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Posts Tagged ‘Lynn Sweet’

Once in D.C., FLOTUS’s Fast Food Meal Changes Tone

A cheeseburger and fries lunch on Wednesday didn’t raise any eyebrows for FLOTUS at the Miluakee TV affiliate, TMJ4. The website headline reads: “First Lady Makes Surprise Visit To Milwaukee Diner.” The story made zero mention her anti-obesity campaign or what an unusual meal this was for her, describing instead what a thrill it was for diners to have First Lady Michelle Obama walk in. The owner remarked, “My stomach was turning.” It wasn’t from the fried food, but from FLOTUS’s presence.

But things changed once the story made its way back to Washington to Politico‘s Amie Parnes, where the headline became: “Fast Food for FLOTUS.” Parnes wasn’t too tough on her, also not mentioning the anti-obesity campaign or the famous vegetable garden that doesn’t grow cheeseburgers and fries. She wrote only that President Obama uses the “Don’t tell Michelle” line on the road and that this was her “fast food moment.”

Politics Daily‘s Lynn Sweet, meanwhile, who writes the “Daily FLOTUS” blog and is the Chicago Sun Times’s D.C. Bureau Chief, made no mention of the unhealthy meal in her write-up of the day in Milwaukee.

Brave Journos Get Competitive Over Karaoke

NBC’s Luke Russert and CNN’s Brianna Keilar won “Best Duet” for Livin’ on a Prayer

(All photos taken by FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic.)

Milling about in a darkened upstairs barroom last night at the Rock & Roll Hotel, the mood amongst journalists was a low buzz of excitement. Some of Washington D.C. ‘s nerviest participants in the charity competition were there having pre-Karaoke drinks. They showed not even a trace of anxiety.

One such performer was CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, all decked in cowboy attire and accompanied by a CBS reporter and correspondent, Kaylee Hartung. Schieffer was moments away from performing with his band, Honky Tonk Confidential. Asked if he was nervous, he laughed and replied, “I’m so bad I’m so past that. Anyone with as little talent as me is beyond being embarrassed.”

Peter Parisi, a TWT copy editor, was particularly chipper in his red gingham button-down and blue jeans. He told me he had performed Karaoke dozens of times and was more than ready for his performance. “Sonny and Cher. I Got You Babe,” he said, when asked what he’d form. “Cher had a previous engagement so I’m going to have to do this alone.”

Journalists soon moved downstairs to the stage area. In the crowd, but not performing was NJ “The Hotline’s” Executive Editor Reid Wilson, Politico‘s Natasha Lennard, The Hill‘s Tricia Barba , Susan Crabtree and Christina Wilkie, QGA and FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic, Chicago Sun Times D.C. Bureau Chief and Politics Daily Flotus columnist Lynn Sweet, Washington Examiner’s Julie Mason, NJ‘s Matt Cooper and Major Garrett, CBS News’s Christine Delargy and CNN’s Abby Livingston. Upcoming performers included NBC’s Luke Russert (who knew he could sing?), Politico’s Shira Toeplitz, Slate‘s Dave Weigel (who knew he could, er, dance?), CNN’s Brianna Keilar, HuffPost contributor Stephanie Green (lovely voice), Washington Life‘s Michael Clements (borrowed Green’s long fur tiger print coat for the performance; one journo said he wears coats like that only to funerals) and TPM (but soon-to-be CQ-Roll Call‘s) Christina Bellantoni.

CNN Senior White House correspondent and “Dynamite” performer Ed Henry was spotted by the bar horsing around with his backup singer children, Patrick and Mila, prepping them for the big event. He admitted to some pre-performance jitters. “Covering the White House is easy compared to this,” he confided. “This is sink or swim.” But Henry persevered and won “Best in Show.” (See a complete list of performances, more photographs and award winners after the jump.)

Nerves or not, a decent-sized roster of journos soon took to the stage.

Amongst White House scribes, the competition grew tense over Twitter with lots of smack talk. One of those talkers was The Hill‘s White House correspondent Sam Youngman. Once on stage, the lights beamed on him and he looked utterly relieved.  “This is awesome, I can’t see any of you,” he told the crowd. He had planned to sing three short verses of “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” by Warren Zevon, but during the performance appeared surprised when the song seemed to stretch on so long. Still, he held his own, sang in tune and thankfully, unlike some of the other performers, didn’t try to hit any high notes.

