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Journos, Pols Prep for Fight of Their Lives

This could get ugly.

Come Sept. 18, a smattering of Washington journalists will face harrowing pressure as they partake in a spelling bee to raise money for the National Press Club’s non-profit Journalism Institute. The contest pits Washington journalists against members of Congress. The event is being organized by TIME‘s Katy Steinmetz.

“Journalists and lawmakers both have wonky tendencies that could benefit them in a spelling bee,” Steinmetz told FishbowlDC. “Anyone who understands the chained CPI probably knows about that double ‘s’ in misspell, but we’ll see for ourselves in a few weeks time. One thing I can tell you is that tubers will likely make an appearance early in the competition.”

Asked if he’s confident in his spelling skills and if he’ll be practicing, HuffPost‘s Howard Fineman wrote me by email:

Answer:

Potato
Implacable
Bourgeoisie
Resuscitate
Judgment

Tickets are $25 or $15 for students. Purchase here.

Who will play?

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Summer Superlatives 2013: Class Clown

Who’s the funniest journalist in Washington? I suppose first we must distinguish, are we laughing with them or at them? But for purely comedic purposes let’s say these are journalists who are consistently found to be amusing among their peers. This year’s lineup includes: Yahoo! NewsOlivier Knox (he was on last year’s nominee list but Sirius XM’s  Julie Mason beat him out and we’re giving him another shot), BuzzFeed‘s John Stanton (who tries unusual hangover remedies just for fun and notices a wide variety of douchebags on the streets of Washington), The Daily Caller‘s Will Rahn (the brainchild of many antics at the publication such as this; and if you haven’t seen “And the Wandering,” his dramatic reading of Politico‘s Dylan Byer‘s personal blog from when he was 19, watch here), National Journal‘s Elahe Izadi (she does standup in real life), Reason.com Editor Nick Gillespie (whose exceedingly dry humor could keep you laughing at boring Washington cocktail parties) and The Sunday Times Washington Bureau Chief Toby Harnden (who routinely says things like “gets on my tits” for gets on my nerves–he’s British, so he’s excused).

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Summer Superlatives ’13: Most Despised Flack

Today we are asking for your expertise in deciding who is the most despised flack in Washington. Is it Clintonland’s Philippe Reines, who last year told BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings, now deceased, to “fuck off” and “have a good life”? Under the circumstances–ouch. Or could it be White House Press Sec. Jay Carney, who manages to piss off one reporter or another on a weekly, sometimes daily basis? Or else…Brad Dayspring, the fiery flack who relatively recently returned to the NRSC. Dayspring previously worked in the press shop of House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor. He left that job after a confrontation that nearly turned physical. Forget all that though. Our absolute favorite memory of Dayspring involves those sexy ladies that used to turn up on his Twitter feed. Nah, it wasn’t illegal or even Weinerish. But it was hilarious. We also have a strange nomination in this category for Breitbart‘s Matthew Boyle. We protested, saying he is a reporter and not a flack. But as it was explained to us in the nominating process, “He’s not a flack under the tradition sense of the term, but he’s no journalist, either. I consider him to be a promoter of the GOP and far-right.”

Summer Superlatives 2013: Most Respected Journalist in Washington

This is a tough category. But today we ask you to help determine who is Washington’s most respected journalist. The lineup of contestants includes USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, WaPo‘s Dan Balz, CNN’s Jake Tapper, WaPo‘s Paul Kane, WSJ Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib, CBS’ “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer and Politico‘s Maggie Haberman. A Capitol Hill aide remarked to FishbowlDC, “On the Hill, Paul Kane’s integrity is unquestioned.” Of Page and Balz, a journalist tooted their horns, saying, “I don’t know a single person — politician wise — who would say no to either one of them.” May the most respected journo win!

Project Fishbowl: The Hill’s 50 Beauties

This morning we enter Project Fishbowl to closely examine The Hill’s 10th Anniversary “50 Most Beautiful People List.” This year saw a few changes as they allowed White House Administration people to enter the fray in addition to political types on Capitol Hill and K Street. There’s also a dandy new layout that allows for easy viewing and flipping through the winners. Here we offer our raw reviews of the beauties – FishbowlDC style. Warning: To the easily offended (you know who you are) you might want to skip this because we won’t apologize.

In no particular order… let’s begin.

Piranhamous:  Very sexy in that ‘lock you in his basement’ kind of way.  Too soon?

Peter: I think I recognize this guy from my grandma’s “Shop Teachers of the Mid-Atlantic” calendar she had in 1984.

Anonymous journo: So, the West Wing was allowed on this year’s list. But who said anything about daytime TV shrinks?

Justin: Right out of GQ, obviously.

Betsy: Bald and plump with a “Magnum, P.I.” stache. Literally doesn’t get any better than this.

