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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ann Akers’

Where’s Mary Ann?

mary ann akers.jpgWaPo blogger Mary Ann Akers took a maternity leave in late September 2009 as she and husband, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, welcomed son, Zach, into the world on Oct. 5. But it’s nearly five months later, and Akers remains on leave. Her last item for the website appeared on Sept. 10, 2009.

On Sept. 30 WaPo reported:

The Sleuth is Away
While the Sleuth is away, check out The Reliable Source for Inside the Beltway Gossip and Capitol Briefing for the latest Hill news. Visit 44 for the latest from Obama’s Washington, and check in with the Fix for political news and analysis.

Is it just a case of ‘Mommy Realizes Being a Mother Is –
Understandably — More Rewarding Than Gossip?’ or something else?
Unfortunately, our efforts to sleuth and ask both the Post and Akers have resulted in interesting dodges, weaves and non-responses on Akers’s part (it’s noteworthy to say here that the Post PR department is always responsive, when they know something or when they don’t). Akers did not return a FishbowlDC attempt to contact her by e-mail.

So let the countdown begin:

Will Akers return? Or is she entering a new phase in her life?

Stay tuned…

Isikoff and Akers Welcome Baby Zach!

Mary Ann Akers and Michael Isikoff just welcomed new son, Zach to Washington…

From the proud Papa:

Zachary Akers Isikoff slid safely into Sibley Hospital at 9:15 yesterday morning just in time for the playoffs. Zach, the cutest center fielder you’ve ever seen, came in at 8 lbs 10.5 oz. Mom is glowing with joy; Dad was hoping for a little Yankee but after seeing him we both agree he belongs with the Angels.

Congrats to Mary Ann and Mike and welcome to the Fishbowl, Zachary!

UPDATE: Wow, what a hallway at Sibley! Tapper’s son Jack; who amazingly has begun tweeting at the ripe age of 5-days-old says:

just met Zach Akers Isikoff – his mom @TheSleuth is across the hall! he’s one day old today. cool kid.

FishbookDC: Remaining Candidates Revealed

Cutest Couple
CNN’s Dana Bash & John King
Examiner’s Kiki Ryan & Bloomberg’s Tim Burger
Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman & MSNBC’s David Shuster
Politico’s Vandeharris
CBS’ Bob Schieffer & Kaylee Hartung
NPR’s Geoff Bennett & People/HuffPo’s Beth Perry
WaPo’s Mary Ann Akers and Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff
Roll Call’s Elizabeth Brotherton & TWT’s Sonny Bunch
CQ-RC Group’s Drew Armstrong and Marie Kilroy
Roll Call’s Jackie Kucinich & The Hill’s Jared Allen

Biggest Heartthrob
The Ladies
Brianna Keilar, CNN
Amy Argetsinger, WaPo
Lara Logan, CBS
Angie Goff, WUSA-9

The Guys
Luke Russert, NBC
Dan Zak, WaPo
Rich Edson, Fox Business
Philip Stewart,News Channel 8 and ABC
Clinton Yates, Express
Phil Mattingly, CQ
Matt Neufeld,Carroll Publishing
Jeff Zeleny, NYT

Biggest Rebel
John Stanton, Roll Call
David Shuster, MSNBC
Julie Mason, Examiner
Joe Curl, TWT
Ryan Grimm, HuffPo

Hardest Working
Wolf Blitzer, CNN
Helen Thomas
Andrea Mitchell, NBC
Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call
George Stephanopoulos, ABC

Class Clown
Dana Milbank, WaPo
Matt Cooper, TPM
Liz Glover, TWT
Craig Crawford, CQ
NBC’s Domenico Montanaro & Andy Gross
John Dickerson, Slate

Steve of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Steve of McClatchy, Same Difference? Thomma Explains

Embedded video from CNN Video

McClatchy’s Steve Thomma did the unthinkable at last night’s presidential press conference: He stood up when he wasn’t called on.

The miscue led to a light moment in the hourlong health-care seminar by President Obama. Here’s how it all went down:

Near the end of the presser, the President, set to travel to Cleveland the next day for a health care event, finished up an answer to a question, then clearly said, “Steve Koff, the Cleveland Plain Dealer.”

“I just heard him wrong,” Thomma said by e-mail. “I heard him say Steve, then what sounded roughly like my last name and wrongly assumed it was me. I immediately turned to grab the microphone from the young aide who was kneeling right next to me and didn’t hear the president add, ‘…of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.’ ”

C’mon, after four prime-time press conferences, he didn’t just want to slip past the president’s set list of questioners and snag one?

“Gosh, no, I never intended to steal another reporter’s slot, and I’ve apologized to Steve. It’s true I was very eager to ask my question, but I wouldn’t do that to another reporter,” Thomma said.

He “didn’t know anything was amiss until I asked a follow-up and he made a comment about visiting my home town on Thursday.

“I knew he was heading to Cleveland. My home town is Chicago. Heck, I’m a loyal White Sox fan and been a White Sox fan longer than the president. In fact, this is the second time he’s made personal comments to me at a news conference, both about my home town. During the transition, he apologized to me at one press conference for having assigned me a seat labeled for Cubs fans. And now he’s had to say “shame on you” for jumping into another reporter’s slot.

