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Posts Tagged ‘Todd Zwillich’

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Speaker’s Sat. plans didn’t include GOP debate

“.@SpeakerBoehner, did you watch the GOP presidential debate? ‘Saturday night? I don’t think so.’” — The Takeaway’s Congressional radio correspondent Todd Zwillich.

Today on ABC’s “The View” at 11 a.m. ET: GOP Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman.

Nightmare Scenario…

“Email from an IT guy asking me to retrace my steps in the last 15 minutes has proven to be the biggest challenge of my young life.” — WaPo‘s Lindsay Applebaum.

Perino and Japanese bookstores don’t mix

“Ever go into a store while waitint [sic] for someone & realize it’s not your kind of place? Japanese language bookstore. I couldn’t even fake it.” — Fox News Political Commentator Dana Perino.

No snooze button for Weigel

“Have scheduled two 6 am flights for myself this week. And yet I call OTHER people dumb.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

Secret Santa details…

“Oh – Secret Santa in the Senate. Members bringing in wrapped gifts. Rockefeller says he shopped for his! Gift has to be under $10.” — FNC Senate reporter Trish Turner.

Weingarten sets a high Bieber bar for himself

“I average 7 new followers a day. If he stops gaining followers, I’ll be as popular as Justin Bieber when I am 7,043 years old.” — WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten.

FLOTUS’ Xmas present for POTUS is a secret, but no, it’s not a Presidential hot tub

“The truth is, we generally — we always say we’re not going to give each other gifts because the gift is the love that we have for each other.  Yes, that’s a good thing.  (Applause.)  But then he usually gets me something.  And them I’m like, we weren’t supposed to get each other stuff. So I got him something but I’m not going to say.  All right?  That make sense?  Last year one of the kids suggested that I get him a hot tub.  (Laughter)  Remember that?  We didn’t get him a hot tub.  (Laughter)” — First Lady Michelle Obama in remarks at Children’s Medical Center on Monday.

Baier Vomit

“@kjon Congrats on winning Trivia! Please send your info to for your prize! Hat, mug, tie or new SR grilling spatula!” — FNC’s Bret Baier announces the new Fox News gift of a grilling spatula for his weekly trivia contest. (Baier Vomit (noun): 1. The liquid spray that hack journalists can’t keep down whilst reporting on Bret Baier. 2. BV can have a chunky consistency, often a result of the special showmanship that Baier exudes when talking about anything.)

A Quick Convo Between Two Media Types

Today’s exchange is between former RNC Spokesman Doug Heye and Fake Jim VandeHei, the fake twitter account for Politico Exec. Editor Jim VandeHei.

Doug Heye: “#BonjeanParty2011 has made the Drudge Report. Huge! Congrats
@RonBonjean and Sara!”

Fake Jim VandeHei: “Most DC tweet of all time.”

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Washington Watch’s Resident Fashion Plate Roland Martin: “Me and wifey @jhoodmartin getting our Texas on at the Black Republican gathering.”

Up With Hazy, Down with Hazy: Not always easy to tell

“For all I know @chrislhayes is the greatest TV talent in the world. Still don’t get people who watch msnbc first thing Saturday morning.” — National Review Online‘s Jonah Goldberg.

“Just starting my DVR of UP! with @chrislhayes . No spoilers, please! #uppers” — Mediaite‘s White House correspondent Tommy Christopher watches “Up with Hayes” like it’s a reality TV marathon.

Piers to his driver: I’m not that important

“My driver just went ‘around the block’ because he thought we were being followed. At 6am, in Los Angeles. Mate, I’m not the President.” — CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Super Committee Humor

“Failure of super comm is the most surprising thing to happen in Wash DC since the time that family values pol got caught having an affair.” — Former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett.

“It’s Sunday. Are you ready for some SITTING IN THE CAPITOL ON DEATHWAAAATCH!” — The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio reporter Todd Zwillich.

SHOCKING DEVELOPMENT: Media gets painted as evil

“The media’s a little bit like the Jurassic Park dinosaur, it notices movement in the polls & it moves in to kill it.” — GOP Consultant Mike Murphy on NBC’s “MTP” Sunday.

HUH? This week’s Date Lab includes 28-year-old Matt Holland, who thinks he has a handle on what women want. Holland, a grown man, says, “I had a good week at work, and afterward I went and bought myself a new sweater. Girls like soft sweaters.”

