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Posts Tagged ‘Murray Waas’

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.”

Yum.

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

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Morning Reading List, 12.19.08

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We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

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Did The WaPo Get Scooped…Again?!?

So the Washington Post is running its “Angler” series about Dick Cheney and which was penned by Post reporter Barton Gellman. The book doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but Murray Waas has been publishing excerpts at the Huffington Post and on his own personal blog.

(You’ll recall that the Washington Post has been unable to maintain its exclusive on Bob Woodward‘s book excerpts…)

To Do Tonight

Toast the publication of Murray Waas and Jeff Lomonaco’s new book:

    Philip Turner, Editorial Director, Union Square Press, is pleased to invite you to a book launch party for

    THE UNITED STATES V. I. LEWIS LIBBY

    Edited & with Reporting by MURRAY WAAS and JEFF LOMONACO

    WHEN: 6-9:00 p.m., Thursday, June 21st

    WHERE: KNEW GALLERY, 1639 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

    CONTACT: Fernando Batista, KNEW GALLERY; (202) 338-4588

    RSVP: Iris Blasi, Union Square Press; (646) 688-2571

    About the Authors
    Murray Waas is an investigative journalist who has written more than 25 articles on the CIA leak case for the National Journal over a period of 2 years. His work has been published by the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and The New Yorker.

    Jeff Lomonaco is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, and provided additional editing and reporting for The United States v. I. Lewis Libby.

Waas & CP: The Fallout

We read over the Washington City Paper’s exhaustive coverage of Murray Waas last night and we’ll have some more on Monday. Our initial reaction can be summed up thusly:

There are some interesting stories and anecdotes in here that certainly shed some light on Murray but, in fairness, we should allow Waas to respond to the many charges against him (faulty reporting on some stories, odd personal behavior, etc.), as we’re sure he will in some venue, at some point (although the City Paper says that such opportunities were afforded Waas on several occasions).

But, even if the piece is to be taken at face value, there still seemed to be these odd questions looming over the whole three-piece enterprise. Namely: Why did the City Paper choose to turn their lens on Waas? And why in such an unbelievably exhaustive fashion?

Frank Bennett says:

    If this episode isn’t a shining moment for Waas, it’s certainly not a banner day for City Paper, either.

    But as a largely disinterested observer, I gotta say this was a bizarre deployment of City Paper’s editorial resources.

DCeiver says:

    For my part, though, we’re in trouble if the CITY PAPER is going to assume a position where they criticize the reporting of others. Even if they are 1000% right, and I’ll allow for that possibility. If you read the CP long enough, you’d note that they have a long history of dubious reporting. Not long after I returned to DC, I found that it was fun to play the game “Who Got Misquoted” after every cover story. My own father-in-law was misquoted.

DCist says:

    This week the city’s premiere alternative weekly profiles investigative journalist Murray Waas, using some 21,514 words over the course of three articles to attack his journalistic standards and detail a long-running feud between the paper’s staff and Waas. If that many words don’t mean much to you, think of it this way — only 11,000 or so made it to print, if only to save on paper (the other 10,000 are in two web-only articles). By comparison, the whole series is roughly one-fifth the word-count of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, would take up 70-plus pages in a Word document and now ranks as the longest piece the paper has ever published.

    As a service to DCist readers, we’ll summarize — according to the City Paper, Waas is an odd guy whose many stories often include facts that are rarely confirmed by mainstream journalists. Was saying that worth 21,514 words? Judge for yourself.

Oddly enough, there’s been very little chatter about this piece in the blogosphere, which can perhaps be partially explained by Waas’ relative popularity among bloggers or the City Paper’s potentially false assumption that such a topic (and front cover billing) would generate much discussion.

Washington City Paper Weighs In On Waas

It’s long been known that the Washington City Paper has been working on an extensive piece on Murray Waas (Howard Kurtz mentioned the piece here and Waas wrote about it on the Huffington Post).

An initial glance indicates that the City Paper may have dedicated their entire issue to Murray Waas. We haven’t had a chance to read it yet (but will). In the meantime, check it out for yourself:

Murray Waas Against the World: A National Journal reporter has fashioned a reputation among his peers: He’s a tough act to follow.” By Erik Wemple and Jason Cherkis

The Story Behind the Story: Or, How I Became a Finalist for Worst People of 2006″ By Michael Lenehan

How I Became a Cancer Victim Hater” By Jason Cherkis

Taking Out The Trash, 03.20.07

  • Picking the next president is easier than picking the NCAA College Basketball Champ.

  • NPR Files For Streaming-Royalty Rehearing

  • Michael Murphy joins Fox News Channel’s Washington bureau as the Senior Manager of Media Relations. He was formerly an account supervisor at Ketchum Public Relations in DC.

  • Congrats to The Hill for scoring some front-page love on last night’s Colbert Report.

  • Crawling through commercials at MSNBC

  • Dear Author.com reports that Sterling Publishing’s Union Square Press imprint will be putting out a book titled “The United States v. I. Lewis Libby” in April. “The book will be edited by investigative journalist Murray Waas of the National Journal.”

