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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Conneen’

FishbowlDC Interview With CQ Roll Call’s Hawkings

Say hello to CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing Editor David Hawkings. He has been the Daily Briefing Editor since November 2010. He was previously Managing Editor of CQ Weekly for six years. The number of positions he has held in the company is truly a mouthful: He has been the company’s senior editor for legislative affairs; co-editor of “Politics in America,” CQ Roll Call‘s signature reference work on members of Congress; the weekly magazine’s economics editor and its congressional affairs editor; and managing editor of the CQ Daily Monitor, the predecessor of CQ Today. A native New Yorker, Hawkings grew up on the Upper East Side. He’s a Bucknell grad and was formerly a columnist and editor at the San Antonio Light. He was also Rep. Lamar Smith‘s (R-Texas) press secretary during his campaign and freshman term in Congress. Hawkings can hardly believe that he has been a journalist for the past 30 years — but that’s where his heart is. “It’s still a calling,” he says of the journalism profession. “If done right it’s a public service. It contributes to the betterment of the democracy. I’m certainly not in it for the money.”

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Tab. Because it’s proudly retro, has a sharp edge, a biting taste and isn’t afraid to wear pink.

How often do you Google yourself? It’s part of my getting ready for every annual physical

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Why didn’t you pick another line of work? (Said to me first, and by me once or twice since.)

Who is your favorite working journalist and why?  Harry Hawkings, the older of our two sons, whose “Caps ‘Round the Clock” blog makes me grateful he wants to be a sports journalist – instead of competing with his dad in the government/political space. At 19 he’s a faster and clearer writer, and a brighter analyst, than maybe I’ll ever be.

Do you have a favorite word? “Oxymoron”

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Deep partisan divide.” But, sadly, there’s no way to avoid it these days.

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? If either invites me on his show, a nice meal afterward is on me. My dinnertime conversation, though, tries to occupy the space between hardball and flake.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? The one whose leaks could be accepted at face value.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring?  Rotary dial phone

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? My wife, Betsy, is routinely up at that hour and checks for the both of us.

What word do you routinely misspell? Most of them.

What swear word do you use most often? W.T.F. (as both a question and an affirmation)

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? Something I could do in bare feet, or maybe in sandals. And no typing. I hate typing.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) My colleague John Cranford, who writes the brilliant Political Economy column for CQ Weekly; my colleague Christina Bellantoni, Roll Call’s plugged-in associate political editor; and two guys whose online/email columns I always learn from – the GOP’s Rich Galen and the totally non-ideological Fox congressional correspondent Chad Pergram.

When you pig out what do you eat? Coconut cake.

When did you last cry and why? Aug. 1, when Gabby Giffords arrived on the House floor to vote on the debt bill.

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day


“Never fails. Always hungriest when I’m on a food shoot.” — Capitol File Editor Kate Bennett. Mums the word on what the cuisine was. “It’s for the October issue,” she tells FishbowlDC.

Bio of Day: Pretentious alert

Washingtonian Editor Garrett Graff: “Editor of Washingtonian magazine, author of The Threat Matrix, blogger, & Georgetown lecturer. All things equal, I’ll take a Scotch.”

Sick journo daydreams about sea foam reporter

“I’m home. Sick with a cold. Drinking Airborne. Can’t stop visualizing Tucker Barnes #seafoam moment.” — WJLA’s Mike Conneen imagining the reporter in Ocean City who stood in a sea foam of sludge and sewage. When we told him he should rest rather than tweet, he replied, “I have two illnesses: I have a cold. And I’m a newsaholic.”

Penguin reportage

“Never get tired of TV news reports about penguins. We need more penguin stories. Sea otters too.”– CBS White House radio reporter Mark Knoller. As some know, a penguin recently showed up to Politico‘s lobby in Arlington. The animal was allegedly making a NewsChannel8 TV appearance.

Blogger insults JMart

“Is @jmartpolitico a hack? It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to put that thought in your mind from the start.” — The Daily Caller‘s Jim Treacher. He links to the story, “Is Rick Perry Dumb?” here. Looks like Treach won’t be making an appearance on NBC’s “MTP” anytime soon. Unlike some people we know.

