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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Walter’

WCP’s Brooke Hatfield Holds Onto the Crown

After much drama over who really earned the most applause at the recent Commedia del Media stand-up contest amongst Washington journalists, WCP‘s Brooke Hatfield comes out on top.

She was pronounced the winner last Friday night. But judges, former CNNer Jamie McIntyre and Fox News Business’ Rich Edson, weren’t so sure.

So organizers had FishbowlDC host a vote. And the people have spoken: 42 votes for Hatfield. No reason to embarrass WaPo Columnist John Kelly and award-winning documentary film producer and former WAMU anchor Mike Walter with their numbers, but suffice it to say, they too have fans.

Congratulations to Brooke!

If you missed her performance, watch below:

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We Need Your Help: Who’s Funniest?

The official word on why the Commedia crown is still in contention: Upon late-night review of Friday’s performances at the National Press Club, the judges who included former CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre and Fox News Business reporter Rich Edson noticed a few errant chads hanging loosely in the applause. This casts doubt on their decision to award WCP‘s Brooke Hatfield the Commedia crown and title of “DC’s Funniest Journalist.” Others who had the most clapping in the first round of voting include the following performers: Award-winning documentary producer and former anchor at WUSA Mike Walter and WaPo columnist John Kelly.

So the jury is STILL out.

Congress (i.e. the powers that be at Commedia del Media) has mandated a re-vote to commence immediately prior to total government shutdown. We’ve agreed to host the vote.

The finalists are:

1. Mike Walter: Watch here.

2. Brooke Hatfield: Watch here.

3. John Kelly: Watch here.

Watch the videos. Cast your vote. We’ll tally the numbers.You’re on the honor code to vote just once.

Write us at

Find out other weird details about the evening…

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Fish Food

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

*But will they be funny? Commedia dell Media III tickets are officially on sale. The final lineup is 13 journo competitors. But only one will be named D.C.’s Funniest Journalist. The date: April 1. WaPo cartoonist Nick Galifianakis will host and PBS’s Miles O’Brien will headline the show. Sharpening their wits in prep for the competition, the candidates are: Politico’s Jon Allen and Meredith Shiner, NPR’s Jamila Bey, Nadia Bilbassy of the Middle East Broadcasting Company, NJ‘s Matt Cooper, WCP‘s Brooke Hatfield, WaPo‘s John Kelly, Riz Khan of al-Jazeera English, Bloomberg’s Scott Lanman, Bloomberg TV’s Lizzie O’Leary, Mike Walter of Walter Media, TWT‘s Shaun Waterman and freelancer Tim Young. Last’s year’s winner’s,’s Jamie McIntyre (who trash talked CNN last year) and FOX Business News’s Rich Edson will head a snark panel of judges, but audience input will anoint the winner. Buy tickets here: $15 online and $20 the night of the show. The event takes place at the National Press Club. Starting time: 8 p.m.

*The Irony As the House gears up to vote on funding for NPR, NPRNews releases its “Song of the Day.” That would be Jessica Lea Mayfield‘s “Strength In Vulnerability.”

*Gender Confusion on Capitol Hill: The Hill‘s Christina Wilkie reporting over Twitter that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) referred to Under Sec. for Defense Michele Flournoy as a man. “Has @RosLehtinen ever met under secretary Flournoy, who she just quoted on the House floor? Because Flournoy is a Ms., not a Mr.” Wilkie wrote.

Ex-Channel 9 Anchor Wins at Cannes But Needs to be Forced to Watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’


Mike Walter deserves a standing ovation. And then he needs to sit down and watch hours and hours of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Last week the former Channel 9 newscaster attended the Cannes Film Festival and his film, “Breaking News Breaking Down”, won best documentary short at the festival. The film also became an official selection in the Short Film Corner. “Winning is definitely better than just being an official selection, although being selected is a big deal,” Walter told FishbowlDC. “Trust me I never thought I would win anything at all. To be honest I saw the press release and just scanned it and thought I didn’t get anything and then looked again and saw the news.”

He added, “Naturally I’m sky high!”

