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Posts Tagged ‘Helen Thomas’

Daily Caller Scribe Scrubs Helen Thomas Photo

Something smells fishy. On his Facebook page last night The Daily Caller‘s typically ballsy Nicholas Ballasy posted a photo of himself posing sweetly with former White House reporter Helen Thomas. The caption said he happened to run into the 92-year-old woman and she offered to buy him drinks.

We know love is blind and sometimes involves strange fetishes. But we thought, isn’t he a little young for her? We put that thought (and others) out of our minds.

FBDC asked Ballasy if he’d tell us more about the encounter (where he saw her, what they canoodled about, whether Thomas smelled like BENGAY, etc.). “She was just being nice by offering because we were talking to her at a hotel bar” Ballasy said.

We asked him to elaborate. “I’ll pass but thanks for the offer,” he said. Then mysteriously, the photograph vanished from his wall.

This is a modern day Helen Thomas mystery.

First we have Thomas offering to buy Ballasy a drink (at a hotel bar). Then he won’t tell us what they discussed. And then the photo disappears. Without making any salacious allegations, we just want to say the coverup is always worse than the affair crime.

We’ve reached out to Ballasy for comment.

It’s Helen’s Party and She Can Go If She Wants To

HuffPost‘s media writer Michael Calderone wrote a story Tuesday on White House veteran reporter Helen Thomas being turned down for a full table at the upcoming White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

In his first version, Calderone reported that the Association turned down Thomas’ request for a full table. Soon, however, there was a “clarification.” Thomas had always known that as a past president of WHCA she would be able to purchase two tickets for the dinner. But she was greedy. With her impressive resume (which includes a spread in Playboy) she wanted the whole goddamn table. That two ticket offer still stands, Calderone wrote in a parenthesis he added to a later version with a “clarification.”

Is it news to say a former journalist can’t buy a whole table for an event that’s always overcrowded and inevitably has news organizations whining about not having enough seats? It isn’t against Association rules for any one person to buy a table. It just isn’t typically done. “Given how tight the room is (I think we have refunded more than one thousand seat requests this year) I can’t imagine any single person getting a whole table, but I don’t think there is any rule against it,” said SiriusXM’s Julie Mason, who sits on the board. “Usually an unaffiliated member — like a freelancer, or single-member bureau — gets a couple of tickets.”

While the insider letters exchanged between Thomas and the Association are interesting along with the history that she paved the way for female reporters to attend the dinner, the lede was inflated. Helen doesn’t get a table? No one person would likely ever get a table. Not even HuffPost‘s own Arianna Huffington can get all the tables she wants, no matter how much she complains.

What many Washington insiders feel is this: The evening is WHCA’s annual fundraiser, not a celebration of Helen. She is feted, celebrated, awarded and paid tribute at a level that could make a person vomit. Maybe HuffPost would like to give up one of their tables? We can hear Arianna screaming now.

Commenters on the story are sublime. For her: “She deserves a table…this is sickening.” And, “She did journalism and women a favor with her determination, talent and courage. The profession owes her.” And, “Let her have her last harrah [sic] she has earned it!!!!!!!!!!!” Or, “It’s beyond petty of the WHCA to do this to Helen Thomas, they should be ashamed of themselves.” Or, “She earned her place at that table. One comment and she gets fried.” Against her: “I know she is old but we can’t always expect more than what is fair because of it.” And, “Sense of entitlement runs deep in these former elite talking heads.” And, “It’s her choice to go and have a good time or sulk because she’s ONLY being accomodated like former Presidents.” Many questioned why it was a news story in the first place. “I wonder if I write a letter to President Obama for a personal audience and get I turned down, to whom should I submit this for a news story?”

Ultimately, the news is this: Helen can purchase two tickets. It’s her party and she can go if she wants to.

The Older the Berry, The Sweeter the Juice

If you don’t already have plans this weekend, we might have the perfect soireé for you.

The Fillmore Silver Spring, as part of it’s community philanthropy program, is hosting, of all things, an event dubbed “Seniors Sweetheart Social.” It’s a Valentine’s Dance for 90-year-old’s. The press release says that there will be “dancing, frolicking and enjoying Valentine’s Day.” I guess that makes sense if you count reminiscing over favorite “Matlock” episodes  as “enjoying Valentine’s Day.” The release goes on to say, “Forget age 64.  Will you still need me?  Will you still feed me?  When I’m 94?” As long as it’s soft food, yes, I will still feed you.

