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Posts Tagged ‘David Grann’

Exits Polls: The $#!& of American Politics

Exit Polls are apparently the flakes of dirt under our feet and in the cracks of our toes, the regurgitated fish food not even fish want to eat nearing their last breath of life. HuffPost‘s Senior Polling Editor Mark Blumenthal wrote Tuesday morning, “Hard as it may be, you should try to ignore them, at least until the polls close. And even then, take the underlying vote estimates with big grains of salt.” You getting the picture?

On Tuesday afternoon as exit polls began surfacing, journalists on Twitter had rather graphic metaphorical descriptions for the polls very few respect.

The New Yorker‘s David Grann remarked, “Exit polls are like poisoned mushrooms to a starving man.” And New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait chimed in, “I swear I was going to write drinking seawater in a lifeboat.”

The Takeaway’s congressional radio reporter Todd Zwillich then entered the fray, saying, “It’s not just an exit poll, it’s a PRELIMINARY exit poll. The Double-Stuf Oreo of nothingness.”

And YG Action Fund’s Brad Dayspring, ex-flack to House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor stepped up, saying, “The exits seem way off compared to the activity being seen on the ground and reported from key areas. Again, take exists as a morsel of info.”

Soon Iowahawkblog‘s David Burge had something to say about these loathsome polls. He wrote, “Exit polls: the asbestos-laced leaded paint chips of the political playground.”

And in summation, Washington City Paper Editor Mike Madden seemed to wrap up the collective sentiment, saying, “Am basically treating the early leaked exit polls as if they were imaginary numbers. No point even thinking about them.”

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“Any jackass can talk about bombing Iran.” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, post debate late night.

“I think we all love teachers.” — CBS “Face the Nation” host and presidential debate moderator Bob Schieffer. This is how he firmly ended one of the segments as Mitt Romney gushed about teachers.

Important Question to Ponder: “What do I get @twitter for our 4th anniversary together?” — WaPo‘s Ed O’Keefe. Answer: A divorce. (Just kiddng with you, Ed.)

Journo’s heart warmed by Fresh Prince

“Will Smith was a groomsman in Alfonso Ribiero (aka Carlton Banks) wedding. That warms my heart #freshprince.” — ABC News’s Karen Travers.

The Relationship Expert

“Romney and Obama really don’t like each other. Reminds me of the very worse episode of Love Connection.” — “Love Connection” game show host Chuck Woolery.

Blogger declares journos’ “shallow

“Is it too much for reporters who don’t cover and don’t have any knowledge of for policy to refrain from grading a for pol debate? #shallow” — WaPo‘s “Right Turn” blogger Jennifer Rubin.

Mom to the rescue

“My mom fact-checks that Air Force Academy basic cadets trained with bayonets this summer. Source: My sister goes there.” — Politico defense reporter Leigh Munsil.

“1st debate my mother texted she was upset Obama lost. 2nd debate texted she was happy. Now, no text. My focus group says, Viewership down?” — WaPo‘s Tim Craig.

Huh?!

“Last Nicki Minaj quote tweet was meant as a text to a friend. Sorry, at least I didn’t pull a chick from the newsroom and tweet racy pic.” — MSNBC Contributor and Daily Beast Columnist Megan McCain.

Righty writer makes fun of Specter (too soon?)

Q: “Why is the weather so wonderful today?” A: “Oh, that’s right. Arlen Specter is still dead.” — the always classy conservative writer and former TWTer Robert Stacy McCain. Former Sen. Arlen Specter died last week after a lengthy bout of cancer.

See the best in Debate Observations…and find out which D.C. insider is hanging out with Cinderella.

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day – The Debate Edition

“Is Jim Lehrer sleeping zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz?” GOP Consultant Roger Stone.

“Is that Jim Lehrer’s heart rate monitor on the bottom of the CNN screen?” — Comedian Chris Rock parody account. He also commented on the first lady’s attire, saying, “Michelle Obama is wearing sleeves. This is serious.”

Advice for Lehrer: “I think Jim Lehrer just needs to start randomly yelling “get off my lawn” when he wants to move to the next topic.” — CNN Contributor and RedState‘s Erick Erickson.

