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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Chait’

Morning Chatter


“I wonder if he lurks on Twitter, if he has a secret Twitter account. … Does he have the BuzzFeed app?” — BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, referencing President Obama at “BuzzFeed Brews” last night at Jack Rose Saloon in conversation with ex-Obama aides Tommy Vietor and Jon Favreau.


Commenter abhors FLOTUS and POTUS abbreviations

“FLOTUS – POTUS – Such stupid and ugly abbreviations… Wish they’d go away forever. Please stop using them. What’s wrong with First Lady and President? Answer: Nothing.” — Rose, who remarked on this post.

In case you think you’re having a bad day…

“Man breaks into home, rants about zombies, then is shot to death, according to police” — LAT

And now, an incredibly boring parody of Politico Playbook by TNR….See here. Or don’t. But either way you’ve been warned.

Meanwhile…Slate has a magnificent photo magic show that’ll help you determine if MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow is the son of Frank Sinatra or Woody Allen. See here.

 Atlantic Wire headline on Politico’s Monday memo: “Politico Has No Time For Your Loser Attitude”


“Would be pretty great if @Morning_Joe called itself ‘Morning Jehosephat’ for just one day.” — TNR.

imagesSuzanne Somers on the radar screen

New York Mag’s Jonathan Chait: “Suzanne Somers writes an anti-Obamacare Wall Street Journal column. Her views are not as deep as you might expect.” Read here. He points out, “If your newspaper is going to publish a weekly column by Karl Rove, you have already crossed whatever conceptual boundary might stop you from publishing Suzanne Somers.”

“Anybody who criticizes Suzanne Somers has to go through me first. National treasure.” — “The Takeaway” congressional reporter Todd Zwillich.

Question to Ponder in Privacy of Your Own Home: “Dude. Why didn’t they just have the NSA design the Obamacare website?” — CNN’s Zach Wolf.

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Journo Asks: Can I Wear Undies to the Gym?

images-1This week we featured a remark from Politico‘s Roger Simon declaring that he had underwear older than a guy who just turned 30. NRSC Strategist Brad Dayspring was particularly grossed out by this. Well, today we have another underwear situation on our hands.

It’s New York Mag’s D.C. reporter Jonathan Chait, who apparently wants to wear his boxers to the hotel gym because he forgot to pack workout attire.

Chait got a number of surprising pieces of advice, one of which was to double up on his boxers and head to the gym. “Intriguing,” Chait said on Twitter. “Can I get a ruling on this?” Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day


Understatement: TNR staffer hates to wait

“Fuck me. That took three hours of my life and I still don’t have a press badge.” — The New Republic‘s staff writer Julia Ioffe who spent much of her day getting credentialed for President Obama‘s inauguration.

Writer admits to weepy day

“Spent a lot of time crying earlier today. Then I remembered that time Herman Cain sang the lyrics of amazing grace to the tune of danny boy.” — Freelancer Moe Tkacik.

Asst. managing editor chases tow truck

“There’s just nothing like sprinting after your car, which is being towed, in the rain.” — Katherine Miller, Asst. Managing Editor for Washington Free Beacon. The conclusion: “Don’t worry: I did outrun the tow truck, which chauffeured me to a nearby ATM.”

Deep thoughts on abortion with WaPo’s Gene Weingarten

“It is an early fetus, Ken. Not a kid till it screams on a plane or poops out the diaper leg hole.” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten to Newsbusters’ Ken Shepherd and his flatulent-ridden colleague Tim Graham. Shepherd had written to the open liberal Weingarten, “A human fetus, ergo a human being, ergo a human child. But if it helps you sleep at night, continue to lie to yourself about the child-killing nature of abortion.”

New York mag writer says Atlantic shouldn’t whore its brand

“Earnest tweet: Best way to help the great journalists at The Atlantic is to let business side grasp there are limits to whoring their brand.” — New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, in regards to Scientology “sponsor content” published in The Atlantic.

Which TV journo is recovering from bronchitis; which flak prefers shorter voicemails and a clear phone number? Read more

Exits Polls: The $#!& of American Politics

Exit Polls are apparently the flakes of dirt under our feet and in the cracks of our toes, the regurgitated fish food not even fish want to eat nearing their last breath of life. HuffPost‘s Senior Polling Editor Mark Blumenthal wrote Tuesday morning, “Hard as it may be, you should try to ignore them, at least until the polls close. And even then, take the underlying vote estimates with big grains of salt.” You getting the picture?