This could be a sweet event, assuming they all make it through the party. Who knows, you might even get a chance to meet Helen Thomas? Festivities will kick off this Sunday at 6:30pm ET at the Fillmore.

Politico Adds Some Ginger Spice

Politico is once again casting its gaze East for its hires and is bringing on Ginger Gibson from the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Her title is national politics reporter. They call the Texas native a “blazing talent” and say her New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie coverage caught their eye.

Why is Ginger a reporter? Why ask why when she can explain herself? On her website she writes, “When I was a kid, I was always in trouble for ‘back talking.’ [Uh oh. Watch out, VandeHarris] I insisted on knowing not only why the sky was blue or how cars worked, I wanted an explanation for why I had to eat my veggies, go to day care or pick up my toys. I never grew out of that phase. As I got older the questions became more complex. Why were specific lessons at school selected? Why were some laws written? And since I apparently liked being in trouble, why was my curfew so early? All that trouble paid off. Now I get to ask ‘why?’ for a living.”

Ginger insists there is more to her than journalism. Louisiana holds a special place in her heart — while residing in Baton Rouge the 2008 LSU graduate lived through Hurricane Katrina. Food is also big in her book and she says there isn’t anything she won’t try. Her role model? It’s Helen Thomas. Yes, that Helen Thomas, the longtime 90-something spitfire White House reporter who resigned after telling Jews to get the hell out of Palestine. “I try everyday to ask hard questions,” Ginger writes on her site. “And to wear red.”

Congratulations to Ginger.

See the internal memo from National Politics Editor Charles Mahtesian after the jump…

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Meet D.C.’s Power Bachelorettes

That Lizzy O’Leary is having a red hot few weeks. First she gets nominated for our Summer Superlative list in the “Sexiest” category. She didn’t win. But times are tough. We had ancient sex goddess Helen Thomas in contention, which pushed O’Leary down a few rungs.

But don’t hate the Bloomberg TV reporter for grabbing so much media attention for her looks. She was born that way. And today The New York Observer put her on their Media Power Bachelorettes list.

O’Leary isn’t the only Washingtonian to make the list. Alyssa Rosenberg, apparently known for having nerd crushes directed her way, is also on it. A Culture Blogger for ThinkProgress, she has contributed to Washingtonian, The Atlantic, and TNR. The Observer writes, “Despite the many times New York publications have tempted her, she has remained—to our loss—in that wretched pit of a town with all the national landmarks in it to the south.”

Gone but not forgotten, former Washington Examiner gossip scribe Tara Palmeri, now a Page 6 reporter for NYP, is also a Power Bachelorette. They say she has survived her first year on the job “alarmingly well.” They also mention her battle royale with Sean Penn.

Congratulations to all.

Summer Superlatives Winners, Part III

And the final four…

In a pool of sex machines like The Hill‘s Hugo Gurdon and Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson it’s tough to imagine anyone winning FishbowlDC’s Sexiest Male of 2011 title by a landslide.  But believe it or not, the boyish good looks of Politico’s Patrick Reis clobbered the competition with over 50% of the popular vote.  Capitol Hill Ken Doll aka Kevin Madden came in a distant second with 16.3% of the vote.  Tucker Carlson, just shy of the silver, trailed Madden by only three votes.

The stress of the spotlight proved too much for Coral Davenport, Amy Harder and Olga Belogolova.  Citing migraines and lack of sleep, NJ’s Energy trio accidentally moved sexy forward when they should have been bringing it back.  The slip bumped them into second place while WUSA-9′s Kristin Fisher took gold and the title of Sexiest Female of 2011 with 38.5% of the vote.  In case you’re wondering, sultry senior seductress Helen Thomas finished third.

The title of Most Underrated went to Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post.  The rock-solid reporter earned 36.61% of the vote, pushing him ahead of Roll Call’s Paul Singer who snagged  a respectable 28.5% of the vote.

Winning by only a hair, Cabbage Patch lookalike and 2011′s Biggest Self-Promoter Matt Mackowiak upset Daily Caller’s Kurt Bardella and stole all the glory with 36.36% of the vote to Bardella’s 34.93%.  Ouch!

Congrats to Reis, Fisher, Grim and Mackowiak!   And there you have the FishbowlDC Class of 2011!