Piranhamous:  Caught on Camera!  Stephanie Green’s pearls attack curling-iron-haired cutie!!!

Peter: That necklace is made of human teeth.

Anonymous journo: Glad she listened to the flight attendant and fastened her seat belt.

Justin: The necklace scares me a bit—or a lot. But I love the smile.

Betsy: How many “cuties” can one list have? Please, STOP the usage of that word. Serious question: Can a necklace self-strangle a human being?

Piranhamous: Jai from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy proves there is life after reality TV.

Peter: They let Billy Elliot on the list! His face screams, “Bro, do you even pirouette?”

Anonymous journo: Oretga’s face never moves. Even during his daily Capitol Hill parkour workouts (involves jumping off balconies and buildings).

Justin: But did he stick the landing? I can’t pass judgment without this vital piece of information.

Betsy: Who let Pee Wee Herman on the list? Is that even appropriate?

Piranhamous: I loved his rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA Finals.

Peter: “And Emmanuel Lewis as Webster…”

Anonymous journo: Where’s the yearbook quote?

Justin: Just… no. Our society already exploits children way too much, I won’t be a part of it.

Betsy: Has someone called Child Protective Services or checked the milk cartons? This can’t be legal. Read more

Summer Superlatives 2013: Best Bangs

Today we begin our 2013 Summer Superlatives contest with a late entry to the race: Best Bangs. If you hadn’t noticed, we like hair items and bangs are not always a good look. Whoever can pull them off is a rare individual worthy of many compliments. But who deserves the praise?

Our nominees include Red Alert‘s Nikki SchwabBreitbart News and Townhall’s Lisa de Pasquale, HuffPost‘s Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim and NBC’s Luke Russert. We’re throwing in Michelle Obama just for the hell of it. She does appear to be responsible for this year’s bang craze.

Wrote one tipster, “Nikki Schwab’s are awesome. Her ‘do is simply perfect for her face frame and she pulls them off beautifully! Not everyone can like she does. Obligatory corresponding photo attached.”

Let the voting begin.

Graphics by Austin Price

FBDC Summer Superlatives 2013 (The Reminder Notice)

Dear Readers,

The deadline is fast approaching. Please get your nominations in by Sunday midnight. The fun begins next week as we start the voting process for Summer Superlatives 2013. Don’t miss out. Depending on the nominations we receive we’re considering adding “Best Dressed” and “Best Bangs” (as in hair). So keep those in mind. Find the nomination categories here.

Sincerely,

FishbowlDC Management

FishbowlDC Summer Superlatives 2013

Today we roll out the red carpet for our 2013 Class of Summer Superlatives. This is where we momentarily return to high school and place our classmates–our colleagues–into fun loving categories. We are insanely excited to unveil this summer’s superlatives, as there’s never a shortage of high drama among Washington’s press corps.

So here’s what’s going to happen. First and foremost, we need your expertise with the nominees. Tell us where the journalist (or flack) works and why they deserve the superlative. You will have a deadline of Sunday at midnight to send them in to FishbowlDC@mediabistro.com or to Betsy@mediabistro.com. All nominations will be anonymous even if it’s obvious or you tell us who you are. They can be as clean or mean as you want — if they’re too mean or X-rated we may not run them on the site, but we’ll certainly have a good laugh at our next FishbowlDC board meeting.

After we’ve gathered the nominees for each category we’ll be back in touch next week and have you vote on the winners one category at a time. Good luck and don’t miss our deadline or we’ll send our extremely intimidating intern (don’t forget, he knows photoshop) out to your newsroom to bug you.

Let the games begin.

1. Biggest self-promoter

2. Worst temper

3. Drama King and Queen

4.  Favorite flack/Most despised flack

5.  Troublemaker

6.  Class clown

7.  Best eyes

8. Sexiest

9.  Most respected journo in Washington

10. Debbie Downer (can be male or female)

11. Favorite pundit to watch on TV

Graphic by Austin Price

Roll Call Launches Fantasy Softball League for Annual Women’s Game

Forget fantasy football, there’s a new way to compete in sports while sitting on your couch with your laptop and scarfing pizza.

Roll Call has started its own fantasy softball league to correspond with the fifth annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game, which pits women of the Washington Press Corps against congresswomen to raise money for Young Survival Coalition, an organization that aids young women with breast cancer.

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Whose Shoes: The Big Reveal

On Friday we asked you to figure out who these two male journalists are based on their shoes and a few hints. Here’s the answer: It’s Politico‘s media show duo Patrick Gavin and Dylan Byers. By the way, just in case you were confused (like we were), Dylan has donned the bright yellow sneakers (that match his Big Bird outfit?) and Gavin is showing off his boat shoes.

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