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Posts Tagged ‘Neal Augenstein’

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Journos react to bizarre Cain ad

“Cain ad with chief of staff smoking attempts to make pitch to sullen teenagers.” — The Hill‘s Associate Editor Ian Swanson on Herman Cain‘s weird new smoking ad. He links here.

“Herman Cain’s smoking gum: the dumbest ad in the history of politics.” — The Guardian’s Richard Adams.

“I still say @TheHermanCain’s smile was the most entertaining part of the smoking ad.” — Roll Call‘s David Drucker.

Best of Lululemon murder trial tweets

From WTOP’s Neal Augenstein: “Books being read in courtroom during #Lululemon jury selection: 4 Blondes by Candace Bushnell, and Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning.” And this…”Topics of discussion between potential #Lululemon jurors — the size of a dog’s paws, and the political future of Md Atty Genl Doug Gansler.” Follow Neal at @AugensteinWTOP.

One of our readers writes in on Twitter: “In the middle of a conference call, still, and I see the “tweets and tits” story. Thanks for causing me to choke on Cheez Its.” The story he’s referring to is this one. Another reader writes in from Napa Valley… “I’m in wine country in northern California. Sometimes, I come across, read items like this one and just wish that the whole bunch of em on the Hill could just chill out for a week (or much more) in the Napa Valley. Say, Calistoga, where they could all jump into a hot mud bath and splash mud at one another to vent all those pent-up aggressions and emotions. Please be sure to let the Calistoga resort owner know when Congress is coming. I’m sure they’ll want to be sure they have enough mud on hand!”

Ifill tries to one up Booker

“Lovely day today in Newark. (there, beat you to it @corybooker)” — PBS’s Gwen Ifill.

Uh oh.

“What goes around, comes around….That is my philosophy at the moment.” — The Daily Caller‘s Pat McMahon.

Journo hears beatings for greetings

“Voicemail says ‘to administer personal greetings press 3,’ but it sounds like ‘beatings’ which I suppose is what was on Qaddafi’s voicemail” — Slate and CBS’s John Dickerson.

In the Shadows of a Murder Trial: Fishbowl5 With WTOP Reporter Neal Augenstein

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein is among the lucky reporters covering the Lululemon murder trial. We caught up with him Monday to ask for his first impressions of the courtroom scene and to inquire about his past coverage of murder trials. The accused is Brittany Norwood for killing her Lululemon coworker Jayna Murray at the Bethesda store in March. The eight-day trial is taking place in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, Md. Follow his twitter feed as the side notes are riveting: @AugensteinWTOP.

1. Did you ever shop at Lululemon and did you know what it was before the murder? I’d never shopped at Lululemon before I heard about the murder there. I’d seen the stores before, but hadn’t stopped to figure out how to pronounce it. I think the first few times I tried to say it, I said something closer to Lulamon.

2. Have you covered murder trials before? If so, when, where? Yep, a lot in the 15 years I’ve been with WTOP. I covered the Beltway sniper trials of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, both in the Virginia Beach area and here in Montgomery County, as well as Muhammad’s execution. I covered the Benjamin and Erika Sifrit Ocean City murder cases in Montgomery County and Frederick, as well as the murder of former New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum. I feel a bit guilty remembering these cases over other murders, because in each instance someone lost their life, and others’ lives were affected.

3. What has shocked you most so far? In this case? I think that on the eve of opening statements I have no real idea what Brittany Norwood’s defense will be. While her lawyers said they planned on using an insanity defense, the judge made clear he felt she was sane, and the defense decided not to plead Not Criminally Responsible. Usually I can tell from court motions what a defense will be, but her lawyers have been very careful to avoid telegraphing their strategy in comments or motions.

4. So far what do you think of Brittany Norwood? Without prejudging her innocence or guilt, I look at the defense table and see someone who 10 months ago had no idea she could be behind bars for the rest of her life. She likely never imagined she’d be called a murder suspect. And then I think of the family of Jayna Murray, and how their lives changed forever, and how powerless, angry, and sad they must feel. At the beginning of the trial, without having heard the evidence and testimony yet, I may feel different when it’s over. In my experience, the verdict and sentence usually comes out about right, somehow. I guess it proves the adage of the American legal system not being perfect, but being the best there is.