“I don’t know which is worse, having a national TV audience see me as revealed as over-eager knucklehead, or identified as someone from Cleveland.”

But Thomma apparently gets misidentified all the time. “I took some pride in the Atlantic‘s note last night that the “best question came from Steve Thomma of Reuters…” he said.

RELATED: WaPo‘s Sleuth Mary Ann Akers‘ take, “Obama’s News Conference Sparks Battle of the Steves.”

Q&A Cafe With… Drumroll Please… Spinal Tap


Photo courtesy of Carol Joynt.

Spinal Tap- David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) and Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest)- rocked Carol Joynt‘s Q&A Cafe yesterday for a rare group interview.

Joynt writes on her blog: “It’s fair to say that Harry and Michael, especially Michael, did most of the talking, but Christopher was not without interesting points to make. He’s just less talkative than Harry and Michael. Maybe it’s because he sat in the middle for the interview, or its simply the dynamic of their friendship, but Michael seems like the comic center of the trio. Regardless, they play off each other very well. For every serious point that was made, there were another five points that brought laughter.”

Read more on the interview here and you can check it out tomorrow at 8pm on DC Cable-TV.

Spinal Tap also performed at the Warner Theater last night as part of their new tour “Unwigged and Unplugged.” We hear David Corn, Mary Ann Akers and Michael Isikoff were among the backstage guests.

WHCD: Cap File Rises to the Occasion

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Eva Longoria Parker & Meghan McCain

Tight budgets and tiny guest lists at other post-dinner events offered Capitol File/Niche Media an interesting opportunity to make their mark as hosts for the 2009 WHCD weekend must-attend fete.

Luckily for Cap File, the Saturday night soiree lived up to the hype. Journalists, politicos, Hollywood royalty and actual royalty packed the invite-only (crashers of yesteryear were out of luck) party at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

FishbowlDC hung with media power couple Mark Whitaker and Alexis Gelber, Yeas & Nays Kiki Ryan and almost off-the-market Jeff Dufour (engaged to Jayne Sandman), WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart, HuffPo’s Ryan Grimm, Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff, WaPo’s Mary Ann Akers, Mike Mills and Jackie Kucinich from Roll Call, CNN’s Leslie Sanchez and Suzanne Malveaux, TWT silver fox Joe Curl, Mix 107.3′s Tommy McFly, NJ’s Erin McPike, GMA’s Polson Kanneth and Project Beltway’s Rachel Cothran.

We also caught up with FNC’s Greta Van Susteren (who charmed my mom/date at Tammy Haddad‘s brunch earlier in the day) and spotted PBS’ Gwen Ifill, BET’s Debra Lee, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, Daily Beast’s Rachel Sklar, CNBC’s Jim Kramer and AP/WHCA’s Jennifer Loven.

We reunited with old pal Rachael Leigh Cook (whose youthful beauty seems to defy time) and got to know our Friday night crush; Meghan McCain a little better. Christian Slater, Wanda Sykes, Amber Tamblyn, Chris Tucker, Eva Longoria Parker, John McLaughlin, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Mariska Hargitay, Tim Daly, Kara DioGuardi, Keisha & Forest Whitaker, Owen Wilson, Jason Wu, David Cross, Connie Britton, Padma Lakshmi, Dule Hill, Kai Milla, Matthew Settle all made the fete.

The political scene included Todd Palin and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett and Desiree Rogers represented the White House.

Even HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was on hand to toast the evening’s event.

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John McLaughlin

Roll Call Goes Glam for 21 Years of HOH

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Big names gathered for last night’s uber-glam bash honoring the 21st anniversary of Roll Call’s “Heard on the Hill” and a recent refresh of the RC website. The festivities took place at swanky Coco Sala where guests noshed on an array of chocolate-themed appetizers and cocktails (who knew you could mix chocolate and mojito?).

Maybe it was the chocolate…or maybe the cocktails, but RC Publisher Peter Cherukuri managed to pull Senator John Thune, Senator Trent Lott, Juleanna Glover, Yebbie Watkins, Mike Feldman, Debbie Dingell, Christina Sevilla and Senator John Breaux to help celebrate his pub’s successes.

Representing the media were Former HOHer – The Sleuth’s Mary Ann Akers, Michael Isikoff, C-SPAN’s Greta Brawner, Bloomberg’s Tim Burger,Susan Davis of the WSJ, WaPo’s Paul Kane, MSNBC’s Bob Franken, Chad Pergram of FNC, MySpace’s Lee Brenner, NYT’s Carl Hulse, Emily Lenzner from ABC News and the Examiner’s Kiki Ryan.

Christine and I were on hand to cover it for you…not for the chocolate and cocktails.

“First Lady of the Press” Unplugged


Jan Smith Donaldson, Stephanie Green, Helen Thomas and Nikki Schwab with Teatro Goldoni Chef Enzo Fargione. Photo courtesy of Janet Donovan.

