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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Feist’

Politico’s Mike Allen Sees Dead People

Tuesday night’s big party celebrating the return of “Crossfire” was held at the Carnegie Library. As expected, it was QUITE the affair. Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones were all in attendance and mingled with all the V.I.P. guests.

Naturally, Politico’s Mike Allen ran through some of the faces spotted in the crowd. Bill Burton, Dylan Byers, Laura Ingraham, Rep. Mark Sanford and his fiancé were there, according to Allen. One name that stuck out in his Tuesday morning Playbook was former “Crossfire” host Tom Braden and four of his children.

The only problem is… Braden is dead. Read more

CNN Hires Chief National Security Correspondent

CNN has hired Jim Sciutto to be their Chief National Security Correspondent. According to a release dispatched this morning, Sciutto “will report and provide analysis on all aspects of U.S. national security, including foreign policy, the military, terrorism, and the intelligence community.”

Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist made the announcement this morning.

Sciutto was ABC’s senior foreign correspondent and was based in London. In that role, he traveled to and reported from some 50 countries. Most recently, he was chief of staff and senior advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.

The Yale grad began his journalism career at PBS, where he was moderator and producer of a public affairs show.

CNN Announces Promotions in D.C. Bureau

CNN Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist has announced that the network is promoting some of its Washington-based correspondents. Those impacted include Jessica Yellin, Brianna Keilar, Jim Acosta and Rene Marsh.

“With these changes, CNN’s Washington team of correspondents will be even better positioned to deliver on our core missions of breaking news and enterprise reporting,” said Feist in a morning release. “As CNN continues to grow its newsgathering capabilities, we are thrilled to have such an outstanding group of correspondents to move into these key roles.”

See the promotions…

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Cutter, Madden Join CNN

Jeff Zucker‘s CNN continues to evolve. Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter and Republican strategist Kevin Madden are joining the network as political commentators. The news was was announced today by CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president Sam Feist.

Cutter is a partner at Precision Strategies, a strategic consulting firm that launched earlier this month.  Madden, an alum of The Hill‘s 50 Most Beautiful People List, is the executive vice president of public affairs at JDA Frontline.

“I’ve worked with CNN for many years in the White House, on campaigns and throughout government,” said Cutter in a statement. “They are the best in the business, and I’m thrilled to be joining the CNN team.”

“This is such an exciting time in the national conversation about the direction of our country, with so many Americans looking to CNN for an informed perspective of today’s political debates,” said Madden, also in a statement. “I’m looking forward to bringing my experience of working on national campaigns and Capitol Hill to CNN’s coverage of this national conversation.”

Weekend Wedding Bells For David Shuster

Current TV and We Act Radio’s David Shuster officially tied the knot this weekend in Manhattan with Kera Rennert, a freelance writer/producer for CBS News and Discovery Channel. The pair got engaged last summer and already has a baby on the way.

“Kera and I did not see one another on Saturday until we walked down the aisle,” Shuster told FishbowlDC in an email. “When Kera appeared and began walking down the aisle, we both cried. Who knew that your favorite cable news bad boy could be such a sap?”

They married at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art, an ornate synagogue in New York City. Constructed in 1849, this gothic, cathedral-like space is the oldest surviving synagogue building in New York City. It’s the same place actress Sarah Jessica Parker and actor Matthew Broderick married in the late ’90s. “Kera looked magnificent in two Ines Di Santo gowns. One for ceremony, the other for the reception,” Shuster explained. “I wore a black tuxedo/white tie.”

As we mentioned, Rennert is… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — State of the Union-Fugitive Edition

SOTU quotes that are fit for a Fishbowl: “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” — brought to our attention by HuffPost‘s Sam Stein‘s Twitter feed. It’s an old quote from former President George W. Bush. And this: “At least there’s no smoked fish joke in this one.” — Mother JonesNick Baumann.

“The outside of the Dome on SOTU night.” Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner with accompanying photograph.

Shut up SOTU clappers, journo wants his Zzzz’s

“Dear applauders: Please stop. I have a bedtime.” — WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza.

Importantish Q to Ponder: “So… Does Senator Menendez shake President Obama’s hand as he walks in? Awkward. #SOTU” — NRSC Strategist Brad Dayspring.

Important Q to Ponder: “So does CNN break away from the burning house to do the State of the Union.” — TPM‘s Josh Marshall.

Important Q to Ponder III: “What’s the over/under on the number of Nicorette patches John Boehner has plastered all over himself right now?” — Times of London‘s Matt Spence.

