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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Balz’

Summer Superlatives 2013: Most Respected Journalist in Washington

This is a tough category. But today we ask you to help determine who is Washington’s most respected journalist. The lineup of contestants includes USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, WaPo‘s Dan Balz, CNN’s Jake Tapper, WaPo‘s Paul Kane, WSJ Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib, CBS’ “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer and Politico‘s Maggie Haberman. A Capitol Hill aide remarked to FishbowlDC, “On the Hill, Paul Kane’s integrity is unquestioned.” Of Page and Balz, a journalist tooted their horns, saying, “I don’t know a single person — politician wise — who would say no to either one of them.” May the most respected journo win!

LIVE! With the Washington Press Corps.

Nearly every Washington-based big print publication has some type of video coverage of the party conventions. As they breathlessly note in their releases, much of the video is “LIVE!”

FishbowlDC took a look at some of the LIVE! offerings to separate the pros from the piglets.

Politico has done a solid job thus far with its video coverage. Each morning at 7:30 a.m. White House Correspondent Mike Allen and Executive Editor Jim VandeHei begin with a look at the day ahead. An hour later Politico partners with the Tampa Bay Times for a “Playbook Breakfast” featuring high-profile guests such as Liz Cheney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove. Live streaming video continues throughout the day with coverage and analysis provided by Politico reporters and other media types. Convention speeches are also streamed in the evening. Finding Politico‘s video coverage is easy. A large graphic link sits at the top of the homepage. Shockingly, this detail escaped many other publications, which essentially put their video streams in holes then covered them in dirt. One upside of viewing Politico‘s live videos is VandeHei try to intimidate his reporters with scare tactics. Wait, isn’t that Politico Pro‘s Tim Grieve‘s job? “You said you’d have two scoops for us,” VandeHei said to Jake Sherman at the start of one segment. “It’s your birthday!” VandeHei said at one point to another reporter. “We’re going to let you work until midnight!” Only minor audio issues in the stream have ensued.

WaPo‘s live coverage, meanwhile, is mediocre at best, if you can manage to stay awake to actually experience it. It’s unclear how to even get to a video landing page. From the front page of WaPo‘s website, readers can either scroll down a little to click a small icon labeled “live” which leads to a regularly updated blog on political news and posts live streaming video when there is one. The stream we caught was a breakfast yesterday hosted by WaPo‘s Dan Balz, Chris Cillizza and Karen Tumulty along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Content amounted to a camera that largely zoned in on Portman. The breakfast bore the atmosphere of a cafeteria at a retirement home.

HuffPost Live, the new video venture from HuffPost, has also been streaming segments from the convention. Yesterday the publication’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington streamed into HuffPost‘s studio via webcam from Tampa to discuss the Republican convention. What’s distracting is how anyone joining by webcam has to do so wearing headphones, often the white ones that come with Apple products. Video is easy to find with HuffPost Live because it has its own website. Production is sharp enough for online video but we can’t escape the feeling that our annoying relatives are trying to Skype with us. Furthermore, because many of the guests are everyday people joining from home, so viewers are often treated to random home phones ringing and out-of-sight dogs panting.

CNN may have the best online video stream (understandable, given that it’s produced by an actual TV network). The cast we caught was a convention chat between CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jim Acosta along with liberal commentator Donna Brazile and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Unfortunately, we have no idea how to navigate back to any video streaming. We were only able to find this particular one because the exact web address was advertised on CNN’s TV channel. But trying to get there from CNN.com is a no go.

Moving on, other than picture quality, which was generally top notch, The Hill‘s live streaming has been terrible. We checked in on several occasions. Once, the camera was fixated on a man tapping on his phone and doing nothing else, with a 30-second clip of music on loop. Another time, the camera was focused on empty bleachers for an unusually extended period of time. And in a third instance, the audio wasn’t in sync with the video. This morning’s stream was a panel discussion featuring conservative author Jonah Goldberg and The Hill‘s A.B. Stoddard, two capable journos who know their way around TV appearances. I’d tell you who the other person on the panel was, but there was almost zero description of the panel underneath the video. The description that was there only contained the name of the event and the time it started. The camera never moved, or zoomed. It simply sat with a wide shot of the panel. On the plus side, the video stream is easy to find. Like Politico, a graphic link at the top of The Hill‘s homepage takes you there.

Tied with The Hill for terrible video streaming is National Journal. Once again, it’s difficult to find when navigating from the front page. Scroll down and a graphic link is to the right with tiny font lettering that says “full coverage.” Even when you get there, the live stream video isn’t at the top, it’s almost halfway down the page. In National Journal‘s case, the picture quality is good but the camera work is poor. It was only a single stationary camera focused on the speaker (and we can’t tell you who it was when we watched because like The Hill, there was no description underneath the video).

