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Posts Tagged ‘Gene Robinson’

Mika Brzezinski Turns Into Weiner Police

This morning the news broke that ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) is running for Mayor of New York. Naturally the crew at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” would discuss it.

But how? What parameters?

If you’re the show’s Co-host Mika Brzezinksi, is the best option to behave gingerly and timidly? What, no weiner jokes? No talk of penis selfies? Seems she wants to find a cautious way to cover the story, if only Joe Scarborough will play along.

“Okay, alright, she began, spreading her arms. “Let’s just, no, we’re not doing that.” No one at the roundtable had done anything — yet.

“Chuck, don’t,” she scolded before NBC Political Director Chuck Todd, in Washington, could even speak. “Don’t egg him on,” she adds, referring to Scarborough, who began by introducing Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei to the show.

He called VandeHei “head of the Weiner beat.” The Politico editor laughed and said its telling how the show’s guests reacted while watching Weiner’s video announcing his run. “Well, I think that it’s interesting that when you played the video everybody at the table started laughing,” said Vandehei. “That’s usually not a great start to a campaign. … There’s no doubt the backdrop is going to be that embarrassing picture. And, by the way, he said there’s more, there might be more out there.”

“Alright, behave,” said Mika to no one in particular and everyone. “Stop,” she said repeatedly, even when nothing torrid was voiced.

Despite Mika’s weiner policing, the conversation eventually turns a sharp corner to those nasty naked dick pics that Weiner sent to virtual female girlfriends while in Congress.  Read more

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Newsweek Aftermath: ‘It Was a Brave Move For Tina’

Among the points Editor-in-Chief  Tina Brown made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today on shutting down Newsweek‘s print edition was this one: “Obviously a painful piece of this is that it’s going to mean reduction in staff,” she said toward the end of the segment.

Brown played that down and set her sights on the future.

“We just decided to take the plunge,” she said. “We decided that we wanted to embrace the future and not talk about the legacies of the past. It cost $43 million dollars to print, manufacture, distribute, and manage Newsweek before you have hired one writer or one editor. … You’ve only got to walk through an airplane and see the amount of people who have screens and the amount of people who have newspapers and magazines.”

Brand man Donny Deutsch backed her, saying, “It was a brave move for Tina. It was clearly the right move. This is a dinosaur.”

Breaking away from the giddy and spinning Brown and Deutsch, WaPo‘s Gene Robinson, who appears often on MSNBC as a political analyst, was the only dissenting voice. “Let’s hope it works,” he said cautiously and somewhat doubtfully, “and it’s wildly successful.”

WaPo Columnists Break Traffic Laws (Just Like Us)

WaPo columnists Gene Robinson and David Broder, it turns out, are human. They were named in a reecntly published story on (a blog that focuses on fascinating Arlington, Va.) on area residents who have received – oh the horror – traffic infractions. The story, which oddly wasn’t pegged to anyone with a recent violation, generously regarded Robinson’s and Broder’s infractions as “minor.” While the 81-year-old Broder details are noteworthy, Robinson’s lack of an inspection sticker can hardly be considered egregious.

We assume our pictured pooch has suffered a few traffic violations – and if we’re really going to be honest, it may be more comforting to glance over and see this dog driving over Broder.

An excerpt: Eugene Robinson was stopped last January for an inspection sticker that expired one month prior. He paid the $81 fine two months later. David Broder has been convicted of traffic violations five times in the past two years. Charges against Broder have included speeding, an HOV violation and driving without a license.

Will WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart’s Hot Shorts Land Him 100 Dates?

Jonathan Capehart (Photo Credit: FishbowlDC)

There are shorts. And then there are short shorts.

WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart donned the latter this morning for MSNBC’s health walk on the National Mall with the crew of “Morning Joe” and their guests. Those from the show included: Mika Brzezinksi (who spearheaded the health campaign), Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist (who confessed to eating a daily bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios paired with a “power slam” of ice cold Snapple at 3:30 a.m. when he wakes) and Mike Barnicle. Show regulars were in the crowd – they included WaPo columnist and MSNBC Contributor Gene Robinson, New York Magazine’s John Heilemann (far taller in person than he seems on TV), WaPo blogger Ezra Klein and NBC’s Chief Washington Correspondent Norah O’Donnell. NBC’s Capitol Hill correspondent Luke Russert jogged the course while most everyone else walked.