But a stargazer he is not. At Cannes, he was largely unimpressed with Woody Allen’s film, “Tall Dark Stranger” saying it was just like all his others and that Allen’s films ought to be called “Groundhog Day” because they are all the same.

At the Sundance Film Festival in January, his star-watching abilities were infinitely worse. “I wouldn’t spot a famous person if they were standing right next to me,” he said. “Case in point … we went to a place to have dinner. This place was famous for it’s bloody marys. You could go up and just pick out all this stuff to put in your bloody mary, from asparagus to olives and celery. So I’m standing there looking at all this stuff and the lady standing next to me keeps moving away slightly and giving me a dirty look. I don’t pay much attention. I go to the bathroom, and come back to my seat in the bar and my wife asks me if I recognized the woman at the Bloody Mary bar. I said no…and she said well it was Catherine Heigl.”

Point being, if there was a star to see at Cannes, Walter didn’t pay them any mind.

His excuse for never watching Grey’s (and for spelling her name with a C instead of a K)? “In my old job I had to be in bed by 7:30 p.m and up by 2:30 a.m.,” he reasoned.

Regardless, congratulations to Walter on his big win.
(He is pictured above at Cannes with his wife, Kate Stafford-Walter at the Grand Lumiere Theater at Cannes.)

The Washington Examiner ran an item on Walter’s win today and WTOP was also expected to run something on Walter’s win.

D.C. Filmmaker Goes to Cannes, Gets Caught in Ash Layover

mike_in_house.jpg Life can’t get much more exciting for filmmaker and former Channel 9 anchor Mike Walter at this moment. The D.C. anchor-turned-filmmaker boarded a flight last night headed for Paris to attend the Cannes Film Festival in France, where his film, “Breaking News, Breaking Down,” will be shown.

Trouble is those damn ashes.

Walter and his wife, in a Honeymooners-esque scenario, got stuck in Charles de Gaulle Airport as of this morning. “The volcanic ash delayed our flight out of D.C. by a couple of hours and they had to take the longer way here to avoid the ash,” Walter said. The couple missed their connecting flight to Nice. “So this day is blown to smithereens,” he wrote me from the airport.

Thankfully, Walter’s first screening is tomorrow night.

At the festival, Walter plans to meet with buyers and journalists to promote his film. But, he says, he’d be remiss if he didn’t at least dip his toe into the waters of the French Riviera – so a day trip is likely in order.

Walter’s film has won him eight awards so far, including best film at the Dark River Film Festival, best film at the AOF International Film Festival and one of the top three Documentary Shorts by Moving Pictures Magazine during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The film’s purpose is to show journalists in a compassionate, human light (and not the insensitive pigs they are sometimes portrayed to be). In his documentary, he tells his own story of driving to work the day of September 11, 2001 and witnessing a jet crashing into the Pentagon (“It pretty much wigged me out,” he said.)

He tells stories of those who have covered the Columbine killings, 9-11 in Manhattan, and the Oklahoma City bombing. “People always think of journalists swooping in after a tragedy, shoving a microphone in someone’s face and asking, how do you feel?” he said. “People don’t consider how the journalists feel, the emotional collapse.”

Coming into filmmaking was serendipitous. Walter was working on the documentary while still at Channel 9. “It was a labor of love,” he said. “Weekends, vacations…” As he was leaving Channel 9, he was finishing the documentary.

And one by one, the awards began rolling in.

Let’s hope Walter gets to dip his toe into the waters of
the French Riviera.

Morning Reading List 04.20.09

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.

Its day 91 covering the Obama administration and week 12 for us. Happy Birthday to Politico’s Carol Lee. What we know and what we’re reading this Monday morning…



Former Senator Rick Santorum makes $1,750 per column at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Politico’s Mike Allen addresses critics over the paper and site’s “torture memo” story here.


On the Daily Beast, 7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk.

ABC’s Sam Donaldson on This Week says he’s like to ask Fidel Castro before he dies if he killed President John F. Kennedy. “In his dying breath I’d like to be at [Castro's] bedside and say, did you do it? Meaning November 22, 1963.”

