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Posts Tagged ‘Kate Oczypok’

Cordes Goes Under the Big Top for JDRF

CBS News’ Nancy Cordes took a break from covering Capitol Hill to join more than 500 Washingtonians at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) 11th annual Night of Hope Gala this weekend.  The bubbly congressional correspondent served as emcee for the circus-themed event, which raised $1 million for diabetes research, through a seated dinner, live and silent auctions, and three rings of entertainment.  Cordes was joined under the Big Top by super committee member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) who was honored with JDRF’s Congressional Champion Award on Saturday evening.

Spotted mingling and sipping cotton-candy-topped cocktails at the National Building Museum were Ward Sloane and Christine Delargy of CBS News, WaPo’s Rebecca D’Angelo, Laura Barron-Lopez from Roll Call, The Hill’s Kate Oczypok, Boehner spokesman Mike Steel and Mary Kathryn Covert, Jack and Susanna Quinn, K Street Kate’s Kate Michael, and DC Councilman David Catania.

*PSA:  Don’t forget to hug a diabetic in November – it’s Diabetes Awareness month.

JDRF’s Piper Dankworth Sutton, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, CBS’s Nancy Cordes and hubby Harald Cordes.

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The Hill‘s Puff Piece on Geoff and Norah

Items you will need in order to read The Hill‘s recent story on Chef Geoff Tracy and his wife, CBS Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell: A pillow (to take periodic naps), a brick wall (to bang your head against) and a red pen (for rewriting purposes).

The journey begins with a picture on the front page of the Washington Scene section. Though the story is about the couple, the picture shows Tracy with the V.P.’s wife,  Jill Biden. No, O’Donnell’s husband hasn’t run away with the second lady. The full picture inside shows the couple and their children posing with V.P. Biden and his wife.

We’re going to keep this simple since the story itself is a torture chamber.

Five Ways the Story Unnecessarily Cozies to the Couple

1. Affection abounds. The writer begins with Tracy (with his hidden warm blue eyes) kissing his wife. Shortly thereafter we must endure Norah playfully tapping her husband on the shoulder after a particularly unfunny canned joke about how long they’ve been married. “Yeah, thank God he bought me diamond earrings for our anniversary,” O’Donnell said, hitting Tracy on the shoulder playfully. (Did they choreograph this before the interview?)

2. Soundbites. A reporter is supposed to steer interviewees away from quotes that make readers want to crawl into a hole. Instead, the piece reads as though author Kate Oczypok let her interviewees sit down and write it, not the other way around. Example: Norah: “CBS came to me and offered me an incredible position so few women have held. I’ll have a front row seat to history and be the principle substitute for Face the Nation and contribute to 60 Minutes—It’s my dream.” (No questions about the poor treatment of women in the business. Not even a single question about whether Norah has ever experienced sexism in the course of her career.)

3. Missed opportunities. In two random lines, we learn that O’Donnell, when she was little, used to pretend to be Barbara Walters and that she wanted to be the female Tim Russert. We get zero details. Really? You don’t even ask Norah how she distinguishes between being a man versus a woman or if she looked in the mirror and did a Wawa imitation? You don’t ask her to do one now? And Russert — is this really her eventual goal? How would she critique the current NBC “MTP” hosted by David Gregory? The lack of tough questions throughout this puffy piece is daunting.

4. Pointless sucking up. Norah “hates the idea that women can’t have a high-powered job and be a mother.” She says, “It’s absolutely archaic.”  “…And sexist,” Tracy added. (Yes, they are a modern couple trying to make the life-work balance work. There’s nothing new or interesting about this. And what a relief to see that Geoff also thinks sexism is “archaic.”)

5. Soundbites II. This one made us cringe. “Norah’s the national and international star and I’m just the local mayor, unelected of course,” Tracy joked. “In all seriousness, I’m very fortunate that I get to entertain people on a daily basis.”

Remember that brick wall we asked you to bring? Time to use it unless you prefer the pillow.

Read the complete monstrosity here.


Politico’s Jonathan Martin Gets in Touch With Feminine Side

Politico‘s Jonathan Martin only seems like an alpha male with his hard news ways. In reality, he’s a man about town with girlfriend Betsy Fischer, Executive Producer of NBC’s MTP. The proof is in the lotions: He attends skin bar openings.

Martin, along with a number of journalists, spent at least a portion of Tuesday night with Fischer at Nectar Skin Bar in Georgetown at a VIP gathering. We’re told he arrived toward the end of the night and was spotted eying the Billy Jealousy products. Our spies say they don’t think he purchased anything. Jealousy is for truly masculine men only. His website describes his products as “sharply tailored” toward today’s “bad boy” to ensure a look that is “effortless yet edgy, playful but still polished.” We suspect VandeHarris wouldn’t take issue with this.