Capehart, in those hot black shorts and a white long-sleeved shirt, appeared unfazed by the attention swirling around him. “Jonathan is going to get 100 dates out of this,” a show employee remarked on the sly. Another marveled, “LOOK. At. THOSE. Shorts.”

Capehart wasn’t the only one getting catcalled. Brzezinksi also attracted attention with her short red shorts. “Mika your legs are gorgeous!” a white-haired woman loudly called out to her. Brzezinksi easily worked the crowd, but didn’t react to the woman’s remark. The host looked to be having a good time, but for her, the event underscores a serious problem in this country: “We are fat,” she said. “Our children are sick.” Brzezinski said she planned to start a bipartisan baseball team. She also mentioned running the impossibly steep Exorcist Steps in D.C’s Georgetown neighborhood Wednesday with Politico‘s Patrick Gavin (the Game Changer video is set to run tomorrow).

Few could escape fashion critique. Scarborough called out Russert for his tight-toed black running shoes on air. “What the hell is going on here?” Scarborough asked, focusing on Russert’s feet.

Some of those who showed up included top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and a group of lawmakers that included Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WVa.) as well as Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) . Congress’s Young Guns were there, too. Watch Politico‘s video. The Young Guns are GOP Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Eric Cantor (Va.).

Capehart had no regrets about his outfit and smiled in reaction to shorts questions. “Anytime I can get out of my tie and blazer and in my shorts, it’s perfect,” he told me in an interview post walk.

Photo credit: Bill Plowman, NBC News/AP

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quote(s) of the Day


C’est Magnifique! D.C. blogger in Paris

“Checked into the exquisite #Sofitel Le Faubourg in #Paris. Newly renovated suites, duplexes by Didier Gomez are just magnificent!” – D.C. blogger Pamela Sorensen, of Pamela’s Punch, in a Thursday tweet.

White House correspondent gets sentimental on metal

“Today is the 23rd anniversary of the release of Appetite for Destruction. Great album, changed my life in any number of ways.”
- The Hill White House correspondent Sam Youngman in a Thursday Facebook update. (Youngman explained, “I really can’t overstate how critical a turning point that tape was for me. Guns and Roses first album. Still [bleeping] rocks. Dude, Paradise City, Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child of Mine, Mr. Brownstone and so much more. Not bad for an adolescence soundtrack.”)

Robinson’s advice on bullies

“You don’t deal with bullies by running away from them. You deal with them by standing up to them. And sometimes you say enough is enough.”
- MSNBC Contributor and WaPo syndicated Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Gene Robinson on “Countdown with (sub-host) Lawrence O’Donnell.” Robinson was remarking on the Obama Administration’s handling of the USDA’s Shirley Sherrod.

Scribe envisions large man discussing ice cream

“This ice cream expert on NPR sounds like a large man.”
- WaPo’s Aaron Blake, who writes for “The Fix,” in a Thursday tweet. (In explanation, the voice was big and breathy and one that could potentially be heard on an overweight male who eats large amounts of ice cream.)


“First Draft of History” Event Announced

Invitations for the “First Draft of History,” a Newseum event sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute are being extended today. The invite-only, all on-the-record event will include interviews and panel discussions with folks like Larry Summers, Janet Napolitano, Michael Bloomberg, David Petraeus, Lindsey Graham and Eric Schmitt.

The October 1-2 event will also feature media heavy hitters as interviewers. Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, David Gregory, Chris Matthews, Maria Bartiromo, Chuck Todd, Chris Wallace and Jim Lehrer will represent the broadcast side. Print journos include James Bennet, David Brooks, Howard Fineman, Gene Robinson, Ron Brownstein, E.J. Dionne, Jeffrey Goldberg, James Fallows and Michael Kinsley.

For more details, click here.

What Do Posties Think Of The “Downie Leaving” Rumor?

Earlier: “Downie: Gone?!?

We asked some:

  • “I have no idea if the rumor is valid, but Jaffe’s analysis sounds about right , in that I think there would be a newspaper rebellion if any of the comedians mentioned got the nod. The only person who would I think might be welcomed…. is the much beloved Gene Robinson.”

