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Posts Tagged ‘Sean Bugg’

Metro Weekly Boxes Stuffed With Human Feces

Newsrooms around Washington have been hit with the unexpected over the years. Suicides. Deaths. Layoffs. Snakes. Fist fights. Add grotesque vandalism to the list. Over the past few weeks Metro Weekly, one of Washington’s prominent gay publications, has been coping the unthinkable: Their news boxes are being filled with rotting food such as banana peels and chewed food, garbage and the worst of it — human and animal feces. Some boxes were completely emptied, with the magazines dumped into the trash.

The publication has reported the incidents to the Metropolitan Police Department. There are no formal suspects at this time, but employees of the magazine do know of a middle-aged white man hanging around the Cosi in Dupont Circle who has been spotted and filmed throwing copies of Metro Weekly into the trashcan. Co-publisher Sean Bugg, who calls what happened a “particularly vile scandal”, believes it was a hate crime, citing the fact that no other boxes in the vicinity were touched.

When Bugg wrote to inform us about the incidents, he began, “Hope I’m not spoiling your lunch.”

Asked for the latest on the matter, Bugg told FishbowlDC, “Right now, our main plan is to continue to ask our readers and supporters to let us or the police know if they see anything suspicious going on with one of our boxes (or any other publication’s boxes). We will continue our efforts monitoring our boxes in different locations and work closely with MPD and the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit until we can put an end to this assault on our readers. Its extremely heartening how much support we’ve received from the community in recent days, and how seriously my colleagues at other media outlets have taken this attack on Metro Weekly and our readers. I’m optimistic about being able so solve this problem as quickly as we can.”
Locations of boxes being targeted: From Metro Weekly — “Primarily those located around Dupont Circle and Connecticut Avenue NW, the 17th Street NW corridor, and the area on P Street between 15th and 14th Streets NW.”
Metro Weekly first reported news on the vandalism last Friday. Fox 5, ABC7 and WAMU have also run stories. Photographs c/o Metro Weekly. 
An important excerpt from the Metro Weekly story…

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

LOCKED OUT: WaPo’s Dana Milbank: Mayhem at #dnc2012. Hundreds of delegates, journalists locked out of arena.

Penis sighting

“So yeah. Definitely just walked in on some dude in the bathroom with his pants around his ankles staring in the mirror #dnc2012” — BuzzFeed Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton.

WTF Mars Mention of the Evening: “I always figured if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it. He would know how to reproduce. He would know everything. He’d just instinctively know how to talk to people…the martians.” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews at 12:53 a.m. opining on Clinton’s vast reproduction knowledge that extends beyond our solar system. Please, someone put Matthews to bed (no pun intended).

Bill Clinton Speech Fallout

“A significant part of this is off prompter. He is using it as notes.” — TIME‘s Michael Scherer.

“The prompter has stopped rolling as Clinton goes off book.” — BuzzFeed‘s Zeke Miller.

“Take away the TelePrompTer, bite his ankle, throw a rat down his trousers, it only raises his game.” — Editor of The New Republic Franklin Foer.

“Bill Clinton is totally ghost ridin’ the script right now.” — Jamelle Bouie, writer for The American Prospect and fellow at the Nation Institute.

“The constant camera flashes in here are going to send Bubba into a seizure #dnc2012″ — Stanton.

“Bubba’s hands are shaking.” — HuffPost‘s Jen Bendery.

“I think Bill Clinton is the gun you bring to a knife fight.” — Metro Weekly Co-publisher Sean Bugg.

“Bill Clinton looks great. @peta may be right about the benefits of a vegan diet.” — HuffPost Deputy Editor Erin Ruberry.

“Man, Clinton is happier than a pig in Arkansas you know what.” — James Oliphant, Deputy Editor, National Journal magazine.

“Clinton is the master. He makes a speech to an enormous crowd feel like a personal talk.” — LAT‘s David Horsey.

“I really don’t understand reporters who think this is too long for a politician to be trying to talk to voters about policy.” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein.

“This speech was killing it at 15 mins. Now, it’s bordering on a hostage situation.” — Co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle S.E. Cupp.

“This is moving from ‘greatest speech ever’ to gong territory pretty fast.” — BuzzFeed Political Editor Ben Smith.

