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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Crabtree’

The Hill Shifts a Beat and Hires Two New Scribes

The Hill‘s Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon announces a beat change and a few new hires. Jordy Yager (pictured here) is moving to the beat, in part, left vacant by Susan Crabtree. Crabtree recently left the newspaper for TPM. Debbie Seigelebaum, a new hire from Inside Washington Publishers, will assume Yager’s Campus/Features beat. A second new hire is Keith Laing from The News Service of Florida, who will be a business and lobbying reporter.

See the internal memo…

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TPM to Double Its DC Bureau

Earlier today we reported that The Hill‘s Susan Crabtree is leaving her gig to pursue new opportunities with Talking Points Memo.  Now we’ve learned that Crabtree’s hire was one of the initial steps in a planned expansion of the site’s Washington presence. Though Crabtree will take over TPM’s White House beat, her responsibilities include building and mentoring a DC bureau that is planned to double in size by the end of the year, according to Yahoo’s Michael Calderone.

In a memo obtained by FishbowlDC, TPM editor and publisher Josh Marshall said:

“Susan will be a critical addition to our reporting team in DC.  And beyond that she will play a key role helping us to shape our coverage and build our team over the coming years. Susan will be taking over the White House beat for TPM.  But we’re envisioning that role as one that will more often than not be reported from Capitol Hill.  She definitely will not be a captive of the White House press room.”

The website’s DC office is currently home to only five of the 20 people employed by TPM but with sights set on DC, Crabtree and managing editor David Kurtz are being charged with the goal of hiring and training at least five more reporters be year’s end.

“We anticipate that 2011 will be a year of growth for TPM. We’ll be putting in place a bigger team but we’ll also be making adjustments to internal processes and procedures to eliminate what doesn’t work and to find new and better solutions to the challenges of covering the news in the way we do,” said Marshall in the memo announcing Crabtree to the news group.

The Hill’s Crabtree to TPM

Her future's so bright, she'll have to wear shades.

Hugo Gurdon announced via internal memo this afternoon that Susan Crabtree will be leaving her post as senior editor at The Hill newspaper for a job at TPM.  Prior to joining The Hill, Crabtree worked for CQ, Variety and Roll Call.  Gurdon’s memo below:

After more than five years at The Hill, Susan Crabtree has decided to make a job move to Talking Points Memo. I want to thank her for the work she has done here, covering first the House Republicans and then ethics investigations. She will be doing more of that at TPM. Please join me in wishing Susan well in this career step.

Thanks, Hugo

Brave Journos Get Competitive Over Karaoke

NBC’s Luke Russert and CNN’s Brianna Keilar won “Best Duet” for Livin’ on a Prayer

(All photos taken by FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic.)

Milling about in a darkened upstairs barroom last night at the Rock & Roll Hotel, the mood amongst journalists was a low buzz of excitement. Some of Washington D.C. ‘s nerviest participants in the charity competition were there having pre-Karaoke drinks. They showed not even a trace of anxiety.

One such performer was CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, all decked in cowboy attire and accompanied by a CBS reporter and correspondent, Kaylee Hartung. Schieffer was moments away from performing with his band, Honky Tonk Confidential. Asked if he was nervous, he laughed and replied, “I’m so bad I’m so past that. Anyone with as little talent as me is beyond being embarrassed.”

Peter Parisi, a TWT copy editor, was particularly chipper in his red gingham button-down and blue jeans. He told me he had performed Karaoke dozens of times and was more than ready for his performance. “Sonny and Cher. I Got You Babe,” he said, when asked what he’d form. “Cher had a previous engagement so I’m going to have to do this alone.”

Journalists soon moved downstairs to the stage area. In the crowd, but not performing was NJ “The Hotline’s” Executive Editor Reid Wilson, Politico‘s Natasha Lennard, The Hill‘s Tricia Barba , Susan Crabtree and Christina Wilkie, QGA and FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic, Chicago Sun Times D.C. Bureau Chief and Politics Daily Flotus columnist Lynn Sweet, Washington Examiner’s Julie Mason, NJ‘s Matt Cooper and Major Garrett, CBS News’s Christine Delargy and CNN’s Abby Livingston. Upcoming performers included NBC’s Luke Russert (who knew he could sing?), Politico’s Shira Toeplitz, Slate‘s Dave Weigel (who knew he could, er, dance?), CNN’s Brianna Keilar, HuffPost contributor Stephanie Green (lovely voice), Washington Life‘s Michael Clements (borrowed Green’s long fur tiger print coat for the performance; one journo said he wears coats like that only to funerals) and TPM (but soon-to-be CQ-Roll Call‘s) Christina Bellantoni.

