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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Yglesias’

Plea to Matthew Yglesias’ Editors: Don’t Ever Let Him Outside Again

Quick piece of unsolicited advice for the editors of Slate‘s Matthew Yglesias: next time he pitches a story about eating lunch outside as opposed to eating sad salad at his desk, tell him to go enjoy his sad salad at his desk and leave it at that. Chain the doors shut if you have to.

Look, we know it’s August, times are tough and Weiner stories are coming to a trickle. But really, was this monstrosity of a story necessary?

The url was particularly fantastic in a horrible kind of way: It included the words “eating_lunch_outside_sucks_stay_inside.”

Seriously Slate. You allowed this?

Best (of the worst) sentences: “Outside proponents like to refer to this dirt as ‘grass’ but if you look at it you’ll see that the blades of grass are mostly just resting atop dirt. If you sit on the ‘grass’ for a while and then stand up, the parts of your body that were in contact will the grass will be covered in ‘dirt.’”

Worst (of the worst) sentences: “Inside has other crucial advantages. If someone wants to excuse themselves briefly to use the restroom, they can do so easily. Obviously in principle it’s possible to relieve oneself outdoors as well, but this is generally frowned upon in urban green spaces. There are also electrical outlets where you can charge your phone. If the breeze coming through the window gets to be unpleasant, you can close the window.”

Seriously, Slate. You allowed Yglesias to make the crucial point to the world that taking a leak or defecating outside is frowned upon and finding a toilet inside is rather easy?

His conclusion is something we “all know?” He writes, “Inside is great and humanity has struggled for tens of thousands of years to spend as much time as possible there.” Actually, Yglesias, inside is for nerds who can’t bear to be away from a charger for 30 minutes — don’t lump us all in there, it’s undignified.

And Slate editors, please return to our first sentence and crucial advice. Do not put us through this again unless you tell us you gave Yglesias a bag of weed and told him to write whatever he wants. Then, at least, this would make a lettuce shred of sense.


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Garlic-Scented Freelance Journo No Fan of Texting at Networking Soireés

A networking event to mark a business partnership between two fiercely ideological magazines isn’t exactly a wild time. But it’s part of the job for some media professionals in D.C.

Even so, freelance journalist Murray Waas, in the dimly-lit setting shown here, believes that if you’re attending such an event, you shouldn’t be on your phone.

“What is the point of going out when you’re texting?” Waas said to National Review reporter Andrew Stiles Thursday night. Apparently unsure what to make of the unsolicited social commentary, Stiles awkwardly replied, “I don’t know. To look like you have something to do.”

Waas floated around the party, hosted by The Nation and National Review at the Mayflower Renaissance hotel, butting into conversations, preferring to talk directly into people’s ears despite being audible at a normal conversational distance.

The writer made a name for himself during the Bush (43) years, reporting on the White House and, in the early 1990s, reporting on the Gulf  War. He was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Howard Kurtz, then a media critic for the Washington Post, wrote in 2006 that Waas was “getting his day in the sun.” Nowadays Waas updates his personal blog and freelances. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Hill, The Boston Globe, Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic and Reuters, among others.

He’s been featured in a lengthy 2007 WCP piece by Erik Wemple and Jason Cherkis (in the least flattering way) and in a rebuttal by Matthew Yglesias at ThinkProgress (the most flattering way).

“He was one of the biggest creeps I’ve ever talked to, saying things like ‘I’m your friend, right? We’ve been talking for five minutes, [and] I’m your best friend here?’” one attendee at Thursday’s gathering remarked to FishbowlDC. “And he smelled like garlic and booze.”


About 100 people showed up for the event, all wearing name tags. Among them was National Review‘s star Capitol Hill Editor Robert Costa. Read more

Fish Food

(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know…)

WaPo writer not happy with Romney – I know, right? Who saw that coming? Dana Milbank is not happy that he can’t get up-close and personal with the Republican front-runner and who can blame him? Romney, I mean, not Milbank. Who would want to give access to someone who writes, “And if the campaign is about personality? To paraphrase Yogi Berra, Romney will be an overwhelming underdog.” The “I’m trying to get access, so I’m going to insult you till I do” approach only works when trying to get a kiss on the playground in first grade, not politics.