The Media Critic

“Ok – I don’t like this ‘Meet’ format. Kerry sits there while Kyl talks? No interaction? #peanutgalleryopinion” — Senate Fox News reporter Trish Turner.

The Observer

“Chris Wallace ‘dancing’ with turkeys is exceedingly disturbing. #sundaymorninghell” — Roll Call‘s John Stanton.

And now a positive word on Wallace…

“Chris Wallace is growing on me. He asks very pointed questions.” — Roll Call‘s Ryan Teague Beckwith.

Journo Sundays

Politico‘s Jake Sherman: “My #sundayroutine: hour-long workout. Sunday shows. Work.”

NBC “MTP” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer: “My #SundayRoutine; wakeup at 4am, make some live television, start weekend, play with daughter, take a nap.”

WaPo editor Lindsay Applebaum: “Sometimes I like quiet weekend mornings just sitting here with my coffee and my newspaper and my iPhone and my iPad and my laptop and my TV.”

WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza (on Saturday night): “The Bourne Supremacy on Bravo. And just like that my next two and a half hours are spoken for.”

A Convo Among Three Journos

Our favorite Cabbage Patch doll/blogger Matt Mackowiak: “Here’s an idea: the SuperCommittee could be working today instead of appearing on the Sunday Shows.”

NBC’s Fischer: “I disagree!”

Roll Call‘s Steven Dennis: “Maybe if they appeared together & talked it out w/Dr. Phil. Or Regis. #Supercom”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

A commenter valiantly defends FNC’s Greta Van Susteren from a negative chatter on her Gretawire blog: “You are one rude piece of dirt. Why do [you] roam here if you don’t like Greta? You have a mental problem?”

Politico‘s Sara Libby: “You guys, the @politico Snuggie is a REAL THING!”

An Anonymous reader wrote in yesterday to say… “A little bit of friendly advice, as I read your site very often to catch up on the happenings of all my journo friends in town: You have this males-only Sunday feature, but your morning comments are always dominated by men. Why don’t you quote more women in the morning? Thanks, and keep up the good work.” Memo to reader: Thanks for your note. I hear you — down with so many quotes from ding dongs. Up with vajayjays. Will be more conscious about it. God knows Politico‘s Libby has a lot to say.

Reporter watches interviews in wrong order

“Ugh. should have started w/ Sandusky and ended with Giffords” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein referring to Jerry Sandusky on NBC’s Rock Center and Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.)  on ABC’s special interview with Diane Sawyer last night.

The Media Critic

“Giffords intv on ABC with Sawyer prob got more eyeballs, but netting Sandusky intv was a HUGE get for @NBCNews, especially 4 a new show.” — Politico‘s authority on TV matters Dave Catanese.

A Convo Between Two Journos

Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein: There are times when I say to myself, ‘I’m going to eat Lucky Charms.’

The Takeaway’s Todd Zwillich: They’re tragically malicious.

Journo Love

NBC TODAY Show Correspondent Savannah Guthrie: “Wolf, I adore thee.” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer posted this photograph and remarked, “Honoring Larry King at #Friars dinner. @SavannahGuthrie is so nice and smart.”



Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

And why is this remotely interesting?

“A Q&A with a local lawyer who is taking on what he calls unfair competition from China on solar products.” — Washingtonian Read here. We think the yawning baby depicts this perfectly.

A Convo Between Two Journos

HuffPost‘s Amanda Terkel: “Union Station tvs playing video of puppies who grow up to be detector dogs. People love it.”

HuffPost‘s Resident Booze Hound Sam Stein retweeted Terkel and remarked, “hard at work.” (We’re squarely on Stein’s side regarding James O’Keefe‘s accusation that he routinely sauces up sources to get info. But he still needs a dose of boozy nicknames.)

A ringing endorsement

“Contrats [sic] to @StevenTDennis who will start covering the White House for RC. No idea who will help me when I’m lost in the Capitol now.” — Roll Call‘s Amanda Becker on Dennis’ new White House beat.

“WOnk wOOt!” — The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio correspondent Todd Zwillich‘s reaction to Dennis’ new post.

Mattera bashes the media

“The media have now spent more time on my ‘tactics’ than they have on Biden’s ludicrous rape claims. that’s why they are drones.” — Human Events Editor Jason MatteraNational Review Online‘s Robert Costa remarks, “I don’t get the outrage over the Mattera question. Public place? Public official? Pol answers on his own volition? What’s the prob?”