CNN Senior White House correspondent and “Dynamite” performer Ed Henry was spotted by the bar horsing around with his backup singer children, Patrick and Mila, prepping them for the big event. He admitted to some pre-performance jitters. “Covering the White House is easy compared to this,” he confided. “This is sink or swim.” But Henry persevered and won “Best in Show.” (See a complete list of performances, more photographs and award winners after the jump.)

Nerves or not, a decent-sized roster of journos soon took to the stage.

Amongst White House scribes, the competition grew tense over Twitter with lots of smack talk. One of those talkers was The Hill‘s White House correspondent Sam Youngman. Once on stage, the lights beamed on him and he looked utterly relieved.  “This is awesome, I can’t see any of you,” he told the crowd. He had planned to sing three short verses of “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” by Warren Zevon, but during the performance appeared surprised when the song seemed to stretch on so long. Still, he held his own, sang in tune and thankfully, unlike some of the other performers, didn’t try to hit any high notes.

Jaws dropped when…

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The Two Funniest Journos in Washington Are…

web.jpg What passes for funny amongst journalists? Nipples. The word f–k. Ann Coulter’s boobs. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) being the hue of burnt sienna. And the National Press Club turning the Edward R. Murrow room into an RNC bondage bar.

Journalists performing stand-up in the National Press Club ballroom for the Commedia del Media charity journo comedy competition Thursday night did imitations of British accented broadcasters and one wondered why CNN didn’t allow one of its own to participate in the competition. Few knew that Sue Bennett, a producer for HBO “Real Time With Bill Maher,” was in the audience scouting the talent. NBC, CBS and FOX were also there filming the performances.

Commedia del Media raises money for charities such as Reporters Without Borders. Of the seven competing journalists, two tied for first place: Former CNN scribe and Miltary.com’s Jamie McIntyre and FOX Business Network correspondent Rich Edson. Judges voted for McIntyre, but the decibel machine revealed that McIntyre and Edson tied at 105.6 decibels.

Edson performed well-practiced impressions of British broadcasters and a raspy-voiced Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.). Though he said he was nervous, many thought his delivery was near-perfect.

McIntyre tweaked CNN, saying, “They told me one of those cameras is for the Fox News Channel. I’m not used to having so many people watching.” He also razzed cable news broadly. “I like to call it news whiz,” he said, comparing it to the cheese. “It’s a simulated news-like product. You could use it for news if you didn’t have any real news.”

McIntyre spilled that a CNN reporter was to perform stand-up last night, but cracked that the event wasn’t serious enough for the network. He said most networks are “thin-skinned” and prone to “hurt feelings.”

Though he never named the journalist who was to perform Thursday night, FishbowlDC learned that the would-be comedian was Capitol Hill correspondent Brianna Keilar. Keilar dropped out a few weeks ago with the CNN Speakers Bureau declaring her unavailable for the evening. Sources say she had wanted to perform.

McIntyre, the former CNN Pentagon scribe, blamed himself for the correspondent dropping out. He said in 2006 he competed in a Funniest Journalist on the Planet contest in Manhattan in which he took comedic jabs at then-CNN host Lou Dobbs. At the time, CNN was none too pleased, McIntyre said, and a network higher-up phoned to scold him as he drove home to Washington.

Mother Jones D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn was among the event’s three judges. A tough judge, he was. “Actually I don’t like comedy at all,” he said before the routines began. “It takes me a lot to laugh. I do think [RNC Chairman] Michael Steele is really funny. He is my favorite comedian. He cracks me up. He kills.”

Former Time reporter Matt Cooper was emcee for the evening. Before the event, he paced and paced, carefully studying his notes. Cooper, whose cadence resembles that of an actual comedian, spoke of horrible crowds in the Metro, saying, “I’m like, ‘Get off the f–king Metro people.’ Let me be depressed by myself.” He also took a stab at (or else, complimented) Politico saying, “As you know, this extraordinary nuclear agreement was signed. …Later they said the world still needed to come together to fight the global threat of Politico for world domination.”

He remarked on his figure, saying, “I’ve tried to lose some weight. I’ve gone from f–king fat to fat.”

Cooper imitated former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) asking aide Andrew Young to pretend Rielle Hunter’s baby was his. “I’m going to owe you a solid when this is over,” he said in an Edwards drawl. …And I think your wife is going to understand more than you think.”

Aside from McIntyre and Edson, other performers included WaPo’s Melissa Bell (who spoke of men in India pinching women’s nipples as a sign of affection), former NPR reporter Jamila Bey, Politics Daily’s Walter Shapiro, McClatchy’s Nancy Youssef and Department of Transportation public relations officer Doug Hecox.

Hecox on the census: “I’m just waiting for John Boehner where he checks the box orange. The story is not that he’s orange, it’s that he’s really burnt sienna.”

