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Posts Tagged ‘Dylan Byers’

ICYMI: Everyone is Leaving Everywhere

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And Then There Were None: Betsy Woodruff Leaves National Review for Examiner

Earlier this month, Dylan Byers observed that the National Review Online newsroom was enduring a sudden exodus. Though their political reporting had been praised during the government shutdown in October of last year, by February of this year, many had left for better opportunities. Of the reporters who covered the shutdown, for example, the only one left was Betsy Woodruff.

Well now, even Betsy is saying farewell to the National Review. The Washington Examiner announced yesterday that Woodruff would be coming on board as a Political Writer, reporting on the Senate and House elections this fall. She will also help out on Capitol Hill, and write pieces on political and popular culture that will appear every week or so online and in the Examiner magazine.

National Review‘s Editor Rich Lowry told Byers that he would be hiring more staff soon. But we wonder if he’ll have any time for interviews. At this rate, before long he’ll be busy writing and editing every story on the website by himself.

Dylan Byers No Fan of ‘HoC.’ So What?

“Sorry to be a wet-blanket, but Washington’s collective celebration of House of Cards seems like a dereliction of our journalistic duty to be critical. We’ve participated in marketing a show to the rest of the country – Washington can’t get enough of House of Cards! – without acknowledging that it’s jumped the shark.”

That’s the conclusion from Politico‘s Dylan Byers on the second season of “House of Cards.” Wet blanket indeed.

We take Dylan’s point that DC journos have been the unwitting (or perhaps witting) marketing accomplices for the show, but so what? It’s not real. Do journalists really have an obligation to be critical of fiction. And pulp fiction at that?

“The second season of Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ was a pretty big let down.” he says. “The storylines were preposterous. The principle characters were flat and cliched. The efforts at narrative transgression, either violent or sexual, were pathetic and unconvincing.”

One could criticize “Scandal” (and definitely “Homeland”)  for the same reasons. Except why would you? Call us low-brow, but while verisimilitude and believeability are certainly important aspects of a television show, they aren’t the only benchmarks worth measuring by. There’s also good writing, excitement, surprise, catharsis, emotional engagement, titillation, and provocation -all of which “House of Cards” has in spades (ha).

And we’d beg to differ that the characters are any more flat than C.J. Craig or Sam Seaborn or Jed Bartlett -all glorified archetypes of Washington do-gooders. The dialogue in “The West Wing” was patently unbelievable -as was the idea that anyone could possibly be so completely driven by altruism and patriotism and be without serious personality flaws. But those characters were still compelling. Their struggles and travails were still of interest to viewers. And the actors who portrayed them still gave masterful performances. And ultimately, “The West Wing” was entertaining -the only measure that really matters on television in the end. We saw what happens when you try to hew too closely to the truth in a fictitious show about politics and journalism. It’s called “The Newsroom,” and it’s cancelled.

And wethinks Mr. Byers doth protest too much.

“The backslapping enthusiasm that greeted Matt Bai, Julianna Goldman, Major Garrett and other guest-starring journalists on Twitter only reinforces the idea that the Beltway media is self-obsessed,” he says.

Perhaps it is not disgust he feels, but guilt. Politico has, perhaps more than any other single institution, made its name on sensationalizing the oft-boring world of Washington politics and encouraging self-indulgence among journalists (See: This Town). It strikes us as rather rich that he laments the salacious and ridiculous way a fictional Washington is portrayed by Netflix, while his own publication does the same thing in real life. One ought not throw stones in glass houses -even at houses made of cards.

ICYMI: Steamed Congressmen, Sad Tweets, and Sleepy Bidens

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Bashir Watch

Martin BashirDylan Byers reports that Martin Bashir is “on vacation” following his scheisse-fantasy-inspired tirade against Sarah Palin:

Sources at the network said Bashir had been temporarily suspended from the network following graphic remarks he made last month about the former governor from Alaska. In that segment, Bashir suggested that Palin should be forced to endure slavery like conditions, including the consumption of feces.

MSNBC spokesperson Lauren Skowronski told a different story: ”He’s still out on vacation,” she wrote in an email. Asked multiple times when Bashir would return from vacation, Skowronski did not respond.

A little birdy tells FishbowlDC that Bashir has been spotted in central London over the weekend. If any of our limey readers catch a glimpse of the elusive (and probably endangered) host, let us know. Better yet, send us a pic!

MTP’s Verdugo to CBS Mornings

verdugoLooks like David Gregory lost another one…  According to the Twitters, Adam Verdugo, a senior producer for NBC’s “Meet the Press” is packing his bags and heading to CBS News where he’ll reunite with his longtime friend and colleague Norah O’Donnell.  Politico’s Dylan Byers reports from an internal memo that Verdugo has accepted the role of senior producer for the network’s rise and shiner, CBS “This Morning.”

In response to the news, former MTP EP Betsy Fischer tweeted,  ”The BEST Sr. an EP could ever ask for!”

NYT D.C. Bureau All Shook Up

David Leonhardt is out as The New York Times DC Bureau Chief and Carolyn Ryan is in, according to Dylan Byers:

Leonhardt, who was appointed bureau chief shortly after Jill Abramson became executive editor, served in that position for just two years. A Pulitzer Prize-winning economic columnist, Leonhardt was seen as a gifted writer with little editing experience, and thus an unnatural fit to lead the Times’ bureau.

Leonhardt is now expected to oversee a column that will focus on data and polling, effectively replacing Nate Silver, the famed statistician who decamped to ESPN earlier this year. One source described Leonhardt as the paper’s “next Nate Silver,” another as “the new Nate.”

A memo from Executive Editor Jill Abramson also details “an early morning news tip sheet that sets up the Washington day for our readers, much as the popular New York Today report does for our readers in the metropolitan area.” Carl Hulse will be the Managing Editor of the tip sheet and also Chief Washington Correspondent. Former Chief Washington Correspondent David Sanger will now cover cyber warfare and national security. Both Leonhardt’s column and Hulse’s tip sheet have yet to be named. All of these changes will be effective December 15th.

Full memo after the jump.

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In Case You Missed It 11.14.13

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