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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Strupp’

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Crazy or festive?

“Hannukah on my mind? swear I just read a headline, ‘Earth’s Moon May Have Latkes.’ — ABC News’s Rick Klein.

Forget Bradley Cooper, there’s George

“@GStephanopoulos without question is…. #sexiestmanalive” — Ali Wentworth, Comedian and wife of ABC’s GMA George Stephanopoulos.

Party crasher prides himself on ‘politeness’

“Nice to be known as polite I suppose.” — Media Matters writer Joe Strupp who tried to crash Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson‘s party for Jack Abramoff on Wednesday night.

Communications exec David Bass’s wife, Hope, shows off her stylish bingo person at the Abramoff book party. We’re not sure what the deeper meaning (or meaning) behind it is, but she wanted it documented.

Party down at Teatro Goldoni

“Sheer fun.” — Publicist Janet Donovan‘s description for FishbowlMatt’s farewell soiree last night at Teatro Goldoni. Scribes like Politico‘s Patrick Gavin, Karin Tanabe, The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz, Roll Call‘s Neda Semnani, USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich, TWT‘s Emily Miller, and CBS’s Christine Delargy were in the mix. Other guests: Nick Massella, Meghan Smith, Kelley McCormick, Jared Allen, and Glenn Ballard (who sometimes wears macrobiotic clothing). Donovan donned dark sunglasses for the lovely, low-lit affair. And we learned this fun fact: Judy Kurtz (a.k.a. Howdy Judy, Howeesha, Howlma) told us the nickname her friends call her. It’s Jew-dog. or Ju-dog. It was this Fishbowl writer’s first encounter with her. A pleasure to meet you, Howiella.

Reporter plays matchmaker for soldier

“Sgt. Scott Moore, the Marine attending the birthday ball with Mila Kunis, just cracked us up at Marine Corps Times. He sees me as a ‘wingman’ in getting his date.” — Army Times’ Dan Lamothe. Moore credited Lamothe for posting his video and landing the date. Read here.

Tschida hears noises in the night

“Sounds like someone stomping around upstairs at night. getting LOUDER. exterminator says it has to be a raccoon. I just hope it is.” — ABC7′s wild train rider and all around Drama King Stephen Tschida.

AnonymASS Tipster of the Week

“Who the F is Lewis?” — An AnonymASS reader writes in after our post on The Daily Caller‘s Media Writer Matt Lewis after our post yesterday.

Tick Tock: Jack Abramoff Book Party

Today FishbowlMatt and I take you inside last night’s book party at the Northwest Washington home of Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and his wife, Susie, for famed ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The book: Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist. We’ll give you a play-by-play interpretation of what went down — FishbowlDC style. Some of it’s blind quoting, eavesdropping, and prison jokes, for which we make no apologies. Some of it’s petty and juvenile and involves taking advantage of people who have had a few drinks (a la HuffPost‘s Drunken Specialist Sam Stein), for which we also make no apologies. By the way, actor Kevin Spacey and former Washington Mayor Marian Barry both RSVP’d that they’d attend. Neither showed. Who did? Find out after the jump…

Let’s begin.

5:07 p.m. FishbowlMatt texts and wants to know what I’m wearing. I tell him I’m dressing down, that we’re going to a party where there will be an island of misfits and we can wear whatever we want. I assure him my outfit will not incorporate Stephanie Green golf ball-size multi-strand pearl necklaces.

6:40 p.m. We arrive fashionably early Tucker’s house and are greeted by friendly valets.

6:41 p.m. Publicist Janet Donovan arrives by cab with a giant golden handbag.

6:42 p.m. It’s 66 degrees outside. Roaring fire clearly for ambiance. Not function.

6:45 p.m. Tucker is holding court by the fireplace discussing the Politico story about The Daily Caller‘s “growing pains” published earlier in the day. He has a lot of reactions, one of which involves explaining the importance of “pissing up.” All in all, the story didn’t upset him.

6:55 p.m. We go to the more remote bar off the living room where intern Jordan Bloom is dressed in a white shirt and black bow tie and tending bar. Matt writes, “We meet Jordan Bloom, battered intern.”

7 p.m. Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle arrives and chats up Tucker about the Politico story. Boyle refuses to talk to any member of the press on the record.