Weigel hearts Newsweek?

“Really loving the new issue of Newsweek. Really. I am. You should read it.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel. He added, “True story: My folks bought me a subscription bc they were worried that it might go out of business, wanted to help out.”

Calling Dr. Drew: Reader admits Fishbowl addiction

A Wheeling, Ill. reader writes in (yes, of course we have Wheeling, Ill. readers and yes, this is sickening and shameless of us to share it with you): Found that I now require my daily infusion of Fishbowl DC.  What I find to be most intriguing is the different reality that exists between the Beltway and suburban Chicago. Though you report on the Washington Media, much of the prevailing attitudes and issues deemed important are revealed. It is as though I’m reading about a foreign capital as opposed to my own. Thank you for the addiction.

Hey campaign scribes: Any takers?

“Hey, reporters! Telling stories from campaign plane. Your fave moments I can share w/ students? Off the record guarantee cbellantoni@gmail.” — Roll Call‘s Christina Bellantoni at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Huma Surfaces in Clinton Clip

An obviously pregnant Huma Abedin, wife of ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), surfaces in a CBS News video clip of Sec. of State Hillary Clinton receiving the news of Muammar Qaddafi‘s alleged death via BlackBerry.

(h/t The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio correspondent Todd Zwillich.)

Watch here.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Slate’s Dave Weigel: “Hey where’s the debate can anyone tell me?” (Accompanied by the above photograph.)

Just say Coochie Coochie Coo to Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid

“Sen Reid re his blackberry: ‘I have a one track mind. It’s really hard for me to talk when I’m being tickled on the side.’” — The Takeaway’s congressional radio correspondent Todd Zwillich.

Journo needs miracle worker

“I’m looking for a D.C. tailor who can work miracles on three button-up shirts with inexplicably torn elbows. Any suggestions?” — TBD‘s Ryan Kearney in a tweet that was steps away from being Unnecessary Tweet of the Day.

Mysterious sighting in WaPo HQ Tuesday: ex-CNNer Eliot Spitzer. Shhh…Anyone with information on what he was doing there, email us at or

FishbowlDC Trivia: What is Ezzy’s favorite cuisine? Answer after the jump…

Looking for work?

“NBC News is searching for a Social Media Editor. Spread the word!” — NBC’s Vivian Schiller. Visit here for details and to apply.

Read more

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day — the Chris Christie “No Means No” Edition

Mitch Daniels makes his announcement in a printed statement to Indy Star, while Chris Christie holds a press conference fit for Broadway.” — NYT‘s Jeff Zeleny.

“It is time to ring the Gong Show gong on the Christie press conference.” — Syndicated conservative columnist Michelle Malkin.

“Doesn’t this guy have a state to run or something?” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein, who added, “It’s over. MSNBC wins. 43 minutes over non stop coverage and then, done.” (Note to readers: Fox News bailed on the Christie presser first. Then CNN. MSNBC last.)

“Dear Gov. Christie, I can’t start writing until you stop talking. 1:49pm.” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart.

“Christie’s plan becoming clear: Keep talking until 2016.” — The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman.

“Unfortunately for him, since he seems to be a nice guy, Christie is demonstrating why he would’ve made a lousy candidate.” — Politico‘s Roger Simon.

“Chris Christie is displaying some serious first-name familiarity with the national press corps.” — ABC’s Rick Klein.

“Length of this oratory suggests Christie may be considering a run for Senate.” — The Takeaway’s Congressional radio correspondent Todd Zwillich.

“What’s not to love about a governor who insults reporters on natl TV? My favorite moment.” — PBS’s Gwen Ifill.

Christie is NOT running for Prez in Dutch: “#Christie volgde vooral z’n gevoel, ondanks vele smeekbedes van de partij en de gewone man: ‘It never felt right, in my gut, to leave now.’”

“Breaking news: Chris Christie still not running for President. Chevy Chase –where are you when we need you?” — The Nation‘s Katrina vanden Heuvel.

“Chris Christie: All of Donald Trump‘s humility. Better hair.” — Democratic consultant Mo Elleithee.  And this: “Okay guys just 12 more questions.”

“Christie doesn’t kiss-and-tell w/ Mrs. Reagan.” — National Review Online’s Kathryn Lopez.

“Now that Christie is definitively out, let’s all resolve to stop asking him if he’s running. At least until November.” — WaPo‘s Ben Pershing.

