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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Farley’

Morning Chatter

“No, I told you I don’t watch the news. … I don’t watch the news.”Rachel Jeantel, star witness in the George Zimmerman trial during cross examination, discussing how she knew this was thought to be a “racially charged event.”

Defending Glenn Greenwald

“The smears against @ggreenwald begin: Glenn has not been kind to me in the past, but these attacks are disgusting.” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, who links to this story.

Advice for NPR

“#NPR pull on your Big Boy Pants. Declare independence from federal handouts.” — WTOP VP of News and Programming Jim Farley.

Phew! Glad that’s settled!

“To be clear, I’m not editorializing, I’m asking questions out loud. I don’t know the answers.” — The Guardian‘s National Security Editor Spencer Ackerman.

Dan Savage reacts to DOMA decision

“Human rights are universal, marriage is a human right, gay people are human, we exist in this universe. #NotThatComplicated.” — Syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who was recently in Washington for a book signing at the W.

Reporter complains in Paris

“Hey, Paris: I was cool with McDonalds, sorta OK with Starbucks. But SUBWAY? Get it together.” — Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox.

Hey Bolt Bus: What the hell?

“Dear @BoltBus: can someone please explain to me why I’m on I-97 towards Annapolis right now? This is worst route to DC I’ve ever seen.” — Reason mag’s Preston Cornish.

Dedication is…

“NOTE: your pooler explored the possibility of an in-flight pool report via a call from Air Force One. But by the time we were preparing to make the call, the transcript of the previous exchange with Carney was already being sent out to the list.” — NYT’s Michael Shear in a White House Pool Report en route to Africa.

And decency is…

“Congrats to @newtgingrich, @stefcutter, @VanJones68 & @secupp: new hosts of new Crossfire. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. #CNN” — CNN Contributor Paul Begala.

Black bear in Maureen Orth’s hood 

“So this is the black bear that was running around my mom’s neighborhood this AM in #DC Red Panda started trend.” — NBC’s Luke Russert. Orth writes for Vanity Fair. By far the worst response to Luke’s tweet came from retired San Diego-based “white liberal guy” Bob LaPolla, who wrote, “@LukeRussert it was your dad reincarnated.” WTF planet are you living on, LaPolla?

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WTOP’s McConnell Gets Newly Created Award

WTOP Radio’s ubiquitous Capitol Hill Correspondent, Dave McConnell, earned a unique recognition this week. The Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association declared him the first ever winner of the Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.

McConnell has more than 50 years of reporting experience in Washington. He joined WTOP in 1965 and became the station’s full-time Capitol Hill Correspondent in 1981, a position he still holds today.

“As a kid, Dave and his classmates used to cut class to go see the Senators,” said WTOP Vice President of News & Programming Jim Farley. “His buddies went to Griffith Stadium to see the Washington Senators play but Dave actually went to The Hill to watch U.S. Senators debate. Dave is admired by members of Congress from both parties because of his fairness. Now his colleagues on ‘The Hill’ have chosen him as the first-ever recipient of their new lifetime achievement award. Dave is the EverReady Bunny of Congressional Correspondents and the hardest working Septuagenarian covering Congress and trying to keep them honest.”