Is PBS “recklessly promoting” Al Jazeera? Via Romenesko: Fox News’ Eric Shawn is concerned about public TV’s “WorldFocus” airing reports from Al Jazeera English, while PBS ombud Michael Getler isn’t so bothered. “I think it is a plus for American viewers to see and understand what is on Al Jazeera English, and that viewers of public broadcasting are quite able to make up their own minds about whether what they are watching has news value or is propaganda.”

Radio talk show host and regular cable news guest Michael Smerconish was on CNN’s Reliable Sources this weekend to talk about his new book “Morning Drive: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking.” Check out his dish about Fox News’ Glenn Beck, NBC’s David Gregory and CNN’s Larry King here.

NYT‘s David Carr: Cable news stations have been criticized for “event-izing” all manner of minor news occurrences — President Obama’s first news conference comes to mind. But the Tax Day Tea Party was all but conceived, executed and deconstructed in the hothouse of cable news wars.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer returned to his grad school at Johns Hopkins last week to deliver a speech “President Obama and the World.” More at Yeas & Nays.

Is the Nanny getting a cable news show? Find out at Washington Whispers.


A lesson in proper Facebook etiquette via FishbowlLA.


DCRTV checks out former WUSA anchor Mike Walter‘s documentary “Breaking News, Breaking Down.

TWT’s “Anguish of story can haunt journlists“: Journalists who peer into the abyss of war, crime, and natural disasters as part of their jobs can end up as emotionally scarred as the victims they never imagined joining. “Journalists can experience powerful frustration and demoralization,” said Dr. Frank M. Ochberg a psychologist who specializes in trauma.

Also from TWT- a sitdown with “State of Play” director Kevin Macdonald. “There have been plenty of Washington-set political thrillers, so he tried to make his new by ‘approaching the characters in a different way” and “showing Washington in a different way.’”

More on “State of Play” from DCRTV: Longtime DC sportscaster Frank Herzog gets a part. Also, Chris Matthews, Lou Dobbs, Jim Vance, Jule Carey, Chris Gordon, Eun Yang, and Denae D’Arcy play TV “reporters” in the movie.


Richard Wolffe on the Daily Beast: “Inside the Obama Family PR Machine.”

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romenesko, Playbook, Calderone

AWARDS, JOBS and REVOLVING DOOR after the jump…

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We Laughed With Some, Laughed At Others

Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn was the first brave soul to take the stage.

Friday at the National Press Club, a dozen of brave DC journos took to the stage for Commedia Dell Media presented by Reporters Without Borders.

The line-up: NPR’s Jamila Bey, Conde Nast’s Matt Cooper, Mother Jones’ Washington Bureau Chief David Corn, Delphine Schrank, Shaun Waterman, McClatchy’s chief Pentagon correspondent Nancy Youssef, Bloomberg’s Scott Lanman, US News & World Report’s Pentagon correspondent Anna Mulrine, WUSA’s Mike Walter and Alex and Mark Hosenball.

We also spotted Lynn Sweet, Kimberly Dozier, Liz Glover and Mary Ann Akers at the Press Club.

Not funny was the line for the bar before the show started, but we did catch a few one-liners there. “No rehearsal- I came from a dinner party and had a few glasses of wine,” a certain female performer said. We also overheard friends of another female performer- “She’s so nervous, she said she was going to take a few xanax.”

We’ll let these (paraphrased) excerpts stand alone…

“The amount of good reporting you can do as a pantless woman in the Middle East is limited.” -Mulrine

“On the base, you can’t wear a towel on your head coming out of the shower area. I asked why- too provacative. What kind of porn are you guys watching?” -Mulrine

“In the Arabic world, journalist is one step up from prostitute.” -Youssef

“I’m not used to performing in front of such an old crowd. If anyone tells me I killed tonight, I’ll be like oh shit.” -Lanman

“Food is so expensive models can no longer afford bulimia… the economy is so bad, I was watching tv late last night and there was a commercial ‘got a white baby, sell it for cash.’” -Bey

“Rahm Emanuel opened a Twitter account. Turns out he doesn’t need 140 characters, just four.” -Corn

The consensus we’re hearing is that Cooper killed it, Corn was a little weak (sorry man), and a chick reporter embedded with any military group makes for plenty of good standup material (or dinner conversation– Mulrine: “when I was on an airsalt with the 101st Airbourne Division in Afghanistan… I like to start with that line as often as possible.”)

