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Posts Tagged ‘Fareed Zakaria’

Come On, Get Happy With Time’s New Issue

Are we happy? Not really, according to this week’s Time Magazine cover story—”The Pursuit of Happiness”—by Jeffrey Kluger and Jon Meacham.

They cover what’s uniquely American about the pursuit of happiness (mostly, that we’re free to try and actually pursue being happy) and explain just how stupid we are for usually looking for it in the wrong places. But, there’s a catch. Even when we do look in the right places, it’s harder than ever to achieve happiness, they say, because the world has become just too fast-paced and frenetic.

That last point is debatable, but the story is worth a look for anyone who could use a little more joy in their life. And that’s all of us.

Time also did a poll, asking just how happy we are. Some highlights:

  • Since 2004, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves a optimists has dropped from 79 percent to 50 percent
  • 60 percent said that they do not feel better about themselves after spending time on social media
  • 76 percent believe other people make themselves look happier than they actually are on their Facebook page
Also in this issue, Jon Meacham explains what the founders really meant when they put “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, and Katie Steinmetz breaks down what science says helps us or hurts us in that pursuit in a clever infographic by Heather Jones.
The issue is available online now and hits newsstands Friday.

Some other stories that caught our eye…

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Reporters Balance Contributor Status

Neda Semnani is a full-time columnist for CQ Roll Call‘s “Heard on the Hill.” Yet there she was last night with a piece about Craigslist sex ads published on BuzzFeed. Was she changing jobs?

Nope. Just working her ass off.

“You know how journalism is today,” she told FishbowlDC when we asked what was going on. “Its all a bit of a hustle, get the stories reported, written and published.”

More and more often reporters are working full-time one place and serving as contributors elsewhere (as I do here at FBDC while working at The Blaze). In many cases, they juggle between publications or they contract with a cable news outlet to serve as on-air commentators.

“It is definitely a challenge to write everyday for my job, freelance and do my own stuff,” Semnani said, “but I feel like I’m still making my bones in this business and this is all trial by fire. If this schedule is what it takes to do it, then that’s just the way it is right now.” Read more

Ask Piranhamous Anything

Today we have another installment of: “Ask Piranhamous Anything.” And we do mean anything. Send your queries to This isn’t an advice column — Piranhamous doesn’t know what the hell you should do with your life any more than you do — and worse, he doesn’t care. Try to keep your questions short — we want to keep this fun, simple, funny and insightful.

With Paul Ryan now on the ticket, will the Romney campaign will stop being tightwads about giving press access?

Probably, but they shouldn’t. The media really is just awful. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell has been try hyperventilating about the Ryan pick, how bad he is for women. She’s one step away from re-cutting that Ryan pushes seniors in wheelchairs over a cliff. If I were them, I wouldn’t engage that media, I’d mock them. You can’t have an honest conversation with people who are fundamentally dishonest. They need to do what Reagan did and talk over and around the media to the people. Considering the media is less trusted than Bill Clinton at an intern sleep-over, there’s no downside.

If you had to be trapped on a deserted island with minimal food and water and they gave you two choices for companions, who would you pick and why? Your choices are: Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.

Easy – Ann Coulter. While they’re portrayed as Ann being the mean one and Laura being the nice one, the opposite is the truth in real life. Ann couldn’t be nicer and will take the time to talk to anyone. Laura will grunt at you and growl like you have no business being in her line of site. Unless, of course, she thinks you are important, then she’s flowers and puppies. There’s a reason she can’t keep staff, why openings for producers on her show stay open for months when people clamor for radio jobs everywhere else on the planet, and that she doesn’t have her own show anymore. Being mean to staff is a bad idea considering they’re the ones responsible for making you look good and have the ears of people who make hiring decisions. So Ann, hands down, easy, no contest whatsoever!

What do you think of the whole Fareed Zakaria plagiarism mess? Is it as big a deal as his employers are making it?

No, it’s bigger. The guy is held up as an intellectual, yet he can’t put quotes around a paragraph and give credit where it’s due? He wanted people to think he’d read the book in the lines he lifted, but he didn’t. He wanted people to think he was informed, when he wasn’t. It’s not only unethical, it’s lazy. Fareed isn’t an intellectual, he’s a lazy hack. One month off, probably paid, isn’t nearly enough for committing what used to be considered one of the worst offenses a journalist could commit. Then again, journalism is so far from what it claims to be, what it used to pretend to be. He’ll be back and everyone will pretend it didn’t happen. Just see his fellow plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The FishbowlDC Interview With The Root’s Top Byrd

Say hello to The Root‘s Publisher Donna Byrd. Prior to her present post, Byrd was CEO of Black America Web, where she worked with national radio personality Tom Joyner to launch three African-American news and lifestyle websites. Byrd has sold toilet paper for Procter & Gamble; she’s quick on her feet — she once sang a jingle during a Coca-Cola presentation when technology broke down. “I remember being bright red,” she told FBDC in a phone interview, explaining that she cannot carry a tune. “I remember my face burning the entire time.” Schooling: Byrd has a B.A. in American Government from UVA and an MBA from Duke Business School.  Byrd was a military brat — she graduated from high school in Germany and has lived up and down the East Coast, North Carolina and five different places in Virginia growing up. She has traveled to 41 countries. Capetown, South Africa is the favorite. By the way, cabbies, if you want a tip don’t chatter away on your cell phone and put Byrd’s safety in jeopardy. It tends to get under her skin. Enjoy!