“They’re going to need a crowbar to pry Bill away from that podium.” — NYT Op-ed Columnist Charles Blow.

“There’s no way Rahm Emanuel actually thought ‘a broken clock is right twice a day’ was that funny.” — National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg.

“This is like watching a good lawyer defending a guilty man.” — Former Clinton pollster Dick Morris.

“Poor fact checkers, now they gotta spend the night studying 52 years of employment data” — Craig Crawford.

“Same R bloggers who were touting Clinton as the ‘good’ Dem for weeks suddenly talking about sex scandal and perjury again.” — WaPo‘s Greg Sargent.

The Name Dropper

“Caroline Kennedy just walked into our booth. Interview w @DavidMuir #abcworldnews” — ABC News’ Rick Klein.

Dirty jokester

“PLEASE tell me that Sandra Fluke isn’t wearing a blue Gap dress tonight.” — NRA News’ Cameron Gray in a tweet on the night former Prez Bill Clinton is to speak.

INTO THE POOL: “Oops! A wet former treasury secretary Bob Rubin after falling into a pool at a fancy cocktail party in Charlotte.” — Politico‘s Lois Romano with accompanying photograph.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report. Above black and white photograph by Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner.

Gay Journo Association Doles Out Awards

Soon-to-be Buzzfeed Senior Political Writer Chris Geidner and Metro Weekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg have received awards from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. For the second year in a row, Geidner, who has been a White House Correspondent, has won the Excellence in News Writing Award, this year for reporting at Metro Weekly on the Dept. of Justice’s decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court. He also won the Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year Award. Bugg won second-place recognition in Opinion Writing, and the second-place News Writing award went to the AP writer Brett Zongker, who covered the National Portrait Gallery’s Hide/Seek exhibit.

Geidner gave what is comparable to an Oscar-style acceptance speech over email: “Thanks much to NLGJA and the judges for their time and the honor! I am daily grateful — and always pleasantly surprised — that I have the opportunity to make this work into my career. Thanks, especially, to Sean and Randy Shulman at Metro Weekly for their support over the past two-and-a-half years and to Ben Smith at BuzzFeed, where I start this coming week, for giving me yet another opportunity to continue to do this important work.”

Awards will be presented at a convention and awards reception in Las Vegas in August.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Geidner, Bugg and Zongker.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Rolling Stone writer annoys himself

“So yeah I deleted that last tweet because I was starting to annoy myself.” – Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings.

HuffPost Hill‘s Eliot Nelson‘s ingenious albeit violent idea: “If I could smother Twitter with a pillow right now, I would.”

Modern Journo Mysteries

“Things I don’t get: People who have ‘political junkie’ in their bio who unfollow me after I tweet exit polls.” — NJ‘s Ethan Klapper.

Editor introduces new word into zeitgeist: ‘fartknocker’

“Keep in mind kids, we must unite after primaries. I hope to not personally dislike ppl because they acted like a fartknocker for their guy.” — Big Journalism Editor and CNN Contributor Dana Loesch.

What’s all the fuss about outside NPR?

“Random cheering and shouting outside NPR HQ. Is it a) someone really excited about #azprimary; b) random DC protest; c) a pack of Caps fans?” — NPR interactive designer Alyson Hurt. NPR PR has gotten back to us and is getting to the bottom of it. Stay tuned…They not one hundred percent on it, but they suspect it was Caps Fans — the team won in overtime.

Conservative scribe subjects himself to night of MSNBC

“I feel like living on the edge tonight. As such, I just ate and am going to flip to MSNBC. Pray for me. #Caring” — Townhall.com Contributor and occasional WMAL radio host Derek Hunter.

Malkin handles unseemly follower

Let’s face it. Some followers can be a–holes. After one remarked, “God MM just go away!” HotAir’s Michelle Malkin replied, “Welcome to Twitter. Meet the unfollow button.”

Ron Paul and media coverage

After Politico‘s Jonathan Martin said Ron Paul got an awful lot of attention for a guy who keeps losing, RealClearPoliticsErin McPike remarked, “Eh, the media just got really, really sick of all the hate mail and the nasty comments from his supporters.”

Roll Call tweaks Ann Romney Speech

“Ann Romney just won an Oscar, apparently.” — Roll Call in an unusually snappy tweet late last night after Ann took to the airwaves to discuss the tip of her Mitt as her hubby somehow scored Michigan.

