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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Mackowiak’

‘You’re A Teenage Girl’: Politico‘s Byers, HuffPost‘s Stein Squabble Over GOP Media Strategy

A Twitter tiff between Politico‘s Dylan Byers and HuffPost‘s Sam Stein started with a blog post that made little sense without spending five minutes to really contemplate it.

Yesterday Byers posted an excerpt from a HuffPost story by Stein, who had interviewed former GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman:

“‘In an interview with The Huffington Post, [Jon] Huntsman laid out his vision for the Republican Party going forward….’

“Get it?”

And that was it.

Stein reacted to the post by saying he “always thought it was weird that people think Republicans can’t talk to [HuffPost] and still be conservative.”

With that, Byers’ post starts to make sense. He was suggesting that HuffPost, known as a left-leaning publication, may not be the best platform for a Republican to try influencing the GOP.

“Call a GOP strategist and ask them if [HuffPost] is best place to lay out your vision for GOP,” Byers said to Stein. “Seriously?” Stein replied. “We scored a [Mitt] Romney interview in the primary? We talk to GOP lawmakers all the time, top operatives, officials, etc…”

A former Huntsman communications director says HuffPost is a reasonable place for the GOP to speak out…

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Summer Superlatives Winners, Part III

And the final four…

In a pool of sex machines like The Hill‘s Hugo Gurdon and Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson it’s tough to imagine anyone winning FishbowlDC’s Sexiest Male of 2011 title by a landslide.  But believe it or not, the boyish good looks of Politico’s Patrick Reis clobbered the competition with over 50% of the popular vote.  Capitol Hill Ken Doll aka Kevin Madden came in a distant second with 16.3% of the vote.  Tucker Carlson, just shy of the silver, trailed Madden by only three votes.

The stress of the spotlight proved too much for Coral Davenport, Amy Harder and Olga Belogolova.  Citing migraines and lack of sleep, NJ’s Energy trio accidentally moved sexy forward when they should have been bringing it back.  The slip bumped them into second place while WUSA-9′s Kristin Fisher took gold and the title of Sexiest Female of 2011 with 38.5% of the vote.  In case you’re wondering, sultry senior seductress Helen Thomas finished third.

The title of Most Underrated went to Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post.  The rock-solid reporter earned 36.61% of the vote, pushing him ahead of Roll Call’s Paul Singer who snagged  a respectable 28.5% of the vote.

Winning by only a hair, Cabbage Patch lookalike and 2011′s Biggest Self-Promoter Matt Mackowiak upset Daily Caller’s Kurt Bardella and stole all the glory with 36.36% of the vote to Bardella’s 34.93%.  Ouch!

Congrats to Reis, Fisher, Grim and Mackowiak!   And there you have the FishbowlDC Class of 2011!

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day


HuffPost‘s Sam Stein Earns the FishbowlDC Humility Award

“I have a bit of egg on my face having reported the Baucus wasn’t likely 4 super com. source says: ‘He wasn’t first choice. Others declined.’” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein in a Tuesday tweet. We didn’t even have a FishbowlDC Humility Award until now. Stein reported that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) wasn’t likely to be on the Super Committee. Alas, he is. Stein gets high marks for this tweet. Not every journalist in D.C. would fess up so humbly.

Young journo begs Baier to pose tough q’s

“@Bret_Baier Bret, please push the candidates on fiscal policy/debt ceiling/economic issues and please for specifics. So tough 2 get answers” — The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle in a Tuesday tweet. Can Fox News set up a Big Brother program?

Matt Mackowiack: Star of the new film ‘Shameless’

“@fishbowldc I went to Kinko’s and voted from every single computer I could find! How am I doing?” — Potomac Flacks blogger Matt Mackowiak in a Tuesday night tweet in reference to FishbowlDC’s Summer Superlatives. Mack was nominated for Biggest Self-Promoter and the last poll indicates he’s winning.

A Convo Between Two Journos

Today’s first conversation is between The Atlantic’s Deputy Editor Scott Stossel and the cantankerous Commentary Magazine’s John Podhoretz.

Podhoretz: Why does my Twitter typeface keep changing? Strange.

Stossel: Must be the ‘shrooms.

 

Quaint thought for D.C.

“It is nerdy awesomeness when you finish one book and then the library lets you know your book on hold is ready.” — The Washington Examiner‘s Katy DeLuca in a Tuesday tweet. She edits Yeas & Nays among other features.

Overheard…

“Overheard in library where TPaw was: Librarian: ‘I’m not political. But I’m so mad that I’m becoming political!’” – Politico‘s Kasie Hunt in a Tuesday tweet.

The Media Critic

“I’m not listening, but Dylan Ratigan seems very angry.” — Politico‘s Byron Tau in a Tuesday tweet.

