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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Baker’

Book Party for NYT’s Peter Baker

On Oct. 24 there will be a book party for NYT’s White House Correspondent Peter Baker. The venue is PJ Clarke’s Sidecar, fittingly right near the White House.

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Media Critic’s Cancer is in Remission

images-1Journalists in Washington and elsewhere may want media critic Richard Grenell to go away — in the polite sense — just get the hell out of their faces sort of thing.

But he’s not going anywhere. In fact, Grenell’s cancer is in remission.

He told FishbowlDC… Read more

NJ’s Fournier Goes on Book Leave, but First Bellyaches at a Party

On Friday National Journal‘s Editorial Director and national correspondent Ron Fournier went on book leave. The book will center on the genuinely touching National Journal Magazine cover story he wrote about his son’s Asperger’s Syndrome. The story chronicles fatherhood and his own struggles in dealing with his son’s condition. It’s also the journey (“guilt trips,” he calls them) he takes with his son, instructed by his wife, to meet a couple of gracious ex-Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who warmly welcomed the Fourniers on their daily schedules. His wife poignantly says, “‘You can use a job that took you away from Tyler to help him,’ she said, suggesting that we visit historical sites, preferably those connected to presidents, because Tyler loves history and I spent my career covering the White House.”

But at the time the story was published, even some within National Journal felt the piece was mismatched to the publication. A number of journalists also felt uneasy that Fournier had used the cover in such a personal way and expressed as much.

But before he went on leave, last week Fournier attended the This Town book party for Mark Leibovich at an Adams Morgan townhouse called Maison Biltmore. At the soirée, Fournier could be heard complaining about FishbowlDC’s coverage of his impending book. Wow, this was a party for Leibo’s book, but Fournier couldn’t focus on anything but his own? He was heard saying that FishbowlDC had made fun of his son. Really? Is that what Fournier calls it these days when someone points out the possible distasteful concept of publicly exposing your son to attention he may not want, to publicly using your son’s condition to land interviews with ex-Presidents and writing a story on all the reaction his original story received? He turns around and says we made fun of his son?

He may not agree with what we wrote based on reactions some journalists around Washington had to the story that were something less than gushing. But no, readers, we did not make fun of Fournier’s son. See here, here, here, here and here.

Enjoy your book leave, Fournier. We can hardly wait for your return, but somehow we suspect you won’t be able to tear yourself off Twitter for three months. And no, that was not a crack on your son.

Morning Chatter

THIS TOWN: “This is the point of the party where I become everything I mock.” — NYT‘s Mark Leibovich at his book party last night at the home of NYT‘s Peter Baker and Susan Glasser. Photograph and quote by Rachel Sklar. If you squint you can see NYT‘s Carl Hulse just behind Leibo’s head.

Special note to NJ‘s Ron Fournier: Our ears were burning last night.

Convo Between a Journo and a Political Type

Political consultant Mike Murphy: “Dear HRC, please put NYC, Huma, and the rest of us out of our misery and cap Carlos Danger. One sentence press release will do it. Thank you.”

Commentary‘s John Podhoretz: “Shaddap you face trying to spoil everybody’s fun.”

Beauty queen pissed at bread throwers

“Dear ppl who throw bread at birds: clean up your shit! It’s not my dogs job to eat your moldy bread! Thanks for the morning heart attack!” — Miss DC 2009 Jen Corey.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 6:56 a.m. (In which they spell “Caroline Kenndy” like that.)

What’s the definition of ‘is’?

“Weiner story really testing definition of word ‘past’” — BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith.  And this: “Huma needs to pull a Mellie Grant on Weiner’s ass.” — BuzzFeed‘s Ellie Hall.

Comm guy nearly hit by car

“GAH! Almost drilled by a driver making a high speed left turn while I was IN THE BLOODY CROSSWALK. Heart is still in back of my throat. Seriously, if I hadn’t looked up and stopped, I’d be on my way to the ER right now. Oy.” — Ben Harris, Rockville-based communications professional.

Fournier tells political observers to shut up

“Partisans (Rs and Ds): The presidential address you’re twittering about won’t be heard by most Americans or effect their lives. Move along.” — NJ‘s Ron Fournier, the moral compass of This Town.

 

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

A TRIBUTE TO MICHAEL HASTINGS: “Michael Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him.” — BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith. More… “We fought, first, over the adjectives in his stories — ‘discredited’ was a favorite — and then over his theories, which were typically the opposite of whatever I was hearing from my Washington sources. In the meantime I marveled at his talent and at the thing I hadn’t particularly expected: his generosity.” Read the full story here.