Baier Vomit

A follower writes, “Thanks for the great coverage tonight Bret.” FNC’s Bret Baier retweets the compliment and says, “We’re trying hard ;) ”  While we like Baier’s relentless determination to respond to every yahoo that writes him, retweeting compliments is nauseating.

Necessary Quote of the Day

“Bugg is benevolent. Bugg is wise. Bugg eats pie for breakfast.” — Metro Weekly‘s Randy Shulman, who is of course referring to Metro Weekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg. Bugg, where are you these days? Strawberry Lane?

What’s missing from Romney’s campaign?

“There’s not a lot of poetry in his campaign. It’s who he is.” — NBC “MTP” host David Gregory on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

Journos Bid Farewell to Rick Perry

In the past 24 hours we’ve been probing reporters about what they will miss most about Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s Presidential campaign. Most knew within mere seconds. Enjoy!

MSNBC Political Analyst Karen Finney: “Rick Perry gave us some of the best debate moments of the cycle. I will miss his stammering, non-sensical, more bizarre than the thought of Newt in an ‘open’ marriage – moments.”

Politico‘s Roger Simon: “There was a Perry campaign?”

CNN Commentator Hilary Rosen: “I’ll miss the low expectations from the pundits before debates. No one is left to over-perform!”

NJ‘s White House and Congressional correspondent Major Garrett: “I will miss Perry saying ‘Luv you, brother.’ I’d never before heard a presidential campaign sound like the fraternity rush chairman right before the first Friday night keg is tapped.”

Q & A Celeb’s Colin Drummond: “Think I’ll miss his huge entourage who acted as if they were actually guarding the President.”

Informal Herman Cain advisor John Coale: “Being on the edge of my seat waiting to see what he says next.”

ReutersSam Youngman: “His debate performances, his smile and his, uh. His… uh, I’m sorry.”

Metro Weekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg: “Since I don’t find bumbling incompetence quite as funny as everyone else seems to, not very damn much.”

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith: “I will miss Rick Perry, a great retail pol who was a ton of fun to cover.”

TownHall.com and BigGov columnist Derek Hunter: “I would say I will miss 3 things and pretend to not remember the 3rd, but I can’t even think of the first 2 to pretend to forget the 3rd. You can’t miss flying on a plane that never really got off the ground. Perry was a great concept, but a horrible candidate who only seems ready to run when it was too late to matter.”

SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. Channel’s Julie Mason: “I have been unabashedly keening and lamenting this departure all damn day. The presidential campaign just got 65 percent less fun with 85 percent less charisma. I will leave assessments on hair to others.”

Roll Call‘s Jonathan Strong: “Waiting for his next spectacular flub in the debates.”

Anonymous Capitol Hill reporter: “The mind numbing WTF moment that occurred every time he dove into the shallow end of foreign policy.”

Roll Call‘s HOH writer Neda Semnani: “I for one will miss his boots, Freedom and Liberty. Warren says he will miss his verbal face plants. I will just miss him in debates generally. But, let be serious, we will all miss his hair — his beautiful, beautiful hair that was obviously sculpted by angels.”

The Daily Caller‘s Jamie Weinstein: “Like everyone I think, I’ll miss his eloquence and erudition. And his hora proficiency.”

RealClearPoliticsErin McPike: “The self-deprecation. And I actually got an old-school back-slap from him when he was hustling into an Iowa event last month. His demeanor made for really good color, and that makes good copy.”

TWT Senior Opinion Editor Emily Miller: “I’ll miss Rick Perry scaring the heck out of everyone on Capitol Hill with his push for a part-time Congress.”

TWT‘s Anneke Green: “All we DC insiders are mourning the lost opportunity to be ruled again by the sovereign Republic of Texas. For three long years, we’ve suffered the abolishing of beer pong, cowboy boots-n-tuxes, and … and… What was the third one?”

SHannitysHair: “First and foremost, I will miss his GREAT hair. Seriously though, I will miss his conservative voice in the campaign….even though he tends to get tongue-tied at times. Who among us didn’t chuckle inside at his “oops” moment? There was one other thing I wanted to share. I forget. #oops”

Human EventsTony Lee: “His unpredictable Twitter feed, exclamation marks included. You never knew what he was going to tweet. He tweeted he was not quitting the race, a picture of himself at a shooting range, and even a challenge to CNN’s Peter Hamby to make the Perry running team.”

