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Posts Tagged ‘John Harris’

Politico Says Uptick of Women in Top Roles Was Not a ‘Concerted Effort’

Earlier today we published a story highlighting the marked increase of women in leadership roles at Politico. The publication, clearly founded by two males, has been dogged since it began in 2006 over the heavy presence of males in top roles. Insiders have said repeatedly that the reports were overblown. But that didn’t stop WaPo‘s Erik Wemple from highlighting the startling numbers of women who have left over the years. Or TNR from recently questioning VandeHarris over the reputation of “overt sexism” at the news outlet.

As we reported earlier today, as some top male editors are leaving the publication, they’re being replaced by women. Before this, women had already assumed top roles. We asked if this, as well as a number of other females in high-ranking roles, is a concerted effort to beat the bad rap.

Editor-in-Chief John Harris told FishbowlDC, “To be clear, I don’t  believe in our many years as editors and reporters either Jim or I were ever ‘accused of being anti-women.’ It is true that due to the circumstances of our launch we were for a time kind of top-heavy with men in ways that did not reflect our vision for POLITICO. By no means are any recent moves a reflection of some sort of ‘concerted effort’ on gender grounds. Instead, they flow naturally from our determination to get the most talented and ambitious people in jobs where they can have the most impact on our newsroom, on our business, and for our readers.”
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Politico Hires New York Mag Contributing Editor and Puts Glenn Thrush in New Role

Politico is slowly but surely putting together its magazine team. Run by Susan Glasser and Blake Hounshell, both of whom recently arrived from Foreign Policy magazine, they’ve hired on Jason Zengerle from New York Magazine and GQ. Zengerle previously wrote for The New Republic.

In addition, Glenn Thrush, the White House reporter known for his feisty arguing on Twitter, is moving over to the magazine beat. If Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris gushed any more about him, his head even in his infamous fedora, might not fit through the door. He calls him “one of our most brilliant reporters and writers” and says the “move is a natural for Glenn, whose greatest strength may be his ability to understand the ways that human character animates Washington and its large political and policy debates. Glenn is as gifted as any writer I have known at bringing this to life in vivid ways, and we are extremely enthusiastic about his new assignment.”

See the memo… Read more

Women on the Rise at Politico?

Are women on the rise at Politico? If you recall, in a recent interview with TNR, Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and Isaac Chotiner got in a verbal dust-up on the matter when Chotiner uttered the phrase “overt sexism” and suggested that Politico has a female problem. “I think women would find the premise deeply condescending,” VandeHei shot back at him, saying no one who presently works at Politico would make the charge. And the facts are what they are. Even if you argue this may just be for appearance sake, there are a lot of females in high-ranking roles.

In recent months Politico has been a steady procession of men out of leadership posts. With what looks to be a substantial overhaul of Politico management, the winners are all women. Tim Grieve, who had repeatedly been accused of treating women unfairly, is out and now at National Journal, where his new colleagues say he couldn’t be nicer; Craig Gordon, the highest ranking male outside of VandeHarris is gone as of today — he’s off to Bloomberg News, where he’ll be Deputy Managing Editor. Females in high-ranking roles at Politico include Susan Glasser, who they’ve hired to run a longform magazine project and one their newest hires, Denise Kerston Wells, who they snagged from Washingtonian, to be a senior editor for the longform project. Danielle Jones, meanwhile, is the highest ranking woman in editorial who beat out Gordon and Grieve for job, Kim Kingsley is the COO and Rachel Smolkin, who will take over for Gordon.

We asked Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris if this has been a concerted effort combat the rap and put women in top roles and will report back if he replies.

See the extremely complimentary memo from Politico on Gordon as well as Bloomberg‘s announcement… Read more

Politico’s Romano To Take Over Events in New Role

Politico’s senior political reporter Lois Romano is stepping into a new role, editor of Politico Events.

In this newly created position, she’ll help conceive, promote and plan events in conjunction with the rest of the newsroom, and serve as an events point of contact for the business side.

In a memo to the staff this morning, Politico’s John Harris says Romano, “with her extraordinary enthusiasm and wide network of Washington source relationships, is the ideal person for this job.”

She’ll continue to write, as well, he says.

The full memo, after the jump…

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Afternoon Reading List 07.30.13.

About that NYT article — Jonathan Van Meter’s piece on Anthony Weiner for the April 2013 issue of NY Times Magazine was well received. The story with the headline, “Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s Post-Scandal Playbook,” narrated Weiner’s fall from Congress, his life after and his first steps back into politics. But WaPo’s Erik Wemple argues that the story is now “being blamed for enabling Weiner’s political rehabilitation.” Weiner told Van Meter that he was “eying” the mayor’s race and enlisted the help of pollster David Binder. As many journalists do when writing profiles, Van Meter immersed himself into Weiner and Abedin’s life. But, Wemple argues, immersion wasn’t the key to this story. Instead, skepticism should have ruled his reporting. Van Meter didn’t question Weiner on when he ceased having those online sexy chatfests or phone sex, which we now know he continued having after he resigned.

Why you should read it: The NYT piece drew well deserved praise, even from the likes of Poltico Editor-in-Chief John Harris, when it was first published, but had Van Meter pushed Weiner on whether he had halted the online relationships, it could have been a very different story.

