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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Allen’

Local Journos to Debate Role of Media in a Democracy

On Sept. 28, the Paul Peck Institute for American Culture and Civic Engagement at Montgomery College will host a panel discussion on the media’s role in a democracy.

The event will take place at the Takoma Park campus from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Commons 211.

The panel will include an ethics professor and a number of “distinguished local journalists” who will consider and debate the proper function of the media in a democracy. The audience will be permitted to ask questions and make remarks.

Panelists will include Henry Allen (pictured here), Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist at WaPo; Jeremy Arias, staff writer for the Gazette newspapers; Eric Bond, publisher and editor of the Takoma Park, Silver Spring, and Rock Creek Voice newspapers; Daniel Jenkins, professor of philosophy/ethics at Montgomery College; and Carla Satinsky, producer of Montgomery Week in Review, who will moderate the discussion.

No reservation is required unless you’re a professor or instructor who wishes to bring an entire class of students. To make such a reservation, contact Francine Jamin at francine.jamin@montgomerycollege.edu or call 240-567-1385.

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Matt Labash Unplugged: On Deer Turds, Journalism, Trump’s Hair and Dick Cheney

Fly Fishing with Darth Vader Cover.jpg Today is the debut of The Weekly Standard’s/Daily Caller’s Matt Labash’s first book, Fly Fishing With Darth Vader – And Other Adventures With Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys [Simon & Schuster]. His philosophy on reporting: “The best details always come when you think you already know everything.”

1. If this book were to become a film whom would you want to play you? Daniel Schorr. Because he’s 93, which I think is an accurate reflection of my old soul. If we can’t get him, then Nick Jonas, because the book could easily be re-imagined as a teen musical.

2. Where is your favorite place to write? Due to stacks of books and misplaced files, my home office is basically a dump/archaeological dig. I can’t even get into it without a Hazmat suit. So I no longer write there. I basically find some squatters corner in my house – most often the dining room table. But I might write anywhere that I can find quiet. Though it’s hard to find quiet. Especially with the voices. Who said that?

3. Have you ever gotten stereotypical writer’s block? That’s such a terrifying question, that it could jinx me to even answer it. So I won’t.

4. In writing the Detroit chapter you say, ‘It’s the only time I’ve ever felt like I was going to physically expire while writing a piece.’ Elaborate, please. Did you think you were having a heart attack? Also, you once ended up in the emergency room. Elaborate on that one, too. Actually, I had a writing-induced trip to the emergency room another time. I did a New Orleans trilogy during and after Katrina, over the course of a year and a half. The second installment came after spending a week in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Tough assignment, I know. But I was keeping very late nights and really trying to drill down on the wreckage and misfortune of friends of mine who live there, cutting across all strata of the city. I cared a lot about the piece. Maybe a little too much. About once every year or two, when I’m real fatigued, and my resistance is down – which usually happens when I’m coming off the road – I get this lip edema, some type of allergic swelling that’s triggered by stress. About half your lip grows to the size of a pregnant nightcrawler. Pop a few Benadryl and it goes down. This time, however, it didn’t go down. It just kept growing. I looked like one of those Amazon tribesmen with a plate in their lip. It was troubling, though my kids thought it was hilarious. I was on deadline, but I had to go to the emergency room before my throat started closing up. So while there, I had to keep knocking out interview tape on the laptop while laying on a gurney, or I’d never get done in time. (More on stress after the jump…)

5.How did Donald Trump get reporters like you to agree to go off record for the rest of the luxury flight? In the end, did you like him? What was his hair like up close? His hair is not to be believed. It has to be real. Nobody would buy a rug that bad. Up close, it looks like an abandoned bird’s nest. Or maybe apricot-flavored cotton candy. (More on Trump after the jump…)

6. Your new Daily Caller boss, Tucker Carlson, writes that former subjects still seek your advice. Is journalism a form of psychotherapy? Have you had a subject cry mid-interview and how do you deal with it? Oh, hell yes. Journalism is definitely like psychotherapy. When you successfully get into a subject’s head, you’re their priest, their best friend, their spouse, their bartender, their shrink. They end up telling you, a stranger, things they often don’t tell the people they know best. And you know why? Because you asked (More on journalism as psychotherapy after the jump…)

7. What, if anything, surprised you in the writing of this book? Hard to say, because I get surprised by something almost every story. In fact, I live for those surprises. That’s the best part. If I had to pick one, though, it’s probably that Mudcat is a woman trapped inside a man’s body. He didn’t say that, or anything. But he didn’t have to.

