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Posts Tagged ‘Grae Stafford’

Rapist Sends Female Journo 10-Page ‘Love’ Letter

The Daily Caller‘s Michelle Fields needs a wake up call.

Last night she may have gotten one after posting a lighthearted note on Facebook boasting of a criminal who wrote her a 10-page love letter. He watched her on C-SPAN on Christmas Day and wrote her a handwritten letter that he mailed in to The Daily Caller. She wrote, “I just got my first 10 page love letter from an inmate in Pennsylvania serving a 30 year sentence.” One of her 53 Facebook friends who “liked” this wrote, “Congrts.” As if this is some kind of rite of passage for a young female video journalist. Well, it turns out that inmate is not just your garden variety murderer or armed robber — he’s a convicted, violent rapist who terrorized a woman at knife point. Police in Pittsburgh actually believed his intent was to murder her, but somehow he spared her and the authorities nabbed him.

Are we still laughing, Michelle?

Michelle’s cameraman Grae Stafford sent a note to the entire Daily Caller office Tuesday telling newsroom staff what happened. His email was accompanied by a link to a news story detailing what the rapist had done to land himself a 15-30 year sentence. Uncharacteristically for the rambunctious bunch, no one replied, at least not to the entire newsroom.

Meanwhile, Michelle felt the need to again joke — isn’t this all hilarious? — that FishbowlDC would hire the rapist when he gets released. Here’s the thing, Michelle. You won’t be laughing if one of these basement dwellers you are engaging with online regarding your legs or any other part of your anatomy comes after you. This was our original point — your behavior is neither safe nor typical of well-respected female journalists in the TV industry. This was also among our points less than a week ago when we published “Police Blotter” to show the kinds of men you are encouraging and engaging with online. They included @mindfulloffuck and @bigdaddybuckley. But they also include the good folks over at BigGov, your arch defenders, one of whom, Dan Riehl, once suggested you have a wet T-shirt contest. He didn’t suggest it on BigGov, but he did suggest it.

We don’t take issue with the fact that these men exist, or even that they follow Michelle. But when a stranger online comments on your anatomy and retweets a picture of your legs it’s time to delete him. While Michelle collects them as staunch supporters, we get accused of not liking attractive and so-called successful people. Newsflash: We host a beauty contest each year. I personally created The Hill‘s 50 Most Beautiful People of Capitol Hill. We have no problem with beauty. But we do have a problem with a female journalist engaging with, enticing and yes, leading on a potentially dangerous online element.

One of Fields’ followers, Shannon Poe, wrote Tuesday, “@MichelleFields when he gets out, I’m sure Fishbowl DC will have a job for him. :) ” To which Michelle replied, “@ShannonPoe Hahaha. I think being an obsessive stalker is a job requirement there.”

As funny as that might seem, we know The Daily Caller takes these things seriously. When WMAL’s and Fox News Contributor Mary Katharine Ham, who is still with The Daily Caller but in a looser capacity, used to get stalkerish type gifts, Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson didn’t treat the matter lightly. In one instance, Ham considered calling the police, but in the end decided to inform her superiors and take other precautions that include owning a gun.

Ham’s approach is in clear contrast to Fields. Ham does not engage with male fans who comment on her looks. She also rarely discusses the unusual gifts she has received or the comments made about her online.  “I would call my experience with weird fans and haters rare but occasionally concerning,” she wrote by email. “I pay attention when communication is any combination of two of the following: very frequent, threatening, or demonstrates a disconnect with reality. I take general precautions, keep records of those communications, and give event organizers names to watch out for. I don’t respond to communications, especially to anyone who seems to already have concocted some relationship between us. Nothing has ever gone beyond making me wary, thank goodness. Also, I’m armed.”

We like to have fun here in the Fishbowl — sometimes caustically so to prove a point. But egging on strange men online is not our game — and we hope all female journalists out there will take note from Michelle as to how not to behave online.

Carlson elected to comment through the publication’s spokeswoman Nicole RoebergYou’re not going to want to miss the explanation.

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Tick Tock: Jack Abramoff Book Party

Today FishbowlMatt and I take you inside last night’s book party at the Northwest Washington home of Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and his wife, Susie, for famed ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The book: Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist. We’ll give you a play-by-play interpretation of what went down — FishbowlDC style. Some of it’s blind quoting, eavesdropping, and prison jokes, for which we make no apologies. Some of it’s petty and juvenile and involves taking advantage of people who have had a few drinks (a la HuffPost‘s Drunken Specialist Sam Stein), for which we also make no apologies. By the way, actor Kevin Spacey and former Washington Mayor Marian Barry both RSVP’d that they’d attend. Neither showed. Who did? Find out after the jump…

Let’s begin.