Jaws dropped when…

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The Anti-Sweet Shows up to WH Presser

Forecast in the White House briefing room today: Blustery. In other words, not sugary.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was in the hot seat today as reporters grilled him on a topic that he would not discuss: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel‘s reportedly imminent departure.

Chicago Sun Times White House Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet , who also writes The Daily Flotus column for Politics Daily, apparently wasn’t feeling so sweet today. She kept sniping at Gibbs as he held strong and continually reported that he had nothing to report. “The President will have a personal announcement tomorrow 11:05 from the East Room,” he told the ravenous White House Press Corps.  “We’ll have the specifics then.”

This is when Sweet got spicy. “Why is this announcement rising to the level of  a personal announcement by the President?” she barked. Growing more annoyed, she added, “We’re talking about Rahm Emanuel resigning to run for Mayor of Chicago.”

Gibbs finally told her, “I read your paper. I’ve read a number of papers. I’m here to tell you the president…Come up here, you should brief!”

Mrs. Obama’s Mother’s Broccoli Was Mushy: Do We Care?

broccoli.jpg First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign is getting such a big fat (unavoidable pun) burst of ink these days that it’s dangerously becoming comparative press wise to Bo the dog and the Salahis — some people are really tiring of hearing about it. (I admit to writing on all of the above subjects.)

Over the weekend there was yet another story on the First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign. In a story by Chicago Sun Times D.C. Bureau Chief and Politics Daily Columnist Lynn Sweet, she includes this critique from Obama on her mother’s broccoli:

FOOTNOTE: Mrs. Obama dished on how her mother, Marian Robinson, prepared broccoli when she was a kid.

“Let me tell you something. My mother didn’t know how to cook broccoli,” Mrs. Obama said. “It was watery and mushy, and that’s what we thought broccoli was. We thought you could eat it with a spoon and cut it with a knife. And I know a lot of parents out there cooking broccoli like that. It makes it hard to like broccoli if that’s how you’re cooking it.”

Samuel’s “The Upper House” Celebrated

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Roll Call’s Emily Heil and MSNBC’s Ken Strickland.

A slew of journalists gathered at the Tabard Inn last night to raise a glass to Terence Samuel and his new book “The Upper House,” a behind-the-scenes journey with the Senate’s ’06 freshmen class.

Present were Senator Jon Tester and Senator Amy Klobuchar who both recounted amusing stories from working with “Terry.” Klobuchar, who once took Samuels to a butter carving contest in Minnesota was shocked by everything that she had shared and “had forgotten until the articles and book came out.”

Spotted at the event were Roll Call’s Emily Heil, Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet, David Corn of Mother Jones, WaPo’s Mary Ann Akers, Garance Franke-Ruta and Perry Bacon, Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff, MSNBC’s Ken Strickland, Glenn Simpson, Evan Perez and Mike Crittenden from the WSJ, Tim Burger and CBS’ Christine Delargy.

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L: Sen. Amy Klobuchar R: Terence Samuel

Politics Daily Says Hello to New White House Reporter

alex_wagner_fader.jpg Alex Wagner starts her White House reporting gig at Politics Daily this week. She even jumped right in and appeared on Sunday’s online all-women “Woman UP” show hosted by Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger.

On Monday, Henneberger explained, Politics Daily’s Lynn Sweet (D.C. Bureau Chief of Chicago Sun-Times who writes PD’s Daily Flotus column) “showed her around and made the other kids promise to play nice.”

Wagner’s past: She was Executive Director of Not on Our Watch, a global advocacy and grant making organization focused on stopping gross violations of human rights. The organization is led by the actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. (“The guys were my bosses,” she says. “Clooney and I did a trip to the Darfur border (along with Ann Curry from NBC and Nick Kristof from the NYT) and Damon and I did a trip to the Zimbabwe border – both last year.”) She was Editor in Chief of The Fader magazine in New York City, where she won several awards for the magazine’s coverage of burgeoning cultural movements in Brazil, China and South Africa. The magazine is devoted to promoting new musical artists. She spent four years at the magazine. Before The Fader, she was the cultural correspondent for the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC.

She once worked for a lifestyle magazine called Bikini.

Wagner has appeared on CNN, the BBC, MTV and VH-I and has been featured in the NYT, WSJ and WaPo.

