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Posts Tagged ‘Howard Fineman’

How Howard Fineman Spells Rhinoceros: ‘Rhinocerus’

It was at times an intense standoff last night as nine Washington journalists squared off against nine members of Congress in a Spelling Bee at the National Press Club.

Throughout the evening, Politico Deputy White House Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand (pictured here alongside Kaine) seemed to have the whole thing locked up. Calm and cool, unlike some of the other journalists, she stepped right up and spelled her words correctly, without a lot of hesitation.

That is, until the end, when, in a standoff with the unassuming Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), she lost and he won on “nonpareil.” Read more

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NPC Spelling Bee Chooses Judges

As we’ve previously reported, on Sept. 18, the National Press Club is hosting a spelling bee that pits members of Congress against Washington reporters. Ticket sales are going well, but the event, which will donate funds to charity, still has seats to fill.

Since our last reporting, the powers that be have chosen two powerful female judges.

They are… Read more

Journos, Pols Prep for Fight of Their Lives

This could get ugly.

Come Sept. 18, a smattering of Washington journalists will face harrowing pressure as they partake in a spelling bee to raise money for the National Press Club’s non-profit Journalism Institute. The contest pits Washington journalists against members of Congress. The event is being organized by TIME‘s Katy Steinmetz.

“Journalists and lawmakers both have wonky tendencies that could benefit them in a spelling bee,” Steinmetz told FishbowlDC. “Anyone who understands the chained CPI probably knows about that double ‘s’ in misspell, but we’ll see for ourselves in a few weeks time. One thing I can tell you is that tubers will likely make an appearance early in the competition.”

Asked if he’s confident in his spelling skills and if he’ll be practicing, HuffPost‘s Howard Fineman wrote me by email:

Answer:

Potato
Implacable
Bourgeoisie
Resuscitate
Judgment

Tickets are $25 or $15 for students. Purchase here.

Who will play?

Read more

The Calendar Boys of BuffPost

 You’ve heard of The Beltway Boys — how about the BuffPost Boys? Sam Stein and the guys over at HuffPost (dubbed “BuffPost” by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough this week) have given up shreds of dignity for charity purposes. Some of them had to know this wouldn’t end well. This is what happens when you put yourself on a calendar. Teenage girls are warned about stuff like this.

Asked if he felt like a male model, Stein told FBCD, “It’s for a really good cause. I’m glad I got to play a part in it.” Even when pushed and prodded, he refused to spice up his quote. He also caught a lot of heat during an appearance on “Morning Joe” earlier in the week. The hosts made fun of his plaid shirt. Mika Brzezinski called him “Calendar Boy” and cracked on him, saying, “I’m so distracted after seeing that calendar that I can’t take him seriously.” And then after using the word “outlandish” to describe something, Scarborough interrupted, “Outlandish? Outlandish says the man who wears a plaid shirt.” Brzezinksi soon grew serious and praised Stein for the good cause. It’s RaiseForWomen Challenge, which assists female-focused charities.

The guys apparently took their “cues” from Chippendales and NYC firefighters. But will they get naked for this thing? Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim remarked, “I would say that, for better or for worse, the calendar speaks pretty well for itself.”

Some observations… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“I don’t know where zoftig ends and Dunkin Donuts begins.”HuffPost and MSNBC’s Howard Fineman on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie weight loss in reaction to an intro from Touré who used the word “zoftig” to describe the governor even thought the word is supposed to apply to pleasantly plump women. In Yiddish, the word means “juicy.” Fineman continued, “I would bet that he does master it because having the desire to be President is even stronger than the desire to eat donuts. So I think he will do that and it’ll help make him a good story, at least initially.”

Bachmann bails on Congress 

“Shorter Michele Bachmann: I’m smart enough. I’m good enough. And doggone it, people like me.” — WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty.

“Just me, or does Michele Bachmann’s music and cadence here channel Delta’s in-flight safety video?” — Daily Caller and The Week‘s Matt Lewis.

“In a rare 6:05AM appearance, @mikeallen joins us to discuss Michele Bachmann.” — Morning Joe.

“How cool would it be if Bachmann could ride out of Congress on a giant eagle?” — Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.

Weiner Police Returns

“I can’t even have a conversation on this set without you all losing it.” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Co-host Mika Brzezinksi on broaching the topic of ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) running for mayor of New York. Mika turns into the Weiner Police whenever Weiner’s name is on the rise. One thing is clear: Mika is just not that into Weiner.

Ask Judy Today at 1:30 p.m.

“Questions for @JudyWoodruff? She’ll answer during a live chat tomorrow at 1:30 pm ET. #AskJudy” — PBS NewsHour.

Blogger finds girls to be a mystery 

“Right. My eldest daugher [sic] graduated summa cum laude, but I don’t understand girls.” — Conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain.

Producer in search of propane

“So here I am. Racing the clock to get more propane while a partially-cooked red snapper hangs out on the grill awaiting my return.” — FBDC and Bill Press‘ Producer Peter Ogburn.

