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Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca Schoenkopf’

Wonkette’s Vital Q of the Day

If you thought your respect for Wonkette couldn’t sink any lower, think again because it’s about to get lower than a snail’s toenails (yeah, we didn’t know they had nails, either). Today Wonkette Publisher – yes, this is the Publisher –  Rebecca Schoenkopf presented a vital question to society via Twitter.

And to think this was once the must-read site in Capitol Hill offices and publications around Washington made famous by Ana Marie Cox.

Remember, Schoenkopf’s L.A.-based, so this is 6:34 a.m. Pacific Time. Read more

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WaPo’s Wemple Wimps Out

Dear Readers,

At 1:46 p.m. Monday, WaPo‘s opinionated media writer Erik Wemple wrote to ask about the whole Friday flap with Wonkette Publisher Rebecca Schoenkopf. In case you missed the fiasco, on Friday she fabricated a story that I was going to be fired. Why? Because she – her words – wanted it to be true. Wemple wrote me by email, “Schoenkopf says you called her a liar over the Politico party thing without even checking first with Politico itself. Then, she says, you took their version of events at face value and smeared her. Any response?” A second later he wrote back: “And to tack on one other: Does FBDC have higher standards than Wonkette and if so, in what way?”

Before we examine Wemple’s questions, let’s give you proper context since he couldn’t be bothered. Schoenkopf is Wonkette‘s editor who admittedly hates my guts for this, this and this. All the stories were based on actual reporting and sources. One includes research and numbers regarding Wonkette‘s web traffic after we noticed Schoenkopf was on the record stating wildly different numbers to different reporters (a story we’d cover no matter who it was about). Another discusses a party at the GOP Convention in Tampa at which Schoenkopf, according to witnesses, got sauced at a Politico soirée and claimed to be tossed out of the party. The funniest part was her nonsensical writing. She herself admitted to FBDC that she was 7 out of 10 on the drunken scale. Based on witnesses, we’d put her at 11.

Wemple called the details of the original story and source of her hatred for FishbowlDC “irrelevant.” Yes, Erik, why let facts and reporting get in the way of your story? But don’t worry. You’re in the same boat as Schoenkopf in that she doesn’t have time for facts either. In fact, she’s allergic to them–I think they may give her hives. She thinks I’m “vile” and  a “c–t” – and, wow, she sounds just like Anthony Weiner‘s Communications Director Barbara Morgan.

So according to Wemple’s statements in his email to me, Schoenkopf says I called her a liar over the Politico party incident without checking with Politico first. Simultaneously, I fell for Politico‘s statements because we never write anything negative about Politico or question them about anything. So somewhere in the craziness of Schoenkopf’s mind I both did NOT check in with Politico and I ALSO believed them because I – what? – talked to them? Come on, Wemple, even you can see that that’s a whole pack of stupid in one sitting.

But no.

Wemple offered a woman who INVENTED an entire story simply because she wanted it to be true the opportunity to insult me and my colleagues for most of his post.  Normally a reporter at a news outlet would be fired for intentionally publishing a false story for malicious reasons. But instead of questioning Schoenkopf hard on her brand of fairytale journalism, Wemple went easy on her and reduced the incident to little more than a cat fight between two websites run by women.

As Wemple so brilliantly put it… Read more

Attack of the Poorly Sourced Piranhas

As a twist on the old saying goes, reports of my firing have been greatly exaggerated.

Or else they were just flat out wrong. But why let facts get in the way of a good story?

On Friday I took a day off. Vacation and comp days aren’t exactly a strange phenomenon. But Rebecca Schoenkopf, publisher of Wonkette who has been known for reporting and writing while on the sauce, and for making no sense whatsoever, on Friday published a story saying that “a source” had told her I was going to be fired. “Betsy out at Fishbowl as of this afternoon,” she posted on her site. Rebecca didn’t spell this out, but her “source” was a guy makes it his business to pass around a bogus naked Craiglist ad of one of my writers.

This is the kind of “sourcing” Schoenkopf (pictured at right) used to write her “story” Friday afternoon. Schoenkopf never called or wrote me to ask if it was true. She never even called my employer until her story was out and clunking across Twitter like an elephant with severely bruised shins. There’s nothing worse in journalism than being sloppy and wrong.

Regular reporters took awhile to give the “news” any merit. Meanwhile, some on Twitter called Rebecca “powerful” in that she could make something happen that well, wasn’t happening. And oh boy, there was Mediaite‘s “White House” Correspondent Tommy “Carl Berstein Jr.” Christopher hot on the case. He called. I never answer his calls. He wrote, “Betsy, I just got a tip that said you’re leaving FBDC as of this afternoon. Is that true?” I asked to go off record. He said OK. I wrote him back, “No, Tommy. Not true. I know it’s unheard of, but I’m just taking a simple day off. I do get vacation and sick days. Do you?” Like an eager porpoise, he promised to write me back and fill me in if he heard anything more. Gee, thanks Tommy! How kind of you to inform me on my own life via a man who creates phony X-rated Craigslist ads. What no preachy trial race reporting today? Oh, that’s right. His editors scolded him a few weeks back on his George Zimmerman “coverage” and told him to tone it down. Bernstein Jr. really muckraked on this one. He phoned and emailed my coworkers, who, of course, had nothing for him. Good work Tommy!

