TVNewser FishbowlNY AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Nick Ballasy’

James Taylor’s Handler Abruptly Ends Interview

The Daily Caller‘s Nick Ballasy caught up with singer/songwriter James Taylor on Inauguration Day on Capitol Hill and spoke with him about his support for President Obama. The interview was well done and allowed viewers to find out what Taylor thinks about a host of issues pertaining to Obama, politics and gun control.

In short, he deeply trusts Obama to make decisions for the country and believes strongly in gun control and making sacrifices for the betterment and safety of the country.”I love this president for so many reasons,” Taylor said. “I think we need more like him.”

The startling and amusing part of the interview comes when Taylor’s handler, a frumpy woman in glasses, steps in and abruptly interrupts and ends the interview. What, there was no subtler way for her to do this than jump into the camera space and put her hand up?

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101

Freelancing 101Manage a top-notch freelancing career in our online boot camp, Freelancing 101! Starting August 18, freelancing experts will teach you the best practices for a solid freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your own schedule and managing clients.  Register before 7/16 to get $50 OFF with early bird pricing. Register now! 
 

Washington Examiner Adds Gossip Columnist

Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab is now on her third gossip partner in the two years since Tara Palmeri left for the New York Post. First there was Katy Adams. Next up: Jenny Rogers, formerly of TBD, who lasted a year. Now the Examiner has named a new co-columnist — it’s The Hill‘s Alicia Cohn, who contributed to that publication’s gossip column, “In the Know,” and managed content for the social media blog. We hear The Daily Caller‘s pretty aggressive Nick Ballasy was up for the job, but didn’t want to take orders from Schwab so he backed out.

It’s anyone’s guess what kind of co-columnist Cohn will be as her previous appeared in publications such as US WEEKLY and Human Events. She also interned for Christianity Today. She graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois, a Christian college where drinking, smoking, pornography and sex are taboo and where evolutionary biology is now accepted, but this wasn’t always true. Famous graduates include Billy Graham and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. In 2003 the college eased its ban on dancing. They also let up on drinking and smoking for faculty and grad students only.

In an internal memo just out today, Editor Stephen Smith outlines three new reporters, including Cohn, and the promotion of another. Most of the new hires are recent grads whose experience consists of an array of internships. Read more

The Daily Caller‘s Wild Rep Catches Up

The Daily Caller isn’t a hate site, but its reporters may have asked for it when one was blocked from entering a Council on America-Islam Relations event this week.

A source who was at the event tells FBDC that once the DC reporter left the area, he overheard two CAIR staffers sarcastically comment on “the great coverage” they would receive over the incident. The comments came after the reporter was told she wasn’t allowed in, due to the DC being “a hate group.”

This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened. At a party hosted by Media Matters, the DC’s Nick Ballasy wasn’t allowed in but staked out the party with a camera crew outside the door. They were asked to keep a certain healthy distance from the building.

Reporters at the pub have gained a reputation as being a wily bunch. Yes, wily. A look at the DC‘s debauchery:

  • Matthew Boyle claimed he was assaulted by U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh;
  • After being hacked, the publication offered a gun as a reward to anyone who found the hacker;
  • Neil Muro (in)famously interrupted President Obama in the middle of a speech;
  • Boyle, a particularly feisty one, tried bullying a Democratic National Committee staffer into giving him a comment from the chairwoman.

It was, however the DC‘s Caroline May who was blocked from entering the CAIR event. May, unassuming and amiable, has hasn’t had any significant dust-ups.

“Caroline is an outstanding reporter, and extremely fair,” her colleague Vince Coglianese told FishbowlDC. “I don’t see how it could be in CAIR’s interest to hold a press conference aimed at defending American values while barring access to a prominent news outlet seeking to cover that.”

When asked if it’s a surprise for the DC to be barred from events, given its reputation, Coglianese said, “Our job is to relentlessly cover the news.” He added, “CAIR’s response to our attempt was so exceptional in nature that we felt it deserved to be reported.”

