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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Murphy’

Morning Chatter

TOO SOON? “Found this while cleaning out some files today. Heh” — Ben Freed, who was fired as Editor-in-Chief of DCist this week for defying a boss’s orders about spiking a freelance story he wrote for BuzzFeed. Earlier in the day Wednesday Freed wrote, “I appreciate all the kind tweets, DMs, and emails. I thought @ErikWemple’s piece about what happened was totally fair.” Of course he thought it was “fair.” WaPo‘s Wemple defended the reporter who defied a directive from a boss by discussing standards set by the Washington City Paper, which is all well and good but for the fact that Freed was not fired for freelancing; he also no longer works for WCP. Wemple left a gaping hole in his story on Freed, jumping right from the publisher, Jake Dobkin, asked for the BuzzFeed story to be spiked to… “It ran.” Good going! But why should details matter to Wemple, who picks and chooses whom he defends based on an elusive criteria that’s hard to comprehend. He recently gave quite the easy time to a “publisher” who invented a story because she wished it was true. What’s not to like? Wemple later posted a letter from Freed which solved the mystery he could have clarified in his original post seeing as the letter from Freed circulated well before Wemple’s breaking story published. Freed wrote, “While the feedback on the piece has been largely positive, Jake had asked me to tell BuzzFeed to spike the article, but they and I went ahead with the decision to run it. I knew Jake would not be pleased, but I did not think this would be his recourse.” They and I? Hmmm so nice of Wemple to defend Freed on purposefully defying his boss based on standards at a publication where both he and Freed previously worked.

Workplace weirdness

“The co-worker who doesn’t want me following his twitter, follows ME on twitter! And we kind of are friends. That is why it’s weird.” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida.

Reporters fall prey to goat pitch

“Congressional cemetery goat bounce piece: Reporters more susceptible to press releases in August.” — CNN’s Zach Wolf. Speaking of goat stories…“ITK: Goats graze the Congressional Cemetery…which leads me to this uber important q: Do goats “bahh?” Just sheep?” — The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz, who links to this story. The Hill’s Associate Editor Niall Stanage replied, saying,  “I believe they bleat, officially. And thank you for provoking me to Google ‘noise Goats make.’” And Yahoo! News‘s Chris Moody: “I got hit with poison ivy while chasing goats around the Congressional Cemetery. WORTH IT.”

TMI?

“Many have asked about Twitter’s verification process. Not too difficult, though urine test was embarrassing.” — “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak.

Words to Live By

“Give us your tired, your weary, your Zuckers.” — Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy.

Reporter shares slice of life

“My 7 y/o in preparation for married life always tells me: ‘Daddy I really don’t like being asked how my day was.’”

Journo admits confusing actresses

“I mistook Glenn Close for Meryl Streep at Dem Nat’l convention in LA once. I was mortified, she laughed. Can relate.” — Albuquerque Journal Washington Bureau Chief Michael Coleman, who links to this post in which a fan confuses Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg. “Humble and hilarious, we just gained more respect for Marky Mark,” writes HuffPost in a post that’s neither humble nor hilarious.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 9:01 a.m.

Another view of This Town

“Working my way thru #ThisTown, but it’s a grind. Are the only people in ‘this town’ Democrats & @JohnMcCain (which, you know, close enough)?” — NJC’s Hannah Jackman.

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Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — Inauguration aftermath

“Wow. CNN. Inaugration.” — CNN’s John King with the above photograph.

A nod to C-SPAN

@cspan easily wins the award for best Inaugural Parade commentary – by having none and just letting viewers enjoy it.” — House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s (R-Va.) Dep. Chief of Staff Doug Heye.

Michelle Obama’s bangs: Yay or Nay?

CNN’s Piers Morgan: “Am I allowed to not really like the bangs? I don’t really go for the bangs.” His colleague Erin Burnette disagreed: “I love them.”

Speaking of the first lady…

“Want. That. Coat.” — PBS’s Gwen Ifill.