Next up to the plate: Washington City Paper‘s Will Sommer. Sommer wrote, “Hey Betsy, So, people are saying you’ve been ousted at Fishbowl. Any truth to that? I’m getting it from the same guy who sends around photoshopped nude pics of one of your writers, so I’m not sure how seriously to take it. Thanks.” I also requested to go off record with him. He agreed. I told him I was taking the day off. Sommer did not write a story.

The last of The Three Stooges… Read more

What Wonkette’s ‘Internal Metrics’ Say About Site’s Traffic

Earlier this week, FishbowlDC questioned some conflicting reports on Wonkette’s traffic stats. One site claimed 1 million unique visitors, another just half that—both citing Wonkette’s publisher, Rebecca Schoenkopf, as the source. Neither report matched up with public and directly measured data from Quantcast.com. Turns out Schoenkopf was “misheard” by an editor for Dame Magazine (not misquoted, she tells us there’s a big difference). Dame has since corrected the erroneous 1 million figure.

Read more

10 Journos You Don’t Want to Fight on Twitter

We’re not sure what we did for entertainment before we could watch what probably should be journalists’ private feuds unfold in public on Twitter. For all the talk about teens who have no social-networking shame, there are a few grownups in the media who haven’t seemed to learn the lesson either. Some days, our Washington Twitter lists look more like a Beltway Fight Club than they do a group of media elites.

Not that we’re complaining. We do need something to watch between episodes of Veep and Scandal reruns, and the journalists on our list below don’t disappoint. Fair warning though—if you take some of them on, you doing so at your own risk.

Honorable mentions: The Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher, Conservative radio host Dana Loesch, WaPo‘s Greg Sargent, the DNC’s communications director, Brad Woodhouse, and NRSC’s Brad Dayspring. If you don’t think Dayspring can fight, read this story published last night in which he was referred to as a “rabid dog.”

Here it is, FishbowlDC’s 10 Journalists You Don’t Want to Fight on Twitter:

Read more

How Many People Really Read Wonkette?

Things are looking way up at Wonkette, this according to Wonkette. If you’re familiar with the site, then you probably already know where this story is going.

In a recent profile of Wonkette’s publisher Rebecca Schoenkopf, Politico’s Patrick Gavin wrote that Schoenkopf told him Wonkette has “done just great” over the last year, her first as owner and publisher. “‘Things are awesome,’ said Schoenkopf, who puts her traffic based on internal metrics at around a half-million unique visitors a month,” Gavin wrote.

But in reality, you might not think things are so awesome, considering that’s a 50 percent drop from what she was telling Dame Magazine just two months earlier. “‘Since Schoenkopf took over Wonkette in March 2012, all the important numbers are up – ‘traffic’s up 65% on last year, we’re getting a million unique visitors a month, and 3.7 million page views,’” Dame’s Sanjiv Bhattacharya wrote in April, quoting Schoenkopf.

We don’t have access to Wonkette’s internal metrics, but we do have access to publicly-available real ones. Wonkette uses Quantcast, a direct audience-measurement firm for websites that advertisers sometimes rely on when they want accurate and unbiased traffic stats instead of wildly inflated ones seemingly plucked from the air by wayward publishers. Read more

Fish Food

(A sprinkling of things we think you ought to know…)

Wonkette is now just a 40-year-old woman’s diary– Politico‘s Patrick Gavin has a story that puts a happy, smiley face on just how terrible Wonkette has become. Gavin’s piece brings up all the cool things Wonkette once had — fearless D.C. gossip, tabloid-worthy photos from the Capitol’s social scene, good writing, etc. — and reminds readers that you won’t find those things on the blog anymore. The features that made Wonkette fun to read have, instead, been replaced by “the occasional heartfelt rant from Schoenkopf about, say, gun control or the tornadoes in Oklahoma.” Now it’s a “national” site, according to its editor and owner, Rebecca Schoenkopf, who lives in Los Angeles. By “national,” Schoenkopf means she picks up on little news bits coming out of various statehouses across the country and mocks it with humor typical of high school freshmen who shop at Hot Topic. Curiously, Gavin also writes that under Schoenkopf, “long past are those very public and nasty feuds with Washington politicos.” This, even though it was just in January that Schoenkopf called FishbowlDC’s editor “a fucking cunt” with “cunt” being in the headline before that mysteriously disappeared. Not quite the creativity or intelligence that the blog’s founder Ana Marie Cox was known for. Read more

BuzzFeed Turns Into Political Animals

One of the most anticipated parties of the convention week was the Buzzfeed party that took place on Tuesday evening at Discovery Place in Charlotte. The party, called “Political Animals” promised to the wildest party in Charlotte.

