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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Sargent’

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

LOCKED OUT: WaPo’s Dana Milbank: Mayhem at #dnc2012. Hundreds of delegates, journalists locked out of arena.

Penis sighting

“So yeah. Definitely just walked in on some dude in the bathroom with his pants around his ankles staring in the mirror #dnc2012” — BuzzFeed Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton.

WTF Mars Mention of the Evening: “I always figured if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it. He would know how to reproduce. He would know everything. He’d just instinctively know how to talk to people…the martians.” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews at 12:53 a.m. opining on Clinton’s vast reproduction knowledge that extends beyond our solar system. Please, someone put Matthews to bed (no pun intended).

Bill Clinton Speech Fallout

“A significant part of this is off prompter. He is using it as notes.” — TIME‘s Michael Scherer.

“The prompter has stopped rolling as Clinton goes off book.” — BuzzFeed‘s Zeke Miller.

“Take away the TelePrompTer, bite his ankle, throw a rat down his trousers, it only raises his game.” — Editor of The New Republic Franklin Foer.

“Bill Clinton is totally ghost ridin’ the script right now.” — Jamelle Bouie, writer for The American Prospect and fellow at the Nation Institute.

“The constant camera flashes in here are going to send Bubba into a seizure #dnc2012″ — Stanton.

“Bubba’s hands are shaking.” — HuffPost‘s Jen Bendery.

“I think Bill Clinton is the gun you bring to a knife fight.” — Metro Weekly Co-publisher Sean Bugg.

“Bill Clinton looks great. @peta may be right about the benefits of a vegan diet.” — HuffPost Deputy Editor Erin Ruberry.

“Man, Clinton is happier than a pig in Arkansas you know what.” — James Oliphant, Deputy Editor, National Journal magazine.

“Clinton is the master. He makes a speech to an enormous crowd feel like a personal talk.” — LAT‘s David Horsey.

“I really don’t understand reporters who think this is too long for a politician to be trying to talk to voters about policy.” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein.

“This speech was killing it at 15 mins. Now, it’s bordering on a hostage situation.” — Co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle S.E. Cupp.

“This is moving from ‘greatest speech ever’ to gong territory pretty fast.” — BuzzFeed Political Editor Ben Smith.

“They’re going to need a crowbar to pry Bill away from that podium.” — NYT Op-ed Columnist Charles Blow.

“There’s no way Rahm Emanuel actually thought ‘a broken clock is right twice a day’ was that funny.” — National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg.

“This is like watching a good lawyer defending a guilty man.” — Former Clinton pollster Dick Morris.

“Poor fact checkers, now they gotta spend the night studying 52 years of employment data” — Craig Crawford.

“Same R bloggers who were touting Clinton as the ‘good’ Dem for weeks suddenly talking about sex scandal and perjury again.” — WaPo‘s Greg Sargent.

The Name Dropper

“Caroline Kennedy just walked into our booth. Interview w @DavidMuir #abcworldnews” — ABC News’ Rick Klein.

Dirty jokester

“PLEASE tell me that Sandra Fluke isn’t wearing a blue Gap dress tonight.” — NRA News’ Cameron Gray in a tweet on the night former Prez Bill Clinton is to speak.

INTO THE POOL: “Oops! A wet former treasury secretary Bob Rubin after falling into a pool at a fancy cocktail party in Charlotte.” — Politico‘s Lois Romano with accompanying photograph.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report. Above black and white photograph by Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner.

WaPo ‘The Fix’s Chris Cillizza Chooses Flight Over Fight With Breitbart Scribe

There’s probably no love lost between Breitbart NewsTony Lee and WaPo “The Fix’s” Chris Cillizza, because there was probably no love there to begin with.

Last night Lee, lover of all things Sarah Palin, shot off tweets aimed at Cillizza. They were in response to a comment Cillizza made about Palin being unable to “let criticism roll off her back.”

“Says thin-skinned MSMer,” Lee chimed in. Cillizza didn’t respond, but why should that matter to Lee? Palin’s biggest fan boy continued:

  • WTF do u want Palin to do? Not call y’all/GOP [establishment] out on groupThink, packMentality, spoonFed, cocktailCircuitSpin/bullying? Child, please.
  • Sorry the 5 GOP consultants y’all pass around to “report” on conservatives like I would on gymnastics don’t defend her. Tea Party does.
  • Sorry if criticism was too harsh. Hope u can let it roll off your back. Palin can’t call her GOP [establishment] office so she has to defend herself.
  • Just remember, [Cillizza] accused Palin/tea party without any evidence of being responsible for Giffords shooting. Won’t be forgotten. Capeash?

