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Posts Tagged ‘Nico Pitney’

Incest Desk: Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson Uncovers Media Matters in Bed With White House, MSNBC and Certain Scribes

Late Sunday night, The Daily Caller published its first story in what will be an investigative series about Media Matters for America and its allegedly cozy relationship with the Obama Administration, MSNBC and certain scribes such as WaPo‘s “The Plumline” blogger Greg Sergent and BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith. The story names a number of journalists and outlets who have purportedly always been “game” for accepting leaks from MMFA. Apart from the aforementioned Sergent and Smith, they include MSNBC President Phil Griffin, Daily Kos, Salon, HuffPost‘s Sam Stein and former editor Nico Pitney, LAT‘s Jim Rainey and San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joe Garofoli.

The project was a group effort: Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, who doesn’t normally attach his byline on a lead story, and Vince Coglianese are the primary authors, with Alex Pappas and Will Rahn contributing.

The story centers on MMFA Founder David Brock and his reportedly systematic effort to “influence” the national media. Former and current employees describe what they allege to be his erratic, manic and paranoid behavior in the workplace, badmouthing Obama in social settings, cocaine use and more. The degree of security around Brock is astonishing.

An excerpt: The threat he faced while smoking on his roof? “Snipers,” a former co-worker recalled.

“He had more security than a Third World dictator,” one employee said, explaining that Brock’s bodyguards would rarely leave his side, even accompanying him to his home in an affluent DC neighborhood each night, where they “stood post” to protect him. “What movement leader has a detail?” asked someone who saw it.

A little comic relief: Brock apparently can’t stand ugly people, and once wanted to can a researcher for his or her looks. “‘David really doesn’t like ugly people,’” one employee explains.

Part I has a little something for everyone: war room researchers having sex at work, drugs, guns and mental illness.

Brock and the named reporters chose not to defend themselves… The piece is predominately comprised of anonymous sources, but there are a lot of them, and internal memos such as one stating that “Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.” Neither Sergent nor Smith would comment for the story despite requests. Brock also had no response. “I called Brock’s cell and office, texted him and sent notes to both of his email addresses,” Carlson told FishbowlDC. “No response. Disappointing.”

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HuffPost Loses Nico Pitney

HuffPost Managing Editor Nico Pitney, who was formerly in the Washington bureau, is leaving the publication to spend more time with his family, according to a memo from the organization. Capital New York first reported the news after staffers heard about the departure in a meeting. Pitney will move to San Francisco with his wife, Karina. A HuffPost insider tells FishbowlDC, “Nico’s heading to San Francisco, though there’s still hope that he’ll remain with us in some other role. It’s hard to overstate his contribution here.” Prior to HuffPost, Pitney was Managing Editor of ThinkProgress. Pitney will be replaced by Jimmy Soni, currently Chief-of-Staff for HuffPost. Read the full memo…

 

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HuffPo Ups Pitney to Managing Editor

Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney has been named Managing Editor for the new AOL HuffPost, reports TechCrunch.    He will replace Jai Singh who is leaving the company for a gig as EIC of  Yahoo Media Network.  Prior to his promotion, Pitney served in various roles such as Executive Editor, National Editor and Politics Editor for HuffPost.

Congrats to Nico!

HuffPost Makes Key Changes In D.C. Bureau

HuffPost is making changes within its Washington Bureau. Nico Pitney is now Executive Editor out of Manhattan and Ryan Grim is Washington Bureau Chief.  Sam Stein is doing assignment editing in addition to chief duties as Senior White House Correspondent. We pressed HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington to learn more about what these changes mean as well as more details about what the journalists in charge will bring to the table.

1. What do you think Ryan will bring to the bureau as chief? What do you think his style strengths are? First and foremost, Ryan has an amazing understanding of the nuts and bolts of how Washington works. But he never loses sight of the fact that, ultimately, politics isn’t a horse race and it isn’t a game – policies have a real impact on real people.  He also has terrific sources on both sides of the aisle, and has shown a willingness to help direct and help his colleagues.  As an integral part of HuffPost’s DC team for two years, Ryan’s transition will be a seamless one.

2. What does this news mean for the bureau and for HuffPost as a whole? As the DC bureau has continued to expand, it’s become more important than ever to manage our resources effectively while allowing team members to play to their strengths. With Nico as our new Executive Editor, he’ll continue to add his flair and judgment in managing the front page, while helping oversee editorial team planning, supervise the training of new editors, and facilitate the close interaction between our edit and tech teams.  As Washington Bureau Chief, Ryan will manage the Politics team while continuing to report.  Sam Stein will also continue his work as our White House correspondent while overseeing story assignments.

3. Were people surprised by the announcement or has this been coming for sometime? When Nico expressed interest in moving to New York, we knew the time was right to implement some of the changes we were already thinking of making.  When we announced the changes, everyone at HuffPost was really excited, especially our New York team, which now gets to spend more time with Nico!