7:10 p.m. We run into communications exec David Bass in a big fat striped suit. The suit has fat blue and white stripes; Bass isn’t plump. We start snapping his picture. He wants a do over, explaining, “I have the same stupid look on my face in every picture. Let me try not to look stupid.”

7:20 p.m. Oh look. It’s The Weekly Standard/Daily Caller‘s Matt Labash. He quickly admires FishbowlMatt’s gray tweed pants and says I’m not allowed to write anything about anything he says or he’ll break both my legs (the first part of this is true). FBDCMatt describes his trousers as a “tweed flannel hybrid.” Labash is clearly impressed.

7:21 p.m. More guests arrive. FishbowlMatt commentary: “There’s a glitterball coming in right now.”

7:22 p.m. Bathroom door locks but doesn’t latch. Not worth taking a chance. (Capitol File Editor-in-Chief Kate Bennett will later say someone walked in on her while she was in the can. She says she was just washing her hands.)

7: 25 p.m. Politico‘s Patrick Gavin and FishbowlMatt begin an in-depth conversation about no-iron shirts. Matt says he’s a “holy hell sweater.” Gavin says he plans to buy a decent wardrobe in the new year. Tonight he has worn a long-sleeved maroon shirt made of waffle material. It’s from the Gap.

7:30 p.m. I place a half-full wine glass on a stack of Jack Abramoff books for a moment and an undisclosed reporter says, “He was in prison for three years and tried not to get rimmed and look what you’re doing with a wine glass on the Abramoff books.”

7:33 p.m. An undisclosed reporter asks, “Who is that fat guy on the couch? I mean, he’s ‘stop-on-the-street’ fat. Isn’t he?”

7:34 p.m.: NYT‘s Mark Leibovich chats with partygoers. He says the book’s slowly coming along but that he must get back to regular newspaper writing soon. Guests tell him they can’t wait to read his book.

7:35 p.m. The living room speeches begin. Tucker says (in part): “I think Jack is a genuinely nice person. I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been humiliated in public.” He mentions being on “Dancing With the Stars.”

7:37 p.m. Jack: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he tells a packed room of guests. “This is my first book and may be my last if no one reads it.” He explains that his publicist Janet “is working me to the ground. I had 17 interviews today. I don’t have a tail and horns.” He says his wife, Pam, doesn’t read newspapers or watch TV. He also says she kept removing herself from the book until he explained that he had to explain where their children came from. Jack on prison life: “It’s a horrific place.” Jack on the kindness of others: “I’m not sure we deserve it, but I hope we keep meriting your friendship.” He recounts being on FNC’s Sean Hannity‘s program last week. He told Hannity he was going to appear on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell‘s show. Hannity tried to talk him out of it, telling him it was a waste of time. Jack appeared on O’Donnell’s “Last Word” anyhow and grew frightened as he spotted Michael Moore. He thought to himself, ‘We better hide.’ Soon he hears Moore inquiring, “Where’s Jack?” Moore approached and said, “God bless you. Keep up the great work. It’s fantastic.” Jack’s reaction: “Am I dreaming?” He calls the evening at Carlson’s home “the finest night of our lives in the last eight years. This tops them all.”

8:30 p.m. (roughly): A guest is ready to leave. He remarks, “I think I’ve done my time here, so to speak.” Reporters in the vicinity laugh.

Find out which reporter with a liberal agenda crashed the party…

Read more

FNC’s Sammon Accused of Slanting News

As promised, Media Matters’s Joe Strupp wasn’t done going after Fox News. This afternoon he comes out with a story on Fox News management, specifically Washington Managing Editor and V.P. of News Bill Sammon. The piece claims that there is pressure on Fox News reporters by management  (Sammon’s a known conservative) to “distort” or “slant” the news.

The story cites two unnamed sources. Not surprisingly, Fox News PR provided no comment when approached.

An excerpt:

Sources tell Media Matters that the situation in the Fox Washington bureau represents a dramatic change from when Hume was managing editor. According to one source, the pressure to slant Fox’s reporting is coming from Sammon himself. Another source says that directives are coming from Fox management in New York and that Sammon — unlike Hume — doesn’t have enough sway to push back.

