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Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Youssef’

The Two Funniest Journos in Washington Are…

web.jpg What passes for funny amongst journalists? Nipples. The word f–k. Ann Coulter’s boobs. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) being the hue of burnt sienna. And the National Press Club turning the Edward R. Murrow room into an RNC bondage bar.

Journalists performing stand-up in the National Press Club ballroom for the Commedia del Media charity journo comedy competition Thursday night did imitations of British accented broadcasters and one wondered why CNN didn’t allow one of its own to participate in the competition. Few knew that Sue Bennett, a producer for HBO “Real Time With Bill Maher,” was in the audience scouting the talent. NBC, CBS and FOX were also there filming the performances.

Commedia del Media raises money for charities such as Reporters Without Borders. Of the seven competing journalists, two tied for first place: Former CNN scribe and Miltary.com’s Jamie McIntyre and FOX Business Network correspondent Rich Edson. Judges voted for McIntyre, but the decibel machine revealed that McIntyre and Edson tied at 105.6 decibels.

Edson performed well-practiced impressions of British broadcasters and a raspy-voiced Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). Though he said he was nervous, many thought his delivery was near-perfect.

McIntyre tweaked CNN, saying, “They told me one of those cameras is for the Fox News Channel. I’m not used to having so many people watching.” He also razzed cable news broadly. “I like to call it news whiz,” he said, comparing it to the cheese. “It’s a simulated news-like product. You could use it for news if you didn’t have any real news.”

McIntyre spilled that a CNN reporter was to perform stand-up last night, but cracked that the event wasn’t serious enough for the network. He said most networks are “thin-skinned” and prone to “hurt feelings.”

Though he never named the journalist who was to perform Thursday night, FishbowlDC learned that the would-be comedian was Capitol Hill correspondent Brianna Keilar. Keilar dropped out a few weeks ago with the CNN Speakers Bureau declaring her unavailable for the evening. Sources say she had wanted to perform.

McIntyre, the former CNN Pentagon scribe, blamed himself for the correspondent dropping out. He said in 2006 he competed in a Funniest Journalist on the Planet contest in Manhattan in which he took comedic jabs at then-CNN host Lou Dobbs. At the time, CNN was none too pleased, McIntyre said, and a network higher-up phoned to scold him as he drove home to Washington.

Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn was among the event’s three judges. A tough judge, he was. “Actually I don’t like comedy at all,” he said before the routines began. “It takes me a lot to laugh. I do think [RNC Chairman] Michael Steele is really funny. He is my favorite comedian. He cracks me up. He kills.”

Former Time reporter Matt Cooper was emcee for the evening. Before the event, he paced and paced, carefully studying his notes. Cooper, whose cadence resembles that of an actual comedian, spoke of horrible crowds in the Metro, saying, “I’m like, ‘Get off the f–king Metro people.’ Let me be depressed by myself.” He also took a stab at (or else, complimented) Politico saying, “As you know, this extraordinary nuclear agreement was signed. …Later they said the world still needed to come together to fight the global threat of Politico for world domination.”

He remarked on his figure, saying, “I’ve tried to lose some weight. I’ve gone from f–king fat to fat.”

Cooper imitated former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) asking aide Andrew Young to pretend Rielle Hunter’s baby was his. “I’m going to owe you a solid when this is over,” he said in an Edwards drawl. …And I think your wife is going to understand more than you think.”

Aside from McIntyre and Edson, other performers included WaPo’s Melissa Bell (who spoke of men in India pinching women’s nipples as a sign of affection), former NPR reporter Jamila Bey, Politics Daily’s Walter Shapiro, McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef and Department of Transportation public relations officer Doug Hecox.

Hecox on the census: “I’m just waiting for John Boehner where he checks the box orange. The story is not that he’s orange, it’s that he’s really burnt sienna.”

He brought up Coulter’s jugs, saying that he’s going to dress up as President Ann Coulter for Halloween, his favorite holiday. But, he said, he feared that his breasts would be too large. “I’m not saying she’s flat chested,” he said. “I’m saying they both lean too far to the right.”

Shapiro recalled watching 60 hours of cable TV for a story. “It was interesting watching the two IQ points slough off my dandruff,” he said.

Youssef described herself as “Muslimish.” She said, “I drink, I fornicate, but I don’t eat pork.”