AnonymASS Tipster of the Week

Welcome to Summer Superlative backlash. This message came in over the weekend. Our tipster writes, “Where was [TWT's] Kara Rowland in the sexiest thang?  If you;re [sic] gonna have Helen Thomas, why not Barney Frank?”

Dear Anonymous Tipster: Let’s break this down. Kara Rowland, a TWT White House reporter, has been on many of FBDC’s best looking journo lists over the years. There is such a thing as being overexposed no matter what Potomac Flacks blogger Matt Mackowiak says. Furthermore, Dame Helen Thomas is far sexier than Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who, if you read this site regularly, may or may not have recently tooted on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show. Now how is that sexy? More importantly, Frank is not a journalist. With the exception of our Best Press Secretary on Capitol Hill category all contestants are journos or pundits. Nonetheless, we take all comments we receive extremely seriously and thank you for writing in.


Schieffer Plucks Advice From Thomas for AU Grads

What do Twitter, graduating students and CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer have in common?

The former helped the later become a worldwide trending topic for 15 minutes on Saturday May 7th when the CBS newsman delivered a commencement speech to graduates of American University’s School of Communication. With AU grad/NJ online editor Ethan Klapper (a former mediabistro intern and current contributor to 10000 Words) and AU’s Social Media Club co-presidents Alex Priest (@alexpriest) and Megan Emily (@MissMeganEmily), among others, live-tweeting the ceremony, the challenge is on to the audience at Wednesday’s Town Hall on the Economy, which Schieffer is co-hosting.

So what advice did Schieffer have for the graduating class?

He began with wisdom from – who else? – former UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who once told then-Sec. of State Henry Kissinger to “start at the end” when he claimed he could only do his briefing in 40 minutes. So Schieffer, who learned that from Thomas 41 years ago when he first came to Washington, began at the end himself and told the graduates, “Congratulations, this is your day. You earned it. No one can take it away from you—so celebrate it.”

He also had words to the wise for the parents: “You have made a substantial investment in your sons and daughters. Now try to stay on good terms with them, because, and remember this always, they are the ones who choose the nursing home.”

Schieffer discussed the future of journalism, assuring students that there is a future for these aspiring journos in whatever technological form that takes. He knocked the Twitter phenomenon, saying, “…Twitter and all that, which I am sad to say may have turned us into a people with limited attention spans, and, too often I am afraid, an impatient people.”

Schieffer concluded with this:  “Do your best, and set your expectations high, and remember always, true greatness comes not from the battles we win, but the battles we choose to fight.”

Other AU graduation speakers at the university that day included Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Peace Corps. Director Aaron Williams and White House Economic Advisor Gene Sperling.

Watch the the School of Communication’s ceremony with Schieffer below.

Celeb Asks, ‘Oh! Helen Thomas, Is She Still Alive?’

ABC’s pre-WHCD party was one of the places to be Saturday night before the big dinner began.

“Modern Family” stars Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson made an appearance just moments before ABC’s White House correspondent Jake Tapper. On his way out, Stonestreet chatted up Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We asked the actor which D.C. type he’d most like to meet. His first answer was “the President, obviously,” but we pushed him for something more creative. “Oh! Helen Thomas, is she still alive?”

Also spotted at ABC: the meeting of “Glee” star Jane Lynch and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Christiane Amanpour; actress Elizabeth Banks; Attorney General Eric Holder; and “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos with his comedian wife, Ali Wentworth.

Helen Thomas Turns Up in Playboy

First The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz. Now Helen Thomas.

Are they trying to kill us?

The 90-year-old former grande dame of the White House Press Corps is interviewed in Playboy‘s April issue (hits newstands tomorrow). The magazine dispatched a release on it this afternoon to promote her first in-depth interview since she was was forced to quit last May. In the er, spread, she discusses what she meant by saying that Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine” and that Jews “can go home [to] Poland, Germany and America.”  She also opens up about her feelings towards Jews and her thoughts on their influence and power; her supposed retirement; President Obama and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton; and what she calls Congress’s anti-Arab agenda.

“It’s an interview not a pictorial!” exclaimed Playboy Publicist Abigail O’Donnell when we asked if Thomas would be clothed. (We’re sorry Abigail. We didn’t mean to give you a heart attack.)

Turns out Helen is not sorry at all for what she said: “I knew exactly what I was doing – I was going for broke.  I had reached the point of no return.  You finally get fed up…I finally wanted to speak the truth,” she said candidly.

See an excerpt of the interview…

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