Lee couldn’t point to any specific time Cillizza accused Palin or the Tea Party of being responsible for the Gabby Giffords shooting. In fact, in a column last year Cillizza wrote that “many on the left unfairly blamed Palin for somehow inciting the gunman.”

But there was a dash of irony: “In a funny/pathetic development, [Cillizza] has blocked me after 5 mild tweets after he said Palin can’t take criticism,” Lee tweeted, with the hashtag #pobrecita (Spanish for “poor thing”).

We asked Cillizza if he blocked Lee because of the criticism, and why not engage in an argument like his colleagues, professional arguers Greg Sargent and Jennifer Rubin. Cillizza never responded, which is usually the case unless he wants something or wants Politics & Pints trivia night info published.

Lee, on the other hand, had a lot to say. “He blocked me because the truth hurts,” Lee said. “People like [Cillizza] mistake conventional wisdom for intelligence like people in D.C. often mistake activity for achievement… Palin can’t win when The Fix (pun intended) is in against her.”

As to why Cillizza didn’t argue back instead of blocking, Lee said, “People like [Cillizza] are MSM bullies who gang up on people like Palin because it’s cool to do so in their elite media circles.” He added, “When he got figuratively punched in the nose and called out, his first instinct — like with all bullies — was to to run away (or block).”

WaPo‘s Rubin Under Fire

The Nation‘s Eric Alterman, author of What Liberal Media?, has taken a blowtorch to WaPo‘s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin. In an article published Wednesday meant to criticize WaPo as a paper lacking integrity, Alterman hones in on Rubin, who he calls an “attack dog” and accuses her of…a lot of things. None of them positive.

Here’s a dog-bites-man story if there ever was one. Alterman, who once blogged for Media Matters for America, takes issue with a conservative writer with a prominent platform.

First Alterman criticizes some of Rubin’s pre-WaPo work that caused a stir, including a piece she wrote for Commentary Magazine titled “Why Jews Hate Palin.” In the story Rubin wrote that “American Jews” firmly believe that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is “uncouth, unschooled, a hick, anti-science and anti-intellectual.”

“[Rubin] developed a specialty in venomous attacks on liberal American Jews” at Commentary, Alterman says (side note: Rubin herself is Jewish).

Other razor-sharp bits Alterman throws at Rubin:

  • “Barely a day goes by without a Rubin post filled with nasty name-calling attacks on a group or individual…”
  • “[Rubin is] a writer who cares nothing for the truth, but rather dedicates herself to spewing childish insults at the president of the United States as well as the millions of people who reject her ideological obsessions…”
  • “[W]hile the talk of Nazis and Obama’s alleged love for Islam have been tamed a bit, Rubin’s penchant for hate-filled fantasy has not.”

And so it goes, graph after hate-filled graph.

Predictably, Alterman speaks highly of WaPo‘s liberal blogger Greg Sargent, whom he hails as “a hard-working professional journalist who advances news stories regardless of whether they critique or flatter his own side.” (This part is somewhat inconsistent with Alterman’s criticism of Rubin, given that later in the story, he cites Rubin as tearing into former GOP presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. He called Rubin’s writing on them “abusive invective.”)

Also predictably, Alterman has favorable things to say about other liberal writers such as Slate‘s Dave Weigel, whom Rubin replaced at WaPo after Weigel resigned in 2010 amid the “journolist” controversy.

Weigel told us he’s “a huge Rubin fan” and his sole criticism of her blog is that interviews she conducts aren’t transcribed in Q&A format. He said he didn’t believe her work at WaPo has hurt the paper’s reputation.

Back to Rubin. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a law degree. She worked as a labor lawyer for 20 years. She’s done countless TV hits, written for Politico, and has been featured by Washingtonian magazine. She has no fears about publicly going after her liberal colleagues like Sargent and Ezra Klein. Alterman identifies her as “a former Hollywood lawyer” who worked “briefly as an editor for the right-wing Pajamas Media and as a blogger for Commentary.”

Once you get past this and the 14 rabidly anti-Rubin graphs, Alterman redirects his venom back to WaPo at large. “It is true that the Washington Post has bigger problems than the serial inaccuracy and incivility of its right-wing blogger,” he writes. “But the question for the house that Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham built is not merely whether it will survive, but how.”

Though criticism of Rubin makes up the bulk of Alterman’s piece, he told us she’s not his “main concern with the paper. She’s just the one about which [he] chose to focus in this particular article.” As for his own nasty tone toward her, he said he had no personal reasons to attack her and even admitted that he has never met her. “This is my job and I try to do it as well as I can,” he said.