The evening closed with Sylvia Traymore, whose imitations included The View’s Whoopie Goldberg, actress Monique, and singer Dionne Warwick. Largely with her back turned to the audience, she stripped off her long-sleeved shirt to reveal a sleeveless top to become First Lady Michelle Obama with well-sculpted arms. She then began furiously brushing her hair into an Obama coiffe. Then she turned and pursed her lips, depicting a typical FLOTUS facial expression (see picture after the jump).

Christina Davidson, the event’s organizer, took to the stage to congratulate the winners and lobby for next year’s journo comedians. “If you have the balls for this, talk to me,” she said.

Journalists in attendance included Politics Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger, her husband, WaPo education reporter Bill Turque, Politics Daily’s Editor Carl Cannon, NYT’s James Risen, Politico’s Kiki Ryan, The Hill’s Susan Crabtree, WTOP’s Bob Madigan and travel writer Carl Hoffman (boyfriend to WaPo’s Bell).

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Emcee Matt Cooper keeps audience laughing between performances.

All photographs by Shauna Miller. More after the jump…

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Sunday Shows So Far…

• We told you late yesterday David Plouffe will be joining David Gregory on “Meet the Press” this Sunday. President Obama’s presidential campaign manager will be discussing his new book, “The Audacity to Win,” which hits stands next Tuesday. We also learned today Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will join the program.

Bob Schieffer will be joined by White House senior advisor David Axelrod and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on “Face the Nation” Sunday.

• And on “Washington Week” with Gwen Ifill and the National Journal, you can expect to see Slate and CBS’ John Dickerson, WaPo‘s Ceci Connolly, McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef and NJ‘s Marilyn Serafini.

Sunday Show Preview

NBC’s Meet the Press: Former President Bill Clinton, NY Governor David Paterson (D), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA)

CBS’ Face the Nation: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

ABC’s This Week: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and a roundtable with WaPo‘s Bob Woodward, NYT‘s Tom Friedman, ABC’s Martha Raddatz and ABC’s and columnist George Will

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), Virginia Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell (R), filmmaker James O’Keefe and a panel with Fox News analysts former White House press secretary Dana Perino, NPR’s Mara Liasson, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and NPR’s Juan Williams

CNN’s State of the Union: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and CNN’s Mary Matalin and James Carville

CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz:
“The View” and HLN’s Joy Behar, CNN’s Ed Henry, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, WaPo‘s Kathleen Parker, USA Today Live’s Lauren Ashburn

CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi

NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show: CNBC’s Trish Regan, Time‘s Richard Stengel, NYT‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin and WaPo‘s Kathleen Parker

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal: LAT‘s Doyle McManus, Time‘s Karen Tumulty, McClatchy News’ Nancy Youssef and Politico‘s John Harris

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Presidential adviser John Podesta

Washington Watch with Roland Martin: Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and a panel with WaPo‘s Kevin Merida, syndicated columnist and author Deborah Mathis, American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan, Comcast Network Washingtong bureau chief and Philadelphia Tribune columnist Robert Traynham, TWT‘s Armstrong Williams and Interactive one’s Smokey Fontaine

CNN’s Amanpour: President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, U.S. Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe

Will update as we learn them.

Morning Reading List 09.04.09

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.

The latest Auto-Tune the News is out. Happy Birthday to Nancy Youssef! Celebrating birthdays this weekend- tomorrow, the semi-mysterious Stephanie Green and Sunday, CBS boys Steve Chaggaris and Scott McCrary. What know and what we’re reading this Friday morning…

NEWSPAPERS | TV | ONLINE | MAGAZINES | BOOKS | NEWS NOTES | WEST WING REPORTAGE | REVOLVING DOOR
| JOBS

NEWSPAPERS

WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander explains the delay in removing insulting comments from the Post’s website.

TV

Slate’s Jack Shafer thinks Diane Sawyer should turn down the ABC “World News” anchor slot.

And speculation about Sawyer’s GMA replacement has already begun- NYT looks at some options.

ONLINE

The Huffington Post Investigative Fund has launched.

MAGAZINES

Mediate catches up with Elle magazine’s homeless intern, who says she doesn’t feel exploited by the $150-a-month stipend because most interns doesn’t get paid at all.

