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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Lewis’

Fish Food

(A sprinkling of things we think you ought to know…)

Wonkette is now just a 40-year-old woman’s diary– Politico‘s Patrick Gavin has a story that puts a happy, smiley face on just how terrible Wonkette has become. Gavin’s piece brings up all the cool things Wonkette once had — fearless D.C. gossip, tabloid-worthy photos from the Capitol’s social scene, good writing, etc. — and reminds readers that you won’t find those things on the blog anymore. The features that made Wonkette fun to read have, instead, been replaced by “the occasional heartfelt rant from Schoenkopf about, say, gun control or the tornadoes in Oklahoma.” Now it’s a “national” site, according to its editor and owner, Rebecca Schoenkopf, who lives in Los Angeles. By “national,” Schoenkopf means she picks up on little news bits coming out of various statehouses across the country and mocks it with humor typical of high school freshmen who shop at Hot Topic. Curiously, Gavin also writes that under Schoenkopf, “long past are those very public and nasty feuds with Washington politicos.” This, even though it was just in January that Schoenkopf called FishbowlDC’s editor “a fucking cunt” with “cunt” being in the headline before that mysteriously disappeared. Not quite the creativity or intelligence that the blog’s founder Ana Marie Cox was known for. Read more

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WTF? With Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis, who writes for The Daily Caller and The Week, wasn’t invited to deliver the commencement address at any ceremonies this year. But what’s that to stop him from writing 1,200 words of “advice” to new graduates anyway?

In a Monday column for The Week, Lewis offered what was meant to be a series of tips for young people entering the work force and generally speaking, the real world. Instead, it reads more like a personal diary, chronicling Lewis’s own life struggles (he once worked at a gas station) and bits of wisdom from other writers.

An excerpt:

George Santayana observed that Americans don’t solve their problems; they leave them behind. As I became a father, this really hit me hard. Naively, I had believed that I had mastered things that I had merely outgrown. But when you have kids, you rediscover (and relive) your weaknesses.

Here’s a trivial example. For at least fifteen years of my life, I went to a building every day that had some sort of basketball court attached to it. Despite the fact that my dad had been a high school star, I’ve always been a lousy player. But there was no escaping this game, which seemed inexorably tied to my life. And then one day, I graduated. Since I didn’t become a P.E. teacher or something, I have never had another occasion to play basketball. Until now. 

Now I have a son. He will surely play basketball. I may have found a years-long respite from my hardcourt weakness, but in the form of my children, I will have to confront again the weakness I never mastered.

Take that to the bank, graduates. Or your local Public Welfare office. Whichever place will give you more bang for that what the f*** sermon.

It turns out Lewis’s piece reads like a personal letter to himself because… Read more

WTF? With Matt Lewis

If for nothing else, the unpredictable musings of Matthew Lewis in his twice-weekly column at The Week can get people talking. But what’s he saying?

Lewis, who is Christian, writes in his column Friday that national newsrooms “should at least have a few journalists hanging around who share — or at least, aren’t hostile to — the Christian faith.” He says it would help the newsrooms “understand America,” where most people identify as Christians. A recent obituary of a former NYT reporter who was Christian and reports on a Philadelphia doctor’s extreme abortion practices inspired Lewis’ column.

Lack of diversity in the news industry is well documented, whether on race, sexuality, gender or religion. But what’s often missing is an explanation as to why an increase in diversity would lead media outlets to “understand America.” Would more Christians in a newsroom lead to different story selection? Would a Christian reporter’s story on the stock market have a different perspective than a reporter who considers himself more secular or even Jewish? What about Muslim? It’s possible to be both Christian and live a secular life in the workplace, which is something Lewis doesn’t acknowledge in the piece. So why more Christians?

“Too many Jews?” asked Gawker‘s John Cook on Twitter. “Because there are too many non-Christians?” asked Politico‘s Glenn Thrush. “I love these periodic calls for affirmative action for the religious majority,” tweeted The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta.

“I never said newsrooms shouldn’t be diverse,” Lewis defended himself to FishbowlDC. “I’m actually making an argument in favor of diversity.”

Lewis told FishbowlDC a Christian perspective is Read more

Reporters Balance Contributor Status

Neda Semnani is a full-time columnist for CQ Roll Call‘s “Heard on the Hill.” Yet there she was last night with a piece about Craigslist sex ads published on BuzzFeed. Was she changing jobs?

Nope. Just working her ass off.

“You know how journalism is today,” she told FishbowlDC when we asked what was going on. “Its all a bit of a hustle, get the stories reported, written and published.”

