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Posts Tagged ‘Ned Martel’

Schwarzenegger Charms Pants Off D.C. Audience

Former California Gov. and cheater extraordinaire Arnold Schwarzenegger swooped in and wrapped an audience around his finger last night at a book talk and signing in downtown Washington. His newly published tell-all is aptly called Total Recall.

WaPo and Politics & Prose Bookstore co-sponsored an hour-long interview at the packed Hamilton Restaurant that included audience participation. WaPo‘s national political writer Ned Martel was tasked with interviewing The Terminator. But from the get-go one thing was abundantly clear: Martel was going easy on him. And though this was supposed to be an interview, Schwarzenegger was clearly running the show.

It was impossible not to be charmed. “This is for concentration curls,” he started off in his signature Austrian accent, using his thick book to do reps. There was a temperature shift. No matter that he’s fathered a son with a woman other than his wife and had other dalliances, the crowd warmed to him immediately. Even the swarms of media in the far back were taken, hanging on his every word. From then on, the audience was his to lose.

Part of what was so likeable about him was that no subject, however awkward, was off limits — a good thing since his audience paid $15 a seat to see him. So he addressed it all, including whether he regrets letting the maid reside in his home, if he hopes to  reconciling with Maria — he does but he says it’ll take time — and of course, his views on politics.

“Washington is the most frozen place I’ve ever seen,” he declared, quickly insulting the evil ways of the city in which little gets done and Republicans and Democrats rarely come together.

Asked about tonight’s debates, Schwarzenegger remarked, “This is really freakout city when you’re out there.” He explained how nerve-wracking it is to maneuver the teleprompter, and what it’s like to go off script and then try to return to it. Next up: an impersonation of AOL-HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington so good that he really ought to perform it on stage.

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Journo finds horse shit in WaPo

Jim Newell, this could win a ‘reverse Pulitzer’ for shittiest article of 2012.” — The Guardian‘s Richard Adams to the ex-Gawker Political Editor. Adams linked to a WaPo story by ex-Style Editor turned campaign trail writer Ned Martel about Ann Romney and her deep love of horses. Romney is strangely into dressage…which is, er, horse ballet.

Rush’s bro stirs the pot

“At some point, conservatives better realize how organized the left is & how determined they are to silence our side. We ignore at our peril.” — Lawyer and syndicated columnist David Limbaugh, who will likely talk to you on the record providing you’re a conservative journalist.

Journo discusses blowjob workshop

“And then the term ‘blowjob workshop’ came up. Apparently one was covered by a journo here. Huzzah!” — WaPo Express‘s Clinton Yates, who previously tweeted about “fisting.” We have no words for this one.

Emily issues a special warning!

“Warning: the season finale of #Bachelor airs now and I will watch and tweet even though US Weekly spoiled the end.” — TWT‘s Senior Opinion Editor Emily Miller.

Journo Clusterf&%k!

FNC’s Ed Henry: “Wait WHAT??: After answering Q on Afghan, Santorum said: “I’m the only person in this race that has any experience as commander in chief”. BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller: “Erin McPike reports Santorum said ‘TO BE’ commander in chief. RCP’s Erin McPike: “Ed Henry, we listened to it several times – it was ‘to be.’ That was my mistake.”


“I don’t understand people who exercise at the gym wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt, or boots for that matter.” — Don Irvine.

Classic Dave Hughes: The Thief

“CNN lifts commentator Roland Martin’s suspension after homophobic Tweet during Super Bowl” — DCRTV’s Dave Hughes acting like he broke the news that CNN has lifted Roland Martin‘s suspension. Watch out, D.C. scribes. Traditional attribution rules apparently don’t apply to him.

Journo sets goals for himself. Are they elusive?

“Goal: Someday, I will have ‘people’ who file expenses for me. I’ll also have children, who will make expenses for me.” — Military TimesDan Lamothe.

Journos conjure up stupid questions for Carney

“Jay, was Bo’s run across the South Lawn yesterday an official event or a political one?#thingsthatwontgetasked” — NBC News’s Shawna Thomas. “Who paid for the pooper scooper and plastic baggies?!?!” — Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“I’m at Blue Duck Tavern (Washington, DC)” — Washington Life‘s Executive Editor Michael Clements.

The intrepid Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.



WaPo’s Ned Martel: Promises Promises

So far WaPo is full of broken promises when it comes to writer Ned Martel. In May of this year, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, steamed as usual, issued that memo about the ex-Style Editor heading to the presidential campaign trail to write features. Brauchli said he was moving to the “formidable team” to cover the “personalities, the offbeat, the veiled dramas that enliven the narrative of our democracy.” God Bless America does that sound patriotic. Was Brauchli joking?

We had high hopes after they stripped Martel of his management tasks (many of which resulted in angering and degrading many of the reporters he was managing). But so far, he has done little on politics. Most of his so-called 2012 presidential trail coverage has been on fashion and the arts.