Journos spotted in the crowd include The Hill‘s Kate Oczypok, the Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, Politico‘s Karin Tanabe, as well as Fischer and Martin. On the political side there was V.P. Biden’s Social Secretary Carlos Elizondo, UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and his apparently “gorgeous” wife,  fabulously named AbeerTom Daren (head of Brad Pitt‘s Make It Right Foundation, in from New Orleans), Self Magazine’s Mark Adelman and Dina Powell.

Guests received spectacular Goodie bags, which included products from Comfort Zone (an allegedly “amazing Italian line of skincare that they have here exclusively”), plus products from Darphin, Oribe haircare and Spa Ritual and 25 percent off cards for both Nectar Skin Bar and their sister hair salon just a few doors down, Ipsa Hair.

Photo Credit: Mark Silva (From L to R: Betsy Fischer, Amy Little Thomas and Abeer Al Otaiba)

Haddad and Fischer Host Luxe Lunch for McCormick

You know you’re one hell of a flack when a flock of journos bust their midday beat to break bread in your honor.  And such is the case of Kelley McCormick,  former partner at Qorvis Communications and Reese Witherspoon lookalike.  McCormick and her new role as Gibraltar Associates COO were toasted yesterday at a swanky lunch hosted by “Meet the Press” EP Betsy Fischer and the one and only Tammy Haddad.

Nearly 40 guests mingled over champagne before sitting down to a three-course wine luncheon of split pea soup with creme fraiche, bacon-garnished crab cake and tasty dessert.  Both Fischer and Haddad shared kind words about their friend before Gibraltar CEO Eric Bovim raised a glass to McCormick, gushing “I can’t imagine doing this without her.”

Attendees of the fancy-pants lunch fete included Politico’s Mike Allen, NBC White House producer Alicia Jennings, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, Examiner’s Nikki Schwab, The Hill’s Kate Oczypok, DC’s Karen Sommer Shalett, Janet Donovan, Cap File’s Kate Bennett and Sarah Schaffer, Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie, Kiki Ryan, Bloomberg’s Ha Chan, Tracy Sefl, Washingtonian’s Sophie Gilbert, Washington Life‘s Michael Clements, Emily Lenzner, Poshbrood’s Elizabeth Thorp, Twitter’s Adam Sharp, WBJ‘s Jen Nycz-Conner and SELF‘s Marc Adleman.  Congrats to Kelley!

L to R: Betsy Fischer, Mike Allen, Kate Bennett, Halle Mayes, Tammy Haddad, Marc Adelman, Kelley McCormick.

*All photos courtesy of Haddad Media.

Roll Call Continues Long Obsession With Botanic Garden

Roll Call writes a piece this week about the new exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden, which “whisks its audience to Scotland’s most captivating gardens” with 40 huge photos taken by Allan Pollok-Morris. Actually, it was a relatively brief 772 words but it just felt long. Yes, the U.S. Botanic Garden is now plastered with pictures of other gardens from another country.

In December 2008, Roll Call claimed that “for many Washingtonians, the holidays aren’t complete without a trip to the Botanic Garden Conservatory” and in a different piece, suggested a visit to the Garden to “put some sparkle in date night.”

In 2009, Roll Call reported on a sculpture exhibit visiting the Botanic Garden. Last year, they wrote an entire article on a new collection of begonias.

Granted, the Botanic Garden is on Capitol Hill, and Roll Call is the newspaper of Capitol Hill. But really? The Botanic Garden beat? There are 70 matches for Botanic Garden on the site.

To be fair, Roll Call isn’t the only one with an obsession. The Hill has 13 mentions on its site. In 2006, The Hill put the Jungle Room catwalk of the U.S. Botanic Garden on a list of romantic spots on Capitol Hill, calling it a “popular spot for midday meet-ups” (quickies?). In 2008, The Hill‘s Kate Oczypok profiled the Botanic Garden, which at the time had a “fairly modest staff of 66 plant experts and employees.”

Journo Trash Talks for a Good Cause, Pol Pretends to be Someone Else

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The jokesters: Reps. Simpson and Latham

Despite the soggy weather, a variety of scribes, politicians and friends turned out for the 7th annual Hole-in-One for Cornerstone Kids Golf Tournament today at the Kenwoood Golf & Country Club in Bethesda.

The event was to raise money for Cornerstone School, a financially struggling private school in northeast D.C. Things got hopping with lunch in the clubhouse that included hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies and delicious Georgetown Cupcakes. Schoolchildren in attendance appeared to be enjoying themselves.

Two lawmakers – GOP Reps. Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Tom Latham (Iowa) showed up in shorts and golf shirts. Simpson stood out in a blinding bright orange top; Latham donned a more subdued light watermelon-hued shirt. The Hill‘s Kate Oczypok was the unfortunate recipient of Simpson’s prank. When she asked him for his name, Simpson could be heard slowly spelling out his surname: “L-a-T-o-u-r-e-t-t-e,” Simpson said, referring to his Ohio GOP colleague Rep. Steve LaTourette, who was not there. Latham jokingly warned Simpson that he had an election coming up and couldn’t afford any bad press.

