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Posts Tagged ‘George Will’

Sunday Show Preview

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Who’s on the weekend shows this week? Glad you asked:

–CBS’s “Face the Nation“:  LBJ daughter Luci Baines Johnson Turpin; reporter Hugh Ainesworthy, who witnessed the assassination of JFK, arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, and assassination of Oswald by Jack Ruby; former AP reporter Mike CochranDr. Ronald Jones of Parkland Hospital who treated Kennedy AND Oswald; Historians Douglas Brinkley and Thurston Clarke; Poli-scientist Larry Sabato; the eminently reasonable David Gergen; and the eminently whimsical Peggy Noonan

–”Fox News Sunday“: WY Senate Candidate Liz Cheney; Former MD Lt. Gov Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; former Representative and current JFK nephew Patrick Kennedy (RI-D), “Power Player” (whatever that means) Scott Hartwig; and the Panel: Brit Hume, Bob Woodward, and George Will (Mumbles, Grumbles, and Doc)

–NBC’s “Meet the Press“: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-D) (Did we mention we’re getting wasted with her Tuesday?), Republican Lifeboat Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH); and the Roundtable: Tom Brokaw (BOOM), Kathleen Parker (sans Spitzer), Mike “Sexy and He Knows It” Murphy, and Chris Matthews (now with washable bib!)

–ABC’s “This Week“: Sen. Kirstin “Stop the Madness” Gillibrand (NY-D); (Do You Recall ) Gov.Scott Walker (WI-R); and the Roundtable: Just Back from Afghanistan Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-R), Washington’s Busiest Lady Gwen Ifill, Matthew “No Friend of Karl Rove” Dowd, Bizarro Karl Rove David Plouffe, Howard “I Don’t Need No Footstool” Dean, Pulitzer Prize Winning Bret Bret Stephens, and, again, Patrick Kennedy; also Documentary Legend Ken Burns, and Future Warlord Erik Prince

–CNN’s “State of the Union“: To be announced.

–PBS’s “Washington Week“: The crane-like Danz Balz of WaPo; the dashing John Harwood of CNBC and NYT; and the lovely Jeff Zeleny of ABC News

We’ll update as we know more.

Nobody Puts Donna in the Corner

Democratic pundit Donna Brazile is always in the mood to dance.

So she informed FishbowlDC recently when asked about the Points of Life Conference at which she danced with FNC’s Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly. At the conference she introduced Rove and former Obama advisor David Plouffe.

She did what?

That’s right. Brazile is friendly with her pundit pals no matter what side of the aisle they’re on and she isn’t ashamed. On air she might hold fast to her lefty causes, but off, she bonds with all  of ‘em — Rove, O’Reilly, Carlson, Will, Begala, Carville and more. (If you don’t believe us, watch her dance with Rove via BuzzFeed here.)

“Karl and I have been friends for a long time,” Brazile told FishbowlDC. …”Rove is fun especially when he’s not plotting a campaign to defeat you.” She continued on with a flurry of pundit namedropping:  “Also have dance pics with Wolf Blitzer. Plouffe gave me a great hug. Oh, add Tucker Carlson, Antonio Villeragosos et al [sic]. Been dancing since I learned how to walk. If the music moves you, you gotta dance.” (Might want to work on that spelling of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, but we get the picture!)

She wasn’t finished. “I call George Will when I want to attend a baseball game, Ed Gillespie for business tips, Paul Begala for reality checks and James Carville for down home cooking,” she said. “He makes the best Cajun burgers. My motto is to find the good and praise it.”

Brazile says she connects with O’Reilly because he’s passionate about the Wounded Warrior Project – a favorite of her father, a Korean Vet who passed away last year.  “My friends span the partisan divide,” she said. “And many are simply non-partisan and dislike politics.”


Goo Goo Dolls Founder Detests Rush, Loves Maddow, O’Reilly and Jesse Jackson Sr.

