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Posts Tagged ‘Willie Geist’

Politico Turns 5. Let the Roasting Begin.

Five years isn’t really that long, but Politico has seen rapid growth and a lot of success since it first began in 2007. So on a highly self-congratulatory note on Monday, Politico released a video with clips of several high-profile political players roasting the publication on its half-decade mark.

“Five years, it’s a long time. You’re doing generally a great job,” says Donald Trump.

Politico is “truly a news organization that acts its age: a petulant five-year-old concerned with only trivial matters,” host of “MTP” David Gregory says with a smile.

With a few repeats and some intensive listening, Arianna Huffington can be understood as saying, “Just as I was sitting down to write this, I saw that Mike Allen had already broken what I was going to say.”

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Willie Geist remarks, “I’ve gotta recuse myself because I don’t care for Politico, inside the Beltway gossipy garbage. And CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer cracks, “The next thing you know, you’ll be getting your driver’s license.”

Politico‘s Mike Allen‘s note to Politico readers as well as Politico staff is so sweet we think we’ve already contracted Diabetes… “THANK YOU to all of you who believed in us from Day 0. And we’re so grateful to our gifted, inspiring colleagues who make POLITICO so essential, enjoyable and illuminating.”

Other notables in the video include former CBS news anchor Katie Couric, “Morning Joe’s” Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and host of “Hardball” Chris Matthews, who says he enjoys reading the print version because it’s printed on such “thick stock.”

Watch the full video here.

Morning Joe has ‘Dick’ Issues

Ann Coulter is making the media rounds to explain her endorsement of Mitt Romney in the GOP Primary. Yesterday, she joined the “Morning Joe” team in studio. She was dressed in black and her long blond hair was looking fab. When Joe Scarborough pressed Coulter on the “flip-flop” issues that some of the conservative candidates seem to have, she tried to say being politically consistent isn’t as important as the media makes it seem. From there? Things get a little blurry. Coulter starts talking about Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) lack of consistency and calls him….something.

MSNBC censors silenced Coulter’s microphone. Here’s the awkward exchange.

When Team Joe freaks out, Coulter seems genuinely stunned, as if she doesn’t even realize what she said. She managed to sneak out half of the word “douchebag” before the censors struck again. What exactly did Coulter say? Did MSNBC fail to bleep out the douche bag comment? Coulter went on Joy Behar’s HLN show last night to explain WITHOUT getting bleeped. The word was “dickweed.”

For those of you keeping score at home:

Dickweed = Not OK
Douchebag = Totally OK

Unless of course you’re TIME‘s Mark Halperin, who famously said President Obama was being “kind of a dick” earlier this year without getting bleeped. However, he was suspended for over a month for his comments.

We reached out to “Morning Joe’s” Willie Geist who “doesn’t have anything to add to the story”.

Reporter Insults ‘Morning Joe,’ Gets Noticed

In an unusual twist this morning, a Washington conservative reporter’s insults to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” have landed him an invitation on the show this week. So far, it’s not formal — the bookers haven’t called and scheduled the Town Car. But Willie Geist said pointedly on air that he wanted Lewis on this week. He also called him “our friend from The Daily Caller,” so feelings aren’t hostile.

The discussion on “Morning Joe” this morning has centered on GOP Presidential hopefuls. Guests have included Newsweek/The Daily Beast‘s Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown amidst other liberal leaning journalists, including “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews, host Mika Brzezinksi and branding specialist Donny Deutsch, who made a valid point about the weirdness of Herman Cain‘s hat and got unfairly ragged on by the Peanut Gallery.

Speaking of valid points, Lewis’s tweets peaked the curiosity of Geist, who praised the reporter for his criticisms and read two in full: 1. “Great diversity on MoJoe right now: The left and the FAR left — all diagnosing the GOP’s problems.” 2. “MoJoe cast discussing GOP candidates the way anthropologists might discuss a remote tribe just discovered deep in a rain forest somewhere.”

As Geist read the tweets, Mika initially remarked,  “Uh oh.” Willie said, “Not an unfair critique.” And Mike Barnicle: “That’s true actually.” After he read the second tweet, Willie added, “One hundred percent true.” And Mika: “It’s a nicer look at things than the ones I am getting.” Barnicle scolded Mika for reading hateful tweets: “Why are you reading those?”

The conclusion, however, came from Willie: “Let’s get Matt Lewis on this week.”

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Coincidence? We think not. Last night FishbowlMatt and I were texting about a variety of hot topics when he entered the Chipotle and saw this.

