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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Allen’

The FishbowlDC Interview With Washington Free Beacon’s Bill McMorris


McMorris-300Say hello to Washington Free Beacon writer Bill McMorris, a writer covering the labor beat for the Washington Free Beacon. Brooklyn born Bill has contributed to the conservative-leaning McMorris is the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Robert Novak Fellowship. He’s been known to sport a mean bowtie, and tweets under the handle @FBillMcMorris (according to Bill, the F stands for “Fancy”).

Let’s begin.

How often do you Google yourself? I try not to do it too often because I’m William J. McMorris III. The first time I Googled myself I found out my dad got sued.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? “I’ll have it ready in five minutes.” It always takes longer, making it the cruelest thing you can say to an editor. I make sure to say this daily.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Politico’s Jon Allen is always interesting. I never miss anything from The Weekly Standard‘s Matt Labash, Andrew Ferguson, or Free Beacon‘s Biff Diddle. But the only must-read byline I know of is on the Washington Free Beacon Staff. That guy’s always got the scoops.

budweiserIf you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? The 30 percent of my body that’s not water is recycled Budweiser.

Do you have a favorite word? Karate.

What word or phrase do you overuse? I overuse semicolons in stories and the F word in conversation.

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi, Meghan McCain or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why. McCain only because I haven’t heard of the other two and I haven’t been kicked out of a restaurant in a couple years.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in the course of your journalism career? Basically every conversation I’ve had that hasn’t involved my journalism career.

Tell us a funny story from your time as a journalist. Can be long or short. I once approached Dennis Miller at some fundraiser in Santa Barbara and said “Excuse me Mr. Miller, I’m sorry to interrupt” and he said “Yes, you are. Go stand over there.” I stood in the corner and to my surprise he came over and gave me a great interview when he finished his conversation.

FE_DA_0124_Lewinsky-279x300The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Jodi Arias or Monica Lewinksy? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) Monica Lewinsky is too old to repopulate, isn’t she? My wife’s way more violent than Arias, so I think I could handle it. I’m the oldest of nine kids, so we’d have the earth back up and running in no time. Read more

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


ARMS CROSSED: Look closely around House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s (R-Va.)  boardroom table and you see TWT‘s Senior Editor for the Opinion Page Emily Miller two people to the left of Cantor. Politico‘s Jon Allen called her out for this picture that appeared in Politico Monday. Allen wrote, “You’re in the center of the top photo on, arms crossed in annoyance? skepticism? chilliness?” Miller replied, “LOL…I am bored.” The photograph accompanied a story by Allen and colleague Jake Sherman with the headline, “Cantor ascends as GOP voice.”

The Observer

“The crickets and or cicadas have somehow perfected the mid-90s New York car alarm tonight.” –  Slate‘s John Dickerson in a Monday tweet.

Michelle gets flack for being at the Shack

“Uh, yes … I’ll have the usual. << Michelle Obama at the super-healthy Shake Shack.” — Politico‘s Matt Negrin in a Monday tweet after Politico CLICK reported that the first lady was spotted at Shake Shack in Dupont Circle. Read here.

Journo is clear Friday Night Lights fan

“Tomorrow, ESPN will air the first 2 episodes (best pilot ever) of Friday Night Lights so people can fall in love w it for 1st time or again.” Human Events Tony Lee in a Monday tweet. What Lee may not know is that he shares his strong feelings for the show with Slate’s online Magazine Editor David Plotz, who has already fallen in love with the show. It’s his must-see TV as he informed in a previous FishbowlDC interview.

Roll Call editorial asst. has a crush on who?

“Hey look, Edward Cullen is in #HarryPotter. I really did find him attractive pre-Twilight. #hpmarathon” — Roll Call‘s Jessica Estepa in a Monday tweet about Edward Cullin, the character in “Twilight” played by teen heart throb Robert Pattinson.

Bachelor’s ex says paparazzi helped destroy her relationship

“Chris needs to ask Emily to be the next Bachelorette before she leaves the set. — TWT‘s Emily Miller on Monday night during ABC’s “The Bachelorette.” During this especially candid episode, Emily Maynard, the blonde chosen by previous bachelor Brad Womack, came on and shook with tears about their recent breakup. She also complained that the paparazzi followed her to the grocery store and helped destroy their relationship. Miller added, knowingly, “If Brad can’t make it work with perfect Emily, he will never get married.” (Above, the couple in happier times.)

Boybander gives kudos to Good Magazine

“Respect to @GOOD for paying contributors before publication. Never had that happen to me before.” —‘s Spencer Ackerman in a Monday tweet.

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know...)

*But will they be funny? Commedia dell Media III tickets are officially on sale. The final lineup is 13 journo competitors. But only one will be named D.C.’s Funniest Journalist. The date: April 1. WaPo cartoonist Nick Galifianakis will host and PBS’s Miles O’Brien will headline the show. Sharpening their wits in prep for the competition, the candidates are: Politico’s Jon Allen and Meredith Shiner, NPR’s Jamila Bey, Nadia Bilbassy of the Middle East Broadcasting Company, NJ‘s Matt Cooper, WCP‘s Brooke Hatfield, WaPo‘s John Kelly, Riz Khan of al-Jazeera English, Bloomberg’s Scott Lanman, Bloomberg TV’s Lizzie O’Leary, Mike Walter of Walter Media, TWT‘s Shaun Waterman and freelancer Tim Young. Last’s year’s winner’s,’s Jamie McIntyre (who trash talked CNN last year) and FOX Business News’s Rich Edson will head a snark panel of judges, but audience input will anoint the winner. Buy tickets here: $15 online and $20 the night of the show. The event takes place at the National Press Club. Starting time: 8 p.m.

