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Posts Tagged ‘David Corn’

Mother Jones is on the Lookout for Fearless Reporters

MotherJonesMother Jones, the independent, nonprofit newsmagazine, has always been about holding those in power accountable for their actions. Since its inception in 1976, this fearless pub has done just that. Remember Mitt Romney’s infamous ‘47 percent‘ video? That was uncovered by David Corn, MoJo’s Washington D.C. bureau chief.

So how can freelancers get their foot in the door at this National Magazine Award-winning pub? Well, it helps to know what the editors are (and aren’t) looking for:

The mag prides itself on strong reporting, so those sending a query need to demonstrate the reporting opportunities and highlight any reporting that has already been done for the story. “I can’t emphasize the reporting bit enough,” explained [senior editor Nick Baumann]. Freelancers should also keep in mind that the editors will judge how well you write based on the pitch — so make sure you nail the voice of the piece in your query. “Just like you want to surprise the reader, you want to surprise us. Surprise the editors,” said Baumann.

To hear more about Mother Jones, including what mistakes to avoid when creating your submission, read: How To Pitch: Mother Jones.

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Morning Chatter

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Politico Playbook Publish Time: 7:56 a.m.

images-2Congressional Black Caucus Chatter

Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn: The Congressional Black Caucus and the financial lobby: BFFs. (He links to this story.)

Washington, D.C. Photog and Managing Editor of the multicultural blog politic365.com Lauren Burke: “When the CBC has a meeting it’s a ‘story.’ No laws passed, no regs changed but ‘a meeting’ is a story. Very interesting.”

The Scolder: ‘Give it a rest’

“Oh my god, the people with vitriolic reactions to Ted Cruz even when he is praying for the pastor. give it a rest.” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein.

images-1The Observer: Daily Download is covering twerking?

“Daily Download seems to be posting once a week or so now daily-download.com Also, 2 of last 4 posts are about twerking.” — Benjy Sarlin, MSNBC political reporter.

And now for something rather refreshing…

“A dear friend asks me ‘what is nsfw?’ Folks. you gotta keep these people in your lives.” — National Journal reporter Elahe Izadi.

imagesFashion Chatter: the one-pocket skirt/dress

“Was very excited to discover that dress has pockets. But quickly realized that it has just 1 pocket, which just doesn’t seem to make sense.” — Greenwire‘s Jessica Estepa.

“Story of my uniform-wearing Catholic school life. All of my uniform skirts had one pocket and it was maddening.” — CQ Roll Call‘s Katie Kovach.

Weiner update

“Spotted: a visibly dejected Anthony Weiner, pushing a stroller and exhaling.” — Noah Shactman, Foreign Policy‘s Brooklyn-based executive editor.

Priorities.

“Congress can do something afterall: Senate just clears House-passed Helium Stewardship Act.” — Politico‘s Manu Raju.

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Washington Examiner’s Tapscott Not a Groundswell Participant, According to Tapscott

Washington Examiner’s Executive Editor Mark Tapscott is upset FisbowlDC labeled him a participant in Groundswell, the conservative Journolist uncovered by Mother Jones’ David Corn. He sent us an email with the subject line, “David Corn got it right, you didn’t,” and asked for  a correction.

So what did Corn say in his piece? That Tapscott was a participant in Groundswell. What did we say? The same thing.

It appears we just didn’t spend enough time talking about Tapscott for the piece to be to Tapscott’s liking.

Read more

Groundswell, the Conservative Journolist?

A few years ago, conservatives were in an uproar over the now presumably-defunct Journolist, the clubby listserv for liberal journos created by WaPo‘s Ezra Klein. So how will they feel about Groundswell, a conservative cloak and dagger group revealed by Mother JonesDavid Corn and Kate Sheppard this morning?

Apparently, it’s rife with participation from conservative journalists, even those at Breitbart News—whose late founder had loudly decried the idea behind Journolist just a few years back and offered a cash-reward for the full list of participants.

So who was involved?

Read more

Journalists and Their Animal Twins

We’re taking Separated at Birth to new, deeper and ridiculous heights today. We liked BuzzFeed‘s rendition of this with members of Congress so much that we decided to steal the idea for our own fishy purposes. Enjoy!

10. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and a Wooley sheep.

9. Slate‘s Dave Weigel and a sloth.

8. Katrina vanden Heuvel and an Afghan breed of dog.

7. Breitbart NewsMatthew Boyle and a chipmunk. Hey, they don’t call those chipmunk cheeks for nothing right? We’re talking about the chipmunk, of course.

6. HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone and these exaggerated versions of his dark eyes in some cool cats we found online.

5. ABC’s Martha Raddatz and a blonde Afghan breed of dog.

4. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and a dog with reading glasses.

