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Posts Tagged ‘John Quinones’

TV Journo Ambushes Race-Biased Cabbies

Washington has found its very own John Quinones.

Tonight, WUSA9 is airing Investigative Reporter Russ Ptacek‘s ambush-style story on cab drivers who decline to drive black customers to the Southeast area.

In a preview of the report, two WUSA9 male staffers, one black, one white, attempt to hail cabs that will drive them to Alabama Ave. in Southeast. The black subject is turned down.¬†The driver’s reason: The last time he took someone Southeast, he was stiffed. Less than a block up the street, the white subject asks the same driver to be taken to roughly the same area. The driver agrees.

That’s when a calm and cool Ptacek enters the frame wearing a black suit, shoving a handheld mic through the passenger window to ask the driver why he didn’t pick up the black man. After some awkward back-and-forth, the driver, in a thick accent, tells Ptacek that he didn’t even notice the white guy was actually white. “You didn’t see that he was white?” Ptacek asks incredulously. (Sounds like another investigative piece: How many blind cab drivers are really working the streets?)

We asked Ptacek about ambushing cabbies… Read more

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Tick Tock: The Bonjean Christmas Party

The annual Christmas party held at the home of private GOP strategist¬† Ron Bonjean and his wife, Sara, can never be described as a somber affair. There are things you can bank on: a washed up actor, laughter, an ice luge, a smelly elf who makes balloon toys, more laughter, food, drink and good holiday cheer! Hoards of journos and Capitol Hill and K Street types piled into the couple’s home on Saturday night. This year’s actor was looney-eyed activist Gary Busey (a vast difference from last year’s relatively subdued Mr. Belding). Busey was a real hit with the ladies because what woman doesn’t want her bra snapped at a party? There was also an increasingly drunken dirty dancing dude in a pink bunny costume making his way around the tent. You’ll hear more about him later. We warmly bring you a moment by moment guide to the evening.

8 p.m. FishbowlDC dines with former FBDCer Matt Dornic, now at CNN, at Neyla in Georgetown. He asks the bartender what to eat that won’t cause bad breath.

10:15 p.m. FBDC arrives. We pass conservative commentator S.E. Cupp and Rep. Raul Labrador‘s (R-Idaho) Chief of Staff John Goodwin, who were leaving the party.

10:16 p.m. Spotted: House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s (R-Va.) Communication’s Director Brad Dayspring. Speak of the devil! We were just saying he’d probably be here.

10:17 p.m. A partygoer remarks: “Gary Busey is holding court somewhere. I’m going to sit on his lap.”

10:18 p.m. Be careful, warns The Hill‘s Emily Goodin. Gary Busey is “grabby.”

10: 19 p.m. NRCC Spokesman Brian Walsh introduces his new blond, shapely girlfriend around the party. He remarks, “Gary Busey is quite a character.” Another partygoer remarks, “This is getting f–king crazy. Busey is crazy.”

10:20 p.m. A male guest on Busey: “People are complaining about the boob grabs.”

10:21 p.m. Guests line up to meet Busey and take their picture with him. One enormous woman in a gray dress poses with him. He wraps his arm around her, reaches for her bra strap, and SNAP!

10:22 p.m. A woman in line laughs at the bra snapping and says, “We still gotta get a photo. What the hell, right?”

10:25 p.m. Female partygoer says, “I think there are hookers here. I don’t know what the f–k is going on.”

10:30 p.m. FBDC gets face time with Busey. He thankfully stays away from my bra strap. “We need to turn this mess into a message,” he says, speaking of the political landscape, explaining that his goal is to be a political motivational speaker (he successfully lobbied for a helmet law after he got into an accident and suffered a head trauma). I ask what side of the political spectrum he’s on and he replies, “I’m on the right side. I’m like a heat seeking missile when it comes to telling the truth.” So who’s he backing? That’d be Newt Gingrich. At this point he says he can’t hear me even though I try leaning into each ear to shout my questions at the top of my lungs above the din of mingling guests. He directs me to his publicist, Michael Conley, who’s standing nearby. “Oh, he’s very charismatic,” Conley says of Busey. “He tells the truth so people relate to him. He says what people are afraid to say. Gary has never been afraid to tell the truth because the truth is the truth.” What else would the truth be besides the truth? Who wrote these talking points? “He’s here to help humanity and be who God wants you to be,” Conley says, explaining that Busey is very into the Golden Rule. So does this mean that I get to snap his briefs?

10:45 p.m. A male Capitol Hill aide wants to discuss our Friday penis picture that accompanies our weekly feature, “Sunday Morning Panels: Only Males Need Apply.” He wants to know, “Are they wooden, are they candles?”

11 p.m. The big wild hairdo of TWT‘s Charlie Hurt is spotted afar from across the room. Recalling last year’s Bonjean Christmas party, he says this sometimes happens when he washes it. He’s taunting partygoers with a miniature silver gun that doubles as a lighter. Actually, it’s just a lighter but it has a red light on it that he keeps directing at people’s necks. USA Today’s Sue Davis stops by to say hello and make fun of his clothing, which appears to be some sort of barn jacket and khakis.

11:15 p.m. More Busey party chatter. A male partygoer says, “You’re not knocking Gary Busey. He’s at the top of his game. He lost his face and his mind.” A different male guest tells me that Busey told his date the following: “I know what we’re going to do later. We’re going to sweat.” WHAT?

11:20 p.m. Washington D.C.’s resident Cabbage Patch doll has arrived. Hello Matt Mackowiack! He’s spotted talking with Politico‘s Manu Raju and wife, Archana.

11:30 p.m. Three different female journos approach FBDC to complain about the baseball caps worn by Politico founders Jim VandeHei and John Harris. One couldn’t distinguish between the two and referred to VandeHei as the one with the fake Twitter alias (that would be Fake Jim VandeHei or Vandaheeho, a pronunciation coined by SNL late Saturday night). All the women were incensed about the hats. “They look like they’re sixth graders in a gang. It’s almost like they planned it,” said one. Another remarked that it was offensive and tacky to wear baseball caps to a Christmas party.

11: 45 p.m. The elf wanders into the crowd and begins his balloon act for The Hill‘s Goodin. Someone nearby says, “He doesn’t smell right.”

11:50 p.m. Meanwhile, the male pink bunny is randomly dirty dancing with women he passes. In a word: disturbing. The bunny knocks into FBDC. “Love you, love you,” he says.

11:55 p.m. TWT‘s Susan Crabtree walks by on her way to meet Busey. She says, “Gary Busey was in my favorite surfer movie.”

Just after Midnight: Who invited ABC “What Would You Do” host John Quinones? A drunken, crying woman is sitting down on steps with her head in her lap. Her male companion is yanking on her arm. Many in the vicinity begin to stare. She’s obviously had too much to drink. Some say she was puking. Her mascara is running. Female partygoers circle around her, wondering what to do. At one point a guy approaches the clearly hostile male companion and says with disdain, “Take her home, man.” The companion again grabs at the woman. He tries to prop her up and it’s not going smoothly, as he isn’t in such hot shape himself. They finally make it out a side door as a number of guests lament that they should have done something to help.

12:45 a.m. The witching hour is fast approaching. The party begins winding down but is still whirring with that late-night had too much to drink blue-lit aura. Ron says it’s nearly time for him to relax and have a beer. Busey and his publicist are still here. Are they contemplating a sleepover?

12:50 a.m. Goodnight. We’re outta here. Thank you Ron and Sara for your hospitality.

See more names after the jump…Also, UPDATE: Read a partygoer’s recollection about an altercation that was witnessed between Busey and the guy in the pink bunny costume.

Read more