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Posts Tagged ‘Julia Duin’

12 Things We Never Tire of in the Fishbowl

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

We know you have one more year-end list in you. Or maybe you don’t. But wake up anyhow because here’s ours — the 12 things that never, ever make us want to take an afternoon snooze.

12. NBC Luke Russert‘s loud and fratboyish ways. Even House Speaker John Boehner has noted his decibel level and called him “loudmouth.” Though he’ll never get White House Soup of the Day quite right when he subs for Chuck Todd on “The Daily Rundown,” among our favorite moments with Luke this year was when he had a stop and smell the roses moment at a Nats game and took a picture of a spellbinding dragonfly, which he later posted on Twitter. Perhaps more poignantly though was when he covered a Capitol Hill presser and asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi if she was too old to remain in the Democratic leadership. The crowd of female lawmakers openly booed him. Pelosi told him he was offensive, even if he didn’t quite get it. Among the most entertaining comments sprang from CNN’s Hilary Rosen, who wrote on Twitter, “Note to Luke Russert: Mitch McConnell is 70, Harry Reid is 73. Oh and Bob Schieffer is 75. Think they should step aside? #NewGuysRule?” The question wasn’t an inappropriate one to raise, as lawmakers themselves had been discussing it out of earshot of Pelosi. Perhaps, as some noted, the time and setting and brash way in which Russert executed his questions were troublesome. Still, we especially enjoyed the commenters on Politico. There was the irate Wendy: “Luke Russert got his ass handed back to him. Any more questions, punk?” And the more sensible Chance: “Reporters should be asking tough, offensive and even stupid questions.”

11. Video journalist Michelle Fields flashing her breasts on national TV to get a job for Fox News. Her large male online contingency didn’t mind it much, either. In the meantime The Daily Caller gave her the axe for being lazy. Somehow Executive Editor David Martosko‘s lectures didn’t work? Favorite 2012 memory: There was the January manifesto from a convicted rapist that Michelle showed off on Facebook. But we’re torn between that and the more recent BuzzFeed party, where she unashamedly performed dramatic hair flips as our own Eddie Scarry snapped pictures.

10. Most things Matthew Boyle. The 20-something dogged journo never ceases to amaze. There was the time he insisted that the President of the Free World should allow him over for an interview. The more recent jaw-dropping moment from Boyle came when he fled The Daily Caller for because he wants to be the next Andrew Breitbart. He started this adventure by taking his own photograph for the site, giving himself the unfortunate look of a triple-chinned Michelin Man. In his opening story out of the gate, he wrote an atrociously unedited right-wing rant about “magic vaginas.” We’re still not sure what those our, except we think they don’t involve Sandra Fluke. It was perfect. And terrible. And because we love Boyle in our own special way, we’d like to kidnap and deprogram him before it’s too late and the goose is boiled. Stick to breaking news Boyle and it’ll be just fine. And whatever you do, don’t stay there long.

9. Inside stories from The Washington Times. Always weird, unexpected, mind-boggling happenings at the ominous building off New York Avenue. Who can forget when former writer Julia Duin publicly accused then-editor Sam Dealey of verbally abusing her by canning her on the very day she decided to bring her daughter to work? She was also reportedly on crutches that day. And then there’s the more recent spate of stories concerning the impending layoffs coming in early 2013. The newsroom has dubbed their CEO Larry Beasley “Evil Santa” for a number of reasons, including recently moving a new sofa into his office while deciding whom to lay off. He also recently displayed a Santa doll holding a Christmas tree with the word “joy” on it. As the journalists await possible pink slips, they’re anything but joyful.

See the remaining eight entries of things that never bore us… Read more

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The FishbowlDC Interview with WaPo’s Ezra Klein

Ezzy from the block.

