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Posts Tagged ‘Dylan Byers’

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

In Case You Missed It: DC = Gay

In Case You Missed It: Eve Eve Edition

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.

Read more

In Case You Missed It 11.14.13

Rothstein to Turn ‘The Mirror’ on DC

betys-safeBetsy Rothstein, the longtime editor of FishbowlDC who mysteriously resigned from her post at this blog last week, has resurfaced at Tucker Carlson‘s The Daily Caller.

“Whether raging waters or smooth sailing, my 3 years at FishbowlDC have been the perfect storm,” Rothstein wrote on Twitter, shortly before publishing a final FishbowlDC post.

FishbowlDC has learned that Rothstein will expand her coverage beyond media to write a gossip blog called “The Mirror.”  Tag line: Reflections of a self-obsessed city.  Yikes!  Watch out Washington.

More on this to come! Also check out Dylan Byers piece on Politico.

A Note Of Thanks

Well hello, FishbowlDC! Thanks so much for the warm welcome and my sincere apologies for the slow start today.  I’ve been so busy reading your charming emails and unwrapping all these lovely gifts that I nearly forgot I have a job to do. Btw, the cashmere onesie is simply exquisite, Andrea and Alan. Mazel! 

Cashmere OnesieA very special thank you to Dylan Byers, Mike Allen, and Perry Stein for the write-ups this morning.  And to those outlets that haven’t written about my new venture yet (I’m talking to you Mediaite and Wemple Blog), don’t worry – there’s still plenty time and an endless supply of flattering photos of me.

All jokes aside, I’m touched by your response and incredibly excited about the opportunity to join you in the Fishbowl.  Of course, I can’t write the blog alone so please send your tips and ideas to fishbowlpatrick@gmail.com and add me to your press lists. Hope you’re having a pleasant lunch break, and I look forward to meeting and working (and let’s face it, probably drinking) with you all!

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