Deep Thoughts…

“Sun. Grass. Newspapers. People. A family of teeny mice tiptoe through the shrubs in their own private world. #sittingstill #whatching” — National Geographic Contributing Editor Carl Hoffman.

Luke and Maureen off to see Bruce

“On my way to see Springsteen with Luke. Wrote Newsweek cover story on Bruce exactly 36 years ago this coming week.” — Vanity Fair Correspondent Maureen Orth. (The late Tim Russert‘s favorite musician was Springsteen. The musician gave a surprise performance at Russert’s memorial service in 2008.)

The Political Consultant

“Sen. @DavidVitter uses Twitter to congratulate individual Republicans for winning in Saturday’s La. Election #notnecessary” — CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston.


“Mechanic told me today my car failed inspection. He had a look of disappointment as I tried to explain what happened #highschoolflashbacks” — The Hill‘s Managing Editor Bob Cusack.

TWT Senior Op-ed Writer Emily Miller‘s reaction to ex-Gov. Mark Sanford being hired by Fox News: “WTF?”


“I’m so tempted to ad-lib but I won’t.” — TIME‘s Mark Halperin on this morning’s “Morning Joe.” After calling President Obama “kind of a dick” on national TV we’d think Halperin wouldn’t even think about ad-libbing. This involved a reenactment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s interview to Parade Magazine. Willie Geist played Perry. Halperin played the interviewer.

Happy 24th wedding anniversary to WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty.

ABC’s Klein welcomes baby into world

“A warm welcome to Max Rubin Klein (9lb 8oz!). Future slugger? Congrats to parents Laine and @rickklein and big brother Jack.” — ABC’s Jonathan Karl.

Reminder: TMZ’s Harvey Levin talks to GWU students and then he’s off to the National Press Club for lunch.

If you’re up…

Call Trail Mix blogger Craig Crawford on C-SPAN starting at 7:45 a.m.

Democrats: (202) 737-0001
Republicans: (202) 737-0002
Independents: (202) 628-0205
Outside U.S.: (202) 628-0184

VandeHei Voices Disdain for Habitual Tweeting

Mark McKinnon, political communications strategist and columnist for The Daily Beast, chatted with Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei over the weekend at the Shorenstein Center’s 25th celebration at Harvard Kennedy School. What emerged might surprise you.

Among the topics: Twitter. Watch out Politico scribes. “I don’t like reporters tweeting when they should be reporting,” said VandeHei. “If they are doing it right, they are reporting.”

His own Twitter habits are anorexic. VandeHei has never written a single tweet, but has 716 followers and follows 144. In the mix of those he follows are USA Today‘s Susan Page, HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell, GMA’s George Stephanopoulos, MSNBC “Morning Joe” Hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist, NJ‘s Marc Ambinder and Susan Davis, CNN’s Candy Crowley, Dana Bash and John King, ABC’s Jake Tapper, NYT Jeff Zeleny, Mark Leibovich and Carl Hulse, WaPo‘s Ezra Klein, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and WSJ‘s Jonathan Weisman to name a few. He doesn’t follow every Politico reporter, but he follows usual suspects like Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, Jonathan Allen, James Hohmann, Ben Smith and Jake Sherman. He’s also still following Kendra Marr, who was recently forced to resign for plagiarism.

In the Harvard interview, VandeHei noted that the problem with young recent grads he interviews today is they’re brilliant, but incapable of shifting through large quantities of information. He described many  as very smart but “incapable of coherence.” He went on to talk about the importance of oversight, saying, “editors are essential.” The Politico co-founder also  introduced uncommon journalism lingo into the conversation as he discussed “deeper dive” pieces. He calls them key to the future of journalism. He said Mike Allen has the most “readers” and “feeders.” He showered Allen with praise, saying he has a “special gift of getting people to talk. He’s nice, trusted.”

For those waiting fitfully for the day when VandeHei utters his first tweet he’s at @JimVandeHei. But don’t hold your breath.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day — GOP Presidential Debate Edition

“How is this c–t on MSNBC saying Obama created jobs!? I’m stunned at this sh-t ass f–k d–k ‘news’ channel.” — Anthony Cumia from the “Opie and Anthony” radio show in a startling tweet last night that contained no dashes. Rachel Maddow was leading the network’s post-debate coverage.

