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Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Hitchens’

The FishbowlDC Interview With WaPo Express’s Clinton Yates

Say hello to WaPo Express‘s unassuming Local News Editor Clinton Yates. He writes the snappy new Lunchline feature that highlights stories of the day. The feature began in November. “The idea is to get eyeballs on the Post, Slate, Foreign Policy, The Root, Capital Business, and Express Night Out,” he says. Yate’s favorite writer is easily Christopher Hitchens. “Just a smart guy who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks,” he says. “He’s also not afraid to be wrong, which is something I admire.” The 29-year-old journo was working in radio but landed  the Express job four years ago. He says it’s “a little bit of a dream job scenario to go to work for the paper I grew up reading.”

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Probably Fanta.

How often do you Google yourself? I have a Google alert for my name.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Huh. That’s hard to say. Probably the worst thing when I openly told an editor that an idea of theirs was idiotic. That was that. You know, respectful. Nobody was shocked. I’m generally not afraid to tell people what I think, but not a fan of being mean to people for no reason.

Who is your favorite working journalist? I would likely say Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports. A lot of what he does revolves around race, politics, culture in America. He tells it how it is.

Do you have a favorite word? Tremendous.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? I would like to have dinner with either one of them, but I’d pick Palin because her food choices would be more outlandish.

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

When did you last cry and why? It was when I saw “Where the Wild Things Are” because I love that book as a little kid and reminded  me a little bit of my own life.

What word do you routinely misspell? Illegal.

What swear word do you use most often? Fuck.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Situation” and that was before Jersey Shore came out. I’ve had to wane myself off it. For example, What’s up dude, situation? Do you like The Situation? I wouldn’t say I like him. I respect his hustle.

What TV show do you have to watch? TV Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser. They come on back to back on ESPN.

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? On the Internet.

Whom do you prefer for daytime talk, Dr. Phil, Ellen, Oprah, Tyra or the women of The View? Well considering I’m at the office for most of those, what I actually like is “Street Smarts” with Erin Burnett.

Pick one: Leno, Letterman or Conan? Letterman.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Rahm Emanuel because he could probably get us off the island. Cause he’s loud.

Who is your mentor? Mike Wilbon. I met him while I was in college and he’s part of the reason why I stayed interested in journalism.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? It was from Wilbon. He told me that no matter what it may seem, there was place in America for the voice of people like me. Specifically black men. Specifically black men of a certain amount of intellect. Meaning non rappers, actors or athletes. Wilbon told me that not all athletes, musicians and actors are otherwise without intellect, but success on writing/journalistic talent alone as a black man in America is not easy.

More on Yates…

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Author Graham Moore’s Presidential Perks

Novelist Graham Moore with VP Joe Biden

Dealing with the spotlight from a famous mother or father can be drag.  Just ask Chelsea Clinton, Jackie Kucinich or Meghan McCain.  But as new novelist Graham Moore will tell you, having a political power parent also has its perks. While most authors receive a pat on the back after publishing their first book, Moore, the 29-year-old son of outgoing FLOTUS Chief of Staff Susan Sher, is being honored with a lineup of high-profile parties (two in the District alone).  Unfortunately for the fetes to follow, Moore’s first will be nearly impossible to top.

Hosted last night by Dr. Jill Biden and Susan Sher at the residence of the Vice President, an intimate group of  administration and media power players gathered to toast the first-time novelist and his book “The Sherlockian.” Trimmed out for the holidays, the glistening residence at One Observatory Circle welcomed a guest list that included Sec. Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a bubbly and warm Justice Sonia Sotomayor , White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Alan Greenspan and Ambassador Fujisaki of Japan to name just a few.

The fourth estate was represented by a number of faces from NBC – Andrea Mitchell, Norah O’Donnell with husband Geoff Tracy, Howard Fineman, Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker and wife Alexis Gelber.  Glamour’s Linda Kramer Jenning, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, SELF’s Marc Adelman, ABC News Washington Bureau Chief Robin Sproul, Tammy Haddad,  and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times rounded out the media invitees. Author and journalist Christopher Hitchens, whose recent cancer diagnosis seemed to have little effect on his spirit, was also in attendance with his son and daughter who are visiting from London.