4. Sam is so youthful looking. Do you think people will take orders from him easily? (I’m partially joking around on this one…). Feel free to keep answer lighthearted. Sam is actually 65 — he’s our own Benjamin Button. Why do you think his coverage of Social Security is so passionate?  Seriously, if Sam assigned you a story, you would never question it.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY


CNN Ed Henry‘s photo from India: “This sounds sick and wrong.”

Journos react to Olbermann suspension

“Shortest suspension in the woooorrrld.” — HuffPost National Editor Nico Pitney in a Sunday night tweet.

“His punishment was to take Friday and Monday off? I believe that’s called a long weekend.” — NJ‘s Matt Cooper in a Sunday night tweet.

“The Worst Person in the World Keith Olbermann will be back on his MSNBC show on Tuesday…$70k poorer and one the wiser.”Human Events senior editor Emily Miller in a weekend tweet.

Advice to Obama on “60 Minutes”: Down with the doily

“60 Minutes” notes: Kroft — don’t read questions verbatim from notes. Obama: Take doily off water glass. –Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in a Sunday night tweet.

Brief TBD critique

“TBD seems to be doing really well with the community-building. I’d like to see them break some more stories.” — WTOP news reporter Neal Augenstein in a weekend tweet.

Insensitive headline award

Politics Daily: “Jill Clayburgh is Dead. Long Live the Unmarried Woman.”

A polite warning

“Cleaning up my following list. If I unfollow you in the near future, I may just have moved you to a list.” — WTOP’s weekend anchor and general assignment reporter Nathan Hager in a weekend tweet.

A Kennedy free Congress

“When Patrick Kennedy leaves office, it’ll be the first time since 1947 that Congress will be without a member of the Kennedy clan.” — NJ “The Hotline’s” Executive Editor Reid Wilson in a weekend tweet.

Kathy Griffin Bleeps Through D.C.; Journos Get Cameos

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PR rep Hilary Rosen, Politico’s Patrick Gavin and Kathy

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HuffPost’s Arianna Huffington and Kathy (Kathy needs a translator.)

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CNN’s John King and Dana Bash: Kathy’s Political Advisers

If anyone expected comedian Kathy Griffin to behave appropriately in her D.C. episode of Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” they were in for a rude awakening. In other words, d–k jokes were the norm, not the exception.

Griffin tried her damnedest to keep her f-bombs in check (read: she didn’t try that hard). Plenty of D.C. journalists appeared on Griffin’s show Wednesday night. CNN’s Dana Bash and husband and colleague John King served as Griffin’s “political advisers.” Griffin called them the “power couple.” She said she and King have a past – not that kind of past. The couple explained Rep. Jim Clyburn’s (D-S.C.) role as House Whip – so not someone who is into actual whipping.

There was WaPo’s Karen Tumulty, Ceci Connolly, Politico’s Patrick Gavin, HuffPost’s Nico Pitney and HuffPost’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington. (“I’m prepared to do some serious ass kissing to get her to mention my rally on her blog,” Griffin told viewers of Huffington. “I can’t always understand what she’s saying, but I stand by her and whatever she just said.”)

Roll Call‘s HOH writer Emily Heil could be heard in a phoner as Griffin was driven in a black Town Car to her “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rally in downtown Washington. The comedian cracked on Roll Call, saying, “Maybe not the New York Times, but a very important trade paper wants to interview me,” she told her staff in the car.

Griffin told Heil: “I’m meeting with Barney Frank, you know, leave it to the gays to have two first names and then I’m meeting with a big queen named Jim Clyburn.” (Frank is the openly gay Financial Services Chairman; Clyburn is the House Democratic Whip.)

(Griffin got into some hot water with the Human Rights Campaign after a front page story appeared in Roll Call with Griffin calling Clyburn a “big queen.” Griffin went against her strict policy of never apologizing for her jokes and called up Clyburn’s aide to smooth things over. She said an apology like this wouldn’t happen again. She told the aide the “queen” comment was a big joke. The aide could be heard laughing.)

Griffin’s fears on coming to Washington and more cameo pictures after the jump…

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HuffPost’s Scorching Weatherman Intern

weatherstorm.jpg Jeremy Binckes, a faintly mustachioed 23-year-old, didn’t come to Washington in January all hot on being HuffPost’s resident weatherman. He came to cover politics.

But soon enough, the fog cleared and it was more than his editors could bear as they realized they were sitting on an untapped hotbed of weather information – and not just the stupid kind you hear in elevators.

Each day of the work week, Binckes’s weather reports (filed under Intern Weather Report) appear in the publication’s evening e-mail newsletter, “HuffPost Hill”, written by Eliot Nelson, and overseen by political reporter Ryan Grim and national editor Nico Pitney.

Make no mistake about it – trying to small talk Binckes about weather is a little like trying to talk lightly about atoms to a chemist. Don’t make the mistake of saying something casual like, “Nice weather we’re having,” to someone like Binckes. You’ll be there for an eternity as he talks pressure systems, surface maps and cool fronts.

To be sure, Binckes is serious about his weather. “As much as people laugh about it, I really do try to be accurate,” he said. “I care about it.”