More and more often reporters are working full-time one place and serving as contributors elsewhere (as I do here at FBDC while working at The Blaze). In many cases, they juggle between publications or they contract with a cable news outlet to serve as on-air commentators.

“It is definitely a challenge to write everyday for my job, freelance and do my own stuff,” Semnani said, “but I feel like I’m still making my bones in this business and this is all trial by fire. If this schedule is what it takes to do it, then that’s just the way it is right now.” Read more

WTF? With Matt Lewis

Before beginning this installment of our regular “WTF? with Matt Lewis” feature, our look at the sometimes unusual topics raised by Lewis, we need to introduce members of the cast.

Matthew Lewis: The moderate conservative who often publicly calls out fellow conservatives and Republicans for the sake of remaking the party in his image. He writes at The Daily Caller and The Week.

Ron Meyer: Self-identified conservative activist, self-promoter and press secretary for American Majority Action (AMA), a right wing nonprofit which aims to reduce the size of the federal government.

Celia Bigelow: Youth engagement director at AMA. Also, Meyer’s main squeeze (girlfriend).

Matthew Boyle: Journalist/activist of Breitbart News and noted ankle-biter.

Lewis published an “open letter” Sunday in The Daily Caller to take Meyer to task for making false predictions on FNC. Previously, Meyer told the network’s vastly Republican viewing audience two things: There was a coalition of House Republicans essentially staging a coup to remove John Boehner as speaker. More importantly, he said Boehner knew of the plan and would resign.

His second false statement was a prediction Boyle bolstered by reporting on it at Breitbart.

As we now know, Boehner was reelected by all but a handful of his fellow Republicans. Boyle responded to a request for comment but did not address the matter at hand.

Lewis posted his open letter after Meyer declined to appear on Lewis’s podcast. (We’re told Meyer initially said he’d like to do the show, but his boss refused to let him.) “I was hoping to casually drop some advice,” wrote Lewis in the letter. “But despite the fact that your bosses at American Majority Action had no problem allowing you to go on TV and talk shit about Boehner, talking with me on the record was somehow deemed too risky.”

So, Lewis shared his advice in the letter… Read more

What’s the Media Lesson In Sandy Hook Shooting?

In the heat of the moment last Friday, the news media fudged many of the facts regarding the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Most glaring was misidentifying the shooter as Ryan Lanza rather than Adam Lanza.

Given the severity of the situation, it’s only natural that some would be upset about journalists screwing up the facts. “If you’re wondering why the public dislikes the media, scummy behavior like this doesn’t help,” The Week‘s Matthew Lewis wrote.

BuzzFeed posted the “9 Things The Media Got Wrong About The Sandy Hook Shooting.” TheBlaze (where I work) ran “The Confusing Things About the Conn. School Shooting That Got Reported Wrong.” Kiri Blakeley at CafeMom said botching the facts made both the media and the internet “look pathetic.”

Somewhat more sympathetically, Reuters media critic Jack Shafer wrote a column detailing the inaccuracies, concluding “don’t expect too much [in breaking news]. You won’t be disappointed.”

Going forward, what’s the lesson here? Is there one? Take our Fish Poll… Read more

Right-Wing Bloggers React to Obama’s Reelection

Republicans and the conservative movement took a setback in last night’s reelection of President Obama. As with any political moment of lasting consequence, right wing writers fled to their blogs to console, vent and do some soul-searching.

WaPo‘s Right Turn blogger Jennifer Rubin made the case for Republicans to give in on some social issues. “In fairness to Mitt Romney, he never once use gay marriage to stir up his base, evidence of his innate decency and, if one is more politically cynical, the lack of political mileage to be gained from the issue,” Rubin wrote. “In the future, Republicans for national office would do well to recognize reality. The American people have changed their minds on the issue and fighting this one is political flat-earthism. As with divorce, one need not favor it, but to run against it is folly, especially for national politicians who need to appeal to a diverse electorate.”

At RedState, Erick Erickson, also a CNN Contributor, said the exact oppositeRead more

(UPDATED) Daily Caller ‘Douche’ Story Gets Messy

Following a report by Politico on the status of Jonathan Krohn, once celebrated as an emerging young star in the conservative movement, The Daily Caller has its own story on Krohn in which an anonymous source calls the 17-year-old “a douche.”

Krohn gained fame in 2009, then 13, with a fiery speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

A bit from the anonymous source, who allegedly attended the 2009 conference:

“Krohn was smug, condescending, and obviously completely ignorant of what he was saying,” the attendee said. “When I spoke with him, I got the impression he was merely repackaging what someone else had told him. He was smart, but almost Stepford Wife-like in how it seemed like he was being used. It was creepy. … He kept talking about the book he had written and how many radio shows he had been on.” …

“To be clear, the fact that he was being used did not make the kid any less of a douche.”

