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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ann Akers’

First Kennedy, Now HOH: Adios Akers

First former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) backed out of a book deal in which former WaPo gossip blogger Mary Ann Akers was going to co-write the memoir. Kennedy wound up going on CNN and giving the juicy details of his scandalous past to Sanjay Gupta for a documentary, “Coming Clean,” that aired last weekend. That title was the working title for the book. Now Roll Call‘s HOH is demanding that potential sources get a clue and realize that Akers doesn’t work there anymore. She hasn’t worked at Roll Call since 2006.

“@HeardontheHill: Dear Americans for Prosperity, please update your e-mail list. Mary Ann Akers hasn’t worked here for a while,” the pub’s gossip column, which Akers wrote, fussed in a recent tweet.

 

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Ex-Rep. Kennedy: ‘I Felt Like a Loser’

As we told you last week, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy won’t be coming clean with a new book scheduled for release in November that he had planned to write with ex-WaPo gossip scribe Mary Ann Akers. The working title was Coming Clean. But this weekend, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta is doing something clever. He’s capitalizing on the book title and will run a documentary he produced with the former lawmaker called – you guessed it -  “Coming Clean.”

The doc will premiere on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, talks with Kennedy about his goal to fund research in the areas of Alzheimer’s Disease, mental illness and addiction. CNN is pegging this as “deeply personal.” They say Kennedy speaks candidly about the “stigma” he felt growing up with depression as a member of his famously-accomplished family.  He also talks about his many times in rehab. “I felt like a loser…I felt like…‘I’m not living up.  What a shame.’ You know, ‘I’m a shame on my family by needing – treatment, for getting mental health treatment,”  says Kennedy to Gupta in the documentary.

Kennedy tells Gupta he opted not to run for reelection because he wanted to pursue a steady recovery — something he says being in office wouldn’t allow.

Caleb Hellerman and Danielle Dellorto are senior producers for “Coming Clean.”  Roni Selig is the senior executive producer for the CNN Medical, Health, and Wellness unit.  Watch a preview video here.

Ex-WaPo Gossip Columnist Out of a Book Deal

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) is no longer writing that memoir he’s been promising to pen with former WaPo “Sleuth” blogger Mary Ann Akers.

He told the AP this week that he’s “busy with other projects” and is backing out of the deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The book was scheduled for a November release date. The publishing house announced in October that the pair would be writing the book. The memoir was intended to address his political life, his family and those pesky drug and alcohol issues as well as depression. It even had a title: Coming Clean.

Read the full story here.

WaPo Internal Memo: Mary Ann Akers Out

An internal memo was sent to WaPo staff today regarding the employment of reporter Mary Ann Akers. This comes a day after FishbowlDC inquired about her employment status to WaPo PR and received a response of deafening silence. But now the news is out: Akers is leaving to help Rep. Patrick Kennedy write his sobriety memoir Coming Clean. Note the present tense of the book title.

The memo:

Mary Ann Akers, a talented reporter and wonderful colleague, is
leaving The Post to take on a challenging book-writing opportunity.
She will be working with retiring congressman Patrick Kennedy on his
memoir, which will detail Kennedy’s battles with bipolar depression,
alcoholism and drug addiction during more than two decades as a public
official.

Mary Ann came to washingtonpost.com in 2007 to write a lively
inside-Washington gossip blog called “The Sleuth.” This was a new
version of her popular Roll Call column, “Heard on the Hill.” As The
Sleuth, she took readers behind the scenes on Capitol Hill and served
up saucy items on the odd behavior and desperate situations that
animate this town.

More recently, she had been writing features on everything from the
wine lockers at Capital Grille to the little known congressional aides
who really wield the power. We will miss her spirit, but wish her
well.

Kevin
Oct. 6, 2010

Akers on Kennedy: ‘He’s just a really shy person’

Rep. Kennedy with the man he has called his AA sponsor, former Rep. Ramstad

We continue to seek answers from WaPo PR on the employment status of Mary Ann Akers at the paper and questions raised by her partnership with Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) in writing his sobriety memoir Coming Clean.

While we patiently wait, a Lexis Nexus search for “Mary Ann Akers” and “Patrick Kennedy” reveals that she has written about him approximately 25 times in her career.

Talk of an addiction book before

(Roll Call‘s HOH 2006) Kennedy, Budding Author. Meanwhile, we hear that Kennedy and his AA
sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, are talking about
writing a book together. Discussions are “very preliminary,” sources say, but they envision the
book would compile stories by “regular” people, as opposed to politicians, about their battles with various forms of mental illness, ranging from depression and schizophrenia to alcoholism and drug
dependency.

Akers’s personal take on Kennedy

(August 2006 on “Scarborough Country”) AKERS: Well, he`s a really nice guy. I`ve known him for years. And he`s typically just a really shy person behind the scenes. He`s not
what you think of when you think of, you know, the dashing, very self-assured Kennedy. He`s not like John-John. He does stay behind the scenes.