For the past eight months or so, FishbowlDC has been engaging in a special prayer time led by WaPo‘s religion blogger Julia Duin. Every day around noon, Matt and I bow our heads, join hands and pray for one thing: the chance to interview WaPo‘s liberal blogger Ezra Klein. We’ve watched sullenly as he shared his insights and intellect with anyone and everyone…except us.  He showed up and showed everyone up on Maher, MSNBC, and even McLaughlin.  But hell hath frozen over, the seas have parted and a miracle has occurred — Ezzy called FishbowlDC.  Hello?  “Listen class, where the fuck is my face time?” a voice on the other end of the phone snarled. “Whoa,” we thought. We didn’t expect him to be so, well, rambunctious. But we’re game. We’ve come to expect the unexpected in the Fishbowl. We gathered our fresh figs and our wits and said: “Alright Ez, what do you want to do?” He said, of course, “the FishbowlDC interview.”

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be?

“Clearly Canadian” for obvious political reasons.

What’s the best advice you’ve received in the course of your career?

Keith Olbermann once told me to “fake it ‘til I make it.”  It worked for him and so far it’s working out pretty well for me.

Who is your favorite working journalist?

MSNBC contributor Ezra Klein is my favorite – because of his on-camera presence.  But WaPo’s Ezra Klein is quite profound too. And then of course there’s Ezra Klein from the Internet Food Association blog.  Now that guy is witty, intelligent, good looking…and have you tasted his pomegranate reduction – Amazeballs!

Do you have a favorite word?

My favorite pronoun is “I.”  And while we’re at it, my favorite sentence type is declarative.

Pick one: Leno, Letterman or Conan?

Really? Three middle-aged white men? Typical.   I pick George Lopez, Arsenio Hall and that lesbian on Chelsea Lately.

Where do you shop most often for your clothes?

I go to Penney’s for my Dockers pants, sports coats and wrinkle-free dress shirts.  But I get most of my ironic tee shirts and accessories from and Super Hero Stuff is cool for underwear and pajamas etc.

Which movie best describes your journalism career?

Can’t Hardly Wait.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes?

Last weekend in Second Life, Dave Weigel and I got bombed on Zimas and tried to T.P. Tucker Carlson’s house.  It was awesome.

Who would you cast as Ezra Klein in a film about your life?

Already in development.  And duh…James Franco.

*Find out Klein’s dream date, favorite food and his most embarrassing career moment after the jump.

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A Media Reporter’s Guide to CPAC

The agenda for CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference happening in D.C. this weekend, has been posted, and journalists and media types are invading.

  • Tucker Carlson, editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller will speak at an event sponsored by Accuracy in Media on Thursday and, later that night, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for CPAC’s Presidential Banquet honoring Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute.
  • S.E. Cupp, a Daily Caller columnist, will sign her book, Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity, on Friday before taking part in a Saturday panel for students on how to become a columnist. Also on the panel: The Weekly Standard‘s Fred Barnes and Andrew Ferguson, and NYT‘s Ross Douthat.
  • BigJournalism’s Andrew Breitbart will speak in the main ballroom on Saturday morning, and he’ll be introduced by Townhall‘s Guy Benson.
  • Dana Loesch, also of BigJournalism, will participate in a panel on new media activism along with Matt Sheffield of the Washington Examiner on Thursday.
  • More from the Washington Examiner: Mark Tapscott will be on a panel on Friday morning, Tim Carney will be on another on Friday afternoon, and Michael Barone will be on one Saturday evening. Also on Barone’s panel: John Gizzi of Human Events and FNC contributor Margaret Hoover.
  • Conservative pundit Ann Coulter will speak to CPAC students Friday night along with FNC’s “Red Eye” gang: Greg Gutfeld, Bill Schultz, and Andy Levy before taking the main stage on Saturday, following National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg.
  • Also on different panels (so, so many panels): Human EventsJason Mattera, WaPo‘s Julia Duin (as a moderator. Need a refresher? We had dinner with last week), Quin Hillyer of TWT (also as a moderator), Andrew McCarthy of National Review, and WSJ‘s John Fund.
  • CNN contributor and Red State managing editor Erick Erickson will be the guest of honor at a student luncheon on Friday.
  • CPAC’s 2010 Blogger of the Year Ed Morrissey of HotAir will present this year’s award to Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank.