Johnny Rzeznik, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and founder of the Goo Goo Dolls, was in Washington, D.C. over the weekend to perform at the Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball. We caught up with him this afternoon by phone to pester him about his media preferences and ask about the low and high points of his weekend. Asked if we should call him John or Johnny, he told us men call him “John” and women call him “Johnny.” He doesn’t know why that is. At the conclusion of the interview, we asked if there was anything more he wanted to tell us. As a matter of fact, there was. Their tenth album, Magnetic, is coming out on May 7. The first single is called “Rebel Beat” and is already being played on radio stations. “We’re all really excited to get out there and play our new album, which is upbeat and very positive,” said Rzeznik. “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.”

What was the highlight of Inauguration for you? The highlight for me was standing int he press line during the red carpet and seeing Jesse Jackson Sr. standing right next to us. He’s just one of those people who has an aura about him when he walks in a room. Also, doing the show. That’s why we came to town. That was really exciting. It was a real honor to be asked to be part of that celebration because they do a lot of great work on behalf of the arts.

Are you an Obama supporter? I definitely supported him in the last election. I couldn’t get behind the Republicans’ views on women’s issues and marriage equality. I don’t know, I just felt like they are really out of touch with what is going on in America. Just like Joe the cabdriver, it’s the same thing. Joe the cabdriver gets to have a political opinion, so I’m entitled to mine.

What do you like and hate about Washington? I love the Smithsonian. I’m a real dork for that kind of stuff. I love Georgetown, I love all the row houses, I love the feel and energy of this city. The only thing I hate is the traffic and I live in LA. It’s a beautiful city and it’s got so much character and it’s old and I like it.

Who are your favorite members of the media? I enjoy watching Chris Matthews a lot. He reminds me of a throwback to the older school kind of pundits like Tim Russert. I like George Will, I don’t agree with him particularly, but he’s probably the smartest conservative out there. I refuse to listen to Rush Limbaugh. I listen to a lot of conservative radio when I drive around in my car. I refuse to listen to him because he’s just ridiculous, just a clown. I love Rachel Maddow obviously. Jon Stewart. I know it’s a comedy show, but its probably one of the most informative shows out there. Stephanie Miller! I love her! Like ughhh, she’s the best. I agree with her views on issues, I think they check her facts pretty carefully. She’s got an insane sense of humor. It’s nice to see Tim Russert’s son [Luke Russert] in there and doing well too. I was brought up in a very blue collar, Democratic, pro-union house and that’s soaked into your DNA.

Do you have an opinion about Beyoncé lip syncing America the Beautiful? There’s no question in my mind that even if it was a computer playing it back because it was 20 degrees outside, she actually sang whatever on the page. She is brilliant. When you’re in situations like that and the whole world is watching on television, no one plays live on the Super Bowl. There’s no time for a mistake. Could she have sang that live? Absolutely. It was freezing out there. Unless you know how incredibly hard it is to sing when it’s 25 degrees out there, your opinion means nothing.

Have you ever been burned by the media? No. Not really. Maybe a nasty review of my work in a magazine, but who cares?

Does TMZ follow you around? I’m not dating an actress or a supermodel. Nobody is throwing me out of Hyde.

What networks or cable shows do you prefer? I do watch Fox. Sometimes I really enjoy watching Bill O’Reilly. It’s interesting because the older he gets, the more moderate he seems to get. Sort of like watching the end of how the Grinch stole Christmas. I still have hope for him. I can’t discount that everyone I’ve mentioned is part of an agenda. There is no fairness doctrine with the media and you spend time watching everyone and give them equal time.


On Pareene’s 2012 ‘Hack’ List: Oh, Everyone

“Who’s Pareene?” asked Michael Goldfarb of The Free Beacon. He tweeted the question yesterday linking to a Salon column that named The Drudge Report‘s Matt Drudge as 2012′s No. 5 biggest media “hack.”

Assuming it was a serious question from Goldfarb, Alex Pareene, whose mustache sometimes makes him look like a porn star, is a writer at Salon and the news world’s favorite ginger. Each year he names his personal 10 “hacks” in news media that are “hurting America.” While the not-that-much-anticipated list is harmless, it causes a buzz for directly and brazenly (or, as brazenly as can be done sitting at a keyboard) calling out big names in news.