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? IZZE pomegranate flavor.

How often do you Google yourself? Rarely.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Who wrote this?

Do you have a favorite word? Wow.

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? Chris Matthews. It seems like he has evolved as a journalist and reporter over the years. I’d be interested in hearing his perspective on a lot of issues, particularly social issues. 

Who is your favorite working journalist? CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. I don’t always agree with him, but I always think his opinions are thoughtful, smart and provocative.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? Jay Carney, unless the location is in a deserted area with water, in which case I’d roll with Bo.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Old phone.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? Yep.

What swear word do you use most often? The one when you string them all together.

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? If I weren’t a publisher, I’d travel the world as a relief worker.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) Shannon Reeves, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Melissa Harris-Perry, Cynthia Gordy and I’d add a wildcard guest, Dave Chappelle.

When you pig out what do you eat? Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

When did you last cry and why? Four weeks ago when my dad passed away.

What TV show is your guilty pleasure? HBO’s “True Blood.”

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? A land and water safari in South Africa.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. My cotton UVA sweatshirt. I think I bought it for $40 in college.

Pick one: Will Ferrell’s Bush impersonation or Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin? Tina Fey, hands down.

Find out what Byrd hates after the jump…

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TNR’s List Happy Phase

TNR is, at the moment, a list factory.

This week they are releasing 10 lists in total that will appear in the Nov. 3rd issue. They are releasing them online daily, in some cases just portions as some are locked behind a paywall.

First up: Most Powerful, Least FamousPolitico Publisher Robert Allbritton is number one. They mostly praise him but not entirely: “Though his efforts to monopolize Washington journalism haven’t been entirely successful (TBD, his hyper-local news site, laid off half its editorial staff after just six months), Allbritton has reshaped the way we follow politics.”

Next: D.C.’s Over-Rated Thinkers. Not all are Washington-based, but who wants to get all technical about it? Some include GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and MSNBC’s New York City-based Rachel Maddow, New York Mag’s Frank Rich, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, who resides in Manhattan. Read the list here.

They don’t skimp on scathing write-ups. On Gingrich: “In Time magazine, Mark Halperin extolled his ‘blistering brainpower.’ It’s certainly not evident to us. Gingrich has one of the loosest, least rigorous, most pretentious minds in politics. He loves ideas, he’s just no good at them; and the idea of ideas is not enough to make a man a serious intellectual.” And Maddow: “Maddow is a textbook example of the intellectual limitations of a perfectly settled perspective. She knows the answers even before she has the questions.” Read the list here.

And this: Our Favorite People. This list includes people such as PBS’s Gwen Ifill for her “calm, dispassionate” style and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for not suffering fools gladly. We’re not sure how seriously this one can be taken — William Shakespeare makes this list. But it’s in interesting pick. They write, “Is there any more perfect counterpoint to the ubiquitous blather of the city?” Read the list here.

Visit here for an overview.

TIME Toasts the 100 Most Influential…


TIME magazine hosted in New York last night the TIME 100 Gala to honor their annual  list of  the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”  This year’s list included domestic political figures such as Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Gabrielle Giffords, General David Petraeus, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Joe Biden, John Boehner, Margaret Woodward, Michele Bachman, and Paul Ryan.  While the full list wasn’t in attendance last night, TIME managed to pull a huge number of notable names who helped create some very memorable moments.

One such moment was came when Governor Chris Christie who gave the first toast of the night to John F. Kennedy saying, “And so tonight, the person I’d like us to toast first, who has influenced my public life from the first time my grandmother took me to the museum of broadcasting in New York and showed me the inaugural address … John Fitzgerald Kennedy, I’d like us to raise our glasses, fifty years after his election and inauguration as the 35th president of the United States, and an inspiration to this Jersey Boy to think that politics in life not only was possible, but could be meaningful and change the world. To President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

The unlikely duo of Michele Bachmann and Chris Matthews (pictured) were spotted chatting and posing for pictures while a slew of political and media figures mixed and mingled at Lincoln Center.  Attendees included Richard Stengel, Fareed Zakaria, Joe Klein, Mark Halperin, Gayle King, Anna Kendrick, Mayor Cory Booker, Christiane Amanpour, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Meghan McCain, Harvey Weinstein, Ann Coulter, and Brian Williams among others.

Check out the full list of the 2011 TIME 100 here: and more photos from the event here:

Morning Profile: Chuck Leavell, from Trees to Stones

Chuck Leavell feels more at home in the back woods of Bullard, Ga. than anywhere. As a tree farmer, that’s only fitting.