BOOKS

The courts agree- the “sequel” to “The Catcher in the Rye” is a “dismal” book.

NEWS NOTES

Gawker: On the morning he was arrested on corruption charges last December, Rod Blagojevich was the nation’s biggest greaseball. So obviously, the national press was willing to say anything to land an interview. And their emails prove it.

Did the media hype up the health care town hall meetings? WaPo‘s E.J. Dionne says media went out of their way to cover town-hall meeting noise and ignored the calmer — or “boring,” from TV’s point of view — encounters between elected representatives and their constituents. (h/t Romanesko)

WEST WING REPORTAGE

Is the media’s love affair with President Obama’s White House over? FamousDC points out these pieces: Ben Smith‘s “Blaming the media, again,” Greg Sargent‘s “Obama’s Political Operation Blasts Media For Distorting Story Of August.”

REVOLVING DOOR

Promotion: Felicia Sonmez has joined the ranks of Hotline’s writing team. After reporting on the ’08 White House race for the Japanese daily, Asahi Shimbun, Sonmez was hired as an Associate Writer for the Hotline in March. This week, Sonmez was promoted to Staff Writer for the political briefing, where she will be covering Senate races.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser

JOBS 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.

Battle of the DC Book Party

On any given night in DC, champagne flutes are raised for a new book by a journo, a politico, and last night was no exception.

Boston Globe editor Martin Baron and Washington Bureau Chief Peter Canellos hosted a book party at the office for “Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy.”

In attendance: Susan Milligan, Lisa Wangsness, Sasha Issenberg, Thomas Oliphant, Ana Marie Cox, Mike Allen, Michael Scherer, Lynn Sweet, Karen Tumulty, Nancy Youssef, Jonathan Martin, Robert Schlesinger, Richard Stengel, Nora McAlvanah, Erin McPike, Nina Easton and George Condon.

Across town at Ristorante Tosca, Playbook tells us about a party hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, Mary Matalin and George Stephanopoulos for Stanley B. Greenberg’s “Dispatches from the War Room: In the Trenches with Five Extraordinary Leaders.”

In attendance: Rahm Emanuel, Senator Dodd, Michael Feldman, Mandy Grunwald, Walter Isaacson, Joel Johnson, Eileen McMenamin, John Podesta, Hilary Rosen, Rick Stengel, Jessica Yellin, and Jill Zuckman.

Sunday Show Preview

  • Meet the Press: Obama supporter Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Clinton supporter Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) and Tom Brokaw, Michael Eric Dyson and Amb. Andrew Young.

  • Face the Nation: Howard Dean, The Washington Post National Editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran, McClatchy Newspapers Chief Pentagon Correspondent Nancy Youssef and CBS News Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan.

  • This Week: Dean and Sens. Jim Webb and Lindsey Graham and a roundtable with The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, Republican strategist Dan Senor, and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts and George Will.

  • Fox News Sunday: Sens. John McCain and John Kerry, and a panel with Brit Hume, Washington managing editor of FOX News; Mara Liasson of National Public Radio; Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, and Juan Williams of National Public Radio. The Power Player is Newseum executive director Joe Urschel.

  • Late Edition: Clinton supporter Rep. John Murtha, Obama supporter Sen. Christopher Dodd, and Sens. Dick Durbin and John Cornyn, and Rev. David O’Connell, Catholic University President. A roundtable with CNN’s Ed Henry, Candy Crowley, and Bill Schneider.

  • Chris Matthews Show: NBC’s Ron Allen, BBC’s Katty Kay, The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, U.S. News & World Report’s Gloria Borger

  • Reliable Sources: Townhall.com’s Mary Katharine Ham, Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page, Politico’s James Kotecki, Time’s James Poniewozik, St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans, Buzzmachine.com’s Jeff Jarvis

  • C-SPAN’s Newsmakers: Cardinal Francis George, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, President, will be interviewed by Jay Tolson, U.S. News & World Report, Senior Writer & Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today

  • Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN)

  • This is America: Roger Wilkins, Deborah Simmons of the Washington Times, Jabari Asim of the NAACP’s Crisis magazine, Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women’s Forum, Rev. Dr. Morris L. Shearin Sr. of the Israel Baptist Church, and Fath Davis Ruffins of the Smithsonian Institution.

    Note: The guest lists for Tim Russert and CN8′s Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham were unavailable.