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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Laslo’

WATCH: ‘Bills and Brews’ with NC Senate Candidate Sean Haugh

In the latest installment of “Bills and Brews,” host Matt Laslo recently sat down with Sean Haugh, the Libertarian third candidate in the North Carolina Senate race between incumbent Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis (R).

Among the topics discussed were Haugh’s first experience drinking beer at five years old, attending and imbibing in Tulsa bars at the age of 15, his support for the legalization of all drugs including heroin, and marijuana use while running for Senate.

A must WATCH:

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Fundraiser Who Calls Herself a Bitch Lashes Out at Journo, Calls Him a Bitch

Holly Pitt Young, a fundraiser in town, took issue with Matt Laslo, a D.C. freelance print and radio journalist, for announcing a Twitter accomplishment of sorts.


Then things got a little ugly.

Read more

White House Pool Prize


Our sporadic but no less prestigious White House Pool Prize goes to freelancer Matt Laslo for his weekend reportage. We appreciate the irony of the Pool loitering near a “No loitering” sign as well as the reporter telling us in great vivid detail what he smells like. And then the grand finale: He gets an international tip on FLOTUS mid-report. Well done, Laslo!

After holding in the McDonalds across from the FBI building for more than an hour (near a sign reading: “Please No loitering. Time limit 20 minutes.” Oops) the pool now smells like grease and is daydreaming of fresh vegetables. Small crowds gathered on the three open corners of E and 9th NW to see what all the black SUVs were about (sw corner closed to foot traffic). With FBI Police SUVs blocking traffic, OTR motorcade started slowly rolling at 11:23.

No sign of POTUS post (or pre) hoops. He put in more than two hours in the building. No word on how much of that was on the court. Your pooler did receive a helpful tip on the whereabouts of FLOTUS from avid tennis player and Bravo fan, Molly Hooper of the Hill (@mollyhooper). See below.

“Just saw your pool note … FLOTUS has been caught on cam several times on Bravo TV in the last 10 minutes sitting in Serena Williams box at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. She’s sitting to the left of Dominique Dawes (former Olympic gymnast) and in the row ahead of Venus Williams, watching Serena play Jelena Jankovic at the Olympics women’s tennis event.”

Capitol News Connection Shutters

Capitol News Connection (CNC) is closing up shop after eight and a half years. Last week the Corporation for Public Broadcasting informed the nonprofit watchdog reporting service that they could no longer sustain their funding. Their last grant ran out Aug. 30.

“I’ve had better days for sure,” Founder and CEO Melinda Wittstock told FishbowlDC this afternoon in a phone interview. “We’ve worked so hard for the past eight and a half doing something special. This recession has been a really tough fight.”

Three reporters and Wittstock will be out of jobs with CNC. They are Elizabeth Wynne Johnson, host of NBC Washington’s “Power Breakfast,” which will continue outside of CNC, Patrick Terpstra and Ana Radelat.

The writing wasn’t necessarily on the wall. But Wittstock saw the company struggling more acutely since 2008. “Here’s the thing. I knew it was a really tough slog,” she said. “I saw what was happening to the public radio ecosystem. All of them are struggling. All are facing the lost of their federal funding. A lot of these stations can only exist but for federal funding, and a lesser known story, state funding.”

Wittstock points to Congress as at least partially to blame. The Corporation lost some $30 million that Congress has taken away to cut the deficit. She lamented, “It all gets passed on down the chain I guess.”

Over the years CNC has been what Wittstock calls a “great incubator of talent.” There was FNC’s Chad Pergram, their first reporter who ultimately won an Edward R. Murrow award — “He is amazing,” she gushed. “He is a great reporter.” Alumni also include NeuStar’s Heather Dahl, who was formerly the President of Radio TV Gallery, Jill Jackson, a House producer for CBS News, “The Takeaway’s” Todd Zwillich, who came to CNC as a print reporter and quickly transitioned to radio, Matt Laslo, who began at CNC as an intern, and Gannett’s Paul Barton.