THE SPEAKER AND THE LOUDMOUTH: “Luke Russert shakes Speaker Boehner’s hand as he walks to the chamber for SOTU.” — NBC House of Representatives Producer Frank Thorp. Boehner affectionately (we think) refers to Russert as the “loudmouth.”

Rothenberg crushes the spirit of political reporters

“Political reporters always incredibly excited by SOTU. Real people not so much.” — Stu Rothenberg, who writes a column for Roll Call, a publication full of political reporters. And then, oddly, he writes, “My first SOTU inside the chamber? 1970 when I was Colby College intern in Ed Muskie’s office. AA gave me ticket.” Um, hey Stu, do real people give a sh-t about this?

Speaking of excitement…

“The hallway outside Sen. Durbin’s office smells overwhelmingly of barbecue.” — Roll Call‘s Shiner of the Illinois Democrat.

And again…

“Just spoke to Gabby Giffords for the first time since the day before she was shot. She looks amazing. Twinkle in her eye and broad smile.” — CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

“Senate page just said in Statuary Hall ‘Oh my God. Kelly Ayotte is rocking the mint-green!’ I am partial to Bader Ginsberg‘s red.” — Roll Call‘s Abby Livingston.

“McCain ribbing Kerry as he walks by.” — Politico‘s Manu Raju.

Rep. Terry Sewell is the most energetic greeter of the House! Urrybody gets a kiss and big laugh and a thousand watt smile.” — BuzzFeed Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton.

“Lots of schmoozing with former colleagues as Secy Kerry makes his way down the aisle.” — CBS White House radio correspondent Mark Knoller.

“Whoever said that politics is showbiz for ugly people was a master of understatement. Or just blind.” — Reason‘s Nick Gillespie.

“VP Biden has a scratched cornea, reports NBC, which is why he is wearing glasses.” — The Hill‘s Emily Goodin.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 7:43 a.m.

The Jokester Caucus

  • “Press will now begin attacking Rubio for drinking problem.” — USA Today‘s Paul Singer.
  • “I’m sure I’m going to dislike this but at least Beyonce is performing.” — Logan Dobson, before the SOTU address began.
  • “When is halftime? Where is Beyonce?” — FNC’s Greg Gutfeld.
  • “Who’s the fat lump of shit next to Mrs Obama? #SOTU.” — Anthony Cumia from the Opie and Anthony radio show.
  • “Marco! Pollo! Marco! Pollo! Fish out of water!” [Insert Rubio Joke Here] #Rubioing.” — Syndicated columnist and Bullfight Strategies’ Karl Frisch.
  • “What’s the opposite of 5-Hour Energy? Boehner’s had two of them, at least.” — Bloomberg Business Week‘s Joshua Green.

The Critics

“Really pathetic and sad reflection on media-culture that taking a drink of water can overwhelm everything else.” — Christian Heinze, founder of Prez16.com. Seconded by NRSC Spokesman Brian Walsh, who said, “Exactly.”

Oh, but wait: “Jesus… the water sip blew the whole speech. Was on board until then but he blew it. Cue SNL.” — Jason Killian Meath, President, GOP Media Firm.

“The problem with this speech is a.) we already knew what was in it and b.) little of it is new.” — Politico‘s Ben White.

“I like Rubio’s remarks thus far, dislike the dry mouth. Get the man a water. Let’s hear some solutions.” — Conservative radio host Dana Loesch.

“Was leaning off camera to get water really better than obviously needing one?” — WCP Editor Mike Madden during the GOP response of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“Rubio keeps grabbing at his face. What’s with that?” — Baron‘s D.C. Editor James McTague.

“Huh, Chris Matthews voted for George W. Bush. You can admit that on MSNBC and still have a job? #MSNBCAfterDark” — U.S. News & World Report‘s Robert Schlesinger at 12:19 a.m.

Gratitude is…

“SOMEBODY PLEASE GIF THAT AWKWARD WATER BOTTLE GRAB, RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! wowowoowowowowoowowow” — WaPo Express’ Clinton Yates.

“Water grab! Thank God.” — ABC News’ Nico Hines.

“Rubio has serious case of drymouth. Thank god he just took a sip of water.” — Roll Call Senate Editor Emily Pierce.

Jeff Zucker, give this man a raise! 

“CNN has every story covered tonight. On CNN-US: SOTU coverage. On HLN, continuing live coverage of Calif. Manhunt.” — CNN Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist.

