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Posts Tagged ‘Dana Milbank’

Separated at Birth: WaPo’s Dana Milbank And…

WaPo op-ed writer Dana Milbank bears the uncanny resemblance to actor David Eigenberg, who played Steve Brady, Miranda Hobbes‘ husband from “Sex and the City.”

Morning Snack: WaPo’s Milbank in Big Hunt Bathroom

WaPo‘s Dana Milbank has a claim to fame that few Washington D.C. journalists can top. His poster is on a wall above the urinals in the bathroom of The Big Hunt. The grungy bar is located off Dupont Circle.

The truth is, it’s not easy having your picture above a set of urinals. People who are already letting it all hang out have things they want to get off their chest, such as, “What a f–king poseur, get over yourself!” or “His utter lack of insight is overwhelming.” There were others: “I love you!” and “Winning!”

But even the FishbowlDC Tipster who sent us this picture from the men’s room was thoroughly disturbed by it. He wrote, “This is why I hate DC. I took this pic in the bathroom of a bar. What a d-bag and why do people even comment on his poster?”

A Contrarian’s Point of View on WHCD

In an editorial today, WaPo columnist Dana Milbank agrees with Ezra Klein: that the paper inviting Donald Trump was a mistake. Or, at the very least, awkward.

On Thursday, the Washington Post editorializes that Donald Trump has been campaigning on “bogus” issues and that he should “cease and desist.” An article in the news pages the same day reports that the great orange charlatan’s “simply wild speculation” has “almost no basis in fact.”

Then, on Saturday night, Post reporters and editors, in black-tie finest, go to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner to host their invited guests, including. . . Donald Trump.

But that isn’t his only problem with the WHCD. Far from it. The week or so of parties turns journalists into “pimps,” tasked with recruiting Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and business executives to come to the dinner as guests.

Milbank writes of a time, long ago, when the dinner was a “minor annoyance” with mainly journalists and obscure celebs. “Now, awash in lobbyist and corporate money, it is another display of Washington’s excesses.” Among the gaggle of parties, non-profits “hold cocktail parties masquerading as charity benefits.” He calls the whole thing “icky” before closing:

As I began to do the RSVPs for a few of this year’s parties, I thought about what our hardbitten journalistic forebears would make of Cee Lo and SamRo and the Donald. Then I made other plans for the weekend.

Would “our hardbitten journalistic forebears” really be upset with journalists dancing to Cee Lo at a party?  Doesn’t look like we’re going to find out anytime soon.

Fishbowl5 With Politico Mouse

Today we try an unconventional interview with Politico Mouse, the rodent who opened a Twitter account from Politico‘s newsroom and writes about his daily escapades foraging for food in Allbritton’s mice-infested offices in Arlington, Va. He has been under Mike Allen‘s desk and says it’s fruitful. He’s a go-getter. He puts in time in meetings searching for morsels. A few things he has told us: He is a male reporter who works for Politico. His colleagues can’t figure out who he is (and some don’t care to).

In short, we take this with a comical grain of salt and so should you.

Arranging the interview wasn’t easy as Politico Mouse has excuses: “Sorry it takes me so long to respond; Mike Allen finally moved his office and some crumbs that I hid in there got lost.” And this one: “Fair warning: there’s a catered meeting going on right now and I plan to be busy afterward.”

Let’s get started…

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Full Disclosure: Washington’s Incestuous Media Ties

In the aftermath of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) firing his spokesman for leaking emails from reporters to another reporter is the news flash that Washington media is an incestuous bunch. Everyone is “friends” with everyone. And increasingly, members of D.C.’s media are making idiotic disclosures of friendships in their stories.

WaPo‘s Dana Milbank was purposefully poking fun at himself and the culture today in his opinion piece by noting cozy relationships with subjects in his story. But before I continue, I’m happy to say that Milbank is not my “friend” unless you count Facebook and a few friendly email exchanges as a close “friendship” that needs to be disclosed. Full disclosure: I’m happy to say he’s my “friend” if that makes him glad to read this.

In Milbank’s story, he announces that two people in his story are “friends.”

In the middle of all this is the book author, the New York TimesMark Leibovich, a friend of mine, who set out to write about this town’s culture and finds himself being sucked into the dysfunctional drama, which resembles nothing so much as a bad reality-TV show in which people put their honesty and judgment second to their quest to be players.

Another friend of Milbank’s is The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

This particular episode begins with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, another friend of mine (see what I mean by incestuous?)

But Milbank isn’t the only reporter who discloses friendships in a story, seriously or not. On Jan. 10, WaPo‘s Reliable Sources wrote a story about actor Row Lowe‘s potential reality show Potomac Fever. The gossip gals, Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, who undoubtedly have a lot of “friends” in the social nature of the work they do, wrote, “For most in the room, though, it’s clear the new comfort zone was created by the party’s hostess: Susanna Quinn, a native Washingtonian and wife of mega-lobbyist Jack Quinn. A vivacious blonde whom many reality producers have attempted to cast over the years (and, disclosure, a pal of ours), she was signed by Lowe and local production company 44 Blue as a consultant and associate producer to help find a cast and get the vibe right.”

Another incestuous excerpt from Milbank’s story…

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Milbank Survives Palin-Free February

WaPo‘s Dana Milbank survived the “tremors and sweats” of a Sarah Palin-free February. And he didn’t even have to go to Charlie Sheen‘s “Sober Valley Lodge” to achieve sobriety for his Palin obsession. During the month, he even got a Jay Leno shout-out, which served as a painkiller of sorts, as did his writing about Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), which he referred to as his “methodone.”