Don’t miss the top three…

Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

WHOSE SHOES? “Footwear of the fashion forward men of POLITICO Video.” — Politico‘s Christine Delargy.  Hints: The guy in yellow has been known to frequent Pete’s, a pizza eatery in D.C.; his colleague showing off his fancy boat shoes, meanwhile, frequents Peregrine in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington. We’ll tell you later. But send your guesses and commentary to fishbowlDC@mediabistro.com or to Betsy@mediabistro.com.

“I’m wearing pajama bottoms, you can’t see it.”Daily Caller and The Week‘s Matt Lewis, joking (we think) during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

Burning the midnight oil

“hey @woodhouseb do you think holder should resign? what if ashcroft had investigated MSNBC reporter? you wld have been ok with it? comment?” — BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings to Democratic Party Spokesman Brad Woodhouse. Noteworthy: The tweet was sent at 3:25 a.m.

Just in case you think you’re having a bad day…“Not something you see everyday. A plane sticking out the side of an apt building. @ABC7John is live at 4:32am!” — Sara Van Aernum, executive producer of ABC7′s “Good Morning Washington.” The plane ran out of fuel and had to take a pit stop into this Herndon, Va. apartment building. Can you imagine waking up to this sh-t?

Anxiety-ridden TV watcher

“I need a xanax just to watch this thing.” — NPR freelancer Lizzie O’Leary watching yesterday’s Spelling Bee.

Just a normal day at work in Washington

“We are ALL CLEAR !” just received via email at @wusa9 after bomb threat. Broadcasts never interrupted. No evacuations.Thanks @DCPoliceDept” — WUSA9′s Russ Ptacek.

“Weird coincidence. #Tornado drill in #Senate, while #oklahoma has real thing.” — CQ Roll Call Staff Writer Alan Ota.

Reporter wishes she was better versed in car mechanics

“Wish I knew about cars so when mechanic went on ‘If you don’t give me all your money, you will DIE in a fiery mess’ spiel, I could check him.” — NBC Washington Social Media Editor Cheryl Thompson.

From the Dept. of Bragiculture…

“I was only reporter to ride 100k over 3 days w/George W. Bush on mountain bikes w/wounded vets on his ranch last week. 4k words posting soon.” — HuffPost‘s Jon Ward. In case you don’t think he’s the most humble reporter in Washington, he is. Just ask him! Read more

FishbowlDC Interview With Paul Brandus

Say hello to Paul Brandus who writes West Wing Reports and a column for The Week. He’s an independent White House Correspondent who writes a blog and has a Twitter account in which he doesn’t use his name. How come he goes nameless? “Here’s a question for you,” begins his standard refrain about it. “Name the CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN & Fox reporters at the White House 10 years ago. How about five years ago? This may come as a disappointment to many folks in this egocentric town, but most people can’t remember the names. And that’s at the most visible beat in Washington. Names fade quickly. But brand names have enduring market value. People have no idea who I am personally. I’d prefer they know my brands, one of which is West Wing Reports. Brands can be licensed, flipped, monetized in more enduring ways.” Even so, let’s get to know the man behind the brand, shall we? Brandus was a foreign correspondent in Moscow for five years. He worked for the U.S. Embassy, eventually NBC and NPR and did some magazine work. While in Moscow, he bought the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl from the NFL. He later worked at MSNBC and Fox — he says the concept of this makes people’s heads explode. “I helped launch MSNBC back in 1996,” Brandus explains. “Worked for Steve Capus, who went on to become President of NBC News. Good man. I was a writer, but apparently too good of a writer because they put me in charge of editing all the other writers. That’s where I learned the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your people will cause 80 percent of your problems. At Fox News, I was a senior prime time producer in New York, working on news cut ins every half hour. If the you-know-what hit the fan, we had to run into the control room across the hall and break into Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity & Alan Colmes. Great fun.” Brandus worked on Wall Street for several years, cashed out and started another media company, his own. In 2011 he became a columnist for The Week. He moderates conferences for them on energy and cybersecurity. He also works with a Northern Virginia venture capital firm. Brandus won’t be found on the Washington cocktail circuit. Instead, he spends his weekends with his 18-month-old daughter or family horses in Fairfax County.

Now let’s proceed to the really important stuff.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Cherry Coke Zero

How often do you Google yourself? Once or twice a year.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? My old boss, Jim Farley, who hired me twice – first at NBC years ago and later at WTOP – taught me WGAS: “Who gives a shit?” It has universal applications today and I’ve used it to great effect in various times and places. WGAS is also text-friendly.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Anyone who understands it’s not about them. Anyone who eschews the limelight and simply focuses on finding things out, communicating about it well and not pretending to be an expert or feeling compelled to have an opinion on everything.