On Tuesday afternoon as exit polls began surfacing, journalists on Twitter had rather graphic metaphorical descriptions for the polls very few respect.

The New Yorker‘s David Grann remarked, “Exit polls are like poisoned mushrooms to a starving man.” And New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait chimed in, “I swear I was going to write drinking seawater in a lifeboat.”

The Takeaway’s congressional radio reporter Todd Zwillich then entered the fray, saying, “It’s not just an exit poll, it’s a PRELIMINARY exit poll. The Double-Stuf Oreo of nothingness.”

And YG Action Fund’s Brad Dayspring, ex-flack to House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor stepped up, saying, “The exits seem way off compared to the activity being seen on the ground and reported from key areas. Again, take exists as a morsel of info.”

Soon Iowahawkblog‘s David Burge had something to say about these loathsome polls. He wrote, “Exit polls: the asbestos-laced leaded paint chips of the political playground.”

And in summation, Washington City Paper Editor Mike Madden seemed to wrap up the collective sentiment, saying, “Am basically treating the early leaked exit polls as if they were imaginary numbers. No point even thinking about them.”

Lawyer Warns Jen Rubin of ‘Streisand Effect’

WaPo‘s Jennifer Rubin tweeted late last month that she was working to have an imposter removed from Twitter. Today, the fake account is still up, active and causing all kinds of trouble.

“I’m sure it’s fun for the @JRubinBIogger account to fool people, but it’s extremely unfair to @JRubinBlogger,” a sympathetic Dave Weigel of Slate tweeted Saturday. New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait questioned, “How can there be two Twitter accounts with the same name?” Rubin chimed in to explain that the fake Rubin’s username is spelled with a capital “i” instead of a lowercase “l” in “Blogger.” Though the fake account generally tweets things that parody conservatives and the bio on the fake account says “Not the real Rubin, duh,” the font Twitter uses renders the two names indiscernible.

Rubin told Weigel and Chait that “we are taking legal action.” Asked if “we” refers to WaPo and whether she has retained a lawyer, Rubin told FishbowlDC, “We are asking Twitter to remove it.”

Twitter is only six years old and even younger in terms of mainstream popularity. As with everything else on the Internet, laws that govern it aren’t quite set in stone. David L. Hudson Jr., a lawyer and scholar with the First Amendment Center who also teaches media law at Vanderbilt University, compared Rubin’s problem to cyber squatting — a practice wherein one person buys an obvious domain name that would be beneficial to someone else. For example, it would be like V.P. Joe Biden purchasing the domain “”

If [Twitter impersonators] get to be enough of a problem there may have to be another law passed,” Hudson said. He called it a “balancing act,” of protecting someone’s privacy and publicity rights while also protecting the right “to comment and parody and otherwise engage in protected speech.”

Hudson wouldn’t comment on whether Rubin could make a case in court, but said “generally” courts are applying existing law to new media.

And existing media law is tricky enough. “Parody is generally permissible under the law,” said Erik Pelton, a trademark and copyright attorney in Virginia. “Several areas of law could intersect in these cases,” he said, “including rights of publicity, which are complicated because they vary significantly by state.” Pelton added that even at the state level, it is “difficult” to determine what law to apply and said that if something “is clearly a parody based on its tone and substance,” it would be “difficult to shut down.”

Lastly, Pelton warned that Rubin should be cautious of the “Streisand effect,” a phenomenon that occurs when attention is inadvertently directed at something by complaining about it.

Michelle Fields’ New Title: Robotic Retweeter

When reporters tweet links to news stories, they often include a specific line or write a snappy description of what they found interesting. Doing so alerts followers that the reporter actually read the story and gleaned something.

For example, Business Insider‘s Joseph Weisenthal recently tweeted a link to a column about trouble with the Federal Reserve. Weisenthal pulled the colorful (if nauseous) line “The Fed is in a hole—a Jackson Hole,” which appears halfway through the column and tweeted it with the link.

Likewise, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait tweeted a link to a post by WaPo‘s Ezra Klein. “Agree with Klein that Paul Ryan is right: Obama cut Medicare to fund Obamacare,” Chait wrote.

BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski tweeted a link to a “Call Me Maybe” cover by Sen. Orrin Hatch. “It’s as awkward as it sounds,” Kaczynski wrote. See how this works?

Michelle Fields, who recently parted ways with The Daily Caller, operates differently. As of late, she’s been copying and pasting headlines she presumably finds interesting and tweeting them with their respective links. Did she even read the stories?  Read more

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Journo becomes cast expert

“I have it on good authority that casts for broken wrists now come in a bewilderingly vast array of colors.” — AFP‘s Olivier Knox, who explained to FishbowlDC that his “saintly wife” has suffered a broken wrist.

Bio of the Day

Gawker’s Political Editor Jim Newell: “I was a journalism major in college, so I have every reason to believe my research is accurate.”

The Media Critic

“Why is Matt Lauer talking to, never mind grilling, Donald Trump like he’s the head of the RNC.” — Editor-at-Large NRO, LAT and USA Today Columnist, FNC Contributor Jonah Goldberg.

White House Oops!

“S*#t happens — but WH just sent out two — count em, two — background emails referring to Va. Gov McDonnell as ‘McDonald’ before correx.” — Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait to The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza: “The dull truth is that the presence of diseased monkeys running loose in the streets does not change things much in Ohio.”

More demons at Tschida’s house

“TV’s in house turn themselves on during day now. No reason why, cant stop it. Will just live with it and hope it stops eventually.” — ABC7 TV reporter Stephen Tschida.

A love note to Fox News

“Dear Fox News, don’t play our music on your evil f*cking channel ever again. Thank you.” — Maroon5′s  Adam Levine. (h/t Politico Amie Parnes‘s twitter feed)


TNR Announces Myriad of New Hires

TNR is adding to and changing its roster.

Timothy Noah: A new TNR senior editor. Noah (at right) worked for TNR in the 80s as an intern and then a staff writer. He’ll write a blog and a column. He replaces Jonathan Chait who moved on to NY Magazine.

Alec MacGillis: Hired from WaPo. MacGillis (at left) will cover the 2012 election.

Eliza Gray: Promoted to staff writer.

Walter Shapiro: Special correspondent. Shapiro (at right) formerly worked for the now defunct Politics Daily.

Cameron Abadi: Hired from Foreign Policy Magazine. He’ll be a deputy editor and will oversee a web redesign.

See the internal memo…

Read more

BREAKING: The Unthinkable. Two Ezra’s?

WaPo‘s liberal blogger Ezra Klein expressed concern just moments ago that there may be confusion about the existence of another Ezra.  “I had no idea you had children. I thought you were like 26,” a Twitter follower named Spinsterella remarked. Spinsterella got confused by a previous Klein tweet in which he wrote, “We took the kids to see ‘Annie.’ It turns out to be a play about the need for Keynesian fiscal stimulus.” He linked to a TNR story by Jonathan Chait.

Really, can the world handle more than one Ezra?

Apparently the answer is yes.

Klein replied, “Follow the link! Not by me.” He also explained, “Concerned that @tnr appears to have hired another “Ezra.” #therecanbeonlyone.” He then provides a link that leads to another TNR story by Ezra Deutsch-Feldman from Feb. 14 about Watson, a new super computer on “Jeopardy!”‘ Ezra #2 (Deutsch-Feldman) is a male web intern at TNR.

This is blowing our minds. Two Ezzy’s in one day? Every hour of every day? It’s an enchanting dream come true that we never even knew we wanted.

Important note to readers: We’re getting more details on Ezra #2 as we speak.

TNR Makes Changes to Web Team and Announces Brand New Class of Reporter-Researchers

Today Editor Greg Veis announces two additions to its web team: Barron YoungSmith and Seyward Darby (pictured above) have been named deputy editors. Both are former reporter-researchers at the magazine.

Chloë Schama (below right) has replaced Darby as Assistant Managing Editor. Schama is a former Assistant Literary Editor at the magazine. She has an M.Phil. in English from Cambridge and graduated from Harvard. Schama is the author of Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman (Walker Books 2010).

Laura Bennett (below left) has been named Assistant Literary Editor. She graduated from Yale where she was editor-in-chief of the The Yale Herald and the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship.

TNR also introduced its 2010-2011 class of reporter-researchers. Find out who they are and see where they might go. We have the list as well as noteworthy alumni after the jump…

Read more