power outlet? Check. Bring it on, Iowa. #caucus” — NPR’s Andy Carvin.

The TV Critics

“Fox News discussion hours before the caucuses: Are reporters who tweet full of themselves?” — Tribune‘s Mike Memoli.

Bret Baier back on this ‘guy in a truck’ thing…what the hell? Enough already.” — The Times of London‘s Matt Spence.

“I thought it was odd when Sanford signed off his Fox News interview with, ‘Tienes los ojos más bonitos del mundo.’ — National Review Online‘s Jim Geraghty on former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford‘s punditry appearance on FNC last night.

“Gingrich translated: ‘If the truth hurts, fuck you.’” — Metro Weekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg.

Marcus Bachmann would have made a lovely first lady. #iacaucus” — Crooks & Liars’ Tina Dupuy.

“As Ron Paul speaks, Rand is standing behind him looking like he’s at a funeral.” — The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball.

“I think we can all agree that Boomer Bachmann getting new sunglasses was more interesting than this speech.” — FNC Democratic political analyst and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers.

Teeth brushing or Romney speech? That’s easy.

“How captivated was I by Romney’s stump/victory speech? Half-way through, I ran to brush my teeth.” – Roll Call’s Shira Toeplitz.

Why Santorum? Well, for one thing…

“I am rooting for Santorum to win because, as far as I am aware, he has not strapped a dog to his car while driving long distances.” — Activist and former DCist writer Dave Stroup.

Hawaiian Pool Duty comes to a close

“Just checked out of my room in Hawaii. The president’s vacation is over for him and now for me too. I’m relieved.” — Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein.

Makeup lady on Roland Martin

“Doing @rolandsmartin makeup. He’s bringing some soul to the makeup room!” –  Stevie Martin.

Boybander pledges quality

“My pledge to you: writing on a short deadline does not give me license to mix metaphors. Danger Room: Where Quality Is Job #1.” — Wired‘s Spencer Ackerman.

Tracy gets racy

“No, I will not be CAUCUSING tonight. Sounds a bit perverse.” — Cheoff Geoff Tracy, husband to CBS Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell.

Holy S#%t! Tschida’s got rats

“So exterminator confirms I have very SMART rats. They dodge the traps and gorge on bananas. Just realized… I’d prefer ghosts.” — ABC7 reporter Stephen Tschida.

Convo Between Two Journos

The Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox: “Fox News turning out to be a really good source for news about the bottom four candidates.” Lizza: “Future on-air talent.”

MUST CREDIT BUZZFEED. Or else!

“I won’t do a ‘Must Credit BuzzFeed.’ But please do credit BuzzFeed. We’re a fragile young thing.” — BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith on their exclusive that Sen. McCain plans to endorse Romney today.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“I hate politicians who say they aren’t politicians. Even if they’re wearing a super-cute blue blazer.” — Metro Weekly‘s Mr. Bugg. Congrats Bugg! You’ve won back your crown.

 

Kardashian Splitsville React-Washington Style

Even John Coale didn’t see it coming.

The sudden newsflash of Kim Kardashian splitting up with her husband after 72 days is rocking Hollywood and, of course, Washington as evidenced by the lame posts in WaPo and The Hill. WaPo enlightened us with the fact that FNC’s Greta Van Susteren, who took Kim as her date to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner two years ago, is staying mum on the matter. The Hill reported on it because how is Kim Kardashian not Hill-related?

Coale, Van Susteren’s husband, attended the wedding with his wife. He’s in what can only be described as a state of sudden faux shock. “You bet!!!” he wrote when I asked if he was in a state of shock. “They seemed to really be in love, but what the f#*k do I know?” Coale said he has seen the couple in Manhattan since the wedding and everything seemed “just peachy.”

Here’s what journalists around town are saying amid the obviously more important 2012 presidential campaign coverage.

Townhall.com columnist and radio host Derek Hunter: Kim Kardashian’s marriage is over. I honestly didn’t know it had started. But Vegas odds makers are breathing a sign of relief today because, even though it only lasted 72 days, it still beat the “under” of 60, which most people took.

Matt Dornic, FBDC, QGA: Like Tareq and Michaele, and Parker Spitzer, Kim and whatshisname will forever be remembered as one of the greatest romances of our time. I hope the media provides them the privacy and respect they deserve to film this incredibly difficult and personal time for international broadcast next year.