On Fox News’s Tail: Fishbowl5 With Media Matters Senior Editor Joe Strupp

Media Matters Investigative Reporter and Senior Editor Joe Strupp recently wrote about what it’s really like for reporters to deal with Fox News PR. Critics questioned the validity of his story because Media Matters is a clear foe to Fox News. We caught up with Strupp for a quick five questions about how his story unfolded. He said he spoke with Fox News PR for his  story, but the conversation was off the record. “The only thing they would allow on the record was the statement for the story, which is they declined comment,” he said. Strupp isn’t done — he’s busy working on Part II, the results of which promise to uncover new tantalizing behind-the-scenes details. “Yes, we will remain on the Fox News treatment of reporters story,” said Strupp, who, before Media Matters, spent a decade at Editor & Publisher magazine.

1. How did the story come about? I started asking reporters about Fox News, but about something else. In talking to them, they all started saying the same thing. To be fair, my original story was something about Fox News doing something wrong. I don’t want to repeat it as it turned out to be a tip that didn’t pan out. Reporters began telling me they were very restrictive, difficult to deal with.

2. Was it difficult to get reporters to go on record for this? Yes, I think the story has three reporters on the record out of six or seven. They were all afraid of retribution. What a shock. They were afraid that Fox News would treat them even worse.

3. How much do you watch Fox News? More than I used to. I’ve never been a fan of it, but part of my job is to keep an eye on them. I watch probably several hours of it a day. I actually listen to it all the time. I peak at Hannity, sometimes O’Reilly.

4. What kind of effect do you think watching so much FNC has on you? It’s reminding me what they do wrong, which is push a lot of inaccuracies and a real slant, especially during daytime hours. I don’t think people know how much misinformation comes out. It can rattle your optimism about journalism when you watch so much Fox News, but it’s a good reminder that Media Matters is valuable because [FNC] really does have such a sharp brand of poor journalism.

5. Do you ever enjoy watching despite your best efforts? I can find some  of it humorous because it becomes so ridiculous in some cases when the lies or unfairness is so clear. I am such a news junkie and have such respect for this business. I think all of us are lucky to be in this biz that to see someone like Fox News trample it is more angering than funny. I think that the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert brand of news is funny – they actually have more of a brand of truth than Fox News does. I have relatives who watch Fox News. They say it’s entertaining, lively, shouting back and forth. To me, it’s not interesting for news, it’s just babble and a waste of time.

Fox News PR Calls First, Emails Dirt Later

A story published today by Media Matters writer Joe Strupp gets inside the inner-workings of the Fox News PR shop. The piece reports that Fox News PR shop is unusually aggressive with reps instituting odd rules and asking demanding questions, in at least one case asking a reporter to lie. Strupp’s main assertion is that Fox News PR pitches negative stories about other cable networks more than any other network.

An excerpt:

One veteran reporter said anonymously, “They are in touch more than anyone else, they call or e-mail me with pitches, ideas, some that are positive about Fox but also negative about other people,” said one veteran media reporter who requested anonymity. “Other cable news networks are not like that. That is a hallmark of them; that is a thing they do.”

(That reporter offered e-mail evidence to Strupp that Fox News PR had pitched negative stories on MSNBC and poor ratings on CNN’s John King)

Strupp’s piece cites LAT‘s James Rainey on record as well as Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times. We’ll see if they get blacklisted if they aren’t already.

Oh, and the phone? We know first-hand and from many other reporters around Washington that when pitching negative pieces on other networks they prefer the phone as opposed to e-mail and will relentlessly call from blocked numbers until a reporter picks up.

Not surprisingly, a Fox News spokesperson declined to comment for Strupp’s story. (The above photograph is dirt.)

Morning Reading List, 11.12.08


Good morning Washington.

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

Read more

Morning Reading List, 10.31.08


Good morning Washington.

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

Read more

Downie Previews His Book

From E&P:

    You know the guessing game will begin once Leonard Downie Jr.’s new novel, The Rules of the Game, comes out in January from Knopf. …

    Downie, who spoke to us from his new office at the Post Monday where he is now vice president at large — having left the executive editor job just last Friday — says there is no link to Post folks: “It is not about The Washington Post,” he stresses. “I wouldn’t do anything fictional about the Post.”

    But, he reveals, the fictional editor of the paper, one Lou Runyan, is based partially on a Post legend: “The only person in the book modeled on a real person is the editor in the book, who is clearly modeled on Ben Bradlee, aspects of Ben Bradlee — including his bravery as an editor.”