FishbowlDC Interview With Paul Brandus

Say hello to Paul Brandus who writes West Wing Reports and a column for The Week. He’s an independent White House Correspondent who writes a blog and has a Twitter account in which he doesn’t use his name. How come he goes nameless? “Here’s a question for you,” begins his standard refrain about it. “Name the CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN & Fox reporters at the White House 10 years ago. How about five years ago? This may come as a disappointment to many folks in this egocentric town, but most people can’t remember the names. And that’s at the most visible beat in Washington. Names fade quickly. But brand names have enduring market value. People have no idea who I am personally. I’d prefer they know my brands, one of which is West Wing Reports. Brands can be licensed, flipped, monetized in more enduring ways.” Even so, let’s get to know the man behind the brand, shall we? Brandus was a foreign correspondent in Moscow for five years. He worked for the U.S. Embassy, eventually NBC and NPR and did some magazine work. While in Moscow, he bought the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl from the NFL. He later worked at MSNBC and Fox — he says the concept of this makes people’s heads explode. “I helped launch MSNBC back in 1996,” Brandus explains. “Worked for Steve Capus, who went on to become President of NBC News. Good man. I was a writer, but apparently too good of a writer because they put me in charge of editing all the other writers. That’s where I learned the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your people will cause 80 percent of your problems. At Fox News, I was a senior prime time producer in New York, working on news cut ins every half hour. If the you-know-what hit the fan, we had to run into the control room across the hall and break into Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity & Alan Colmes. Great fun.” Brandus worked on Wall Street for several years, cashed out and started another media company, his own. In 2011 he became a columnist for The Week. He moderates conferences for them on energy and cybersecurity. He also works with a Northern Virginia venture capital firm. Brandus won’t be found on the Washington cocktail circuit. Instead, he spends his weekends with his 18-month-old daughter or family horses in Fairfax County.

Now let’s proceed to the really important stuff.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Cherry Coke Zero

How often do you Google yourself? Once or twice a year.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? My old boss, Jim Farley, who hired me twice – first at NBC years ago and later at WTOP – taught me WGAS: “Who gives a shit?” It has universal applications today and I’ve used it to great effect in various times and places. WGAS is also text-friendly.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Anyone who understands it’s not about them. Anyone who eschews the limelight and simply focuses on finding things out, communicating about it well and not pretending to be an expert or feeling compelled to have an opinion on everything.

Who is your favorite White House reporter and why? The wire service folks are usually the best. Not flashy, just solid, nose-to-the-grindstone types day in and day out. I really admire them.

Do you have a favorite word? “Dada.” Uttered by a certain 17-month old little girl.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Dumb ass.” Use it a lot.

Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s John King or CNN’s Piers Morgan. Tell us why. I think John King is an honest, hard-working, straight shooter guy. You know what I like about him? He made a mistake during the Boston coverage and dealt with it in a transparent, humble and honest way. People err – and it’s how they deal with it – for better or worse – that I remember. I tend to get along well with people like that.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in awhile in the course of your work and who was it with? If I hadn’t hung up on Ronald Reagan in 1990, it might have been the time when, on a dare, I called him at home in 1990. This was a year after he left the White House. The Reagans were living in Bel Air and I never thought he would answer the phone himself. But I heard that famous voice: “Hello?” on the other end, freaked out and hung up. To use my favorite word, I was such a dumb ass. So I guess the answer would be the time I downed vodka shots with Boris Yeltsin at a Fourth of July party at Spaso House, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. I was lurking by the bar when he came over and we wound up downing a few and chatting. That’s what you do in Russia. Drink. Talk. Drink some more.

Tell us a funny story from the White House Briefing Room. Can be long or short. There used to be a guy named Lester Kinsolving, who used to show up in the briefing every day. Haven’t seen him in many months. He used to ask the most bizarre, completely out of left field questions imaginable on completely obscure, irrelevant matters. Bush’s flacks and now Obama’s used to call on him as a diversion. And, in this digital age, he used to carry a giant cassette recorder around with him like it was 1983 or something. Not picking on Lester, he is a nice guy. Hope he’s OK.

Without naming names, tell us some shitty thing that happened in the course of you covering the White House… Read more

On BuzzFeed, Boogers and Ethics

Writing a story about someone else’s booger feature is no easy task. On some email requests I put a simple, bland, “request for comment.” On others, I went for shock value: “BuzzFeed’s booger post.” It wasn’t plotted. I imagined some might find it funnier than others.

On Tuesday night, BuzzFeed‘s Benny Johnson took Washington’s political and media worlds by surprise by creating a GIF feature about House Speaker John Boehner allegedly checking out his boogers. BuzzFeed Political Editor McKay Coppins promoted the story, even guided readers to it on Twitter.

The headline reads: “John Boehner Looks at His Boogers During the State of the Union.”