For a good while, the news service beat the odds. They began shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 with just three employees and no office. Their marching orders were to produce 500 stories that first year and instead they produced 690. They were supposed to bring in $20,00, but instead brought in $55,000.

CNC will continue to hunt for a buyer. But in the meantime, Wittstock, who began her journalism career at the Times of London as a business correspondent and proceeded to BBC and ABC, has a new business venture in the works that she’s working on with Dan Kunitz, former associate publisher and managing editor of Politico. The venture, called NewsiT, is a mobile social network for citizen journalism. Wittstock stresses that it is in its “infancy,” is a for profit and will be minimally viable by late October.

“I seem to gravitate toward challenges,” she said with a sorrowful laugh that contained more than a tinge of hope. “We were sort of the last man standing. And now, even us. It’s sad.”

UPDATE: Former CNC reporter Manuel Quinones moved on to E & E Publishing earlier this year after CNC. He remarked to FBDC, “They’ve been going through tough times, but they deserve all the recognition possible. I will remember my time there very fondly. I’m sure the others will agree, that CNC gave us a chance to do great work.”

Correction: An earlier report stated that they Wittstock and three employees would be unemployed. Wittstock is technically working on her next venture, NewsiT. While she is not yet paying herself, she is “working on fumes of equity, our early investor dollars devoted solely for now to the technology.” Radelat, meanwhile, was a freelancer for CNC and will continue to freelance on her own.

Regional Reporters Assoc. Elects its Board

The Regional Reporters Association elected its officers and board members Friday. All results were unanimous:

Your 2011-2012 RRA board:

President Joseph Morton, Omaha World-Herald (he was also last year’s president)
Vice President Matt Canham, Salt Lake Tribune
Treasurer Malia Rulon, Gannett News Service
Secretary Herb Jackson, The Record
Erika Bolstad, McClatchy
Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal
Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News
Matt Laslo, Freelance
Paul Merrion, Crain’s Chicago Business
Bart Sullivan, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Bill Theobald, Gannett News Service
Peter Urban, Stephens Media
Karoun Demirjian, Las Vegas Sun

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Last night…Fox News contributor and President George Bush’s Press Secretary Dana Perino filled in for FNC’s Greta Van Susteren, who said she was going  over to PR maven Tammy Haddad’s place to celebrate her birthday.

When life gets in the way of good journalism

“Now my wife’s vacuuming. So much for attempting to transcribe audio.” — Conservative blogger and former TWT’s Robert Stacy McCain in a Monday tweet.

C.S. Lewis causes Monday stir with D.C. journos

The saga concerning author C.S. Lewis started like this: Politico‘s Ben Smith: “5 yr old devastated by ending of The Silver Chair. #cslewis.” Then deep thinker extraordinaire, The Nation’s D.C. Bureau Chief Chris Hayes, jumped in, saying, “@benpolitico those books changed my life at exactly that age.” (Changed his life? Of course at five-years-old, the age when most people really try to find themselves.) The Daily Caller‘s Mike Riggs, however, jumped into the conversation in a Monday tweet to second the sadness of the books, saying, “@chrislhayes @benpolitico That series serves as a dry run for life’s more epic disappointments. Rem. asking mom if all of them were sad.”

Journo confronts the unexpected

“I have mashed potatoes in my hair. What a day.” — Social Media Producer Katie Rogers in a Monday tweet. We love this, of course, but earlier in the day, she wrote, “Scared to leave the building.” She told FishbowlDC she was referring to the wind. She thought she left it behind when she moved here from Chicago.

Moe Tkacik and Lindsay Lohan

“I am about as rehabilitated as Lohan, and less “employable.” I keep a lower overhead, at least.” — Former WCP‘s Das Krapital writer Moe Tkacik wrote Monday when asked if she’d been rehabilitated (not in the alcoholic/drug sense, but on Robert Stacy McCain featured above).

Ezra Klein, the movie buff

“I feel like Natalie Portman did not take the lessons of Black Swan to heart.” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein on news that the actress is engaged and pregnant.