Can’t Marcus Brauchli install a better system?

“Just did a search in our system for photos of Tiger Woods and got back a pic of a 2-year-old chimp feeding a bottle of milk to a baby tiger.” –  WaPo Sports Editor Lindsay Apple in a Tuesday tweet. (Hello Lindsapple!)

Smartass journo

“Any chance House and Senate leaders pick the dozen smartest/best-qualified/policy-aware lawmakers to sit on the supercommittee? Just kidding.” — Politico‘s Jonathan Allen in a Tuesday tweet.

A Convo Between Two Journos II

This conversation is between WaPo’s Chris Cillizza and New York Magazine’s National Affairs Editor John Heilemann.

Cillizza: The thing that could move needle for Huntsman in FL tomorrow: Jeb Bush endorsement.

Heilemann: You reporting, bub, or merely speculating?

SS Exit Polls Show Three Close Races

Early exit polls from day one of our Summer Superlatives contest indicate only one thing: these races are too close to call tonight.  With three sets of rock-solid competitors and a slew of die-hard supporters, FishbowlDC glory is still anyone’s for the taking.

To spice up the competition, we’ve hidden the real-time results of each race (8pm).  But don’t let that dissuade you from casting a vote or campaigning for your favorite candidate.  Each poll will remain open for 24 hours from the time it went live today and final results will be revealed in a very special post honoring the winners next week. Until then, here’s your 10pm exit poll snapshot.

Best Sense of Humor:  Julie Mason must have spent the evening shaking hands and kissing babies because Team Mason has managed to pull ahead Semnani and Labash.

Julie Mason: 32.06% of the vote.

Neda Semnani: 31.76% of the vote.

Matt Labash: 28.09% of the vote.

Gene Weingarten: 3.39% of the vote.

Biggest Self-Promoter: Mackowiak and Bardella have pimped themselves into one fierce competition.

Matt Mackowiak: 36.91%

Kurt Bardella: 33.77%

Howard Kurtz: 19.6%

Carol Joynt: 9.69%

Best Capitol Hill Press Secretary:  Boehner’s Michael Steel, who began losing his daylong lead to Morris and Elshami this afternoon,  has managed to pull ahead tonight.

Michael Steel: 44.39%

Vince Morris: 28.7%

Nadeam Elshami: 23.53%

Charles Chamberlayne: 3.39%

Summer Superlatives: Biggest Self-Promoter

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From talking to tweeting, these media types never miss an opportunity to plug themselves.  But which one’s acts of self-pimping rise above the rest?  The nominees for  Biggest Self-Promoter of 2011 are Daily Caller’s Kurt Bardella, Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, Carol Joynt of New York Social Diary and Q&A Cafe and Potomac Flack’s Matt Mackowiak.

Happy 15th Birthday MSNBC!

MSNBC President Phil Griffin and wife, Kory Apton

Former Democratic PA Gov. Ed Rendell and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell

MSNBC’s top brass pulled out the metaphorical pom poms Thursday night for the network’s 15th birthday party in downtown Washington. MSNBC President Phil Griffin dramatically climbed stairs, looked out at the crowd and profoundly praised some of the network’s top stars such as Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Chuck Todd.

On Schultz: “Honesty he’s got more heart than anyone on TV.”  On Todd: “Honestly the best political show in the morning after the 9 o’clock hour,” Griffin told a chuckling audience, making a clear reference to the popular “Morning Joe.” On Matthews: “He’s the heart and soul of MSNBC.” He praised Mitchell for being to go all over the world and back just to meet a deadline.

Matthews arrived at 7:45 p.m., an hour and a half after the party began, and left within 25 minutes. While awaiting his turn to speak, he folded his arms tightly to his chest and had a sourpuss look planted on his face — this is typical Matthews. Grumpy. Impatient. Glancing skeptically around the room.  He did manage dry humor. “Thank you for letting me speak freely, mostly,” he said pointedly, eying Griffin. Matthews then gave a shout-out to former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, a star in this D.C.-centric crowd. “He’s skinnier than he should be,” Matthews said. “I liked it better when he was fat.” At the end of his speech, his speech turned into a one-man pep rally with each passing word getting louder and LOUDER to the point where people turned to look at one another.

During Griffin’s speech, one chatty D.C. writer got the evil eye as he told the vast crowd to quiet down. “It’s like I am in high school. I was always getting yelled at for talking during the program,” the writer whispered to FishbowlDC.

Moving on to more unusual party topics: the Casey Anthony trial and CNN’s dumping of Eliot Spitzer. FishbowlDC polled a wide swath of journos at the party. We asked, “What did you think of the Casey Anthony verdict?” Most were happy to respond, even if their answer was that they purposefully stayed as far away from story as possible.

