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Posts Tagged ‘Manu Raju’

Fmr. Politico Reporter Criticizes Politico

Coming soon: A Guide to Burning Bridges by Andy Barr.

Barr, a former Politico reporter who is now working as Communications Director for the Richard Carmona Senate campaign, has openly criticized his former employer in a seething, sarcastic tweet.A little background: In 2003 Cristina Beato was named Asst. Sec. of Health, but not without ensuing confirmation controversy. Barr is ragging on a story published today by John Bresnahan and Manu Raju. The story has Beato trashing Carmona. This is Barr’s turf and one he’s obviously protecting.

Politico’s oh so credible source couldn’t get confirmation because she “fabricated or inflated portions of her résumé” wapo.st/KDnDED

— Andy Barr (@AndyBarr34) May 21, 2012

Update and correction: Barr left his job working for the Arizona Democratic Party four months ago to work for the Carmona campaign. We’ve corrected the above to reflect this.

ABC’s Tapper Lands A Third Merriman Smith Award

For the third year in a row the White House Correspondents’ Association is awarding ABC’s Jake Tapper with the Merriman Smith Award for Broadcast Excellence in Presidential Coverage.

Tapper is receiving the award for breaking the news in August that Standard and Poor had decided to downgrade the U.S’ credit rating.

“We don’t get to say anything at these dinners – mercifully, for the audience – but if I got a chance there are two points I’d make. (Hopefully before the orchestra starting playing),” Tapper said in an email to FishbowlDC.

“First, there’s no way I could ever even get my socks on in the morning , much less break news, were it not for my amazing and unbelievably tolerant and loving wife, and the most talented White House team a correspondent could have – ABC News’ Stephanie Smith, Mary Bruce, Barry Freeman, Devin Dwyer, Jon Garcia and Ann Compton.

“Second, no one ever thanks SOURCES, but deserving of gratitude are the anonymous officials and whistleblowers and honest-brokers who behind the scenes fundamentally respect the need of journalists to report so the public can know what’s going on beyond the rhetoric and press releases. This is an especially important group to honor given recent aggressive efforts to clamp down on government whistleblowers.”

ABC News President Ben Sherwood is, of course, ecstatic: “A modern news machine, Jake keeps newsmakers honest and his audience informed around-the-clock,” he said in a release. “We are thrilled that Jake has been recognized again for his excellence and scoops.”

WaPo‘s Scott Wilson and Politico‘s Glenn Thrush, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and John Bresnahan were also selected as recipients of the Merriman.

The WHCA will present the awards at the annual dinner on April 28.

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Tick Tock: The Bonjean Christmas Party

The annual Christmas party held at the home of private GOP strategist  Ron Bonjean and his wife, Sara, can never be described as a somber affair. There are things you can bank on: a washed up actor, laughter, an ice luge, a smelly elf who makes balloon toys, more laughter, food, drink and good holiday cheer! Hoards of journos and Capitol Hill and K Street types piled into the couple’s home on Saturday night. This year’s actor was looney-eyed activist Gary Busey (a vast difference from last year’s relatively subdued Mr. Belding). Busey was a real hit with the ladies because what woman doesn’t want her bra snapped at a party? There was also an increasingly drunken dirty dancing dude in a pink bunny costume making his way around the tent. You’ll hear more about him later. We warmly bring you a moment by moment guide to the evening.

8 p.m. FishbowlDC dines with former FBDCer Matt Dornic, now at CNN, at Neyla in Georgetown. He asks the bartender what to eat that won’t cause bad breath.

10:15 p.m. FBDC arrives. We pass conservative commentator S.E. Cupp and Rep. Raul Labrador‘s (R-Idaho) Chief of Staff John Goodwin, who were leaving the party.

10:16 p.m. Spotted: House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s (R-Va.) Communication’s Director Brad Dayspring. Speak of the devil! We were just saying he’d probably be here.

10:17 p.m. A partygoer remarks: “Gary Busey is holding court somewhere. I’m going to sit on his lap.”

10:18 p.m. Be careful, warns The Hill‘s Emily Goodin. Gary Busey is “grabby.”