  • “Yeah, there’s buzz, but frankly no one knows whether it’s rooted in any actual fact or event — or if it’s just cafeteria-table speculation that begins to sound like an actual rumor once it’s made a couple rounds through the echo chamber. Here’s my prediction: Len will retire before he turns 70, and Jaffe will then write a story saying ‘as I first reported…’”

  • One Postie hears that one possible plan (admittedly far-fetched) involves David Ignatius taking over for a brief time (remember, he was executive editor of the International Herald Tribune), until Emilio Garcia-Ruiz is ready to ascend from his AME/Sports gig. This Postie also hears that nobody is talking about Phil as Len’s successor and seconds the notion that the paper might outside for a new editor. UPDATE: This Postie also thinks Marilyn Thompson could be a dark horse Downie replacement.

  • “One can hold two thoughts that are not mutually inconsistent: That Len Downie is one of the great editors, and journalists, of his generation. And that it is time for the Washington Post to have a new executive editor. Everybody in the room, myself included, has immense respect for Len. But it may well be time to have an ultimate boss who understands more deeply that what determines the future of the Washington Post is not what stories appear on any given day’s front page, or whether the nut-graf and that killer quote make it in before the jump. Rather, it depends on the ability of the staff to generate content that draws readers online, especially readers who will spend a lot of time on the site.

    “As for who might take over the job if Len does move on, I wouldn’t be nearly as dismissive as Jaffe is about Phil Bennett’s chances. Phil understands these challenges as well as anyone, and has been doing yeoman’s work trying to enact them. Other possibilities are Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, the sports editor, who has been more successful than any other section editor at turning his reporters into multi-media machines. Liz Spayd is a possibility due to her time at, and understanding of, the web. And a dark horse could be David Ignatius, the columnist and former International Herald Tribune editor, for his strong strategic sense. Jaffe’s notion that Dean Baquet might be in the running is baloney. No way the Grahams would go outside the Post.”

  • “Definitely there’s been speculation but it’s hard to say how real it might be. I don’t think anyone thinks that he will be around 5 or even 10 years from now. But to take this buyout? Change is definitely coming, though. I hope it will work out for the best.

    “I agree about the lack of potential candidates. Lots of people who could jockey for No. 2 but not a lot for No. 1. Internally, the most likely candidates would be Phil, Emilio and Susan Glasser.”

  • One tipster says:

      It’s amazing to us at The Washington Post that Len Downie has not yet sent out an email to the staff addressing not one, but TWO stories discussig whether he will depart, and why he stonewalled the City Paper in an interview.

    Of course, we simply noticed that Downie returned Erik Wemple’s call but not Jaffe’s. What up with that?

    UPDATE: The same tipster says…

      I hear that Emilio is not a contender for executive editor. David Ignatius is definitely on the list. Marilyn Thompson — who used to be the editor of a very good paper in Kentucky — would be a dream.

  • Live-Blogging “Race for the White House”

    We’re watching MSNBC’s “Race for the White House,” the new show hosted by David Gregory.

    6:00 pm: It begins. Gregory calls it “fast paced, the bottom line and every point of view in the room.”

    6:01 pm: OMG. What the hell was that? The intro to Gregory’s show has him dancing all over the place and dodging red, white and blue graphics. It’s about as natural as Karl Rove’s MC Rove routine. This must be “Today” show Gregory.




    6:02 pm: The goal: “Be smart, be faster and better than any campaign coverage around.” And a panel “that comes to play.” Tonight: Rachel Maddow, Gene Robinson, Chuck Todd and Joe Scarborough. Gee, what a unique, novel lineup for MSNBC. I mean, they’re never on.

    6:02: Please stop the thrashing guitars in the background. Unless you get Scarborough to play them.

    6:04 pm: Gregory’s smiling a lot. And, sometimes, it’s the visual equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Looks like someone took an extra personality pill today. Will this be “serious, White House press briefing room David”? Or “Today” show David?

    6:07 pm: The panel screen looks so much like ESPN’s Around the Horn.


    6:09 pm: The orange background really brings out Gregory’s eyes. And his ambition. Both are equally piercing.


    6:10 pm: Gregory invites you to “Play with the Panel.” Ooo, talk dirty to me, baby.

