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New Boy In The (White) House

Today marks a milestone for both the White House press corps and the Washington Examiner:

The Examiner, led by Senior White House Correspondent Bill Sammon, joins the White House pool rotation for the first time, making them the first free daily newspaper to join the group. (Although Sammon was originally scheduled to do the pool coverage today, pool reports are coming from Sammon’s former Washington Times colleague Joe Curl, so perhaps they switched days).

Bob Blog, RIP

DCRTV today has an update of sorts on a story that we covered a few weeks back: The mysterious Bob Levey Bob Blog on The blog, which died with only nine entries on it, ended with a post from Levey saying, “For personal reasons, I’ve decided not to continue writing The Bob Blog. Thanks very much for reading, and for all your messages of support.”

DCRTV: “Now, we learn from columnist Marc Fisher‘s online Q&A last week that Levey ‘who is doing a bang-up job as one of the weekend voices of Washington Post Radio, along with the very funny David Burd, decided to concentrate on the new radio gig rather than add one more blog here on the big website.” However, our sources say that there’s probably more to the story than that. Might columnist John Kelly, who replaced Levey, have complained about the return of his predecessor?”

Trib’s Crawford Greenburg Jumps To ABC

jcg.jpgThe Chicago Tribune’s Supreme Court correspondent, Jan Crawford Greenburg, is giving up the print world for broadcast. The well-respected Greenburg is headed to ABC News to be a legal correspondent in the Washington Bureau.

No word this morning on when or what the move means for the ABC Washington bureau. Stay tuned.

Atlantic Shut Out of Ellies

In a surprise, the Atlantic last night failed to win a single Ellie at the National Magazine Awards, even though it was nominated in eight categories. In a similar surprise, National Geographic, which had received its most nominations ever–five–took home only a single award, that for excellence online.

All told, no magazine dominated the awards, although as Peter Carlson says, UVA’s Virginia Quarterly Review was a surprise standout with two awards.

Vanity Fair won an Ellie for Marjorie Williams‘ heart-breaking essay, “A Matter of Life and Death,” published posthumously about her battle with cancer.

A DC literary magazine, The American Scholar, won the feature writing award for a Priscilla Long essay on the human genome.

Both the New Yorker and Harper’s won multiple awards too.

Hill Wedding Bells

From the Reliable Source today: “Journalist Morton Kondracke wed Marguerite Sallee on Saturday at St. John’s Episcopal Church in D.C. The Roll Call editor/Fox News analyst and the CEO of America’s Promise tied the knot before 100 pals then celebrated on the Hay-Adams rooftop. Kondracke’s marriage to Milly Martinez, who died in 2004 of Parkinson’s disease, was chronicled in his book ‘Saving Milly.’”

It’s Ellie Day!

It’s time for the Ellies!

Will National Geographic capitalize on its most nominations ever?

Will the Atlantic beat out Backpacker in general excellence?

Will Jim Fallows beat out John Jeremiah Sullivan in features?

Stay tuned today for the answers.

WSJ Plays Musical Chairs

WSJ Bureau Chief Gerald Seib is shaking things up there a bit, reassigning reporters right and left in a mass reshuffling. The details:

  • Jackie Calmes “is shifting back to political coverage as national political correspondent, bringing her considerable skill and experience to what promises to be a very interesting and very important campaign this fall.”

  • Deb Solomon will move from her state and local government beat to cover economic policy.

  • Chris Cooper, who just finished co-writing a book Katrina, will move to cover state and local government.

  • Yochi Dreazen will move from his current role following Iraq policy and reconstruction to join John McKinnon covering the White House.

  • Sarah Lueck will move from covering health policy to helping cover Congress, in the hope that it will allow David Rogers to find time to do “both some congressional campaign stories and some broader pieces, and will enable Brody Mullins to continue mining for stories on influence-peddling and congressional scandals in addition to Hill coverage.”

  • Jane Zhang will broaden her portfolio to handle health policy issues in place of Sarah. As Seib says, “With Laurie McGinley‘s guidance, I’m sure she can now begin finding good stories in Medicare, Medicaid, the uninsured and other areas.”

Also Carla Robbins is leaving to become assistant editor of the NY Times’ editorial page.

Oh, and just because reporters are reporters, Seib reassures everyone that the new assignments will, for the most part, not require anyone to change desks.

Disclose Much?

A reader wrote in asking about the propriety of a subject that had arisen last week in CQ when a reporter quoted her father’s organization. Here’s the back story:

CQ‘s Rachel Van Dongen is distinguishing herself on the tax beat. Rachel has held a number of journalism jobs, including reporting for The New Republic, the Economist, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Times, and was political editor and a senior staff writer at Roll Call.

Last week she had an article about an obscure little corner of tax rules called “last in, first out,” or LIFO for short. It quoted Jade West, the senior vice president for government relations with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

Rachel’s father, though, is Dirk Van Dongen, the president of said National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW).

The reader thought that salient fact might be worth mentioning somewhere in the article, and wanted to know if the editors at CQ knew about the conflict?

We talked today with Anne Q. Hoy, the executive editor for daily news at CQ, who says the CQ has “extraordinarily high standards” for its reporters, and that traditionally a reporter is not allowed to write on a subject where a spouse or family member has a stake.

In this case, the article was assigned at Hoy’s request and Van Dongen had reported it out before it became clear that NAW had any role in the debate. Aware of Rachel’s potential conflict, they examined the quote and debated removing it but in the end decided to leave it in.

“It was a not a controversial quote. It did not make a prominent quote — it merely said what their stand was,” Hoy explained.

As for the future, Rachel will not be quoting NAWD in further articles.

MTP’s Most Loyal Viewer

birthday-cake.gifThe Huffington Post turns one year old this week, and USA Today’s Peter Johnson gives Arianna a little birthday kiss this morning. He also gets some reaction from frequent Arianna target Tim Russert.

“Huffington, in regular ‘Russert Watch’ blogs, has relentlessly criticized Russert’s questioning of top government officials on Meet the Press, saying he often throws softballs and was not tough enough on Bush administration officials during the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Russert, who has been on the receiving end of Huffington’s barbs since his wife, Maureen Orth, wrote a piece critical of Huffington in November 1994′s Vanity Fair, finds Huffington’s focus on him humorous,” Johnson writes.

“I’ve been attacked by Arianna the right-wing radical and Arianna the left-wing revolutionary,” Russert tells him. “I guess the only constant in her life is she keeps watching Meet the Press.”

Mistakes Schmakes

Deb Howell spent yesterday’s column going over the Post’s corrections policy. Her conclusion: The Post’s system is pretty broken for a modern, digital, fast-moving age. The paper doesn’t correct enough things, fast enough, and in the logical place.

“To make its system more accountable, The Post needs a corrections overseer who would act as an appeals court judge and sign off on all corrections — and who would see what correction requests were rejected. That would ensure a more uniform standard. Many newspapers that have ombudsmen or public editors as employees use that avenue for corrections. The Post’s ombudsman has always been an independent contractor — a system I like — and it is more appropriate for a top editor to be in charge of corrections,” she observes.

Of course, better-trained photo pickers would also help. The Reliable Source last week failed twice trying to publish a photograph of singer John Rich:

Mistake #1: “A Reliable Source item in the May 2 Style section was accompanied by an incorrect photograph. The man identified as John Rich from the duo Big & Rich was actually Keith Burns, guitarist for Trick Pony.”

Mistake #2: “A Reliable Source item in the May 4 Style section was accompanied by an incorrect photograph. Because of a mislabeled caption on a photo provided by Getty Images, the man identified as John Rich of Big & Rich was actually Big Kenny, the other member of the duo.”