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Posts Tagged ‘Colby Hall’

Mediaite’s Weak Attempt at Attribution

Former Mediaite Managing Editor Colby Hall is gone. And his replacement, Nando di Fino, is moving on too. We can only blame this morning’s feeble attempt at attribution on Alex Alvarez‘s story on CNN lifting Roland Martin‘s suspension on the apparent waning guidance going on there.

This would not have happened under Hall’s regime. Or Nando’s for that matter. White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher makes a habit of making his attributions clear within his stories.

Fitting attribution on a story broken by another outlet typically happens in the first or second graph. But at Mediaite, it happened in a lame and misleading h/t after a pile of filler beyond the bottom of the story. The way the piece is written clearly purports that Mediaite broke the news when it did not. Nor do they add anything new to the news to justify not providing real attribution.

Watch out scribes. Hold onto your scoops, or better yet, let us know when it happens to you. We’re sure like most people they’re showering, but we also think it’s entirely possible that the newsroom is now passing around this unique cleansing bar.

(No links for thieves.)

Breitbart Lets it Rip on Eve of CPAC

Give Andrew Breitbart a plate of spare ribs and a goblet of red wine and he’s yours for as long as you want him. In fact, he’ll stay up until 5 or 6 in the morning telling you what he thinks about a whole host of things on his mind. Hey, if we’re going to do that, can we at least have some ribs and wine too?

For now, it’s 8 p.m. on Wednesday night — CPAC eve — and Breitbart, a publisher who runs six websites, is just getting warmed up. He’s at home at “The Embassy” (the townhouse he and his business partner, Larry, call “home” in Washington) for a book party on digital kids books that focus on family values like hard work and patriotism. Larry is a little freaked out about by my miniature blue notebook and pen but soon enough he gets over it. No one is talking about those kiddie books. Certainly not Breitbart.

He’s chilling in the parlor in a masculine rich brown leather armchair. His exquisite mop of gray curls sets off nicely against his attire, a pale blue button down, faded blue jeans and dark loafers, and his eyes, a crystalline blue.

For starters, Breitbart in person is not Breitbart online. He dominates every room he enters with his emotional and physical presence, but he’s warm and hospitable — and quite the goofball. He knows the perception is off. “All these bastards in media who meet me like me because they know I won’t lie,” he says. But not all like him, not even on the right, and he knows it. Hence the bodyguard he’ll have as he attends CPAC this week. He doesn’t like to think about danger too much. He jokingly mentions weapons he carries that include a “bazooka, a dog feces catapult and horse urine balloons.” He gives a nod to his publicist on the dog feces line and makes sure she thinks it’s funny. At two or three junctures in our conversation, he prefaces what he is about to say by declaring that THIS will be the most shocking thing I hear from him all night. In those moments, I brace myself for news that he once ate a live chicken including the beak and then he inevitably tells me something comparatively benign.

But Breitbart, even at his least shocking, is anything but benign…

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Daily Caller Goes After Scribe’s True Identity

After a public dustup on FishbowlDC yesterday, The Daily Caller‘s TV reporter Jeff Poor is going after the real identity of Mediaite‘s White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher. Guess that’s what happens when you call a media reporter like Poor a “homophobic piece of shit” as Christopher did yesterday.

But it isn’t all about revenge. There are also the facts. “Tommy Christopher” (pictured at left) is not “Christopher’s” real name, but a pen name he created to match that of his son who wanted to be an actor. Another reason Christopher created the name was for safety — apparently the reporter gets death threats. A third reason he created the name: Another writer already had the real one.

The story by Poor (pictured at right) reports that Christopher must sign into the White House by his real name. It also calls on readers to take guesses on what Christopher’s real name is. Poor said he wasn’t aware that Christopher wrote under a pen name until he was tipped off yesterday. “If ‘Tommy’ really wants to be play in the big leagues as a Washington, D.C. journalist, he ought to man-up and start using his real name, or go back to selling men’s suits,” Poor told FBDC this morning.

Christopher said he wasn’t contacted by Poor for the story. Mediaite‘s new spectacularly named Senior Editor Ferdinando Di Fino (a.k.a. “Nando”) is quoted extensively in the piece. We’ve reached out to both for comment. Di Fino replied, “The only thing I’m angered by in this entire affair is having to comment on these Tommy name stories that keep popping up. I’m trying to edit a site, write stories, manage a staff, send out tweets, pull videos, scour C-SPAN for penis mentions, and it’s a constant barrage about what I consider to be some trivial bullshit.” See more after the jump…

Read Poor’s story here.

We posed three poignant questions to “Christopher” on the matter, one involving a strong possibility of his real name…

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Fishbowl5 with Tommy Christopher

The chatter has turned increasingly loud among Washington reporters that Mediaite‘s White House correspondent Tommy Christopher desperately wants to be invited on one of those fun-loving, free-wheeling panel-like shows on MSNBC. Shows like “Up with Chris Hayes,” or “NOW with Alex Wagner” and to an extent Ed Schultz‘ “The Ed Show.”

