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Posts Tagged ‘Maureen Dowd’

Fonzie Loves WaPo’s Ezra Klein to Pieces, But His Favorite? It’s MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

“May I call you Fonzie?” I inquired this morning when Arthur Fonzarelli phoned me at 8 a.m.

A polite Henry Winkler replied, “No, because that is a fictional character that I could never live up to. It was extraordinarily fun to play, but I couldn’t live up to that.” Fonzie said he often tells people that snapping your fingers at women in the 21st century isn’t a good idea. “You will end with them [your fingers] in a cast,” he says.

Fonzie, played by the actor, Winkler, is in town this week to win an Inspire Award from AARP The Magazine for his work with stroke victims. His mother had a stroke in her 70s and suffered horribly from upper limb spasticity. Fonzie has worked hard on the issue. And it worked — the FDA approved Botox therapy, and it is working wonders, he says. “I’m telling you I have seen it with my own eyes the incredible sense of hope that this new therapeutic use of Botox gives to victims whose upper limbs [are spastic]. It’s almost as if they are rigidly stuck to their chest. I met one woman whose arm was stuck out of the side of her and they called it her chicken wing.”

Moving on from chicken wings, let’s talk about the media. Yesterday afternoon Fonzie was watching MSNBC at his hotel and noticed WaPo‘s whippersnapper Ezra Klein. So impressed by Klein, he looked up the number for WaPo and called him just to say how impressed he was. He left a message, but no number. Klein tweeted last night “If anyone knows how to get in touch with Henry Winkler — yeah, that one — tell him “thanks” for me.”

Fonzie went on and on about Klein, who appeared on MSNBC incessantly Wednesday. “How did you know?” he asked, shocked. (I explained the Twitter message.) He continued, “I called him yesterday from my hotel room. I find him to be really…he gets to the heart of the matter. This is the third or fourth time I saw him. I looked up the number to Washington Post because I thought he was just fantastic and I’m thinking, I should just tell him. I said, I think you are just of real great clarity. I just was a fan.” I informed Fonzie that Washington City Paper recently wrote what could easily be construed as a negative piece on Ezra. Fonzie sounded worried. “Why? Tell Ezra that all things shall pass…tell him that someone writes an article and it passes and he is still here standing.” Fonzie added that he also likes MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, but didn’t elaborate.

On Tuesday, Fonzie visited the Smithsonian, where his famous leather jacket is on display. He said he hadn’t seen it since 1980 when it first arrived there. “It was very exciting,” he said.

But what about his thoughts on ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, Bo the dog and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow? Find out after the jump…

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Washington Ideas Forum Comes to Close

That’s a wrap!  The second and final day of the Washington Ideas Forum came to a close this afternoon following a lively panel discussion featuring Margaret Carlson, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Atlantic Media’s Ron Brownstein, Charlie Cook and CNN’s John King.  The crew discussed a variety of topics but ultimately landed on the media’s role in politics and why a very disenchanted American public believes that Washington is broken and disconnected.  Chuck Todd conceded, admitting that Americans have a lack of faith in the media because ”we’re doing a poor job covering the recession.”  Todd went on to explain that the media makes a spectacle out of issues that aren’t of great concern to the average citizen.  “Rahm leaving, Rahm not –that’s why the media doesn’t have the trust of the public.  It’s just stupid,” he said. 

But journalists weren’t the headliners for most of  the event, attended by a ”who’s who” of media, business and the political set.  Director Spike Lee, Governor Haley Barbour, Richard Holbrooke, Senator Jim Webb, Tony and Heather Podesta, and  Ahmed Chalabi all took to the stage today.  Spotted taking in a few sessions were CBS’s Chris Isham, The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, Slate‘s Dave Weigel, HuffPost’s Sam Stein, NYT‘s Maureen Dowd, CNN’s Edie Emery and Michelle Jaconi, Sally Quinn and The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder

Members of the media view interviews from the press room.