Wardrobe Change

“I just changed into flats because it is SRO in the House press gallery. #SOTU” — TWT‘s Emily Miller.

The sharp-tongued observers… Read more

Bonjean Holiday Party Welcomes Erik Estrada and Partygoers Peeing on the Neighbors’ Lawns

By Betsy Rothstein, Eddie Scarry and Peter Ogburn

We don’t know how Communications Consultant Ron Bonjean and his wife, Sara, do it. But each year they manage to invite the most unexpected washed up D-lister imaginable to their holiday party. This year that was Erik Estrada, who played a cop on the late 70s series “CHIPS” and himself on “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.” People once named him one of the “10 Sexiest Bachelors in the World.” Some other standout roles: In 2009 he appeared in the blockbuster Husband for Hire starring Mario Lopez; in that same year he began showing up in Burger King commercials. Other regular staples at the Bonjean party: A drunken, homeless elf who does balloon tricks, lasagna, a vodka-laced ice luge and some kind of animal — this year it was a giant bunny mingling among guests. The drink of the evening was the “Fiscal Cliff.” As Bonjean described it, “It starts out smooth and then you get smashed.” If anyone smelled an overabundance of Drakkar Noir cologne, that was not the mime trailing NRSC Spokesman Brian Walsh around the party. That was actually Walsh, who was being followed all night by the mime and a second partygoer assigned to spraying him with cologne. House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s Dep. Chief of Staff Doug Heye, who was tasked with the picking Estrada up from the airport, wasn’t likely responsible.

Quoteables:

9:54 p.m. Undisclosed journo urinates in neighbor’s yard.

Hollywood on the Potomac blogger and publicist Janet Donovan spotted taking pictures of Estrada just inside the door. Party host Ron Bonjean, meanwhile, was decked out in a flamboyant purple blazer with large flowers that his wife had tailor made for him for the party.

10:18 p.m. Peter threatens that he and Eddie are going to rip some chunks out of the gingerbread house.

10:20 p.m. Partygoer: “Last time I saw this many ladies wearing sparkly clothes, I was at a strip club.”

10:25 p.m. Guy is seen wearing a sweater adorned with actual Christmas stockings. Peter: “Eddie has dared me to put a meatball in one. Challenge accepted.”

10:30 p.m. Partygoer Nick Massella is overheard discussing Sunday brunch. “The lemon pancakes are fucking amazing!”

10:30 p.m. CNN’s Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist is here. So is NYT‘s Jeff Zeleny.

10:54 p.m. There are a lot of ugly festive frocks — we won’t lie. We ask one male partygoer in holiday pants, “What’s on your pants?” He snipped, “Santas.” Then when we asked where he purchased them, he snapped that he bought them online. Clearly he wanted someone to ask about his pants and when they do, he acts like a bitch.

11:15 p.m. A drunken elf with white foam in the right hand corner of his mouth gives Peter, Eddie and I a semi-private show involving balloon toys. Eddie makes an obligatory condom joke. A drunken guest walks by and mentions Sean Spicer, the RNC Spokesman who is at the party. The elf eventually slurs, “I was just running my mouth. Who is Sean Spicer?” We explain as best as we can.

11:32 p.m. Former Washington Examiner reporter J.P. Freire is here with his girlfriend, Cat. He tells us he’s now self-employed. “So I’m not eating cat food,” he jokes. “I mean, I’m eating Cat’s food.” Sounds vaguely naughty.

11:40 p.m.: Overheard. Male partygoer with dark hair and scrunched face asks, “Who’s that guy on CNN who has the show and wears the stupid Ascot?” Actually, that would be CNN Contributor Roland Martin, who actually doesn’t have his own show on CNN but hosts “Washington Watch.”

11:45 p.m. Guy with palpable Cheetos breath walks by.

11:50 p.m. Man with hair that a partygoer has dubbed “the penis hairdo” is chatting up Estrada in the foyer. We ask, “Where did you get your hairdo?” He replies, “Why, should I give it back?”

11:55 p.m. Male guest tells Estrada he once dressed up as him for Halloween. He notes, “I think he was a little skeeved out.”

Midnight: Eddie takes picture of a gaggle of women. Woman asks, “Do I look thin?”

FNC’s Doug McElway is floating around. He says he likes covering national politics for Fox News. “Beats covering buckling children into car seats,” he says. McElway was fired by the ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV for insubordination and misconduct in Sept. 2010. (We try not to upset him.)

