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Posts Tagged ‘Karin Tanabe’

Washingtonian’s Rebecca Nelson to Join National Journal


Rebecca Nelson via Twitter

In true Karin Tanabe/The List fashion, Washingtonian assistant editor Rebecca Nelson is headed to National Journal where she’ll cover political news of the day as a staff correspondent.

The move channels the jump made by the fictional character of Adrienne Brown in Tanabe’s first book The List, a novel about a late 20s Town & Country writer who leaves the glossy to cover politics for The Capitolist, a foe-outlet that mirrors POLITICO, where Tanabe was prior to writing the book.

In her recent pieces on, Nelson has written about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, “Watergate Witness John Dean,” and Andrea Mitchell. We think she’ll will do just fine in her new role at NJ.

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Tanabe’s Second Book: ‘Lots More Sex!’

Karin Tanabe, formerly a reporter at Politico CLICK, just had her first novel, The List, published in February and she’s already churning out another.

Publisher’s Marketplace, a forum for publishers and authors to promote their work, just posted a synopsis for the forthcoming book titled Lot 24. It reads:

… Tanabe’s Lot 24 [is] about a hot young antique furniture specialist at Christie’s in NYC who discovers a mysterious piece of Middle Eastern pottery that sends her career and her love life into a tailspin…

Tanabe told FishbowlDC that the release date for the book is currently summer 2014. Even though the book, unlike her first one, isn’t about politics and journalism, she said it isn’t “devoid” of either. “It’s hard to totally leave what you know,” she said.

Also unlike her debut novel, which was loosely based on her former colleagues at Politico, Lot 24 will be steamier. “There’s also lots more sex!” Tanabe said. Read more

Politico Editors Spotted Reading Tanabe’s Book

In an interview with Deborah Kalb, ex-Politico writer Karin Tanabe, who wrote The List, a novel based on her experiences working at the male-dominated, competitive publication where long hours are a given, spilled a few more details on the aftermath of writing the controversial book.

For instance, some Politico reporters have refused to read the book and shun those that do. Still, some editors couldn’t resist.

“Well, I haven’t heard anything negative except a murmur that a few reporters there refuse to read my book and chastise others for doing so! Fair enough. But I’ve also heard that two editors were spotted reading it inside the newsroom and I’ve had wonderful support from friends who are still there and friends who have gone on to other media jobs.”

Tanabe, who lives in Washington and Dubai, is working on another book about the auction industry. Her protagonist works at Christie’s in New York.


Ex-Politico’s Karin Tanabe: ‘I was Terrified’

Ex-Politico staffer Karin Tanabe revealed last night that there will be a sequel to her fictional book The List. “There’s got to be a sequel,” she said at a party celebrating the publication of her first book.

Though The List is a kind of fictional tell-all about Tanabe’s tenure at Politico, several current staffers still showed up to offer congratulations. Former employees showed up as well, including Kendra Marr Chaikind, who was fired from the publication in 2011.

“I wrote it really fast in secrecy,” Tanabe said in a short speech to the room of 70-ish attendees. She started it in the summer of 2011 while still working at Politico. “I was terrified,” she said.

Tanabe acknowledged other Politico “survivors” in the room (some of whom could be heard trading jokes about Politico) and said her book is about “paying homage” to reporters working in today’s new media environment. Of new media, she said, “It’s easier to make your career but also break your career.”

At one point, what appeared to be the cast of D.C. Housewives swooped in and had their photo snapped by the photographer. Among the women (and wearing all sorts of furs and leathers) were… Read more

Ex-Politico Employee: ‘The Nightmare is Over’

A former Politico reporter related all too well to Karin Tanabe‘s newly published work of fiction, The List, in which she offers a veiled glimpse of her former workplace and coworkers. Although the book’s description is fairly tame, doesn’t name names or come close to kicking the high octane news outlet in the teeth quite like the recent stories from ex-Politico Michael Calderone, now at HuffPost, at least one former employee publicly resonated with her account.

The quote below comes from Stephanie Christensen, a media coordinator, who left Politico in July of 2011. See the lovely Playbook farewell from Mike Allen after the jump.

Read more

Fishbowl5 With Politico’s Ex-Karin Tanabe

Karin Tanabe‘s novel The List, heavily based on her experience as a reporter at Politico, publishes Tuesday. She spent the last year in Dubai working for ITP Publishing, a British magazine company.

As of this week, Tanabe’s back in Washington, working on her next fictional book. Today, she completed the Fishbowl5.

1. Why write a type of kiss-and-tell book about Politico in fiction format? And how much of the main character is based on you?

I worked in journalism for a decade, but I was always a journalist who wanted to end up a fiction writer, it just took a little while. I definitely looked to my experiences at Politico for inspiration for The List but newsroom life without a heavy dose of fiction would make a bit of a dull read. Politico is an eerily quiet newsroom and I didn’t want to write a quiet book!

As for Adrienne Brown, my main character, her job as a Style reporter was very much based on mine as a CLICK reporter for Politico and her struggles between ethics and ambition were based on my experiences, but the similarities fizzle from there. When I wrote her character, I pictured a young, stylish woman coming from the glamorous world of New York fashion magazines and I thought about what working as a Washington journalist in new media would be like for her. How would she react to the power culture of D.C? Would she become one of these people who lives and breathes her job? For me, though I did go to Politico from a magazine background, I knew D.C. and the wonk culture very well, so Politico wasn’t a shock to the system.