*The Irony As the House gears up to vote on funding for NPR, NPRNews releases its “Song of the Day.” That would be Jessica Lea Mayfield‘s “Strength In Vulnerability.”

*Gender Confusion on Capitol Hill: The Hill‘s Christina Wilkie reporting over Twitter that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) referred to Under Sec. for Defense Michele Flournoy as a man. “Has @RosLehtinen ever met under secretary Flournoy, who she just quoted on the House floor? Because Flournoy is a Ms., not a Mr.” Wilkie wrote.

FishbowlDC’s Brag Book: Meet Derek Wallbank

bragbook_100x100.gif Good morning FishbowlDC! Meet our friend, Derek Wallbank. Wallbank was most recently a researcher at CQ Daybook and Maine beat writer for CQ Politics. Before CQ, Derek was a K-12 reporter and politics blogger for the Lansing State Journal in Michigan.

Even after a pretty rough day at work, our boy Derek took some time to catch up with FishbowlDC. He responded to his interview before I even opened my computer this morning. Talk about calm during crisis and knowing how to rock a deadline…


What working journalist do you most admire and why? The journalist I still try and live up to is a guy named Thomas P. Morgan who used to work for a small alternative weekly in Lansing Mich. He covered city hall and used to smoke everyone on that beat. Not just win, but leave people in his wake. Now, Tom’s a smart guy, but I put his success down to the simple fact that he flat out outworked everyone else. He didn’t take kindly to spin and didn’t let someone’s B.S. get in the way of cold, hard facts. I’ve always looked up to him for that.

Among active journalists in the D.C. area, I’m a big fan of Dana Priest, Jake Tapper and my friend and former colleague Jon Allen. Priest because she is an investigative reporter without peer, in my estimation. Tapper is probably the most tenacious questioner in the White House Press Corps this side of Helen Thomas. And Allen, to me, is the best reporter covering Congress full stop.

Proudest moment in your career? I find most of my biggest successes in journalism have happened because other folks decided they had better things to do with their time than chase a story any more.

For example, one night in April 2008, I decided to pop over to a giant block party in East Lansing called Cedar Fest that some folks had thought was going to turn ugly. Most TV crews and reporters buggered off after 1 a.m., assuming everything would be OK, but I decided to stay and watch because I got a sense the crowd was going to get unruly. That night turned out to be one of the worst riots in Michigan State University history, and I wound up filing the final version of my story at 7 a.m. while reeking from tear gas. My paper was the only professional media organization to provide a comprehensive play-by-play of what happened that night, mainly because most other reporters just gave up and went home to bed.

What is something that most people don’t know about you? My wife and I are big renaissance fair aficionados. She dresses up for it, though I have so far managed to not have to wear the dreaded kilt. Even in plain clothes, what better way could there be to spend a Saturday than drinking mead while watching a joust and cheering on your favorite horseman in a loud, moderately obnoxious faux-British accent?

What’s your guilty pleasure? Diet fruity-flavored soda, like diet Sunkist or Fresca. My dad always told me that the orange soda would turn my skin that color, which is just as well I suppose because despite growing up in Miami, Fla., I seem wholly incapable of tanning. Orange glow is the next best thing, right?

If you’re looking for a hardworking reporter with experience in newspaper, magazine, online and visual journalism – including video, consider Derek Wallbank. He specialize in campaigns and elections, politics, education, breaking news and soft features. More importantly, FishbowlDC guarantees that he won’t wear period garb to work…unless you’re into that.

You can check out one of Derek Nigel Wallbank’s recent articles here, catch up with him on LinkedIn, Facebook or by contacting FishbowlDC. We’d be more than happy to get you his contact details.

Read Derek’s responses to the rest of our questions after the jump.

Read more

Several Stars Up for Grabs After CQ-Roll Call Cuts

Help Wanted? Now’s your chance! FishbowlDC has confirmed that SpyTalk’s Jeff Stein (one of my favorite reads), Chris Lehmann and award-winning reporter Jonathan Allen are all on the market after today’s layoffs at CQ-Roll Call.

Chris Lehmann @lehmannchris tweets:

I am now officially redundant, the Brits who canned me would say. Any jobleads, free drinks, career advice in the DC region warmly welcome

One thing being laid off has taught me: If anyone hugs me in this condition, I WILL cry. Fair notice.

From Jeff Stein:

“I have loved every minute of doing SpyTalk, which has gained a fervently loyal and growing readership, and I hope I can continue to do it somewhere else without missing a day. I have a lot of good stories in the pipeline.”

Our running list…

Jeff Stein
Jon Allen
Chris Lehmann
Derek Wallbank
Darren Harper
David Baumann
Avery Palmer
Amanda Munoz-Temple
Chuck Hoskinson
Thomas Hannett
Matt Speiler
Karoun Demirjian
Jodi Schneider
Vicki Needham
Stephen Langel
Jay Heflin
Adjoa Adofo
Karoun Demirjian
Bart Jansen
Greg McDonald
Adam Graham Silverman
Maureen Conners
Susan Shipp
Rachel Kapochunas
Matt Johnson
Paul Krawzak
Amanda Hirsch
Jessica Coomes
Dan Fowler

Drop us a line to let your future employers know you’re available.