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Posts Tagged ‘Marc Ambinder’

The Week Lands Marc Ambinder

Marc Ambinder has officially landed! Formerly of The Atlantic, NJ and most recently a contributing editor at GQ, he fled Washington journalism for a little while, but now he has joined TheWeek.com as its Editor at Large. He’s also launching a new daily blog column called “The Compass,” which debuts today. You can read it here.

The Week’s success is proof to me that thoroughness, thoughtfulness and concision don’t need to be casualties of our dizzying non-stop news cycle,” said Ambinder in a canned press release quote. “I’ve long been an aficionado and I’m honored to join TheWeek.com as a writer.”

His first post on “The Compass” involves the gaffe. Just what is a gaffe anyway? He thinks the term is way overused in inappropriate ways.

In an early morning introductory post, he explained what the blog would and wouldn’t be. “I haven’t blogged regularly for awhile, and I don’t quite know how my own style has evolved,” he wrote. “I’ll definitely write about the presidential campaigns, trends in politics, national security, and foreign policy, as well as science, technology, and culture.” He also plans to pose a question on his Twitter account (@marcambinder) and incorporate your answers into his blog.

What he won’t write about? Everything. “I am going to stick to the rule I made for myself awhile ago: If I don’t think I have something interesting to say, or something valuable to add, I am not going to force anything.” He also made sure to note that he’s not a full-time blogger and is a consultant for Palo Alto-based Palantir Technologies that focuses on National Security. Ambinder promised full disclosures on anything that might touch that subject area and avoidance of writing about anything that might be a conflict of interest.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Created by Morgan Howlan, age 5. Appeared in New Times.

Marc Ambinder not keen on ‘poking’ David Brooks

“I do not know why Facebook suggests that I poke David Brooks, but I think I shall reject their suggestion.” –Contributing Editor for GQ and The Atlantic Marc Ambinder, who is up awfully early for an L.A. based writer. This tweet was written at 5:20 a.m. which is 2:20 PT. Brooks is a conservative columnist for NYT.

Convo Between Two Journo Types

A sampling from JRC’s Steve Buttry: 1. “Amtrak just canceled our Acela train. Seriously.” 2. “My last Amtrak trip from NY to DC was delayed 3 hours by a fatality on the track. Now we’re thrown off in Philly for a ‘bridge problem.’” 3. “But I’m not patient.” 4. “Avis didn’t honor our reservation, but we were working w/ another guy whose reservation worked.”

Jeff Jarvis, blogger and J-School prof: “Steve Buttry, I’m surprised even your wife travels with you. Hell, I’m surprised any conveyance sells you a ticket.”

It’s Raining Jean Shorts!

“I am counting the # of jean short-tank top combos today. Despite that it’s a thing, it shouldn’t be. We are not a beach town. #dcpride” — Metro Weekly White House Correspondent Chris Geidner. In other weekend observations, Roll Call‘s John Stanton saw this: “Black leather bannana hammock + rainbow angel wings + pasty ass white skin = gay pride weekend on U St.”

Real Life Bulls%!t

“Just saw a pregnant woman carrying a baby crossing a street without crosswalk while texting… #whatswrongwithpeople” — Thomas Tobin, executive producer at NBC4.

Dinner Faux Pas

“Got back to my table, and @michaelpfalcone was using my napkin. Dude…. #RTCADinner” — Retiring Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) at the RTCA dinner Friday night on Falcone, deputy political director for ABC News. McCotter also remarked on CBS’s Steve Chaggaris, saying, “Finally met @stevechaggaris – he’s skinnier in person than on TV.” In other RTCA dinner news, WJLA TV reporter Mike Conneen, meanwhile, observed this: “AWKWARD! At @rtcadinner, Steve Kroft accepts award a few ft away from Speaker Boehner for story exposing Congressional insider trading.” Kroft works for CBS’s “60 Minutes.” UPDATE and Correction: Cheggaris recently returned to CBS as Executive Editor, Washington of CBSNews.com. He is no longer with Yahoo! News. Before that he was at TBD. The above has been changed to reflect the facts.

Surprise. Surprise. A WaPo technological failure.

