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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Smith’

Duck..Duck..Paul Bedard to the Examiner

The goose is cooked. In a move that should surprise no one, U.S. News & World Report’s Paul Bedard is going to work for the Washington Examiner. For one thing, Bedard has loved showering praise on the publication. For another, his new boss, Stephen Smith, is also his former colleague.

But who knew he was a goose hunter?

See Smith’s glowing memo…

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Happy Drudge Day!

Don’t be surprised if you can’t reach your contacts at the DC Examiner today.  We suspect that Stephen Smith and most of his staff have chosen to celebrate this most sacred of holidays at home with close friends and family.  It is after all Matt Drudge‘s birthday.

Yes indeed, the man responsible for funneling millions of readers to Washington news sites each and every day is celebrating his 45th this rainy Thursday morn.  Drudge shares his b-day with Kelly Osbourne, Marla Maples, and Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone.

Thanks for the memories.  Thanks for the links.  Hats…er, fedoras off to you!

It’s Splitsville for Kevin Glass and Examiner

Kevin Glass and the Washington Examiner broke up last week. He says it was amicable.

“I did leave the Examiner last week,” Glass said in an email to FishbowlDC. “Not for political reasons or cultural reasons or vision reasons – it just wasn’t the job for me, didn’t particularly fit my skill set, and I’m moving on to other opportunities. Management and I parted on amiable terms. Right now I’m doing a bit of freelancing and trying to determine what’s out there.”

Editor Stephen Smith, who wrote a playful, effusive memo on Glass back in July when he was hired for a newly created position of Online Asst. Managing Editor, agreed the split was friendly. “Perfectly amicable,” he wrote. “He just didn’t feel it was the right job for him.” Before the Examiner, Glass worked at Townhall.com for four years.

We’re especially glad to hear that Glass doesn’t have vision problems.

Examiner Flacks For Fox News

3-2-1. “RRING! RRING!”

The predictability in the air was palpable on Wednesday afternoon when we published a story on the abrasive comments Current TV’s David Shuster made about Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace over the weekend.  You may recall how Shuster took his stink with the FNCers to CNN’s airwaves on Sunday, telling Howie Kurtz that the trio had no business moderating a presidential debate due to their lack of campaign trail experience.

Communicating extensively with FBDC, Shuster reaffirmed his remarks and even took things a step further.  He charged that Fox has lost all “credibility/watchability” since Brit Hume‘s semi-retirement. He also explained that conversations with “friends” inside FNC prompted him to criticize the network on CNN.  After finishing with Shuster, FBDC contacted longtime Fox News Communications Director Irena Brigante for a response or comment on the matter. Included in the note was a graph of quotes from our earlier conversation with Shuster.

So we waited. No response. Deafening silence. Still, not surprising.  That is, after all, typical treatment for journalists who’ve been blackballed by Fox News PR.

“That’s how they operate. There’s a black list. So if they’re isolating you it means you pissed them off or were nice to someone at another network.,” said a TV insider who is familiar with Brigante’s operation.

“F–k her,” added another media insider with a key vantage point to know her history. “That’s her stock and trade to alienate people and never talk to certain media outlets. I’ve had this conversation with everyone in the media.”

But wait there’s more to FNC’s blacklist than the silent treatment.  Things generally play out like this: While most of the network’s press shop is busy miming hateful replies to your request, one of the spokeshags hits the phones to sell your scoop or share your inquiry with  one of their pet publications. Which is precisely what happened this week.

Sure enough, just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday the Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab, who has taken the bait before, wrote FBDC explaining that she, too, was working on a Shuster/Fox News piece.  What a coincidence!  In the note, she posed a question about Shuster’s misspelling Baier’s first name. FBDC replied.

Schwab’s story published Wednesday. The piece contained zero new news and cited only Shuster’s comments to FBDC – coincidentally the very same quotes we’d sent to FNC PR when we originally sought comment from them. Schwab advanced the story with nothing more than a remark from an unnamed Fox News spokesperson regarding the quotes we’d emailed Brigante earlier in the day.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

We reached out to both Schwab and Editor Stephen Smith, posing virtually the same question to each of them: Does the Washington Examiner see anything ethically challenging about Fox News using their publication as a mouthpiece? So far, no response.

Washington Examiner Gets Snookered

Imagine if the NYT reported, “George W. Bush was spotted entering the Oval Office on Monday…” only to find out it wasn’t Bush but someone who looked just like him. They refuse to say “we goofed” and, instead, blame the Bush impersonator.

In essence this is what the Washington Examiner did Monday when they allowed the Yeas & Nays column to explain away their reporting that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vince Young appeared at L2 Lounge. They wrote, “This was just another appearance by an impostor whose been trying to scam people in D.C. and Philadelphia.”

In other words, the Examiner erred in printing the item. Sure it happens. Even some reporters were fooled by underage “girls” claiming to have had online interactions with ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and we know how horribly that turned out until the NYT unearthed the truth.

As Editor Stephen Smith explains it, the newspaper was fooled back on Sept. 11. “However on Monday it came to our attention that this was just another appearance by an impostor who’s been trying to scam people in D.C. and Philadelphia. It seems to me that we were pretty clear about having been snookered by this guy. Other people who fell for his patter included hospital personnel, assorted women, various celebrities.” He concluded, “All in all, I think the Yeas & Nays team handled the hoax responsibly and forthrightly.” (See Smith’s timeline after jump…)

An explanation of how an impersonator duped them might be interesting in addition to this three-sentence correction: “On Sept. 11, Yeas & Nays reported that Vince Young appeared at the L2 Lounge Saturday night. He was not. It wasn’t him.”