In January of 2007… when Akers left Roll Call for WaPo, Kennedy was one of two members of Congress who were on a farewell e-mail she sent to friends and sources. The other lawmaker was Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

Akers liked to turn in Kennedy sightings

(Aug. 2008, WaPo Reliable Sources) Where was everyone? Some L.A.-to-D.C. frequent fliers like Tim Daly, Richard Schiff and Rosario Dawson mingled with the likes of Reps.
Patrick Kennedy and Jim Clyburn at a GQ/Maker’s Mark party, our
colleague Mary Ann Akers reports.

Reporter to Help Rep. Kennedy Write Addiction Memoir – What are the Rules?

The duo of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and  Mary Ann Akers coming together to write Coming Clean, his “intimate” addiction memoir, isn’t too strange for reporters who worked on Capitol Hill when Akers worked for Roll Call‘s HOH. She and Kennedy could often be seen chatting extensively apart from the reporter pack in the Speaker’s Lobby. There was a comfort level between them that simply didn’t exist for Kennedy and some other reporters.

Akers, most recently with WaPo, has not written a story for the daily newspaper since Aug. 18, 2010.

These are the questions I’ve posed to WaPo PR. Questions 2-4 are contingent on Akers still working for WaPo.

1. Is Akers on book leave from WaPo or does she no longer work there? (New York Businesswire reports that she was “most recently with the Post.” )

2. Can the book be written whether Kennedy is sober or not during the writing stages of the book? Will Kennedy and Akers include facts about his current sobriety status? (A Roll Call story cites him going off the wagon last spring and doing shots of Vodka at a Capitol Hill bar last spring. Reports have resurfaced since that time. In a WaPo story earlier this year, he says this about his sobriety: that he is “sober today.”)

3. Akers is allegedly a reporter on the “national” beat which includes Congress and yet is teaming up with a lawmaker. Where do book profits go?

4. What kinds of disclosures will these profits require?

The NYT Arts section has a story on the upcoming book today. The memoir’s release date is set for fall of 2011. NYBusinesswire also has news on Coming Clean, which they dub an “intimate memoir” about Kennedy’s “inner demons.” Read it here.

Samuel’s “The Upper House” Celebrated

book - heil strickland.jpg
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.

book - klobuchar.jpgbook - samuel.jpg

L: Sen. Amy Klobuchar R: Terence Samuel

Poof! WaPo’s “The Sleuth” Blog Has Disappeared, Scribe Joins National News Staff

Hocus plate small0003_edited-5.jpg “The Sleuth is Away,” says WaPo Mary Ann Akers‘s gossip blog after a tiresome though fruitful search for it on the web and a futile search for it on WaPo‘s Web site.

Well, if by “away” they mean gone, then okay. But by all appearances, “The Sleuth” has disappeared entirely from WaPo‘s Web site. Nonetheless, Akers returned to the paper Thursday after a five-month maternity leave with this story on transgenders and Congress’s Non-Discrimination bill. Welcome back Mary Ann!

As one reader so eloquently put it: “That’s one way to ‘switch’ careers.”

FishbowlDC has requested comment from WaPo‘s PR department. They are sure to get back to us, but not by FBDC press time, which admittedly was late Thursday night. We’ll bring you more details as they come in. Watch here for updates.

> Update: A WaPo spokesperson tells FishbowlDC what’s happening on the Akers front: “Thank you for your interest. Mary Ann has expanded her role at The Post, joining the national news staff. She will continue writing about behind the scenes news in Washington both online and for the newspaper. Be on the lookout for a fun, enterprising feature she has coming out in the Style section very soon.”

Akers Casts Shadow Over New Roll Call

Like breast enhancements, makeovers can come with kinks, and sometimes leaking occurs.

Such is the case on today’s revamped Roll Call Web site in which WaPo’s Mary Ann Akers‘s HOH item from 2004 is the third “Most Popular” item. As many know, Akers used to write HOH. She is allegedly returning to her Sleuth column at WaPo next month.

6946leaking_pipe.jpg

See the #3 winning item after the jump…

Read more

Akers to Return to Sleuth Next Month

The mystery has diminished. A WaPo spokesperson tells FishbowlDC that Sleuth columnist Mary Ann Akers plans to return to work next month after being on maternity leave since late September.

A WaPo spokesperson confirmed the news. No word on WaPo’s maternity leave policy. That information was not readily available and we were told that that information is not necessarily released to the public. When Akers returns she will have been gone approximately seven months. It’s not unusual for new moms to take off this much time, according to time off policies at other publications. It is clear, however, that six to seven months off would be a steep amount of time to be on paid leave.

We look forward to more sleuthing.

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