Yahoo! NewsChris Moody: “His campaign aides were always great about hanging out after events to shoot the breeze with reporters. They’ll be missed at the bar.”

From an unidentified WTOP management type, suit-wearing person: “Three things… the candor, the commercials… and… um, ahh”

Human EventsJason Mattera: “The blank stares and blonde moments.”

Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.

 

What Will Journos Remember Most About Michele Bachmann’s Presidential Campaign?

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) ended her presidential campaign Wednesday morning following a dismal finish in the Iowa Caucuses. Countless journalists will miss seeing her throughout the rest of the primary. She was fun, feisty and fabulous, if at times factually challenged — she did confuse John Wayne for John Wayne Gacey — but who cares? It was part of her charm. Still, her memory lives on.

We posed the question to Washington journalists — what will you miss most about covering Bachmann? Here’s what they had to say.

Chris Geidner, Metro Weekly‘s senior political writer, told FBDC in an email he appreciated the national discussion Michele and her husband Marcus raised concerning his work with a Christian clinic, which reportedly practices reparative therapy for gays. As for a report from WaPo Thursday speculating that Michele may retire from the House, Geidner said, “We’ll have to wait and see (her on Fox News).”

And WaPo‘s Aaron Blake, who hails from Minnesota remarked, “Hearing that lovely Minnesota accent, dontcha know. Now I’ll have to watch ‘Fargo’ or worse, call my relatives, to revisit my roots.”

TWT columnist Emily Miller pointed us to a piece she wrote Wednesday: “It’s certainly a relief that the debate stage will be less crowded,” she wrote, “but it’s worth noting what has been lost: the Tea Party’s highest-profile opponent of Obamacare.”

In late December, Bachmann ran a campaign blitz through Iowa, stopping in each of the state’s 99 counties within 11 days. Human EventsTony Lee told us he’ll miss that energy. “Sometimes, I could not help but wonder if she had more body doubles than children when looking at her schedule of events,” he said.

But Bachmann’s flamboyant doggy sunglasses shopping hubby may be missed just as much as the candidate. “Marcus.” That’s the only word The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas responded with when we asked what he’d miss most about Bachmann’s campaign.

Pappas’ colleague Jeff Poor said he’ll miss watching MSNBC’s Chris Matthews‘ analysis of Bachmann now that she’s out of the race. “It was like a boy pulling a girl’s pigtails, but instead with an overweight aging male,” said Poor.

Sean Bugg, also of Metro Weekly, was hoping Marcus could bring that sense of style to the White House. “What I’ll miss most is Marcus, especially now that we know what his eye for accessorizing would have brought to the White House. It would have been just like another Jackie Kennedy,” he said.

RCP‘s Erin McPike: “Eyelashes?”

Agence France-PressOlivier Knox: “She is truly one of the most impressive ‘retail’ politicians I’ve ever seen, who worked to build a rapport with every voter at her meet-and-greet events in Iowa. Also? The Christmas carols she played from her bus’s loud speakers.”

Townhall.com and BigGov Columnist Derek Hunter: “Her earnest delivery of every line, her Biden-like verbal flubs, and Marcus, sweet, sweet Marcus. But what I will miss most is the staring contest she had with the nation during every debate… Those eyes were hungry, and the only meal that could satiate that hunger was the White House. Now those eyes will be forever hungry, forever yearning.”

The Hill‘s Alex Bolton: “I’ll miss all the traffic she drives to The Hill’s website, which keeps my editors in a good mood.”

American Spectator blogger and New Media Strategies’ J.P Freire: “A candidate that cites (late Austrian economist) Ludwig Von Mises.”
Anonymous D.C. Journo: “I will miss watching her being asked a question NOT about health care (Guantanamo Bay detainees, the U.S.-China relationship, black holes in space) and somehow correlating that to ‘ObamaCare.’”

Anne Schroeder Mullins, media consultant and formerly with Politico: “Won’t we all miss Marcus the most?”

TPM‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro: “Who’s gonna say ‘Anderson’ now?!” (Santoro is referring to the countless times Bachmann tried grabbing the attention of CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a GOP debate back in October.)