Washington Speak in Fort Lauderdale

“The Fort Lauderdale airport terminal 4 needs an earmark.” — MSNBC Capitol Hill Correspondent Luke Russert in a geek-filled Monday tweet.

Measuring dorkiness

“Am I dork or do all people turn off a new album to catch @NPR @Wamu885news ?” — asked freelance journo Matt Laslo. To which The Takeaway’s radio scribe Todd Zwillich assured him, “That first thing.”

Speaking of, um, dorky decisions…

“I’m finally going to get serious about Google Reader. Not a New Year’s resolution though; it would never happen that way.” — WCP‘s Benjamin Freed in a Monday tweet. > Update: A sassy Freed got snappy and declared, “I don’t mind you calling me a dork, Betsy, but I wrote that tweet last Thursday.” (Fine, Freed, you wrote the tweet last Thursday. We humbly stand corrected. We didn’t, however, call you a dork. We called your decision “dorky.”)

Cream puffs or push-ups: You decide

“Roommate Ryan just did 50 straight push-ups. I watched from the couch while eating cream puffs and drinking beer.” — C-SPAN’s Jeremy Art in a Monday tweet.

F–k you Facebook for fat friend

“Old high school peer now so large I’d never be able recognize that person now. It’s only been 5 years! #FuckYouFacebook” — The Daily Caller‘s Jeff Winkler in a Monday tweet.

The critic

“Disappointed tonight’s HuffPostHill included no animal pictures. For shame!” — Roll Call‘s Christina Bellantoni on HuffPost Hill, which usually has animals sneezing, dancing and doing other oddities.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Happy Holidays Sucky Cuban Restaurant

“Dear pseudo Cuban restaurant who shall go nameless (at the corner of 9th and H),
You have just presented a table of 5, four writers and all in the industry, with the absolute worst service and food ever. You are SO screwed.” — D.C. Publicist Wendy Gordon (pictured above) in a Monday Facebook update.

Tschida and Kardashian: Two peas in a pod

“Someone compared my tweets to Kim Kardashian. Ridiculous, she’s all makeup. I don’t wear any.” — Watch out Slate‘s Dave Weigel. This quote on Twitter Monday is by ABC7′s wild train rider Stephen Tschida who is fast becoming my favorite D.C. journo. We compared him to Kardashian, who was near tears on a recent trip to Paris.

Scribe compares himself to aged wines

“I’ve discovered that there are wines from my birth year that are holding up better than I am. Mixed feelings about that.” — WaPo‘s J. Freedom du Lac in a Monday tweet.

Headache, Stories, McCain’s near balding, etc…

“Shoot. My flight to Chicago is canceled and i have to file two stories before I can deal with that headache.” — Freelance print and radio journalist Matt Laslo in a Monday Facebook update. In a previous update Saturday (we don’t have any earthly idea how we missed this) he wrote, “Just off the Senate floor an aide is combing and putting hairspray on McCain’s mostly but not fully bald head.”

TV journo to get pooch for Xmas

“I am getting a dog for Christmas…yes…another one…she needs a home so why not? She is not a puppy.” — FNC’s Greta Van Susteren in a weekend tweet. (Perhaps a spot on DogBowl 2011 is in the dog’s future.)

Journo Details Lawmakers’ Move to ‘Inglorious’ Office Space

Where do lawmakers who lost or are retiring go when they must vacate their offices?

Freelancer Matt Laslo has the dreary, depressing details in a story out today on in which he describes the undignified “inglorious” space in the basement of the Rayburn Building.

Said retiring Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.): “I don’t think anyone would find it to be an acceptable arrangement,” says Pomeroy, who has represented North Dakota since 1992. “There’s no privacy for phone calls. There’s no physical space to make comfortable use of a computer. It is a token gesture to departing members.”

Read the story here and watch the accompanying slide show here.