Who is your favorite White House reporter and why? The wire service folks are usually the best. Not flashy, just solid, nose-to-the-grindstone types day in and day out. I really admire them.

Do you have a favorite word? “Dada.” Uttered by a certain 17-month old little girl.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Dumb ass.” Use it a lot.

Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s John King or CNN’s Piers Morgan. Tell us why. I think John King is an honest, hard-working, straight shooter guy. You know what I like about him? He made a mistake during the Boston coverage and dealt with it in a transparent, humble and honest way. People err – and it’s how they deal with it – for better or worse – that I remember. I tend to get along well with people like that.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in awhile in the course of your work and who was it with? If I hadn’t hung up on Ronald Reagan in 1990, it might have been the time when, on a dare, I called him at home in 1990. This was a year after he left the White House. The Reagans were living in Bel Air and I never thought he would answer the phone himself. But I heard that famous voice: “Hello?” on the other end, freaked out and hung up. To use my favorite word, I was such a dumb ass. So I guess the answer would be the time I downed vodka shots with Boris Yeltsin at a Fourth of July party at Spaso House, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. I was lurking by the bar when he came over and we wound up downing a few and chatting. That’s what you do in Russia. Drink. Talk. Drink some more.

Tell us a funny story from the White House Briefing Room. Can be long or short. There used to be a guy named Lester Kinsolving, who used to show up in the briefing every day. Haven’t seen him in many months. He used to ask the most bizarre, completely out of left field questions imaginable on completely obscure, irrelevant matters. Bush’s flacks and now Obama’s used to call on him as a diversion. And, in this digital age, he used to carry a giant cassette recorder around with him like it was 1983 or something. Not picking on Lester, he is a nice guy. Hope he’s OK.

Without naming names, tell us some shitty thing that happened in the course of you covering the White House… Read more

David Corn’s Unusual Morning on the Acela

Better to be safe than sorry when tweeting about the Secretary of Homeland Security on the Acela. Just before 8 a.m. this morning, like any good journalist, Mother Jones Bureau Chief David Corn began noticing who was in his midst.

Then the foreshadowing.

And then Corn starts wondering aloud.

“I wonder if they’ll bring the bomb-sniffing dogs past Napolitano and her entourage? I imagined the person in charge of protecting the entire homeland would have her own transportation system. (‘Fire up the Lear jet!’)”

Is he possibly crossing lines?

Oh no, Corn, watch out!

And the dismal conclusion… Read more

Tick Tock: WHCD 2013

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a blur this year as stars, journalists, nerdy political types — and Psy — rubbed elbows. Well, not Psy, he was busy smoking. But the rest of ‘em fawned and frolicked around the Washington Hilton oohing and ahhing at one another’s evening wear. People watching was admittedly pretty phenomenal. As evidenced by the shrieks coming from young, female bystanders salivating at the mere sight of a star. Each time an actor or well-known journalist walked by, they screamed and barked things out at them like faux paparazzi. In a moment of hilarity, one journalist, who shall remain nameless, was heard biting a security employee’s head off as they kept constantly trying to herd and push a small smattering of people waiting by the door from one end to the other. “I have two tickets, I have a right to be here and I’m not moving,” the person snapped in a display of spectacular irritation. Security immediately backed right down and eased away. And the lesson is? Yelling wins! (By the way, pictured above: actress Kate Walsh.)

4:35 p.m. Betsy tells Eddie she need 15 more minutes. He replies, “Are you trying to squeeze in a size 8 dress again?”

5:42 p.m. Eddie is running slightly behind because he has no idea how to tie a bow-tie and he couldn’t get the Tucker Carlson consult. As usual, Carlson skipped out of town for the WHCD. We learned later in the evening that he’s in New Orleans riding Go Karts with Daily Caller Publisher Neil Patel.

6:13 p.m. Settling in at the lobby of the Washington Hilton for some major people watching. MC Hammer sighting. Girls screaming, “WOO HOO! WOO HOO!”

6:14 p.m. TIME‘s Zeke Miller enters in a wrinkly blazer.

6:15 p.m. DJ at Atlantic party may have Tourette’s. Ticking and chirping, etc…

6:16 p.m. Fox News Correspondent Peter Doocy sighting. This guy is too tall and everywhere this weekend.

6:17 p.m. Washington Examiner Nikki Schwab sighting. Her hair is in curls this evening. Very pleasant interaction.

6:18 p.m. Woman walks into the Hilton wearing a kimono.

6:19 p.m. It’s Kathleen Turner. The gaggle of girls in the lobby: “Kathleen we love you!!!”