8. One gets the sense reading your book that each word is vigilantly chosen. Tell us about your writing process – do you ever throw out what you’ve done and start over? Do you ever think, ‘Damn, that is good.’? I don’t do drafts. I edit as I go along. So I’m always throwing stuff out. And then when I finish, I read and read and re-read. I do so at the computer about 10 or 15 times, all the way through, hammering things out here and there. Then when I have it pretty close, I print it out, and I read and read and read some more, while I pace. Because walking helps, for some reason. We live in our own heads too much. It’s good to make writing as physical as possible. Sometimes I read out loud, not because I need to sound out big thesaurus words, but because it’s easier to tell if you’re missing a beat or have an extra beat too many. Writing and music – same difference. It’s all about rhythm. And I look like an idiot doing this, quite frankly. During the Iraq War, I roomed with my colleague Steve Hayes, who couldn’t get enough of this process. He told everybody back home that ‘Labash loves to walk around the house reading his own stuff.’ That’s why I don’t speak to Hayes anymore.

9.You profess to despise Facebook and Twitter. You say the tweeters “can tweet until their tweeters fall off” – do you still have accounts in either? Is any of it good or is it all sh-t? Such naughty language, Betsy. Is that how the kids talk in their social networkings? You ask if I still have an account? That would suggest I ever did. The answer is no on both counts. And I’m not getting one, either. Almost all of my friends and colleagues are on both, of course, which doubles my resolve not to join them. My goal is to serve as a totem of their shame. (More on Facebook and Twitter after the jump…)

10. What’s next for Matt Labash? Lunch, I suppose. I try not to think too far ahead.

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Morning Reading List 11.05.09

Washington City Paper presents “Fisticuffs at the Washington Post,” starring Andrew Beaujon as Marcus Brauchli, Jason Cherkis as Chris Richards, Erin Niedowski as Lynn Medford, Erik Wemple as Manuel Roig-Franzia, Amanda Hesse as Monica Hesse and Mike DeBonis as Henry Allen.

Happy belated birthday to Christie Findlay and Kevin McVicker! Good morning FishbowlDC! What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday morning…

NEWSPAPERS | TV | ONLINE | MAGAZINES | NEWS NOTES | WEST WING REPORTAGE | IN MEMORIAM

NEWSPAPERS

WSJ launches a San Fran edition today.

Washingtonian: Having taken a beating for trying to set up evening salons where reporters could mingle with corporate types who’d pay big money for the privilege, The Washington Post now is attempting a more benign way to raise revenue: wine tastings — with reporters as guests.

TV

Fox News’ Glenn Beck has appendicitis.

Changes at CNN.

More reality shows… Bravo’s in DC to recruit contestants for “Top Chef.”

ONLINE

TVNewser’s Twitter list picks.

MAGAZINES

Looks like there are layoffs to come at Time Inc. Layoffs were the topic of convo on mediabistro’s Morning Media Menu earlier today.

NEWS NOTES

On Election night, Twitter seemed to beat cable for insight and analysis.

And Election night ratings via TVNewser.

WEST WING REPORTAGE

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on year one.

ABC’s Jake Tapper on President Obama, Air Force One and Twitter on Politico‘s podcast.

IN MEMORIAM

Politico: John W. Mashek, a political reporter who covered every presidential election from 1960 to 1996, died of a heart attack Tuesday. “He was one of the great political reporters of the last quarter-century,” said Jerry Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Epiphany, on Dumbarton Street between 27th and 28th Sts., N.W., in Georgetown.

AWARDS & EVENTS

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico

Fact or Fiction? Punches Thrown in WaPo Newsroom!

henryAllen.jpgmanuelroig franzia.jpg
Pulitzer Prize-winning Henry Allen and Style’s Manuel Roig-Franzia

First On FishbowlDC (9:34 AM): FACT! We’re still working on the details but we’ve confirmed that Henry Allen did throw a punch at Manuel Roig-Franzia in the newsroom last Friday. We hear that punch landed on Franzia’s face…

FishbowlDC spoke with WaPo HR this morning and confirmed that both reporters are still employed at the paper. We did learn that Allen was “on contract.”

UPDATE (11:35 AM):

When reached for comment, WaPo‘s Director of Communications Kris Coratti said, “I can’t discuss private personnel matters but that doesn’t mean we haven’t taken this incident seriously and addressed it appropriately.”

So what does one have to say in order to get a fist to the face from Henry Allen? “Henry, don’t be such a cocksucker.” That’s what triggered Allen to throw down on Roig-Franzia. We hear that Marcus Brauchli was then forced to intervene.

UPDATE (1:24 PM)

Two hours after our original post, we received notification that Washingtonian‘s Harry Jaffe had also published on the newsroom rumble. Jaffe’s article was certainly more exciting than ours but we regret to inform you that our sources have disclaimed his account saying, “Jaffe’s story is full of hyperbole — it was a single punch and no one was on the ground.”

City Paper‘s Erik Wemple says that he reached Roig-Franzia by cell phone but got the ol’ hang up after he identified himself.