Over the last two days, the list trickled out full of the kind of angst generally reserved for misunderstood teenagers in high school courtyards. In the end, we couldn’t help but think that in a few places, Pareene colored outside the lines.

No. 1 on the list is Politico, which Pareene said is founded on “a myth” that its reporting is “exclusive” when in fact it’s the same old Beltway journalism.

He specifically named Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and White House Correspondent Mike Allen as the driving forces behind Politico‘s hackery. Of Allen, who writes the widely-read Playbook tip sheet, Pareene said he is “paid a fortune” for emailing out “a bunch of links to day-old news stories.” It’s a business model Pareene has apparently mastered so well, it’s a wonder he’s not making his own fortune copying it. Or, maybe he’s pissed he didn’t think of it first?

Pareene dismissed all of Politico‘s election coverage. “No one reading any of these pieces … gained any genuine insight into the state of the presidential race,” he said. And yet, even after the election, Politico maintains high web traffic (though on election night, traffic climbed to 2.2 million page views an hour) which brings in money and allows the publication to expand.

In case Pareene wasn’t aware, it turns out there’s an audience for people who want to read about politics– in fact, every teeny tiny detail on the subject. Pareene doesn’t understand it. He’s kind of like a gorilla frustrated that he can’t make the star-shaped block go through the square-shaped hole.

It’s the audience he should hate. They’re reading Politico. Even if he doesn’t see why they should.

Moving on to No. 2 on the list… Read more

Jonathan Challenges Jonathan On ‘A–hole’ Scoop

An “asshole” has found itself right in the thick of media things today. And no, this has nothing to do with George Will‘s prostate exams.

Yesterday evening CQ Roll Call‘s Jonathan Strong and Daniel Newhauser double bylined a story headlined “‘Obstinate’ Factor Continues to Roil GOP.” The article looks at the decision of Republican leadership in the House to recently strip four GOP congressmen from coveted committee assignments. It contains the following (emphasis ours):

“‘What I tried to explain to them was, it didn’t have anything to do with your voting record, a scorecard, your work across the street or anything else. It had to do with your ability to work within the system and to try to work. And to be, I guess, constructive in things. And I said, “I guess you could say it was an asshole factor,”‘ Westmoreland said. ‘Now I wasn’t calling any member in particular an asshole, I was just trying to describe an environment where some people that you’re trying to work with, they just don’t want to work within the system.’

“Westmoreland later expressed regret for using that language, saying, ‘Maybe I should have used ‘obstinate factor.’”

Today, 15 hours later, Politico‘s Jonathan Allen published a very similar story with very similar language… Read more

Washington Media Mysteries

Noticeably absent from today’s Washington Examiner is Paul Bedard‘s Washington Secret’s column. Where could he have gone? We checked his Twitter profile for a clue–nothing. Bedard hasn’t tweeted since Friday.

We started to worry that Bedard, lover of doughnuts, may have had a bad experience with Krispy Kreme. For all we know he could have passed out on a public toilet in Chinatown and needs our help. So we emailed him. Still nothing. Fortunately, the Examiner‘s Executive Editor Stephen Smith got back to us and told us Bedard is on vacation.

Bedard’s specific whereabouts are still unknown, however. So we started to wonder: Where would a man who writes on secrets head for a vacation? Our best guesses:

  1. To sift through Mitt Romney‘s tax returns
  2. To search President Obama‘s college transcripts.
  3. On a mission to discover conservative columnist George Will‘s real hair color.
  4. Fox News HQ in New York just to hang out.

Next mystery: Where is Joe Scarborough‘s Politico blog?

Using a high-res magnifying glass, we were able to locate it on Politico‘s homepage. When the blog was launched at the start of the year it was prominently placed with its own caricature of Scarborough and link under the rest of the Politico blogs. It has since been reduced to a small link underneath the “Opinion” header, simply marked “blog.” And it hasn’t been updated in more than a month.