While joking that his publishers have been instructed to send all press clippings directly to his doting mother, Moore was interrupted by Vice President Joe Biden who walked down the steps of his home to surprise and congratulate the boyish new author.  How’s that for a first book party?

Moore’s next Washington book bash will be held at the home of Hilary Rosen on December 6, 2010.  Check out his book “The Sherlockian” here.

Tammy Haddad with Justice Sotomayor

More photos after the jump.

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Rahm, Spike, Hitchens, Amanpour, Williams, Edwards to Show to The Atlantic Ideas Forum


The Atlantic, in conjunction with the Aspen Institute and the Newseum, will host its second annual Washington Ideas Forum in Washington from September 29 through October 1, 2010.

Confirmed newsmakers: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Ahmed Chalabi, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, filmmaker Spike Lee, authors Elizabeth Edwards, Christopher Hitchens and Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Craigslist’s Craig Newmark, and The Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein.

Participating journalists: include ABC’s “This Week” host Christiane Amanpour and Diane Sawyer, NBC’s Brian Williams, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, CNN’s John King, FNC’s Chris Wallace, CNBC’s Erin Burnett, NYT’s David Rohde, the Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson and Atlantic Media’s James Bennet, Ron Brownstein, James Fallows and Jeffrey Goldberg.

“This is an opportunity for influential Americans to hear important thinkers and policymakers as they are interviewed by American’s leading journalists. It is a unique celebration of thought and dialogue,” said David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media.

Leading journalists will interview policymakers; breakout sessions planned. More on press credentials after the jump…

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Daily Caller to Celebrate New Keg-o-rater


The Daily Caller plans to break in a new office Keg-o-rater next Wednesday evening with an invite-only party. Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson is a well-known non-drinker, but it doesn’t mean his employees follow suit. Earlier in the year employees were spotted enjoying celebratory shots at their party at Cafe Milano. And at a January launch party at lobbyist Juleanna Glover’s home, organizers made sure to save special scotch for VF‘s Christopher Hitchens.

Spokeswoman Becca Glover remarked to FishbowlDC, “We’re beyond excited about the new Keg-o-rator, and especially the beer that goes inside, so we wanted to share our enthusiasm with a few of our friends!”

Washington Life’s Most Invited – Which Journos Made It?

<img alt="iStockglass cornucopia255.jpg" src="/fishbowlDC/files/original/iStockglass cornucopia255.jpg" width="250" class="alignright" hspace="3' vspace="3"/ Washington Life has released it’s “Most Invited” list and here are the Washington journalists who made the A-List. We must say, no big shockers. But one question: Where the hell is Tammy Haddad?

Haddad, a who’s who around town, is spotted at many a party and hosts her annual Garden Party, one of the most sought after soirees of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner weekend. But she didn’t make the cut. As we reported yesterday, WL Executive Editor Michael Clements poked “fun” at Haddad’s grey hair stripe during a dinner at Blue Duck Tavern Tuesday evening by making the hair streak a place on Foursquare. We do sincerely hope her hair isn’t what kept her off the list, as it seems a rather petty, inappropriate reason to exclude her. We’re also not convinced it was that “fun” of a thing to do the other night.

We’ve asked Clements for comment on how decisions about the list were made. Stay tuned…

The List: CBS’s Rita Braver, NBC MTP Host David Gregory; BBC’s Katty Kay, VF’s Christopher Hitchens; BBC’s Katty Kay; Politico’s Mike Allen; MSNBC’s Chris Matthews; NBC’s Norah O’Donnell; WaPo’s Sally Quinn, Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger and FNC’s Chris Wallace.

> Update: Clements has replied. It’s heavy on Washington speak, but he has some points to make – like 12 of them. Check out his verryyy long quote after the jump. Many thanks to Clements for his response. In all his remarks, he had no comment on Haddad not making the list…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quote of the Day


Bo, the V.I.P.

“Bo deplaned at 10:59 and got lifted into a black SUV a few minutes later. Marine One lifted off at 11:03 pm as Bo looked on from back seat of SUV.”
- A favorite line from WaPo Nia-Malika Henderson‘s Pool Report #10 on Thursday. Bo, President Obama‘s Portuguese Water Dog is spotted exiting AF1 at Andrews Air Force Base. (We love that he’s written about in press reports formally, like he’s a real V.I.P., which he obviously is.).