Important Q to Ponder: “Has someone called Aretha Franklin’s hat for comment on Michelle Obama’s bangs?” — The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball.

Uh oh. “Jon Stewart is going to have a field day with this inauguration coverage. #dailyshow” — The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack.

Dance Twins

“Obama and I apparently have the same dance style. I don’t know who should be sadder about that. #inaug13″ — Mandy Jenkins, Interactives Editor, Digital First Media.

The Angry Blogger

“Why the hell has my phone kept ringing today? I offered commentary. Did I declare terrorist action on Washington and am unaware? Ph-ck!” — Washingtonian‘s Javonni Brustow, who also editor of ThePundit.com and a blogger for PopGlitz.

The Observers

  • “Pelosi got a cheer at 7th and Penn. Boehner and Cantor didn’t. Almost like this crowd is Dems. #Inauguration.” — WaPo‘s Ben Pershing.
  • “Once again, some Republicans are ruining this day simply because they can. Please stop complaining. It’s not just abt you. It’s abt us all.” — Democratic pundit Donna Brazile.
  • “Watching the Benediction WWR cannot help but think of the burden that any president must bear. No one can truly understand – except them.” — Paul Brandus of WestWingReports.

Speaker Boehner Crying Watch: “Speaker Boehner wiping his eyes after lunch prayer.” — HuffPost‘s Jen Bendery.

Backhanded sarcastic compliment for CNN

“CNN winning the timefill before the parade with ‘how did you come up with those hats?’” — TPM‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro.

 Is Fox News getting stale?

“What about Fox News’ viewers? Are they going to go along like sheep? They now have no network that represents their perspective on what seems to be a key issue for Obama’s second term. Is it time for a new Fox?” — The Daily Caller‘s Mickey Kaus in a short post on his view that Fox News is going too far left and has a stale lineup.

In case you care about POTUS’ limo: “The windows in the President’s limo are not tinted. It’s easy to see him when he drives by.” — Former White House Press Sec. and pundit Ari Fleischer.

ABC reporter has Inauguration version of Modern Seinfeld, a USA Today reporter takes an intense picture, HuffPost ladies pose with Paula Abdul and more… Read more

FishbowlDC Interview With Mojo’s Adam Weinstein

Say hello to Mother Jones‘ National Security Correspondent Adam Weinstein, who has been splitting his time between Washington, San Francisco and Tallahassee. Next month he’ll grace Washington full-time as the mag’s new Community Engagement Editor and will continue on as their National Security Correspondent and Tumblr-starter. He was previously their copy editor. Before that, he worked at the WSJ, the Village Voice, and the Tallahassee Democrat. He’s written for the NYT, New York Magazine, GQ, and Newsweek.

He has many life titles: Navy veteran, two-day Jeopardy champion and ex-political scientist. He also did a recession-fueled stint as a military contractor in Iraq. He holds an MS in Journalism from Columbia and an MA in international affairs from Florida State. Weinstein says he’s looking forward to “getting down with” the other social media folks in Washington.

Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, he says he tried his hardest to be a beach bum. “There was lots of drinking on the beach and cutting class,” he recalled. In high school he interned at the Sun Sentinel, where he says he caught the Hemingway bug and figured journalism was something he’d always end up doing. He was a copy editor at the Tallahassee Democrat and the WSJ until Rupert Murdoch laid him off. He has funny copy editing memories: “Everybody has that moment where the front page comes out and you have a 72-point headline that reads ‘Headline Goes Here.’” He says he wasn’t a very good copy editor.

Weinstein says one of the problems journalists have is remembering that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  “We all just have a tendency to assume that what we work on everyday and what comprises our world is what comprises everybody’s elses,” he says. “The best journalists are ones that can step out of that bubble and be aware of other people’s worlds.”

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? Diet Mountain Dew. Not very classy, but irresistible, slightly Southern, and sure to make you sick in massive quantities.