A group of about twenty women in DC media gathered at Teatro Goldoni last week to honor one who paved the way- Helen Thomas.

Hosts Janet Donovan and Christine Warnke started a game that proved to be a fascinating lesson in history and journalism. Each around the table- which included WaPo’s Mary Ann Akers and Amy Argetsinger, CSPAN’s Greta Wodele, Gloria Dittus, Jan Smith Donaldson and Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet- asked Thomas one question, on the record.

Ever wondered which President Thomas would have most wanted to sleep with? TWT’s Stephanie Green went there, and asked. “None,” Thomas was quick to reply- though she did share an anecdotal story about a walk home shared with President John F. Kennedy.

Her favorite active journalist? ABC’s Sam Donaldson, though she insists it’s not just because she was seated next to his wife (as Jan pumps arms in air). And least favorite? “Maybe a few people on Fox. They don’t like me either,” she says.

She commented that people often ask her what it was like to be a woman reporter- “Well I’ve never been anything else,” adding “nobody ever told me when I grew up in Detroit and went to public schools that it was a man’s world.”

And her advice for young journos? “You’re only as good as your last story.”

Read more

Sunday Show Preview

NBC’s Meet the Press: NPR’s “Planet Money” Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson and a roundtable with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, NPR’s Michele Norris, Washington Examiner’s Byron York and “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East” author Robin Wright

CBS’ Face the Nation: Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan and a roundtable with WaPo’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran, NYT’s David Sanger and syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker

ABC’s This Week: Pastor Rick Warren and a roundtable with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, NYT’s Paul Krugman, WaPo’s Ruth Marcus and ABC News’ George Will

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-WY), Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl and Fox Business Network’s Liz Claman and Jenna Lee

CNN’s State of the Union: Iraq Multi-National Force Commander Gen. Ray Odierno, Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: “Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, Financial Times’ Chrystia Freeland, CNN’s Tara Wall, Mother Jones’ David Corn, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Syrian Ambassador to the US Imad Moustapha, “Outliers” author Malcolm Gladwell, FGR Associates President Felix Rohatyn, “God is Back” author and The Economist’s John Micklethwait and “The Age of the Unthinkable” author Joshua Cooper Ramo

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: NY Magazine’s John Heilemann, CNN’s Gloria Borger, BBC’s Katty Kay and HDNet’s Dan Rather.

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: Chicago Tribune’s Christi Parsons, NYT’s David Sanger, LA Times’ Doyle McManus and CNN’s Gloria Borger

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Afghanistan Ambassador to the US Said Jawad, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols, Margaret Carlson and Kate O’Beirne

Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham: Roll Call’s Emily Heil and Elizabeth Brotherton and WaPo’s Mary Ann Akers

Will update throughout the day as we learn them.

We Laughed With Some, Laughed At Others


Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn was the first brave soul to take the stage.

Friday at the National Press Club, a dozen of brave DC journos took to the stage for Commedia Dell Media presented by Reporters Without Borders.

The line-up: NPR’s Jamila Bey, Conde Nast’s Matt Cooper, Mother Jones’ Washington Bureau Chief David Corn, Delphine Schrank, Shaun Waterman, McClatchy’s chief Pentagon correspondent Nancy Youssef, Bloomberg’s Scott Lanman, US News & World Report’s Pentagon correspondent Anna Mulrine, WUSA’s Mike Walter and Alex and Mark Hosenball.

We also spotted Lynn Sweet, Kimberly Dozier, Liz Glover and Mary Ann Akers at the Press Club.

Not funny was the line for the bar before the show started, but we did catch a few one-liners there. “No rehearsal- I came from a dinner party and had a few glasses of wine,” a certain female performer said. We also overheard friends of another female performer- “She’s so nervous, she said she was going to take a few xanax.”

We’ll let these (paraphrased) excerpts stand alone…

“The amount of good reporting you can do as a pantless woman in the Middle East is limited.” -Mulrine

“On the base, you can’t wear a towel on your head coming out of the shower area. I asked why- too provacative. What kind of porn are you guys watching?” -Mulrine

“In the Arabic world, journalist is one step up from prostitute.” -Youssef

“I’m not used to performing in front of such an old crowd. If anyone tells me I killed tonight, I’ll be like oh shit.” -Lanman

“Food is so expensive models can no longer afford bulimia… the economy is so bad, I was watching tv late last night and there was a commercial ‘got a white baby, sell it for cash.’” -Bey

“Rahm Emanuel opened a Twitter account. Turns out he doesn’t need 140 characters, just four.” -Corn

The consensus we’re hearing is that Cooper killed it, Corn was a little weak (sorry man), and a chick reporter embedded with any military group makes for plenty of good standup material (or dinner conversation– Mulrine: “when I was on an airsalt with the 101st Airbourne Division in Afghanistan… I like to start with that line as often as possible.”)

Ticket sales benefitted Reporters Without Borders for Press Freedom and judging by the seemingly sold-out crowd, we hope to hear they did pretty well.

More pics after the jump…

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