“That and synchronized swimming,” said MSNBC Contributor Richard Wolffe, naming topics besides the Casey Anthony trial that he doesn’t readily discuss. “Justice is blind and so am I.” Onto the topic of Spitzer, Wolffe remarked, “Inevitable. That was so predictable. Smart guy, but the show never took off. I don’t think you can find redemption  by anchoring a cable TV show. Redemption requires good deeds, community service and charitable work.”

Strangely, Schultz went mute on the topic of the trial and would not say a single word about that or anything. His amiable wife, Wendy, tried to coax him out of his shell. “This is a fun little event,” she said eating chips and guacamole. “Come on Eddie.” No budging. No speaking. Wendy kindly responded to our questions. She said neither she nor Ed followed the trial in any in-depth way.

The couple, who have been married for 13 years,  lives part-time in Detroit Lakes, Minn. and the rest in Manhattan. Wendy prefers Minnesota. She says she offers her husband feedback, but always makes sure it’s supportive. “I give him honest feedback,” she said. “A lot of it is pillow talk. I’ve always encouraged him.”

Read about the journo who got scolded by Griffin and see more photographs…

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Attack on Mackowiak

Politicians aren’t the only ones who have to explain flip flops. Some purported journalists do as well.

GOP journo-activist Matt Mackowiak, who writes the Potomac Flaks website and is a former press secretary to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), is on the outs with fellow conservative writers in Washington these days. In Thursday’s Daily Caller, Alex Pappas took the blogger to the woodshed for bashing former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman while making inquiries this spring to work on his future presidential campaign. Pappas posted the contents of emails that Mackowiak sent to Huntsman aides.

Mackowiak tried to diffuse it the way many politicians do — in soundbites — explaining why he wanted to work for a campaign he soon objected to so vehemently. He reasoned to Pappas that Huntsman “doubled down on his moderate record,” and had “insulted conservatives.” He now declares Huntsman dead on arrival where the Oval Office is concerned.

When asked for reaction to the Daily Caller story, Mackowiak replied, “Oh good, must be a slow news day? Let me guess – you have critical blind quotes from Capitol Hill GOP operatives?” He demanded “direct answers” to his “questions” and then offered a non-response: “You are the first person to ask me how I feel about it.” When pressed for a coherent answer, he wrote, “I feel like I must have hit a nerve. It’s not personal. It’s analysis. Happy 4th!” He then sent FishbowlDC a full statement. See it after the jump…

Despite the oddities, bookers are paying attention. Mackowiak recently appeared on NBC’s Andrea Mitchell‘s afternoon program on MSNBC. Unfortunately for the network, it was not disclosed that Mackowiak, who was on to discuss his pro-Texas Gov. Rick Perry views, had actually once been starkly anti-Perry, causing one GOP aide to wonder, “So do MSNBC bookers check the background of their guests before putting them on air? I know I’m not the only one in this town who remembers how he spent every day slamming Perry.”

Mackowiak’s attacks on Perry came in 2009. He said he has not said a single bad thing about him since January 2010.

Privately, conservative writers and aides mockingly refer to Mackowiak as “Republican strategist.” And yes, in quotation marks. They also say he’s not a Republican but rather a card carrying member of the “Party of Matt.” Oddly, and on a completely random side note, he is responsible for compiling the Sunday show listings in Politico Mike Allen‘s Playbook. Why he is pronounced author of these listings is anyone’s guess — the networks routinely send these announcements late in the week and could easily be put together by a Kindergartener without assigning it to anyone outside a publication.

See Mackowiak’s statement and a time line on his Perry stance after the jump…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY – (In Part, The New Year’s Edition)


Note to readers: After taking a few days of R&R, we’re diving head first back into the Fishbowl. We’re catching up on what happened over the New Year’s holiday and will proceed from there.

Important news: We did not see ABC7′s Stephen Tschida in Miami — and that’s tragic. But, we did catch up with him to ask how his New Year’s Eve went. He told FishbowlDC last night: “My BlackBerry screen went haywire, so it made communicating tuff [sic] and tweeting impossible.” Of course, we believe him. Tschida had intended to spend the evening at the opulent AltaMare, but wound up at Barton G‘s cabaret show where the new star of Fox’s “Glee”, Cheyenne Jackson, performed. “It was great food and an incredible show,” he said. “Very intimate.”

Weird journo-political comparison

“My God, Jim Moran is looking more and more like my father every day.” — Bloomberg TV‘s Lizzie O’Leary in a Monday tweet regarding the Virginia Democratic congressman.

Whisper vs. limited whisper

“Is there a difference between a ‘whisper’ and a ‘limited whisper’? #marcconductorisms” — The Hill‘s Erika Niedowksi in a Monday tweet.