“My @washingtonpost app has crashed 3 times this morning! I suppose I could go pick up the paper at the end of my driveway.” — Christine Montgomery, chief digital officer at the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch.

The Appointed Media Critic

“It’s funny how @HowardKurtz has hard lefties like David Shuster on his show, but the best he can do for a righty is Jennifer Rubin…?” — The Daily Caller‘s TV reporter Jeff Poor referencing lefty radio host Shuster and WaPo‘s right-leaning blogger Rubin.

In case you missed it over the weekend, MSNBC Contributor, author and Daily Beast Contributor Meghan McCain tweeted a picture of her crotch. By Saturday morning, it had been deleted. Lucky for her, she wasn’t going commando. See here.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

NBC TODAY show’s Savannah Guthrie‘s feet brought to us by NBC Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen.

Amtrak responds to journo’s complaints

“Life is what happens when you’re on hold with Amtrak.” — The Daily Caller‘s Will Rahn wrote the other day. To which Amtrak responded, saying, “@willrahn We apologize for the wait, but thank you for your patience.”

Dicking around in the morning…

“There are many ways to teach the kids about timeliness. Waking them in a panic because you were dickering on Twitter is apparently mine.” — CBS Political Director John Dickerson.

More Olbermann analysis

“Just terrible luck for Olbermann…keeps getting hired by great people who turn out to be horrible right around the time he leave.” — Yahoo! News‘s Olivier Knox.

Journo Appreciation Society

“Thank you for the awesome #politicolive shout outs. Definitely one of my favorite parts of election nights!” — Politico‘s Juana Summers, who went up against the trifecta firing squad last night of Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Maggie Haberman.

Tornado gets train metaphor

“Fascinated by the ubiquitous use of ‘freight train’ to describe a tornado. How many people can distinguish freight trains from other trains?” — Progressive blogger and former web consultant to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton presidential campaign Peter Daou.

Journo blames spelling error on White House Press Office

“W.H. misspelled John Calipari’s name in their release, leading me to misspell his name in my item because I know nothing about basketball.” — Politico White House reporter Byron Tau.

At 3:07 a.m. Metro Weekly White House reporter Chris Geidner writes… “Can’t sleep. Grr. Trying again. :-/ Alarm is at 6a. … Night, tweeps.”

Feminist of the Day

“I hear that ABC’s ‘Honeymooners’ remake will be titled ‘I’m Gonna Punch That B****!’ — Wired‘s Spencer Ackerman.

Baier will answer literally anything

“Bret Baier mate batman is pretty intense for first thing in the morning? My kids and I go for Mickey’s Clubhouse,” wrote Steveathan. Baier replied, “Good idea.”

Eavesdrop Cafe

“Eavesdropping on @ESPN exec at a breakfast brag bout the net’s
next slate of docs, including films about Larry Bird, bodybuilding, poker” — Contributing GQ and The Atlantic Editor Marc Ambinder.

Shocker: No eBook mentions in this morning’s Politico Playbook.

Famous Last Words: Longtime Washington Scribe Marc Ambinder Won’t Grow Long Fingernails

Late last week NJ‘s Marc Ambinder, formerly with The Atlantic, announced his departure. In a cryptic note, he said simply that he was moving on, but provided no major details. Or minor ones for that matter, except for a phone and email where he could be reached.

We tracked him down late Friday by phone to learn more. Thankfully he was in a chatty mood. “I don’t have a job lined up,” the soft-spoken Ambinder told FBDC, explaining that he has an eBook coming out in January and is in the midst of a book proposal for another. He won’t reveal details, even the eBook title, saying he’s not permitted to say just yet.

Ambinder, a longtime Washington journalist, said he’s not leaving journalism. “It isn’t accurate to say I’m checking out,” he said. I don’t plan to grow long fingernails or disappear into the woods.” Well, that’s a relief. But seriously, how does he feel about leaving the intensity of daily journalism? “It’s never a bad thing,” he surmised. “It’s not always easy to step away from doing something you’ve done for 10 years, and something you seem to be somewhat good at.”