10: 19 p.m. NRCC Spokesman Brian Walsh introduces his new blond, shapely girlfriend around the party. He remarks, “Gary Busey is quite a character.” Another partygoer remarks, “This is getting f–king crazy. Busey is crazy.”

10:20 p.m. A male guest on Busey: “People are complaining about the boob grabs.”

10:21 p.m. Guests line up to meet Busey and take their picture with him. One enormous woman in a gray dress poses with him. He wraps his arm around her, reaches for her bra strap, and SNAP!

10:22 p.m. A woman in line laughs at the bra snapping and says, “We still gotta get a photo. What the hell, right?”

10:25 p.m. Female partygoer says, “I think there are hookers here. I don’t know what the f–k is going on.”

10:30 p.m. FBDC gets face time with Busey. He thankfully stays away from my bra strap. “We need to turn this mess into a message,” he says, speaking of the political landscape, explaining that his goal is to be a political motivational speaker (he successfully lobbied for a helmet law after he got into an accident and suffered a head trauma). I ask what side of the political spectrum he’s on and he replies, “I’m on the right side. I’m like a heat seeking missile when it comes to telling the truth.” So who’s he backing? That’d be Newt Gingrich. At this point he says he can’t hear me even though I try leaning into each ear to shout my questions at the top of my lungs above the din of mingling guests. He directs me to his publicist, Michael Conley, who’s standing nearby. “Oh, he’s very charismatic,” Conley says of Busey. “He tells the truth so people relate to him. He says what people are afraid to say. Gary has never been afraid to tell the truth because the truth is the truth.” What else would the truth be besides the truth? Who wrote these talking points? “He’s here to help humanity and be who God wants you to be,” Conley says, explaining that Busey is very into the Golden Rule. So does this mean that I get to snap his briefs?

10:45 p.m. A male Capitol Hill aide wants to discuss our Friday penis picture that accompanies our weekly feature, “Sunday Morning Panels: Only Males Need Apply.” He wants to know, “Are they wooden, are they candles?”

11 p.m. The big wild hairdo of TWT‘s Charlie Hurt is spotted afar from across the room. Recalling last year’s Bonjean Christmas party, he says this sometimes happens when he washes it. He’s taunting partygoers with a miniature silver gun that doubles as a lighter. Actually, it’s just a lighter but it has a red light on it that he keeps directing at people’s necks. USA Today’s Sue Davis stops by to say hello and make fun of his clothing, which appears to be some sort of barn jacket and khakis.

11:15 p.m. More Busey party chatter. A male partygoer says, “You’re not knocking Gary Busey. He’s at the top of his game. He lost his face and his mind.” A different male guest tells me that Busey told his date the following: “I know what we’re going to do later. We’re going to sweat.” WHAT?

11:20 p.m. Washington D.C.’s resident Cabbage Patch doll has arrived. Hello Matt Mackowiack! He’s spotted talking with Politico‘s Manu Raju and wife, Archana.

11:30 p.m. Three different female journos approach FBDC to complain about the baseball caps worn by Politico founders Jim VandeHei and John Harris. One couldn’t distinguish between the two and referred to VandeHei as the one with the fake Twitter alias (that would be Fake Jim VandeHei or Vandaheeho, a pronunciation coined by SNL late Saturday night). All the women were incensed about the hats. “They look like they’re sixth graders in a gang. It’s almost like they planned it,” said one. Another remarked that it was offensive and tacky to wear baseball caps to a Christmas party.

11: 45 p.m. The elf wanders into the crowd and begins his balloon act for The Hill‘s Goodin. Someone nearby says, “He doesn’t smell right.”

11:50 p.m. Meanwhile, the male pink bunny is randomly dirty dancing with women he passes. In a word: disturbing. The bunny knocks into FBDC. “Love you, love you,” he says.

11:55 p.m. TWT‘s Susan Crabtree walks by on her way to meet Busey. She says, “Gary Busey was in my favorite surfer movie.”