Side note: E&P was quite late to this whole “blogging” thing and Joe Strupp is no exception, having failed to link to a blog post he cites by the Washington Post’s Matt Schudel on Downie’s departure.

Read Schudel’s piece here.

Step it up Dinosaur Strupp!

Morning Reading List, 04.09.08

Good morning Washington. It’s Joe Scarborough’s birthday! Also: Hugh Hefner and Jenna Jameson (why are we not surprised they share a day…thanks MicCheck). Also, on this day in 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:


  • Most of you have broken a bone.

  • Today’s “Angry Journalist” rant of the day: “My best friend was laid off, and she was the smartest person there. There was no good reason. It was ‘budgetary.’ I have no more faith in this industry.”


  • The slow-drip continues…more WHCA news.

  • Pulitzer Day: Keller Brings Up ASME’s, Polks; WaPo Rager

  • Hillary Clinton (55%) finished narrowly behind Barack Obama (56%) in the race for press exposure last week. But a Clinton-centric narrative was the focus of the campaign coverage for March 31-April 6, according to a Project for Excellence in Journalism study.”

  • The AP reports, “Newspaper readers agree with editors on the basics of what makes good journalism, but they are more apt to want looser rules for online conversations, a new study on news credibility has found.”

  • The Cornell Daily Sun reports, “Yesterday afternoon, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nicholas D. Kristof delivered a lecture on the current human rights violations in Sudan and China’s controversial involvement in the continuation of the civil conflict. The New York Times columnist has visited the war-torn region of Darfur in Sudan on several occasions and urges the international community — especially Americans — to focus their attention on providing more aid, including political relief, in hope of ending the genocide.”

  • CJR’s Dean Starkman writes, “The big winner in yesterday’s Pulitzers? The investigation. Sure, The Washington Post won six. But newspapering’s highest—and most important—form won at least that many. Not only did our brothers and sisters upstairs on the Pulitzer Board award two investigative prizes, to Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker of The New York Times and to the Chicago Tribune staff for work on tainted medicine and consumer goods, an investigative thread ran through most of the major awards—including the Public Service award, given to The Washington Post staff for the work of Dana Priest, Anne Hull, and photographer Michel du Cille.”

  • Plain Dealer Columnist Ted Diadiun writes, “‘There is no patent on a good idea,’ an editor friend used to say. The pithy comment essentially summed up the source of most good newspaper stories: Other people.”

  • Dave Barry writes, “I’ve had many entertaining arguments with Gene on a wide range of issues, including which of us has a bigger oosik. (An oosik is the bone from the penis of a walrus. Gene and I each own one.) We’ve both won some arguments and lost some; neither of us, to my recollection, has ever been gracious about it. One of the running jokes that developed between us is that at some point in the argument, usually early, I will remind Gene that I have won a Pulitzer Prize, and he has not. I have used this particular argument — this is a conservative estimate — 119 million times. And Gene has never had a good answer for it. Until today. I am very pleased to report that Mr. Gene Weingarten has won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Gene, congratulations on an honor that is well-deserved and overdue. I’m thrilled for you, and genuinely happy that I can never use that particular argument against you again.”

  • Check out yesterday’s chat with Pulitzer Prize-winner Gene Weingarten.

  • E&P’s Joe Strupp reports, “Inside Word at Pulitzer Announcement: Entries Down, But Online Up.” Also, E&P has a round-up of winners and their stories, including Steven Pearlstein, Gene Weingarten, Amy Harmon, David Umhoefer, The Chicago Tribune editors and Michael Ramirez.

  • AJR’s John Morton writes, “Shortsighted cutbacks pose a serious threat to the future of newspapers.”

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  • TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer says, “Strategy Room Becomes Part of FNC Weekend.”

  • An ABC release announced, “‘ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson’ placed 1st among key demo viewers last week, tying NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ in the demo rating and share; both broadcasts averaged a 2.1/8 among Adults 25-54. Among Total Viewers, ‘World News’ averaged 7.98 million, placing second. Compared to a year ago, ‘World News’ posted gains among key demo viewers, increasing 6%. Additionally, for the twelfth time in thirteen weeks, the ABC News broadcast won among Women 25-54, averaging a 2.4/9.’”