I knew it was a different kind of party when one of the first guests I ran into was this iguana, named Liz. Liz was awfully subdued, so she was either asleep or high. Guests were allowed to touch her, but not hold her. One party-goer was kindly asked not to touch the claws on her feet because “they are very sharp” and it could end badly. The space featured several interactive science exhibits and tanks of fish, jellyfish and other sea life.

Liz was joined by Herbie, this turtle with a camera strapped to his back. While this might have been an elaborate plan to shoot up the ladies’ skirts, it was too dark in the venue to see much of anything. Milling in the crowd were Politico’s Dylan Byers, Juana Summers and Maggie Haberman; Rebecca Schoenkopf and Jim Newell from Wonkette; CNN’s Erin Burnett; White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Neera Tanden, President of Center for American Progress; Michael Shure of Current TV; ABC’s Jonathan Karl; among SEVERAL others. BuzzFeed’s own talent was there in full force. Editor-in-chief Ben Smith politely chatted up the army of partygoers while Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton stood next to a stuffed grizzly bear that looked a little too familiar.

The party had several accessible bars and served up a fruit and cheese buffet while servers paraded such goodies as fried mac n cheese and lollipops. For those of you wondering, it’s hard to get a salad in this part of America.

See more pictures…. Read more

Fishbowl Charlotte

On Tuesday, the Democratic National Convention kicked of in Charlotte, NC, which means reporters had to start doing real work instead of glomming onto swag bags and watery cocktails. I decided to dive right into the filthy waters of Fishbowl Charlotte to get a taste of the local scene. (Spoiler alert: It tastes like fried chicken and tobacco.)

The morning started as I was greeting by this sweaty, shouty member of the God Delegation. He was strolling the streets with a LOUD microphone asking that we repent and ask forgiveness from Jesus Christ. (Full disclosure: I didn’t)

Right behind Jesus Screamer was Herman Cain this Black Cowboy. Everyone seemed to want to take pictures with him. Take a good look at that picture, because it’s the last one I took before rain began to spray over the entire city.

After dodging waterfall all day long, I managed to find myself at the “super secret” Wonkette Party. To call it a party would be generous. It was a gathering of about 10 people in a house where Team Wonkette is staying for the week of the convention. Hostess Rebecca Schoenkopf (a.k.a. Ripped Rebecca) was joined by Jim Newell, Liz Gorman and Liz Glover, for a bounty of fried chicken and keg beer. While convention speeches aired in the background, there was plenty of snark flying around the room. I can confirm that Schoenkopf was NOT ripping drunk when I met her. When word got out that I was a writer for FBDC, I was exposed to a few big boy words. After calling our coverage of her drunken escapade at the Politico party in Tampa “fucked up,” Schoenkopf marveled at her own thin-skinned reaction to our story. I sulked away into the rainy night, hoping against hope that Roaring Rebecca will get ripped at Charlotte’s Politico Hub tonight.

After that, it was Politico Live! time. I moved over to the Politico Hub on Church St. to watch more speeches, drink more free hooch and try to break into shots with the Shermanator (i.e. reporter Jake Sherman). We arrived in time to see Mike Allen ambling through the crowd and getting a soda from the fancy, newfangled soda machines.

Overall, it was a well-stocked, fancy affair, but it was FAR more subdued than I expected from the Behemoth of the Beltway that is Politico. With the exception of this scene, which features a scantily-clad party-goer taking hors d’oeuvres from a server wearing sunglasses. INSIDE. At 10pm.

After that, I stumbled out into the torrential downpour to find more trouble in Fishbowl Charlotte. Stay tuned…

Rebecca’s Ready to Get Ripped

Ripped Rebecca, a.k.a. Rebecca Schoenkopf, Editor and Publisher of Wonkette, is once again up to no good in Charlotte. Tonight Wonkette is having a super secret party at an undisclosed location. Our resident bad girl promises to have food so you don’t “throw up all over the backyard.” As some may recall, Rebecca, who gets all her best party tips from Lindsay Lohan, was three sheets to the wind at the Politico Hub in Tampa. In a hangover haze, Rebecca charged Politico with throwing her out — Politico says it never happened although eyewitnesses says she was highly shitfaced. She also claims to have made out with the guard securing the pub’s party.

Festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Those who want the secret address should email: wonketteparty@gmail.com. Although we know the address, we have agreed not to print it in the spirit of secrecy. The party will be a joint Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill/Glover Group Media/Wonkette party. Some of the partygoers who will be attending: “Elizabeth Glover and her dog, Storm, Wonkette’s Jim Newell, Riley Waggaman, Liz Gorman and Vice‘s Aaron Lake Smith and a bunch of other fun people.”

We wish Rebecca a lovely, safe evening. And please whatever else you do, tweet, write and take as many grainy cell phone pictures as possible.

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