Just after Midnight: Who invited ABC “What Would You Do” host John Quinones? A drunken, crying woman is sitting down on steps with her head in her lap. Her male companion is yanking on her arm. Many in the vicinity begin to stare. She’s obviously had too much to drink. Some say she was puking. Her mascara is running. Female partygoers circle around her, wondering what to do. At one point a guy approaches the clearly hostile male companion and says with disdain, “Take her home, man.” The companion again grabs at the woman. He tries to prop her up and it’s not going smoothly, as he isn’t in such hot shape himself. They finally make it out a side door as a number of guests lament that they should have done something to help.

12:45 a.m. The witching hour is fast approaching. The party begins winding down but is still whirring with that late-night had too much to drink blue-lit aura. Ron says it’s nearly time for him to relax and have a beer. Busey and his publicist are still here. Are they contemplating a sleepover?

12:50 a.m. Goodnight. We’re outta here. Thank you Ron and Sara for your hospitality.

See more names after the jump…Also, UPDATE: Read a partygoer’s recollection about an altercation that was witnessed between Busey and the guy in the pink bunny costume.

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

I’ve long wondered how FishbowlMatt might look if he adopted the obviously fashion conscious serial killer look of DCRTV’s resident journo-thief Dave Hughes. Here are the incredible results. And no, Matt didn’t go to the Grooming Lounge for this. We’re calling it “Contemplative Bearded Matt.” (Photoshop credit to QGA’s Meghan Smith.)

Tschida’s doc recommends shingles vaccine

“Mixed signals: doctor said I look 28…. really. Then recommended a shingles vaccine. Says shingles are really hard on senior citizens.” — ABC7 reporter Stephen Tschida.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Guy in car next to me is swearing [sic] a sweatband on his arm. And he doesn’t look like he is headed to a workout.” — WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza.

Emily Wants to Get Her Gun

“Gun people- I’m looking for a gun store near DC with rentals and range to narrow down choices to buy. Any ideas? #EmilysGUN” — TWT‘s Emily Miller.

Finney and Williams Crack on Ratigan

Regulars on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show had some fun at the host’s expense Thursday afternoon after his cell phone rang while on air. He coolly shut the phone off and joked that Congress must be calling. Soon enough, MSNBC Political Analyst Karen Finney came on air with her cell phone. “Hold on Dylan, I’m on my cell phone, sorry,” she said, chuckling. At which point Lobbyist Jimmy Williams busts out laughing. He was also holding onto his cell phone on air, pretending to talk. Finney explained, “Jimmy and I just wanted to have some fun.”

Parsing words: Don’t let door hit you in a$$ on way out

“Last night, I accepted the resignation of my Chief of Staff, Bud Otis.  I didn’t ask for it. I agreed with Bud that the flurry of separate news articles about his recent activities made it impossible for him to continue to serve me and the residents of the Sixth District of Maryland effectively.” — Statement of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) about accepting resignation tendered by his Chief of Staff.

Convo between Kermit and Blitz

On Thursday Kermit the Frog entered The Situation Room to discuss God only knows what. Whatever it was, Wolf made it clear Kermit can come back whenever he pleases.

Kermit the Frog: “Thank you Wolf. There’s a situation I think we should discuss.”

Wolf Blitzer: “Let’s discuss that situation.”

Sighting on Capitol Hill: Larry Craig

“Former Sen. Larry Craig spotted in the Capitol, tells me he’s meeting with lawmakers to discuss mining issues.” — Politico‘s Manu Raju of the former GOP Senator arrested after he allegedly tried to pick up a cop in a Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport bathroom.

Newt says Herman needs to be prayerful

“My advice to Herman having lived through a lot of different experiences is he has to stop and open up his heart and he has to think very prayerfully about what he owes his own family and what he owes his own future.” — GOP Presidential Hopeful Newt “I’ve only had three marriages” Gingrich in an interview with ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper. The interview will air on “GMA” on Friday morning.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY


Weinerpalooza Rages On

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart: “This is the weirdest story I’ve ever seen in my f–king life or the greatest episode of Maury ever.

“Has there ever been a sex scandal in Libertarian or Vegetarian parties?” — NPR’s Scott Simon in a Tuesday morning tweet.