His last two pieces: Maryland’s football uniforms and Sunday’s Outlook piece on hipster nerd eyeglasses. He also blogged the J. Crew fashion week show in between.

We will keep a watchful eye on Martel’s elusive beat. But in the meantime, we hear he’s starring in a brand new Broadway musical.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Runs in the Family…

“Self promo alert! Catch me tomorrow on FOX 5/WTTG at top of 8a hour dishing on Salahis. And on FOX News at 10:40a tomorrow!” — Howiella (i.e. Howeesha, Howlma, Howeena, Howdy Judy) or The Hill‘s gossip columnist Judy Kurtz is taking a page out of pop’s self-pimping playbook. For anyone who hasn’t gathered, she’s the daughter of The Daily Beasts‘s Sexiest Beast Howard Kurtz.

WaPo‘s Ned Martel: the Anti-Hipster’s Hipster

“I cannot say with certainty, of course, whether Maddow’s are ‘dead-stock Bausch & Lombs’ or modern replicas. But I get the feeling that Martel would know better than anyone.” — TBD‘s Ryan Kearney in a Friday piece ripping WaPo‘s Ned Martel (now on the campaign trail after brass kicked him off Style but strangely writing about glasses) for putting down hipster glasses while owning them. Read the tale of hypocrisy here.

WaPo reporter goes motorbiking in a dress

“Happy to have survived my first motorbike ride in Beijing. In a dress no less. All limbs intact.” — WaPo travel writer Nancy Trejos.

There’s no place like home (well, sort of)

“On South Beach, like I never left. Easy to hate, harder to love. But Miami is special.” –  James Oliphant, D.C. writer for LAT and Chicago Tribune.

Boybanders unite around MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

“Weren’t up in time for today’s premiere of Up With @ChrisLHayes? Watch it here!” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein, President of FishbowlDC’s Fan Club. See Hazy here.‘s Spencer Ackerman (a lower-tiered Boybander) apparently did not have that problem: “Amazing 1st show #UpWithChrisHayes #winthefuture.”

NPR’s Carvin bizarrely attacked for something

“Why so angry?” — NPR’s Andy Carvin in response to Hong Kong (alleged) potter Andrew Mountford, who remarked, “@acarvin Life is about risk, you judge what risks you are prepared to take. Otherwise live in a padded cell. Grow up.”

Reporter explains wrath against his publication

“I think some people hate The Daily Caller for the same reason Orioles’ fans hate the NY Yankees and other nations hate America. #winning” — The Daily Caller‘s media writer Matt Lewis channels Charlie Sheen.

A Convo Between Two Journos

Today’s conversation is between Salon Editor-at-Large Joan Walsh, who often appears on MSNBC’s “Hardball” and Washington Watch’s Roland Martin.

Walsh: True dog park story: Man says: Saw a woman who looked like you on Bill Maher! I smile, yeah it was me! He didn’t believe me. Martin: I crack up when someone says, ‘You are him, right?’ I laugh and say, ‘Yep, I’m him.’ LOL Walsh: Lesson: must step up the hair and makeup for the dog park, I guess. #dogparklightingfail


WaPo Names New ‘Collegial’ Style Editor

In an unusually expedient manner, WaPo has hired a new Style Editor to replace Ned Martel, who recently stepped down after management heard numerous complaints about his demeaning management style. The new editor is: Frances Stead Sellers, a UK native, who has run National’s coverage of health, science and the environment since 2009. The memo makes an obvious point to address Sellers’ personality: She is “ferocious loyal” to her reporters and “the epitome of collegiality.”

Read the memo. It’s not half bad. Someone must have gone out dancing before writing it…

UPDATE: Lynn Medford, Sunday Style, Arts and Magazine Editor) just wrote this note to the newsroom: “A hearty congratulations to Frances. We do ask that she not try to impose Civilization on Style.  heh heh heh.” Our sources tell us Sellers is a “truly lovely” person.

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Office Politics, About Offices

A touchy subject has been percolating at WaPo as of late.

As we’ve reported, Ned Martel recently stepped down as Editor of the Style section after a few years of numerous complaints and an exodus of reporters who didn’t care for his condescending management style. Sure, some people like Howard Kurtz liked his style, but then again Kurtz liked it so much that he left for The Daily Beast. Martel now writes for the 2012 campaign.

The switch in title required an office move. So they’ve moved Martel into Columnist Steve Pearlstein‘s old office. Pearlstein, in turn, moved into the late David Broder‘s office, which is at least fitting in the sense of one Pulitzer Prize winner replacing another.

Can you imagine the outrage if Martel had moved into Broder’s office? Some Posties wonder why Martel even gets an office, seeing as not every campaign trail writer does.

Howard Kurtz: Mr. Suckup

Just when we were enjoying shaking our pom poms for The Daily Beast‘s and CNN’s Howard Kurtz, he has to go on a major ass kissing expedition of current and former bosses.