The Hill‘s Sam Youngman: I really thought those two would make it. She divorced Reggie Bush, right? What? Oh, well…

The Daily Caller‘s TV reporter Jeff Poor: Kim Kardashian? I didn’t realize she was married until this week.

TWT Senior Opinion Writer Emily Miller: I’m devastated. I thought it was true love. I kid. I don’t know how Kim will find another man who fits into a family of people whose names all oddly start with a “K”, will accept a donated $2 million engagement ring, wants to be on a reality show and is up for making $18 million to be married for two months. Men like Kris Humphries are hard to come by in this day and age.

Trailmix Blogger and political TV contributor Craig Crawford: A couple thoughts. 1. Kim Kardashian got famous with a sex tape. Maybe Cain is onto something. 2. Kardashians burping in each other’s faces is about as appetizing as Rick Perry drooling on himself. And 3. At least the Kardashians got a longer shelf life than Michele Bachmann‘s Iowa straw poll bump.

NJ Spokeswoman Taylor West: If a sham marriage set up entirely to enrich two shameless fame-whores doesn’t end in true love, what hope do the rest of us have? But hey – at least she didn’t run off with a member of Journey.

Anonymous WaPo reporter: Pathetic. Even Weigel’s relationship with us outlasted that sham marriage. [Referring to Slate's Dave Weigel, formerly with WaPo.]

Politico‘s Patrick Gavin: This is the best news Doug Heye has heard all week.

RCP Washington Editor Carl Cannon: My first reaction was that Ms. Kardashian is taking the NBA lockout too literally. Then I noticed from news reports that Kris Humphries had expectations of his California-born bride contentedly settling down in Minnesota and making babies. I don’t really know the lady, but that curious expectation strikes me as a powerful advertisement for the wisdom of long engagements.

HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie: I’m pretty sure the whole sad story can be summed up in one poignant tweet, written by a clearly brokenhearted bride on the day she filed for divorce: “Our store #KardashianKhaos is opening tomorrow at 9am at @TheMirageLV We are so excited!! Kardashian Khaos has arrived!”

The Blaze‘s Eddie Scary: I hope they can work through this and keep their marriage intact. I need something to believe in.

Current TV’s David Shuster: I feel kind of badly for Kris Humphries.  I mean, the guy has never been known for his rebounding.

Q: Where Were You on Sept. 11?

Today we ask Washington, D.C. journalists one question:

Where were you on Sept. 11?

Politico‘s Roger Simon: “I was just climbing in the car to drive to work when my wife came rushing into the garage to tell me of the attack on the first tower. Made phone calls and scribbled notes while driving into work, by which time second tower had been hit. Began making more calls, taking more notes and writing when the plane hit the Pentagon. More calls, more notes, more writing. Journalism can be a great anesthetic…until it wears off.”

The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman: “I was in college at Western Kentucky University. We had put the school paper to bed the night before, so I was sleeping in when my roommate woke me up. We sat there in silence watching the TV as the towers burned. He got up to get a beer, and I walked to the newsroom. A couple days later, my hillbilly buddies and I were ordering hundreds of bourbons at an all-you-can-drink bar. It seems silly, but listening to my drunk country buddies talk about what they would do to bin Laden gave me hope for the future of the country.”

Roll Call‘s John Stanton: “I was at the Inside Washington Office news room in Crystal City, which had a pretty great view of the Potomac and Pentagon. My desk faced out of a window, and I was just sitting down to check Drudge to see if he had any stories on the plane crashing into the building in New York. Something caught my eye over the top of my monitor. When I looked up you could see smoke and then flames coming from the Pentagon.”

HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim: “I was working at Chestertown Middle School on the Eastern Shore as an aide in a classroom of kids with behavioral problems (the same middle school I attended, actually). I remember giving a lesson about who Osama bin Laden was and why al Qaeda hated us. They actually sat and listened quietly to the entire thing, unpersuaded by my promises that Osama had no designs on Chestertown. My girlfriend, now wife, Elizan, was in Manhattan, and I was able to get a hold of her in the afternoon. Three weeks earlier, I’d turned down a job with Morgan Stanley on the 42nd floor of the second tower, a decision I’m very pleased with on a number of levels. Though I suspect I’d have been fine because I’m not one to be in the office by 9 a.m.”

