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Amazing Feats

Journos Who Could be Porn Stars

Which Washington journalists have names that could easily be those of porn stars? As it turns out, quite a few. Now before everyone flips out (not that Washington journalists would ever do that), we’re talking about their actual names and not insinuating that these esteemed members of the media either look like porn stars or would ever partake in the profession.

10. Jason Dick, CQ Roll Call. — We start with the painfully obvious. Anyone with “dick” in his or her surname name deserves an automatic slot on this list. Growing up in a small town in Arizona wasn’t easy with a name like his, especially because his mom taught at his junior high. “From about 4th grade on, ‘Izza’ became my middle name,” he told FishbowlDC. “By the time I got to high school, I took a kind of Cyrano-like pride in the nicknames. My favorite one is derived from my grandfather, who was a professional boxer in Arizona in the 1920s. His nickname (and now mine to several close friends): Cactus Dick. His mom might have had it worse…“Although at least her students were creative about it,” Dick said. “She was an English teacher who marked her paperback books in the classroom with the name ‘Dick’ on masking tape. Her students one day peeled them off and placed them accordingly with the titles of young adult fiction that she stocked. The results were pretty hilarious. A sampling: ‘The Chocolate Dick’ (The Chocolate War), ‘A Separate Dick’ (A Separate Peace).”

9. Eddie Scarry, The Blaze. — Anyone with such a fake, racy name like this has to make the list. Early on when we first met Eddie, we asked, “Is your name for real?” He assured us it was. In fact, it’s a region or city in Ireland. He’s not quite sure which. “Fuck if I know,” he replied when we inquired about the history of his porno-sounding name. “I’m part Irish and there’s a place in Ireland called Scarry.”

8. Dave Weigel, Slate. — We know what you’re thinking. You guys in the Fishbowl ALWAYS pick on him. You just don’t like him. Well, the former might be true, and so may the latter for that matter, but the fact is, “Teri Weigel” (pictured at right) is an actual adult film star, so there’s semi-solid reasoning here. She’s also a nude model and Playboy Playmate. Do not Google Teri Weigel — NSFW.

7. Ginger Gibson, Politico. — Ginger is a very adult filmesque name. It reeks redness and hotness. No offense, Ginger. We know you’re a serious-minded political reporter. We’re the ones with the dirty minds, although we’re kind of surprised that Taylor Bigler, Daily Caller‘s resident horny-minded slideshow artist, didn’t come up with this first.

6. Taylor Bigler, Daily Caller. — I was on the fence on Bigler, honestly, but colleague Peter Ogburn was adamant that BIGler was suitable for this list. Not that he watches porn (constantly) but he might be a better judge.

See the remaining 5 journo-porn names...Above graphic by Austin Price

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Bipartisan Policy Center Solicits Birthday Wishes for Bob Dole (Yes, We’re Serious)

You’d think a mention in the number three slot of  the famed birthday section of Politico Mike Allen‘s Playbook would be a sufficient birthday wish for former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kansas). But no, today the Bipartisan Policy Center, which Dole co-founded, has gotten ambitious with its birthday desires, and wants political bystanders to send in their birthday wishes to the Center’s Facebook page, Twitter account or email address. (For prime sucking up, we’ll provide all that later.) What they really want is for you to tweet a picture of yourself drinking Dole’s favorite drink – a chocolate milkshake. Well? What are you waiting for?

They write in a release, “Join us in wishing Senator Bob Dole a Happy Birthday by enjoying his favorite dessert, the classic chocolate milkshake. All are invited to submit a photo with you and your flavor of choice to participate in the birthday festivities. Post to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Facebook Page tweet @BPC_Bipartisan (hashtag #Dole90), email Select milkshake photos will be chosen and included in Bob Dole’s birthday card for his 90th Birthday.”

Could you even imagine landing on Dole’s 90th birthday card sipping a chocolate milkshake? (Quick memo to NYT‘s Mark Leibovich: You thinking about a sequel?)

ABC “GMA” co-host George Stephanopoulos, NBC’s Chuck Todd and FNC’s Bret Baier all wanted in on the Dole birthday action but didn’t sip milkshakes for the cause. Instead they tweeted at him.


Black, Conservative, and Looking for Justice for Trayvon?

One of those things in the headline does not belong.

When we got a tip this weekend about a site called Black Conservatives for Trayvon, we were skeptical. The “conservative” part of that title surprised us, and well—the site’s founder, Richard Fair—an Ohio political activist whose Linkedin Profile says he works for Dell, sort of expects that.

