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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Savodnik’

A Vodka-Laced Book Party

photo-27Freelance journalist and Stateless Media founder Peter Savodnik opened his up his sleek, spartan Columbia Heights apartment to a number of journalists this weekend to celebrate the release of his new book, The Interloper: Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union (Basic Books). The book hits the shelves Tuesday.

The party, sponsored by Top of the Hill Distillery in Chapel Hill, N.C. and Heritage Distilling Co. in Gig Harbor, Wash., grew more spirited as bottles and bottles of Topo and Heritage Vodka disappeared.

Freelancer James Kirchick, now back in Washington from Berlin, attended the festivities and promptly dropped his glass of vodka on the floor setting off a splash that reached all of my toes. He won’t soon hear the end of this.

A description of the book from the publicity department of Basic Books: “In this book Savodnik brings to light one of the most important, and perhaps the last-to-be-explored, dimensions of the Kennedy assassination— Lee Harvey Oswald himself. In order to do so Savodnik drew on new research and conducted in-depth and exclusive interviews with Oswald’s Russian associates, such as his ex-girlfriend, friends, and co-workers. Focusing on the almost three years he spent in Russia, Savodnik shows how Oswald’s original plan to abandon materialistic America for the promise of a country supposedly based on collectivism and camaraderie fell so short of his expectations and ultimately led to his return to home—and to Dallas.”

Who showed up to the party? Read more

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‘Chutzpah!’ A New Film on Anthony Weiner

Just when you thought all the mindblowing clips on New York mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner were caput, we have “Chutzpah!” a new documentary film by Stateless Media.

The film was produced by Peter Savodnik and reported by The Hill‘s Alex Bolton.

“HEY TELL WEINER HE’S A REAL DICK!” a man in a blue tank top and a beach hat shouts into the camera. Read more

Sri Lanka Indicts Eight Suspects Following Release of ‘Brothers Shaikh’ Film

On Monday we brought you the news that Stateless Media, a new film company based in Washington, had created a film about a man murdered in a Sri Lankan coastal town in 2011. Amid the crime, the man’s girlfriend was raped. At the time, the government imprisoned eight suspects, including a Sri Lankan politician, for 11 months and then released them. For a year and a half, the story stilled.

The murdered man, Khuram Shaikh, was from Manchester, England. His family still lives there. To many Brits, it’s outrageous that Britain is sending its prime minister, David Cameron, and Prince Charles to take part in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this year in light of the fact that Sri Lanka is hosting it.

The film was released last week and posted on The New Yorker website. Since then, there has been an apology from Sri Lankan senior officials as well as an indictment of all eight suspects. (Yeah, the Sri Lankan court system is nothing like what exists here so don’t even try to equate it.) What’s important — we guess — is that the suspects are once again being asked to pay for their crimes.

“‘The Brothers Shaikh’ has been getting lots of clicks in Britain, and my suspicion is the British High Commission, in Colombo, told the Sri Lankans it was getting hard to justify sending Cameron and Prince Charles to this big meeting that the Sri Lankans will be hosting,” explained Stateless Media founder Peter Savodnik. “That probably scared the Sri Lankans. Hosting the Brits means a lot to them. It’s like a debutante ball. It means: We’re modern and democratic, and we don’t kill Tamils or Muslims; we’re not Buddhist zealots or fascists, which is what they are becoming, slowly. Still, there are two things to remember: First, the government has only said that it will indict the Tangalle Eight; it hasn’t done that yet. And second, we only made a movie about one man, Khuram Shaikh; there are thousands of Sri Lankans whom we will never make any movies about.”

Stateless Media is now producing films – they call them shortreals – in New York and Berlin. They have shortreals under development in Burma, Cairo and Los Angeles.

 

New Film Spurs Sri Lankan Government Apology?

Washington freelance journalist Peter Savodnik has released a new film that was posted on The New Yorker website last week. The effort comes from his new film-production company, Stateless Media along with Ed Perkins and Kannan Arunasalam. The 14-minute 32-second film full of mysterious twists and turns is called “The Brothers Shaikh.”

The short movie appears to have accomplished some good. For a year-and-a-half, the British government has been lobbying the Sri Lankans to do something about the murder of Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian girlfriend. Shaikh had been working for the Red Cross in Gaza fitting prosthetic limbs. He and his girlfriend were attacked on the coast in Tangalle on Christmas Day, 2011. But so far, nothing had happened. Then, this movie comes out, in which they extensively interview Shaikh’s brother, Nasser, and three days later several government officials issue an apology. “That’s not the same thing as justice, but it’s noteworthy,” Savodnik told FishbowlDC.

See a BBC story published over the weekend on the matter here.

Savodnik’s company can be found @StatelessMedia on Twitter.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

This is your brain. This is your brain on Salon.

“Reading that Salon article was like killing brain cells without the benefit of alcohol.” — Conservative radio correspondent Dana Loesch.

Maybe a slight exaggeration?

“He makes things difficult for me when he does things like trespassing.” — Jenny Sanford, former loving (?) wife of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) to the AP in this story. Not that she shouldn’t be irate about the cheating and the lying, but he couple has four sons together. Just maybe that had to do with his “trespassing.”

Political operator feels mixed on new specs

“I can see really well with my new glasses that arrived today…just not wild about how they look on me. Oh well, at least I can see.” — GOProud founder Jimmy LaSalvia (the actual glasses are pictured above).

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 8:47 a.m.

Advice columnist counsels aides who want to leave Capitol Hill

“Leave on the best terms possible. All your current co-workers — from the crazy one you complain about to Hill Navigator to the one who eats tuna for lunch at a desk 4 inches from your own — will become valuable contacts once you turn in your keys and BlackBerry.” — Roll Call’s “Hill Navigator” writer Rebecca Gale. Read the full column here.