  • Sometimes you just can’t win…First, they’re a “GOP Shrill” then “It’s Unanimous: All Dem-Friendly Stories This Morning at The Politico.”

  • From a tipster: “Just noticing that ABC has item about 1984 ad, something reported in the Washington Times a week ago.”

  • Huh? What is this website all about?

  • Howard Kurtz reports, “Fifteen percent of stories on the network evening news in each of the last two years were reported by minorities, an all-time high that is more than double the level of 1990.” Women reported 28 percent of the pieces, just under the high-water mark of 29 percent set in 2002.

  • Is washingtonpost.com “spraying bullets“?

  • From a tipster: “There’s a new Jeff on K Street. Patch beats Birnbaum to the (same) story … by six days. Who’s editing In The Loop?! “Retailers, Banks Duke It Out Over Transaction Fees” – Jeff Patch, The Politico (March 14, 2007) “Retailers, Credit Card Companies Quibble Over Footing The Bill” – Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, The Washington Post (March 20, 2007) )”

  • The AP reports that “about one-third of the people living in the national’s capital are functionally illiterate, compared with about one-fifth nationally, according to a report on the District of Columbia.”

  • Cathy Seipp’s daughter, Maia, informs Seipp’s blog readers of her current condition.

  • CBS Leans On Sources & ‘Our Partners At Politico.com’ To Say Gonzales Is A Goner

  • Roll Call made its own March Madness fun, matching each school in the NCAA tourney with its Representative. They will fill in the winners as the tournament progresses.

  • Wolf Blitzer drives himself to work!

  • E&P reports that despite the toll the Iraq War is taking on papers, “top news outfits, from The New York Times to Associated Press, remain committed to covering the war, with no immediate plans for cutbacks.”

  • If FNC & CBC Partner For Debates… Will We See A ‘Massive Grass-Roots Backlash?‘”

  • The AP has a piece on NBC and ABC Iraq correspondents Richard Engel and Terry McCarthy, both of whom have been covering the war since the beginning. “This week their respective networks will be showcasing their work, which has included dodging bullets and escaping carjackings while trying to hold onto a personal life at home.” (via Eat the Press)

  • Over the weekend, Slate points out that The Post apparently isn’t much fond of firearms. In a recent piece by Paul Duggan on the overturned ban on handguns, there are phrases like “lawsuit that gutted the District’s tough gun-control statute,” “recruited a group of strangers to sue the city and bankrolled their successful litigation” and even the headline refers to the “lawyer who wiped out [the] D.C. gun ban.”

  • Who will win the “I’m Not A Political Genius But I Play One On TV” award?

  • Washington Whispers reports that Scott McClellan “is shopping a book proposal around and hopes to land a deal this month.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also writing a book on his roots and his start in Washington. And… former Sen. Fred Thompson is planning more fundraisers for convicted perjurer Lewis “Scooter” Libby. “Friends say it will help him show conservatives that he not only believes in the Bush team but is not a fair-weather friend.”

  • National Journal’s Andrew Noyes reports that C-SPAN “recently decided after some haranguing to expand access to its repository of footage from congressional hearings, federal agency briefings, and White House events.”

  • Washington Whispers also reports, “White House spokesman Tony Snow, takes a center-stage role in PBS’s two-hour special, The Boomer Century 1946–2046, on March 28. It will show three pics of Snow: as a kid, playing his rock flute, and dressed up as the prez’s spokesman.”

  • In DCist’s opinion, 94.7 “the Globe” is “not half bad.”

  • Acorn Media Group, “a leading independent global media company,” announced in a release that Miguel Penella is taking over as the new Chief Executive Officer effective April 1.

  • TVNewser reports that David Bloom’s wife, Melanie Bloom, spoke to MSNBC’s Chip Reid yesterday about her husband’s work and his untimely death.

  • A reader offers his take on the hot (or lack there of) D.C. journos:
      That’s somewhat ridiculous! There are literally thousands of working journalists in the D.C. area. To assume that not one of them — I’m referring to girls here, since that’s my particular focus — isn’t “hot” is just a ridiculous generalization. The short answer is “yes.” In fact, there are “hot,” or attractive, women at small local papers in the suburbs, at papers in the Baltimore area, at papers, radio stations, television stations and internet sites throughout the D.C. area, and at many of the bureaus of the larger national publications in those offices at the National Press Building. There are attractive women at newsletters, publishers, p.r. firms, lobbying firms, marketing firms, and whatever else type of journalism office you can name. All you need to do is head out to social events (not even the high-end glitzy ones — those are bogus) such as happy hours, get-togethers, parties and Press Club functions, and you’ll see that there are literally plenty of attractive single women in journalism throughout the Baltimore and D.C. metropolitan areas.

  • Gawker’s “ThemTube: Spinning Tucker’s Bow Tie

  • In addition to losing some comics from the Post, DCist reports, “There’ll be a few other changes, too, including the removal of some panel cartoons in favor of others and the tossing-in of six-days-a-week Scrabble Gram and Stickelers puzzles.”

  • DCeiver exposes the Washington Post’s sports bias.