FBDC reached out to Rubin for comment.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Punditry warning: “Reminder to be wary of punditry. NBC/WSJ pollster Peter Hart: data shows ‘it’s been a good month electorally’ for Obama.” — NYT and CNBC’s John Harwood.

The Observer

“I love how random people just want to tell me what they think about politics all the time.” — Politico‘s Ginger Gibson.

Pulitzer Prize winner’s dog takes a dump

“My dog just had the biggest poop of her career.” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten. Unfortunately he didn’t offer any pictorial evidence.

Griping journo

“Fer Chrissakes. Are we going to work through every single member of Congress and ask whether they’re attending conventions?” — WaPo‘s left-leaning blogger Greg Sargent.

Convo Between Two Journos

Isn’t this cute? This morning’s conversation is between Politico‘s Dylan Byers (an expert, just ask him) and The Washington Examiners‘ Gossip Girl Jenny Rogers. Listen up journos. There’s lots to glean here. Not really, we just wanted to use that word.

Byers: This Huffington Post piece lifted all the relevant info from a Buzzfeed piece and provided no new reporting.

Rogers: Dylan, how is Huffpo different from any news organization that aggregates? Not trying to pick a fight, just wanting your opinion.

Byers: Jenny, Sure, most sites that aggregate either push the story forward w/ new reporting, or aggregate to incentivize clickthroughs.

Rogers: Dylan, I find most “new reporting” or “added value” or whatever is usually pretty flimsy. I think most news sites are guilty here.

Byers: Jenny, certainly they are not the only offenders.

Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.

The FishbowlDC Interview With WaPo‘s Rubin

When she’s not harassing her liberal counterpart Greg Sargent on Twitter, Jennifer Rubin helms the conservative “Right Turn” blog at WaPo. “I love mixing it up with liberals,” Rubin says of the Twitter wars she throws herself into with valiant force. “For too long too many of them have never been forcefully challenged,” she said. “They talk to and write for liberals and rarely get called on to defend their assumptions.”

Rubin joined WaPo in 2010, replacing Dave Weigel, who resigned under the weighty Journolist scandal and moved over to Slate. Before that she wrote for Commentary for several years. And before that she worked as a labor lawyer in California for 20 years. Rubin has a BA in history from UC Berkeley and a JD from Boalt Law School.

Throughout the Republican presidential primary Rubin faced criticism for showing signs that she might be in the tank for Mitt Romney. She doesn’t really deny it. “Oh pish-posh,” she said (yes, she said pish-posh). “I was simply ahead of the curve in spotting the fatal flaws in a series of challengers who would have crashed and burned in the general election.” Rubin said, however, that she actually would have preferred Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) or New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over Romney.

Let’s begin.

If you were a combined carbonated beverage, which would you be?

Jolt Cola

How often do you Google yourself?

Hardly ever.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)?

A previous editor: “You can’t call Maureen Dowd ‘a harpy.’” Seriously, I’m sure I was on the receiving end of worse but I’ve blocked it out.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why?

Don’t all journalists work? Well, Jake Tapper hands down. He’s smart and fair and tough.

Do you have a favorite word?


You’re walking down a dark alley and you run into a group of people, all of whom you’ve insulted on your blog. What do you do? What do you say? And do you activate your mace?

I’d say a friendly ‘Hello.’ No mace!

Who would you rather have dinner with – WaPo’s Erik Wemple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi or Hilary Rosen? Tell us why.

Erik certainly!

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) or former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Who do you choose? (Neither is not an option.)

Sorry, but the world will have to muddle through on its own.

What swear word do you use most often?


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.)

Candy Crowley, PJ O’Rourke, John Bolton and AEI President Arthur Brooks.

Now for a really serious moment: What is your dream job, money and practicalities aside?

My ideal career would be to keep my current job and have a new “Crossfire” with James Carville.

Find out what Rubin pigs out on when no one’s looking…

Read more

In Defense of Hilary Rosen

As Washington journalists waded through the muck of self-righteousness last week, you’d have thought Hilary Rosen was a pariah for saying that “Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life.” WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza declared that she had the “Worst Week in Washington” after the White House and even President Obama denounced her remarks. And likely that’s true. But another undeniable truth is that, but for CNN, many from both sides of the aisle came rushing to the CNN Contributor’s defense.