Lame Duck Drinks

Come Thursday, a large gaggle of journos will convene at Union Pub around dinnertime for Lame Duck drinks. WAMU freelancer Matt Laslo is organizing the soiree. He says the Salahis are more than welcome to crash the party.”Bring em on,” he says.

Here’s Laslo’s unofficial invitation:

Happy lame duck ya’all,

Yes, it’s Monday morning and I’m already thinking of a happy hour. Some of the Capitol Press Corps finest are gathering at Union Pub this Thursday at around 6pm to toast to ourselves. It’d be great if you could make it. Please let me know if you plan on attending.

Feel free to invite any other lonely reporters too.

Bourge Says No to Tennis Shoes and Dress Pants

White Shoes.jpg
Bourge says he wouldn’t be caught in this ensemble.

In a witty response to our “Whose Shoes” feature yesterday (the shoes belonged to FNC’s Bret Baier), Christian Bourge, who writes The Disenchanted Journo blog, explains why whoever guessed him as the owner of the white golf shoes couldn’t be more off.

An excerpt:
To set the record straight, I’ve not worn tennis shoes with dress pants or a suit since high school. It’s a look that is best left to too-cool-for-school hipsters, the terribly aged, and those who just don’t give a crap about how they look. Although, I will admit that sometimes it works.

Read the entire piece here.

Bourge also recalled a fashion piece I wrote on him years ago in which I praised him for his tie choice — turns out, he never liked that tie much but enjoyed the ego-boost.

We wish Bourge no “ego-busting” as he moves into the holiday weekend. We’re certain he has a beautiful shoe collection.

> Update There has been passionate reaction to Bourge’s dislike of tennis shoes and dress pants.

From The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman in an e-mail: “I love Bret’s style, and I think it’s a shame that his sartorial choice was mistaken as something Ducky from “Pretty in Pink” might wear — tennis shoes with a suit. What Bret is exhibiting is a classic Ty Webb look (and I don’t just say that because my apartment looks like Ty’s with golf clubs and empty tonic bottles strewn about). A lot of posers can be seen with a golf tee “accidentally” left behind their ear or a glove sticking out of the back pocket, but Bret’s statement says: ‘I’d rather be playing golf than talking to you, and I’m about five minutes away from making that happen.’”

From Capitol News Connection’s Capitol Hill radio reporter Matt Laslo over text: “I’m at the airport and I saw Bourge’s reply so I must reply: I wear tennie’s daily with my suits!!!”

> Update: Fishbowlers, this is getting good. Bourge responds to the responses…

An excerpt:
“I didn’t mean to start a debate over men’s style, was just posting a funny bit of self deprecation. But what the hell.

Yes, Brett may be able to pull the look off. Since I haven’t seen the full picture, I can’t say.

One thing that can’t be disputed is that in this horrible casual Friday world in which we live, where most men where nothing but bad chinos, cheap polo shits and Rockports: American men can’t dress for shit. We live in a town where tasseled loafers with bad made-to-measure super 110 suits pass for sartorial grace.

…I also can’t believe we’re debating men’s fashion. I’m now going to go put on a wife beater, smoke a Cuban while working on my car’s engine, and chug a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon in order to fully reassert my masculinity.

I also just got an invite to Kenwood. I’ll be there embarrassing myself soon.”

Go here and scroll down for Bourge’s full post.

> Update: Youngman strikes back…

“I broke one of my own rules by talking fashion with someone named Christian Bourge.

How the hell did this happen? Ducky and a fashion debate? I really just want to wear my golf shoes to work. They look better with my bad chinos and cheap polo shirts than my rockports or tasseled loafers.

We should really be focusing on what’s important: preserving Gary Coleman’s legacy. Oh, and Memorial Day.”

> Update: Borge and Youngman are going to be great friends someday. But first, Bourge again responds

“Not sure what my name has to do with any of this. I can only assume that you are somehow questioning the French bloodline delineated by my family name. In my book you are now known as “Freedom Sam.”

…If you do manage to get up the gumption to wear your golf shoes and knee length pantaloons to the White House one day, I am all for it.”