Attention White House scribes: Weigel expects more

“Alternate hed: WH reporters are bored” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel, who RT this: “@Drudge_Report: Carney Grilled Over Potential Hillary Primary Challenge.” He links to a Drudge story here.

Congratulations are in order to… Politico‘s Byron Tau for finishing up his master’s degree in Journalism from Georgetown. It only took him three long years. But who’s counting? His excuses are somewhat reasonable. For the past year blogger Ben Smith had him under wraps. Now Mike Allen has him on lock down.

HuffPost Hill Goes on Vacation

“We survived the earthquake, we weathered Irene and — despite what Michele Bachmann said — we haven’t taken God’s hint about the need for more deficit reduction. We’re off this week but will be back after Labor Day for all the early Autumn insanity as Congress returns and the presidential campaigns pick up again (Go get ‘em, Newt!). We miss you. Behold a cat cleaning a dog. Have a great week!” — HuffPost Hill Editor Eliot Nelson. Of course they can’t depart without giving readers a cat video. NYT‘s Bill Keller would be proud.

Headline mocking at a glance

“Waiting for Politico headline: ‘Is Obama Arrogant?’” — Franklin Center VP and former AFP veteran Erik Telford knocking Politico‘s main site headline from yesterday, which asked, “Is Rick Perry Dumb?”

Sloshed Lady Talks Hurricane on Local TV

Honesty really does pay. A thank you to WJLA reporter Mike Conneen for alerting us to this drunken woman who wasn’t afraid to tell a raincoat-wearing reporter what she was doing during Hurricane Irene. “You’ve gotta love live television for giving us gems like this: Drunk Girl Talks #Hurricane With @WJZNews in Baltimore,” wrote Conneen.

Watch here.

The FishbowlDC Interview With The Daily Caller’s Southern Scribe Alex Pappas

When I spoke with The Daily Caller reporter Alex Pappas Thursday afternoon, he mentioned that his boss, Tucker Carlson, had consulted with him on what Carlson should say about him when approached. I told him that wasn’t legal. “I told him he had to say all bad things,” Pappas assured through a slow drawl. A Mobile, Ala. native, he graduated college and began working for the the Mobile Press Register. A year and half ago he’d heard from D.C. contacts that Carlson had a new website. On a whim, he sent in his resume. To his amazement, he got the job and started in on the ground floor. But in December of 2010 he left for the Washington Examiner. Back in Mobile he’d covered local news. “I love local news,” he said, explaining the draw of the old-time newspaper track. “They know I’m a young guy and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do.” Carlson let him go but immediately wanted Pappas back. “We’ve lost a number of people over the past year and a half, but he’s the only one we’ve aggressively wooed back,” he said, explaining that he mounted “Operation Homecoming,” in which they slowly lured him back to the The DC, “mostly with promises of more and better office parties.” About two months into his new job, Pappas received an email from Carlson saying that Gov. Tim Pawlenty had entered the 2012 presidential race. “You want to come back?” Carlson asked. “At that point I was so fresh into the job, but I’d been a political nut for as long as I could remember. I couldn’t get the email out of my mind.” A total of four months after he left, Pappas returned to The Daily Caller. “It’s a great fit for me,” he said. “It definitely feels like I’m back home.” His 80-something Grandma Reedy is also relieved. As a Fox News junkie, she loves Carlson. “It made her year that I decided to come back,” he said.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Coke in a glass bottle.

How often do you Google yourself? Google alerts do it for me.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor? My computer just crashed. I’ve lost my story.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Tucker Carlson is the best writer I know.

Do you have a favorite word? ubiquitous.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Roll Tide. How so? It’s a football slogan from the University of Alabama. I didn’t go there but I’m a big fan. [Pappas attended the University of the South in the mountains of Sewanee Tennesee.]

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? I’d play Hardball.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? Carney. It would be great for The Daily Caller to get some exclusives from the White House. I don’t know how much of that we’d get from Bo.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Classic phone remix.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? I check my phone several times throughout the night.

What word do you routinely misspell? Initiative.

What swear word do you use most often? All of them.

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? I’d write movies and TV shows.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) 50 Cent, Grover Norquist, [FishbowlDC's] Betsy Rothstein and [WaPo's] Ezra Klein.