And another thing…“Jim Lehrer looks confused, almost fearful. And pale. Awfully pale.” — Bloomberglp’s Dir. of Social Media Jared Keller. And another thing…“Q: Did Jim Lehrer ask to be made up to look like Burgess Meredith?” — Author Eric Metaxas. And another thing…“We’re deep enough into this to say that Jim Lehrer is blowing this as a moderator.”MetroWeekly‘s Co-Publisher Sean Bugg.

The Word Police

“Obama uses the term ‘ironically’ to mean unfortunately. It drives me crazy when people do that.” — TWT Opinion Writer Emily Miller.

The Observer

“Journalists posting screengrabs of their TV hits is this election’s worst development.” – Politico‘s Patrick Gavin.

Ragging on the Prez

  • “Not to pile on, but there is no overstating how irritated Obama looks and sounds tonight. Not a good look for him.” — National Journal “The Hotline Senior Editor Tim Alberta.
  • “Pres Obama has really a developed a penchant for talking ….. at considerable length.” — NYT Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Carl Hulse.
  • “Obama says it is never mind.. Obama is lost, all he can he do is lie.” — WaPo‘s right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin.
  • “Slowly the left is starting to acknowledge that Obama is losing this debate.” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake.
  • “Obama has many talents as a politician, but debating is not one of them.” — The New Yorker staff writer David Grann.
  • “Romney more lively, O has case of slowskis – yet much of debate a ref on Mitt’s econ plan.” — Politico‘s Jonathan Martin.
  • “Obama needs some of Romney’s 5-Hour Energy.” — National Journal Deputy Editor James Oliphant.
  • “Obama’s use of a boring accent is a pander to boring people.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.
  • “Visuals matter. Mute your TV and what do you see? Smiling Romney and peeved, smirking Obama” — National Journal Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier.

Question to Ponder: “Why is Obama looking down so much?” — WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza.

Something else to Ponder: “Ok, I promise I’m listening and not just focusing on the flag pins, but what is that mark on Romney’s pin?” — Washingtonian‘s Fashion Editor Kate Bennett.

Journo prefers Honey Boo Boo

“Obama, Romney, for your sakes, I hope Honey Boo Boo isn’t on. Because this is getting pretty wonky.” — National Journal’s Elahe Izadi.

A compliment for Romney from the left: “Romney’s been natural and unusually funny in this debate. It’s a very strong performance.” — WaPo‘s left-wing wonk writer Ezra Klein.

Debate Downers

“I’m not picturing the senior citizens of Boca West understanding this debate so far.” — The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg.

“We need to minimize the maximifications of the absolute level of mumbojumbery. Or else, fiscal cliff up the ying yang!” — Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie.

Ivanka is proud of her dad

“Wow! How many times are the candidates going to mention my father this debate?!? What an honor!” — Ivanka Trump.

What, no bathroom breaks?

“Sometimes I wish I had a catheter.” — Elizabeth Lauten, a.k.a. DCGOPGirl, who reported for CNN during the summer conventions. She added, “Seriously, they ought to have one bathroom break in the middle or something. It’s otherwise inhumane.” (Elizabeth, your catheter for the next debate is in the mail.) 

From the Dept. of Bragiculture 

“Finally hit the big time: Just got an interview request from a Danish high school paper. Some of you will be lucky to say you knew me when.” — The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler.

The Fishbowl Interview With TNR’s Rachel Morris

fishhead.jpg
RM photo1.jpg Say hello to Rachel Morris, TNR‘s new managing editor. We swear we didn’t rig this. Last week our FishbowlDC Interview, Roll Call’s</em Paul Singer, said he wanted Cate Blanchett to portray him in a movie. And this week our interviewee says she, too, wants Blanchett to play her. Weirdly, she shares her name with a criminal involved in a meth ring in Wisconsin. Who knew?

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? I know I wouldn’t be a Bud Lime Light.