2. Do you think your book will upset Jim VandeHei or John Harris or anyone else at Politico? What do you think the writers there will think after reading?

I don’t think it will upset VandeHei, Harris or other Politico editors and reporters, honestly. The mile-a-minute culture of Politico is not something the higher-ups have ever tried to keep a secret, nor do they attempt to fight the stereotypes about the office. I think their model works for them and if people don’t agree with it, so be it. Do they lose some good reporters and editors because they don’t fit the Politico mold? I think they have, but Politico attracts some of the brightest and hardest working journalists around and I definitely became a better writer and journalist when I worked there.

In the newsroom I present in The List, I write about sexism, favoritism and plenty of other hot button topics. Was all that inspired by Politico? I’ll leave it to readers to decide.

3. The main character thinks about sex a lot. Is she a complete freak in the sheets?… Read more

Ex-Politico Scribe Dishes In ‘The List’

If there were any doubt as to whether the stuff reported about the culture in Politico‘s newsroom were true, look no further than Karin Tanabe‘s to-be-released novel, The List.

The plot centers on a 20-something reporter who leaves a “cushy” New York magazine job for D.C.’s “hottest (and most cut-throat) political rag.” It’s well known that the fictional “political rag” is inspired by Politico, where Tanabe used to work as a “Click” gossip reporter.

FishbowlDC received an advance copy of The List, which publishes next month. Even in the first two chapters, we found relatively unflattering stories about Politico‘s newsroom. Nothing we haven’t read before, but negative, nonetheless.

Take the protagonist, Adrienne Brown, who on her first day as a style reporter at the Capitolist (a.k.a. Politico fictionalized) is treated to “awkward cake.” Last summer HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone reported about this real-life thing inside Politico, indeed referred to by staffers as “awkward cake.” In other words, the dessert presented to the newsroom to bid farewell to a staffer. (By the way, this happens in a number newsrooms around town, on birthdays as well as farewell gatherings. It’s always awkward cake.)

Another character in the book, David Bush, is clearly Mike Allen. He’s described as “a man with a safari hat stuck to his sweaty head” and “round tortoiseshell glasses.” He only removes the hat for TV appearances, which sounds more like White House scribe Glenn Thrush, until Bush is further described as “quirky” and “a genius.” His job: To write the Morning List (“It’s like the Bible, but with bullet points.”) Of course, the NYT profile of Politico in 2010 referred to Allen as “the man the White House wakes up to” and described him as “obsessively private” and “a legendary hoarder and pack rat.”

On and on it goes, making Politico sound like a wretched place to work. But there are stark differences between Tanabe, the real woman who worked for Politico, and her book’s main character, Adrienne Brown. Tanabe, who is brunette, not blonde as shown above, never previously worked for a New York magazine; rather, she was managing editor for Washington Life. She also wrote an edgy blog called, in which she sarcastically thanked people or places, such as the back seat of her boyfriend’s car.

The graph that best sums up Politico, the fake publication… Read more

Former D.C. Reporter Flees to Dubai, Writes Novel

It wasn’t a big surprise when in January Karin Tanabe left “CLICK,” Politico‘s gossip blog. Writers have been abandoning that blog like it’s the Costa Concordia cruise ship. But for a while, it wasn’t clear what happened. Where had Tanabe gone? What was she doing?

Then BuzzFeed broke the news that Tanabe was in the process of having a novel published about her stint at Politico.

We were able to get in touch with her and she told FBDC that the book, titled “The Capitolist” is still in its early stages. “Like all fiction books, you need a full manuscript to submit,” she said, adding that the first draft had been written.

Tanabe’s not revealing details on the book just yet. But Publisher’s Market Place described Tanabe’s “The Capitolist” as follows:

“[A] 20-something journalist leaves a cushy NYC magazine job for DC’s hottest (and most cut-throat) political rag, where she uncovers a juicy scandal involving a senator that could make or break her career…”

Tanabe said she’s “very excited” to be working with Atria, which is publishing her book. Atria is an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

As for her current whereabouts, Tanabe told us she’s in Dubai working for ITP Publishing, a British magazine company.

Politico CLICK Runs Year Old Item

Dear Politico CLICK,

Guess what? It’s 2012. And last year it was 2011.

On March 3, 2011, Karin Tanabe, who no longer works at Politico, wrote an item on Kate Upton, now infamous bikini-clad niece of Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a tiny red bathing suit. Tanabe explained in some detail Kate’s Washington connection — which is that her uncle is a congressman. See the headline in bold above.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day 2012. CLICK Editor Caitlin McDevitt writes another item explaining Kate’s unusual Washington connection. She writes, “Kate Upton, the buxom blonde on the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, has a Washington connection.” See yesterday’s headline above.

Yoo hoo, VandeHarris, anyone out there?

Sincerely, FishbowlDC

The ‘C’ in Politico CLICK Stands for Caitlin

And then there was one.

Politico‘s Karin Tanabe has left CLICK, rumored to take a job elsewhere. Her Facebook page is filled with wishes of “good luck” from colleagues.

So that just leaves Caitlin McDevitt (pictured at right) holding down the fort. People who have left under Caitlin’s tenure: Kiki Ryan, Amie Parnes, Patrick Gavin, Natasha Lennard, and now Karin. Not the most impressive managerial resume. Before CLICK, McDevitt worked at Slate’s spinoff The Big Money. She also interned at and Newsweek. She graduated from Georgetown.

We attempted to reach Tanabe, but her email address no longer works.

Take a hint, Jim & John?