When you pig out what do you eat? All types of fast food.

When did you last cry and why? When asked to do this interview.

Find out how often Pappas checks his BlackBerry after the jump…

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The FishbowlDC Interview With WJLA TV Reporter Mike Conneen

Say hello to WJLA TV Reporter Mike Conneen. Born in Naperville, Ill., he grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He’s the youngest of five children. Two siblings went into banking, like his father.  Two became teachers, like his mother.  Conneen is the lone reporter. He has worked for KUSA, KNAZ/KPNX, KXRM and now WJLA. He is preposterously torn about who he wants to play him in a movie should James Cameron come calling. On one hand, he thinks Neil Patrick Harris is the right fit. On the other, it’s Jane Lynch all the way. We most recently heard Lynch portray one of ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) online sexting partners in a dramatic reading on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” with Maher playing Weiner. We’re convinced that this Lynch is not the role Conneen is conjuring in his mind. Read on.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Diet soda. I drink it like a fish.

How often do you Google yourself? Do Google alerts count?

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? “Really???” See below.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Mike Allen makes me aware. Jake Tapper makes me watch. Jeanne Moos makes me laugh.

Do you have a favorite word? “Really?” It’s like speaking Chinese. The slightest difference in tone can create completely different meanings.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Really.”  It can get really annoying. My brother, Andy, says it a lot too. Really.

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? Dinner with Chris Wallace. Drinks with Chris Matthews.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? Carney can talk and drive, and clean up his own messes. Sorry, Bo.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? “Twisted Nerve” – the whistle song from “Kill Bill.”

Crying in the workplace? Conneen has done it. Find out why…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Photograph by Politico’s Patrick Gavin posted this week. The dark clouds are meant to convey, however jokingly, congressional battles.

Bio of the Day

NJ‘s Susan Davis: “I’m a reporter. Despite that, people seem to like me.”

(Bios will be taken from Twitter and publication websites. If you have someone you’d like us to feature, write me at Your anonymity will be protected.)

Journo says father doesn’t pass gas

“Shopping for a Father’s Day card, I was shocked by the lack of quality, options. Come on, Hallmark. My Dad is not a farting, sexist drunk.” — WJLA-TV reporter Mike Conneen in the most comical tweet we came across on Wednesday.

Ezzy in dream world

“Had a dream in which dream-me realized I could save items I wanted to blog later by starring them in Google Reader. Pro tip, subconscious!” — WaPo liberal blogger Ezra Klein in a Wednesday tweet. We think he was awake when he wrote this, but we can’t possibly be certain.

Crystal ball prediction

“Anyone else feel like at this point a TMZ-Politico merger is almost a foregone conclusion?” — The Nation‘s Washington Bureau Chief Chris Hayes in a Wednesday tweet.

Chuck Todd questions sense of TV banner

“There’s a TV banner (thankfully not NBC fam) that said “Ex-Porn Star Joins Weiner Scandal”; Can u “join” a scandal? Really? Sign up sheet?” — NBC’s Chuck Todd in a Wednesday tweet.

Weiner’s inevitable future in TV?

“Then there is the inevitable foreshadowing of what might be a career in television: Weiner could cash in on his notoriety by moving to TV, as have others caught in similar scandals before him. He has been, after all, a ubiquitous presence on cable TV, coming across as an antsy, energetic liberal who is always willing to take on Republicans and conservatives.” — NJ‘s Billy House in a story about Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) financial disclosure forms for 2010.

Definition of a successful press day

“We just got like 20 TV  Google alerts for @DarrellIssa within 1 minute. Wow, that’s a lot of coverage for the hearing today.” — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) flak Becca Glover in a Wednesday tweet.

Radio host is all Weinered out

“I am seeking therapy for my compulsive behavior in following the Weiner story more closely than events in Yemen.” — NPR’s Scott Simon in a Wednesday tweet.

David Gregory was into rap (but not the ‘nasty’ stuff)

“A lot of suburban white kids like me were into that stuff,” — NBC “MTP” Host David Gregory told the Washington Examiner this week after Monday night’s GOP presidential debate. Growing up in LA, Gregory said he was big into rap, but stressed that he was never really into the “nasty stuff.” Read the full item here.


Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


“I’ve never seen the water this high at Great Falls.” — SBNation’s John Taylor in a weekend tweet.

“Day of beauty with Sara Libby” – Former Roll Call scribe Elizabeth Brotherton in a weekend tweet. Getting pampered above is Politico‘s Deputy Politics Editor Sara Libby.

A TV reporter vents about off-air idiots

“Why do people find it necessary to wave their arms and jump around during reporter live shots?” — ABC7′s Mike Conneen in a series of weekend tweets. More: “And chances are no one who knows you is even watching, just strangers who think you’re a tool.” And this: “I understand if you are trying to get on camera, even though you look ridiculous in the background.” And this: “But if you’re standing off camera and your intention is simply to distract a working reporter, that’s just rude!”

Gossip Girl contemplates feathers for WHCD

“Are feathers really out? The only #WHCD dress I found that I like has black feathers on it. #firstworldproblems.” — The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab in a weekend tweet.

Something to ponder…

“Is wondering if it’s possible to insert white noise into one’s brain?” — Publicist Wendy Gordon in a weekend tweet.

Intern is unraveling

“I MAY HAVE OPTED OUT OF THIS WHOLE COLLEGE THING HAD I KNOWN A THESIS WAS REQUIRED.” — FBDC intern Alec Jacobs at approximately 2 a.m. this morning. We regret his use of all-caps. But we’ll let it slide in this trying time. His thesis topic? “My thesis is on social media in political campaigns, specifically comparing how Republican presidential candidates use it in the upcoming primary compared to the 2008 primaries. Boooring,” he told me this morning. Uh oh…

Madden has turned into his father

“I’ve become my Dad. Find myself sayin stuff like: ‘Stop hearing me and start listening to me.’” — Conservative pundit Kevin Madden, a regular on the Fox News Sundaypanel, in a weekend tweet.

Palm Sunday behavior

“Observing Palm Sunday with a ritual bath, guided meditation and massage. Amen.” — Elizabeth Thorp in a weekend Facebook update. Thorp runs, the upscale travel website. She also writes travel pieces for HuffPost.

Irritated journo

“So I keep on getting all of these notifications that is on the market, and it’s annoying me to death.” — RealClearPoliticsErin McPike in a weekend Facebook update.

Host proposes sex to spice things up

“Well be back next week with more non-scintillating news for you. I think I’ll maybe try to find some more lively friends — a book about sex anyone?” — Syndicated columnist Llewellyn King in his sign off on Sunday morning’s WETA “White House Chronicle” program.

The Traffic Cop

“Lovely seeing @LobstertruckDC braving the rain on Inner Loop of Beltway this morning – obeying speed limit and driving safely.” — C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman in a weekend tweet.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


D.C. blogger chills out in Caribbean

“Last full day and night in then back to cold and real life!”–Washington/LA “Pamela’s Punch” blogger Pamela Sorensen in a Monday tweet. She’s traveling in Mustique, an island in the southern Caribbean.

More importantly: Coburn’s beard is gone

“Am very disappointed Sen. Coburn decided to shave. Come on senator! The facial hair caucus needs more members.” — NBC’s Chuck Todd in a Monday morning tweet on Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

Less importantly: Coburn ‘disgusted’ by media

“I’ve pretty well been disgusted by all the media, right and left, after this episode,” Sen. Coburn declared Sunday on NBC’s MTP.

Networks and outlets compete for preconception

“..Americans increasingly customize their information, picking up radically different perspectives from whichever sources they trust – Fox News or MSNBC, Newsmax or Huffington Post. There is very little shared experience in the nation now; there are only competing versions of the experience, consumed in such a way as to confirm whatever preconception you already have, rather than to make you reflect on them.”– NYT writer Matt Bai in a Sunday “Week in Review” piece.

Not sex, Twitter followers

“Just joined the Mile High Club…by which I mean thank you to my 5280th follower.” — TPM‘s Brian Beutler in a suggestive weekend tweet.