“Christie LOVES this. Just keeps taking questions…” — WaPo “The Fix’s” Chris Cillizza.

Capitol News Connection Shutters

Capitol News Connection (CNC) is closing up shop after eight and a half years. Last week the Corporation for Public Broadcasting informed the nonprofit watchdog reporting service that they could no longer sustain their funding. Their last grant ran out Aug. 30.

“I’ve had better days for sure,” Founder and CEO Melinda Wittstock told FishbowlDC this afternoon in a phone interview. “We’ve worked so hard for the past eight and a half doing something special. This recession has been a really tough fight.”

Three reporters and Wittstock will be out of jobs with CNC. They are Elizabeth Wynne Johnson, host of NBC Washington’s “Power Breakfast,” which will continue outside of CNC, Patrick Terpstra and Ana Radelat.

The writing wasn’t necessarily on the wall. But Wittstock saw the company struggling more acutely since 2008. “Here’s the thing. I knew it was a really tough slog,” she said. “I saw what was happening to the public radio ecosystem. All of them are struggling. All are facing the lost of their federal funding. A lot of these stations can only exist but for federal funding, and a lesser known story, state funding.”

Wittstock points to Congress as at least partially to blame. The Corporation lost some $30 million that Congress has taken away to cut the deficit. She lamented, “It all gets passed on down the chain I guess.”

Over the years CNC has been what Wittstock calls a “great incubator of talent.” There was FNC’s Chad Pergram, their first reporter who ultimately won an Edward R. Murrow award — “He is amazing,” she gushed. “He is a great reporter.” Alumni also include NeuStar’s Heather Dahl, who was formerly the President of Radio TV Gallery, Jill Jackson, a House producer for CBS News, “The Takeaway’s” Todd Zwillich, who came to CNC as a print reporter and quickly transitioned to radio, Matt Laslo, who began at CNC as an intern, and Gannett’s Paul Barton.

For a good while, the news service beat the odds. They began shortly after Sept. 11, 2001 with just three employees and no office. Their marching orders were to produce 500 stories that first year and instead they produced 690. They were supposed to bring in $20,00, but instead brought in $55,000.

CNC will continue to hunt for a buyer. But in the meantime, Wittstock, who began her journalism career at the Times of London as a business correspondent and proceeded to BBC and ABC, has a new business venture in the works that she’s working on with Dan Kunitz, former associate publisher and managing editor of Politico. The venture, called NewsiT, is a mobile social network for citizen journalism. Wittstock stresses that it is in its “infancy,” is a for profit and will be minimally viable by late October.

“I seem to gravitate toward challenges,” she said with a sorrowful laugh that contained more than a tinge of hope. “We were sort of the last man standing. And now, even us. It’s sad.”

UPDATE: Former CNC reporter Manuel Quinones moved on to E & E Publishing earlier this year after CNC. He remarked to FBDC, “They’ve been going through tough times, but they deserve all the recognition possible. I will remember my time there very fondly. I’m sure the others will agree, that CNC gave us a chance to do great work.”

Correction: An earlier report stated that they Wittstock and three employees would be unemployed. Wittstock is technically working on her next venture, NewsiT. While she is not yet paying herself, she is “working on fumes of equity, our early investor dollars devoted solely for now to the technology.” Radelat, meanwhile, was a freelancer for CNC and will continue to freelance on her own.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


Scribe asks the unthinkable

“Holy crap I’m on the radio. …Should I live tweet myself?” — DCist’s Martin Austermuhle in Tuesday mid-day tweets. Um, no. Don’t do that.

The Juiceboxer Rebellion

“Everyone should pay closer attention to my stories than to other people’s stories, which I like to call ‘fixations.’” — TPM‘s Brian Beutler in a bizarro Tuesday tweet that only very narrowly avoided being Unnecessary Tweet of the Day.

The Observer

“Long line at CVS. I am behind a woman buying a hula hoop.” — D.C.-based reporter for LAT and Chicago Tribune James Oliphant in a Tuesday tweet.

Six degrees of nothing

“I am amused when ppl email me & tell me I should pass certain things on 2 Brit Hume, Rove, Krauthammer et al, as I’ve we’re drinking buddies.” — David Limabugh (bro to Rush) in a Tuesday tweet.

Journo Love

“Great news. @YellinCNN is our new chief White House correspondent. Go ahead & congratulate Jessica.” — CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a Tuesday tweet regarding CNN Jessica Yellin‘s promotion.