Who could it be?

“Overheard: ‘I’m writing a story…what they they called … the little ones…’ ‘Blog post?’ ‘Blog post!’ — Politico lobbying and campaign finance reporter Byron Tau.

TV correspondent gets weight-conscious

“My German childhood nickname translates to ‘FAT.’ Sso when a co-worker asked ‘what do you weigh… 190?’ you can understand my angst.” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida.

Read more Morning Chatter…

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Excuse Me, Howard Fineman: I’m Bored!

It’s just after 7 a.m. and no doubt HuffPost‘s Howard Fineman is really glad he woke up at the ass crack of dawn to appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” from Washington only to be told that he’s boring the host, Mika Brzezinksi.

“Well Mika, I agree with you and even though the administration might want to cite civil service rules as it relates to some of those people. I mean, last night they fired the one guy they could fire — Steve Miller, who is a political appointee — so they could just summarily fire him. There are rules down there in the thick of the bureaucracy, but if I were the President, I would I would I would [sic] ignore them and try to move quickly, very quickly, to that source. To answer your earlier question about whether we’re going to look back on this as a fool’s errand or something that changes the nature of the historical view and accomplishments of the Obama administration, I think unfortunately for the Obama people we’re now in the situation where the situation is what did they know and when did they know it?”

Mika interrupting Fineman, saying, “But see, I just got bored. I just got bored. I’m just, I’m telling you.”

How does a guest recover from that? In Fineman’s case, he continues being toothpick prop your eyes up boring.

“Okay,” he continued, a little flustered, “but, but if it’s true as it said that both the IRS story and actions and the AP story and actions were down there in the bureaucracy and had absolutely nothing to do with and were not known by or managed by or shaped by the White House staff and the President … if that, in fact, is true,then this is going, in history, is going to seem like a wasted summer and a wasted year.”

Mika proceeded to awkwardly explain her boredom. Translation: It’s not you Howard Fineman, it’s me. Read more

Tick Tock: WHCD 2013

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a blur this year as stars, journalists, nerdy political types — and Psy — rubbed elbows. Well, not Psy, he was busy smoking. But the rest of ‘em fawned and frolicked around the Washington Hilton oohing and ahhing at one another’s evening wear. People watching was admittedly pretty phenomenal. As evidenced by the shrieks coming from young, female bystanders salivating at the mere sight of a star. Each time an actor or well-known journalist walked by, they screamed and barked things out at them like faux paparazzi. In a moment of hilarity, one journalist, who shall remain nameless, was heard biting a security employee’s head off as they kept constantly trying to herd and push a small smattering of people waiting by the door from one end to the other. “I have two tickets, I have a right to be here and I’m not moving,” the person snapped in a display of spectacular irritation. Security immediately backed right down and eased away. And the lesson is? Yelling wins! (By the way, pictured above: actress Kate Walsh.)

4:35 p.m. Betsy tells Eddie she need 15 more minutes. He replies, “Are you trying to squeeze in a size 8 dress again?”

5:42 p.m. Eddie is running slightly behind because he has no idea how to tie a bow-tie and he couldn’t get the Tucker Carlson consult. As usual, Carlson skipped out of town for the WHCD. We learned later in the evening that he’s in New Orleans riding Go Karts with Daily Caller Publisher Neil Patel.

6:13 p.m. Settling in at the lobby of the Washington Hilton for some major people watching. MC Hammer sighting. Girls screaming, “WOO HOO! WOO HOO!”

6:14 p.m. TIME‘s Zeke Miller enters in a wrinkly blazer.

6:15 p.m. DJ at Atlantic party may have Tourette’s. Ticking and chirping, etc…

6:16 p.m. Fox News Correspondent Peter Doocy sighting. This guy is too tall and everywhere this weekend.

6:17 p.m. Washington Examiner Nikki Schwab sighting. Her hair is in curls this evening. Very pleasant interaction.

6:18 p.m. Woman walks into the Hilton wearing a kimono.

6:19 p.m. It’s Kathleen Turner. The gaggle of girls in the lobby: “Kathleen we love you!!!”

6:20 p.m. Amy Poehler walks by. “Ahh ahh we love you Amy!”

6:21 p.m. CBS’ Gayle King has entered the hotel in a stunner of a kelly green gown by Vicky Tiel.

6:22 p.m. A rando woman who won’t stop yapping is saying to her friends, “I’m walking around the house going, does this match?”

6:23  p.m. The NPR greeter awaiting NPR party guests in the front of the hotel looks like he should be at the airport. He’s a vision of nerdy perfection.

6:24 p.m. Washington Examiner‘s Byron York walks into the hotel and promptly walks down the wrong set of stairs.

6: 25 p.m. It’s Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera! He’s all smiles for anyone who approaches. Up close his mustache is nothing short of thick and amazing.

6:27 p.m. A Jon Huntsman sighting. He walks in with a lovely blonde (presumably his wife) on his arm.