Politico’s Julie Mason: “I drove with a coworker in a berserk, hurtling panic in a rental car from D.C. to NYC and covered the story from there for the Houston Chronicle for about 10 days. The thing that no one likes to say is that it was really the story of a lifetime — a huge challenge to try to understand and explain. And the trickiest part was writing about it clearly, without being overwrought — especially when you felt overwrought. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years.”

NBC and MSNBC “The Daily Rundown” Host Chuck Todd: “I was at ‘The Hotline,’ our offices at The Watergate on the third floor. We decided to publish, didn’t know what else to do. We turned it into a public service of sorts. Just loaded it up with every bit of info we could get our hands on, whatever every network was reporting. I’ll never forget the visual of my staff racing to the big windows we had overlooking the Potomac and simply staring in the sky wondering if another plane was coming – total frozen fear. I wouldn’t let anyone take the Metro home. A few of us with cars took everyone home. The four issues of that week 9/11,9/12, 9/13 and 9/14 are the proudest issues I oversaw during my days there. I still have them, framed.”

WaPo Opinion Writer Jonathan Capehart: “On Sept. 11, I went to vote in the Democratic Primary and then headed to my desk at the Bloomberg for Mayor campaign. At one point, I looked up at the bank of televisions and said, ‘Look, the World Trade Center is on fire!’ The rest of the day was a literal nightmare.”

C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman: “Ten years ago I was still with ‘The Hotline,’ writing my online column.  Sept. 11, 2001 was the day of the New York City mayoral primary.  That morning, I boarded an Amtrak train to go cover the primary.  I even had an invite to Michael Bloomberg‘s election-night party.  The train left Washington around 8:30 a.m.  As I approached Baltimore headed north, my cell phone went off twice.  My wife of four months and a good friend both told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Both warned me not to continue on to New York.  A minute later, the train arrived in Baltimore.  I decided to abandon the trip and got off.  The train left the station (I learned later that that train was one of many that became stranded that day).  In Baltimore, I saw on TV what was happening.  There were already huge lines for taxis.  No real options to head back south to D.C.  Back down on the train tracks, the light rail was still operating.  I got on a deserted light rail train. But it terminated at BWI airport.  About 30 minutes later I arrived at BWI airport.  By that point airports had stopped operating.  BWI was full of stranded — and dazed — travelers.  I saw on TV that the twin towers were gone.  I had no way of getting home, so I called my parents. They drove from Greenbelt and picked me up.  They took me back with them, where my wife met me.  We drove back to DC (we lived then at 22nd and L Streets, NW).  An eerie feeling getting into the city, when so many were leaving.  The city was empty.  Outside our building was a humvee and soldiers holding machine guns. We went out for a walk, toward the Pentagon, saw the fire and smelled the smoke, saw more soldiers, walked near the State Department and White House, then returned home and watched TV the rest of the day and night.”

Slate’s Dave Weigel: “No great story here — I was in my parents’ house in Delaware, a few days before heading back to school. My granddad was watching TV while I was upstairs updating my HTML blog. He called me down, and then we watched TV, and then my mother called from a barber shop to ask if we were watching. We picked up my dad from his evacuated building, and later my friends who’d also gotten the day off hooked up with me for a trip to buy the new Dylan album. Returning from that, I updated my blog again.”

The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab: “Sept. 11, 2001 was a day of immense sadness, but for those of us living in Southwestern Pennsylvania, it was also a day of massive confusion. I was a senior in high school at the time, having lived in the small town of Ligonier, Pa., my entire life. After the World Trade Center had been hit in New York City my friend Brea ran into Ms. Barr’s jazz band homeroom and said, ‘We’re being attacked.’ We threatened a mutiny against music that morning and informed Ms. Barr that we wanted to watch CNN. She finally obliged. We watched the Twin Towers collapse and heard the news about the Pentagon. I always carried my cell phone, what we nicknamed ‘the contraband,’ to school even though it was against school rules. Using that phone my friends secretly called their parents from the instrument storage room. That’s when we found out about how close Flight 93 was to where we lived. My friends’ moms had seen the plane wobbling through the air before it finally came down about 30 miles away in Shanksville, Pa. At the time we didn’t know why one of the hijacked planes was flying through our backyards. Rumor on the street was that it was on its way to attack Pittsburgh. (Yeah, right). Now we know that it was the heroism of the passengers and flight attendants that most likely saved countless lives right here in D.C.”