FBDC reported in early June that Scarborough’s blog was losing steam. An NBC publicist assured us he was posting “frequently” though never intended on posting daily. How about monthly?

We reached out again to MSNBC and Politico on the matter.

FishbowlDC Interview With Ex-Gawker Jim Newell

Say hello to Wonkette, Salon and The Guardian Contributor Jim Newell, who recently departed Gawker for what, even he’s still not sure. He worked there for a year and a half as their Politics Editor and left at the end of January. “New opportunities, I don’t know. They were going in a different direction,” he said in a phone interview. “I think they are doing less full-time politics, which is what I was doing there, so I moved on.” When Newell sent me the following email at 2:50 a.m. this morning I figured he had stayed up late watching LMN. He wrote, “Here you go Betsy! I hope it’s alright, I only went on one extended murder fantasy.” Born and raised in Annapolis, Md., Newell looks back on his childhood and describes himself as a shy, not very rebellious kid who lived on the water, which may not mean a whole lot.”We just happened to live in Annapolis by the water,” he said. “We’d look at the water, we wouldn’t go in the water.” For the last several months, he has enjoyed making his own hours as a freelancer, but he thinks he may need to start job hunting for something full-time soon. “I need structure,” he said. “I have just been sitting on my couch for five years. I’d like to do something where I can write longform, where I can go out and report and take a little bit more time. But I’ll take what I can get. I’ve cursed out most of the newspapers in town.”

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? This is a ludicrous question.

How often do you Google yourself? Usually if I want to see if I’m getting any responses to a piece that I’ve put work into. So like once a decade.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? “I’m leaving you for Gawker.”

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I don’t know, there are a bunch of bloggers and reporters I read regularly but there’s no one muckraking investigative long-form shitkicker who really stands out, off the top of my head. Probably because I mostly read “campaign journalism” now, which is all nonsense. I just finished Robert Draper‘s new book about the House, though, and it was excellent. Now I’m reading Steve Coll‘s new book about Exxon Mobil, which is a goddamn professional reporting job.

Do you have a favorite word? No.

Who would you rather have dinner with – Ice’s wife, Coco, Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan? Tell us why. Lohan, I guess. She has stories/is a human being.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Gabby Sidibe (“Precious” etc..) or Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) Interesting pair of choices, there. Is Fishbowl DC suggesting that black women with strong personalities are such unappealing potential mates that I’d consider allowing the Earth’s human population to die out rather than procreate with them? I would let the human population die off regardless of who it is, thank you very much. Anyway… Sidibe?

Editor’s note: Easy there, Newell. Precious has eaten a human for breakfast for far less. To insinuate that we think these women are sexually unappealing is wrong. Precious is bursting with sex appeal and watch out if you get in SJL’s way during any State of the Union Address when she manhandles the President for a handshake or kiss. We have previously thrown ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner into the ring for female interviewees but didn’t think he’d be appealing for you.

What swear word do you use most often? Shit. My favorite though is “fucktard,” but only as a treat.

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.) Ideally it would be four middle-aged/elderly white men working at the nation’s premier news outlets where they’ve been wrong about every major event of the past 20 years, but I think the other Sunday shows have them all under contract. I think I’d just put four planks of wood in the chairs and meditate for an hour. It’d be less damaging to the world.

Read more

Trump vs. Will: Who Reps the Modern GOP?

The relationship between game show host Donald Trump and conservative columnist George Will is a love-hate one. It started back in March when Will suggested in a column that it may be a more feasible strategy for Republicans to abandon hope of obtaining the presidency and instead focus on taking over Congress. To that, Trump on FNC called Will “a totally overrated fool” and said “I don’t think he’s really smart, he looks smart with the little glasses and hair swept to the side.”

Fast-forward to this past Sunday’s episode of ABC’s “This Week” in which Will referred to Trump as “this bloviating ignoramus.”

Responding at lightening speed, Trump tweeted, “George Will may be the dumbest (and most overrated) political commentator of all time. If the Republicans listen to him, they will lose.”