Who among us would have the mental fortitude to look away from a Boehner booger post? “It looks like a first-step by BuzzFeed into honest coverage,” said former TWT Editor and Public Affairs exec Sam Dealey. “After all, everyone — the Speaker, the public and evidently BuzzFeed’s reporter too, was bored by the speech and looking for anything even remotely more interesting.”

Boogers are interesting. But by and large, the editors and journalists around town that we interviewed opposed the booger post. “Dumb and dumber; political coverage as booger op? What next: beaver shot?” asked Washingtonian‘s media writer Harry Jaffe. WTOP’s Jim Farley also expressed journalistic outrage. “I believe it is over the top,” he said. “It would have been like showing video of George H.W. Bush throwing up on the Japanese Prime Minister at a State Dinner. A private moment.  Would we show video of Michelle Obama’s skirt blowing up on a windy day?”

Um, there’s actual video showing Bush throwing up? As it turns out, there is.

And by the way, there’s no judgment here. We’ve written about everything from Larry King passing gas on air and a journo popping a zit at a party to females showing ample amounts of cleavage and breasts on TV. Suffice it say, BuzzFeed can write about the Speaker’s alleged boogers if they want to and there won’t be any ethical bitching from us.

And yet we couldn’t help but wonder, is this, in part, the psychological result of our miniscule attention spans and around-the-clock reporting? That we now require boogers to grab our collective attention?

“Poking fun at people in power has always been been part of political journalism,” Coppins told FishbowlDC when asked to comment on the matter. “Dead-tree newspapers used to do it with political cartoons; now the internet does it with GIFs and memes. What actually struck me most about this State of the Union was how many other news sites were competing with us on that front. A year ago, we would have been the only ones GIFing Marco Rubio’s reach for the water bottle; this year we were racing with The Atlantic‘s Twitter feed.”

But some journalists thought BuzzFeed had slipped beneath themselves. “That’s certainly a headline you don’t see every day,” said a longtime Washington editor who preferred to remain anonymous. “But regardless, this is over the line. A classic example of something that gets hits, but is in poor taste. The post appeals to the 10-year-old in all of us, and that’s not a good thing. BuzzFeed is better than this.”

A cable news insider agreed, saying, Read more

Journalistic Faux Pas or Just Lacking Class?

Washington D.C.’s CBS all-news radio station, WNEW News (99.1 FM), appears to be lacking in social graces today as they tweeted out the names of a murder-suicide in Calvert County before next of kin were alerted. They reported on their website only that a man, woman and 2-year-old child were all found dead inside a home in Owings, Md., but left them unnamed.

The offending tweet can be found here. It reads as follows: “WNEWNews: Couple In Owings Murder-Suicide Have Been Identified By Neighbor As…”

We reached out to WNEW’s News Director Michelle Dolge for comment on obtaining the information from a neighbor and releasing it before police. So far, zilch.

WTOP GM Jim Farley explained that their reporter on the scene, Michelle Basch, was waiting for family to be informed before they reported the names. “Flunking Journalism 101: you don’t ID the victims until the Sheriff notifies the next of kin, which they had not done at that point,” he wrote to FishbowlDC. “Common courtesy. How’d you like to find a close relative had been murdered by reading it in a tweet?”

At the very least WNEW offended traditional reporting rules. “Typically the onus is on official authorities, not media, to notify next of kin before releasing the names of the deceased,” explained a local City Hall reporter speaking on condition of anonymity. “If the government agency released names to the media without prior notification , that would be a mistake of the agency, not the media.”

Then again, WNEW acquired the information from a neighbor. “Now if the media outlet got the name through nonofficial police sources and reported it, then that would be rather tacky, to say the least,” the reporter added.

 

Hooray for WTOP’s Farley!

WTOP’s VP of News and Programming, Jim Farley, is this year’s recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award. Farley will be presented with the award at a new media seminar in New York City on June 7, 2012.

TALKERS Magazine, a trade publication, is honoring Farley with the award.

“I am thrilled on behalf of the men and women in the WTOP Newsroom whose hard work is protected by the First Amendment,” said Farley in a release. “They do all the heavy lifting and I get credit for THEIR hard work.”