“Press Secretary-ing 101: Do not let anyone else near the podium. Know how to cut the mic.” — NBC News Communications Director Erika Masonhall in a Monday tweet.

“Weiner rips off mask, revealing that it’s been Gary Condit all along!” — ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper in a Monday tweet referring to ex-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.), who left Congress in 2003 while embroiled in a scandal involving a dead intern, Chandra Levy. Condit had an extramarital affair with Levy. Last year Ingmar Guandique was convicted of the murder and was sentenced to 60 years behind bars.

“There are no new sins in Washington, only new means of committing them.” — ABC’s Karen Tumulty in a Monday tweet.

“As if male cat owners didn’t already look bad enough … #weiner” — Politico‘s infamous cat-owning Patrick Gavin in a Monday tweet.

“Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwkward…” — TWT‘s Kara Rowland in a Monday tweet.

“I think Andrew Breitbart needs a haircut and a tie. I wonder if he paid for the photos released today?” — Liberal syndicated columnist Karl Frisch in a Monday tweet.

“I picked a bad day to give up sniffing glue. #weinergate” — House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s flack Brad Dayspring in a Monday tweet.

“Breitbart just totally bigfooted Rep. Weiner’s press conference. Say what you will about the guy, but that’s some gangster shit.” — Jared Keller, Associate Editor for The Atlantic and The Atlantic Wire, in a Monday tweet.

“Say what you want, but this is quite painful to watch.” — NJ‘s Ethan Klapper in a Monday tweet.

“This is like the OJ trial – I CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF IT!” — Conservative commentator Ann Coulter in a Monday tweet during Weiner’s hotel appearance.

“Grassley tells me he’s found a way to avoid Weiner’s problems on Twitter. ‘I don’t send pictures,’ he quips.” — Politico‘s Manu Raju in a Monday tweet from Capitol Hill after interviewing Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

“NEW RULE: Someone needs to yell ‘Were you fully erect?’ at end of every press conference.” – Slate‘s Dave Weigel in a Monday tweet in reference to the heckler who began shouting at Weiner just before he left the hotel.

“If I could be a fly on a wall today, it would be for the conversation between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton.” — NJ‘s Susan Davis in a Monday tweet.

“Weiner is definitely going to have some fences to mend. I think his wife is going to have to be part of the equation.” — HuffPost‘s Alex Wagner on MSNBC’s Cenk Uygur show Monday with substitute host Al Sharpton.

“No, I do not have offices at the Weinergate. It is @thewatergate, and it is perfectly dignified. #gatehate.” — The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta in a Monday tweet.

 

 

Politico Reporters/Editors: The Chosen Ones

We’ve learned specifics on which Politico reporters received the exclusive invite to the boss’s house on Sunday. As many know by now, Politico‘s Robert Allbritton and wife, Elena, held a post WHCD brunch at their Georgetown home, but only a small select group of journalists of the approximately 200 they employ were invited.

The List: Editor-in-Chief John Harris and Executive Editor Jim Vandehei, Bill Nichols, Danielle Jones, Kim Kingsley, Sara Olson, Bill Hamilton, Julie Mason, Jonathan Martin, Craig Gordon, Katherine Lehrer, Manu Raju, Tim Grieve and Mike Allen. Photographer John Shinkle and reporter Amie Parnes were there to cover the event. It’s unclear but doubtful that they would have been invited otherwise.

To the masses who didn’t get to eat fried mushroom puffs and caviar this weekend, don’t worry. They’re sure to send out a praiseworthy internal memo soon or offer catered lunch in the conference room.

UPDATE: We missed Politico’s chief political columnist Roger Simon, who also got to enjoy those mouthwatering mushroom puffs at the brunch. He attended with his wife, Marcia Kramer. “The food, which was catered by Wolfgang Puck, was terrific,” Simon remarked to FishbowlDC.

“MTP” Fetes New Press Rep

MTP's Adam Verdugo, Betsy Fischer and Erika Masonhall c/o WHCInsider

A group of Washington’s journos gathered for cordials and cupcakes at the home of “Meet the Press” (MTP) E.P. Betsy Fischer last night.  The cocktail party was held to welcome Erika Masonhall to the MTP team.  Formerly press secretary for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Masonhall is now the press representative for NBC’s “Nightly News” and “Meet the Press.”