FishbowlDC has obtained a press pass, but it doesn’t come with many perks (other than free admission). They’re holding our badge at the Media Check-In desk, so that’s nice of them. Credentialed press “do not necessarily have access” to the CPAC Bloggers’ Lounge according to their e-mail, and we’ve requested several interviews with speakers using CPAC’s guidelines for doing so. No word yet. Stay tuned…

A Night with Julia: Eat, Pray, Rape.

You never know when the Gods will intervene.

Julia Duin (pronounced Deen), former TWT religion writer and now a faith blogger at WaPo, invited me as her guest to conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas‘s prayer dinner Wednesday night at the Washington Hilton. Apparently the rule is that you must bring a guest. I had been invited because during a recent prayer session, Julia received word from the big guy in the sky that I was the right choice. “I felt the suggestion come down to invite you,” she said.  She wanted to “bury the hatchet” (we had a fiery exchange over TWT layoffs late last year).  When I surprised her by accepting the offer, she notified me that she’d be wearing purple.  Following her lead, I pulled together a purple outfit of my own.

It turns out, Julia’s dress was a cranberry velour number with Asian patterned embroidery. She accessorized with pantyhose, sensible cranberry flats and a large rectangular box of Kleenex. It seems she was fighting a terrible cold.

We exchanged pleasantries as Thomas smoothly worked the room of faith-filled dinner guests. “I’m always excited,” he said. “It’s a great time to be in Washington. The Middle East is blowing up.”

Later I questioned the Born-Again Christian columnist (she was saved at 16) about a recent WaPo magazine story she penned describing a bus encounter on the way to Jon Stewart‘s Rally to Restore Sanity. Had she crossed a journalistic line by chastising the subject for his wife’s abortion? In the piece, Duin suggested that although the fetus had no heartbeat, the man’s wife should not have aborted.

It turns out, she said, WaPo asked for an injection of personal opinion. “I would have never put myself in the story,” she said. “You know how it is, you never put yourself in the story.”

Rape part coming up…

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Religion Writer Chastises Man for Wife Having Abortion

Bad luck can happen anywhere – even on a bus on the way to a Sanity Rally.

Such was the case with a poor chap named Robert Woudenberg, a photographer and New York State Department of Transportation Employee who sat on the same bus (No. 45937) as religion writer Julia Duin. The writer and rallygoer got to chatting and he told her that his wife had an abortion. Duin, who reported in the story that she’s a born-again Christian, wrote that she told the rallygoer that there was a more compassionate way.

The day was rife with charged debate talk. Somehow the conversation had shifted to Woudenberg’s 21-month-old daughter.  Duin writes, “Before she was born, I learn, there was another pregnancy. Doctors told Woudenberg and his wife that the fetus had no heartbeat, and she was advised to abort.” So Duin wrote that she asked, “Why couldn’t you have at least allowed your child to live out its short life in the womb?”

WaPo let Duin, a former TWT religion writer whose position was terminated over the summer, loose to ride one of HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington’s buses and then write a lengthy Magazine story Sunday on the rally being a farce.

FishbowlDC reached a shocked Woudenberg (pictured above with his family – he shot the photograph with a self-timer) by phone at his home in Valley Cottage, NY, Sunday night. His account differs from Duin’s story…

> Update: Duin got back to FishbowlDC past deadline. She said she sent Woudenberg his quotes for approval (which were never in discrepancy). He verifies that she sent them — but what she didn’t send is what she alleges she said to him in the story in regards to his wife’s abortion. We asked about her chastising him, to which she had no answer. She further scolded FishbowlDC for not giving her enough time to respond to our questions despite giving her nearly 12 hours. We published 30 minutes past the allotted time.