We requested comment from CAIR.

Washington’s Glitzy Debut of ‘Game Change’

HBO’s Game Change came to Washington last night, perhaps in more ways than one. Politicians, their aides and reporters came together last night at the Newseum for a star-studded evening to celebrate the now famed book by NY Mag’s John Heilemann and TIME‘s Mark Halperin. On hand was Julianne Moore, who plays former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and producer Tom Hanks.

Also dotted in the crowd were network stars like the inseparable Mika Brzezinksi and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC (pictured above). The pair mingled at the cocktail party. Once in their seats, they rose twice — once to say hello to Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson and then a second time. Mika returned with little slices of bread, which she shared with Joe. Then 15 minutes into the movie, they bolted for the door.

Before the screening, reporters convened on the ground level for what turned out to be one of the sanest red carpets we’ve seen in a long time thanks to SKDKnickerbocker. Check-in was smooth and drama free. Reporters appeared to quietly get the interviews they needed and none of the cameramen were shoving or stressed out. Unlike some of these celeb events, the scene never turned into a brawl. Guests received fancy chocolate on the way out.

Halperin and Heilemann were the belles of the ball last night. Halperin explained that he and Heilemann were not close before writing the book. “We sure are now,” he said. ” We had never even written a shopping list together. Now we’re joined at the hip. We debate, but our general view of journalism is simpatico.” Asked who is his favorite star in the movie, he replied, “I love all our children equally.” Both men are tall, but Heilemann towers over everyone he encounters, especially Game Change scriptwriter Danny Strong. Halperin is dark-haired and talks in soundbites. Heilemann is bald and speaks off the cuff.  While in a press gaggle, Heilemann joked that he likes to rest drinks on Danny’s head.

The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack got quite a jolt to see himself in the film as an extra — well, he’s 98 percent certain it’s him. He’s something of a professional extra (he was also in “Clear and Present Danger”). “I was sitting right behind Woody Harrelson as a bar patron,” he told FBDC. “Spent my life preparing myself for that half a second. I think I nailed the scene.”

Heilemann and Strong

Luke Russert

Spotted in the crowd…

Read more

Media Matters Ultra Private Book Party

Politico’s Ken Vogel questions David Brock. Brock speaks to the crowd.

Media Matters held a strictly invitation-only book party last night at its downtown Washington headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue. No crashers were permitted. No guests of invitees were allowed in.

“Have a good night!” The Daily Caller‘s Nick Ballasy called to me as he stood wistfully with a camera crew a healthy distance away from the building.  He groused that no one worthy of interviewing had yet entered the building. (Considering the ongoing series on MMFA, no one from The Daily Caller was getting within spitting distance of the party.)

In some ways it felt like the Gap. There was a female greeter outside the door. Once inside I was led to highly organized RSVP tables where they checked me in and gave me a bright red bracelet that read, The Fox Effect. This would be the book co-written by MMFA Founder David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt, a former aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Upstairs on the sixth floor there was another greeter, this time a male employee in a dark blazer stationed outside to say hello.

Reid was among the evening’s speakers. But rumor had it that he might not be able to attend because of votes so they were still scrambling for who would be their keynote speakers. But soon enough the waif of a Senate Majority Leader wandered in with a small entourage, complete with security personnel with a clear wire in his ear. Reid is soft-spoken and quiet and doesn’t make a big splash.

So when Politico‘s Ken Vogel (who isn’t exactly shy) approached and tried to ask questions, Reid politely took Vogel’s business card and stuffed it back into Vogel’s front shirt pocket and told him he wasn’t there to do interviews. Vogel returned to a small gaggle that included HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim and MMFA Publicist Jess Levin, and regaled us with the story as well as stories of liberal haters who came after him when he covered then-Sen. Hillary Clinton‘s (D-N.Y.) ’08 campaign. Vogel’s a decent storyteller – there were death threats, Jew-hater insults and more. He said he got more hate mail from liberals than conservatives.