Careful what you wish for Larry King, the suspenders-clap curmudgeon himself, took to Twitter to lament the fact that he doesn’t have a brain. Well, not exactly. But sort of. The 348-year-old former CNN host tweeted, “Sometimes I wish I could have brain surgery just so @sanjayguptaCNN could be my doctor.” Aside from the creepiness of an elderly man flipping fate the bird by wishing he had a serious medical issue, who thinks like that? And, of those who do think like that, who decides to tell the world they think like that? After getting less that positive feedback, he soon followed up with “Didn’t mean to offend, I just really like and admire @sanjayguptaCNN he’s the best!” That was something he could have easily said in the first place, rather than ‘Gee, I wish I had a brain tumor so this one particular guy could cut my head open cuz he’s nice.’ Larry, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to need a brain surgeon – ever. To paraphrase Dizzy Dean, they could x-ray your head and not find nuthin’.

Joe Biden would not approveSlate writer Matthew Yglesias isn’t known for being nice (or particularly liked, really. But that’s a different matter). So when he tweeted, “The enormous Japanese tour group taking up a full car on this train is about to be very disappointed by US passenger rail,” the attitude was unsurprising. While it’s true that Amtrak sucks, you’d think a fan of subsidies wouldn’t point it out.

How Much Klout Do You Have?

Beltway journalists’ obsession with Twitter has made “Klout me” the new “Google me.” We sometimes like to think of ourselves as ahead of the curve.

For those unfamiliar with Klout, it’s an online tool that measures how important you are in the Twittersphere on a scale of 1 to 100. Your level of importance (“Klout”) is determined by how many people are responding to and sharing your tweets. The more engaged people are with your content, the higher your score. Klout also shows what topics you’re most invested in, who you influence (meaning, who’s reacting to and sharing the messages you tweet) and who’s influencing you.

In voyeuristic fashion, we went ahead and checked the Klout on a sampling of Washington journos.

Dylan Byers: The new media reporter at Politico working with Ben Smith on his revamped blog. His Klout score is 57. The topics he deals in most on Twitter are pretty straightforward. They include: New York City, advertising, and family (aww). He influences Adweek‘s David Levine and Politico‘s Eliza Krigman. On the flip side, Think Progress and NYT‘s Brian Stelter shape his Twitter world.

Nia-Malika Henderson: National political reporter for WaPo. Some of her favorite Twitter topics are moms, Henderson, and Barack Obama. Who she influences most: MSNBC Al Sharpton‘s “Politics Nation” and “The Bill Press Show.” Those who influence Henderson are entirely exclusive to WaPo reporters, except CNN’s Sam Feist.

NJ‘s Major Garrett: Congressional Correspondent for NJ and, according to Klout, a New England Patriot’s fan. That’s the second thing he’s most engaged in on Twitter. Others are major league baseball and conservative politics. Garrett influences Wofford College and NJ‘s Chris Frates. He’s influenced by Slate‘s Dave Weigel and The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball. His Klout: 56. UPDATE: Major questions Klout’s validity. He writes in, “I AM NOT A NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS FAN…..I have never tweeted anything about the Patriots. I am a San Diego Chargers fan and San Diego Padres fan and fan of my alma mater, the University of Missouri and have tweeted frequently about them, but never, ever, ever the Patriots. Klout is seriously missing a klue.”

Current TV’s David Shuster: Former MSNBC anchor, current Current TV contributor/Keith Olbermann sub. He’s got a Klout score of 48 and an incredibly random group of topics he tweets about. Included are libraries, mother nature and religion and spirituality. Oh, and tea. Strange bedfellows: He influences WaPo‘s Ezra Klein but is shaped by Olbermann and FNC’s Bret Baier.

WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart: Editorial writer at WaPo and high flying with a Klout score of 60. Some things he likes to tweet about: Rick Perry, LGBT and Africa. Find the common link. He influences 12,000 people, but no big names at the top. However, he pays a lot of attention to MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis and The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: MSNBC anchor. She likes to tweet about food, coffee and photography. The people she most influences appear to be just a bunch of fans but her tweets are influenced by Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Politico. Her Klout score is up there at 63.

Dave Weigel (couldn’t do it without him): Political reporter for Slate. His Klout is scored at an impressive 75. Some topics he deals in most on Twitter include earthquakes, Sarah Palin and job search. Sadly, the person he influences most is an account dedicated to Weigel: @Weigelisbored. The top three people who influence him are Politico‘s Smith and Jonathan Martin and new addition to Slate, Matthew Yglesias.