“Tommy Christopher is clearly abusing his Mediaite platform to pimp himself out and try to get booked on MSNBC,” The Daily Caller‘s Jeff Poor told FBDC in an email. “What’s pathetic is that it is as if he didn’t think anyone would notice.”

Christopher told us that “of course” he wants to do TV hits because “any sane person would.” As for Poor’s comments: “[He] has an obvious personal ax to grind. That individual has TC Derangement Syndrome, and based on his past homophobic remarks and history at virulently anti-gay MRC, it probably has to do with my unqualified support for LGBT rights. Poor is only punching up at me to raise his own profile. More power to him.”

Colby Hall, founding editor of Mediaite who now works at Clear Channel, shared a similar sentiment. “Jeff Poor is a classic example of an Internet troll who can only attract attention by slagging the hard work of others,” he told us. “At least Poor’s online behavior fits the billing that comes from his family name. Or maybe that’s an example of self-fulfilling prophecy.” (Poor said it is actually Hall who  “trolls” NYT‘s Brian Stelter, “accusing him of stealing scoops.”)

Putting that bitchfest aside for a moment, Christopher writes on a host of topics for Mediaite. But most recently he has dedicated his prose to long, syrupy, features on Hayes and Schultz. They were broken into three parts each.

Here’s how Christopher described Schultz in a profile: “very friendly, open, gregarious,” “warm and easy, and free of the prima donna vibe you might expect from a liberal cable news star.”

In his profile of “Up,” Christopher, who constantly tweets about Hayes’ “uppers” fan club like he’s a member, gave the type of faux-reluctant compliment a man gives his fiance: “True to its title, [the show] forces a growing number of people to get Up With Chris Hayes.” While the piece on “Up” is spaced into three parts, it’s a mind numbing eight pages long. Muah, muah, muah!

When describing one episode of Wagner’s “NOW” he wrote, “I haven’t had many opportunities to catch my former White House colleague’s show, but if this crackling, funny panel segment is any indication, I’ll start making a point to.” XoXo, Tommy Christopher.

We’re fascinated with Christopher’s fascination with MSNBC, so we posed questions to him about it. The good news is, when Christopher gets bit, he bites back.

The questions…

See Christopher’s thoughts on Olbermann being an “asshole” to him and about Hayes hypothetically throwing feces at his cameraman (his words, not ours).

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Hey Mediaite: Cite Much?

We’re usually friendly with our media acquaintances over at Mediaite, the New York-based site run by Dan Abrams. But today they blatantly steal a post FishbowlDC ran first on Saturday afternoon on FNC’s Bret Baier‘s rapping at The Bob Hope Classic golf tourney Friday night.

No citation. No nothing. They run a story/video of the Friday night rap performance 48 hours later and call it their own, hat-tipping a website called “Chickaboomer” that also came late to the dance and ran an item on Baier’s rapping Monday morning.

Really Mediaite?

> Update: We thank Mediaite for also pointing out that Politico and Media Matters ran 48-hour late stories on Baier’s rapping and didn’t cite FBDC either. We conclude that they’re in the wrong as well. We also thank Mediaite‘s Colby Hall for correcting the matter on the website. See the link here.

> Update: To the intelligent readers of this site: By “steal,” no, we don’t mean that Mediaite broke into homes and stole television sets in a burglar’s uniform. This is a metaphor. We believe Mediaite behaved carelessly in the creation of their post. We believe they have corrected it. That’s all.

(No link to the others. We don’t link to thieves.)

Morning Reading List 04.21.09

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.

Its day 92 covering the Obama administration and week 12 for us. What we know and what we’re reading this Tuesday morning…



When you’re in a financial crisis how do you start to save money? For the Chicago Sun-Times it’s sending out an edict that the paper will cut payroll by 15 percent. The Chicago Tribune reports that the paper cut an undisclosed number of jobs to achieve this goal last week. More at MediaJobsDaily.

WaPo’s Dana Milbank reads his comments too.


NBC’s Ann Curry is headed to Iraq and Afghanistan this week and according to the AP, she’ll file reports on how the wars are being reshaped under President Obama for the Today Show and Nightly News.

B&C: If Oprah can use Twitter, so can TV stations. Three local television news chiefs said Twitter can be used like a police scanner to ferret out tips, can offer transparency about the newsgathering process, and make for a tighter bond with viewers.


Mark Penn for WSJ: “In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers, firefighters or even bartenders.”


Portfolio asks, “Has the relationship between Eliot Spitzer and The Washington Post Co. grown a bit too intimate for journalistic comfort?”

Vanity Fair on why Time and Newsweek will never be The Economist here.


Portfolio reports layoff victims were among the Pulitzer Prize winners announced yesterday.

Business Insider also points out the Pulitzer Board did not award any financial journalists or commentators this year.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romenesko, Calderone

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