The FishbowlDC Interview With Politico’s Carol Lee

Carol Lee photo.jpg Politico White House correspondent Carol Lee isn’t a politician. But she had to recently turn into a politician of sorts to win the contentious at-large seat on the White House Correspondents’ Association Board. The election wasn’t “perf” as she might say – in fact, it turned downright nasty toward the end, with factions supporting and badmouthing one candidate over another. Here, we learn more about the woman who won. She grew up in Levittown, Pa. She attended NYU J-school. She isn’t afraid to cuss at an editor. And no, she doesn’t deem Politico a sweat shop as recent stories suggest. “If anything, I overwork myself,” she says.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Mountain Dew. The more caffeine the better.

How often do you Google yourself? Maybe once a year.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? My editor in Florida was a loud, swearing, barking newspaper guy, and I’m from Philly so we were pretty candid with each other when discussing stories. He once suggested during a staff meeting that I write a story a certain way, and I said, “That’s the stupidest f—ing idea I’ve ever heard.” It may have been too much. He seemed startled.

Who is your favorite working journalist?
Ken Bazinet of the New York Daily News seems to have things figured out.

Do you have a favorite word? No, but I don’t like the word perky.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Dinner with Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama would be interesting.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Whatever tune is “normal” on a BlackBerry.

When did you last cry and why? When Donovan McNabb left the Eagles for the Redskins.

What word do you routinely misspell? Maintenance. In fact I misspelled it writing it here before spell check intervened.

What swear word do you use most often? I think I answered that with my editor anecdote earlier.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Perf. It’s short for perfect. I’m addicted.

What TV show do you have to watch? I really only have to watch the Sunday news shows. For fun, I’m a big fan of Modern Family.

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? Vintage, thrift and designer discount stores. Shopping is a sport, and they offer a challenge.

Find out what makes Lee angry and about her stint as a restaurant spy after the jump…

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NYT’s Dowd Says ‘Real Housewives’ Lack Power


What does NYT‘s Maureen Dowd think of Michaele Salahi and Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of D.C.”?

Well, not much.

Dowd has written a review for this week’s issue of TV Guide Magazine. She doesn’t find the Real Housewives so real or so powerful, and refers to Michaele as the “blond Skeletor.” (On the show, Micahaele is discussed as having a weight issue, meaning that she’s a Size 0 and in what another (catty) housewife calls “dangerous territory.”)

An excerpt
The fantasy cast of The Real Housewives of Washington D.C. would feature Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and the fearsome Cheney sisters. Not only do these women wield real influence in the capital; they’re also the ones youÂ’d want on your side if you ever found yourself in a knife fight in a Hong Kong alley.

But on Bravo, connections are less important than claws. So instead, interspersed with shots of the Washington monuments, we get five women on the periphery of the periphery of power, so far outside the marbled inner sanctum that it required a Watergate caliber break-in-now known as Salahing-to breach the gates.

Read the full story here.

Whose Shoes: Revealed

red shoes.jpg The shoes, as many of you guessed, belong to Christiane Amanpour, the new host of ABC’s “This Week.” We took this picture of Amanpour outside the CBS pre-party to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, where she was hanging out with her husband, former State Dept. Spokesman Jamie Rubin.

Other guesses included Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and NYT columnist Maureen Dowd.

Neil Grace, Director, Media Practice, Burson-Marsteller was first to get the answer right. Erika Masonhall, press secretary to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) came in second place.

Thanks to all for playing. As always, if you have a pair of someone’s shoes you’d like us to feature, write to us at

Reporter Accuses Dowd of – What Else?- Blind Date Profiling

helena-large.jpg Former Politico scribe Helena Andrews is calling the date that NYT columnist Maureen Dowd set her up on with Obama aide Reggie Love “racial profiling.” Andrews writes about it in the latest issue of Marie Claire.

How dare Dowd assume she wants to date a black man?

A Web site called The Nytpicker has the scoop.