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TWT Tries to Pave New Road: Three More Layoffs Hit With New Hires on the Horizon


Out with the old. In with the new.

So goes the slow but steady procession of changes happening at TWT since Sam Dealey came aboard as editor in February.

Not surprisingly, some aren’t pleased.

Three more reporters are being laid off this week – a longtime religion writer, Julia Duin (pronounced Deen), a foreign correspondent and a state department reporter will all have their positions eliminated before the week is out. In coming weeks and months, the newspaper will add reporters in the core news area of politics, FishbowlDC has learned.

To be sure, Dealey has faced an uphill battle that hasn’t always endeared him to staff. Over the past several months, some reporters have questioned his style and intentions. They watched as publisher, Jonathan Slevin, was ousted after clashing with Dealey.

On Wednesday publications such as WaPo‘s Story Lab and Mediaite provided accounts of Duin’s layoff – she is a victim of TWT , both publications reported. End of story.

But there is more to it.
FishbowlDC spoke with Duin by phone Wednesday. The conversation was not smooth, moving in fits and starts of Duin claiming to go on and off the record, of claiming to have no warning signs of her layoff. When questioned about the events leading up to her layoff, she expressed discomfort with the interview and repeatedly wanted to know if FishbowlDC would be talking with Dealey. The answer was always yes, I would seek comment from him just as I sought comment from her.

Dealey wrote to FishbowlDC on Wednesday: “The Times is moving forward in a new direction with new priorities. In some instances that necessitates position eliminations, of which Ms. Duin’s was one. We thank Ms. Duin for her years of service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Duin says she didn’t see the layoff coming, but there were signs. Even she begrudgingly admits this to FishbowlDC and on her blog (Julia’s blog). Duin writes: “I knew things were going south when my articles were either cut in half, tossed out of the print edition or placed in the back of the paper.” She claims she was let go because of a WaPo story by Ian Shapira on May 1 in which she said there were snakes in the newsroom and otherwise disparaged management.

An excerpt from Shapira’s May 1 story:
The finances are so tight that the newspaper hasn’t paid some of its bills or tended to basic maintenance issues — such as hiring an exterminator to deal with mice and snakes sneaking into the building on New York Avenue in Northeast.

“The feeling everyone feels is that it’s a totally rudderless ship,” said Julia Duin, the paper’s longtime religion reporter. “Nobody knows who’s running it. Is it the board of directors? We don’t know. There was a three-foot-long black snake in the main conference room the other day. We have snakes in the newsroom — the real live variety, at least. One of the security people gallantly removed it.”

Continued after the jump.

> Update: Duin had seven front page stories in April, not three as was previously reported.

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TWT‘s Duin Releases “Days of Fire and Glory”

duin.jpg Award-winning religion editor of The Washington Times, Julia Duin has released her latest book, “Days of Fire and Glory.” In the book, Duin traces the journey of Graham Pulkingham, an Episcopal priest who led Church of the Redeemer, situated in a Houston slum and for a while one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most vibrant churches. The story investigates the “dark double life” that Pulkingham allowed to twist his theology and his life.

Duin writes not only as a journalist but from firsthand experience — she was an active member of the parish when the story began, and it was her investigations as a reporter at the Houston Chronicle that brought the whole story to light.

TWT‘s Duin Nabs Two Awards

Julia Duin, religion editor for The Washington Times, recently snagged two awards from the Religion Newswriters Association, the professional organization for journalists who cover religion in the secular media.

Duin was the second-place winner in the Religion Reporter of the Year category and took third in the Cornell Award competition.

For more details see TWT here. Congrats to Julia!

Morning Reading List, 01.12.09


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…

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Congrats, Julia!

Julia Duin, a religion reporter for The Washington Times, has adopted a 22 month old toddler — Olivia — from Kazakhstan. Julia is still out of the office on maternity leave, but she and Olivia visited the Times Thursday. (See Olivia below with the Washington Times’ Ken Hanner).