  • A NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams’ was the most-watched network evening newscast, winning the week of March 31, 2008. The Williams-led newscast averaged 8.267 million total viewers”

  • The Huffington Post reports, “Disney’s Bob Iger Explains Why ABC Passed On CNN Outsourcing, Why Media Concentration Is ‘A Joke’”

  • Silver Spring-based Discovery unveiled to advertisers yesterday its celebrity-encrusted plans for the new cable network Planet Green — the Prius of programming. Planet Green rises like the phoenix from the ashes of Discovery Home at 6 p.m. on June 4.

  • Small cable firms protest

  • CBS layoffs signal a financial squeeze on TV stations

  • DCTRV reports, “NBC Washington started handing out Sony HD cameras to all network field crews on Thursday, 4/3. NBC currently has four HD edit suits available and plans on upgrading the microwave system to full HD by the end of the summer.”

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  • Reuters reports, “Viral sensation Obama Girl and satirical political corruption fighters Swift Kids for Truth along with Web sites for the New York Times and National Public Radio (NPR) have been nominated for Webby awards.”

  • Britannica Blog reports, “We’ll launch our blog forum on ‘Newspapers & the Net’ with an excerpt from Nick’s book. Throughout this forum assorted writers, journalists, bloggers, and media scholars will discuss and debate the state of newspapers in the digital age. Some of the participants will address Nick’s ideas directly, and others will talk generally about the impact of new media on traditional avenues of publishing. Lively debate will occur along the way, and we welcome your input, your comments and perspectives, and encourage your participation in these discussions.”

  • PostGlobal launched a blog called “Pomfret’s China“. “It will be
    written by Outlook Editor of The Washington Post John Pomfret and will cover the political, economic, and cultural elements playing into China’s rise as a world power.” Also coming to is “Intel Dump” by Phillip Carter. His blog will explore issues of national security and intelligence relating to American diplomatic, military and economic power.”

  • “C-SPAN wants to know, ‘What issue in this election is most important to you, and why?’ Shoot a short video response to this question and post it on our YouTube page! Now through the eve of the Pennsylvania primaries, YouTube users and C-SPAN viewers can upload their video to the YouTube/C-SPAN webpage.”

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  • Atlantic Media, owner of The Atlantic and National Journal, is close to selling its controlling stake in 02138 magazine to Sandow Media, WWD has learned. A spokesman for Sandow confirmed that the deal was in its final stages, but said it had not closed.”

  • TVNewser reports, “Former MSNBC VP Tammy Haddad, now president of Haddad Media, has been named to the Folio: 40. An annual list of magazine industry ‘influencers and innovators.’ Haddad is honored for showing ‘the magazine world that producing compelling video content doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition.’ Hadded is working with Newsweek on their video ventures.”

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  • DCRTV reports, “DC-based XM Satellite Radio will broadcast from the Newseum during the grand opening festivities on Friday, 4/11. XM’s presidential election channel (XM-130) will be live from the new newsgathering museum on Capitol Hill from 11 AM to 4 PM. Also, DCRTV hears that former WMALer Chris Core, who now works for the POTUS channel, will emcee the opening from 7 AM to 9 AM Friday.”

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  • Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam writes, “Samantha Power didn’t get the memo! Nor, apparently, did retired John F. Kennedy School of Government — sorry, Harvard Kennedy School — professor Francis Bator. Both have been using the K-School’s ‘old’ name in communications of late. The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, whose ‘discussion papers’ stare up at me from the bottom of my wastebasket, is still using the no-longer operative moniker, ‘John F. Kennedy School . . . etc., etc.’”

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  • The Washington Social Diary reports, “True to its nature, in this town the power lunch spots get ranked in hierarchical order. The top is the top, meaning the leading power dining room would be the White House ‘Mess.’ The name belies its quiet authority, sitting as it does in the West Wing basement, under the Oval Office, and across the hall from the ‘Sit Room.’”

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  • Arcom Publishing, Inc. is looking for a Staff Reporter.

  • Bristol Herald Courier is looking for a Sports Editor.

  • The Advisory Board Company is seeking a Copy Editor, Health Line Group.

  • Patuxent Publishing Co. is looking for a General Assignment Reporter.

  • PBS Newshour is looking for a Desk Assistant.

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    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext

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