In addition to network bigwigs like Fischer, Washington Bureau Chief Antoine Sanfuentes, David Gregory and NBC News President Steve Capus, some of the District’s top reporters were in the house to raise a glass to MTP’s press rep.  Jeff Zeleny from the New York Times, soon-to-be USA Today reporter Jackie Kucinich, WaPo‘s Paul Kane, Tammy Haddad, Roll Call‘s Jessica Brady and Politico‘s Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, Manu Raju, and Keach Hagey all found their way out to Fischer’s Falls Church, Va. maison.

*Unfortunately for FishbowlDC, last night we learned the hard way that you should start a car more than once every three months to prevent its battery from dying.  R.I.P. battery and congrats Erika!

For more photos and info from the Masonhall fete, check out WHCInsider here.

Mike Allen, David Gregory and Antoine Sanfuentes c/o WHCInsider

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY

Name-calling

“Neil Cavuto = Eddie Munster.” — HuffPost‘s Arthur Delaney in a Thursday tweet.

Conflicted journo

“Schumer just called me “the man-eating manu shark.” Not sure if that’s a compliment.” — Politico‘s Manu Raju on Thursday on Twitter.

Reporter lodges complaint

“Can we please all agree to stop using the terms “double down” and “doubling down” in political stories and headlines? #overused” –WaPo‘s Ben Pershing in a Thursday tweet.

Conspiracy theorist

“Beginning to think Facebook outage timing is strategic – every article about it mentions movie release. Coincidence?” –FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic on Thursday on Twitter.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quote(s) of the Day

Politico scribe declares himself taller than Kagan

The following is a Facebook post and reaction between Politico‘s Manu Raju and John Bresnahan.

Manu Raju towers over Elena Kagan

John Bresnahan: No no, mugsy and spud could dunk on manu. we don’t want to go there. we have identified four people that Manu is taller than – Kagan, Mikulski, Boxer, and Reed – let’s just leave it there.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan is President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee; the senators include Sen. Barbara Mikulski(D-Md.) (who has compared herself with a Lilliputian from Gulliver’s Travels), Barbara Boxer(D-Calif.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

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Libit Bids Farewell to Colleagues at Local 16

homemade-spaghetti-sauce.jpg

Politico reporters came together Saturday night at Local 16 to say goodbye to colleague Daniel Libit. A wonderful sendoff, we’re sure.

But a note to Politico partygoers: Politico reporter Manu Raju is not Italian. In the list the tipster sent to Fishbowl, Manu’s surname (as shown below) renamed him after a Spaghetti sauce. Perhaps it was the liquor talking – the time was 3:07 a.m. when the note was sent. Or maybe Raju has a nickname in the works.

Regardless, those in attendance, said an e-mail, included: “Tim Alberta, Josh Kraushaar, Tim Grieve, Andy Barr, Erica Lovely, Meagan Bond, Sydelle Moore, Michael Calderone, Paige Connor, Kendra Marr, Meredith Shriner, Glenn Thrush, Martin Kady, Andie Collier, Matt Wuerker, Manu Ragu [STET], Ken Vogel, Kim Kingsley, Jmart.”

Best wishes to Libit in the Windy City, wherever he lands. (At last mention, he said his resume was under review at a number of Starbucks).

> Update: A crime has been committed against FishbowlDC — most likely a reporting while intoxicated (RWI) crime. To be sure, this is a lesson to me not to trust some a–hole writing us at 3 a.m. inventing some party in his or her head. Actual partygoers (with their correct spellings) include: Tim Grieve, Manu Raju, Josh Kraushaar, Andie Coller, Erika Lovley, Tim Alberta, Kendra Marr, Sydelle Moore, Meagan Bond and Andy Barr. Memo to VandeHarris: This is your “Winning the Dawn?” A thank you to Libit for setting the record straight. Libit, by the way, found this whole thing “HILLLLLARIOUS.”

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