    6:21 pm: It’s 6:21 and this has slowly turned into every other hour on MSNBC. We now miss the thrashing guitars.

    6:22 pm: Oh wait. David Gregory says there will be some “smart takes” in the next segment. Beat that, “Tucker.”

    6:23 pm: Seriously, I mean, my sensibilities aren’t offended, but how many times is MSNBC going to replay Tracy Morgan saying “Black is the new president, bitch” during daylight hours? The children, people!

    6:26 pm: Oh no: He’s reading blogs. Please, someone stop the bleeding.

    6:27 pm: Chuck Todd is now commenting on David Gregory’s reading of blogs. Break out the tourniquet. The logical next step must be talking about media coverage. It’s the only fish left to shoot in the bottom of this barrel.

    6:31 pm: Somehow it wouldn’t surprise us if Mika Brzezinski suddenly showed up in the form of a video pop-up.

    6:33 pm: No Shuster?

    6:34 pm: Discuss amongst yourselves…Tucker was on “Hardball” at 5. How long until he appears on his show’s replacement?

    6:36 pm: Gregory’s next brain fart: “Three questions: When I ask our panel to tackle the day’s toughest questions.”

    Okay, so we have “Smart Takes” and “Three Questions” thus far. Was this show hatched on toilet paper during a morning constitutional?

    6:43 pm: Gene Robinson is talking about a new car smell, a navigation system and surround sound and we’re totally confused. But somehow it involves Obama. How long until the Obama campaign asks Robinson to apologize? Because, as we all know, where Obama’s going, he doesn’t need any roads.

    6:45 pm: Let’s give a shout out to the IT department for the show’s new ticker font. It’s a game-changer.

    6:48 pm: For the final act, David Gregory will read reader feedback. He’s received “hundreds of emails,” 87 of which are nasty ones sent from fake email accounts set up by Tucker Carlson.

    6:50 pm: David Gregory says he’s giving us a shot to play with the panel. Really? Okay. Let’s have at it:

    I’d like to see Rachel Maddow dress up as Raggedy Ann, Joe Scarborough in a tickle booth, Gene Robinson as the voice behind an Avenue Q character and Chuck Todd switch facial hair with Wolf Blitzer.

    6:58: The hat trick! Gregory’s going to ask the panel for — wait for it — predictions! I’ve seen the future and it is “Race for the White House.”

    Gregory: “Gene, what does your crystal ball tell you tonight?” “Joe, what do you see?” “Chuck Todd, waddya got?”

    Gavin: “Gag me with a spoon.”

    6:59 pm: Chuck Todd makes NCAA predictions. It’s as Willie Geist as they get.

    7:00 pm: Okay. So obviously we set out to be snarky. In reality, the show was fine (make of that what you will). The real question is (and we’ll know the answer when we look back on the ratings in a few weeks and months) “What makes this show unique” and “What sets this show apart from MSNBC’s normal programming and, more importantly, its competitors?”

    To be continued…

    Marcus v. Robinson

    FishbowlDC hears that Posties are abuzz about Ruth Marcus getting a Pulitzer finalist slot in commentary. Many expected Gene Robinson to be on the list and are surprised to see Marcus there instead. We also hear that she wasn’t actually nominated by the paper.


    Sunday Show Preview

  • Meet The Press: Rep. John Murtha and Sen. Lindsey Graham. Roundtable includes Washington Post’s Gene Robinson and Wall Street Journal’s John Harwood.

  • Face the Nation: Sens. Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin and Washington Post’s Anne Hull.

  • This Week: Sens. Trent Lott and Charles Schumer and Treas. Secretry Henry Paulson. The roundtable consists of Washington Post’s EJ Dionne, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and George Will.

  • Fox News Sunday: Reps. Pete Hoekstra and Charlie Rangel, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker.

  • Late Edition: Sens. Chris Dodd and Jon Kyl, Rep. Tom Tancredo , and U.S. Amb. to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

  • Chris Matthews Show: NBC’s David Gregory, Chicago Tribune’ Clarence Page, New York Times’s Elisabeth Bumiller and Washington Post Writers Group’s Kathleen Parker .

  • C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: FAA Admin. Marion Blakey. Associates Press’ Leslie Miller and USA Today’s Alan Levin join the questioning.