Promises, promises

“Hey Patrick Gavin, we’ll get you in on that next debate. Forget Harris.” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Co-host Willie Geist joking around with Politico‘s Patrick Gavin in this morning’s post debate analysis referring to Editor-in-Chief John Harris, who co-moderated the debate with NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

The media peanut gallery

“What makes this MSNBC operation so much better than its competitors, I am now seeing, is how its panelists amuse & bemuse each other so.” — BigGovernment’s Andrew Breitbart.

“Why not at least have Joe Scarborough, Jonathan Martin, Pat Buchanan, & Luke Russert doing this?” — The Daily Caller‘s media scribe Matt Lewis.

“Changing the channel now. This analysis is disgusting and sick.” — The Daily Caller‘s Matthew Boyle who was presumably watching MSNBC’s post debate analysis.

FNC’s Henry under the influence of MSNBC’s Matthews

“ANYONE SEEN MY ‘A’ SECTION OF NYTIMES?? IT HAS YELLOW HIGHLIGHTER ALL OVER IT #chrismatthewstweets” — FNC’s Ed Henry mimicking what he imagines is MSNBC “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews‘ Twitter personality. Matthews showed up on Twitter last night some months after writing just one tweet on his account.  Henry continued, “GEEZ SANTORUM IS ALMOST AS ORANGE AS BRIAN W! #chrismatthewstweets”

Travel writer gets poetic about the rain

“The rain is amazing. It falls and falls and falls, days now, and it’s warm and people huddle and duck and splash and I like it.” — Carl Hoffman, contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler.

Capehart is all over Calista’s frightening hairdo

“Calista Gingrich’s hair. So blond. So sturdy. Discuss. It’s all about the spray baby!!” — WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart on Newt Gingrich‘s wife’s blond helmet of hair as reported on Twitter by MSNBC Political Analyst Karen Finney, who added that she “merely pointed out the role of hairpspray.”

Is this a healthy obsession?

“So I’ll give a gift to any friend at NBC News who can get me a cut of your election music. I’m, like, that obsessed with it.” — NJ‘s Marc Ambinder.

Mid-debate weather report

“Meanwhile, the lightning in DC is so intense it’s like flashes of daylight out my window.” – Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner.

Where was Howie?

“Find it interesting that @HowardKurtz didn’t live Tweet tonight’s #gopdebate. Perhaps, he wants to avoid a Tweet he will later regret?” — Claritza Jimenez, a Washington, D.C. – based program officer at the International Center for Journalists, on  the lack of The Daily Beast‘s Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz in last night’s discussion. Don’t fret Claritza. If his WeingerGate coverage is any indication, he’ll weigh in about five days from now.

TV scribe loses cable post debate

“My cable went out just as the debate ended. Must live without post-game analysis, somehow.” — ABC’s Rick Klein.

We have a comedian in the house…“Overall I think Tim Pawlenty did great tonight.” — The Daily Caller‘s Senior Editor Jamie Weinstein.

A FishbowlDC Twitter follower told us last night..“I get sick to my stomach each time I see Herman Cain. Nothing personal on Cain, but a bad experience at Godfather’s. Original crust w/pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers. The mushrooms weren’t quite right.”

Debate letdown

“Well that was….dull.” — The Hill‘s Daniel Strauss.

Male bronzer alert

“Huntsman bathed in Clinique Bronzer for Men.” — GOP Consultant Roger Stone remarking on Gov. John Huntsman‘s appearance in the GOP debate last night.

Now for some important news completely unrelated to the debate: “Got an e-mail asking if a portrait in some gallery titled ‘pretty boy’ is me. hhhhmmmm… don’t know whether to be flattered or concerned?” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida.

And this…“Press release informs me that someone has launched a line of socks designed especially for greyhounds.” — WCP‘s Managing Editor Mike Madden.

More weather woes…

“Argh. Power lines near my apartment building have survived blizzards, earthquakes and hurricanes, but not today’s thunderstorms.” — AP‘s Julie Pace.


Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

Quotes of the Day

Journo compares TV hits to sex life

“I think I’ve done more life [sic] tv and radio interviews in the last year than I have had sex.” — Labor journo Mike Elk.

The temptations of working at home

“Main problem with working at home: it’s 4 p.m., and I think that maybe it’s time for happy hour. #badidea.” — DCist’s Martin Austermuhle.

Weigel at war with Comcast

“Hey, @comcast — that’s 6 calls in a week asking me to expand my service. I’m a ‘no.’ Stop calling.” — Slate‘s Dave Weigel.

