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Posts Tagged ‘Taylor Bigler’

French Maid Spices Up Daily Caller Book Party

What was initially thought to be a special appearance by David Martosko‘s personal secretary at last night’s Daily Caller book launch party ended up being nothing of the sort.

To the left is a photo of Nandi, who works with Emperor Vodka, which sponsored the soiree. “I’m just here for pictures,” she said, graciously posing for cameras. Nandi, whose arms are reminiscent of Angela Bassett‘s What’s Love Got to Do with It, said this was her first time working with Emperor. Fun first day on the job!

The Daily Caller hosted the party in its Farragut Square newsroom celebrating The Lizard King, an ebook written by their own Jamie Weinstein and Will Rahn.

“I have no good answer,” said Rahn when asked who should read his book. “It’s a transformative book,” he said (“transformational” also works). He compared it to reading the Bible. “Is this off the record?” Rahn asked at the conclusion of our interview.

Weinstein was a little more willing to talk about the book, though we get the impression he thought he was on TV. “Truth-seekers will like it,” Weinstein said. He emphasized that the book is actually a manuscript provided by a White House insider and that he and Rahn are simply the vessels through which the book is being delivered. “Once in a while, history falls upon you and I think it happened to us,” he said, adding that it “may be one of the most important books since [Fox News host] Sean Hannity’s book.”

The Daily Caller‘s bar was stocked with wine, soda, alcohol and a beer tap that poured Pabst Blue Ribbon. Edibles (vegetables and a few hors d’oeurves) were a little on the slim side.

As guests trickled in, a couple faces stood out in the crowd: Politico‘s Byron Tau and Tim Mak. The DC and Politico have been known to publicly quibble in the past. One Daily Caller staffer said the relationship between the two publications “on paper” is often not the case between individual reporters. He said there are several Politico employees he regularly drinks with. Both Tau and Mak chatted with The DC‘s Alex Pappas for a while, as well.

In the crowd we also spotted a distinguished gentleman with a badass eye patch. It turned out to be Will Rahn’s father, ex-husband to WSJ‘s Peggy Noonan.

The DC‘s editor Tucker Carlson was seen talking with RollCall‘s Jonathan Strong, a former Daily Caller reporter. Strong said work for him has been slow and “a little boring,” given he covers Congress, which is currently out of session.

Notables: The Daily Caller‘s Alex Treadway, Sarah Hoffman, Taylor Bigler, Jeff Poor, Caroline May, Brian Danza, Chris Bedford, Neil Munro, Pat McMahon, Nicole Roeberg, and Vince Coglianese; The Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo and CJ Ciaramella; RollCall HOH‘s Neda Semani and Warren Rojas; Fox News contributor Jim Pinkerton; WaPo‘s Alexandra Petri; U.S. NewsSteven Nelson; The Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake; and Donald Rumsfeld‘s former chief of staff Keith Urbahn. Conspicuously absent were Matthew Boyle and Martosko, who had kid duty. We rode the elevator with him down to the garage. He puffed away on what may have been an illegal cigar the whole way down and said Rahn and Weinstein would know he was there “in spirit.”

Quotable:

  • “He’s a bit of a self promoter.”– Keith Urbahn on his former boss Donald Rumsfeld, who was Defense Secretary under former Prez George W. Bush. Urbahn spilled that Rummy is currently working on a new book. UPDATE: Urbahn writes in to tell us he was talking about his other former boss, The Daily Beast‘s David Frum.
  • Asked about former and recently fired Daily Caller reporter Michelle Fields, Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson said, “I haven’t seen her much on TV lately. That ended for some reason.” Fields was not in attendance.
  • “I don’t want to be written about.”– Steven Nelson, after FishbowlDC inquired about his job at U.S. News, which he only recently started.
  • “I’m holding out for the chance that Matthew Boyle shows up.”– FBDC’s Peter Ogburn.

 

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day – The Debate Edition

“Is Jim Lehrer sleeping zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz?” GOP Consultant Roger Stone.

“Is that Jim Lehrer’s heart rate monitor on the bottom of the CNN screen?” — Comedian Chris Rock parody account. He also commented on the first lady’s attire, saying, “Michelle Obama is wearing sleeves. This is serious.”