Who Makes Chris Matthews’ Cut?

In the past week MSNBC “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews has significantly upped his Twitter following by doing one simple act: Tweeting.

For months now, he had one measly message on his feed. In one night — the evening of the GOP Presidential Debate in Simi Valley, Calif, — he increased his following by approximately five thousand. All because he announced on his “Hardball” program that he was going to be tweeting that evening.

Though Matthews’ tweets have so far been boring and bland, he caught flack for it, with FNC’s Ed Henry baiting him with ALL CAPS imitations of how he presumed Matthews, a shouting interrupter in real life, would be. And there were others who couldn’t quite imagine an online world infused with Matthews.

At the moment he’s broaching 20,000 followers (to be exact: 19, 957). He follows 65. So which lucky Washington journalists top Matthews’ list? Being at NBC certainly helps, but it’s not the only deciding factor. Politico‘s Mike Allen is on there as is HuffPost‘s Howard Fineman, C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, NYT’s Jeff Zeleny, WaPo’s Dan Balz and Anne Kornblut, former CNNer Larry King and White House Spokesman Jay Carney. NBC colleagues include everyone from Joe Scarborough, Savannah Guthrie and Andrea Mitchell to Domenico Montanaro and Luke Russert.

Naturally Twitter is an opportunity for Matthews to offer a more controlled version of himself — a man who reveals himself slowly and thinks before he speaks. But here’s to hoping he unleashes his true self and gives fans what they want.

‘You Like Me, You Really Like Me’

The National Press Club journalism awards are in and the ceremony is tonight.

The results…The Washington Post: two first-place awards. The Seattle Times, The Salt Lake Tribune, McClatchy Newspapers and The Wall Street Journal: one award each.  PBS was among the broadcast winners. MSNBC.com and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting won for online journalism and outstanding multimedia reporting.

From the release…WaPo‘s Dan Balz won the Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis for his writing about the atmosphere that set the stage for GOP gains in the 2010 elections, while Al Kamen won the Gingras Humor Award for humorous columns on life in the nation’s capital. The Seattle Times’ Michael J. Berens won the Consumer Journalism Award for newspapers with an in-depth examination of Washington state’s adult family home system that showed how efforts to move seniors out of nursing homes into community care results in bad conditions and negligence. Tommy Burr of The Salt Lake Tribune won for Washington regional reporting.

Congratulations to all.

There are many more award winners…read here.

 

Dan Balz Becomes WaPo’s First Ever Chief Correspondent

Chief Balz. Has a ring to it, right?

Today WaPo‘s Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli announces that Dan Balz is becoming the publication’s first ever Chief Correspondent. The decision reflects his “great stature” and “many accomplishments” and his “ambition.” His new role comes with perks: Balz will now be part of the leadership team which will let him in on weekly meetings and presumably key decisions on coverage. He will still cover the 2012 presidential trail. After that…is more of an unknown destination based on his curiosity.

See the internal memo…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY

The Daily Caller‘s Mary Katharine Ham: “4th of July nails. My toes are red.”

Thanksing the Press

“He will thanks [sic] the press and then take a few questions.” — Politico Playbook this morning explaining what Pentagon flack and former ABC Correspondent Geoff Morrell will do when bids everyone farewell today at his final press conference.

Good times: Journo has bright future as chef for drunken, hungry pals

“My drunk roommate assures me that if I fail at journalism, I have a bright future making him scrambled eggs at three in the fucking morning.” — Reason‘s Associate Editor Mike Riggs in a weekend tweet.

Ari warns mainstream press

“Prediction: MSM will try 2 ‘Palin’ Bachmann. Not sure what I think about her yet, but if press is unfair, I’ll like her more.” — Former George Bush Flack Ari Fleischer in a weekend tweet.

Gawking at Bachmann

“Liberals call Bachmann a ‘flake,’ what? She works v.v. hard, passionately and earnestly, to come up with her shit.” — Gawker Political Editor Jim Newell in a weekend tweet.

WaPo scribes are forced to belong to DCCC?

“This is *creative*: @DCCC fundraising e-mail says my membership (4949109!) has expired. Except never had a membership.” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake in a weekend tweet. To which colleague Dan Balz remarked, “You too?”

The tears for Beck will roll

“If Glenn Beck doesn’t cry on camera this week I’m gonna lose a $10 bet. #FarewellWeek #FoxNews #tcot” — Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert in a weekend tweet. Tonight Boehlert and his colleagues will celebrate Beck’s departure at the MMFA “Bye Bye Beck” party. Beck won’t be there, but we hear they’ll be passing out miniature chalkboards (no, not really, but they could make for nice goody bag gifts.)