An excerpt
“I’ve got a guy for you,” Dowd told Andrews. “He’s so hot, it’s perfect.” A few days later, Dowd’s assistant called to confirm the connection.

Now, in a brief recollection published in the latest issue of Marie Claire, Andrews has placed the event in the context of “racial profiling” by white people like Dowd, who assumed she wanted to date only black men. She even notes that her own mother tried to fix her up with a black man she met at Ikea. The nerve of her!”

Please note the black dog in the picture. Pure coincidence.

Schieffer Brings Journo Friends to Fort Worth for Annual Symposium

If you’re lucky enough to ever have a conversation with Bob Schieffer, chances are he can’t go two or three minutes without mentioning Fort Worth, TCU or the Bullfrogs.

Well it was all TCU for Schieffer this week. The venerable “Face the Nation” anchor was back in his hometown of Fort Worth for the annual “Schieffer Symposium” at Texas Christian University’s School of Journalism, aptly named the Schieffer School of Journalism.

Bob was joined by some of the industry’s best- NBC’s Ann Curry, NYT‘s Maureen Dowd, Michael Eisner and the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol- for a conversation on the state of journalism.

Of course, Schieffer’s old paper, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, was there to cover it. Check out some of their report after the jump…

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VF Writer Who Covered Tiger’s Cheating Was Inspired by Maureen Dowd


VF writer Mark Seal says he took heart from NYT’s Maureen Dowd‘s column in which she advised, “Tiger, you never get involved with women with 8 x 10 glossies.”

Seal’s story, “Tiger’s Inconvenient Women”, in the new issue of VF, details his meetings with a variety of the golfer’s mistresses, one of whom is a Perkins Pancake House employee who has a harrowing story to tell about a tampon (yeah, you read that right).

Read short excerpts and watch a video of what it was like for Seal to get a handle on Tiger’s infidelities here. One thing is clear, he enjoyed the journey.

Late Reading List 10.22.09

What we know and what we’re reading this Thursday (besides “Goatee Gamble” and “Karaoke in the Capital”)…



Whoops! MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer called Jesse Jackson Al Sharpton on live TV yesterday. Video.


WaPo‘s Reliable Source: Yul Kwon, winner of “Survivor: Cook Islands” in 2006, was appointed deputy chief of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.


WaPo‘s Howard Kurtz is following the “Foxified debate over whether the White House is being mean to a certain network.” And Tucker Carlson‘s take on The Daily Beast.

Meanwhile, in an interview with NBC White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie yesterday President Obama said it wasn’t something he’s “losing sleep over.”

Regardless, Fox News’ ratings are unaffected.

Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson and Bret Baier mentioned on the air that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow were at the White House this week for an off-the-record chat with President Obama. We now hear Eugene Robinson, E.J. Dionne, Ron Brownstein, John Dickerson, Frank Rich, Jerry Seib, Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Gloria Borger and Gwen Ifill were also there. (h/t TVNewser)


PBS’ Gwen Ifill will receive an honorary degree and will give the commencement address to the 2010 graduating class of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico

News Notes: Yeas & Nays Photo Shoot, Washingtonian’s Most Powerful and Stylish

• Last time we checked, “Yeas & Nays” had yet to update its Twitter page photo, but now the Examiner makes it official. Introducing Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri.

• In this month’s WashingtonianNJ‘s Suzanne Clark, NYT‘s Maureen Dowd, MTP’s Betsy Fischer, PBS’ Gwen Ifill, BET’s Debra Lee, NPR’s Diane Rehm, NPR’s Vivian Schiller, NPR’s Nina Totenberg and WaPo‘s Katharine Weymouth represent the media on the mag’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

• CNN’s “State of the Union” executive producer Michelle Jaconi and journo band Suspicious Package’s Christina Sevilla are among Washingtonian‘s Most Stylish People. The 18 fashionistas will be toasted at a party thrown by the mag this evening, and you can check out the complete list on newsstands.