“We will be accused of heresy because we don’t kiss the rings of the pundit popes of conservatism. We will be called ‘pseudo-conservatives’ because we vehemently reject the idea that an unarmed adolescent boy was justifiably killed because of social media pictures, skittles, and a hoodie.”

Before you get too excited, Fair assures us that while he’s “pro justice for Trayvon Martin,” he’s also still “pro second amendment, pro national security, pro-life, pro educational choice, pro free enterprise…” That’s actually the first line on the site.

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Editor Laments Turning Down TV Hit for Honeymoon

In what may be the most obnoxious use of Social Media comes this morning, as Fran Chambers, editor of Red Alert Politics and a Washington Examiner contributor, took to Twitter to lament the fact that she couldn’t do a TV hit on Trayvon Martin because she was on her honeymoon in the Virgin Islands.

From start to finish, Chambers spent her wedding week on Twitter. Only two days passed with silence as she tweeted her way through her beach nuptials and honeymoon. In her exhausting coverage, she revealed that her new husband ran into the ocean with his cell phone in his pocket and will “REALLY” be offline for the week. Too bad the same didn’t happen to hers (but no doubt she likely has a few backups).



Yeah, that really stinks that we can’t have yet another journalist weighing in on George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin because we don’t have enough Washington journalists discussing the case this week.

Read more about her week because yes, there’s more. Read more

BuzzFeed’s Kate Nocera Gets NYT Shout-Out From Dad

BuzzFeed reporter Kate Nocera has to be one beaming daughter today as her father, Joe Nocera, an Op-Ed columnist for NYT, mentioned her in his latest piece. The topic: His case against Twitter. He gives her nearly three graphs. 

Kate, who, having worked at Politico and now at Twitter-frenzied BuzzFeed is on the medium a lot, alerted her father to another Joe Nocera, an avid Yankees fan, who would receive insults whenever her father wrote something controversial.


I first heard about the other Joe Nocera from my daughter Kate. A Washington journalist, she has been a regular on Twitter for a couple years, first at Politico and now at BuzzFeed, where she covers Congress. She has long urged me to join her in Twitter-land, which I’ve resisted.

Anyway, Kate started noticing that whenever I wrote a column that inflamed certain constituencies, the other Joe Nocera would get some highly insulting tweets. “A smug tendentious column,” wrote @philipturner, in one of the more publishable responses to my support for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Jeffrey Reynolds, a Second Amendment advocate, took to Twitter to boast that the articles on his blog “are FAR more professional” than mine, after I quoted him in a column about guns. “Care to publish an accurate quote?” he sneered.

Ultimately, Kate’s father had lunch with the other Joe Nocera, who now sends him the insults he receives in his wake on Twitter. Thanks a lot, Kate!

Hanoi House to Picky Eaters: Tough Luck, Don’t Come

Whoever wrote this deserves some kind of award for writing blunt and rude.

In a brief statement announcing a three-month test kitchen at Hanoi House on 14th street, they announce that Maketto’s Executive Chef  and co-owner Erik Bruner-Yang is pleased to welcome diners to the temporary space beginning July 15. Maketto, over in northeast Washington, is slated to open in late 2013, but this should tide diners over until then.

Here comes the good part: a big, fat screw you to those annoyingly picky eaters that hold up a line or ruin a dining experience with their gluten-free, no dairy, sugar free, no wheat, peanut allergy or vegan requirements.

This time of experimentation will allow Bruner-Yang and the entire Maketto team, including chef de cuisine James Wozniuk, to cook food inspired by their love affair with authentic Asian street food. Hanoi House will serve dinner only at $30 per person, family-style, with no accommodations for allergies or dietary restrictions. A dim sum cart will also be available throughout the evening a la carte. The menu will change often.

Such a refreshing attitude. Here’s what you’ll pay. Here’s what you’ll eat. Here’s when you’ll eat. Don’t like it? Don’t come. We wanted to see if they’d be as rude on the phone as they were in their statement, so we channeled our inner Gene Weingarten (WaPo) and called the woman on the release: Sue-Jean Chun. Read more

TWT Extends ‘Evil Santa’s’ Contract

TWT will keep its President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”) in charge at least until the end of 2015, a new release from the troubled newspaper blares this morning.

This, despite a slew of newsroom layoffs at the beginning of the year.