The network never ordered or asked her to apologize — she did that on her own. But we had to sit through Wolf Blitzer scolding her like she was a stay at home child. Isn’t there something she’d like to say to the camera to Ann Romney? We also had to witness the inevitable online degenerates who took to skanky commenting on both Hilary and Ann’s physical appearance, including how Hilary smells and her sexual orientation. (Anything that goes viral typically enters a sick phase of ugliness.) Rosen, who also works for SKDKnickerbocker, ultimately declined an invitation to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this past Sunday. Host David Gregory said she had planned to be on the panel, but backed out because she didn’t want to ignite another firestorm. It appears abundantly clear they will have her back. We also had to endure’s Dana Loesch praising presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for the “handling” of his wife, because what woman doesn’t want to be shown the ultimate respect by being handled by her husband? Now if only he could learn how to handle the media, she also jabbed. Take that, Bret Baier.

Let’s look at the rundown of those who came to Rosen’s defense:

1. WaPo‘s Ruth Marcus called her a friend and defended her remarks while Kathleen Parker, in what was perhaps the strongest condemnation of Rosen being turned into an outcast, wrote, “Women and men should be angry, all right, but not at Ann Romney or Hilary Rosen, who are entitled to both their opinions and their choices without fear of censure or condemnation.” 2. The Daily Caller‘s Tucker Carlson personally sung her praises on a conservative radio show. 3. FNC’s Greta Van Susteren argued with former top Bush aide Karl Rove about her, saying she is “a friend” and not anti-stay at home moms. 4. HBO’s Bill Maher defended her in a sarcastic rant about how this obviously means the Democrats are anti-stay at home moms. 5. Bay Buchanan defends Rosen, calling her “savvy” and “passionate” and “loyal” to the Obama administration. “She has been too good to them for them to treat her this way,” she said on CNN. 6. TIME‘s Judith Warner who wrote, “Hilary Rosen Was Right: Ann Romney Is Out of Touch with Most Women.” 7. The Nation‘s Jessica Valenti, who wrote, “Why Hilary Rosen is Right.” 8. A variety of journos explained that Rosengate is a “manufactured controversy” including WaPo‘s left-wing blogger Greg Sargent, who wrote an essay entitled, “The Hilary Rosen Controversy is Absurd.”

WaPo Blogger Tweaks Ezzy

It’s always strange when a publication allows the eating of one’s own cubs. Isn’t that a little, um, disgusting?

But at WaPo it’s allowed. Usually it happens between partisan journalists. But yesterday afternoon a blogger for The Plum Line, a liberal blog run by Greg Sargent, ran an item knocking star blogger (and Democratic strategist) Ezra Klein.

Blogger Jonathan Bernstein begins with a compliment/complaint for Ez. “Ezra Klein had a great post this morning about the upcoming contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but I have to nitpick just a bit,” he writes. He goes on to elaborate. “Klein writes that ‘Obama has the worst poll numbers of any incumbent president running for reelection in recent history.’ That was true briefly earlier this winter, but it’s no longer the case.”

See him lay out what he claims is Ezra’s false reporting here.

Hang in there, Ezzy. We still love you!

‘Dopes’: WaPo Bloggers Continue to Feud

WaPo‘s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin again confronted the newspaper’s liberal blogger Greg Sargent on Twitter this morning. Sargent writes “The Plum Line.”

Rubin went after Sargent for a tweet in which he mentioned a WaPo poll that showed that a plurality of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the past corporate experience of GOP hopeful Mitt Romney.

“The right’s latest howler about bad poll numbers on Romney/Bain. It’s all fault of left wing smear! [...]” Sargent tweeted. Rubin chimed in, “[N]o, the argument is that opportunistic dopes in GOP have picked up the leftwing smear..”

A cheeky Sargent responded, “[I] agree with the part about GOP ‘dopes,’ but it’s not a left wing smear.”

As in the last encounter between these two, Rubin had the last word. “I read it in your column!! re OWS and the obama gameplan,” she snapped. Presumably, she’s referring to this post by Sargent in which he said Democrats were preparing to “paint Romney as a predatory capitalist.”

‘Whatevs’:WaPo Bloggers Get Into Brawl

Two of WaPo‘s partisan bloggers got into a Twitter brawl this morning. In one corner, Jennifer Rubin, conservative writer of the Right Turn. In the other, Greg Sargent, who writes The Plum Line, which hangs a little to the left.

The dustup began with Rubin interjecting herself into a conversation Sargent was having with another Twitter user. The offending tweet from Sargent: “Crony capitalists enrich selves with undue influence over govt; unlimited contribs increase special interests’ influence over govt.” Rubin responded, “That isn’t crony capitalism Greg.. Crony capitalism is when govt then gives them $ – like Solyndra.”