AP’s Phil Eillott: “I was a junior at Ohio University on Sept. 11, 2001, and the managing editor of our independent student-run daily newspaper, The Post. It was our first week of publishing for the academic year and I was the late editor the day before. I was at the office until after 4 a.m., making sure the edition got to print by the 6 a.m. deadline. I was still asleep when the first tower was hit. An early editor called with few details to wake me. I was getting ready for work when a second phone call came in with news of a second plane. Not quite understanding what was going on, I made a quick stop at the bookstore to pick up a textbook on my way to The Post. By the time I arrived in the newsroom, the significance of what had happened started to sink in.”

HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie: “I was an intern at The Brookings Institution, and I arrived at work just after the first tower was hit. Twenty of us crowded around a TV in the conference room as we tried to absorb what was going on. There was another new intern, Tracee, who had never been in a big city before and didn’t know where to go, so I took her with me and we walked up Massachusetts Ave in the middle of the street, 30 blocks to my house. We sat together, virtual strangers, for the next six hours.”

Politico‘s Keach Hagey: “I was in Manhattan, on my way to work. I ran into a friend coming out of the subway at 23rd St. who said, ‘Turn around.’ I looked down Broadway and saw the first tower fall. People were just standing in the middle of the street, screaming.” [Hagey was writing for non-profits at the time.]

C-SPAN’s Steve Scully: “I was on C-SPAN doing a segment on President Bush’s education agenda when I received a note about a plane hitting the first tower of the World Trade Center. It was approximately 8:47. The House was in at 9 a.m. so I was off the air at 9. I turned the corner and saw the 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower LIVE at 9:02. Then immediately mobilized because I knew, we knew, this is not just an accident. We stayed on air for days after that.”

ABC White House Correspondent Jake Tapper: “I was in my apartment in Adams Morgan trying to figure out what I would write about that day when my then-boss at Salon.com, Kerry Lauerman, called. He told me to turn on the TV. I did just as the second plane hit. No one knew what was happening. Kerry soon called again because there were rumors that the Mall was on fire. In reality, it was smoke from the Pentagon. I hopped on my bicycle to go check it out; I didnt want to have to worry about traffic. Rumors were swirling — there was a bomb at the State Department, a car bomb at Treasury. At the Mall, traffic was insane, cars were at a standstill. I ran into a friend, Ellen Gamerman, then of the Baltimore Sun. Car radios were blaring news and people would gather around to listen. I decided to get out of there and gave Ellen a lift on the bike. When we got near the White House, a panicky policeman told us to get out of there as soon as possible since there were reports that a fourth plane was headed to the White House. Right around then is when the towers started to fall. The whole world had changed. No one knew what to do. I called around and made sure everyone I knew and cared about in NYC and New Jersey was OK.  My little brother was living in Cairo, so there was a whole new worry I immediately adopted. I was glued to the TV for hours. No one knew
how many people had died. Peter Jennings was great that day. A friend of mine and I went to go give blood. We just needed to do something. We walked to the Red Cross but they were overwhelmed so they sent us away. I think all that blood ended up getting spoiled anyway. Kerry kept calling me to ask me what I was going to write. [Read the story here.] It wasn’t easy to write that day. Looking back on it, I’m amazed at how dispassionate the story seems. I was overwhelmed with grief. The next day I went to the Capitol — I
worked in the Senate Periodical Press Gallery — and called Gary Hart
and Warren Rudman, who had chaired a commission warning of a terrorist
attack. Their warnings had been ignored. That day I got angry. It was a weird time to be a reporter.”

WaPo‘s Aaron Blake: “Getting ready for my first day of college at the University of Minnesota. I still went to class for some reason. I think that’s proof that this didn’t set in right away.”