He turns philosophical. “Sometimes it’s good to just take a pause and figure out what other opportunities are available,” he said. “I know it sounds like the politician’s big excuse after some sex scandal, which would be interesting and might enhance my reputation. But I just want some time off to focus on some of these larger projects and now is the time to do that.”

What will leaving the daily blogosophere feel like? Though he isn’t necessarily worried about it, he knows mood swings might be in his immediate future. “I think I’m going to experience a bit of withdrawal,” he said. “Part of it will be the enormously reduced volume of emails I am not going to get. I am going to have to figure out how to deal with that reality.” Another reality is how left out he may feel during the upcoming presidential election coverage. “I’m sure on the night of the Iowa caucuses I’ll feel more than a twinge of ‘uh, should I really have done that?’ he said. “In the end it will turn out to have been the right thing to do.”

Ambinder said his employer has been enormously understanding. “They spent a lot of time trying to convince me not to leave,” he said. “They were persuasive at different points. It’s been tooling around in my head for a couple of months. I decided the best thing now is probably a clean break.” But he added, “I can’t rule out the possibility of winding up at the same company.”

For now, a road trip might be in order. Asked if he’s due for a vacation, he replied, “I will go, but I’m not sure where I’m going to go yet. I was initially thinking of driving across country but that’s not something to do in the winter.”

 

 

 

Ambinder to leave NJ

NJ’s Marc Ambinder is leaving the publication.

In a somewhat cryptic note, he writes:

Friends and colleagues,

I am leaving National Journal effective 31 December.

I’ll be working on … special projects.

My best holiday wishes and regards,

Marc Ambinder

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day


CNBC’s Eamon Javers gets swallowed by Kermit the Frog background:”Rehearsing for tonight’s #cnbcdebate in front of the biggest dang green screen I’ve ever seen.”

Editor gets pounded by mall doc on weight

“Christ, even the eye doctor at the mall is telling me to get more exercise. STICK TO THE EYES, DOC” — Gawker Political Editor Jim Newell. We’re not going to even ask why you’re eye doctor is at the mall.

Chelsea Handler on the Welsh Rugby player who woke up gay after a freak gym incident: “I love how he wakes up and he has to become a hairdresser. Like there’s no other job for a gay man. Like you could become an interior designer. You could become a Republican senator. There are many, many options.”

Journo questions Hardball host’s verbal skills

“Does it annoy you, @grovernorquist, that it’s pathologically impossible for @hardball_chris to pronounce your name correctly? #hardball” — Newsbusters’ Ken Shepherd.

Pre-Presidential debate trash talking

“Romney’s the only remotely sane one, & he’s the guy who drove 500 miles with his dog on the roof of the car.” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten.

WCP employees lash out at fire alarm

“Once again, @wcp fire alarm defeated simply by people yelling at it. Now just hope there isn’t actually a fire.” — WCP Managing Editor Mike Madden.

Boybander loses marbles over Chili’s Too

“Chili’s Too is truly a sad, pale imitation of Chili’s. I want my baby back ribs!!!” –  Think Progress blogger Matt Yglesias. Correction: We confused Yglesias for his friend Spencer Ackerman and have taken out the banana wisecrack. RELAX SARA LIBBY.

Ambinder wants Eddie’s gig

“I am available to host the Oscars.” — NJ‘s Marc Ambinder after comedian Eddie Murphy drops out.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“DILEMMA: I want to eat this chewy granola bar, but it has a picture of a Jonas Brother on it.” — Roll Call Editor Ryan Beckwith. Then, inexplicably, the granola bar Twitter handle confronts him. “@quakerchewy: @ryanbeckwith We can assure you, it’s delicious. Which flavor are you snackin’ on, Ryan?” And he responds, “PB & Jonas.” Beckwith should be banned from ever conversing with a granola bar during work hours. If he wants to stay up late into the night chatting away with quakerchewy so be it. But it should be frowned upon.


The Atlantic and NJ Merge on Pakistan

The Atlantic and NJ have produced joint cover stories this week. The combined reporting effort, the product of dozens of interviews over the course of six months, marks the first time the two pubs have collaborated on joint cover pieces.

The authors are The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg and NJ‘s Marc Ambinder.