Advice for Lehrer: “I think Jim Lehrer just needs to start randomly yelling “get off my lawn” when he wants to move to the next topic.” — CNN Contributor and RedState‘s Erick Erickson.

And another thing…“Jim Lehrer looks confused, almost fearful. And pale. Awfully pale.” — Bloomberglp’s Dir. of Social Media Jared Keller. And another thing…“Q: Did Jim Lehrer ask to be made up to look like Burgess Meredith?” — Author Eric Metaxas. And another thing…“We’re deep enough into this to say that Jim Lehrer is blowing this as a moderator.”MetroWeekly‘s Co-Publisher Sean Bugg.

The Word Police

“Obama uses the term ‘ironically’ to mean unfortunately. It drives me crazy when people do that.” — TWT Opinion Writer Emily Miller.

The Observer

“Journalists posting screengrabs of their TV hits is this election’s worst development.” – Politico‘s Patrick Gavin.

Ragging on the Prez

  • “Not to pile on, but there is no overstating how irritated Obama looks and sounds tonight. Not a good look for him.” — National Journal “The Hotline Senior Editor Tim Alberta.
  • “Pres Obama has really a developed a penchant for talking ….. at considerable length.” — NYT Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Carl Hulse.
  • “Obama says it is never mind.. Obama is lost, all he can he do is lie.” — WaPo‘s right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin.
  • “Slowly the left is starting to acknowledge that Obama is losing this debate.” — WaPo‘s Aaron Blake.
  • “Obama has many talents as a politician, but debating is not one of them.” — The New Yorker staff writer David Grann.
  • “Romney more lively, O has case of slowskis – yet much of debate a ref on Mitt’s econ plan.” — Politico‘s Jonathan Martin.
  • “Obama needs some of Romney’s 5-Hour Energy.” — National Journal Deputy Editor James Oliphant.
  • “Obama’s use of a boring accent is a pander to boring people.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.
  • “Visuals matter. Mute your TV and what do you see? Smiling Romney and peeved, smirking Obama” — National Journal Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier.

Question to Ponder: “Why is Obama looking down so much?” — WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza.

Something else to Ponder: “Ok, I promise I’m listening and not just focusing on the flag pins, but what is that mark on Romney’s pin?” — Washingtonian‘s Fashion Editor Kate Bennett.

Journo prefers Honey Boo Boo

“Obama, Romney, for your sakes, I hope Honey Boo Boo isn’t on. Because this is getting pretty wonky.” — National Journal’s Elahe Izadi.

A compliment for Romney from the left: “Romney’s been natural and unusually funny in this debate. It’s a very strong performance.” — WaPo‘s left-wing wonk writer Ezra Klein.

Debate Downers

“I’m not picturing the senior citizens of Boca West understanding this debate so far.” — The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg.

“We need to minimize the maximifications of the absolute level of mumbojumbery. Or else, fiscal cliff up the ying yang!” — Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie.

Ivanka is proud of her dad

“Wow! How many times are the candidates going to mention my father this debate?!? What an honor!” — Ivanka Trump.

What, no bathroom breaks?

“Sometimes I wish I had a catheter.” — Elizabeth Lauten, a.k.a. DCGOPGirl, who reported for CNN during the summer conventions. She added, “Seriously, they ought to have one bathroom break in the middle or something. It’s otherwise inhumane.” (Elizabeth, your catheter for the next debate is in the mail.) 

From the Dept. of Bragiculture 

“Finally hit the big time: Just got an interview request from a Danish high school paper. Some of you will be lucky to say you knew me when.” — The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler.

Morning Reading List 10.02.12.

1. Not What, But Who Howie Knows… The Daily Beast, CNN and The Daily Download‘s Howard Kurtz can’t resist letting us all in on how many people he knows. The lede on his Daily Download story this morning: “When I bumped into David Axelrod the other day, I couldn’t resist ribbing him about the upcoming campaign faceoff in Denver.” Really Howie, you couldn’t resist? The story goes on to illustrate the “silly ritual” of lowering expectations before a debate by inflating the skills of the opponent.  An unoriginal story with no profound or new insights. Howie says the “media narrative” and the replayed clips will determine how the candidates do Wednesday night.