The scene also included tough talk from CNN’s chief White House correspondent Ed Henry toward FNC’s evening anchor Bret Baier.

While Baier played his hot golf skills cool (“I do okay,” he told FishbowlDC), Henry copped to “slugging it out.” Then he (jokingly) cracked on the FNC anchor, saying Baier was sure to beat him “because he’s a man of the country club. He gets a lot of practice, so I’m not surprised he’s going to be beat me like a drum.”

Baier did admit to a 5 handicap (for non-golfers, this is very good in golf language). “It’s a little like Ireland out there, which is good for traditional golfers,” he said. “This is an important cause.”

To be sure, Henry are Baier are friendly acquaintances, but there is no bromance between them. Henry may have been lightly heckling Baier about golfing skills, but he grew serious about the gift bags (as much as anyone can be serious about gift bags). “I have a problem because the gift bag has Fox News on it,” Henry told Autumn VandeHei, wife of Politico‘s executive editor Jim VandeHei, whose younger brother, Clay Hanna, runs Cornerstone School. Autumn co-chaired the event with Susanna Quinn, wife of Jack Quinn of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, who also attended. The Quinns played golf for the cause.

Autumn said proceeds for the event surpassed what they expected, allowing students to finish out the year, “which was necessary,” she said.

But let’s dwell on those gift bags. Could a CNNer like Henry possibly parade around the club with a bag that screams “Fox News”?

Henry was assured that he could have a Politico gift bag in place of one that said Fox News. Tommy McFly, a radio host for MIX107.3 FM who volunteered his time for the event, explained that the paper FNC bags were for V.I.P.’s (for no reason in particular, just the way it was organized). Both FNC and Politico kindly donated bags for the event. So even if you did get a Fox News bag, McFly explained, there was still a canvas Politico tote inside it. Henry looked relieved. He said he much preferred to have a Politico gift bag.

Before the event, the rain poured. Attendees began e-mailing Susanna Quinn to ask if the event was still on.

To which she replied, “Man up.”

Other attendees: Politico‘s VandeHei, Jonathan Martin, Patrick Gavin and Mike Allen; NBC “MTP” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer; WTOP’s Bob Madigan and Stacy Kerr, aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

But no event is complete until Allen shows up and thanks you for coming, even though he hasn’t planned or hosted the event whatsoever. “Thanks for coming out!” he graciously told FishbowlDC toward the close of lunch.

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The V.I.P. gift bag and contents.

More pictures and gift bag contents after the jump…

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Also Happening Last Night… DistrictFile 2.0 Launch, “Recession” Book Party

Peter Mirijanian, Capital Corp’s Tom McMillen and Venable’s Tom Quinn at last night’s DistrictFile 2.0 launch party at the Canadian Embassy. Photo courtesy of DistrictFile.

• Over 300 people were at the Embassy of Canada last night for the DistrictFile 2.0 launch party. DistrictFile is the invitation-only social networking website for political and media professionals and they’ll unveil a new platform, 2.0, next week.

The Hill‘s Kate Oczypok, Fox’s Katy Adams, Congress Daily‘s Anna Edney, NJ‘s Sara Jerome and GregsListDC’s Greg O’Neil were among those repping the media, according to last night’s party planners.

• We can’t be everywhere so while FBDC was at the Ritz with Zac Efron and Claire Danes, we let our friends at Politico cover the “recession book party.” The Weekly Standard threw Matt Continetti a book party to celebrate “The Persecution of Sarah Palin.” Check out Click’s coverage here.

Washington Journos “Warm Up” at the W Hotel

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Last night, Washington media foodies joined Jayne Sandman and Barbara Martin on the rooftop of the new W Hotel to sample the W’s new “Winter Warm Up” cocktail menu that includes warm and wonderful treats like hot peanut buttered rum, mulled pear cider, and hot “not” chocolate – a killer combo of spiced rum, vanilla and milk topped with chocolate marshmallows.

The crowd ranged from cocktail connoisseurs like Metrocurean’s Amanda McClements, Nycci Nellis and WaPo‘s David Hagedorn to bourgeois binge-drinkers like me.

Caught warming up with some of the W’s new cocktail creations were WBJ‘s Missy Frederick, The Hill‘s Kate Oczypok, Cap File‘s Sarah Schaffer, DC Mag’s George Stone, Michael Ponticelli and Aram Taghavi of Bisnow, Politico‘s Kiki Ryan and Amie Parnes, Rebecca Cooper of and Alex Nicholson for

As an added bonus, our own Chris Ariens from TVNewser was in town from New York.

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