To be fair, we Klouted ourselves, too…

FishbowlDC: Yours truly. Our Kout score is a respectable 54. A few topics we apparently like to tweet about: Coma, guitar and Barbara Walters. Who’s paying attention to us: Sirius XM’s Julie Mason, FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic and Washingtonian‘s Carol Joynt. Our biggest influences are, who else? Dave Weigel, Chuck Todd, Ezra Klein and Chris Hayes.


Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

A Personal Heartfelt Request

Dear Readers: I know we get attached to email addresses and once they are locked into your computers they are tough to change. But please, for the love of God, change my f@&king email address from to I have two email accounts exploding with duplicate messages and it is driving me mad. To all you nerdy types out there who are just itching to give me unsolicited advice on forwarding accounts or any other technological garble, don’t. Just use my new address. Thank you for attending to this important matter.

Thank you POTUS and FLOTUS

“SO deeply honored President Obama & the First Lady invited me to perform tonight @ the State Dinner! Hosting S. Korea!” — Janelle Monae.

BREAKING: If anyone missed the Politico plagiarism story from late last night, read here.

Arianna Wants Zzzzz’s

“In Istanbul 12:50am, still on Blackberry. wish there was another Blackberry outage so I could sleep.” — HuffPost/AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington.

WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty on Michelle Obama‘s dress: “Awesome. I’m not usually a fan of FLOTUS & belts.” See here. (Especially compared to the elegant pink garbage sac worn by the Korean Prez’s wife, Kim Yoon-ok, yes, FLOTUS’s purple gown is exceptional.)

Buttry’s nephew has hip surgery

“Thanks to all who suggested gifts for my great nephew w/ the 3/4 body cast (following hip surgery). Crowdsourced gift: Nerf gun.” — Steve Buttry, lifetime Community Engagement Director and JRC Employee.

Youngman gets bumped from Greta

Youngman to FNC’s Ed Henry: “You’re off the hook. Schedule change and no appearance for me on @gretawire tonight.” Henry replied, “Whew.” Correction: It was The Hill‘s Sam Youngman who got bumped from Greta. He was going on the program to discuss the confrontation between Ed and POTUS. Apologies… We’ve changed the above to accurately reflect what happened.

A Convo Between Two Media Types

Washington Examiner‘s Timothy Carney: “Who thinks I should get David Frum’s spot on NPR?” Former Examiner writer J.P. Freire: ME AND EVERYONE I KNOW, PLS. (Freire is now the senior comm strategist for New Media Strategies and an American Spectator blogger.)

Weather woes

“Bad sign: Just got email from D.C. emergency alert system with subject line ‘Protective Actions for Tornadoes.’” — WCP‘s Managing Editor Mike Madden.

Is an ice cream flavor really big news?

“BREAKING: ABC News reports ‘Black Walnut’ is indeed a Haagen-Daas flavor of the month. Glad we got to the bottom of that.” — The Daily Caller‘s TV writer Jeff Poor. The limited edition ice cream flavor is gaining traction ever since mentioned by GOP presidential contender Herman Cain, who says it’s his favorite flavor.

Boybander speaks up for female journos

“Magazines should hire women to write about things other than sex, marriage, and babies.” — Obvious women’s rights champion, Boybander and liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias. He links to this Slate story that slam’s The Atlantic‘s cover story on women and marriage.

Why can’t Hazy speak without sounding like a human thesaurus? “Precipitating a dramatic confrontation with the authorities is the absolute best thing Bloomberg can do for #OWS’s momentum.” – MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Since I got back from NYC, all of my foursquare checkins have been at work or at home. I’m officially boring.” — Roll Call‘s Jessica Estepa back in the reigning position of this feature. (We kid because we love Jessica, at least in this instance. We are, however, horrified to learn that you regularly foursquare.)

The Atlantic’s Work Summit Attracts Sec. Arne Duncan, Sen. Mark Warner and AOL’s Steve Case

The Atlantic‘s New Work Era Summit on Tuesday is bringing in government and business leaders to discuss challenges facing American workers today and how to best prepare for future workforce trends.

Featured speakers: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; Senator Mark Warner (D-VA); and Steve Case, founder of AOL and a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The event takes place at the Newseum from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

To coincide with tomorrow’s summit, The Atlantic and McKinsey & Company are joining forces for “The Great Jobs Debate,” a two-week special report on Beginning Tuesday, July 12, says a release, experts in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors will weigh in on one crucial question: what single thing should the government do to create jobs? Contributors include: Michelle Rhee, former D.C. schools chief; Siemens CEO Eric Spiegel; Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio; Carl Schramm, CEO of the Kauffman Foundation; Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, and The Atlantic‘s Megan McArdle, among others.