“Larry has overseen a remarkable transformation of The Washington Times in just nine short months, restructuring key divisions, growing revenues and audience and positioning the company to reach profitability ,” gushed Dr. Michael Jenkins, the head of the Times’ parent corporation, in a release. “His stewardship has ushered in a new era of confidence and growth at the news media company on the basis of more than 30 years of service to our audiences and advertisers. We are very pleased to have him committed to our team for the foreseeable future.”

Beasley was dubbed “Evil Santa” late last year when news of layoffs surfaced around the holidays. In addition, a day after impending layoffs was announced last year, a Santa with the word “JOY” was spotted on an end table in his office. And indeed on Jan. 4, 2013, approximately 25 employees were laid off.

More gushing… Read more

Sugar Daddy Donates $1.5 Mil to Center for Public Integrity

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists are a bunch of lucky ducklings as an Australian businessman has invested $1.5 million in their brand of journalism at the Center for Public Integrity.

Graeme Wood has awarded the center a $1.5 million grant to increase global reporting and create an investigative journalism fellowship program. This is the Consortium’s largest donation in its 15-year history. According to a release, the Sydney philanthropist, businessman and founder of the online publication The Global Mail has pledged the funds ICIJ over the next three years “to bolster its cross-border investigative reporting capacity.”

Wood doesn’t come without controversy. Online reports indicate that he gave the largest political donation — $1.6 million –  in Australian history to the Greens party. In 2011, Helen Kroger, a liberal senator, questioned what kind of influence the donation had on members of the Greens Party serving in the Senate. She submitted the following inquiry in regards to Wood’s donation: “whether any person, by the offer or promise of an inducement or benefit, or by other improper means, attempted to influence a senator in the senator’s conduct as a senator, and whether any contempt was committed in that regard.”

Money speaks volumes. Wood was elected a member of the Center for Public Integrity’s Board of Directors at their June 21st meeting in New York.

And not surprisingly, the Center’s Exec. Director Bill Buzenberg has a new spring in his step. “On behalf of The Center for Public Integrity and ICIJ, we are tremendously motivated by Mr. Wood’s gift designed to strengthen our international collaborations with other investigative institutions,” said Buzenberg in a release. “A new research desk, fellowship program, and above all more reporting capacity will fortify ICIJ’s unique cross-border investigative work. We are very grateful for this important backing and Mr. Wood’s membership on our Board.”

Daddy Warbucks’ first act of business: an Aussi will be the first fellow. The release announces that the new year-long ICIJ Global Investigative Journalism Fellowship program, “launched thanks to Wood’s gift,” begins in January, 2014. The program will provide investigative training for international journalism fellows, beginning with a yet-to-be-named fellow from Australia.

More on Wood… Read more

Congressman’s Aide Says NPR Needs ‘Schweaty Balls’

A new aide to South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice called out NPR in a weekend tirade more fit for South Park than Facebook. John Sweeney, who wrote for the Morning News and, joined Price’s staff on June 23, 2013 as the Pee Dee Regional Rep. for the 7th Congressional District. His duties? Naturally, outreach and constituent service.

Everyone knows Republicans abhor NPR because they receive federal funding. But was it really necessary for Sweeney to continue his rant by saying NPR needs “some schweaty balls”? Of course it was. The reference comes from an SNL spoof about NPR better known as “Schweddy balls.” In the segment we meet “Pete Schweddy” played by Alec Baldwin, who hasn’t been in the news enough lately. “The thing I most like to bring out at this time of year are my balls,” Schweddy says, presenting a platter of delectable cookies shaped like male body parts. He’s referring to gumballs, popcorn balls, sweets, etc… Watch here.

No doubt, Sweeney’s hire was controversial. Back in early June, some on Facebook couldn’t comprehend why Rice hired him considering, they claimed, he’d been highly critical of local Republicans in his work as a journalist. A reporter critical of lawmakers? We’d like to think that — shockingly — this was his job. He does have a minor in theater from Florence, South Carolina’s Francis Marion University — so maybe that explains the dramatic insults about NPR.

Grandpa Howard Kurtz

Times are getting strange, indeed.

This afternoon, The Hill’s gossip columnist Judy Kurtz (i.e. Howiella, Howlma, Howeesha, etc..) announced on Twitter that she’s expecting a baby. Its expected arrival date: December, 2013.

Congratulations to the Kurtz clan. This is a big year for Grandpa-to-be Howard Kurtz — first he was fired from The Daily Beast/Newsweek, then he was hired at Fox News, and now, a grandchild!