The crew at FNC’s “The Five” discussed and it led to Eric Bolling saying this: “You know what Donald Trump represents? He represents a new Republican, a new GOP, a new conservative, where it’s not the old, established, George Will, boring out of their mind, bored out of your mind listening to him in Washington.”

Does this mean Will will lose his spot on “This Week” to Trump? The jury’s still out on that one. But let’s compare the two.

Here we have George Will

Age: 71

Hair: Hazelnut #81, purchased at your nearest men’s grooming store.

Education: Princeton University

Spouse: Mari Maseng, Republican consultant who previously worked on Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s presidential campaign before he withdrew from the race.

TV behavior: Subdued, pensive and professorial. Will is someone you can listen to if you’re older than 30 and/or are stocked up on Ritalin.

Best on-air moment: We’ll get back to you on that.

Controversy: As mentioned above, a column by Will in March offered up an alternative plan to Republicans that assumed the GOP wouldn’t win the presidency in the November election. It caused a ruckus in the conservative media and got the attention of the guy conservatives want to piss off the least: Rush Limbaugh. Will was asked to clarify his column and did a little backtracking on “This Week,” saying, “At this point, I would say no, keep fighting [for the presidency], but prepare to retrench.”

Famous relative: Will’s wife Mari Maseng is well-known in Republican politics and worked as a speechwriter in the Reagan White House.

Workload: Twice-weekly column for WaPo, news analyst for ABC and regular panelist on the network’s Sunday program “This Week.”

Accomplishments: Pulitzer Prize winner.

And here’s Donald Trump

Age: 65

Hair: Scorched, tossed, turned, flipped, pressed, twirled…in short, a disaster.

Education: Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

Spouse: Melania Knauss, a former model.

TV behavior: Obnoxiously loud, confrontational and generally dismissive of everything that can’t be tied back to his wealth.

Best on-air moment: His interview with “Entertainment Tonight” from 2006 in which he called TV personality Rosie O’Donnell the following: “disgusting,” “a slob,” “bad people,” “a disaster,” “fat,” “ugly,” “chubby,” “unattractive both inside and out,” “fat ass” and “a loser.”

Controversy: Relentless birther.

Famous relatives: Three of Trump’s five children, Ivanka, Donald, Jr. and Eric are involved in the production of Trump’s successful NBC show “The Apprentice.”

Workload: President of The Trump Organization, Host of “The Apprentice,” occasional candidate for president of the United States, author.

Accomplishments: Billionaire, New York Times bestselling book

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things We Thought You Ought to Know…)

Oh no they didn’t — Expect backlash from this one. The Root wants to know why conservatives in the media are focused on “black-on-black” violence as opposed to, say, “white-on-white” crime.  They call this a “false media narrative” and point to a statistic recently shared by conservative columnist George Will on ABC’s “This Week” program. He said that every week 150 black men are killed — 94 percent by other black men. The headline of the piece: “Don’t White People Kill Each Other, Too?” The author, an author, columnist and MSNBC Political Analyst, says the term “black-on-black” is destructive and cites a stat from the Justice Department that says that 84 percent of white people killed each year are by other whites: “The half-truth he spoke went curiously unchallenged by the panel — including former White House adviser Van Jones — largely because the meta-narrative of black-on-black violence is widely accepted in journalistic and political circles.” The author’s conclusion: “It seems that the media in general and white American society in particular prefer to focus on crime perpetrated by African Americans because it serves as a way to absolve them from the violence, prejudice and institutionalized discrimination engendered for generations against blacks.” Read here.

Is WaPo “She the People” blogger just asking for trouble? — In a new post by Bonnie Goldstein, she skirts around a topic sure to rile some readers — namely, the issue of whether the Santorums should have had Bella in the first place. She never comes out and boldly says it. If she was going there, why not just go there? Instead she writes, “The little girl’s parents knew when she was still in utero that she would have serious developmental and physical disabilities. They nevertheless welcomed her joyfully despite having many other children to raise and not unlimited resources.” She also insinuates that Santorum hitting the campaign trail has affected the girl’s health. Again, gingerly broaching what could be dangerous territory without really fully going there. Read the rest here.