Today he writes about the experience, admitting to moments of “terror” in which the words, “FOX NEWS ALERT”, flashed across his TV screen.

That was February 11. Milbank is fine, now.

An excerpt:

I can’t say that, by quitting Palin cold-turkey, I grew three inches taller or learned to play the oboe. But neither did my Palin-free February leave me with any journalistic regrets.

Uh oh…Learn about the editor who really screwed things up by posting a blog item under Milbank’s name with the words “Sarah Palin” in the headline. WaPo, of course, issued a correction.

Milbank says he’s “recovering.” But like a true addict, he says, he’s not “cured.”

Tavis Swims in the Fishbowl Daily (So he Says…)

LA-based talk show host Tavis Smiley comes to D.C. next week to moderate a “multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-ideological” panel next Thursday at GW’s Lisner Auditorium. The panel is set to include opinion-makers such as Cornel West, Arianna Huffington, Maria Bartiromo, David Frum, Dana Milbank, David Brody, and Maria Teresa Kumar.

“We’re going to talk about how this country can get back on the right track, if that’s possible,” Smiley told FishbowlDC in a phone interview on Thursday morning. (Horribly, I completely spaced our Wednesday interview and he agreed to chat with me Thursday. When I answered the phone and apologized profusely, he said, “I’m just happy when you answer the phone. Turns me on.” Laughter ensued. A well-deserved crack for standing him up.)

Anyway, back to the interview and getting the country back on track. “There is so much happening in Washington in our body politic,” he’s saying. Asked if he thinks our country can get on a better path, he said, “I think America’s a great country, but I think we have to be on the right track on this divided government that we have to endure. I think the president squandered some time. He could have been more aggressive in the past two years.”

Smiley’s media diet in Washington includes a brief buttering up of our sister site, FishbowlLA, and FishbowlDC: “Oh man, I read most everything online. I live in LA. I’m swimming in the Fishbowl every day, every other day.” When in Washington, Smiley prefers boutique hotels like the Hotel George. But this time he’s staying at the host hotel, the Madison Loews. As for eating, he says he always ends up at Georgia Browns and Ben’s Chili Bowl.

What else can we expect to hear from Smiley next week and what are his thoughts on the media? As he put it…

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Ex-UN Spokesman Tries to Blow Up Milbank’s Story

In a story about Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) leaving the Senate, WaPo‘s Dana Milbank manages to draw the ire of Richard Grenell out in LA. Grenell formerly served as American spokesman at the UN. Milbank writes that among Voinovich’s fondest memories is announcing his opposition to former UN Ambassador John Bolton (who once threatened to blow up the UN HQ). Grenell accuses Milbank of using “bomb humor” to spice up his story.

Milbank tells FishbowlDC: Not so. “I didn’t make a bomb joke. Voinovich did. As for Bolton, when he talked about “losing” 10 floors from the U.N. building, do you suppose he was talking about termites?”

In an email to Milbank, Grenell writes, “To say that Bolton wanted to blow up the UN is ridiculous.  He said, “”The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” It’s a commentary on bureaucracy and efficiency.  I”ll put you down for advocating a waste of our tax dollars and using bomb jokes to be funny. You may think it’s just a joke but it’s actually lame and dull writing…”

FishbowlDC readers may remember Grenell, who is, ahem, a bit of a flamethrower himself. Back in late September, he accused White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest of giving him the cold shoulder after Grenell offered his opinions to Earnest on President Obama‘s UN speech. At the time Earnest replied in an e-mail: “Unsubscribe.”

See more of Grenell’s letter to Milbank after the jump….

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Posties ‘Going Nuts’ Over Woodward iPad App

Trending on Twitter in D.C. right now: WaPo‘s V.P. At-Large Ben Bradlee and veteran reporter Bob Woodward.

How come? Set to jazzy music, Woodward, in a new nifty video, learns the ins and outs of the WaPo‘s new iPad app as he taps away on an electric typewriter. As he walks through the newsroom, a woman wonders, “Was that Robert Redford?”

“Posties are going nuts over it. Very self-congratulatory right now,” said a WaPo newsroom source. “On top of being awesome, it’s really effective.”

And WaPo Book World writer Ron Charles tweets about it, saying, “Weeeeee. Wash Post iPad app is No. 1 free app in the Apple Store. I’m thinking it must be the #baconhat.”

The Fix’s Chris Cillizza has a cameo talking about Facebook and Twitter. In another scene, WaPo‘s Dana Milbank asks a female colleague, “Have you read my column yet? It’s generating a lot of Facebook chatter.” He appears to be annoyed when she says she’ll read it later.

The video was linked by Romanesko.

Inside Media: Dana Milbank on Glenn Beck

On Saturday, November 06, 2010 at 2:30 PM, Washington Post syndicated columnist Dana Milbank will discuss his new book “Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America” for the Newseum’s “Inside Media” series. 

Milbank’s book looks at the remarkable rise of Beck, the former shock jock who has become one of the most recognizable leaders of antigovernment conservatives. Beck’s daily radio show draws a weekly average of nine million listeners. His show on the Fox News Channel is watched by nearly 3 million daily viewers.

A book signing will follow the program. The event is being held at the Newseum’s Knight TV Studio and seating is on a space-available basis.  For more info on this and other events, visit the Newseum’s site here.