FishbowlNY TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Howie Kurtz’

Hill Columnist Bungles Facts on Aniston

Jennifer Aniston, above, on the technically blue carpet.

The Hill‘s gossip columnist Judy Kurtz is following in her father’s foosteps this week, as in getting her facts wrong. Her mistake comes on the heels of The Daily Beast‘s Howie Kurtz admitting his blunder involving a quote from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he later admitted never came from Pelosi.

On Monday Judy Kurtz announced on Twitter that she was going to be on “ring watch” for actress Jennifer Aniston, who appeared at the Ronald Reagan Building last night for a Lifetime movie screening of FIVE. Kurtz wrote, “Press eyes ‘heart-shaped ring’ on Jennifer Aniston’s left hand during DC visit. ITK to be on ‘ring watch’ at star’s movie premiere tonight!”

But that watch must have been short-lived. Sometime after 8:30 p.m., Kurtz reported on Twitter, “Jennifer Aniston apparently skips red carpet at Five premiere, leaving celeb-hungry DC journos asking 4 more on their A-list deprived plates.”

Aniston walked the red (this one was blue) carpet at the Ronald Reagan Building just after 8 p.m. and was swarmed with flashbulbs. She didn’t skip the red carpet. We watched her walk down and back again, stopping, posing and taking instructions from photographers such as “turn left” and “over here.”

The actress did not speak to reporters as she walked the carpet, which is what Kurtz may have been referring to. We’ve requested comment from The Hill.

Examiner Flacks For Fox News

3-2-1. “RRING! RRING!”

The predictability in the air was palpable on Wednesday afternoon when we published a story on the abrasive comments Current TV’s David Shuster made about Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace over the weekend.  You may recall how Shuster took his stink with the FNCers to CNN’s airwaves on Sunday, telling Howie Kurtz that the trio had no business moderating a presidential debate due to their lack of campaign trail experience.

Communicating extensively with FBDC, Shuster reaffirmed his remarks and even took things a step further.  He charged that Fox has lost all “credibility/watchability” since Brit Hume‘s semi-retirement. He also explained that conversations with “friends” inside FNC prompted him to criticize the network on CNN.  After finishing with Shuster, FBDC contacted longtime Fox News Communications Director Irena Brigante for a response or comment on the matter. Included in the note was a graph of quotes from our earlier conversation with Shuster.

So we waited. No response. Deafening silence. Still, not surprising.  That is, after all, typical treatment for journalists who’ve been blackballed by Fox News PR.

“That’s how they operate. There’s a black list. So if they’re isolating you it means you pissed them off or were nice to someone at another network.,” said a TV insider who is familiar with Brigante’s operation.

“F–k her,” added another media insider with a key vantage point to know her history. “That’s her stock and trade to alienate people and never talk to certain media outlets. I’ve had this conversation with everyone in the media.”

But wait there’s more to FNC’s blacklist than the silent treatment.  Things generally play out like this: While most of the network’s press shop is busy miming hateful replies to your request, one of the spokeshags hits the phones to sell your scoop or share your inquiry with  one of their pet publications. Which is precisely what happened this week.

Sure enough, just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday the Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, who has taken the bait before, wrote FBDC explaining that she, too, was working on a Shuster/Fox News piece.  What a coincidence!  In the note, she posed a question about Shuster’s misspelling Baier’s first name. FBDC replied.

Schwab’s story published Wednesday. The piece contained zero new news and cited only Shuster’s comments to FBDC – coincidentally the very same quotes we’d sent to FNC PR when we originally sought comment from them. Schwab advanced the story with nothing more than a remark from an unnamed Fox News spokesperson regarding the quotes we’d emailed Brigante earlier in the day.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

We reached out to both Schwab and Editor Stephen Smith, posing virtually the same question to each of them: Does the Washington Examiner see anything ethically challenging about Fox News using their publication as a mouthpiece? So far, no response.

Protesting Howiella

Typically I wake up to emails such as Politico Mike Allen‘s Playbook, RealClearPoliticsCarl Cannon‘s morning history lesson and Roll Call Morning Headlines. But this morning, the first email to jar me awake from dreams of WaPo‘s Ezra Klein was from my cohort, FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic. It concerned the nickname “Howiella” that I have been using for The Hill‘s new gossip writer Judy Kurtz, daughter of The Daily Beast‘s Washington Bureau Chief Howie Kurtz.

The tone? Pointed. He doesn’t mess around when protesting. Hopefully he won’t resort to drenching himself in oil like these protesters pictured above, but you never know with Dornic.

Subject line: Judy Kurtz

I don’t like Howiella so please accept this message as my formal motion to reconsider her nickname. In its place I recommend one of the following:

Howie Lite
Howdie Doody

In a subsequent email, he added, “Howdie Judy.” We both confessed that our favorite new nickname is Howeesha. My second favorite is Howlma.

Dear Readers: We want to know what is your favorite. Most likely you’ll see all of the above sprinkled into our copy. But we want to know where your tastes lie on this front. Write us at or to me directly at

Who are the ‘Most Influential’ People in Media?

Business Insider releases its top 50 people and pubs in media this year. The list published today includes everyone from Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange (#1) to Apple CEO Steve Jobs (#2) FNC’s Glenn Beck (#4) and Jon Stewart (#5). Those in Washington or with strong ties here include HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington (#8), Drudge Report (#9) and Politico (#15).

The writeup on Politico is worth a look with a variety of shout-outs:

There have been many, many moments in the last two years where more than one person has wondered whether Politico is the tail wagging Presidential dog, so successful has the site been at “winning the morning” and driving the national political news cycle. No story is too small! Mike Allen, Ben Smith, Jonathan Martin, Patrick Gavin, John Harris… now go name five Washington Post reporters off the top of your head.