How often do you Google yourself? Not that often. A while ago I Googled myself and found out I share a name with a 21-year-old criminal from Wisconsin who tried to run down a police officer with her car, because the police officer was trying to arrest her for her connection to a local meth ring. She calls herself “The Penguin.” So now whenever I Google myself I check in to see how her trial is going.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I’m from New Zealand. We’re chronically polite.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Too many to name just one, but if I have to narrow it down, IÂ’ll pick two: David Grann, for his superlative storytelling skills, and Katherine Boo, because she writes about subjects that few other reporters pay attention to.

Do you have a favorite word? I recently discovered “amanuensis.” Not only is it a cool word, I would like to have one someday.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? The First Lady.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? I hate pretty much all cell phone rings. Mine’s on vibrate.

When did you last cry and why? I’m not telling you that!

What word do you routinely misspell? Receive, even though I know about the rule with the ‘i’ and the ‘e’ and the ‘c.’

What swear word do you use most often? Ask Joe Biden.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Absolutely.

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The FishbowlDC Interview With Slate’s David Plotz

fishhead.jpgPlotz_preferred_1.jpg Say hello to Slate’s Online Magazine Editor David Plotz, a funny man who is clearly unafraid to use the word “f–k”. This may be the most number of times I’ve written (or heard) f–k in the course of an interview. F–k. F–k. F–k. What fun. It’s “deeply” fun (you’ll understand this reference by the end of the interview.)

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Fresca. I was caught on film once yelling about how someone didn’t replace the Fresca in the office fridge.

How often do you Google yourself? Not very often. Once a month, it’s usually pretty specific. Who is your favorite working journalist? David Grann of The New Yorker.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? That’s not even a question – Michelle Obama. She has this air of intelligence and wit and she’s very funny. She’s tough and she’s a total babe. Sarah Palin is also a total babe and interesting in her own way – but not my way.

What word do you routinely misspell? Reality. I didn’t know there was a difference between realty and reality for a very, very long time.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? It’s whatever the default is. [This was followed by a long string of expletives as he attempted to figure out how to find the cell phone ringtones on his rather complicated BlackBerry.] Honestly, I still have not figured it out.

What swear word do you use most often? F–k or F–king. Usually directed at my computer.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Deeply. I say deeply all the time. It’s such a stupid phrase. I’m mocked for it constantly.

What TV show do you have to watch? “Friday Night Lights”

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Energy Sec. Steven Chu. The dude is so smart he would cobble together some elaborate communications system. He’s a pretty charming guy. I don’t think he eats a lot so I’d probably get the lion share of the food.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? It’s from my colleague Slate media columnist Jack Shafer. Replace every “is” and “are” in a story with the word ‘f–k’ and then go back and replace those ‘f–ks’ with active verbs. So you’re going to have he “thumped” or he “pummeled.” It’s going to have more muscle.

What and where was your first job in journalism? City Paper, 1993, a job which I got because I wrote my undergraduate thesis on [former D.C. Mayor] Marion Barry. Jack Shafer had an opening and made me a staff writer.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? In 1996 I wrote an article about how it was logistically impossible for the President to have an affair [http://www.slate.com/id/2370]. A few months later it turned out that he [Bill Clinton] was having an affair.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? I’m not really a scoop journalist. That’s not what I do. I’m not built for that kind of journalism.

Read more Plotz after the jump and find out why he can’t stand actor Robert Pattinson

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Brooks Unapologetically Gives Another Sidney to The Weekly Standard’s Labash

matt-9.jpegThe New York Times’s David Brooks has announced the first round of his Sidney Awards. These awards go to stories he deems the best magazine essays of the year.

Brooks says he tries not to have repeat award winners, but with The Weekly Standard’s Matt Labash he can’t help himself. “The fact is, talent is not randomly distributed. Some people … just know how to write.”

LaBash was awarded for his piece, “A Rake’s Progress”, a profile of Marion Barry, the former Washington, D.C., “mayor, crack-smoker and recent girlfriend-stalker.”

Other winners are David Grann, for his story, “Trial By Fire”, published in The New Yorker, Jonathan Rauch, for “Fasten Your Seatbelts — It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Flight,” in The National Journal, David Goldhill for “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” in The Atlantic and Atul Gawande for “The Cost Conundrum”, also in The New Yorker.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow Brooks releases another batch of Sidney winners.