New book to hit the shelves… PBS’ and PRI’s Tavis Smiley and Professor Cornel West are out with their first co-authored book together, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto out in stores, Tuesday, April 17. They will appear in Washington on April 17 as part of their 10-city book tour.  On April 22, West will also speak at Howard University. On April 16, Google will host a special The Rich and the Rest of Us online chat LIVE from Google Headquarters, 12 p.m.–1 p.m. PT.  To watch, visit:

President Obama makes funny monster faces…See BuzzFeed’s picture spread here.

The FishbowlDC Interview with SharkTank’s ‘Big Enchilada’

Say hello to SharkTank Editor Javier Manjarres. He’s in town from Fort Lauderdale this week for CPAC. And it just so happens he was seated right next to FishbowlDC. What are the chances, right? “Que pasa?” he asks his mother on his cell on Blogger’s Row. “Superbien..estoy muy occupado,” he complains. (Translation: I’m really busy. I’m really important.) Does he find it ironic that SharkTank is sitting next to Fishbowl? Does he think he’s better than us? “As a matter of fact the irony of the shark tank sitting next to the guppie bowl is interesting,” he said. “There is enough room in the sea for El Sharko and El Fishbowl.” SharkTank, a right leaning politics blog, came to life in 2009. Javier is the sole editorial employee. He embarrassingly calls himself “the big enchilada” and says he has one colleague who handles “technical stuff.” His opening line: “You didn’t notice me with my big fin?”

What does SharkTank write about? We pretty much write about everything political, we follow a lot of candidates. We get a lot interviews that no one else gets. I can call Marco Rubio, Allen West, Connie Mack. We’re all friends. We met at political events. We got to know each other on the campaign trail, you break bread, you’re on flights together.

Have you always been a reporter? I was in the clothing business, and I’m straight. I helped design and manufacture men’s apparel, women’s lingerie and bathing suits. I started writing for Red County in 2008 and then I started the SharkTank in November 2009.

Why SharkTank? Florida is the shark attack capitol of the world. And politics is a cutthroat business. It just fell in my lap, and there’s a lot of hot chicks involved too. I throw my press pass around. I go around saying, ‘I’m a big deal, would you like to go out for drinks?’” (He’s joking mostly, we think.)

Do you go tanning in between stories? I do suntan in my Speedo. I live two minutes from the beach. I go suntanning once in a blue moon, but I pride myself that when I play soccer in my Speedo I tan at the same time. Cleats and Speedos go hand in hand..

If you were a carbonated beverage what would you be? Red Bull..sugar free. Because I’m just a spaz.

What is your most embarrassing moment? I have a lot. This one was a badge of honor. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in front of the entire Cuba Democracy PAC in Miami, gave me a full embrace, kissed me on the cheek twice, and told me I was the biggest pain in her ass. She did it in front of Sen. Marco Rubio and 20 congressional members.

What’s your favorite swear word? Maybe shit.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Maybe predicated.

Who is your favorite journalist? George Will.

Who would you rather have dinner with – ABC’s Diane Sawyer, CNN’s Candy Crowley or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why.  Diane Sawyer, she’s attractive.

Who is your favorite Kardashian? The father, because he was fortunate not to see the train wreck his daughters turned out to be and you have to honor that. And I mean Ron Kardashian. Bruce is complicit in that crap.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Sec. Janet Napolitano or former AG Janet Reno? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) I’ll guess I’ll go down as the man who ended civilization. They don’t strike me as the type who would be interested in me, and there is no chance in hell that I would be attracted to either woman. If Ellen DeGeneres is thrown in the mix, I’d probably have to reconsider.

What word do you misspell most often? Taht. But that’s just typos.

When you pig out, what do you eat? Wendy’s number 6 spicy chicken medium, no mayo.

From Reason’s Peter Suderman: You’re given a choice between living a normal length life looking like you’re 28 and a thousand year life in which your age shows the whole time. Which would you pick and why? I’ll take 28 because I’m all about me – self-centered — it’s all about aesthetics.