Colbert lobbies Alexandra Pelosi for lax press policy

“Will you please ask your mom to take her boot off the neck of the Democrats in Congress so they’ll talk to me again for my Better Know a District series?” — Comedian Stephen Colbert to filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi on his program last night. He was trying to persuade her to chat with her mother, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), about letting Democratic lawmakers come on his show.

What. The. Hell?

“Slightly higher-than-usual amount of My Little Pony activity behind the scenes with DC journos today.” — The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio correspondent Todd Zwillich in a Tuesday tweet. He wouldn’t explain further. If anyone has any clues about what this is slang for, write us at or

Josh Marshall questions rules of quiet car

“Woman across from me on Quiet Car is clearing throat with noises that sound like either a frog or chicken. Rule violation? #amtrakethics” — TPM‘s Josh Marshall in a Tuesday tweet.

Back to Reality: On his way back to Washington from Miami this week,’s Ed Hornick, a hardcore “Golden Girls” watcher, writes: “To quote my favorite TV show Golden Girls: ‘Miami is nice so I’ll say it thrice.’”

A belated Happy Birthday to RealClearPoliticsErin McPike. Her birthday was yesterday.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


“…Choosing a tie like that — one that’s impossible to ignore — when you’re resigning just suggests one thing: maybe you actually enjoy all this attention. Which means you really are an a–hole, after all.” — Esquire‘s Kurt Soller in a Thursday afternoon Style blog post.

SOUP or SLOP? Thursday’s disgusting-looking Senate Soup of the Day brought to us by The Takeaway’s Capitol Hill radio correspondent Todd Zwillich.

The Weiner scandal goes Dutch

“You can hear ‘gehackt’ as well, meaning hacked.” — A FishbowlDC reader from the Netherlands discussing a Dutch broadcast of the Weiner story in which the understandable words were few and far between. Others included “boxer shorts” and “Weiner” and “Clinton.”

A scribe’s tabloid dream

“I wish Weiner would drive a white Bronco to the press conference.” — TWT op-ed writer Emily Miller in a Thursday tweet.


“Weiner’s presser @ Quentin and E. 10th St… Right near where my cousin used to buy pot.” — Politico White House scribe Glenn Thrush in a Thursday tweet.

Journo Love

“Big congrats to @NorahODonnell, she’ll be only woman to have ‘chief’ in front of WH corr for a major network!” — RealClearPoliticsErin McPike in a Thursday tweet after learning that O’Donnell will the Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News.

Breitbart emotes in Weiner aftermath

“I do feel vindicated on this. …Do I feel sorry for him? Yes. … How can you not feel for a person who has fallen from the highest of the highs in politics to the lowest of the low.” — BigGovernment‘s Andrew Breitbart on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight last night. Breitbart gave CNN’s Dana Bash and Ted Barret a major shout-out for uncovering the truth about the Weiner story.

And now, a professional opinion on this mess…

“From the beginning, I’d been hoping that he would put his personal life ahead of his career. ” – Dr. Drew Pinsky on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” last night.

Blitzer assesses political sex scandals

“This is an equal opportunity kind of stupidity. Both parties are guilty of these kinds of scandals.” — CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “Piers Morgan Tonight” last night.

NJ reporter suffers from Weiner fatigue

“#Weiner called Pelosi and Israel as they attended White House picnic thrown for members of Congress. No hot dog jokes, pls.” — NJ Congressional Reporter Major Garrett in a Thursday tweet.

Is there such a thing as a Weiner snow day?

“If it’s going to be another Weiner day, does that mean the rest of us can chill and watch the Open?” — The Hill‘s White House Correspondent Sam Youngman in a Thursday tweet.


“Biggest loser in #WeinerGate has to be Cenk Uygur of @TheYoungTurks. He’s wildly unpopular, even inside MSNBC, & now a new host is available.” — Conservative writer and radio host Derek Hunter in a Thursday tweet.

The Critic

“I’m not sure how Fox & Friends can say Anthony Weiner’s seat “may lead to a special election.” It will have to. There isn’t any gray area.” — NJ “The Hotline’s” Chris Peleo-Lazar in a Friday morning tweet.

Necessary Tweet of the Day

“Dear grown ass man @ urinal next to me. In the future don’t pull your pants down. That’s [why] the baby jesus made zippers.” — Roll Call‘s John Stanton in a tweet from earlier this week.