The Rambo of Journalism

“Sometimes I’ll write a horrendous email and send it just to use gmail’s undo feature. one day that’s gonna backfire.” — The Onion’s Director of Digital Baratunde Thurston in a weekend tweet. He’s based in Brooklyn, but has been known to frequent D.C.

A convo between one CBS journo and one CBS producer

CBS’s Christine Delargy: “Witnessed history today folks.” (This was in reference to a tweet by CBS White House Radio Correspondent Mark Knoller who reported that this was the first time that POTUS had played golf twice on both Saturday and Sunday in one weekend.)

CBS White House Radio Correspondent Knoller: “Well, you witnessed the motorcade, not the round of golf.”

Delargy: “One helluva motorcade @markknoller. Even gave you a shout-out in one of my pool notes today.”

Washington Journos React With Disgust to NYT Style Piece

NYT‘s Style section has dipped to a new low in Washington.

This is the deafening refrain that we’ve been hearing all day long today after Sunday’s story on the “Juicebox Mafia,” which involves a group of Boy Band liberal journalists who once belonged to the now defunct JournoList listserv. The featured “new brat pack” is comprised of four relatively short white liberal guys in their 20s: WaPo‘s Ezra Klein (pictured at left) Slate‘s Dave Weigel (pictured below), TPM‘s Brian Beutler and Center for American Progress’s Matt Yglesias. But there’s nothing “new” about them and they’re not really older or seasoned like the story suggests even if Klein does dine at Potenza, which he did recently with the story’s author and with Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson last summer. This was before Klein printed obviously private emails from Carlson on his WaPo blog because isn’t that what someone older and sophisticated does when seeking revenge? A true veteran D.C. journalist remarked, “Nice story, but I don’t think the young bloggers are going to replace [WaPo's] Dan Balz and [NYT's] Carl Hulse.” Another wondered, “Why do New York Times reporters always have to cover DC like National Geographic would cover a new species found in the depths of the ocean? Or like they are narrating the March of the Penguins?”

Sunday’s article is most noteworthy in that, well, most of our readers thought it was a joke.

Full disclosure: The story’s author, Sridhar Pappu, who is not a close friend short of a few emails and phone conversations, quoted me in his story. He wrote what I said and verified the quote with me prior to using it.

But Pappu, please. Did he or his editors ever think to fully disclose that  he used to work with some of these ultra-cool cats at the Washington Independent? Did he think to disclose that they’re in this “mafia” simply because they’re all friends? Friends who do mafioso things together like cook, tweet, retweet, drink, play video games, read comic books and occasionally knock their heads together on MSNBC. Journalists in Washington struggle with the very premise of this story, that these guys have grown up as Pappu suggests, and that they’re somehow powerful and prominent figures. No time for geek trivia these days, claims Weigel. Why? Because his ancient 26-year-old friend, Ezra, is always on TV. Weigel’s cable TV career, meanwhile, has deflated since staunch defender Keith Olbermann departed. And it’s a wonder why he was so devoted. A hush fell over the Boy Banders when Olbermann disappeared.

Also Pappu, didn’t you or your editors think to note that all those media outlets such as TPM, MSNBC, Think Progress and The American Prospect are “liberal” since you called the The Daily Caller out for being “conservative?”

Questions from a D.C. journalist: “Why aren’t there any non-white, non-male characters included? Who the fuck edits this shit and hits “publish”?”

Executive Editor of Good Magazine Ann Friedman calls bullshit on the piece…

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The FishbowlDC Interview with The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta

Say hello to The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta. By far the most challenging thing to tackle about her is her complex name. “A lot of it has to do with pronunciations,” Garance (pronounced Gaaarohnse) said in a phone call. “A lot of people  think there’s a “tz” at the end instead of a “ce.” Sometimes people resort to calling her “G” or “GFR.” Still, others have had trouble with the second syllable of her first name. And believe it or not, there’s another Garance in journalism. She’s an AP writer in California. Weirder still, the two Garances have crossed paths — in college and at WaPo. Franke-Ruta was a reporter there and Garance Burke was an intern before Franke-Ruta arrived. “For awhile people were having trouble sending me email,” she said. “Because it was going to the other Garance.” The reporter has worked at a number of Washington publications that include NJ, TNR, WCP, The American Prospect and WaPo. In December she made the move to The Atlantic. Getting back to that unusual name, Franke-Ruta is named for a character in a French film from the 1940s called Les Enfants du Paradis. No, she’s not French. But she was born in Cavaillon, France and lived there until about two months of age. What does she think o her own name and does she think the film fairly represents her? “I have seen the movie. It’s very long,” she said. “It’s a classic. And it’s very long. It’s not a name I’ll probably pass on. Let’s put it that way.”