Julie Mason, host of SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S: “I will dearly miss her soothing, mellifluous elocutions — like a soft, wet ear-kiss.”

TWT‘s Anneke Green: “The shot at having a First Gentleman.”

RIP for now, Bachmann campaign. Gone but not forgotten.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — Behind the Curtain in Des Moines


The Rachels: RealClearPoliticsScott Conroy says on Twitter, “What they’re watching at Santorum’s party #iacaucus.” The Rachels tortured us early Wednesday morning with a very special episode of “Up With Chris Hayes” at 1 a.m.

Fishbowl Des Moines (Adios, Mike Allen, we’re taking back the night.)

Luntz’s puffy coat

“Frank Luntz on Fox News has the biggest, puffiest down jacket I have ever seen in my life.” — Zach Wolf, ABC News Political Unit. (Photo credit: Yahoo! News’s Chris Moody.)

Confusion on the campaign trail

“Ron Paul staffer gets confused thinks I work ‘the times’ instead of ‘in these times’ asks if I want to speak to the Congressman.” — Labor journo Mike Elk.

Journo loses his belt; disaster averted

“At the lovely Capitol in Des Moines to join @BretBaier. Fortunately we’ll be seated so my lost belt shouldn’t result in YouTube hilarity.” — ReutersSam Youngman.

Birthdays: “Happy 1st birthday to Wee-Bey, the dog. The one year old goldendoodle will be celebrating by licking his balls.” — FBDC’s Peter Ogburn. (h/t Ogburn and h/t Mike Allen for h/t) Asked about presents, Peter remarked, “I did get Wee-Bey a present. The exciting new E-Book from Politico, The Right Fights Back.”

The Beauty Experts

Sarah Palin‘s half-beehive is back!” — Politico media writer Keach Hagey. (Photo credit: Business Insider’s Glynnis MacNicol.)

“Loser or not, Michelle Bachmann looks fabulous.” — HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie. Wilkie also observed Ron Paul‘s wife, saying, “Carol Paul is rocking a fur collared coat. A big one. Indoors. At a campaign event. Thoughts? #iacaucus.”

“First time a presidential candidate’s on-stage surrogate has EVER has a neck tattoo. #iacaucus” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake.

Lizza lets loose

“Can we all agree the Iowa Straw Paul is f*cking stupid now?” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, who also wrote, “I picked a terrible night to be on deadline for a 10,000 word piece not about GOP politics.” But our favorite Lizza from the night is by far this: “What’s on Marcus’s lips?” (In reference to Michelle Bachmann’s hubby, Marcus.) On another note entirely, what the f$%# was Marcus doing buying their dog, Boomer, sunglasses in Iowa?

Tapper pays Busey a compliment (wink! wink!)

“I cannot understate the importance of the Gary Busey endorsement, then withdrawal of said endorsement, of @NewtGingrich.” — ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.

Spotted: Journos being  journos

“Spotted in Des Moines, midnight Central: A bunch of reporters who thought they would be drunk and/or in bed right now.” — The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball.

Watch out. Harwood’s caffeinated.

“Modern media life: Up 4 am in Iowa. 19 hours of live shots. Charter flight to NH. Arrive hotel. Now, coffee…then more live shots.” — CNBC’s and NYT‘s John Harwood.

Arianna cracks on CNN’s John King

“Waiting for John King to get sucked into his Touch Screen Map, Poltergeist-style.” — HuffPost/AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington.

And back in Washington…

The weather outside is frightful

“NEVER GOING OUTSIDE AGAIN and also other irrational things because it’s just so so cold.” WaPo‘s Lindsay Apple.

An evening in

“Leftover palak paneer? Check. Bottomless iced tea? Check. Power outlet? Check. Bring it on, Iowa. #caucus” — NPR’s Andy Carvin.

The TV Critics

“Fox News discussion hours before the caucuses: Are reporters who tweet full of themselves?” — Tribune‘s Mike Memoli.

Bret Baier back on this ‘guy in a truck’ thing…what the hell? Enough already.” — The Times of London‘s Matt Spence.