Buttry gets anal

“Even I am not anal enough to fix the typo in my last tweet when it was the night before (but still anal enough to let you know I noticed).” — TBD‘s Community Engagement Director Steve Buttry in a sequence of words we’re sure he intended due to his surname. The stinging mistake? “Excellent piece on violence, not viokent rhetoric.” (Considering the sensitive nature of his weekend — “I just had blood drawn and spat into a tube to contribute DNC for a genetics study” he wrote, citing leukemia and MDS in loved ones as the reason — we hope things went as well as possible.)

Blind quote…

“And Pareene? What a d–k…” — A longtime D.C. journo remarking on Salon’s Alex Pareene after we published this item late last week.

Reporter contemplates tattoo

“I wonder what kind of tattoo I should get now that my story assignment has been changed to the DC Tattoo Expo.” — ABC7 Reporter Mike Conneen in a weekend tweet. Conneen told FishbowlDC that he never wound up with one. “I’m still tattoo-free,” he DM’ed me. “But I did get a free bottle of sea salt nasal spray. …Apparently it has some connection to sea salt moisturizer and other products for new tattoos.”

WaPo’s correction of a correction

“Classic: WashPost correction today says that the paper misspelled the Washington Capitals as the ‘Capitols’ in a previous correction.” — U.S. News & World Report‘s Paul Bedard in a Monday morning tweet.

Scribe meets Roller Derby

“First time I’ve ever been to a roller derby. This is pretty cool, though I have no idea what’s going on or who’s scoring.” — NJ “The Hotline’s” Executive Editor Reid Wilson in a weekend tweet.

Journo’s fantasy is shattered

“Just was FB friended by someone named Lani Anderson. For a sec, I thought it was Loni Anderson, and that my boyhood dream had come true.” — former TBD GM and digital consultant Jim Brady in a recent tweet. (This one fell through the cracks. It’s from last week.)

NBC reporter claims he handled White House snack drawer

“Hey @savannahguthrie @chucktodd @athenajones let the record reflect that on 1-15-11 @ 1641 viq did replenish the snack drawer in WH booth” — NBC’s Mike Viqueira in a weekend tweet.

The Sweet’N Low Police

“Well-dressed old woman trying to steal sweet’n low at my local deli. ‘They fell!’ she says, when caught. They didn’t fall.” — Digital Producer for CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” Steve Krakauer in a weekend tweet.

Tschida is so ‘DOPE’

“Photographer keeps calling me DOPE! but kinda weird. Think it’s a term of endearment. Seems to be enjoying himself. laughing a LOT!” — ABC7′s wild train rider Stephen Tschida in a tweet from last Friday. 

Weird coincidence

“‘Restaurant critics pay in cash,’ the stranger next to me at lunch tells her friends — just as I’m peeling off twenties for my meal.” — WaPo‘s Food Critic Tom Seitsema in a Friday tweet.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“Buying thinner socks so I don’t have to go home and change. #tbdnight” — (M. Rumsey i.e. xmattiusx) in a weekend tweet. (A shining example of why local journalism is working so well.)

Mike Conneen, Movie Star.

If you think Mike Conneen is just a journalist then you haven’t seen the WJLA-TV reporter play a journalist in a film. Check out this video of “Movie Star Mike” talking about his cameo in the new Angelina Jolie thriller, Salt.

NewsBabes Paint Georgetown Pink!

Just what every good cause needs… babes.

Lindsay Czarniak, Angie Goff, Pamela Brown, Laura Evans, Brianna Keilar, Alison Starling, Rebecca Cooper, Cynne Simpson, Mike Conneen and Elizabeth Manresa were just some of the NewsBabes out last night to support breast cancer research.

According to Goff’s blog, over 500 people turned out for the 2nd annual Newsbabes Bash for Breast Cancer at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder Ambassador Nancy Brinker and DC’s First Lady Michelle Fenty co-hosted and made remarks at the event.

Also sporting pink: WTOP’s Bob Madigan, Biz Journal’s Jen Conner, On Tap Magazine’s Ashley Estill, Politico‘s Kiki Ryan, CBS’ Christine Delargy and NBC’s Luke Russert- in a cotton candy jacket and matching tie. And where there are babes, there is Andy Baldwin who would never miss such an event!

Mix 107.3 was broadcast live from the Ritz by Tommy McFly– watch him turn the mic on these news babes here.