2. ‘Boob Booze’ — A feature story by Elizabeth Bernstein published just after midnight last night in The Daily Caller might raise a few eyebrows — it highlights a company that dribbles liquor down the breasts of an international Playboy model before selling it. The story contains an amusing note: (Ed. note: This website is probably not suitable for work, unless you happen to be an employee of The Daily Caller). Read the story by Taylor Bigler here, but if you work in most Washington newsrooms might want to be careful if your editor or HR Director is around.

3. Facebook meanies and fatties — Watch out. Spend too much time on Facebook and you could lose your oldest friend. Or worse: Spend too much time on Facebook and you’ll be fat, in debt and dumber than you were previously. Such is the sentiment of a story in the WSJ published last night that depicts why people engage in online battles. The gist: “Browsing Facebook lowers our self-control.” The piece is backed by five studies.

Want to suggest a story for “Morning Reading List?” Write and tell us about it at fishbowldc@mediaistro.com or betsy@mediabistro.com. Self-promoters welcome. We won’t ding you for it in this instance. 

Featured in Features: Boob Edition

A look at what’s happening in your feature stories…

The irresistibleThe Daily Caller‘s imitable Taylor Bigler has a writeup on Italian magazine Chi running topless photos of Kate Middleton after its sister publication was sued for doing the same thing. Accompanying Bigler’s story is the cover of Chi featuring the nude photos, but with a slight adjustment: Covering vital areas of Middleton’s boobs is a superimposed photo of Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson‘s face.

The ironic– Middleton can’t seem to catch a break. She’s in the middle of a lawsuit involving her breasts and when she and Prince William left the Western world for the Solomon Islands yesterday, she’s faced with more boobs. Gordon Rayner for the Telegraph writes, “over the course of the day dozens more topless dancers and welcoming committees were placed in the couple’s path.” Perhaps even worse, the royal couple were briefly confronted by local warriors: “[A]fter landing on a tiny dirt airstrip in Marau on the southern tip of the main island of Guadalcanal, the Duke and Duchess were challenged by fearsome spear-carrying warriors, in white war paint and whooping aggressively,” the story says. It notes, however, that the warriors “laid down their arms” after the tribe’s chief determined the couple to be “friendly.”

The busted– Journalist Soraya Roberts has a column in Slate about her boobs. Roberts suffers from the worst of problems. You see, she’s thin but has big boobs and that means she has trouble finding the right bra size. “In theory, the United States likes large breasts,” she writes. “In practice, the United Stastes likes large breasts as long as they’re on the right body. That means bigger women have bigger chests, smaller women have smaller chests.” Roberts reveals that she’s a size 28G (“full-busted”) and thus needs a smaller strap with larger cups. “[T]here are only two U.S. bras I could conceivably wear in a pinch,” she says. “California brands Parfait by Affinitas, which sells 30-40 D-G sizes in specialty stores and online (I can wear a 30FF if I have to), and Claudette, which also offers 30G bras online and in various boutiques across the country.” Life must be hard (or should we say “firm”?). Fortunately, Roberts doesn’t suffer alone. Her column inspired a full discussion on Reddit. As of now, there are 358 comments.

The titillating– In HuffPost Jill Di Donato gives the people what they want: “The truth about breast orgasms.” Donato writes that while at a cocktail party, a “gorgeous attorney” female friend told her about having an orgasm with only stimulation of her breasts. “I had to confess to her that I wasn’t all that familiar with the breast O,” she writes. “The idea of a woman experiencing an orgasm without any genital stimulation sounded perplexing. But I couldn’t wait to find out more.” Cue porn music. Actually there’s no sex in the column. Just some general advice on how to handle boobs in order to reach orgasm.

Featured in Features

It’s that time again. Here we take a look at what kind of B.S. Washington publications are putting in their features and lifestyles section. Sometimes they’re good. Often they’re not. But they’re always worth a look.

The questionable – In WaPo‘s Lifestyle section there’s a story by Emi Kolawole about the proliferation of animated GIFs (largely thanks to the restless minds at BuzzFeed) related to the Olympics. For those who don’t know, GIFs are the low-quality motion pictures that endlessly repeat 1 to 3 seconds of video. The following question is actually entertained in WaPo‘s story: “So, here’s the question, are the animated gifs cheating NBC — an end-run around its exclusive broadcasting rights?” That’s a good one and it’s exactly what I’ve been wondering to myself: Who needs NBC when you’ve got a grainy two-second clip of a Chinese gymnast falling down on loop right in front of you?! Fortunately, Kolawole aces her own quiz. “The short answer: no. NBC’s ratings are doing just fine,” she writes. Whew!