Of course, no weatherman gets it right 100 percent of the time…

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Say Hello to Evening With ‘HuffPost Hill’

SHORT FEDORA.jpgThe Huffington Post introduces a brand new feature today. It’s “HuffPost Hill”, a daily newsletter which aims to whisk readers into evening with a free, modern, e-mail version of an evening newspaper. It harkens back to an era that publication editors believe still ought to exist.

In the works for about a year, HuffPost unveils “HuffPost Hill” this evening, between 5p.m. and 6 p.m. daily, encapsulating the day’s missed events and the day ahead in a 2,000-word feature sent to your e-mail doorstep. It won’t be fancy graphically – no pictures, no graphics – the writing is meant to be lively and conversational with the promise of catchy headlines. Nora McAlvanah, former editor of NJ’s Wake-Up Call and Last Call, helped create it.

Content will be geared toward the Capitol Hill staffer, White House aide and anyone interested in that world. There will be news of unusually-themed fundraisers, embassy parties, free parties, Hill birthday celebrations, and who’s dating whom (as long as it’s someone we all care about).

HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington won’t say the feature is a take off Politico Mike Allen‘s “Playbook,” but she won’t run from the possibility. “I personally love reading Mike Allen in the morning,” Huffington told FishbowlDC last Friday, referring specifically to Allen’s “Playbook” feature that lands the publication a daily spot on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” She isn’t thinking too long-term about the feature, but she believe it’s important: “We used to have an afternoon newspaper,” she said of the newspaper industry.

Huffington said the writing needs to “lively and breezy”, and the “kind of stuff you talk about at dinner.” She said it won’t be just like Allen’s “Playbook” but will fill what they consider to be the afternoon gap.

National Editor Nico Pitney came up with the idea. At the helm of the operation is chief congressional correspondent Ryan Grim, who will edit the feature. “It’ll be like an evening newspaper [for people to] read on their way home,” said Grim.

Pitney will contribute to the project as will a variety of HuffPost scribes such as White House correspondent Sam Stein , K Street reporter Arthur Delaney, senior Washington correspondent Dan Froomkin and media editor Jason Linkins.

In Grim’s charges will be the newly hired Eliot Nelson, 23. Nelson has experience in satirical writing – which is what HuffPost appears to be looking for in this feature.

Pitney and Grim tested Nelson rigorously, giving him little guidance. They were pleased with the results, said Grim.

Nelson has worked for unknown online venues such as Yankee Pot Roast and McSweeny’s. He has interned at ABC News and Bloomberg and most recently, in the Whip office of South Carolina Democratic leader, James Clyburn.

Sign up for “HuffPost Hill” here.

Fishbowl 5 With Arianna Huffington

arianna-huffington-political-news-commentary-opinion.jpg HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington is shopping for a dress for her daughter this afternoon in Manhattan. Her daughter will soon graduate from high school. Still, Huffington takes time out to tweet — she has done so several times today — and took a few minutes to respond to questions about the debut of HuffPost’s Twitter Edition, which began today.

1. It seems HuffPost’s Twitter Edition is mounting a takeover of the entire Twitter universe, kind of like a Daily Organizer for Twitter. Is that the goal? No, not at all. It’s more like supercharge. The idea is to basically supercharge the Twitter experience. ItÂ’s really an extension of what we already do. The key is to have gatekeepers you can trust. Our editors are curators. The editors have hand selected the Twitter accounts, so you can get both breaking news and general news and analyst and opinion as it comes in.

2. How often do you tweet? I tweet quite a bit. I think today I’ve tweeted about our four five times. It varies.

3. Do you ever fear that tweeting cheapens journalism? No, not at all. I think that it’s another journalistic tool. During the Iran uprising, it was among the most effective ways to get news out of Iran. We had Nico Pitney, our national editor curate the Twitter feed 24/7 coming out of Iran. In less dramatic ways it continues to be a way to break news — both big news and not so important news.

4. What do you hope the new Twitter features on HuffPost will accomplish? If you’re already tweeting, then you’ll be able to use the Twitter editions as great tools. You can tweet, retweet and reply to others directly from Huffington Post. If you’re not yet a Twitter user, this page is a great introduction to what Twitter has to offer.

5. Twitter can be instant and instantly mean. Everyone’s a critic and words can harm. Have you experienced this and how do you cope with it? Do you ever have to block anyone from following you? Anyone who wants to follow me can follow me. Words have power and can be used for harm, but that’s the same everywhere, whether it’s TV, print, internet, whatever. The people I follow [are not mean]. That’s one of the advantages of curation. If anyone was using it to attack they would not appear on our Twitter edition.

Read more on the new Twitter Edition here and here.

Scribes Enjoy Night Out with Kathy Griffin

An evening out with comedian Kathy Griffin can’t be boring, even if she is on the so-called self-proclaimed D-List.

She met up with scribes Thursday night for dinner at Restaurant Ris. She was joined by HuffPost’s Arianna Huffington and National Editor Nico Pitney, Politico’s Patrick Gavin, PR exec Tammy Haddad and CNN’s Dana Bash.

Read Politico’s write up and watch video here.

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