He brought up Coulter’s jugs, saying that he’s going to dress up as President Ann Coulter for Halloween, his favorite holiday. But, he said, he feared that his breasts would be too large. “I’m not saying she’s flat chested,” he said. “I’m saying they both lean too far to the right.”

Shapiro recalled watching 60 hours of cable TV for a story. “It was interesting watching the two IQ points slough off my dandruff,” he said.

Youssef described herself as “Muslimish.” She said, “I drink, I fornicate, but I don’t eat pork.”

The evening closed with Sylvia Traymore, whose imitations included The View’s Whoopie Goldberg, actress Monique, and singer Dionne Warwick. Largely with her back turned to the audience, she stripped off her long-sleeved shirt to reveal a sleeveless top to become First Lady Michelle Obama with well-sculpted arms. She then began furiously brushing her hair into an Obama coiffe. Then she turned and pursed her lips, depicting a typical FLOTUS facial expression (see picture after the jump).

Christina Davidson, the event’s organizer, took to the stage to congratulate the winners and lobby for next year’s journo comedians. “If you have the balls for this, talk to me,” she said.

Journalists in attendance included Politics Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Melinda Henneberger, her husband, WaPo education reporter Bill Turque, Politics Daily’s Editor Carl Cannon, NYT’s James Risen, Politico’s Kiki Ryan, The Hill’s Susan Crabtree, WTOP’s Bob Madigan and travel writer Carl Hoffman (boyfriend to WaPo’s Bell).

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Emcee Matt Cooper keeps audience laughing between performances.

All photographs by Shauna Miller. More after the jump…

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Morning Reading List 10.15.09

Good morning FishbowlDC! Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

What we know and what we’re reading this rainy Thursday morning…

NEWSPAPERS | TV | ONLINE | MAGAZINES | NEWS NOTES | WEST WING REPORTAGE | AWARDS & EVENTS | IN MEMORIAM

NEWSPAPERS

WSJ has taken the top spot among daily newspapers, taking over USA Today.

NYT has decided not to sell the Boston Globe.

Tom Brokaw‘s op-ed in today’s WaPo: “A Peace Prize to Share.”

TV

On his radio show yesterday, MSNBC’s Joe Scarbourgh ribbed on Chuck Todd with ABC’s Jake Tapper. Scarborough: “I expect he’s going to have a Billy Ray Cyrus mullet soon” and “His body odor has gotten worse over the past ten years.” To which Tapper responded: “There’s so much body odor in the [White House] press area, I can’t tell who’s who.”

More on “Goatee Gamble” on FBDC later today.

NBC and CBS News Presidents Steve Capus and Sean McManus commented on comments their reporters Richard Engel and Lara Logan have made on the war in Afghanistan.

PBS’ Jim Lehrer seems to have an affinity for rap, or at least one of his producers does. An economist was apparently bumped from “Newshour” for a rapping economist. We don’t blame you, “Newshour.”

ONLINE

Arianna Huffington calls for Vice President Joe Biden to resign.

New venture: Michael Kinsley is launching a business site for Atlantic.

MAGAZINES

Rolling Stone‘s Obama cover won an ASME prize.

NEWS NOTES

The US military in eastern Afghanistan recently changed its media embed rules to ban pictures of troops killed in the war. (Photo District News)

And on a lighter note, Rush Limbaugh apparently isn’t going to get to buy the St. Louis Rams.

WEST WING REPORTAGE

After an appearance on CNN this weekend in which she called Fox News “a wing of the Republican party,” White House communications director Anita Dunn is on the cover of WaPo‘s Style section today.

Most interesting: “A source inside the White House, who was not authorized to speak about strategy meetings, said Dunn went out front against Fox first and foremost because it was her job, but also because it potentially gave the administration the opportunity to distance itself from the flap with the Roger Ailes-led news channel once she leaves the communications job.”

Mike Allen also fact-checks the piece in this morning’s Playbook… “UM, NO: “She advised President Bill Clinton.” Anita never worked for Bill Clinton.”

And more on Fox News vs. the White House.

AWARDS & EVENTS

Politico‘s David Rogers, Politics Daily “Capitolist” Patricia Murphy, The Hill‘s Susan Crabtree, Time‘s Jay Newton-Small, CQ‘s Greg Giroux, Cook Political Report’s Jennifer Duffy and Center for Responsive Politic’s Sheila Krumholz will be featured on panels at NPC’s Political Writing Workshop this weekend.

IN MEMORIAM

In memoriam: Nan Robertson, Pulitzer Prize-winning NYT reporter and “The Girls in the Balcony” author.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Politico, NJ‘s Wake-Up Call and Last Call!

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