The consistent– Never one to disappoint, The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler has crafted “The top 10 reasons to strive for 22 Olympic medals.” Sounds like it could be inspirational, but it’s actually a titillating photo slideshow of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps‘ model girlfriend.

The notable– In its cover story, WCP has a look at tap water and how it’s different from city to city. That’s not incredibly sexy, but Jessica Sidman, who wrote the story, spoke with a CIA food scientist (apparently those exist) and learned that food recipes are affected by the mineral content in tap water. That means depending on what city a recipe is prepared it, the final product can be vastly different.

The irresistibleWashington Examiner readers might have noticed not too long ago the publication has shifted content around. The staff editorial, once prominently placed on page two, has been buried in the back on page 27. In its former space is “Potomac Diary,” a daily feature with less purpose than an iron in Dave Weigel‘s closet. Potomac Diary is nothing more than a collection of random, unbylined anecdotes submitted by people around the Washington area. For example, in today’s issue there’s a short story about a Golden Triangle worker downtown who cleaned the newspaper boxes at the corner of 16th and K streets. There’s another about a girl on the Metro who gawked at a fellow passenger aggressively swaying to music playing on his headphones. Pointless? Yes. Waste of space? Possibly. Do we read them anyway? Definitely.

HBO’s ‘Newsroom’ Gets Dim Reviews in D.C.

By Eddie Scarry and Betsy Rothstein

HBO’s drama Newsroom debuted Sunday night. The series tells the story of an easily agitated cable news anchor played by Jeff Daniels who has a public meltdown at Northwestern University resulting in a mass exodus of his staff. What’s a newsroom without a resident alcoholic, a wonk and a love triangle? Sam Waterston plays the drunken president of ACN who tells Daniels privately that he loved the meltdown. Dev Patel plays a perfect wonk. Who wouldn’t love to have him on their news team? A former love interest played by Emily Mortimer takes over his program as executive producer with plans to shake up the newscast for better or worse. And the love triangle: Daniels’ assistant played by Alison Pill is seeing an arrogant ass of a reporter (Thomas Sadoski) in the newsroom who doesn’t want to get too serious. Will she shack up with the new guy played by John Gallagher (check him out below)? Stay tuned…

Gawker published a favorable review by broadcasting legend Dan Rather. If subsequent episodes are as good as the first, he wrote, “then [Newsroom creator] Aaron Sorkin has a winner.”

ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper was less kind. In TNR, he called the show “sadly disappointing.” Similarly negative reviews were published in the NYT, WaPo and The New Yorker magazine.

We asked around to see what Washington’s media thought about the show. Sadly the viewing community, minus Slate‘s Dave Weigel, wasn’t large. And among those who watched, most abhorred it while a small minority of journalists are on the fence and plan to keep watching.

“Didn’t watch… don’t plan to… why do I want to spend my down time watching a fictionalized account of what I supposedly do for a living?” — NBC’s Chuck Todd

“So badly do I but I don’t get HBO despite trying to get it specifically so I could watch this show. I need someone to rent me a living room with HBO next weekend so I can check it out.” — RCP’s Erin McPike

“Going into the show I was highly skeptical, but you know I was entertained. Was it the west wing? No.  True to life? no (I’ve never seen a bottle of whiskey in my newsroom) but a quality first outing. I think it got the energy of a newsroom right. I’ll watch next week.One knock, but its kind of part of the Sorkin playbook…it got a touch preachy. I do wish the newsroom had a breaking news siren or something. — ABC7′s Kris Van Cleave

“Not sure I feel one way or another about it yet. I did identify with some of the situations, the environment and some of the characters, but I wasn’t fully convinced. Plus, the best part was the on-stage meltdown. It slowed considerably after that. Enjoyable but not addictive – at least not yet.” — CNN’s Matt Dornic

“I got rid of cable when I was watching too many “real” housewives. When I found myself wasting my time watching Kimmie’s wig pulled off on the streets of Atlanta – and my kids glued to Cartoon Network – cable had to go … Leaves me more time to read Fishbowl.” — ABC7′s Rebecca Cooper