Ticket sales benefitted Reporters Without Borders for Press Freedom and judging by the seemingly sold-out crowd, we hope to hear they did pretty well.

More pics after the jump…

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Taking Out The Trash

What we almost missed today…

• Commedia dell Media, coming to a Press Club near you. Check out Conde Nast’s Matt Cooper, radio personality Jamila Bey, Bloomberg’s Scott Lanman, Mother Jones’ David Corn, UPI’s Shaun Waterman, McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef, US News’ Anna Mulrine, WUSA’s Mike Walter, and WaPo’s Delphine Schrank exercise their “infamous comedic chops” this Friday at 8pm. Newsweek’s Mark Hosenball is even going to sing an ode to “the scoundrels of Wall Street.” And the best part- it is all for charity. More info can be found here.

And check out some highlights from last year’s show at Hollywood on the Potomac.

• The owner of Washington City Paper, Creative Loafing Inc., has won its bankruptcy ruling. More on that here.

• Politico looks into why WaPo hasn’t picked an AME Style. From Michael Calderone’s post: “Lately, much of the internal chatter has revolved around Ned Martel, a former editor-at-large of Men’s Vogue who’s recently been down to the Post headquarters.”

• Lastly today, Washington Whispers serves up the “Top 10 Places to Eat with DC Big Shots.” Looks like VandeHarris did their homework– Blue Duck Tavern, where they were spotted clinking glasses with Bono last night– makes Paul Bedard‘s cut.

How Funny Is Matt Cooper? Almost Time to Find Out at Commedia dell Media

Tickets are now on sale for Commedia dell Media Friday, April 3rd at the National Press Club. The line-up includes Matt Cooper, David Corn, Nancy Youssef, Mark Hosenball, Jamila Bey, Mike Walter, and a half dozen or so more.

From the release (because they can explain this ridiculous, great event much better than we can even begin to try to): “Can Matt Cooper Twitter while performing stand-up comedy? Will David Corn tie his shoelaces? Does Mark Hosenball really sing? Is Mike Walter surgically attached to an anchor desk? These eternal dilemmas and many more you never wanted to ask about will be resolved on the evening of Friday, April 3 as a dozen journalists take a turn on the comedic stage in the National Press Club ballroom.

Much more than a simple night of laughter and cocktails, the proceeds of Commedia dell Media will benefit two causes close to the hearts of the performers. The Eric Friedheim Library at the National Press Club provides cutting-edge training for journalists and assists with research for reporters, authors and academics. Reporters Without Borders is the international non-profit organization dedicated to protecting journalists’ rights, fighting censorship, and promoting freedom of expression.

The reporters taking the stage at Commedia dell Media will enjoy absolute freedom of expression, though rumors have already begun been circulating that a rogue band of flacks may be plotting a surprise attack of heckling.”

They’re still looking for brave journo comedians. If interested, email FBDC and we’ll get you in touch with the right people. Purchase tickets here.

Morning Reading List, 01.28.08


Good morning Washington. It’s the birthday of President Sarkozy and Nick Carter.

Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:


  • You think facial hair is gross.


  • CongressNow announced that Vicki Needham is the new staff writer covering budget and appropriations.

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  • Kurtz: “Team Obama Is Courting Everybody But the Press

  • Check out Five Questions with the Examiner’s Rick Snider.

  • Deb Howell on “The Case of the Vanishing Young Mothers.”

  • Clark Hoyt on “Stories That Speak For Themselves.”

  • The Grant Institute’s Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop will be held in Gorham, Maine, April 23-25, 2008. For more information, click here.

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  • A NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet the Press with Tim Russert’ was the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week ending Sunday, January 20, 2008. On Sunday, the Russert-moderated program was No. 1, averaging 4.606 million total viewers”

  • From the release (discussing this past Saturday):

      D.C.-area journalists and business leaders will let the good times roll Saturday night at a dinner, dance and auction at Fat Tuesday’s to benefit a documentary project by WUSA-TV anchor Mike Walter.