More logistical details about the Work Summit after the jump…

Read more

Blogger Gets Wisdom Teeth Pulled

Soup and mush. This is what Center for American Progress fellow Matthew Yglesias is eating these days as the result of getting his wisdom teeth yanked. Big FishbowlDC fan WaPo‘s Ezra Klein explained on Twitter over the weekend how miraculous it was that his friend was still writing despite getting teeth pulled. He called him the “ironman of blogging.”

Klein gushed of his longtime Journolist pal: “The amount of posting that’s gone on despite wisdom-tooth extraction really makes @mattyglesias the ironman of blogging.”

Meanwhile, Ygelsias took us through the chronological sequence of his various states of mush:

“Who needs reasons when you’ve got percocet?”

“Just 90 minutes left in horrible clear liquids diet. Never thought I’d look forward to soup this much.”

“After my 72 hours of clear liquids, I’m on to 48 hours of soft mush only.”

Journo Pet Peeves in All Their Lobstery, Gobbledy Goodness


Journalists, more than most, have words and expressions that irk them. Here are examples.

Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias: “When did people start writing ‘healthful’ instead of ‘healthy’ and how can I make them stop?” he tweeted.

And Politico‘s Patrick Gavin: “Very proud of all of you for not saying lobstery deliciousness, yumminess or goodness today. Good job.” (Gavin’s referring to the popular new lobster food truck stationed in Farragut Square that may move to Adams Morgan or Chinatown later today for dinner.)

Have words that get under your skin? E-mail us and tell us the words that irritate you most. Write us at or write me directly at

> Update: Linda from Indianapolis writes in: Saying “gift” when you mean “give.” (I’m going to gift $1,000 to charity.) Signage. What’s wrong with “signs?” And “grow” the economy. We grow plants, or we grow ourselves, but we don’t grow the economy.

A Spoof on JournoList


Here’s a satire of conversations from JournoList. Before anyone flies off the handle, this means that it’s a fictional, fake, made-up, invented take on conversations that the author, David Burge of Iowahawke, imagines could have transpired on JournoList.

WaPo’s Ezra Klein, the list’s creator (and destroyer) takes on the role of hipster (the fake Klein uses words like “wassup” and “yo”). The whole gang of journos (TPM’s Josh Marshall, Center for American Progress’s Matthew Yglesias, The Nation’s Eric Alterman and Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert) sound like tweens. To be sure, ex-WaPo blogger Dave Weigel shows up to say his e-mails have been leaked to his editors (and he’s in deep sh-t). Weigel also (fictitiously) uses ProActive on his skin (yes, just like singer Jessica Simpson). Then MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann arrives and invites them all to Chatroulette. The tweens scatter.

A must read. Find the satire here.

See details on the author, Burge, after the jump…

Read more

Morning Reading List 02.24.09

Good Morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line or let us know in the tips box below.

Its day 36 covering the Obama administration and week 4 for us. Happy Mardi Gras!

What we know and what we’re reading this FAT Tuesday morning…



NYT’s Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet spoke to a group of Columbia University students. “Your generation will get to reinvent journalism in a more meaningful way.” Finally, some good news.

Steve Coll and Matthew Yglesias ponder whether the death of newspapers as we know them would really be apocalyptic on NPR’s On the Media.

Forbes reports as the parent company of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News slid toward the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing it made over the weekend, the CEO was getting a raise.

Some think the NYT overplayed the Nixon Tapes.

What exactly is a master of “snarky mimesis” because I think my co-editor Matt Dornic just may be one too… Media Matters takes a look at the NYT’s review of David Denby‘s book “Snark,” in which he pronounces Tom Wolfe and Maureen Dowd masters of “snarky mimesis.”


President Obama’s address this evening will run about 50 minutes long with applause.


No surprise that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity top Talkers Magazine 2009 Heavy Hundred list, but you maybe surprised that DC local NPR’s Diane Rehm is all the way down at #92. Imus is #20, Rachel Maddow #46.


More Howard Kurtz on Twitter in his online chats. “Look, Twitter may turn out to be a fad, and I noted in my piece that it has an incestuous quality. But I’ve got 2,900 people following me on Twitter and they aren’t all Beltway insiders by a long shot. I happen to think it’s good that big-shot TV anchors are making an attempt to engage with their viewers. Politicians, pro athletes and CEOs are among those posting on Twitter. It has its limitations, but it’s also an intriguing form of communication.”


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