“If the point of The Newsroom was to leave West Wing fans feeling a bit embarrassed, Sorkin succeeded. However, I am excited to share this experience with Twitter until the show ends.” — The Heritage Foundation’s Director of Communications Rory Cooper

“Didn’t watch. Think I’ll wait then tackle three or four episodes in one sitting.”– Politico‘s Dylan Byers

“Didn’t watch, though did enjoy Sorkin’s A Few Good Men on (I think) TNT Saturday”– Politico‘s Alex Burns

“I did, largely because 1) the negative reviews/profiles were so succulent and 2) I needed to procrastinate. Maybe Dan Rather is right, and people in print media just don’t understand whether or not this feels REAL. (When I do MSNBC, I’m sort of an in-and-out guest in the newsrooms and studios, so I have not seen a newsroom burst into action to chase down BP statements.) That said… seriously, they broke the BP story wide open because they ran with the new guy’s two sources? Isn’t that how the Paris correspondent gets in trouble in “The Imperfectionists”?”– Slate’s Weigel.

“I am probably the only person in D.C. whose job it is to write about entertainment and did not tune in. I’ll watch it when I get home tonight, but from all of the scathing reviews I have pretty low expectations, which is disappointing because I love a good walk and talk. I have “Sports Night” queued up on Netflix in case I need to cleanse my palette afterward.”– The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler

“I turned off HBO after True Blood, the Newsroom’s plot just seemed too dark and twisted.” — USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich

“Tedious.” — The Daily Caller‘s TV Reporter Jeff Poor

“No, didn’t watch watch it and won’t watch it.. I work in a newsroom. Why in god’s name would I then go home and watch a show about working in a newsroom? Give me an episode of Game of Thrones!” — NBC’s Andy Gross

“I thought it was mostly fun, albeit pretty melodramatic with the various speeches, especially the ones delivered by the Brit woman. Plenty of news organizations are “popular” without pandering to one audience or another. Thought Jeff Daniels was great as a cynical, beaten-down new sguy who could have been a print or digital person as well as a TV one.” — BusinessWeek‘s Bryan Gruley

“I didn’t watch. I’m lame.” — NYT‘s Mark Leibovich

“Sorry, In ATL this week for a conference. Didn’t see it.” — HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie

See more responses from Washington journos…

Read more

Vagina Journalism

There are a lot of loose lips on the subject of vaginas lately.

Last week two female Michigan State congresswomen were barred from speaking on the House floor after angrily using the word “vagina” while debating an anti-abortion bill.

Daily Show host and comedian Jon Stewart mocked the House’s decision a few nights ago, saying, “What are they worried about? Vaginas aren’t like Voldemort or Beetlejuice. Invoking the name ‘vagina’ doesn’t make them suddenly appear.” He then highlighted in a “moment of zen” a clip of one CNN anchor saying sarcastically, “Fair warning: I’m about to say a word some of you are going to find offensive. So here’s the warning. Here we go: Vagina.”

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed one of the congresswomen about an earlier protest that took place outside Michigan State Capitol, in which there was a live performance of the Vagina Monologues. During O’Donnell’s program, Metro Weekly‘s Chris Geidner tweeted, “If you don’t like vaginas, this is not your TV show.” – [O'Donnell], creating a false choice for me.”

Liberals also started the hashtag #sayvagina on Twitter. As with anything these days, particularly anything regarding vaginas, it was highjacked. “#Sayvagina but don’t say #8.2%JoblessRate,” wrote Breitbart.com Editor Dana Loesch.

Liberal radio show host Leslie Marshall tweeted, “#sayvagina I tell my toddlers to stop saying that in public! Grown women who are legislators? Go ahead!”

We asked a few journos around town what they thought about seeing so much vagina in the news lately and how they handle the subject in their own professional lives. HOH“s Neda Semnani told us it’s not weird at all. “That is what those crazy kids are calling that part of the body these days,” she told FBDC. “Other body parts with names that don’t make me feel awkward: penis, fallopian tube, uterus, urethra, testicle, balls, vulva, breast, boob, hair, nail, shin, pancreas, gland, cells, pinkie, big toe, follicle. Actually, scratch that… ‘Follicle’ sounds gross.”