12: 21 a.m. Guy in bright, eyesore salmon blazer says he purchased it in Las Vegas. He shows off his matching orange socks. Turns out he’s Chad Barth, a “political events evangelist” for Eventbrite. “I like to represent the company,” he says, explaining that the company color is salmon. “You’re not going to say I’m drunk are you?”

12:30 a.m. RNC aide Tim Miller, former spokesman to Jon Huntsman, seen stuffing a near-empty cigarette pack with free cigarettes by the door. By the way, we love Miller and more importantly, he LOVES FishbowlDC even though his friends can’t stand it.

12:45 a.m. A different undisclosed partygoer reveals that he urinated on a neighbor’s lawn.

(Pictured above: On left: CNN’s Matt Dornic embracing Estrada. Note his newly purchased holiday sweater from Urban Outfitters. At right: Bonjean in purple flower-bombed blazer.)

See who showed up to the party as well as our lunatic picture gallery…

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Top 10 Most Memorable Media Breakups

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn, Eddie Scarry and Piranhamous

Relationships are funny. They can last nights, years, or a lifetime. That can mean an eternity of laughs and love and mutual respect. It can also mean that you get stuck in a rut where it just drags on and on and you can’t stand the way the other person fake laughs at your jokes or crunches their cereal in the morning or never actually FOLDS the laundry, they just throw it on the floor. But, breakups happen. Sometimes, it’s no one’s fault — just simple, obvious incompatibility. Other times, it’s personal. Two people united in a vile hatred for each other. Heated blowups, spitting in food, infidelity, rage-filled silence and threats of lawsuits are all common symptoms of a relationship gone south. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, today we bring you the Top 10 Most Memorable Media Breakups of recent times. Enjoy!

10. Keith Olbermann and MSNBC  — Calling Keith Olbermann a “big fish in a small pond” overstates the ratings at MSNBC. He was more like a goldfish in a cereal bowl. But still, he was MSNBC’s biggest fish. So when they split last year, it came as a shock to his fan(s). It was an abusive relationship, for sure. Tales of Olbermann’s temper tantrums are the stuff of legend. The world in which his ego lives is one in where he his popular and influential, the world in which his body lives is the real world. When Olbermann abruptly announced on January 21, 2011, that that night’s Countdown was his last, his fan(s) cried, and throngs of Americans he painted as enemies, laughed. Both knew he would be back, his ego wouldn’t allow him to keep his opinions to his favorite and most loyal audience – himself. He returned to basic cable last fall, on something called Current TV. With production values just this side of public access and an audience almost as small, Keith quickly returned to his abusive habits. After some couple’s therapy, things seem to be going more smoothly. Not audience wise, no one watches Current TV, but at least Keith isn’t abusing the staff anymore.  Winner: MSNBC. They unloaded an angry man for whom no one enjoyed working. Loser: Olbermann. He’s now in the basement (both in ratings and, from the looks of it, his set). His contract with Current TV is technically larger, but based on company stock which, if the black hole that is his ratings don’t improve, is less valuable than a plastic bag filled with chewed gum. — Piranhamous

9. Pat Buchanan and MSNBC — As the closest thing to a Republican as MSNBC will allow on its air, you’d think Pat Buchanan would’ve had some job security simply based on the network’s desire to hold on to the last thread of a plausible claim of credibility and objectivity. If you thought that you’d be wrong. Buchanan, a former Republican and Reform Party candidate for President, was suspended for having opinions that strayed from the progressive orthodoxy MSNBC has sacrificed its objectivity for. Color of Change, the race-based thought police group, with the help of other left-wing groups, paid for an Astroturf campaign against Buchanan, to which MSNBC brass was only too willing to cave. Buchanan has a long history of saying stupid things, but had comfortably settled into the role of “right-wing” dancing monkey for MSNBC’s left-wing organ grinders. When the pennies stopped flowing he was cast aside for a newer, incredibly stupid model – Meghan McCain. While Pat is smart, McCain is not. Pat would probably call it  “affirmative action,” but it’s really, like our credit rating, a downgrading. Pat could make points and use facts that would stump and contradict MSNBC hosts, Meghan confuses the words “modicum” and “emoticon.” Winner: No one. They’re like the couple that should’ve broken up years ago, but stayed together for the kids. The kids are grown now, though they still live at home, so this break-up was a long time coming. Buchanan is ready to retire, and he’d actually have a larger audience if he retired to The Villages and just gave speeches in the rec room. MSNBC now has a pure line-up of progressive mouthpieces, so their audience won’t be threatened by being exposed to opposing viewpoints. It’s win-win. Well, technically it’s lose-lose, but who’s counting? — Piranhamous

8. Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker–  Almost immediately after ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and WaPo‘s Kathleen Parker were teamed up for a primetime show on CNN, there were rumors that things just were cooling between the two. The show, titled “Parker Spitzer,” started in October 2010. Ratings were terrible, usually putting the show in last place in the cable news race. Then,  just four months after its debut, Parker announced she was leaving. A report in the New York Post said that Parker often felt upstaged by Spitzer who was more adversarial in his questioning of guests. The report said Parker “stormed off the set” during one taping of the program in November. But who ever thought Parker and Spitzer, who once had a thing for prostitutes, would make good bedfellows? After Parker scrammed for good, Spitzer was back the following week flying solo with a new program, “In the Arena.” That show itself was canceled nine months later. — Eddie Scarry

7. Politico and EVERYONE – Few media outlets have broken more hearts than the behemoth that is Politico. Last year alone, we saw them lay waste to several high profile reporters. Amie Parnes left her perch as FLOTUS-ass-kisser-in-Chief to cover the White House for The Hill. Chris Frates left Politico last year and jumped to NJ. This was particularly heartbreaking, since Frates had been with Politico since the beginning. Soon enough Politico threatened with threats of a lawsuit after Frates allegedly used a reader list for his new job — a charge NJ has always denied. Nonetheless, he pulled names to appease the situation. Kendra Marr resigned after she was busted plagiarizing the work of NYT writer Susan Stellin. We could go on and on and on with all the reporters that left Politico last year, but the most notable was Ben Smith, who left to become Editor-in-Chief at BuzzFeed. Sure, he’s still associated with Politico, but let’s not kid ourselves. They’re friends with benefits at best. — Peter Ogburn

6. David Shuster and MSNBC – This one goes back to 2010. MSNBC just didn’t know WHAT to do with David Shuster. He was their utility man, filling in for Keith Olbermann and various MSNBC shows. He had his own show with Tamron Hall, but no one could decide on which time slot to put him in. All of the back and forth and non-committal behavior from MSNBC prompted Shuster to explore his options. He filmed a pilot with CNN, which is a HUGE no-no. When MSNBC boss Phil Griffin heard of the news, Shuster was “suspended indefinitely” and later, sent packing. Shuster has landed on his feet after the ordeal. Or maybe he’s just landed. He is at Current TV as the primary substitute host for Olbermann and he hosts a weekend radio show on 1480AM. He also has plans to launch an investigative journalism website. Shuster gushed about MSNBC. Think warm fuzzies. “The breakup with MSNBC was amicable,” he told FishbowlDC. “We parted on mutually respectful terms… and I continue to have many close friends there.  Furthermore, leaving MSNBC opened up some amazing doors for me — a rewarding internet venture, weekly radio gigs that are as much fun as one can have in broadcasting, and the opportunity on Current TV to deliver the kind of analysis/commentary that I’ve always desired.  So, I have no regrets and wish the best to everybody at MSNBC.” — Peter Ogburn

See the five remaining breakups…

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CNN Promotes Acosta to Nat. Political Correspondent

CNN’s Jim Acosta has been upped to national political correspondent. Washington Bureau Chief and Senior V.P. Sam Feist announced the news today. Acosta begins his new assignment immediately.

“Jim has been an outstanding addition to the political team,” said Feist. “He has emerged as one of the key reporters on the campaign trail and his astute reporting skills will only help to position the network to dominate this important election cycle.”

Acosta remarked in a release: “Having grown up just outside of the nation’s capital, I’m very excited about this new assignment. I am honored to be part of CNN’s political team, which is second to none.”

In his new role, Acosta will work closely with the network’s political unit to provide coverage of the 2012 campaign including the primary races, the presidential debates, and the political conventions. He will also cover stories on policy and culture for various CNN programs, including “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” and “John King, USA.”

Previously…

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Lizzie O’Leary Lands at CNN

Lizzie O’Leary has been named  CNN’s Aviation and Regulation Correspondent. The newly created position will cover all means of transportation in the country and the regulatory agencies of Washington, D.C.

O’Leary recently departed from Bloomberg Television, where she covered politics and economic policy. Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president says, “Lizzie brings to the beat everything we’re looking for. She is a smart and experienced reporter, and I look forward to Lizzie joining our ranks as we expand reporting out of the Washington bureau.”

O’Leary is also well-known for her snarky and entertaining Twitter feed. She was among the few at Bloomberg who were permitted to get all loosey goosey with her thoughts.

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