Important Q to Ponder: “Why do TV news anchors say ‘lower extremities’ instead of ‘legs’?” — TWT senior opinion writer Emily Miller.

Writer thinks PETA has questionable priorities

“PETA just announced cows are being abused on a farm. So when Boston, N. Korea, Gosnell and the economy are taken care of, there’s that.” — @HistoricOswald‘s Peter Savodnik, author of The Interloper to be published later this year and formerly a reporter for The Hill.

Journo awed by Thatcher funeral

“There are few things as haunting & beautiful as the voices of boys’ choir in a cathedral funeral service. #Thatcher.” — Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. The funeral aired on CSPAN2 this morning.

Could you care less about this?

“Pet peeve: when people say ‘could care less’ instead of ‘couldn’t care less.’ — Fox News Senate Producer Kara Rowland.

Hollywood on the Potomac interviews NBC’s Tom Brokaw on the Riacin incident.

Morning Chatter

Quotes Of The Day

“Twitter is really becoming a zoo of rude, selfish people.” — FNC’s Greg Gutfield to his colleague Rick Leventhal.

Journo braves Air India Airport Lounge

“Some Russians just showed up at the Air India lounge: one mullet, two neon wife-beaters and a huge cloud of eau de something.” — Former D.C. journo for The Hill Peter Savodnik, now a freelance writer based in New York.

Necessary Tweet of the Day

“Had a very realistic, nightmarish dream.” — Greenwire‘s Jessica Estepa.

Congresswoman never had heart attack?

“Former Rep. Diane Watson is moderating the AKA #boule2012 town hall. Contrary to reports in March, she said she didn’t suffer a heart attack.” — CNN and Washington Watch’s Roland Martin over the weekend. Every pub from the LAT to the Sacramento Bee reported news of her heart attack and recovery from the health issue. The LAT appeared to hear the news straight from the horse’s mouth. She told a reporter in a telephone interview, “I’m feeling good. I just came from my doctor, and there is no damage to the heart.” She added that doctors were monitoring her for possible blood clot problems.Watson retired from Congress in 2011.

Baier Vomit: Twitter Help Desk

FNC’s Bret Baier: Retweet RT @rosmy100us @BretBaier @OMemmieG WHAT IS THE MEANING OF RT? SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE.

Travel Complaint Desk…

Politico’s Ginger Gibson, who was traveling today, faced what she dubbed were “ridiculous” delays at the Delta and United gates of Reagan National Airport.

1. Starting today’s outing with the longest TSA line I’ve ever seen at DCA. Totally ridiculous. What is going on??? 2. Glad I came to the airport early to get food. Too bad I won’t actually be able to eat now. 3. Well, at least the woman who was rudely yelling at the airline employees to tag her bag is now way behind me in line. #karma. 4. Well, at least the woman who was rudely yelling at the airline employees to tag her bag is now way behind me in line. #karma 5. Once on board, Gibson had more complaints. “Ugh. A two and a half hour flight with no onboard wifi or television. How did people fly cross country before inflight wifi?”

For ABC “Bachelorette” watchers… funniest comment came from Dr. Jill Biden (fake account) who remarked, “Jef had to leave Emily’s family because he was late for a rumble with the Greasers.”

Spotted: Current TV’s David Shuster dining al fresco with a woman Friday night at Levante’s, a Mediterranean restaurant off Dupont Circle. She was believed to be attractive and thin with long hair (I’ve implored Eddie to get more details next time).

Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Condolences to Sharpton

This short tweet from ABC News’ Jake Tapper gave us a big jolt this morning: @TheRevAl RIP. Until we then saw this from MSNBC host The Rev. Al Sharpton: “My mother, Ada Sharpton passed in the early hours of this morning. She was my all. I hope God will give her now, PEACE.I love you, Mom.I am on the flight to Florida and will move forward with our plans to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin. My MOM would have wanted me to.”

The Nasty TV Critic

“Why is Michael Steele allowed to appear on TV without the title of failed RNC chair on the chyron?” — New Media Strategies Political Strategist Matt DeLuca. Steele is an MSNBC Contributor.

Finney fills in for Bashir

“Exciting news – I’ll be guest hosting @MartinBashir 3pm est on Thurs and Fri!! Tune in!!” — MSNBC Political Analyst Karen Finney.

Teaser.

“Big piece on the future of @TheOnion coming out this morning. There will be scoops. There will be laughs. There will be tears. Stay tuned.” — The Atlantic‘s media scribe John Hudson.

On lying politicians….

“Essentially, political reporters praise politicians who lie to them well but rarely point out the obvious — that they are being lied to.” — New York/Moscow Freelancer Peter Savodnik, former political reporter for The Hill.

TRAGEDY STRIKES: Blago’s hair will soon go gray?

“Insult to injury: Blahojevich’s [sic] barber says Rod’s hair is dyed black, will go gray in first weeks in prison #HotlineSort” — NJ “The Hotline’s” Editor-in-Chief Reid Wilson.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“I may hate the tour groups that plague the Capitol during this time of year, but I do love their brightly colored T-shirts.” — Greenwire‘s Jessica Estepa.

Ick.

“Overheard in the newsroom: ‘I’m disgusting.’” — CNN Anderson Cooper Assoc. producer Devna Shukla. UPDATE: Shukla explains on Twitter that the comment came from a coworker who was talking to himself after eating too many brownies from an office tray.

Happy Belated Birthday to Jonah Goldberg

“Wishing a very happy birthday to @JonahNRO – hope you are celebrating with a cocktail…. Or five.” — Ex-Maj. Leader Cantor flack Brad Dayspring, whose wishes last night for the National Review writer were timely.