A TV industry insider did some soul searching and remarked, “I hate the word ‘vagina.’ But not nearly as much as the dreaded P word. In everyday life I prefer to use C U Next Tuesday because it’s succinct and so offensive that it’s funny. In mixed company, I may opt for other humorous terms like ‘hatchet wound.’ But for TV, let’s all agree to stick with ‘vagina.’ That is, unless everyone can rally behind ‘pikachu’ or ‘tamagotchi.’”

A more serious Kevin Glass, managing editor of Townhall.com, said his publication has no official policy on the matter. “We don’t allow any words to be used in poor taste, but don’t censor our authors where it’s appropriate,” he said.

The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler said she’s free when it comes to using the word. “‘Vagina’ is at the very bottom of the list of words that I’m squeamish about saying or using in copy,” she said. “It’s just a part of the body. I’m much more concerned about getting words like ‘douchebag’ and ‘Octomom porn’ past the editors.” Her boss, Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, takes a far more conservative slant on the matter. “I approach that word as the ancient Israelites did YHWH: I have too much respect to use it lightly,” he said. On the subject of using the word on TV: “No.”

Host of XM Radio’s Press Pool Julie Mason told us she could say “vagina” loud and proud on the air if she wanted, but she tries playing it “mostly square.” She said, “My boss’s general rule is to imagine an eight-year old in the car listening to the show — don’t say things that might cause their parent to switch to [shock jock] Howard Stern as the sober alternative.”

Then there’s this from Bretibart NewsTony Lee, who by far had the most interesting personal policy on the matters. “I don’t use that term in person,” he said, “and given what I refer to it as would be too crude for print, I would write ‘female genitalia’ or ‘female genitals,’ which would be consistent with the the word choice in stories dealing with horrific ‘female genital’ mutilation.”

Author of the Mr. Media Training Blog Brad Phillips acknowledged how “absurd” it is “that if George Carlin were alive today, he’d need to expand his list of dirty words you can’t say on television to include ‘vagina.’” His personal advice on using “vagina” in media comes in the form of an introspective question: “Does it help them make their point, or does it serve as a distraction that prevents people from hearing their larger point?” He said the two state congresswomen used the word effectively, as “it drew national attention to an issue they were passionate about.”

Watch some vagina-talk clips after the jump…

Read more

Featured in Features

It’s time to check up what Washington publications are publishing in their features sections. Hate ‘em or love ‘em, they’re always worth a look.

The questionable– You’d think Big Foot was spotted at a gay bar in Dupont with this Tuesday item about coyotes in the Washington Examiner. “Arlington officials say they finally have proof that coyotes are living in the woods on the north side of the county,” the story says. Should anyone be worried about this? It continues, “residents shouldn’t be afraid of their new canine neighbors. Coyotes are typically shy and avoid people.” Oh, thank God; don’t ever scare Northern Va. residents like that again, please.

The bad– How many BBQ aficionados are out there to merit a full-length feature in WaPo about cooking on a grill? Anybody? We have to admit, however, we did enjoy this overzealous quote from the story: “If you are a pitmaster, you should know your meat… You should know, dammit.”

The irresistible– One of FBDC’s go-to places for Featured in Features is The Daily Caller. We can always count on some twisted shit from their entertainment editor Taylor Bigler. Using the “Titanic 3Ds” theatrical release today as a news hook, Bigler compiled “10 cute animals mimicking” the famous “draw me like one of your french girls” scene from the film. Stupid? Yes. Irresistible? Definitely. To be a braincell in Bigler’s head when she thinks up these story ideas.

The good– A feature in TWT looks at actor Tom Hanks and his evolution from a politically ambiguous actor everyone loves to an  outspoken supporter of liberal causes… that pretty much everyone still loves. In the story we also learn that in 2011 Hanks was polled as “America’s second-most trusted celebrity.” Why the hell does such a poll exist anyway? Is Hanks moonlighting as a babysitter?

The noteworthyPolitico has a short item on how President Barack Obama recently said he had a crush on someone from “Star Trek.” We were hoping Obama was talking about Newt Gingrich, but no, he meant actress Nichelle Nichols.

Featured in Features

It’s that time again when we check on recent features published in Washington publications. Sometimes they’re good. Sometimes they’re not. But they’re always worth a look.