6:28 p.m. We get reprimanded for the second time for standing in the “wrong” place. Is there a right place? Who knows?

6:30 p.m. Holy shit. It’s Nicole Kidman. Bradley Cooper follows shortly thereafter.

6: 32 p.m. House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor is hanging out by the entrance.

6:35 p.m. Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis drawing major stares in the lobby. Wilde’s flowing chocolate brown dress is unbelievable beautiful.

6:37 p.m. A young woman walking with CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley has ample cleavage.

6:40 p.m. Sightings: White House Press Sec. Jay Carney. Chicago Sun TimesClarence Page. Kathleen Sebelius. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

6:41 p.m. Dave Weigel, a big FishbowlDC fan, has been spotted. Later he’ll watch us like a hawk even though we’re not snapping his picture tonight or bothering him whatsoever.

6:45 p.m. The kid from Glee! is here. Wasn’t he at Tammy’s?

6:50 p.m. Publicist and Hollywood on the Potomac blogger Janet Donovan spotted in the bar line at the Atlantic, CBS, NJ pre-party. Janet insists this is her last year doing this. “I’ve been doing this since 1971,” she says wearily. “Enough is enough.”

6:55 p.m. Bob Schieffer holding court at the CBS party. Worlds colliding. Glee! kid spotted talking to Mother Jones Bureau Chief David Corn. WTF?

6:59 p.m. CBS news anchor and producer Julie Chen stands out in bright pink dress that may have been the second best frock of the evening. Olivia Wilde’s gown was hard to beat.

7 p.m. Andy Cohen from Bravo is here. He has some schmutz on his blazer.

7: 05 p.m. Overheard: “He’s very brave here coming with his ugly wife.”

7:06 p.m. Reince Priebus sighting. Later he’ll be a dumb joke in Conan’s monologue.

7:16 p.m. Ed Helms telling his girlfriend that people come here “for the food.”

7:17 p.m. Psy‘s handlers are a bunch of asses. “No, we did red carpet interviews. We’re not doing any more.” Regarding Psy and pictures, guest says, “This isn’t Korea. This is America.”

7:18 p.m. Peter cuts U.S. Treasury Sec. Jack Lew in a line. Way to go Peter!

7:19 p.m. CNBC’s Jim Cramer is yelling. Read more

Wemple, Albright Cut Lines WHCD Weekend

It’s one thing to stand in long lines to enter any number of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend parties. It’s another when it comes to waiting at the bar for a drink or buffet for food once you’re inside. WaPo‘s media reporter Erik Wemple and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have figured out how to bypass the latter.

At a pre-party hosted by The Atlantic, NJ and CBS on Saturday, Albright was spotted jumping to the front of a line building up at one of the event’s three fully-stocked bars. The line was eight people-deep but nobody had the heart to stand up to the 75-year-old, 5’5″ woman. After getting her drink, Albright stepped aside to engage in conversation with Howard Fineman, editorial director of AOL-HuffPost Media Group.

Fast-forward to Sunday’s brunch at the Hay Adams rooftop, hosted by Thomson-Reuters and Yahoo! News. There, Wemple was seen cutting a line stretched out for one of the food bars that featured seafood, cheeses and breads.

When alerted of his faux pas, Wemple said he was aware, that it was a mistake and that by the time he realized, it was too late. He just had to commit and finish what he started, piling on the cocktail shrimp to his plate. He told FishbowlDC that he would go to the back of the line immediately and do things right. He did. And for that, we commend him for his amended party behavior at the swanky brunch.

Separated at Birth: Pete Williams

Yes, yes, we get it. NBC’s Pete Williams is a God of News. Throughout last week’s manhunt for the bombers of the Boston Marathon, Williams seemed to be among the few trusted journalists in America. While many outlets got the story wrong, Williams remained steady.

With Williams getting SO much airtime, we realized that he looked eerily similar to HuffPost’s Howard Fineman, who is also often seen on MSNBC. Upon further examination, both men could also pass for Mrs. Doubtfire.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“So many newspaper reporters. So many interviews to turn down.”President Obama at this weekend’s Gridiron dinner.

Bureau Chief says no to mom jeans

“I’m pretty sure I’m the only person not wearing mom jeans in this Outback bar.” — BuzzFeed Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton in a series of tweets this weekend from a suburban Outback bar. He was staying at his sister’s house while his home gets repairs.

Journalist has hair issues

“That point where your hair, which was perfect length a day ago, is now suddenly out of control.” — Amy Walter, The Cook Report.

The Observer

“I sometimes read comments on news or op-ed pieces in the WaPo and am always shocked at what people say. Jerks for sure!” — Marketing writer Deborah Brody.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 6:18 a.m.

Reporter gets patriotic and speaks for the country? “Attending Gridiron dinner tonight. Am expecting the president to be funny. We could all use a good laugh. By which I mean the country.” — HuffPost Editorial Director and MSNBC Analyst Howard Fineman.

Convo Between Two Journos and more…

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