Poshbrood Travel Blog Founder and blogger Elizabeth Thorp: ” On 9-11, I had a plane ticket to fly from IAD to Denver around 11 am. I was Executive Director of the National Campaign for Hearing Health and we had a board meeting in Denver. A few colleagues had gone out Monday. I don’t love to fly (ironic, huh since I’m a travel writer and founder of travel website and consultancy Poshbrood?) My grandfather was killed in a small plane crash and I grew up in a family of nervous fliers. Almus and I had been married a year and lived in a condo near the Cathedral. I had gotten up early to exercise, had come back and was making coffee, reading the paper and watching the news. I was extra nervous about flying that day, just had a bad feeling and was dragging my feet. My insomniac mom called from LA around 8:30 a.m. and I told her I was going to Colorado but really didn’t want to fly…she said the weather’s great today, you’ll have a smooth flight! Later I was watching the Today Show (way pre-George on GMA which is our new morning show) and they broke in to say a small plane had it the Tower and showed the footage. I had been in the building recently for a client meeting and thought ‘the building is huge, there is no way that’s a small plane.’ I got online (dial up!) and checked to see how many other United flights there were to Denver as I didn’t want to head to the airport yet (but should by 9:30 am). There were more flights and I decided to wait a bit before heading to airport. I kept watching the TV and live (I remember it was Katie Couric and Al Roker talking) watched as the second plane hit the Tower. My blood ran cold and I knew something deliberate, horrible and evil was happening and it didn’t matter if I went to the silly board meeting or not. My husband came in from his run and he said he knew by my face something was very, very wrong. My parent’s called me to make sure I didn’t get on the plane (duh!) and several people thought I might be going to LA from IAD and couldn’t get through to me because lines were jammed. We watched live as Jim Miklaszewski reported an explosion at the Pentagon which was the other IAD plane and got a text that the rest of the office downtown at 17th and K were evacuating. We went to the roof of our condo and saw the plume of smoke at the Pentagon and I couldn’t get my head around the malicious evil of “people” who would deliberately crash a plane of innocents. I still can’t. We then started hearing about the PA plane crash and acquaintances or classmates who were in planes or the Tower. I cried and watched TV all day. In the afternoon, I walked over to the Cathedral with our dogs and met some nice out of town visitors. They were seeking comfort because a colleague of theirs had been on the flight that went into the Pentagon. It was so very sad. Still is. I have my unused 9-11 plane ticket somewhere in a box of keepsakes. After that day for awhile I was always given extra searches, pulled out of line and had bags searched. Even when 8 months pregnant! Maybe because I was flying on 9/11?”

Roll Call‘s Paul Singer: “I was the head of AP’s bureau in Cleveland — we were in our statewide morning news conference call when the second plane struck, and everybody just said ‘Well, OK, scrap everything else we were planning’ and hung up. Shortly thereafter we got an alert that there was a hijacked plane with a bomb aboard that was being forced to land at the Cleveland airport. Apparently flight 93 was on the same flight path as another plane headed west, and there was air traffic confusion as they passed into Ohio (the regional FAA station is in Oberlin). Flight 93 did a buttonhook and went down in Shanksville; the other plane was sent to land in Cleveland. The airport is about 15 miles out of town, but the mayor decided to evacuate downtown Cleveland. It’s a small city with a few major roads and bridges which all instantly became parking lots with panicked people trying to flee. The mayor held a press conference and I had to basically climb over cars to traverse the four blocks from the AP bureau to city hall. I had taken the Cleveland job in May and I am pretty sure that the ‘hijacked plane/bomb/evacuation’ series was my first experience filing an URGENT series for the AP; I had no idea what codes to use or what format. I had our veteran sportswriter standing behind me basically dictating to me while I hammered on the keyboard. It was very nearly Sept. 12 before I was finally at my neighborhood bar with a drink in my hand watching reruns of the collapsing towers over and over again, and wondering what we had just lived through.”