“I am no Michael Hastings and I probably never will be. My temperament and orientation is different. I approach my subjects from a different angle and I ask different questions. I do pretty well for myself. But when I’m in the arena with people like Hastings, I’m always forced to check myself.” — The Week’s Marc Ambinder. Read his full post here.


Confessional.

“I got the IRS chiefs mixed up. So audit me! Sorry about that. They’re all blending together.” — FNC’s Dana Perino.

In a twist on the usual 9-month pregnancy, NBC Luke Russert’s 20-month gaffe

“House now voting on bill by Rep Trent Franks’s (R-AZ) restricting abortions after 20-months.” — NBC Luke Russert on the bill that passed the House Tuesday. About a minute later, after some razzing, he wrote, “Correction to my last tweet. Bills would restrict abortion after 20 WEEKS not months.” Phew!

Hello Buttercup! Martin smooches NYT colleague

“Do yourself a favor: pre-order @peterbakernyt book DAYS OF FIRE now. A history of Bush-Cheney admin > http://www.amazon.com/Days-Fire-Cheney-White-House/dp/0385525184/ref=pd_sim_b_3/184-3921963-1609821″ — NYT‘s Jonathan Martin regarding Peter Baker‘s upcoming book.

NBC’s Chuck Todd from Berlin: “Btw, TOBBS (twitter on black berry sucks)”

Anonymous email to FishbowlDC: “My brother works for a local NPR station and he says the amount of money the big wigs at NPR lavish upon themselves is sickening. It makes him wonder what would happen if donors saw the gluttony. But, he needs the job so he keeps his mouth shut.”

Weighty reaction to Mika Brzezinksi

“Dear Mika, Arsenic is a poison. Soda is not. Bleach is a poison. Sugar is not. You are a ridiculous lunatic.” — Rare‘s Content Editor Mike Cover to the MSNBC “Morning Joe” host who wrote Obsessed, a confessional book about food addiction, her own and others. He added, “There are few things that make my skin crawl more than the nanny-state busybodies lecturing other folks about what to eat or how to live.”

Morning Reading List 06.12.13.

Whoa. Benjamin Hart hates Twitter cliches — Twitter has become full of overused and cliched phrases, and Benjamin Hart is sick of it. The HuffPost front page editor wrote a must-read for The Awl in which he unloads his hate toward the “dulling sameness of phraseology” running rampant on Twitter, with the phrase “not the Onion” seemingly sparking the rant. Hart says exaggeration and dull, overused catch phrases are the two types of cliches “currently poisoning our Twitter discourse.” He uses examples like starting a tweet with “whoa” or ‘must-read,” or using phrases like “well-played, sir,” “that thing where,” “I see what you did there” or the new trend of using the phrase “in which” to lead off a tweet. Nothing, Hart argues, is a “must read,” the Anchorman movie that spawned “stay classy” is old and “I see what you did there” has been around for far too long. What this flood of repetitive phrasing is inevitably about, Hart says, is comedy. And twitter has become a massive stage for improv, where “everyone has to prove their joke bona fides, even if there’s nothing particularly funny to say.”

Obama surprises reporters in off-the-record meeting — When a select group of reporters were invited to a private meeting with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Monday, they knew that the meeting would be off the record. What they didn’t know, as BuzzFeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro reports, was that President Obama would be making a surprise appearance. About two dozen reporters were invited to the meeting, including those from the NY Times, WaPo, HuffPost, Time, Politico, McClatchy, Tribune, NPR, Bloomberg, USA Today, AFP and Yahoo! News, among others, where the president unexpectedly entered to address them, off the record of course. NYT’s Peter Baker, who attended, said he and his editors would have reconsidered if they had known the President would be present. Baker said the NY Times is concerned about off-the-record sessions with the President because they want to make sure “that they not become substitutes for opportunities to ask questions and get answers on the record, which after all is our job.” Though not expected, Baker did say the meeting was valuable.

See our third pick…

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Politico Hires New Editor, Perhaps New Publicist As Well

Late Sunday evening, Politico publicist media reporter Dylan Byers published an internal memo broke the news that Susan Glasser, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, will be joining Politico as its long-form journalism editor.