5:07 p.m. FishbowlMatt texts and wants to know what I’m wearing. I tell him I’m dressing down, that we’re going to a party where there will be an island of misfits and we can wear whatever we want. I assure him my outfit will not incorporate Stephanie Green golf ball-size multi-strand pearl necklaces.

6:40 p.m. We arrive fashionably early Tucker’s house and are greeted by friendly valets.

6:41 p.m. Publicist Janet Donovan arrives by cab with a giant golden handbag.

6:42 p.m. It’s 66 degrees outside. Roaring fire clearly for ambiance. Not function.

6:45 p.m. Tucker is holding court by the fireplace discussing the Politico story about The Daily Caller‘s “growing pains” published earlier in the day. He has a lot of reactions, one of which involves explaining the importance of “pissing up.” All in all, the story didn’t upset him.

6:55 p.m. We go to the more remote bar off the living room where intern Jordan Bloom is dressed in a white shirt and black bow tie and tending bar. Matt writes, “We meet Jordan Bloom, battered intern.”

7 p.m. Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle arrives and chats up Tucker about the Politico story. Boyle refuses to talk to any member of the press on the record.

7:10 p.m. We run into communications exec David Bass in a big fat striped suit. The suit has fat blue and white stripes; Bass isn’t plump. We start snapping his picture. He wants a do over, explaining, “I have the same stupid look on my face in every picture. Let me try not to look stupid.”

7:20 p.m. Oh look. It’s The Weekly Standard/Daily Caller‘s Matt Labash. He quickly admires FishbowlMatt’s gray tweed pants and says I’m not allowed to write anything about anything he says or he’ll break both my legs (the first part of this is true). FBDCMatt describes his trousers as a “tweed flannel hybrid.” Labash is clearly impressed.

7:21 p.m. More guests arrive. FishbowlMatt commentary: “There’s a glitterball coming in right now.”

7:22 p.m. Bathroom door locks but doesn’t latch. Not worth taking a chance. (Capitol File Editor-in-Chief Kate Bennett will later say someone walked in on her while she was in the can. She says she was just washing her hands.)

7: 25 p.m. Politico‘s Patrick Gavin and FishbowlMatt begin an in-depth conversation about no-iron shirts. Matt says he’s a “holy hell sweater.” Gavin says he plans to buy a decent wardrobe in the new year. Tonight he has worn a long-sleeved maroon shirt made of waffle material. It’s from the Gap.

7:30 p.m. I place a half-full wine glass on a stack of Jack Abramoff books for a moment and an undisclosed reporter says, “He was in prison for three years and tried not to get rimmed and look what you’re doing with a wine glass on the Abramoff books.”

7:33 p.m. An undisclosed reporter asks, “Who is that fat guy on the couch? I mean, he’s ‘stop-on-the-street’ fat. Isn’t he?”

7:34 p.m.: NYT‘s Mark Leibovich chats with partygoers. He says the book’s slowly coming along but that he must get back to regular newspaper writing soon. Guests tell him they can’t wait to read his book.

7:35 p.m. The living room speeches begin. Tucker says (in part): “I think Jack is a genuinely nice person. I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been humiliated in public.” He mentions being on “Dancing With the Stars.”

7:37 p.m. Jack: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he tells a packed room of guests. “This is my first book and may be my last if no one reads it.” He explains that his publicist Janet “is working me to the ground. I had 17 interviews today. I don’t have a tail and horns.” He says his wife, Pam, doesn’t read newspapers or watch TV. He also says she kept removing herself from the book until he explained that he had to explain where their children came from. Jack on prison life: “It’s a horrific place.” Jack on the kindness of others: “I’m not sure we deserve it, but I hope we keep meriting your friendship.” He recounts being on FNC’s Sean Hannity‘s program last week. He told Hannity he was going to appear on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell‘s show. Hannity tried to talk him out of it, telling him it was a waste of time. Jack appeared on O’Donnell’s “Last Word” anyhow and grew frightened as he spotted Michael Moore. He thought to himself, ‘We better hide.’ Soon he hears Moore inquiring, “Where’s Jack?” Moore approached and said, “God bless you. Keep up the great work. It’s fantastic.” Jack’s reaction: “Am I dreaming?” He calls the evening at Carlson’s home “the finest night of our lives in the last eight years. This tops them all.”

8:30 p.m. (roughly): A guest is ready to leave. He remarks, “I think I’ve done my time here, so to speak.” Reporters in the vicinity laugh.

Find out which reporter with a liberal agenda crashed the party…

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