Question of the Hour: “Willie, how’s your ass?” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Host Joe Scarborough to Co-host Willie Geist on this morning’s program. “Same as yesterday if you really want to know the truth,” Willie replied. (Whatever you’re thinking, Geist broke his tailbone.) Scarborough continued, “How long are you not going to be able to sit down?” Geist: “They say about six weeks.” Mike Barnicle chimed in, “Special underwear?”

Editor laments beloved pumpkin spice latte

“Sad I can’t enjoy a pumpkin spice latte this fall because it’s not sugar free. Hey @starbucks, you should work on that.” — NJ “The Hotline” House Race Editor Jessica Taylor. Taylor explained that sugar is off limits. “Sadly no, it’s a medical thing for now,” she said. “So Splenda it is for me.” Tuesday marked the return of the fall-themed latte. The Hill‘s Howeesha (a.k.a Judy Kurtz, daughter of infamous Howie K.) begs to differ on the allure of this pumpkin magic: “Love me some #Starbucks, but all this brouhaha about pumpkin spice lattes is nutty. Only place I prefer pumpkin is in pie form. #highonpie”

Publicist experiences raindrops as lullaby

“Is again apparently substituting thought for sleep–but the sound of the raindrops are a lovely, almost musical lullaby.” — D.C. uber-publicist Wendy Gordon in an overnight Facebook update.

A writer’s dark reaction to Italian murder

“You know what I care less about than an American convicted of murder in Italy? Because I don’t.” — Conservative writer and Contributor Derek Hunter. News outlets reported Tuesday that prosecutors may review DNA evidence in the murder case that convicted Amanda Knox of killing her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

Politico’s Mike Allen Addresses No Sleep Rumors

This won’t put the rumors to rest (so to speak), but this morning at 6:30 a.m. on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Politico‘s Mike Allen was asked about his sleep patterns. Longtime Washington rumors have Allen never sleeping.

Interestingly, Allen tends to mention his Executive Editor Jim VandeHei whenever he’s asked about his sleep. In the past he told FishbowlDC that VandeHei says he can sleep after he’s dead. This morning, co-host Willie Geist asked, “When I get the playbook early on a Sunday morning, what time did you wake up to do that?” Allen replied, “Not early enough. Always want to be earlier.” Geist pressed on. “Do you go out and socialize on a  Saturday or do you get to bed earlier so you can do Playbook at 4 a.m.? How does that work?” he wondered.  Allen’s answer: “Jim Vandehei says to be healthy, wealthy, and wise you need six hours a night, so I try for at least that.”

We can’t imagine VandeHei using that expression, but you never know what happens behind Politico closed doors. Geist further questioned the response, saying, “I just try to crunch the numbers. He’s always working.” Added Mika, “Round the clock.”

Note to readers: We found this eye masks from a dream website. We think VandeHei would approve.


Morning Apologalooza

It’s just after 9 a.m. and the morning is already dripping with apologies and regret.

Shortly after 6 a.m., TIME‘s Mark Halperin called President Obama a d*ck  on “Morning Joe.” Politico‘s Andy Barr and Patrick Gavin were first in Washington to tweet on the matter. “I thought he was a d*ck yesterday,” Halperin told the morning panel. Scarborough immediately called out for a delay. “Delay that, delay that,” he said. Not even an hour later the apologies began flowing and at 7:07 a.m. a full story appeared on Politico‘s website by Tim Mak. Halperin took “full responsibility” for his gaffe and apologized.

But on cable TV one apology is never enough, as evidenced by Ed Schultz‘s recent on-air apology fest to Conservative Commentator Laura Ingraham for calling her “a slut.” Just after 8 a.m. more apologies ensued on “Morning Joe.” This time, however, it was more of a family apology as the entire show took responsibility for Halperin’s use of profanity. “We goaded you into saying it, we didn’t think you were going to say it,” co-host Mika Brzezinksi reasoned. At this point viewers listening closely could hear an audible and defensive “Well…” out of co-host Joe Scarborough, who then trailed the others into a sort of collectively awkward apology zone and said Halperin wanted to be “totally clear.”

This set the stage for yet another Halperin apology: “I want to be totally clear. I can’t explain why I did it. It was inappropriate. It was disrespectful. I’ve already apologized. I will again to the President and say, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to viewers. It was the kind of thing that I can’t really explain, but I take full responsibility for it. It was a mistake and as I said, disrespectful, and I shouldn’t have said it.”

Scarborough interjected, “And Mika and I certainly apologize to the viewers.”