A snapshot of what the stories entail: “While it’s no secret Pakistan is home to radical jihadists and a large nuclear arsenal, Goldberg and Ambinder reveal troubling new information about the extreme lengths the country is taking to hide its nuclear weapons from the U.S.—and about the secret plans the U.S. military has made to seize those weapons in the event of a crisis. Goldberg and Ambinder also provide fresh insight into the deeply strained U.S.-Pakistan relationship, one in which the two countries are more adversaries than allies.”

  • The full version of the story, to be published in the December issue of The Atlantic, is available online today HERE.

VandeHei Voices Disdain for Habitual Tweeting

Mark McKinnon, political communications strategist and columnist for The Daily Beast, chatted with Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei over the weekend at the Shorenstein Center’s 25th celebration at Harvard Kennedy School. What emerged might surprise you.

Among the topics: Twitter. Watch out Politico scribes. “I don’t like reporters tweeting when they should be reporting,” said VandeHei. “If they are doing it right, they are reporting.”

His own Twitter habits are anorexic. VandeHei has never written a single tweet, but has 716 followers and follows 144. In the mix of those he follows are USA Today‘s Susan Page, HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, GMA’s George Stephanopoulos, MSNBC “Morning Joe” Hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist, NJ‘s Marc Ambinder and Susan Davis, CNN’s Candy Crowley, Dana Bash and John King, ABC’s Jake Tapper, NYT Jeff Zeleny, Mark Leibovich and Carl Hulse, WaPo‘s Ezra Klein, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and WSJ‘s Jonathan Weisman to name a few. He doesn’t follow every Politico reporter, but he follows usual suspects like Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, Jonathan Allen, James Hohmann, Ben Smith and Jake Sherman. He’s also still following Kendra Marr, who was recently forced to resign for plagiarism.

In the Harvard interview, VandeHei noted that the problem with young recent grads he interviews today is they’re brilliant, but incapable of shifting through large quantities of information. He described many  as very smart but “incapable of coherence.” He went on to talk about the importance of oversight, saying, “editors are essential.” The Politico co-founder also  introduced uncommon journalism lingo into the conversation as he discussed “deeper dive” pieces. He calls them key to the future of journalism. He said Mike Allen has the most “readers” and “feeders.” He showered Allen with praise, saying he has a “special gift of getting people to talk. He’s nice, trusted.”

For those waiting fitfully for the day when VandeHei utters his first tweet he’s at @JimVandeHei. But don’t hold your breath.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Boybander attends very bad movie

“Gonna go catch the Lion King later today, or, as Rick Perry calls it, ‘Niggerhead 3D.’” — TPM‘s Brian Beutler in a reference to Gov. Rick Perry‘s family hunting camp. 

Personally? Milbank wants Christie in.

“Selfishly, I hope he abandons his reluctance and enters the race. If nothing else he will entertain us on the campaign trail.”WaPo‘s Dana Milbank in a Sunday column.

Bio of the Day

Brian Danza: Director of BS (Business Strategies) for The Daily Caller: “Jazzercise Weekend Warrior and Live-Tweeter to the Stars, Occasionally seen roaming offices of The Daily Caller.”

Online idiocy

“A guy sent WWR a message saying he hopes [Jimmy] Carter drops dead soon. Boorish, crude behavior only diminishes yourself & shows a lack of class.” — West Wing Report.

Rangel gets shooed away

“Just ran into a colleague who says that Charlie Rangel tried to come to the start of the #OccupyWallSt march, but was booed away.” — NYT‘s Brian Stelter.

West Wing Reportage…

“So… The motorcade comes rolling through Georgetown is serious. #outsidethebubble.” — AP‘s Philip Elliott.

Ambinder weighs in on Christie

“Chris Chrstie WILL be judged unfairly because of his weight. Asking should he be … says more about the person who asks. That said…Public figures can deal w/ weight stigma by being open about it & Christie prolly will. Most people with a bias against him b/c of weight.” — NJ‘s Marc Ambinder, who had his own issues with obesity and had bariatric surgery after the late NBC “MTP” Host Tim Russert‘s death scared him into taking drastic action.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day — GOP Presidential Debate Edition

“How is this c–t on MSNBC saying Obama created jobs!? I’m stunned at this sh-t ass f–k d–k ‘news’ channel.” — Anthony Cumia from the “Opie and Anthony” radio show in a startling tweet last night that contained no dashes. Rachel Maddow was leading the network’s post-debate coverage.