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be?  A Mexican Coke in one of those little glass bottles.

How often do you Google yourself?  Almost never. I have Google Alerts on my name though so I can be pointlessly notified every time I tweet see who’s picking up my items, if there’s anything I need to respond to, stay attuned to the conversation, etc.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I had one editor who was a screamer, and another who used to floss his teeth while meeting, so it was more how they said things. Both smart men though.

Who is your favorite working journalist? I admire the work of so many different newspaper, magazine, and online journalists who are doing so many different sorts of things  – from Dan Balz to Ryan Lizza to Alexis Madrigal to Andy Carvin to the gang behind The Awl, which has had really terrific coverage of what’s going down in Madison — that it is hard to pick just one. Journalism is many different kinds of things these days, many in the midst of evolving. I’ll just say, because it’s an easier call, that of all the chatty television show hosts, Rachel Maddow is most fun to watch, perhaps because everything about her emergence as a major television personality has been unexpected and she still does things differently.

Do you have a favorite word?  I never use this one but I just love that it exists. “Anstandsrestchen” is the German word for the thing left on the plate out of politeness (you know, when no one wants to be the person to take the last of something). Because of course the Germans have a word for that.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin, no contest. A) She’d be more likely to make news and B) I’m kind of fascinated by her.

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

When did you last cry and why? Tuesday morning, when I found out Rev. Peter Gomes died. He was one of a kind.

What word do you routinely misspell? Reince Priebus. And I completely sympathize with any problems he’s ever had in that regard.

Find out Garance’s favorite swear word…

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The FishbowlDC Interview With Albuquerque Journal’s Michael Coleman

Say hello to the Albuquerque Journal‘s Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief Michael Coleman. Among his claims to fame: Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson once called him a “fucking idiot.” And a foreman once told him he sounded like a “fucking lawyer.” (Other than all that, we’re sure he’s a great guy.)

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Sugar free Red Bull.

How often do you Google yourself? Whenever my ego needs to be taken down a notch.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? That they REALLY should leave the writing part of my stories to me.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Probably Dan Balz at the Washington Post. The guy is just a dead-on, old school political reporter. No snark, no B.S. – just great reporting, accuracy and insight.

Do you have a favorite word? Real

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Obama. Seems more interesting to discuss actual life in the White House than what it’s like to wish you were in the White House.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? I don’t know. It sounds like a rotary phone from the 70s. That one.

When did you last cry and why? When my grandmother died. Crying HURTS your face. I try not to do it unless I’m laughing.

What word do you routinely misspell? Misspelled

What swear word do you use most often? Bullshit – an indispensable noun in this town.

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Sunday Show Preview: 10.31.10

SSP.jpg

NBC’s Meet the Press: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) Chairman, Republican Governors Association; Fmr. Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chairman, Democratic National Committee; Tom Brokaw, NBC News; Charlie Cook, National Journal; Mark Halperin, MSNBC and TIME; Michele Norris, NPR; Chuck Todd, NBC News.

CBS’ Face the Nation: Representative Pete King (R-New York); Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minnesota); Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota); Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pennsylvania). 

• ABC’s This Week: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) Chairman, National Republican Senatorial Committee; Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Chairman, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; Dick Armey, Former House Majority Leader; Donna Brazile, Democratic Political Strategist; Cokie Roberts, ABC News; George Will, ABC News. 

CNN’s State of the Union with Candy CrowleyMichael Steele, RNC chairman; Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Majority Whip; William Bennett, CNN political contributor; national talk radio host; Bob Kerrey (D), former U.S. Senator; former Nebraska Governor.  

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard KurtzArianna Huffington, co-founder, HuffingtonPost.com; Paul Farhi, Washington Post; Michael Medved, Radio talk show host; John Avlon, TheDailyBeast.com; Jim Geraghty, National Review; Julie Mason, Washington Examiner; President Jimmy Carter.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Dan Balz, The Washington Post; Major Garrett, National Journal; Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times; Jeanne Cummings, POLITICO.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). 

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria:  GPS Special: Lou Gerstner, former chairman of the board & CEO for IBM Corporation; Muhtar Kent, chairman of the board & CEO for The Coca-Cola Company; Eric Schmidt, chairman of the board & CEO for Google, Inc.; and Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman & CEO for Alcoa, Inc.

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show:  John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent; Howard Fineman, Huffington Post Senior Political Analyst; Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent; Helene Cooper, New York Times White House Correspondent. 

Washington Watch with Roland Martin

•Politico’s “Turn the Table” after the jump. 

We’ll update as we get ‘em!

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