6:20 p.m. Amy Poehler walks by. “Ahh ahh we love you Amy!”

6:21 p.m. CBS’ Gayle King has entered the hotel in a stunner of a kelly green gown by Vicky Tiel.

6:22 p.m. A rando woman who won’t stop yapping is saying to her friends, “I’m walking around the house going, does this match?”

6:23  p.m. The NPR greeter awaiting NPR party guests in the front of the hotel looks like he should be at the airport. He’s a vision of nerdy perfection.

6:24 p.m. Washington Examiner‘s Byron York walks into the hotel and promptly walks down the wrong set of stairs.

6: 25 p.m. It’s Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera! He’s all smiles for anyone who approaches. Up close his mustache is nothing short of thick and amazing.

6:27 p.m. A Jon Huntsman sighting. He walks in with a lovely blonde (presumably his wife) on his arm.

6:28 p.m. We get reprimanded for the second time for standing in the “wrong” place. Is there a right place? Who knows?

6:30 p.m. Holy shit. It’s Nicole Kidman. Bradley Cooper follows shortly thereafter.

6: 32 p.m. House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor is hanging out by the entrance.

6:35 p.m. Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis drawing major stares in the lobby. Wilde’s flowing chocolate brown dress is unbelievable beautiful.

6:37 p.m. A young woman walking with CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley has ample cleavage.

6:40 p.m. Sightings: White House Press Sec. Jay Carney. Chicago Sun TimesClarence Page. Kathleen Sebelius. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

6:41 p.m. Dave Weigel, a big FishbowlDC fan, has been spotted. Later he’ll watch us like a hawk even though we’re not snapping his picture tonight or bothering him whatsoever.

6:45 p.m. The kid from Glee! is here. Wasn’t he at Tammy’s?

6:50 p.m. Publicist and Hollywood on the Potomac blogger Janet Donovan spotted in the bar line at the Atlantic, CBS, NJ pre-party. Janet insists this is her last year doing this. “I’ve been doing this since 1971,” she says wearily. “Enough is enough.”

6:55 p.m. Bob Schieffer holding court at the CBS party. Worlds colliding. Glee! kid spotted talking to Mother Jones Bureau Chief David Corn. WTF?

6:59 p.m. CBS news anchor and producer Julie Chen stands out in bright pink dress that may have been the second best frock of the evening. Olivia Wilde’s gown was hard to beat.

7 p.m. Andy Cohen from Bravo is here. He has some schmutz on his blazer.

7: 05 p.m. Overheard: “He’s very brave here coming with his ugly wife.”

7:06 p.m. Reince Priebus sighting. Later he’ll be a dumb joke in Conan’s monologue.

7:16 p.m. Ed Helms telling his girlfriend that people come here “for the food.”

7:17 p.m. Psy‘s handlers are a bunch of asses. “No, we did red carpet interviews. We’re not doing any more.” Regarding Psy and pictures, guest says, “This isn’t Korea. This is America.”

7:18 p.m. Peter cuts U.S. Treasury Sec. Jack Lew in a line. Way to go Peter!

7:19 p.m. CNBC’s Jim Cramer is yelling. Read more

Redford Revisits ‘All The President’s Men’

It’s been 37 years since the Watergate scandal was captured in the movie “All the President’s Men.” The anniversary was marked Thursday at the Newseum with a screening of “All The President’s Men: Revisited,” a documentary about the movie. The White House Correspondents’ Association and Discovery hosted the event.

Prior to the screening, actor Robert Redford, documentary producers Andrew Lack and Laura Michalchyshyn and famed Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein walked a red carpet.

Woodward was at the center of a minor media scandal earlier this year when he suggested that he had been threatened by a White House official. Once a thorn in the side of Republicans, Woodward’s claim won him fans on the right and several appearances on FNC’s “Hannity.”

Asked what he makes of Woodward’s tendency to stir trouble on both the left and the right, Redford told FBDC, “it means he’s doing a good job.”

“We don’t live in a world where everybody’s one way or the other,” he added. “There’s a lot of gray there. I think if somebody’s doing their job, they’re going to provoke people who don’t want to see the job well done.”

In remarks before the film, WHCA President and FNC Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry said this year’s WHCA dinner is trying to focus on the scholarship that WHCA offers aspiring journalists rather than the celebrities who will be attending. He said Redford agreed to attend the screening in that same spirit.

Fun fact: The documentary contains a scene wherein TV commentator Ben Stein starts crying at the memory of President Richard Nixon‘s final speech as president.

Following the film was a panel discussion with Redford, Bernstein, Woodward, Henry and Newsweek‘s Eleanor Clift.

When asked about the state of journalism today Redford said… Read more

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