As for her first week, she remarked to FishbowlDC: “Reporting from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might possibly match Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe in terms of sheer chaos and intensity. Only the sandwich options are a lot better.”

To watch her in a video on The Fader, go here.

Journos Flock to The Week’s Opinion Awards

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The Week held their annual Opinion Awards last night at the W Hotel. This year’s event recognized WaPo wunderkind Ezra Klein, TNR’s Jonathan Chait and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Rob Rogers.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel kicked off the night with a little humor, calling the award “the most significant thing to happen to Ezra [Klein] since his bar mitzvah last week.”

“Morning Joe” hosts and the evening’s emcees Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski showed their love with a shout out to MSNBC’s David Shuster who is currently suspended from his job for an indefinite amount of time. Shuster and wife, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman later dodged questions about the suspension from Examiner’s Tara Palmeri, claiming a stomach ache.

In addition to the emcees and honorees, journalists packed the house last night. FishbowlDC spotted NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Andrea Mitchell, CNN’s Dana Bash, Ed Henry and Jessica Yellin, Politico’s Patrick Gavin, Mike Allen and Anne Schroeder Mullins, CBS’ Christine Delargy, Tammy Haddad, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, WBJ’s Jen Nycz-Conner, Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger and Jonathan Capehart, MSNBC’s Louis Burgdorf, Slate’s John Dickerson, Politics Daily’s Lynn Sweet, Yahoo’s Michael Calderone and Daily Beast’s Tina Brown and Ronnie Cho.

Also in attendance were Brad Dayspring, Hilary Rosen, Matt Cooper, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, Juleanna Glover, as well as “Washington’s own George Clooney,” Kevin Madden (as described by several guests).

To wrap up the evening, The Week Editor-at-Large Sir Harold Evans moderated a panel debate between Senator Amy Klobuchar(D-MN) Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA), Rep.Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Republican strategist Steve Schmidt.

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Examiner’s Tara Palmeri, WBJ’s Jen Nycz-Conner and award recipient, editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers.

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Hey, Isn’t That…

Politics Daily’s Lynn Sweet typing away on the floor of the W Hotel, outside The Week’s Opinion Awards?

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More on the event later today.

Fiscal Times Fete Yields Big Names


Last night, Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and Fiscal Times Founder Peter G. Peterson feted the launch of The Fiscal Times with a cocktail soiree at the Newseum.

Joining Fiscal Times EIC Jackie Leo and DC editor Eric Pianin were media power players like NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker, Examiner’s J.P. Freire, HuffPo’s Peter Cherukuri, ABC’s Emily Lenzner and Rick Klein, The Hill’s Christina Wilkie, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson and Al Hunt, Politics Daily & Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet and Norah McAlvanah.

Also spotted mingling and partaking in the open bar were Dan and Meg Reilly, Amos Snead, Ron Bonjean, Michael Steel and media party circuit fixtures Politico’s Kiki Ryan, Tim Burger and CBS News’ Christine Delargy.

Check out the Fiscal Times here.

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Fiscal Times’ Eric Pianin.

Tale of the Tape: Desiree Rogers Steps Down


This is a sampling of time stamps (at least as they appear on news alerts or on individual Web sites) for the news of White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers stepping down.

Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun Times website: !2:26 p.m. White House Press Secretary Desiree Rogers to Step Down

Crain’s Chicago Business: 12:48: Desiree Rogers to Step Down From White House Job

The Hill: 1:47 p.m. Desiree Rogers Stepping Down as WH Social Secretary

Politico news alert: 2:01 p.m. Desiree Rogers to Resign

CBS News blog: 2:20 p.m. Desiree Rogers to Step Down

WaPo: News Alert: Desiree Rogers to Step Down at End of Month
2:26 p.m. EST Friday, February 26, 2010

MSNBC: 2:26 p.m. Desiree Rogers to Step Down

USA Today: 2:35 White House Social Secretary Steps Down

NY Daily News: 2:43 Obama’s Social Queen Quits

FNC’s Row 2 Seat 4 blog: 2:47 p.m. Breaking: White House Social Secretary to Depart Next Month

HuffPost: 3:03 p.m. Desiree Rogers STEPPING DOWN Next Month

Vanity Fair’s VF Daily blog: 3:19 p.m. White House Social Secretary Steps Down

NYT blog, The Caucus: 3:26 p.m. White House Social Secretary Resigns