5. How do you feel hearing the details of the murder – the rope, the knives, the beating with the metal stand? Since my job is to report as accurately and in context as possible, as I first hear these details I’m concentrating on writing the words as close to verbatim as possible. As I’m writing them, I’m asking myself ‘have I heard these details before, is this new?’ So, I’m thinking more about gathering facts than immediately judging the gravity of the situation. As a reporter, I almost feel I’m being paid to avoid feeling too deeply, at least temporarily. But since a murder trial, by definition, involves a tragedy, I’m never too far from remembering there’s a victim as well as a person fighting for his or her life and freedom. I aim for right, fair, and first. Sometimes I get all three.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Racy thoughts from WaPo‘s ME

“Rock stars get room keys. I get business cards.” — WaPo Managing Editor Raju Narisetti.

HuffPost‘s Sam Stein attempts bribery

“Free drinks to anyone who rt’s my story #anewtactic” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein in a funny reaction to James O’Keefe‘s absurd charge that he boozes up his sources to get stories. Read more about the Stein ordeal here on Mediaite. Also read their interview with O’Keefe by White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher.

A question we should all ponder…“How long do lights on Twinkle Toe Princess shoes last? Got pairs for our 8 & 4 yr old today. Already close to desperation.” — NPR’s Scott Simon.

TV reporter to Mr. Conductor: Leave me alone!

“Not only is @Amtrak overcrowded and overpriced the customer service is awful! Mr. Conductor don’t take your bad day out on me.” — NBC Washington’s  John Schriffen.

TV cameraman scares crap out of radio reporter

“Just had the S scared out of me, bumping into @newmediajim outside Starbucks when he cheerfully shouted ‘Neal!’ Always good to see him, tho.” — WTOP’s Neal Augenstein in a recent tweet. He’s referring to NBC News cameraman Jim Long.

TMZ’s Harvey Levin: A Visionary?

A note was slipped to me by a stranger during TMZ founder Harvey Levin’s speech at the National Press Club on Monday. It read, “I’ve been a member here for almost 25 years. Heard Pres. candidiates, CEO’s of largest corporations, cabinet secretaries. He is far and away the best speaker we’ve heard at the NPC. Relevant; speaking/not reading; Visionary.” Among other things, Levin said Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), with whom he had dinner some months ago, would thank him for putting him and his abs on TMZ. He said the NYT has figured out the web better than most; he remarked that LAT has a “good” website with issues. Levin stressed the need to “reinvent” and “evolve.” He said, “Newspapers don’t need to fold — they need to reinvent themselves. …There’s this holy grail, that we must preserve newspapers. Why?” He calls the rush to publish web stories a “cop out,” saying, “the web doesn’t force you to publish before you’re ready to publish. You still decide when to pull the trigger.”

Favorite lines from WaPo Monica Hess‘s story on Dangerous Instincts by a former FBI profiler and serial killer expert: “Reading the book is likely to do one of two things. If you tend to be lackadaisical about things such as door-locking, then the book will introduce you to the deadbolt. If you’re already vigilant, then it will make you purchase a Navy SEAL dog with bionic teeth.” If you don’t care about sleeping, read the full story here.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


From National Geographic: The Finnish Embassy

Unusual mid-party announcement

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s time to get naked.” —’s Andy Plesser at the Finnish Embassy Monday night (more on this in a little while in a full write-up…).

Two journos discuss narcissism

“A buddy just made this observation about a mutual friend: ‘I don’t think anyone will ever love me as much as (he) loves himself.’” — AP‘s White House Correspondent Phil Elliott in a Monday tweet. To which WCP Managing Editor Mike Madden retorted to Elliott, “That observation could be about almost ANYONE if you’re talking people in media/politics.” Elliott replied, “Are there other?”

Covering Groundhog Day

“Not sure why covering Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney is one of my favorite @WTOP experiences. Long trip, freezing cold for several hours.” — WTOP reporter Neal Augenstein in a very early Tuesday morning tweet.

Tweeting from Egypt

“Yes, I’m tweeting like Jack Kerouac on Red Bull because I don’t know when can tweet again, thanks to communications crackdown. #Jan25 #Egypt.” — CNN’s Ben Wedeman from Egypt.

Weigel wants to win the evening

“Winning the early evening with Slatesters and adult beverages.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel in a Monday tweet.

Bob Schieffer: Music Fan

He’s hosting the Washington Area Music Awards Sunday night along with Neal Augenstein of WTOP.