The Daily Caller‘s David Martosko: “I was on my way up I-395 on my way to work in DC, listening to the radio with my wife Susan — who had a dentist appointment downtown that morning, when Flight 11 hit the North tower. By the time we made it to my office, the Pentagon had just been struck. It took me two hours to get to my where Susan was, just 6 blocks away. She was waiting on the curb since the dentist’s building had been evacuated. We spent another four hours in the car trying to cross the 14th Street Bridge. Eventually, when the bridge was opened to (outgoing only) traffic, we made our way home. Along the way we offered to pick up several people who said they were too scared to go underground into the Metro tunnels. I learned later on that some of my co-workers had gotten home to Virginia much faster by abandoning their cars and walking. As luck would have it, I was due for a blood donation — I had been giving a pint every two months since high school, since my own life was saved by an emergency transfusion when I was very young. I stood in line that night at a Red Cross donor center in Arlington, along with dozens of others. Many were first-time blood donors.  There simply wasn’t much else we could do at that point. Susan and I had  several lunches and dinners at the Afghan restaurant on Route 1 in Alexandria, since the owners had (literally overnight) covered the building’s roof-eaves with red, white, and blue bunting. It was the first of many signs that our neighbors of Middle Eastern descent would suddenly have to work twice as hard to demonstrate their love of country, and that they would need our support. The only other thing I remember vividly about that day was holding on to Susan, and she to me, and wondering if World War III had just begun.

A special note of thanks to all who responded.

Haddad and Fischer Host Luxe Lunch for McCormick

You know you’re one hell of a flack when a flock of journos bust their midday beat to break bread in your honor.  And such is the case of Kelley McCormick,  former partner at Qorvis Communications and Reese Witherspoon lookalike.  McCormick and her new role as Gibraltar Associates COO were toasted yesterday at a swanky lunch hosted by “Meet the Press” EP Betsy Fischer and the one and only Tammy Haddad.

Nearly 40 guests mingled over champagne before sitting down to a three-course wine luncheon of split pea soup with creme fraiche, bacon-garnished crab cake and tasty dessert.  Both Fischer and Haddad shared kind words about their friend before Gibraltar CEO Eric Bovim raised a glass to McCormick, gushing “I can’t imagine doing this without her.”

Attendees of the fancy-pants lunch fete included Politico’s Mike Allen, NBC White House producer Alicia Jennings, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, Examiner’s Nikki Schwab, The Hill’s Kate Oczypok, DC’s Karen Sommer Shalett, Janet Donovan, Cap File’s Kate Bennett and Sarah Schaffer, Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie, Kiki Ryan, Bloomberg’s Ha Chan, Tracy Sefl, Washingtonian’s Sophie Gilbert, Washington Life‘s Michael Clements, Emily Lenzner, Poshbrood’s Elizabeth Thorp, Twitter’s Adam Sharp, WBJ‘s Jen Nycz-Conner and SELF‘s Marc Adleman.  Congrats to Kelley!

L to R: Betsy Fischer, Mike Allen, Kate Bennett, Halle Mayes, Tammy Haddad, Marc Adelman, Kelley McCormick.

*All photos courtesy of Haddad Media.

The Hill Hires Howie Kurtz’s Daughter

The Hill welcomes a new gossip columnist to its pages. It’s Judy Kurtz, a reporter at WBFF-TV in Baltimore. Kurtz, who is the daughter of The Daily Beast‘s Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz, replaces Christina Wilkie, whose new job at HuffPost begins today. Kurtz first applied for the job approximately two and a half years ago, but the job went to Wilkie.

Wilkie’s new beat at HuffPost is political and philanthropic fundraising as well as society and style. In an internal memo, The Hill‘s Editor Hugo Gurdon details the reasons why he thinks Kurtz is a good fit (read this after the jump…).

A bio on the WBFF website reveals more on Kurtz. Prior to that job, she was as a reporter for WJLA/NewsChannel 8 where she earned accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists. She also hosted “Newsburst”, a daily webcast featuring news and entertainment. Add being a producer for WKRN in Nashville to her list of accomplishments as well as being a video journo for Verizon FiOS . She graduated from NYU. She began her journalism career at People Magazine, writing on celebs and New York nightlife. Two people she has interviewed: Al Sharpton and George Clooney. The bio adds, “Judy loves spending time with her dog, traveling, reading celebrity magazines, working out, and seeing her family.”

Read more

The Hill’s Wilkie is Going to Work for…

Christina Wilkie, The Hill‘s Washington Scene blogger and In the Know gossip columnist, was spotted near the offices of HuffPost today on Pennsylvania Avenue. We hear she’ll soon be an employee.

Congratulations to Wilkie!

Stay tuned for the various memos…

 

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