The goodThe Washington Examiner got a one-on-one with Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba this week ahead of the band’s concert in Silver Spring on Thursday. Ashba replaced the original guitarist Slash and Nancy Dunham, who wrote the story, asked the uncomfortable: If Ashba had any problems with Slash. “I have no history or beef with Slash,” he answered. “I don’t know the guy personally. I have a lot of respect for him and all the guys in the band, for their musicianship.”

The awkwardMichael Warren, special to TWT, wrote a review of “Act of Valor,” a movie released today about actual Navy SEAL operations post-9/11. The headline alone was curious: “Anti-Hollywood ‘Act of Valor’ a soldiers soldiering film about the SEALS.” Soldiers soldiering? Further along Warren describes the SEALs as “precision fighting machines” and “the very last people any jihadist of sound mind wants to encounter…” What’s the difference between a jihadist of sound mind and one of unsound mind? Less nitro?

The bad– We had to check twice to make sure WaPo‘s profile on Melissa Harris-Perry‘s new MSNBC show wasn’t written by Mediaite‘s Tommy Christopher. In fact, it was written by Anna Holmes, who seemingly Google searched “positive adjectives” to describe Perry’s show. Holmes says the first episode was “signature Harris-Perry.” How can the first show of someone virtually unknown (and still relatively unknown) be “signature”? “She’s got this,” Holmes writes. Further in the profile Holmes writes that “others” have judged Perry’s impact on TV news– just five days after Perry’s debut. The “others” are Latoya Peterson, editor of of the website Racialicious; Founder of Women and Media in News Jennifer Pozner; and Hub Brown, an associate dean at Syracuse University; None of whom have anything less than sugary to say about Perry. Not to sound like a negative Nancy, but surely not everyone is throwing confetti up over Perry’s new show.

The noteworthyThe Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler has an interesting story about the late Whitney Houston allegedly sending a personal bodyguard free of charge to help locate a kidnapped child. In it, we learn that Houston’s nickname was “Nippy.”

Featured in Features

Today we are once again perusing the feature sections in publications around town. Who did it well, who creeped us out — and which outlets could stand to completely reinvent their thinking?

The goodThe Hill ran a feature Monday about two separate job-lead forums for people seeking employment on Capitol Hill. The forums, BradTraverse.com and TommanatosJobs.com, were created by Hill staffers who at one point were out of work and had trouble finding a job. The article is informative and easy to for many to relate to — what some may perceive to be the exact opposite of Mitt Romney.

The bad– Calling TWT‘s review of counter singer Tim McGraw‘s latest album “bad” may not be fair, but how else do you describe a review of any country music album included in a metropolitan newspaper? The description of McGraw’s album is a little much: “‘Emotional Traffic,’ which finally sees the light of day this week, is stocked with everything the country singer does best, from beer-drinking honky-tonk songs to twangy pop anthems. It’s filled with single-worthy cuts, too…” Gag!

The confusing– Is it a good thing or bad thing that anyone who wants to open a sidewalk food vendor has to wait for new regulations from D.C’s Department of Regulatory Affairs? Is it good or bad that once regulations are complete, new vendors will pay $587 for a one-year permit from the city? A feature in WaPo asks readers to put on their rose-tinted glasses and see the bright side: Once all is said and done (doesn’t say when) there might be more available options for street vendor. Key word: might.

The noteworthyThe Washington Examiner ran what was more of an announcement than a feature on Monday; but it could make for an interesting feature. The item highlighted a notice from Prince George’s County in search of residents 90 years old and older. PG County plans to host an event celebrating the old people living there, with “special recognition” for residents who are 100. We hope The Examiner will cover the event and gather health and beauty tips from those who’ve aged most gracefully. We’d also like to hear about how loud they have to scream to get their their answers.

The concerning– Per usual, The Daily Caller is running a collection of nearly naked photographs of a woman. This time it’s model Heidi Klum for the simple fact that she is now separated from her husband of seven years, singer Seal. We usually put The DC‘s features in “the kinky” category. But the DC’s Entertainment Editor who bylines these collections, Taylor Bigler, quaintly wrote, “Now that [Klum is] finally single, we may actually have a chance — in our dreams.”

 

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