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Posts Tagged ‘Jared Rizzi’

President Obama Invites Mitt Romney to the White House for Lunch: Who’s Covering it Best?

It’s a big deal that POTUS invited Mitt Romney over for lunch at the White House this afternoon. The event is closed to press, so outlets tried to have some fun with the story. HuffPost’s Sam Stein tweeted, “Tomorrow, I will dress up as a waiter/butler and will try to maneuver my way in towards serving Obama/Romney during their lunch.”

Fantasyland…WaPo’s Alexandra Petri imagined what the lunch would have been like if she was there. Imagine lots of awkward banter and nervous laughter from Romney.

Others took the matter more seriously… Read more

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SiriusXM’s Rizzi Gets Hitched

Over the weekend, Jared Rizzi, the White House Correspondent for the POTUS channel on SiriusXM, married Katie Devine at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton, Va. The groom tells FishbowlDC that he is currently on a “semi-honeymoon.” Katherine Caperton, Senior Producer for the POTUS channel, was in attendance and tells us that “the reception was held at the Inn at Kelly’s Ford in Remington, Va. Open bar. Appetizers and dinner were served buffet style. Tons of food, with options for non-meat eaters. Dessert was a huge selection of pies.”

It’s safe to say that considering the heatwave, most guests were wearing their lightest summer duds. (We hope no one wore seersucker.) Caperton tells us that Rizzi’s best man was Matt Kosara, whose toast was given “in the style of a radio report, complete with headphones and sound bites.”

Other journos in attendance were Amie Parnes of The Hill, Llewellyn King from WH Chronicle, Ben Dooley from Kyodo DC and Daniel Stone from Newsweek/Daily Beast.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Behind the Scenes With the Bawdy Julie Mason

When we heard that Julie Mason was leaving her post as White House Reporter for Politico to begin a radio show on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel, we were intrigued. While many reporters love to hear themselves talk, not everyone can hold an audience for three full hours. Not only is she hosting her own radio show, she’s also keeping extra busy this time of year as Secretary for the White House Correspondents’ Association. Mason is known for her bawdy personality and sharp wit, so our preconceived notion was that radio could fit her like a glove.

We caught up with her last week to see just how natural a transition it has been to go from print to radio. Upon entering the impressive SiriusXM complex in the NoMa neighborhood, we were greeted by Patrick Ferrise, Mason’s producer. Immediately we can see the perks of working here. It’s constantly stocked with snacks, drinks and goodies for visiting guests. Ferrise sips a can of seltzer and says he never really drank soda until he started working there.

As we enter the nerve center of the P.O.T.U.S. studios, Mason is deep into prep for her show, “The Press Pool.” In the next room, Tim Farley, the Program Director of the POTUS channel is wrapping up his own show, “The Morning Briefing.” While she continues to prepare, Julie says that she is enjoying the adjustment to radio. However, there was a learning curve. Her bosses told her that she was going to need to learn how to run a soundboard, which is something many talk radio hosts don’t even do anymore. When we’re talking about the soundboard, think of the control center of the Starship Enterprise. A large console of glowing lights and buttons that, for most people, might as well be part of a space shuttle. Mason says, “My employers have been so patient with me as I learn my way around the board (Limbaugh doesn’t run his own board!) and all about radio.”

As Farley wrapped up his show, Mason assumed her position behind the console and kicked off the show. She started by talking to Stephen Dinan, National Politics Correspondent for TWT about the now-dead Buffett rule. And then things started to shake up a bit. POTUS (The President, not the radio station) began talking about increasing oversight on manipulation in the oil market. This is what makes P.O.T.U.S. different from almost any other radio station. They carry it live, uninterrupted. They also carry Jay Carney’s press briefing uninterrupted each day. It’s a task that has given Mason many headaches considering Carney is rarely on time. We asked if this was a constant source of frustration. “Killing that time before the briefing is a radio skill I am learning, along with making a smooth transition when he finally comes to the podium,” she says. “It’s not frustrating, it’s challenging! Which I am sure is Jay’s intention. We are the only news organization that still runs every briefing, which I do think is pretty cool, for all my grumping about it on the air.” After POTUS wraps up, Mason checks in with their in-house Washington Correspondent, Jared Rizzi. It’s time for the briefing.

While the briefing is carried live, Mason gets to step away to decompress. The night before, Bill O’Reilly had called Mason a “loon” because she suggested that he and Glenn Beck may have damaged the Fox News brand. Tim Farley enters to make sure that Mason has seen an email he sent to her suggesting a new logo for her show: A picture of a loon. Mason takes the ribbing in good stride and says she realizes things are different now that she’s in radio. If someone had called her a partisan loon while she was still working in print, she might have gotten in trouble. Now that she’s in radio, her bosses could not have been happier.

The whole time that Mason and I are chatting… Read more

Gorillas in Our Midst

Politico‘s Byron Tau reported this weekend on White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s odd word choice at Friday’s press briefing.  Carney surprised the press corps while talking about the current political battle between the White House and Republicans over the payroll tax on Friday. Carney said “Pick your metaphor, window dressing, or gorilla dust”… Wait. Gorilla dust? What the hell is gorilla dust?  Mark Knoller and others in the press immediately picked up on it and asked Carney for clarification. The Double Tongued Dictionary defines it as “bluffing, posturing or hollow attempts at intimidation.” Of all the analogies floating around Washington, we’ve never encountered Gorilla Dust before. So we reached out to Jared Rizzi, Producer & Washington Correspondent for POTUS Radio on SiriusXM, who interacts with Carney on a regular basis. He says this isn’t the first time he has heard the expression. He tells FishbowlDC that an old Political Science Professor at the University of Notre Dame used to say it.

Video of Carney’s explanation below.

Would You Cross This Woman?

When given the choice between loud and feisty or a big-name media outlet, the White House Press Corps went with a resounding nod for the former.

April Ryan, who works for American Urban Radio, was elected Friday to the White House Correspondents Association Board as was McLatchy‘s Senior White House Correspondent Steve Thomma. Among the choices were Ryan, Thomma, Sirius XM Radio’s Jared Rizzi and Bloomberg‘s Julianna Goldman. But the real dogfight was Ryan versus Goldman.

Word on the street is that reporters wanted a fighter. They also didn’t want to risk a Bloomberg board member just looking out for Bloomberg. “April’s tough as nails, and really knows her stuff,” said Mediaite‘s White House reporter Tommy Christopher. “She’ll do a great job. And what a great way to kick off Obama’s second term.”

Ryan is certainly no wimp. Some may recall that in December of 2009, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told her to “calm down” and “take a deep breath” after she pressed him on whether then-Social Secretary Desiree Rogers had overstepped appropriate protocol in the Salahi party crashing incident. Gibbs equated the reporter’s behavior with that of his young son. April snapped back, “Don’t play with me.”

A White House reporter who spoke on the condition of anonymity gave us the lowdown on the race, saying, “April worked really hard on that race, she put a lot into it. Julianna ran a strong race, too, and as charming and well-respected she is, in the end she couldn’t overcome the Bloomberg curse. And Jared was just too new to the White House to make a serious dent in the race.”

A note on the curse: Some may recall that Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols ran for the board last year and lost badly to then-Politico reporter Carol Lee, who now works for WSJ. At the time there was a sour taste among the Press Corps as publications such as Bloomberg, WSJ and Politico all signed up journos as White House reporters for voting purposes. Some charged dirty campaigning.

See the complete listing of officers and WHCA board members after the jump…

Read more