Glasser has also been tasked with adding “vitality and impact to Politico’s daily report by marshaling the best outside contributors to produce analysis, argument and first-person perspectives on the news of the day,” according to the memo, dutifully posted by Byers, who called the announcement from his employer “truly game-changing.”

NYT‘s Leslie Kaufman may have unconsciously taken a dig at Publicist Byers in her Monday report on the new hire. Kaufman wrote that Glasser is “perhaps best known for her years at [WaPo], where she was on the fast track for the top post before being removed as assistant managing editor of national news because of complaints about her management style.”

In April, Byers wrote a memorably negative piece on NYT Executive Editor Jill Abramson using anonymous NYT newsroom sources who were unhappy with Abramson’s management style. Will they turn the tables and do one on Glasser using anonymous Politico sourcing and declare that just a year in, Glasser, described as “polarizing” in the NYT piece is “on the verge of losing the support of the newsroom?” Hey, it’s an idea, especially since the end result of Byers’ hit piece, according to NYT insiders, was that it didn’t damage Abramson’s rep, but, in fact, favorably enhanced it.

Glasser has a strong tie to the NYT. She’s married to NYT political reporter Peter Baker.

See the full Politico memo…By the way, we heard about the prospect of Glasser going to work for Politico a few weeks back but were led to believe it was a ludicrous possibility. Read more

Politico‘s Smashing Party

A hush fell over the crowd at Politico‘s Sunday brunch at Robert and Elena Allbritton‘s home as a display of food came crashing to the ground outside under a tent. No one was standing near enough to be responsible, so it doesn’t look like they’ll be adding any guidelines about idiot party tricks at the boss’s house to the next iteration of their office handbook.

Party sources tell us the fallen food was a display of various Asian cuisine — dumplings, etc, that crashed to the floor. “Nobody laughed, it was more like a collective gasp because it was so loud and shattery-sounding in such genteel surroundings,” a party witness told us.

After the display fell, a small phalanx of capable young women with earpieces swarmed and had it taken care of immediately.

Brunch was saved!

Speaking of which, the food is always a highlight: sliders, different kinds of eggs benedict made to order, cones of tuna tartare, an assortment dumplings, lobster tails, crab legs — all kinds of seafood, and an open bar.

Guests spilled out onto the lawn.

According to our party sources, brunch at the Allbrittons was definitely more crowded this year.

All the big Politicos were there… Read more

Politico Twitter Story ‘Terrific’ and Obvious

A story by Politico‘s media reporter Dylan Byers has divided his readers almost right down the middle in terms of praise and dismissals.

“Former White House communicators enjoy communicating; use newfangled social medias,” Greg Greene, a Democratic operative, tweeted sarcastically with a link to Byers’ piece and a “stop the presses” hashtag. On the other hand, Rick Wilson, a Republican media strategist, called the story “terrific.”

The thing with Byers’ piece — a look at the Twitter activity of former Obama administration officials and aides — is that it doesn’t contain any news. It doesn’t even draw any conclusions. The selling point seems to be that the headline labels the gang of Democrats as “trash-talkers.” And that this trash talking takes place in public via Twitter.

The story notes former Obama adviser David Plouffe who “frequently attacks Karl Rove” on Twitter. Attacking Rove isn’t exactly new. Even Fox News has done that.

And who doesn’t air out criticism on Twitter? And in what way is partisan trash-talking new? It’s not. President Obama‘s team has always talked this way, even before they left the White House or the campaign trail. And they didn’t need Twitter to do it. It’s otherwise known as “campaign politics,” which takes place on TV, radio and at rallies. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s surrogates did it as well (Republican New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu is unforgettable).

The story seems to observe this supposedly new phenomenon where the campaign never ends. Read more

In Defense of Himself: Daily Caller’s Neil Munro

On Thursday National Journal‘s George Condon took issue with our writeup of Bloomberg‘s Hans Nichols shouting out a question out of turn at the end of the White House presser with President Obama earlier in the week. We said Hans pulled a “Neil Munro,” as in the heckler who interrupted Obama in the Rose Garden in June, knowing full well he was asking a question out of the realm of Wednesday’s protocol. Condon, among others such as NYT‘s Peter Baker, argued Hans was well within his grounds to shout-out a question at the close of the presser. They asserted that it’s tradition for reporters to push and try to extend a press conference longer than the President and his aides may allow.

Fair enough. But Munro, who was largely shunned and criticized by colleagues after his incident, had another take on the matter… Read more

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