“I thought it was odd when Sanford signed off his Fox News interview with, ‘Tienes los ojos más bonitos del mundo.’ — National Review Online‘s Jim Geraghty on former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford‘s punditry appearance on FNC last night.

“Gingrich translated: ‘If the truth hurts, fuck you.’” — Metro Weekly Co-Publisher Sean Bugg.

Marcus Bachmann would have made a lovely first lady. #iacaucus” — Crooks & Liars’ Tina Dupuy.

“As Ron Paul speaks, Rand is standing behind him looking like he’s at a funeral.” — The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball.

“I think we can all agree that Boomer Bachmann getting new sunglasses was more interesting than this speech.” — FNC Democratic political analyst and Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers.

Teeth brushing or Romney speech? That’s easy.

“How captivated was I by Romney’s stump/victory speech? Half-way through, I ran to brush my teeth.” – Roll Call’s Shira Toeplitz.

Why Santorum? Well, for one thing…

“I am rooting for Santorum to win because, as far as I am aware, he has not strapped a dog to his car while driving long distances.” — Activist and former DCist writer Dave Stroup.

Hawaiian Pool Duty comes to a close

“Just checked out of my room in Hawaii. The president’s vacation is over for him and now for me too. I’m relieved.” — Politico‘s Jennifer Epstein.

Makeup lady on Roland Martin

“Doing @rolandsmartin makeup. He’s bringing some soul to the makeup room!” –  Stevie Martin.

Boybander pledges quality

“My pledge to you: writing on a short deadline does not give me license to mix metaphors. Danger Room: Where Quality Is Job #1.” — Wired‘s Spencer Ackerman.

Tracy gets racy

“No, I will not be CAUCUSING tonight. Sounds a bit perverse.” — Cheoff Geoff Tracy, husband to CBS Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell.

Holy S#%t! Tschida’s got rats

“So exterminator confirms I have very SMART rats. They dodge the traps and gorge on bananas. Just realized… I’d prefer ghosts.” — ABC7 reporter Stephen Tschida.

Convo Between Two Journos

The Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox: “Fox News turning out to be a really good source for news about the bottom four candidates.” Lizza: “Future on-air talent.”

MUST CREDIT BUZZFEED. Or else!

“I won’t do a ‘Must Credit BuzzFeed.’ But please do credit BuzzFeed. We’re a fragile young thing.” — BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith on their exclusive that Sen. McCain plans to endorse Romney today.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“I hate politicians who say they aren’t politicians. Even if they’re wearing a super-cute blue blazer.” — Metro Weekly‘s Mr. Bugg. Congrats Bugg! You’ve won back your crown.

 

Metro Weekly‘s Coverboy: REVEALED

For those of you on the edge of your seats about Metro Weekly‘s “Coverboy of the Year” contest, the results are in. “Hot Stuff coming through,” wrote Co-Publisher Sean Bugg in an email.

And the winner is… Tyler Coffey. Visit here and see below.

Meet Metro Weekly’s Coverboy Finalists

Metro Weekly has chosen its “Coverboy of the Year” for 2011. The top three choices are Moises (left), Kory (middle) and Tyler (right). They will unveil the winner Thursday. See them pose in varying states (including shirtless) here.

Meet the finalists:

Moises, 18, was bullied often during middle school, but he put a stop to it as a high school freshman by punching out a bully. He came out his sophomore year and eventually was elected homecoming king of Alexandria’s Thomas A. Edison High School. Currently taking classes at Northern Virginia Community College, he plans to head south to Virginia Commonwealth University to study photography.

Kory, 25, is originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands and while one of the first things you might notice is his collection of 43 tattoos, more telling is his straightforward personality and his charitable streak. Locally, he’s been helping with a “sock drive” for homeless people and collecting food for So Others May Eat, while at the same time helping organize the first-ever gay pride celebration back in his childhood home of St. Thomas.

Tyler, 27, decided to be a Nightlife Coverboy as a small reward for all the work he’d put in at the gym. A GWU graduate — international affairs plus German language and literature — he’s one semester from his MBA at American University, and planning to launch a web-based business with his identical twin (and straight) brother.

“The winner gets chosen by our readers,” explained Co-Publisher Sean Bugg. Employees never vote. Each year contestants are compiled from the covers of their nightlife section. The contest launched in 2000. “We wanted to do something that was more creative,” he said. “Usually gay publications take beefcake pictures from porn sites. We wanted to celebrate people who are actually part of our community. Washington has a reputation as not a pretty city, but there are actually a lot of good looking guys around.”