Hindsight is 20/20 — In an op-ed for Scoop San Diego, Doug Curlee says he has covered Bob Filner, San Diego’s pervert mayor, since he was elected to school board in 1979. He says that he and many other San Diego journalists knew how abrasive and abusive he was throughout his political career. Now that Filner is facing a slew charges of sexual harassment, Curlee questions why the media, including himself, didn’t investigate Filner earlier. He doesn’t know the answer, but offers a few suggestions: the media could have been lazy, because Filner had established himself as a Democratic power or because Filner controlled votes and campaign funds of “large and ever-growing organized labor groups, the unions.” None seem like good reasons to not investigate the mayor’s behavior, but Curlee says the media as a whole “didn’t try, or try hard enough” and that San Diego journalists “should be a little ashamed of that,” noting that he is.

Why you should read it: How often does a journalist say he f–ked up? That in itself is a good reason to hear him out. According to Curlee, Filner had been a subject of speculation among San Diego journalists, and he offers insight into why those stories were never pursued.

Prepared for battle — Religious scholar and author Reza Aslan’s interview Friday with Fox News’ Lauren Green has spread around the Internet like Chicken Pox before there was a vaccine, starting with it being posted by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, and labeled as one of the most embarrassing interviews to appear on the network. Green tore into Aslan asking how, as a Muslim, he can write a book about Jesus Christ. But Slate’s Josh Voorhees argues that Aslan knew what he was doing coming into the interview. In battling Green and establishing credibility for himself by listing off his college degrees, Voorhees says that Aslan “highlighted the gaping hole in Green’s line of questioning.” The interview worked out well for Aslan. After the interview, Zealot was at the top of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best-seller lists.

Why you should read it: Voorhees offers–something different–a look from Aslan’s side.

Politico as an Aphrodisiac? Please.

We’ve heard of oysters, figs, chocolate and ginseng, but Politico?

The world learned a whole lot about Anthony Weiner Tuesday, including some of the nasty ways he talked dirty to the young woman from his most recent sexting scandal, such as promising to get her a job at Politico. Politico and dirty talk isn’t that weird, is it? When we’re thinking up ways to spice our phone sex, we always think Jim VandeHei, John Harris, Jake Sherman and special Politico Pro morning features.

On yesterday’s “Bill Press Show,” Oliver Knox of Yahoo! News said he has “really woefully underestimated the aphrodisiac power of offering someone a job at Politico,” as the two talked about Weiner’s latest sexting scandal in which he did just that to Sydney Elaine Leathers at the other end of the line.

Weiner promised the woman, who lives in Chicago, a job at the publication, but, as Press pointed out to Knox, “not at Yahoo! News, because you have your standards.”

The two then imagined a new pickup line: “Hey, how would you like to cover the White House for Politico?”

We hear this is how VandeHarris picked up Politico White House reporter Glenn Thrush, but we’ve only confirmed that with half a source.

Politico Hires Todd Purdum, But He’ll Remain at Vanity Fair

Politico has hired Todd Purdum to be Senior Writer at Politico. He will, however, continue his affiliation with Vanity Fair as the mag’s Contributing Editor.

Politico Editor John Harris and Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter announced the news jointly this morning.

“Todd, in his more than 30 years in journalism, has fashioned a deserved reputation as one of the most perceptive reporters and elegant stylists of his generation,” said Harris in a release. “He’ll do at POLITICO what he has done throughout his career: write stories that vividly capture people in the news and the combination of circumstances and motives that explain their actions. POLITICO will be Todd’s home for the wealth of more in-the-moment reporting and observations that are in his head and his notebook at any time.”

Purdum has been National Editor at VF since 2006.

“We’re delighted that Todd will continue to be Vanity Fair’s man in Washington, as he has been for the past seven years, covering everything from national politics to pop culture,” said Carter. “I expect that his parallel work for POLITICO will put him in the thick of daily Washington coverage in ways that are sure to benefit all.”

Before VF, Purdum spent 23 years at NYT.

 

Mike Allen’s Hoarding Problem: The Photo Evidence


That’s a picture someone sent Gawker of Politico reporter Mike Allen‘s office when he worked at Time Magazine.

Gawker’s John Cook issued a call for the photo after The New Republic’s interview with co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei was published earlier this week.

“Our hope is that the photo above will help readers understand, holistically, how a crucial component of the Washington, D.C., media environment operates,” Cook wrote.

Indeed. It was just last earlier this month we were writing about Politico’s Jonathan Martin, who has a bit of a hoarding problem of his own. Judging by these pictures though, Allen could bury him—literally.

Andrew Sullivan Takes Up For Nate Silver

In an interview with TNR‘s Isaac Chatiner published Tuesday, Politico co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei took swipes at Nate Silver, the number-crunching NY Times journalist who correctly predicted all 50 states’ outcome in the 2012 presidential election.

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TNR Asks About Politico’s Sexism, Gets VandeHei’s Media Savvy Wrath

Politico’s Editor-in-Chief John Harris and Executive Editor Jim VandeHei recently sat down with The New Republic’s senior editor Isaac Chotiner for a two-hour interview. They talked about Politico’s role as an insidery conversation driver, about market corrections in politics (as in the flame outs of Sarah Palin, Herman Cain) and who on Capitol Hill is savvy when it comes to the media (not many, says VandeHei).

It seemed like a pretty ho-hum if not overly positive interview, at least until Chotiner brought up the charge that some women find Politico a difficult place to work. Harris responds rather matter of factly and tosses in a little deflection. He tells TNR that in the beginning, Politico was a startup and it was a difficult place for everyone to work, not just women. If that sounds like a PR-crafted soundbite, it just might be because VandeHei says sort of the same thing, just not so tactfully and with an obvious air of being on the defense. “Wait a second,” he says to Chotiner. “I want to add to what John said. I find this critique both offensive and wrong.”

From there, things went downhill. What was that about who has media savvy and who doesn’t?

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