Promises, promises

“Hey Patrick Gavin, we’ll get you in on that next debate. Forget Harris.” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Co-host Willie Geist joking around with Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in this morning’s post debate analysis referring to Editor-in-Chief John Harris, who co-moderated the debate with NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

The media peanut gallery

“What makes this MSNBC operation so much better than its competitors, I am now seeing, is how its panelists amuse & bemuse each other so.” — BigGovernment’s Andrew Breitbart.

“Why not at least have Joe Scarborough, Jonathan Martin, Pat Buchanan, & Luke Russert doing this?” — The Daily Caller‘s media scribe Matt Lewis.

“Changing the channel now. This analysis is disgusting and sick.” — The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle who was presumably watching MSNBC’s post debate analysis.

FNC’s Henry under the influence of MSNBC’s Matthews

“ANYONE SEEN MY ‘A’ SECTION OF NYTIMES?? IT HAS YELLOW HIGHLIGHTER ALL OVER IT #chrismatthewstweets” — FNC’s Ed Henry mimicking what he imagines is MSNBC “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews‘ Twitter personality. Matthews showed up on Twitter last night some months after writing just one tweet on his account.  Henry continued, “GEEZ SANTORUM IS ALMOST AS ORANGE AS BRIAN W! #chrismatthewstweets”

Travel writer gets poetic about the rain

“The rain is amazing. It falls and falls and falls, days now, and it’s warm and people huddle and duck and splash and I like it.” — Carl Hoffman, contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler.

Capehart is all over Calista’s frightening hairdo

“Calista Gingrich’s hair. So blond. So sturdy. Discuss. It’s all about the spray baby!!” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart on Newt Gingrich‘s wife’s blond helmet of hair as reported on Twitter by MSNBC Political Analyst Karen Finney, who added that she “merely pointed out the role of hairpspray.”

Is this a healthy obsession?

“So I’ll give a gift to any friend at NBC News who can get me a cut of your election music. I’m, like, that obsessed with it.” — NJ‘s Marc Ambinder.

Mid-debate weather report

“Meanwhile, the lightning in DC is so intense it’s like flashes of daylight out my window.” – Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner.

Where was Howie?

“Find it interesting that @HowardKurtz didn’t live Tweet tonight’s #gopdebate. Perhaps, he wants to avoid a Tweet he will later regret?” — Claritza Jimenez, a Washington, D.C. – based program officer at the International Center for Journalists, on  the lack of The Daily Beast‘s Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz in last night’s discussion. Don’t fret Claritza. If his WeingerGate coverage is any indication, he’ll weigh in about five days from now.

TV scribe loses cable post debate

“My cable went out just as the debate ended. Must live without post-game analysis, somehow.” — ABC’s Rick Klein.

We have a comedian in the house…“Overall I think Tim Pawlenty did great tonight.” — The Daily Caller‘s Senior Editor Jamie Weinstein.

A FishbowlDC Twitter follower told us last night..“I get sick to my stomach each time I see Herman Cain. Nothing personal on Cain, but a bad experience at Godfather’s. Original crust w/pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers. The mushrooms weren’t quite right.”

Debate letdown

“Well that was….dull.” — The Hill‘s Daniel Strauss.

Male bronzer alert

“Huntsman bathed in Clinique Bronzer for Men.” — GOP Consultant Roger Stone remarking on Gov. John Huntsman‘s appearance in the GOP debate last night.

Now for some important news completely unrelated to the debate: “Got an e-mail asking if a portrait in some gallery titled ‘pretty boy’ is me. hhhhmmmm… don’t know whether to be flattered or concerned?” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida.

And this…“Press release informs me that someone has launched a line of socks designed especially for greyhounds.” — WCP‘s Managing Editor Mike Madden.

More weather woes…

“Argh. Power lines near my apartment building have survived blizzards, earthquakes and hurricanes, but not today’s thunderstorms.” — AP‘s Julie Pace.


 

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