Shocking as it may be the story, written by the cleverly named Gregg Re, has elicited strong reaction from other media types on Twitter.

Joe Schoffstall of the conservative Media Research Center called it “the best piece on [Krohn].”

The DC’s Matthew Lewis defended the publication’s use of anonymity in this case, tweeting, “I wasn’t the source, of course, but would it help if I said it on the record? (Seems like an obvious description).”

And that about does it for the positive comments we found. A round-up of the negative:

“I admire the Daily Caller’s research skills…”– BuzzFeed‘s and The Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings.

“Wait, that is not satire of some sort? To quote anon, ‘Holy fucking shit,’”– BuzzFeed‘s LGBT writer Chris Geidner, who followed up, “After reading that Daily Caller piece on Krohn, time to shower, and then I can start my day.”

“I didn’t notice this at first, but the Daily Caller put ‘douche’ in the URL. ya know, just to win the search term.”– HuffPost‘s Sam Stein. Krohn tweeted at Stein, “I hope you know I’m not a douche! LOL.”

“Daily Caller grants anonymity to source to dump on 17-year old for 1,000 words.”– TPM‘s Benjy Sarlin.

“I could find u at least 10 people who would tell you on the record what a douche I was at 13- my mom being one of them.”– Politico‘s Kate Nocera.

“DC is a douchepaper.”– David Bernstein, a reporter for The Boston Phoenix.

“Daily Caller journalism: Granting anonymity to ‘an attendee at the 2009 CPAC conference’ to attack a 17-year-old.”– Matthew Gertz of the liberal Media Matters.

“Good job on the anonymous trashing of a teenager, Daily Caller!”– Salon‘s Irin Carmon.

We’ve asked Re for comment on why his source was granted anonymity and will update if he fills us in.

UPDATE: Re told us in an email the source who called Krohn a “douche” asked for anonymity, thus it was simply given to him. It’s worth noting in many news stories, reasons for anonymity, ranging from job security to fear of retribution from higher-ups, are disclosed. Read Re’s full comment after the jump.

Read more

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of What we Think you Ought to Know…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newt’s campaign still upset about tame audience– Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich complained Tuesday about NBC’s Brian Williams requesting that the audience remain silent during Monday’s debate. After experiencing a relatively docile audience during Thursday’s debate, the Gingrich camp is now getting conspiratorial. Kevin Kellems, a senior adviser to Gingrich, accused rival Mitt Romney‘s campaign of manipulating the makeup of the audience. “They definitely packed the room [with Romney supporters],” Kellems told HuffPost. Goddammit. Where are those moon colonists when you need them?

In jealous rage, The Atlantic calls Weigel a “raging jerk”– As bitchy as journalists can be, the ones on the Republican primary campaign trail have a lot to be happy about. They’re in Florida where the temperature is hanging around a balmy 70 degrees. But that doesn’t mean The Atlantic, founded in frigid Washington, has to be happy for them. On Thursday the magazine called out the braggy tweets from journos in Florida. They called Slate‘s Dave Weigel a “raging jerk” for sending out a tweet last week in which he said, “High on the pleasantness scale: That moment the Florida sun retreats behind a cloud.” And WaPo‘s Philip Rucker is “cruel” for tweeting about the “sunset in Ormond Beach.”

Two Speakers sit down for “This Week”– Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will appear on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday to discuss his campaign and the Florida primary with ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper. Then it’s out with the old and in with the orange. Speaker John Boehner will be on after Gingrich to comment on the details of President Obama‘s State of the Union speech. Other guests: conservative columnist George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, and conservative talk radio show host Laura Ingraham.

Editorial writer recalls “most embarrassing correction” of his career– After The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Lewis found glaring errors in a Thursday morning article about Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio published by Reuters, Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner offered up a quasi-defense of the wire service. In a blog post, he recalled his own time at Reuters and a mistake he once made that resulted in a dirty mudslide of corrections:

“[B]ecause it was the most important news of the day and it was rattling many markets, other Reuters reporters simply grabbed my wording to put into our stock report, bond stories, foreign exchange dispatches, and so on. So after I corrected the story, it triggered what my co-workers teased was a ‘global correction tsunami,’ as reporters throughout the world had to issue corrections because of my bungle. It was one of the moments in my career where I could have starred in a Southwest ‘Wanna get away?’ commercial.”

Klein went on to lambast Reuters for their errors Thursday, saying that it was different from his own experience because “this isn’t the type of breaking news financial news story that needs to be pumped out in minutes. It’s a longer feature that the writer and editor had more time to work on. There’s no excuse for being this sloppy.”