Sargent disagreed with Rubin’s definition. “It refers to companies that use political connections to score things like tax breaks. Exacerbated by no limits,” he shot back.

The two then appeared to reach common ground. “[C]orrect- which is different than following Citizen United.. you’ve confused the Firt [sic] Amendment and crony capitalism,” Rubin tweeted at Sargent.

Ouch! Sargent took exception with Rubin’s definition of crony capitalism and suggested she was misunderstanding what he was talking about in the first place. “No, I’m saying unlimited contribs that Romney supports makes crony capitalism *more* likely,” he replied.

The back and forth turned personal when Sargent dismissed Rubin with, “Whatevs. There’s bipartisan agreement that it’s absurd for Romney to claim questioning Bain years is ‘anticapitalist.’”

Rubin replied, “That’s the left’s case .. left ability to convince selves they understand the GOP or rep bipart consensus alwys amuses,” adding in a follow up tweet, “and whatevers is what my 10 year old says, not really smart.”


Sargent sent a final condescending tweet, “Are you really incapable of understanding that I’m talking about the general election here, and not the primary?”

The last word went to Rubin: “I am. Take a look at our paper’s editorial page, Greg.”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Daythe Google/Fox News GOP Debate Version

Journo experiences random act of kindness

“Mom with crying baby on plane just passed out earplugs to all sitting near them. Nice.” — Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody en route to Orlando.

D. Shuster lobs insult at Bret Baier

“Uneven, often silly moderating by @bret_Baier. ie: ‘How are you going to fix the problem? You have 30 seconds to answer.’” — Current TV’s David Shuster.

Newt refrains from attacking Wallace

“Someone gave Newt his happy pills today. He is smiling and not attacking the moderators.” — Politico‘s Ben White.

Baier suffers sudden liberal columnist amnesia

“Apparently there’s a ‘liberal columnist’ protection program, or Bret Baier didn’t know the guy’s name. #gopdebate” — WaPo‘s Ed O’Keefe. Slate‘s John Dickerson comes through. It’s Richard Cohen.

The Comedians

“Bachmann is going to put her foster children on the border to secure it.” – Slate‘s Dickerson.

“What about word scrambles? That would keep us thinking.” — GOP media consultant Ron Bonjean mocking the packs of words Baier kept flashing on screen to show which issues stood out most.

“Bachmann is giving Wallace Newsweek eyes.” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

A Quick Convo Between Two Journos

Today’s conversation is between The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack and Slate’s Dave Weigel.

McCormack: Glad to see media have decided takeaway of this debate will again be reaction of 7 loutish audience members. Weigel: John We haven’t decided yet. The meeting is at 11:05, at Greg’s house. (As in WaPo‘s Plumline writer Greg Sargent.) McCormack: @daveweigel Can I come? Promise not to record meeting and give tapes to Daily Caller. #crossmyheart

More random debate reaction….

“OH MY GOD THERE’S ANOTHER HOUR?” — Vanity Fair blogger Juli Weiner.

“Perry’s upper lip visibly sweaty.” — HuffPost‘s Jon Ward.

“Twitter is moving too fast” — Politico‘s Maggie Haberman.

“Jon Huntsman re-cycles the same hideous yellow necktie. Probably can’t afford another after WEAVER thievery” — GOP Consultant Roger Stone.

“Wallace has a little GTL going on.” — The Blaze‘s Eddie Scarry with a “Jersey Shore” reference.

Big John’s Red Lobster prowess

“Ate 4 cheesey biscuits, a ceasar salad, fries, 48 skrimps and drank 2 ice cold buds at Red Lobster. Bold flavor city, you guys.” — Roll Call‘s John Stanton. (Not a debate reference but we still thought it worthy of mentioning.)

McRib chatter heard at debate

“Watching internet stream of GOP debate, during commercial break producers seem to be talking about the McRib.” — ThinkProgress Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias. Politico‘s Sara Libby confirmed this fact.

The debate bell…

“By the way, everyone likes the new sound, far more pleasing instead of the bell? I guess they do.” — FNC’s Baier. But not so fast…“I keep thinking I’m getting messaged on Gchat. This is sooo confusing. #DebateTheFix.” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake.

Gary Johnson Fan Club

“Gary Johnson, this is your mother f—ing moment!” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein.

“Did Gary Johnson Star in Napoleon Dynomite?” — Mother JonesDavid Corn.

“I would love to have Gary Johnson fix stuff in my home.” — Politico‘s Ben Smith.