Reporter’s first time at IHOP

“At nameless fmr employer, top boss used to write staff memos in Comic Sans. I now know why. http://bit.ly/gXJJPX @reidwilson” — Politico Ben Smith‘s assistant Byron Tau in a Monday tweet. More importantly, in other Tau news, he had his virgin IHOP experience over the weekend: “This is my first time ever in an IHOP. #awe” > Update: Asked what he ate, Tau replied, “I ate the steak tips and eggs combination — because if that isn’t enough food it also comes with two pancakes.”

Gibbs expresses gratitude for ‘joinging’

“Happy New Year everyone – thanks for joinging [sic] – trying to get my typing faster! See you all again soon!” — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in a Monday tweet.

Dickerson’s got wild Wanda on his hands

“Digging out from email during vacation. Many are from a woman named Wanda. I do not believe she has my best interests at heart.” — Slate and CBS’s John Dickerson in a potentially unusually precarious Monday tweet.

Washingtonian‘s technical difficulties

“Sorry about the problems with the new health blog, folks. We’ve got our developers working on this.” — Washingtonian in a Monday tweet.

Off to a good meta start

“Happy New Year! My New Year’s Resolution is to talk about myself less.” — HuffPost Hill‘s Eliot Nelson in a Monday tweet. Shortly thereafter, he added, “I’m bored.”

Scribe stuffed into dresses

“Spending my day off being stuffed into bridesmaids dresses in New Jersey.” — The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab in a weekend tweet.

Palmeri’s version of ‘My Cousin Vinny’

“My cousin Vinnie is driving me back to New York after a big Italian dinner.” Ex-Washington Examiner gossip scribe and NYP‘s Page Six Tara Palmeri in a Jan. 2 tweet.

Chris Hayes and Brokeback Mountain Tacos

Finally, a quote from the oh so eloquent The Nation‘s Chris Hayes that actually sounds like English. In a weekend tweet he writes, “Back from beautiful wedding in Oaxaca. A magical city w some of the best food I’ve ever had. Duck tacos w mole, I wish I knew how to quit u.”

Weingarten praises the female species

“Women do not know how wonderful they are. It is one of the reasons they are so wonderful.” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten in a Jan. 2 tweet.

Gossip girl likes her caffeine

“Back to work after two weeks away. Gonna need a lot of coffee and about 10 diet cokes today…” — Roll Call HOH Writer Elizabeth Brotherton in a Monday tweet.

Grand Oprah admission

OK I’ll admit it – I watched a little #OWN this weekend. The Behind-the-Scenes show is kind of cool, and the Lisa Ling thing looks decent. – Chris Reed, copyright lawyer, photog and “general media guy.”

Journo has ‘sexy’ new look

“Bearded and tanned, I’m back in dc.” — Politico‘s Jake Sherman in a Sunday tweet. To which Capitol Hill radio correspondent for The Takeaway Todd Zwillich remarked, “#sexytweets.”

Only in Washington…

“Most excited about three DVR’d episodes of The McLaughlin Group awaiting me on home DVR.” — GOP Consultant Matt Mackowiak in a Jan. 2 tweet.

DC Journos Toast BlackFinn’s Opening

Victoria Michael hosted BlackFinn’s opening on 16th and Eye St. NW Wednesday night and DC’s media-types came out to celebrate… FBDC spotted CNN’s Edie Emery, Reuters’ Tim Ryan, Tom Williams, Pamela Sorensen, Jessica Gibson, Kate Michael, Potomac Strategy Group’s Matt Mackowiak and John Reid.

The new hotspot is located directly across the street from BLT Steak… and NYT‘s Washington bureau.

Banjos, Bare Feet and Books: A Party for Ryan Grim

grim book.jpggrim photo.jpg
Grim’s book (left) Members of Merle Haggard Haggard (right)

Saturday night at American Legion #8 – Capitol Hill, DC journos and a few stray winos gathered to toast the release of Ryan Grim‘s new book, “This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America.”

The HuffPo reporter and new author inked copies of his book with the help of wife Elizan Garcia while barefooted band, Merle Haggard Haggard rocked Legion 8.

Spotted: Michael Steel, Jared Allen, David Mark, Ken Vogel, Bob Hillman, Anne Marson, Mike Allen, Jennifer Kohl, Leonard Roberge, Dave Jamieson, Mike Debonis, Jason Cherkis, Gail Ross, Howard Yoon, Marissa Newhall, Matt Mackowiak, Rachel Morris, Sarah Courteau and Amos Snead.

Not since the release of Britney Spears‘ “Heart to Heart” has a book signing boasted bare feet and banjos with such klass. Well done, Mr. Grim!

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