But he steps easily into other settings.  Like Tryst Coffeehouse-Bar for a lengthy interview on a low to the floor mustard velour couch. Well-dressed with a thick wavy mane of white hair and a southern drawl, he has toured with the Rolling Stones, playing piano and keyboards. It has taken him all over the world to locales like exotic Copacabana Beach in Rio. But being a tree hugger has also lured him to Washington to lobby his cause, testify on two Senate farm bills, meet two presidents and attend a black-tie White House dinner for Prince Charles and wife, Camilla.

Those trees are as close as his business cards. His are varying shades of sand and made of two-ply southern pine.

This week Leavell rolled into town to speak at the National Press Club about his newly released book, Growing a Better America, slum it with the Second Amendments, a congressional rock band, and meet with politicians like Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). “They can play,” he said firmly, when pressed on whether the congressional band was any good. “I just think it’s really cool that we have musicians in Congress.” While impressing them with his music, he chats them up on things just as close to this heart like the daily loss of forest and natural lands to growth and development. “The country loses 2500 acres a day,” he says, reeling off a host of statistics.

When lobbying Congress he’s often asked, “When are the Stones going to tour again?” Likely next year. But he says only that next year’s the 50th anniversary of the band and wouldn’t that be a fine time to celebrate? “I think it’s a shame if we don’t celebrate that,” he says with a smile. “Of course it’s up to Mick and Keith.”

Leavell (above second from right) is well-versed in media, both from an insider’s perspective and from an outsider’s, counting on his shrewd PR rep in tow to sometimes nix material that might bring trouble…

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TIME: Patti Davis on Hinckley, Zakaria on Gaddafi

In an essay for the latest issue TIME (left), which goes on newsstands tomorrow, Patti Davis writes that “Thirty years after he shot my father Ronald Reagan, [John Hinckley] spends one-third of the year as a (mostly) free man. Davis describes in TIME how Hinckely’s actions continue to affect the lives of those he shot that day and their families, while Hinckley enjoys increasing freedoms, including 10-day visits to his mother in Williamsburg, VA each month. She argues, “There are times when the American legal system works brilliantly. There are times when it fails. The story of John Hinckley should always include this: As far as the victims are concerned, he beat the legal system. He had wealthy parents who bought him a tenacious lawyer.”

Read the full essay by Davis here: Freedom Is Too Good for Hinckley

And check  out the cover story by Fareed Zakaria here: Gaddafi’s Last Stand

Separated at Birth: Fareed Zakaria and…

This edition of Separated at Birth involves a time machine and some imagination, but check it out.

It’s Fareed Zakaria, Time editor-at-large and host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and Bruno Mars, who recently won a Grammy for his song “Just the Way You Are” and co-wrote Cee Lo Green‘s “Fuck You!”

Other ideas? Leave a comment or e-mail

Fonzie Loves WaPo’s Ezra Klein to Pieces, But His Favorite? It’s MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

“May I call you Fonzie?” I inquired this morning when Arthur Fonzarelli phoned me at 8 a.m.

A polite Henry Winkler replied, “No, because that is a fictional character that I could never live up to. It was extraordinarily fun to play, but I couldn’t live up to that.” Fonzie said he often tells people that snapping your fingers at women in the 21st century isn’t a good idea. “You will end with them [your fingers] in a cast,” he says.

Fonzie, played by the actor, Winkler, is in town this week to win an Inspire Award from AARP The Magazine for his work with stroke victims. His mother had a stroke in her 70s and suffered horribly from upper limb spasticity. Fonzie has worked hard on the issue. And it worked — the FDA approved Botox therapy, and it is working wonders, he says. “I’m telling you I have seen it with my own eyes the incredible sense of hope that this new therapeutic use of Botox gives to victims whose upper limbs [are spastic]. It’s almost as if they are rigidly stuck to their chest. I met one woman whose arm was stuck out of the side of her and they called it her chicken wing.”

Moving on from chicken wings, let’s talk about the media. Yesterday afternoon Fonzie was watching MSNBC at his hotel and noticed WaPo‘s whippersnapper Ezra Klein. So impressed by Klein, he looked up the number for WaPo and called him just to say how impressed he was. He left a message, but no number. Klein tweeted last night “If anyone knows how to get in touch with Henry Winkler — yeah, that one — tell him “thanks” for me.”

Fonzie went on and on about Klein, who appeared on MSNBC incessantly Wednesday. “How did you know?” he asked, shocked. (I explained the Twitter message.) He continued, “I called him yesterday from my hotel room. I find him to be really…he gets to the heart of the matter. This is the third or fourth time I saw him. I looked up the number to Washington Post because I thought he was just fantastic and I’m thinking, I should just tell him. I said, I think you are just of real great clarity. I just was a fan.” I informed Fonzie that Washington City Paper recently wrote what could easily be construed as a negative piece on Ezra. Fonzie sounded worried. “Why? Tell Ezra that all things shall pass…tell him that someone writes an article and it passes and he is still here standing.” Fonzie added that he also likes MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, but didn’t elaborate.

On Tuesday, Fonzie visited the Smithsonian, where his famous leather jacket is on display. He said he hadn’t seen it since 1980 when it first arrived there. “It was very exciting,” he said.

But what about his thoughts on ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, Bo the dog and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow? Find out after the jump…

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