The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor given to those talk media figures whose work demonstrates the First Amendment in action and raises awareness of its principles.

 

The Plotkin Thickens

While many are speculating that Mark Plotkin’s exit from WTOP has something to do with the new all-news station in town, 99.1 WNEW, we are hearing a much different story. We have heard from inside WTOP that the station’s “hand was forced” to terminate Plotkin. WaPo’s Erik Wemple confirmed with WTOP head boss, Jim Farley, that Plotkin was let go by the radio station.

Earlier this month, WTOP ran a story on it’s website reporting on a “screaming match” between D.C. Councilman Kwame Brown and Plotkin. A former colleague of Plotkin’s says that the political analyst’s temper was of major concern. We were told, “the worst kept secret in the building is that Mark has severe anger issues.” Another veteran of Washington D.C. radio reports that Plotkin “has a reputation of being a total motherfucker.” We have heard that Plotkin’s legendary temper dates way back to his days at WAMU where he displayed “major temper issues” and was considered “a loose cannon.”

We wrote Plotkin for comment.

Plotkin Out at WTOP

Mark Plotkin and WTOP are parting ways. Jim Farley, Vice President of News and Programming for WTOP, has confirmed to WaPo‘s Erik Wemple that Plotkin is no longer with the station. Farley also confirms that the decision was made by WTOP. Radio journalists around town are already suspecting that 99.1 WNEW, the new all-news station in town, is licking their chops at the opportunity to snatch up Plotkin. One radio executive wondered if he had already been talking to WNEW, which prompted his release from WTOP. FishbowlDC has reached out to Steve Swenson, Senior Vice President and Market Manager for CBS Radio Washington, D.C. for a comment.

Developing…

 

 

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Politico has closet Snooki

“I found a Groupon for half off a mystic tan session on the @politico copier recently. It named name. It was amazing.” — Politico‘s Laura McGann to The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball, a former Politico reporter. McGann would not reveal who the tanning fiend is.

Condolences to soon to be Reuters scribe Sam Youngman on the death of his grandfather this week.

Not so sexy

“These little blue pills won’t put hope in your rope. They could make you sick.#viagra #counterfeit #China” — WTOP’s Jim Farley promo-ing an online story about U.S. Customs officials seizing a thousands of shipments of potentially dangerous pills made of rat poison, sheet rock and wall paint. Read here.

From the Dept. of Complaints…

“If you have questions or comments about the work of other journalists you should take it to them.” — ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.

HuffPost scribe mocks Demi-Ashton breakup

“I’ve just informed the Huffpost DC office that they can leave early if they’re too shaken by the Demi-Ashton news.” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein.

Journo has special affection for Diane Keaton

“I don’t think it’s possible for me to love someone more than I love Diane Keaton.” — WaPo Style writer Dan Zak.

Realities of White House travel

“I think jetlag is trending in northern territories,” — CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell to ABC News’s Tapper. The White House scribes were in Bali Thursday.

Belated Happy Birthday wishes for Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe. His birthday was Thursday.

“On the #NRCruise, I have to write my Tweets out longhand and attach them to carrier pidgeons, where they fly to Twitter-equipped buoys.” — National Review Online‘s Jim Geraghty, who apparently would rather be anywhere else. “One of the highlights of this #NRCruise: Missing last night’s Jets game. Urgh.”

WTOP’s Farley Joins APME

Jim Farley, VP of news and programming for WTOP, has become the first broadcaster to join Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) since its founding in 1933.  The news radio vet has also been nominated to the APME board of directors.

Farley joined WTOP in 1996 after eight years with ABC News in New York as managing editor and general manager of programming for the ABC Radio Networks. Prior to that role, he spent 13 years with NBC News (radio and television) and was the last NBC News vice president of Radio News before NBC sold their radio networks  in 1987. He began his career at all-news WINS in New York City in 1966 as a copy boy.

For more info about APME, visit www.apme.com.  Congrats to Farley!

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