      Walter is a member of The Dart Society, a nonprofit organization of award-winning journalists from around the world dedicated to the sensitive coverage of victims and the well-being of those who tell their stories. His documentary focuses on the society’s “Target: New Orleans” project, which last year linked society members with journalists at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans to offer moral support and lend a hand cleaning up the hurricane-ravaged city. For more information, log on to

  • Mark Knoller Talks With The Writers Behind Bush’s Address To The Nation

  • Katie Couric: Buds with Fred Ryan.

  • A release announced, “CN8, The Comcast Network and Comcast Cable present extensive, interactive coverage of this year’s State of the Union Address on Monday, Jan. 28 at 9 p.m. and Super Tuesday events on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. CN8 Political Director Lynn Doyle will host live coverage of President Bush’s address on Jan. 28, followed by the Democratic Response and a special edition of ‘It’s Your Call’ devoted to political analysis and the opinions and reactions of CN8 viewers.”

  • For the State of the Union, C-SPAN will air a historical discussion of State of the Union speeches with on-set guest Richard Norton Smith at 8 p.m., the speech will air at 9 p.m. and re-air at 11 p.m. and at approx. 10:15 there is a post speech program featuring congressional responses from Statuary Hall.

  • A release announced, “Beginning, Monday, January 28, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will continue its ‘Big Picture’ election series with five nights of reports and discussions that will look at the important roles various economic issues will play in the February 5 ‘Super Tuesday’ presidential primaries. Coverage will include taped reports, interviews with local leaders and conversations with citizens about the impact of the economy on the choices voters will make as they select presidential candidates. All reports will take place in states whose citizens will vote in the February 5 primary elections. The series will also receive extensive coverage via the Online NewsHour

  • A NBC release announced, “NBC News and MSNBC will provide
    comprehensive coverage of President Bush’s final State of the Union Address to the joint session of Congress on January 28, 2008 and the Democratic response from Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, which will immediately follow. Brian Williams will anchor NBC News’ live coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET from the NBC News studios in Washington, D.C. Joining Williams will be NBC News’ Washington D.C. Bureau Chief and moderator of ‘Meet the Press’ Tim Russert. Also reporting will be Kelly O’Donnell live from the House Chamber and David Gregory from the White House, along with the rest of the NBC News team.”

  • CNN announced the network’s Super Tuesday coverage “will kick off on Saturday, Jan. 26, with a four-hour installment of ‘Ballot Bowl,’ uninterrupted coverage of Democratic and Republican candidates’ significant live and recent events, leading up to the network’s coverage of the Democratic primary in South Carolina. Extended political programming continues through Monday, Jan. 28, with President George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address and through Super Tuesday on Feb. 5 with a 40-hour marathon of continuous live political coverage.”

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  • Karen Hanretty, who served as deputy communications director for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign, was Friday’s guest on Glamocracy, Glamour magazine’s political blog. Read her post, “My final days with Fred,” here.

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  • CNN Radio announced, “‘CNN in: 60′ anchor Michelle Wright offers affiliates a timely, no-holds-barred look at the hit reality show American Idol throughout its seventh season. Each morning after an American Idol broadcast, Wright summarizes the highlights and drama of the previous evening’s events as well as offers her own scorecard of the contestants seeking the coveted title. During the preliminary weeks of American Idol, affiliates can access Wright’s spots each Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Once the finalists are selected and American Idol expands to three shows a week, affiliates can access the packages every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.”

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  • American Media Project is looking for Seeking Producers.

  • The American Association for Justice is seeking Associate Editor for monthly flagship magazine.

  • Bloomberg is looking for an Economic Indicator Reporter.

  • Avalon Publishing Group is seeking a Baltimore Guidebook Writer.

  • Independent Agent Magazine is seeking a Managing Editor.

  • Widmeyer Communications is looking for a Marketing Manager.

  • Patuxent Publishing is seeking a General Assignment Reporter.

  • PBS Newshour is seeking an Administrative Assistant.

  • AARP is seeking an Assistant Editor/Researcher.

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    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext

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