But Halperin wasn’t done. He had more to add. “What I said was disrespectful to the President, but it also lowers our discourse and coarsens our discourse and it’s just not appropriate on any level,” he said.

Scarborough also soon jumped back on the apology boat. “This was a mistake on a variety of levels,” he continued. “We all share it and we all apologize.” The camera then turned to co-host Willie Geist, who also, inexplicably, apologized. “We pride ourselves on not being that kind of show,” he said in what was assumed to be a wrap-up of the apology segment. “Today there was a slip by Mark Halperin. He’s a great reporter, and we won’t bore you with the whole back story, but he didn’t intend to say it on television. We apologize for the entire show.”

Next up: Apologies from the control room. Let’s begin with Alex, the employee likely to get a severe seven-second delay button training later today: Scarborough: “Just say you’re sorry, Alex.” Alex, with obvious fright in his voice, dutifully replied, “I’m profoundly sorry as well.” But Scarborough couldn’t leave it alone and this was probably the most comical part of Apologalooza. “What about TJ? We usually blame TJ for everything.”

The camera panned to a rather unemotional TJ in the control room.

“Sure, I’m sorry,” he said, in what was the most lackluster apology of the show.

UPDATE: MSNBC has suspended Halperin indefinitely.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


TOMMY CHRISTOPHER TRIED TO TORTURE ME: It’s true. On Tuesday afternoon Mediaite‘s smoking White House reporter told me to show up at the Caribou Coffee on 17th Street for an interview. I arrived on time only to get a terse email from him five minutes later saying, “I’m here.” Turns out “here” meant 17th and Pennsylvania not 17th and L. So a word of caution when meeting Christopher: Get specifics. Anything outside the periphery of the White House is iffy. Once situated at his Caribou near the White House, he complained for awhile about the lack of AC, lamenting wistfully that this Caribou used to be chilly with the best damn AC in town. Funny, the other Caribou was plenty cool. Christopher hands me a big microphone sticking out of his computer and starts the interview. It’s fun and nerve-wracking. He’s an ex stand-up comic so he can’t help but be funny. He’s a messy interviewer. I think he might ask me to sing something. Instead, he asks me a bunch of things like, “What’s your favorite color?” and, if I heard him correctly, “What would happen if you gave birth to Ezra Klein‘s baby?” Whoa. What the hell? It’s none of his business what my favorite color is. I didn’t answer and said I thought his questions were stupid. I told him they reminded me of the questions I ask people. Toward the end of the interview a man with a lemon-sized goiter sticking out of his head walked by. It looked vaguely like a bald sweet potato. “Is that a twin?” Christopher asked me. Oh, by the way, I’m supposed to tell you that I ordered him to start smoking his cigarette so I could take the photograph. True indeed. I did, however, first ask if his doctor lets him smoke post heart attack. That’s a negative.

How TV handles the Weiner

“Come on, the c-word?” — MSNBC “Morning Joe” Host Joe Scarborough on the program this morning after Co-host Willie Geist used the word “crotch” to describe the picture of a man’s bulging package sent from Rep. Anthony Weiner‘s (D-N.Y.) twitter account.

“He kept repeating those things so at the end they sounded berserk.” – WSJ‘s Peggy Noonan on “Morning Joe” this morning in reaction to Weiner’s Tuesday presser in which he kept repeating that he had already answered the media’s questions in statements from his office. See below for his exact quotes.

Angry Weiner

The following are highlights of a Tuesday press conference held by Weiner. What follows is an interview between CNN’s Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash and Weiner. Weiner referred to Bash’s CNN colleague, Ted, as a “jackass,” saying, “I do this and this jackass interrupts me?”

BASH: Congressman, could you just ask – answer point blank, you say that you were hacked, which is potentially a crime. So why haven’t you asked the Capitol Police for any law enforcement to investigate?

WEINER: Look, this was a prank that I’ve now been talking about for a couple of days.  I am not going to allow it to decide what I talk about for the next week or the next two weeks.  And so I’m not going to be giving you anything more about that today.  I think I’ve been pretty responsive to you in the past.

BASH:  But – but with respect, you’re here, which we – which we appreciate, but you’re not answering the questions. Can you just say why you haven’t asked law enforcement to investigate what you are alleging is a crime?

WEINER: You – you know, Dana, if I was giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone in the back of the room threw a pie or yelled out an insult, would I spent the next two hours responding to that? No.

Watch the nearly 10-minute press conference between Weiner and Capitol Hill reporters here.