How often do you Google yourself? Enough to grow hair on my iPad.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? I once told a restaurant manager I’d rather take a high colonic with a rusty chainsaw than work another minute for him. Two years later, I was writing for the Village Voice. The restaurant was out of business.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I can’t narrow it down. Dave Weigel is the nicest guy in the business. Mike Hastings is the most entertaining. C.J Chivers is a personal hero. I have an intellectual crush on Virginia Heffernan. But overall, right now I’d kill a man with my bare hands just to keep reading John Jeremiah Sullivan.

Do you have a favorite word? My wife and I giggle every time we say the word “backpack”, for some not-at-all-drug-related reason. When not in mixed company, I like “fuckstick.”

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric or ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Tell us why. Maddow, because I like to talk to PhDs. There ought to be more doctors and masters of non-journalistic shit working in journalism.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Helen Thomas or Joan Rivers. Who will it be? (Neither is not an option and yes, it’s possible. We’re in your imagination right now.) Joan Rivers, because I like her dirty talk.

What swear word do you use most often? “What the shit?!” I’m an ex-copy editor, so a lot of years in there, I spoke mainly in cusses. We’re the engine mechanics of the news biz.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) Skip Bayless, Woody Paige, Dana Loesch, Jonah Goldberg, and three dull machetes in the center of the table.

On a serious note for a moment, if you could have dinner with a person who has died, who would it be? I was raised in part by a lovely woman, April Rubin Bloom, an erudite, gentle union crusader who was like a third grandmother to me – Molly Ivins meets Atticus Finch. I was working on the wrong coast when she died, and we never got to share in each other’s excitement over my job at MoJo, one of her favorite magazines. Plus, she was the most talented cook ever to organize a NOW picket line for equal pay.

Does David Corn have a bad temper? No! He’s just a badass ex-hippie with great guitar licks and a sophomoric sense of humor.

Weinstein says Washington’s Boybanders “poop brown poop just like the rest of us” …

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Fishbowl5 With Bloomberg Businessweek’s Tim Murphy From Lyon, France

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Tim Murphy spent two days in late March observing the behavior of elected officials on the floors of the House and Senate. In a graphic piece — a portion of which we show you below — he describes, with insight from Daily Kos, Wonkette and the Hoover Institution, that a member of Congress’s off-camera activities say as much about their character as their policy positions. The stats: 24 % are “Power Blackberryers,” 20% are “Schmoozers,” 15% are “Sustained Touchers,” 5% are “Eaters.”

We chatted more extensively with Murphy about his story yesterday afternoon via email as he is now living in France. I am either lucky or too much of an easily-bored dilettante to have one beat,” he explained when asked what he covers. “I write everything from serious stories about gay issues and HIV/AIDS to celeb profiles to travel pieces for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Details, OUT Magazine, Poz Magazine, etc.

1. Where are you in France and what are you doing there? I’m a longtime New Yorker but I am living and working from Paris for the next few months with my boyfriend, the illustrator Damien Cuypers, who is French. But at this very moment I’m in Lyon, which I highly recommend to anyone who’s already been to Paris. It’s beautiful and charming and Frencher-than-French but it’s cheaper and more manageable than Paris–and it’s warmer, literally and figuratively. If Paris is New York, Lyon is San Francisco.

2. How and why did you get the idea to write this piece, by watching C-SPAN by any chance? I have been doing these BusinessWeek pieces for the past year or so where I watch people in very banal, everyday settings, like power lunching or early-morning gym or commuter trains and then I get behavioral experts to analyze what I saw. We’re always trying to think of new ones and someone at BizWeek suggested just sitting in the galleries of the House and Senate for a few afternoons and watching the floor. So I just sat there with the tourists a few weeks ago and watched.

3. Lawmakers are pretty goofy, fun characters, right? What was your impression? No, actually their behavior on the floor–and that of their staffers–is incredibly contained and bland. They are being watched constantly by the galleries and by C-SPAN, they are not going to do anything too wacky. That’s why Barbara Boxer really stood out to me–she was a real fireplug, bustling here and there, getting up in people’s faces, wagging her finger. She was working it!

4. What was left on the cutting room floor? Read more