Praying for Hitchens

“Trust no political party. Remember our troops. Pray for Hitch. Keep Calm and Carry On.”
- MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ Host Joe Scarborough Thursday on Twitter. He wants people to pray for Vanity Fair contributor Christopher Hitchens, who has cancer.


The FishbowlDC Interview With TWT’s Eli Lake

LAKE_ELI_004.jpg Say hello to TWT‘s National Security reporter Eli Lake. He’s also a contributing editor to TNR. When I asked him where he grew up, he writes, “I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the neighborhood of Germantown, where – as far as I know – there are no Germans.” Other Lake claims to fame: He has visited all three charter members of the Axis of Evil – Iraq, Iran and North Korea. He lived in Cairo between 2005 and 2006 where he served as the New York Sun‘s Middle East Bureau Chief. On a lighter note, he loves to Google himself.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Champagne. Obviously.

How often do you Google yourself? I get a daily alert. No, actually, I google myself constantly. It’s my home screen. I see my Google results when I close my eyes.

What’s the worst thing youÂ’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa) When I was just starting out, Paul Singer used to say, “O.K. finish up, and in English this time.”

Who is your favorite working journalist? Christopher Hitchens

Do you have a favorite word? Framework-Agreement.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? There are a lot of unanswered questions about both women.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Alcove 1

When did you last cry and why? I was raised by leftists in Germantown, Philadelphia. So I listened to a double album growing up called, “Free to be You and Me,” which contained songs and skits on women’s lib and various forms of tolerance. One song on the album was titled, “It’s Alright to Cry.” Well, I went to John B. Kelly elementary school, which is a public school, and let me tell you, that song is a lie. It’s not alright cry.

What word do you routinely misspell? Journolist.

What swear word do you use most often? Birth Certificate.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “You know what old man, you will never understand our music.”

What TV show do you have to watch? Anything on Press TV.

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? I like to get the Maxx for the minimum.

How Lake makes cancer funny is a mystifying, but he does. Also: find out the best journalism advice we’ve heard in a long time after the jump…

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Long-time Scotch Drinking Editor Downplays Junket


Washingtonian Editor-in-Chief Garrett Graff‘s week long Scotland Scotch junket sponsored by DISCUS was so nothing. Sooooo nothing that he failed to mention it in his 671-word piece – among many he has written on cocktails in his career – that he wrote on Scotch citing some of the so-called “knowledge” he garnered from a 2006 trip. He said he felt no need to mention the trip (or the fact that DISCUS paid for it). See explanation below.

Politico reports today about a variety of journos (including Graff) going on DISCUS’s liquor trips to locales such as Scotland and Kentucky. GQ‘s Ana Marie Cox went on a recent trip to Scotland with DISCUS and talks pretty openly to Politico about what a blast it was. She did not return an e-mail from FishbowlDC inquiring whether there would be a piece for GQ on her trip. Graff is not quoted in the story, but he and his piece are mentioned. The story reports that The Weekly Standard/Daily Caller’s Matt Labash went on a “all-expenses paid” DISCUS bourbon tour of Kentucky in 2002 — he fully disclosed it in his piece.

A note to FishbowlDC from Graff:

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Cancer Diagnosis Halts Hitchens Book Tour

hitch123.jpg Washington journalist and author Christopher Hitchens has been diagnosed with cancer, reports Reliable Source. Hitchens will cut his current book tour short in order to undergo chemotherapy on his esophagus. See WaPo here for more.

Hitchens’s Off-Beat Q&A With NYT Mag

Christopher+Hitchens+ChristopherHitchens001.jpg Even for Christopher Hitchens, the Q&A he did with with NYT Deborah Solomon for Sunday’s magazine took odd twists and turns.

The D.C.-based journalist, who writes for Slate and Vanity Fair, spoke with the interviewer about his new memoir, Hitch-22. In the 13-question interview, Hitchens discussed the following: having homosexual male friends he loves, not with whom he has sex; barely mentioning his two wives (current and ex) and children; and his mother committing suicide in a 1973 love pact (or was it menopause?).

Hitchens tells Solomon why he wrote the memoir: “I suppose the effect of becoming 60 on me was stronger than I thought it was going to be. I took it quite heavily and began to review my life a lot more than I had before.”

Read the full interview here.

An excerpt of Hitchens’s new memoir can be found here.