Oh, Howie, why?

Howie in a Politico piece on outgoing WaPo Style Editor Ned Martel: “One of the most difficult parts of my decision to leave the Post was giving up the opportunity to work with Ned Martel,” he said. “He is a creative, high-energy force who made me a better reporter. There are always frictions in a newsroom, but that shouldn’t detract from what this guy brought to the Style section.”

It gets worse. Now it’s his new boss’s turn for praise.

Howie in an AdWeek piece on Tina Brown: But media pundit Howard Kurtz, whom she recently hired as Washington bureau chief, got on the phone to defend her, calling Brown a “high-energy editor” whose nonstop pace can be “dizzying” but who brings a “dynamism” to the newsroom. “I think Tina has a realistic sense of how to turn this ship around with the resources she has,” he says.

Two things to glean from this. 1. Howie likes high energy. 2. He can also be counted on for a positive quote when you’re writing about his current or former boss.

As a bonus, and since we enjoy giving gifts, we’re giving Howie this Ass Kisser gum to chew for the day.



Ned Martel’s Bizarre Farewell Note

Outgoing Style Editor Ned Martel may want to steer clear of poetry in his next act for WaPo.

With his staff is celebrating his departure (we know, Ned, you’ve never read anything bad about yourself until you read FishbowlDC even though Washingtonian‘s Harry Jaffe has had your number for a good while now), this is how Martel bid farewell to them as WaPo frantically spins his move to the presidential campaign trail as positive. Martel stepped down last week after numerous members of his staff either left or expressed extreme discontent under his management. Managing Editor Liz Spayd held a party for Martel at her home this weekend.

The note:

Stop dressing the news wound.
Send your post to Universal by noon.

Write from the heart.
Report it out.

Raise hell.
Don’t curse in print.

Be kind to the freaks.
Call out those who pass for ordinary.

“You are beautiful in every single way.” – Christina Aguilera
“You’re only as good as your last story.” – Helen Thomas

Make sure your kicker’s perfect.
Just hit send.

WANTED: ‘Deeply Talented’ Editor for WaPo Style Section

Out with the old. In with the new. With yesterday’s announcement of Ned Martel‘s departure from Style , Wapo begins its search for a new editor. Management issued an internal memo to staff today asking for a a “great thinker and motivator” a “creative leader who will push Style to new heights IN PRINT AND ONLINE.” Those all-caps will either frighten someone or motivate them.

Read the memo…

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WaPo’s Martel to Presidential Campaign Trail

WaPo Style Editor Ned Martel, who announced to his staff earlier today that he’d be stepping down from Style, is headed to the presidential beat. He’ll focus on the “personalities” and “offbeat, veiled dramas.” The internal memo from Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli puts a really positive face on what happened earlier today. The note says Martel “has helped us illuminate Washington culture with flair” along with other compliments for the editor who now ventures into new territory where he will be now managed by Liz Spayd and Kevin Merida rather than managing a team of Style writers and editors.

UPDATE: Martel spoke with us by phone this afternoon. He says he’s excited to be going on the campaign trail. He says leaving Style was squarely his choice. He says there was a “range of emotions” today when he told staff he was stepping down for a new position. He says he’s never heard anything negative about his performance except on FishbowlDC. “I’m really excited to be writing again and I’ve had a great two years getting to know some super talented strengths and who taught readers a new way of looking at the Capitol and politics and how a story can really be told,” he said. When asked if anyone has left Style because they didn’t care for his management style, which FishbowlDC has been told repeatedly by present and past WaPo reporters, he replied, “I know that some people have left for new opportunities…talk to Howie [Kurtz], talk to Blake [Gopnik], to Robin [Givhan].” Really, to Givhan, we asked? “She’s never said anything to my face,” he said. “I know that I came into challenge the way the place has run. This is an organization that has welcomed few people in management positions from the outside. I was told there would be resistance to it. The Style section has had a unique and lively culture of challenging authority. I knew that being in authority would be unusual [as well as] sharing authority.” Has Martel been weighing this option for awhile? “Yeah, I’ve been talking about it for a long time,” said Martel who began at Style in 2009. “We’ve had structure here that has at times been contentious. I’m looking for ways to serve the paper as we move toward this enormous opportunity that is 2012. They’ve always said this was the best place for me.” After he announced today’s news he says his staff reacted in a variety of ways. “They all seemed to know,” he said. Asked if there were any tears, he replied, “I guess there was a range of emotion. I’m sure that some people … I’ve gotten a lot of amazingly supportive emails. It was [squarely my choice]. I’ve talked about writing since I got here. I think it’s hard to both edit and write.” Is Martel relieved at all that he’ll no longer be managing a team. “Well, I like managing,” he said. “I’ve always had a lot of fun starting something new. I’ve never sat in a single office for a two year period with no travel adventure. It will be fun to go back out there.”

See the memo…

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