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Posts Tagged ‘Renee Tsao’

12 Things We Never Tire of in the Fishbowl

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

We know you have one more year-end list in you. Or maybe you don’t. But wake up anyhow because here’s ours — the 12 things that never, ever make us want to take an afternoon snooze.

12. NBC Luke Russert‘s loud and fratboyish ways. Even House Speaker John Boehner has noted his decibel level and called him “loudmouth.” Though he’ll never get White House Soup of the Day quite right when he subs for Chuck Todd on “The Daily Rundown,” among our favorite moments with Luke this year was when he had a stop and smell the roses moment at a Nats game and took a picture of a spellbinding dragonfly, which he later posted on Twitter. Perhaps more poignantly though was when he covered a Capitol Hill presser and asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi if she was too old to remain in the Democratic leadership. The crowd of female lawmakers openly booed him. Pelosi told him he was offensive, even if he didn’t quite get it. Among the most entertaining comments sprang from CNN’s Hilary Rosen, who wrote on Twitter, “Note to Luke Russert: Mitch McConnell is 70, Harry Reid is 73. Oh and Bob Schieffer is 75. Think they should step aside? #NewGuysRule?” The question wasn’t an inappropriate one to raise, as lawmakers themselves had been discussing it out of earshot of Pelosi. Perhaps, as some noted, the time and setting and brash way in which Russert executed his questions were troublesome. Still, we especially enjoyed the commenters on Politico. There was the irate Wendy: “Luke Russert got his ass handed back to him. Any more questions, punk?” And the more sensible Chance: “Reporters should be asking tough, offensive and even stupid questions.”

11. Video journalist Michelle Fields flashing her breasts on national TV to get a job for Fox News. Her large male online contingency didn’t mind it much, either. In the meantime The Daily Caller gave her the axe for being lazy. Somehow Executive Editor David Martosko‘s lectures didn’t work? Favorite 2012 memory: There was the January manifesto from a convicted rapist that Michelle showed off on Facebook. But we’re torn between that and the more recent BuzzFeed party, where she unashamedly performed dramatic hair flips as our own Eddie Scarry snapped pictures.

10. Most things Matthew Boyle. The 20-something dogged journo never ceases to amaze. There was the time he insisted that the President of the Free World should allow him over for an interview. The more recent jaw-dropping moment from Boyle came when he fled The Daily Caller for because he wants to be the next Andrew Breitbart. He started this adventure by taking his own photograph for the site, giving himself the unfortunate look of a triple-chinned Michelin Man. In his opening story out of the gate, he wrote an atrociously unedited right-wing rant about “magic vaginas.” We’re still not sure what those our, except we think they don’t involve Sandra Fluke. It was perfect. And terrible. And because we love Boyle in our own special way, we’d like to kidnap and deprogram him before it’s too late and the goose is boiled. Stick to breaking news Boyle and it’ll be just fine. And whatever you do, don’t stay there long.

9. Inside stories from The Washington Times. Always weird, unexpected, mind-boggling happenings at the ominous building off New York Avenue. Who can forget when former writer Julia Duin publicly accused then-editor Sam Dealey of verbally abusing her by canning her on the very day she decided to bring her daughter to work? She was also reportedly on crutches that day. And then there’s the more recent spate of stories concerning the impending layoffs coming in early 2013. The newsroom has dubbed their CEO Larry Beasley “Evil Santa” for a number of reasons, including recently moving a new sofa into his office while deciding whom to lay off. He also recently displayed a Santa doll holding a Christmas tree with the word “joy” on it. As the journalists await possible pink slips, they’re anything but joyful.

See the remaining eight entries of things that never bore us… Read more

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P.R. Woes: When Access Isn’t Worth It

It looks like the connection PR Collaborative and FishbowlDC once shared is up in flames.

Renee Tsao, a publicist with the D.C-based media relations company, called this morning to vent about my “mean” post on the screening of The Paperboy– the screening she invited me to attend Monday. Oh, and to inform me FishbowlDC is no longer invited to attend her screenings.

Yesterday I wrote the “7 Things You Better Know Before Seeing (Or Not Seeing) ‘The Paperboy.’”  In the post I described the film as “the nastiest, crudest, most disturbing movie we’ve seen this year.” That remains true, even after having seen Tyler Perry‘s latest Madea movie.

The description “crossed the line,” said Tsao. She said she didn’t expect everyone to enjoy the absolute horror of a film, but said she expected news media to “at least” be respectful when writing about it. And calling a woman “you bitch” while she masturbates is respectful (happened in the movie)? She also said it wasn’t my “job” to review movies.

First, my job. Since when is it Tsao’s job to tell me what mine is? At FishbowlDC I cover the media in D.C. It just so happens movies are a medium. Second, I’m almost at a loss for words on Tsao describing my post as disrespectful. Almost.

I didn’t write a review, but even if I had, what of it? I actually wrote a warning. The Paperboy was a nightmare projected on an over-sized screen. And not the “scary” kind of nightmare you wake up and feel relieved from before resting your little head. But the kind of nightmare that upon awakening, forces you to turn the lights on in every room and then sit up watching Tony Robbins infomercials at 3 a.m. because you can’t sleep. That’s how foul the movie was.

Tsao complained that none of the “other media” who attended her screening wrote anything like my post. Leaving aside the fact that we’re not “other media,” it should go without saying that DCist and “Yeas and Nays” of the Washington Examiner — both of which attended — aren’t exactly known for peeling back the layers of events they attend. Unless that layer is covered in a Georgetown Cupcake wrapper. Then they’ll peel it off with haste.

Regardless, neither DCist nor Yeas and Nays have write-ups (yet) of The Paperboy. But we did find a review in The Observer. Unsurprisingly, they came away feeling the exact same way I did.

From The Observer:

“For now, avoid at all costs a trash-wallow about sex and inbred Southern racism called The Paperboy. The director is Lee Daniels, who shocked and turned off a sizeable portion of the public three years ago with Precious. Maybe shock for the sake of nothing else is what he stands for, but regardless of what you thought about his disturbing feature debut, it was light years ahead of The Paperboy. This raunchy dreck, cut from the same disposable toilet tissue as the recent trailer-trash creepfest Killer Joe, is a leap downhill from Precious.”

(It’s worth noting that Precious is one of my favorite movies.)

Tsao is under the impression that inviting media to attend her events is a guarantee that she’ll approve of what’s written about them. Read more