Here we have fake nails. Can you tell the difference between these honkers and au natural?

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Washington Examiner Hires Townhall’s Managing Editor Kevin Glass for Newly Created Post

The Washington Examiner is bringing Kevin Glass, managing editor of the conservative website Townhall.com, on board as its online Asst. Managing Editor. This should do nothing to quell the loud murmurings that the Examiner‘s news content slants right along with the editorial page. The position is newly created. Glass, who begins July 25, will handle online reports for local, White House, Congress and the 2012 campaign.

Editor Stephen Smith says Glass had a “peripatetic” childhood. Find out why after the jump…

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NYT’s Bai to D.C. Examiner: Get Off My Doorstep!

This is war. NYT Magazine political writer Matt Bai is at odds with the Washington Examiner. Or more specifically, with the publication’s Circulation Department, which refuses to take no for an answer.

Call this a case of forced delivery. Bai says he has no desire to read the newspaper that has been relentlessly delivered for many, many years to his Bethesda home and before that, his Northwest D.C. home. Not once has Bai signed up to receive the Examiner, but like a lost puppy, it keeps showing up on his doorstep. Despite verbal protests, week after week he wakes up to it.

“You can keep dropping the @dcexaminer at my door, but you can’t make me read it. Or bring it inside, for that matter,” Bai wrote on Twitter this past Sunday.

Last month we reported the news of the Examiner‘s unwelcome advances on homes in Adams Morgan. A resident wrote on the Adams Morgan Listserv that the newspaper was trashing the neighborhood. At the time Editor Stephen Smith told FBDC, “Our circulation staff does its best to quickly handle complaints such as this.”

We asked Bai more about his conundrum. Has he ever subscribed to the newspaper? His reply was a curt: “Certainly not.” He later explained, “I’ve called several times. It stops for a bit, then restarts. I’m sure they have to give advertisers a certain number.”

Bai refers to the newspaper as a “thing.” He explained that he has tried to make it stop. “There’s a number on the bag that’s supposed to stop delivery,” he said. “It worked for a while, but then the thing starts showing up again.”

Washington Examiner Won’t Give up Pretense of Not Being Conservative

Fox News and the Washington Examiner are teaming up to co-sponsor an August 11 debate in Iowa.

Interesting. The Examiner can spend X amount of money to co-sponsor a presidential debate but they can’t hire a White House reporter with experience who can actually cover stories like the death of Osama Bin Laden? Sure, there’s something to be said for finally embracing yourself just as you are. So congrats for finally announcing to the world with a Fox News bromance that they are conservative. But between the debate and their kooky “Freedom isn’t Free” campaign they sure are pissing away a lot of their money that could be spent more directly on their employees. Examiner employees: Are you happy with how money is being spent at your newspaper?

We asked Examiner Editor Stephen Smith three questions, which he answered all in one. The questions were: 1. So does this mean you all are finally admitting that the paper leans right? 2. Would you have done this debate had it been MSNBC or CNN or another network? 3. How much does it cost to co-sponsor a debate like this? Even roughly?

We’re told a debate like this could run a newspaper in the ballpark of $150,000. Smith responded swiftly, but wouldn’t comment on the price tag. He said: “Our paper is straight down the middle in its news columns, and leans to the right in editorials and commentary. We would have been pleased to co-sponsor a debate with another network, but the idea first came up with Fox and we were impressed with the caliber of their news team — a judgment born out by the way Fox handled the Republican debate in Greenville back in May. As you may imagine, details of our financial participation are private.”

But an employee who left recently said Smith makes no pretenses about his conservative bent, especially at the office: “The only news station Steve has on in his office all day is Fox News. I’ve never seen him have anything else on there. Not a chance they’d partner MSNBC if the opportunity arose. They hate non-conservatives.”

Is D.C. Getting Trashed by Washington Examiner?

A Washington, D.C. resident on the Adams Morgan Listserv named “Sidney” is hopping mad about his view that the Washington Examiner is trashing up the neighborhood. The “DC Examiner Littering our Residential Streets – Again,” he writes. “Is there anything that can be done to sanction the DC Examiner newspaper for their repeated littering?”

Over the years, Sidney the resident charges, he has called the paper repeatedly, asking that they not drop the paper on his doorstep. He says the whole block is “being littered with copies wrapped in plastic.” He says the paper responds kindly when he phones in and is passed from one employee to the next, but the alleged trashing continues. Finally, he asks, “Can anything be done to ding these people so that they feel at least a little pain for their actions?”

We asked Editor Stephen Smith for his reaction. He wrote: “On our Commentary page, we list the phone number (800-531-1223) and email address (circulation@washingtonexaminer.com) to suspend delivery. Our circulation staff does its best to quickly handle complaints such as this.”

See the full post…

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TWT and Washington Examiner: Same Diff?

Human Events has written a peculiar invitation for an event this week.

They write: “Next week, please join Jason Mattera, Human Events editor, and Washington Times Examiner reporter and New York Times bestselling author, David Freddoso for a 60-minute live event.”

Mattera is, of course, Human Events Editor and Washington’s answer to “The Situation.” Freddoso works for the Washington Examiner. We’re sure that’s what Editor Stephen Smith is still calling it these days. The event is on May 18. If you fill out this order form, they’ll call you around 2 p.m. for the live event called the “TeleForum Series.”

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