Others on the list: The Atlantic (#19), Jake Tapper (#21), Andrew Sullivan (#29), Howie Kurtz (#37) and NPR’s David Folkenflik (#48).

Huffington’s Backyard Book Bash

National Journal’s Matt Cooper hides from the paparazzi behind one of Arianna’s book-themed pillows. 

Arianna Huffington made a splash last night at the home of Tammy Haddad.  Guests such as actress Geena Davis, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Dennis Kucnich and wife Elizabeth, Richard Wolffe, Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski, White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Hilary Rosen and  MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan flooded Haddad’s Foxhall backyard to toast Huffington’s new book, “Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning The Middle Class and Betraying The American Dream.” 

The event, which Huffington joked was like an “Obama backyard party” played host to hundreds of the city’s political and media set who mingled over cocktails in the brisk fall weather.  One of the most popular topics of conversation was Howie Kurtz‘s recent announcement that he will leave the Washington Post for a new gig at the Daily Beast.  Several guests agreed that Yahoo’s Michael Calderone seemed like the only viable option to replace WaPo’s longtime media beat writer. 

We caught up with Calderone who admitted that he wouldn’t spill to Fishbowl if he was in talks with the Post but joked that, “Marcus [Brauchli] hasn’t even returned my calls about Kurtz leaving so it’s safe to assume that he hasn’t pursued me to replace him.” 

Also spotted at the backyard book bash were HuffPost’s Peter Cherukuri, Sam Stein and Mario Ruiz, Qorvis’ Kelley McCormick, SKDKnickerbocker’s Emily Lenzner, National Journal’s Matt Cooper and Taylor West, Janet Donovan, Tim Burger, Bloomberg’s Ha Chan, Politico’s Kiki Ryan, NYT’s Jeff Zeleny, Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers and Dr. Marty Makary, Pamela’s Punch blogger Pamela Sorensen, ABC’sPolson Kanneth, Jim Courtovich, CBS’s Christine Delargy and The Hill’s Emily Goodin.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Arianna Huffington. 

Geena Davis, Michael Calderone and more after the jump. 

Read more

WaPo’s Internal Memo on Kurtz’s Departure

Key words/phrases: Superhuman, straight-shooter, endless well, and indispensable authority. At the end of the letter they discuss qualities his replacement ought to have…

The memo to staff:

It’s with great sadness that we announce Howie Kurtz is leaving The
Washington Post to head the Washington bureau of The Daily Beast.
Throughout his 29 years at The Post, Howie has taught us all how the medium
is the message, marshalling [sic] fresh evidence not just daily but hourly about
the powerhouses, personalities and opinion-shapers of the media world.
Applying  intelligence, creativity and an endless well of sources,  Howie
single-handedly has defined this huge sector, whether he was communicating
in newsprint, in books, online or on television. His Media Notes franchise
has become the indispensable authority on the players and companies in the
center, by definition, of the national debate.

“Coverage” does not quite capture what he has delivered for the Washington
Post and its readers. Like the best reporters ever to have owned a beat,
Howie has treated the subject matter expansively. He covered not just
journalists but the folks in the political sphere who try to steer the
conversation–White House press secretaries, campaign strategists, gossip
bloggers, late-night talk-show hosts. All the while, he has become known as
a straight-shooter by every anchor and editor and reporter who has been on
the other end of his inquiries. He bravely covered the very organization he
has called home and won the respect and independence that can only come
with consistently solid and fair reporting. His energy is beyond
exemplary–it’s superhuman.

With Howie’s departure we will begin searching for his replacement ,
looking for someone who can be a commanding authority on the media. We’re
seeking alively [sic], nuanced writer with drive and enthusiasm, and the
ability to keep ahead of the changing media world and its impact on

Ned Martel    Marcus Brauchli            Liz Spayd

We get it Howie! You Have a TV Show (Part V)

WaPo‘s resident journo pimp Howie Kurtz, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” (as if we needed to tell you), went off the wagon this weekend.

He had 10 tweets regarding his show, some of which were his retweets of readers praising him – one said his was the “only” balanced show on FNC, MSNBC and CNN. More than one tweet revealed the names of his guests. In recent weeks he has been down to a reasonable one to three messages.

We bestow on him this tiger print fur-encrusted suit from the “Sugar Daddy” collection. We’ve already given him the tiger print heeled shoes, but this should take his look up a few notches.

Will They Dance; Will He Make Her Cry?


This Sunday takes an entertaining twist on CNN.

Candy Crowley is scheduled to interview former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) on “State of the Union” — we hope he’ll leave his dancing shoes home. And WaPo’s Howie Kurtz will interview ABC’s Barbara Walters on “Reliable Sources”. (We’re taking bets on whether or not Howie can make her tear up, or what kind of tree should be would be.)

Somehow dance photographs of DeLay never get old.

Lara Logan Pretties Up Howie Kurtz

lara howie.jpg

Shrinking budgets and spending freezes have forced everyone to kick in more around the office…but Lara Logan is answering the call of duty like no other.

Without hair & makeup on hand at CBS News, the network’s chief foreign affairs correspondent recently played substitute stylist when WaPo’s Howie Kurtz needed a helping hand to get camera-ready. Talk about a team player.

WaPo & LAT Kill Joint News Service

Howie Kurtz reports that the longstanding WaPo-LA Times News Service is no more. The 50/50 partners will now compete against one another to syndicate content to more than 600 global clients.

Kurtz say that details about the dissolved deal were not disclosed but it stems from the Tribune’s takeover of LAT in 2000.

See WaPo for more.