WaPo‘s Erik Wemple was spotted mingling in the crowd. He mentioned that he’d had lunch with FBDC lover Ryan Kearney of the illustrious TBD the day before. I told Wemple that we had been offering Kearney daily career counseling. I silently cursed MMFA for having not having the good sense to invite Kearney so we could finally meet face to face.

Aside from hippy, frumpy, bushy-haired MMFA employees (they have good excuses for their crumpled look, they watch Fox News relentlessly around the clock) other notables in the crowd: Hollywood on the Potomac writer and publicist Janet Donovan, Bullfight Strategies’ Eric Burns (former President of Media Matters) and Karl Frisch (also formerly of MMFA). Burns by far had the best party hair – his coiffe was thick, spiky and impeccable.

The crowd was deceptively entertaining. Genius Rocket Chairman Mark Walsh was screwing around with lobbyist David Jones‘ name tag and said he was going to wear it and get intoxicated. “I’m going to get drunk and vomit,” Walsh promised. Jones, meanwhile, was busy talking up Brock. “His book, Blinded by the Right, was the most defining book in politics of the 90s,” he told me. “It showed behind the scenes attacks on President Clinton from the inside. That’s why I’m here.”

Soon enough the speeches got underway. Standing before the crowd was Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Reid and Brock. At one point Reid made a decently funny joke about the digitized world we’re living in and used his digits, as in his fingers. Franken laughed extra loud and looked at him with a just a hint of surprise that he could actually be funny.”Surprisingly he doesn’t talk very much,” Reid said of Franken, “but when he does, we listen.” Al’s wife, Franni Franken, was in the crowd. “No, more, More, MORE!” she said, heckling her funnyman husband.

Reid thanked Brock for his service to the Democratic Party and promised his own in return. “I thank him for all he has done for the Democratic Caucus and the Senate,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure this book is a success.”

Though Franken cracked a number of genuinely funny jokes, Brock initially looked ill at ease. He seemed to loosen up when it was his turn to speak and he got a chance to do what he does best — skewer Fox News.

“The bottom line is this is not a news channel at all,” Brock told the crowd. “It’s like the Republican National Committee, but they do a better job in our view.” Then he fed his brand of red meat to the liberal crowd, exclaiming, “Glenn Beck no more.” The crowd cheered: “WOO HOO!” And more. Brock said the fact that FNC President Roger Ailes has said the network needs a “course correction” means “they are feeling the pressure.”

Asked if he felt Fox News would help his book sales, Brock replied, “Fox is giving us a lot of free publicity these days, I’ll say that much.” As for The Daily Caller‘s ongoing series on him and whether he felt that would also help boost his book, he had nothing to say. Nor did anyone else in the room. “I’m not commenting on that right now,” he said, as he walked in unusual diagonal zigzags away from the vicinity of my notebook.

Examiner Hires Second Scribe for Yeas & Nays

The Washington Examiner has made a hire on that second Yeas & Nays gossip columnist post that needed to be filled.

It’s Katy Adams, a four-time Emmy winner from FOX 5. The lead columnist will continue to be Nikki Schwab.

Noteworthy backstory: Editor Steve Smith grew frustrated in the process of replacing former columnist Tara Palmeri, who’s now at NYP‘s Page 6. We’re hearing that if this hire hadn’t happened, Smith briefly considered shifting the hiring responsibility to editor Jacque Bland. Smith tried to hire Nick Ballasy, who apparently said he wanted to continue to do more “serious” journalism (to which some at the Examiner rolled their eyes in response). Ballasy works for the news web site Cybercast News Service.

See Smith’s announcement e-mail after the jump. It includes a second hire, Lisa Gartner, who will cover the less flashy beat of “Virginia.” She comes highly qualified and is also award-winning…

Read more