Find out about the Coverboy of the Year Party…

Read more

Washington Blade’s Fishy Rise in Readers

If Newt Gingrich can do it, so could the Washington Blade.

It appears that The Blade, Washington’s LGBTQ newspaper, has seen a sharp rise in Facebook likes and Twitter followers in the past week — and one that’s causing some industry insiders to whisper that something fishy may be going on.

In fact, they have purchased a Facebook campaign, Editor Kevin Naff told FishbowlDC in an angry morning phone call Friday in which he grew defensive, hung up on us and insisted, in our first exchange ever, that he’s been in the business way longer than we have. “We have been increasing our social media efforts,” he snapped. “We have been partnering with bloggers and we purchase an advertising campaign on Facebook, something anyone can do if you have money.”

But pssst…could they be buying Twitter followers? Just how manufactured is their following? A little over a week ago, the publication pole vaulted from 9,000 followers to 12,000 overnight. Then from 11 p.m. to 2.am. on that Thursday night/Friday morning they leaped from roughly 12,000 to nearly 14,000 followers. Now they’re resting at 14,157, which weirdly means they lost 212 followers over the weekend. On Friday they had 14, 369 followers. Previously they were several thousand below the national gay snark site, Queerty, on Twitter and below the local gay site Metro Weekly on Facebook in terms of likes. Now The Blade is hundreds above both.

“It’s real easy,” barked Naff. “It [the Facebook campaign] gets your name out there and encourages people to read our stories.” Naff accused Metro Weekly personnel of planting this story, which, in effect would turn this whole story into a good old-fashioned cat fight. “You shouldn’t fall for the petty vendetta,” he said. “There’s nothing unethical about what we’ve done.” Naff snarled that part of the reason for the jump is their recent hire, Phil Reese, as digital manager. (This was before the phone went dead.)

To give an overview, from February to November of this year The Blade went from the 7,000 range to 9,000. Suddenly last week they vaulted to the arena of 14,000. Metro Weekly‘s Facebook count at the moment is: 5,610 likes. Their Twitter following: 6,676.

“There’s just no way you can go up that quickly,” remarked an insider who thinks The Blade manufactured the whole jump.

Sean Bugg, Co-publisher of Metro Weekly, remarked on the sudden jump based on his own experiences in the business. “Obviously I have no direct knowledge of how the Washington Blade either gains or maintains their Twitter feeds or how they get their followers on Facebook,” he told FBDC. “I do know from experience that it’s very difficult and very eyebrow raising to see five to six thousands readers come through in one evening. It makes you wonder, what’s the cause of that? For us, we had Lady Gaga tweeted out our video of her. That got us over a 140 thousand YouTube hits, but it wasn’t this sudden increase of Twitter followers. Web traffic doesn’t necessarily convert to Twitter following or Facebook increases. You get spikes. You generally see a more steady growth in these things.”

What does Bugg think is happening here? “I can’t say specifically what might be happening, but it’s the kind of thing that raises my eyebrows,” he said. “I don’t have access to their internals, but we work in journalism. All of us are trained to look at data that looks kind of odd.”

But Karl Frisch, a Democratic strategist at Bullfight Strategies and an early adapter and expert in Social Media — his Twitter subscriber number is 3365 — says the seemingly seismic shift in The Blade‘s following may not be as outlandish as some are making it out to be. “That would coincide with advertising,” he said, noting that he has seen a number of Blade ads on Facebook. “I would say it’s unusual, but The Blade has a sophisticated approach to social media. When they came back from the dead they committed a lot of resources to Facebook and Twitter. I’ve seen the ads. I think  buying adversting is very common.”

Frisch said readers still get to choose where they’ll go. “Someone still has to click ‘follow’. They have to show that they’re interested in following you. I’ve been on Twitter since the second week that it existed in 2006. Given what I know of them, I would say that they are perhaps in the midst of a good bit of traffic to their accounts. I’d be interested to see where it is in two weeks.”

The Blade may even want to hire Frisch, who didn’t raise his voice or slam the phone down once during a polite conversation about web traffic and advertising.

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