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The Battle

Best. Disclosure. Ever.

tweetwarPoynter’s Andrew Beaujon profiles for TNR former FishbowlDC editor Betsy Rothstein, who recently announced her move to the Daily Caller. If you read nothing else, the disclosure is priceless. Only in DC, folks….And cue the Twitter war!

I have had a need to try to make sense of Betsy Rothstein’s work since early 2010. If you’re thinking, “Why is this a story?” or “This is some pathetic inside-the-Beltway nonsense,” I agree with you. She and I used to fight on Twitter (I have a note above my desk now reminding me not to engage, and I’m sure she considers me an unworthy opponent and a complete bozo). We have never met in person and have talked on the phone only a few times, none of which were pleasant. I’ve written about her before, she’s written about me before, and there’s a decent chance I’m projecting some of my own feelings about her work on my fellow Washington-area journalists and pretending others share them. I have worked with both Mike Riggs and Amanda Hess. New Republic story editor Ryan Kearney and I once worked together at TBD.com, a frequent Rothstein target, and we infuriated Rothstein by sending a gift to her home address as part of a feature on inexpensive gifts for prominent Washingtonians. When I emailed her last week after asking what she’d do after FishbowlDC, she replied by tweeting a photo of a man displaying his middle finger. The editor of this story and I have both worked at Washington City Paper, but never at the same time. He edited Moe Tkacik’s story and has eaten lunch with Mark Leibovich

Beaujon’s full piece here.

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Daily Caller Spins Its Web Traffic

The Daily Caller sent out a breathless press release Sunday night proclaiming that it had surpassed Politico in web traffic.

Well, it has — kind of and maybe just briefly.

Yes, for the last 30 days, The Daily Caller has edged out Politico by about 240,000 unique visitors. What they don’t mention is that the ranking changes at least day-to-day. For the month ending June 30, for example, Politico beat The Daily Caller by more than 400,000 unique visitors. Just a week earlier, July 7, Politico was ahead by almost 400,000 uniques and early this morning, the rankings showed The Daily Caller had already slipped a few spots on the list to 281 (Politico slipped a few as well, to 318). An update a few hours later showed a jump for The Daily Caller of about 13 spots. The point is, these rankings fluctuate — they’re relative based on how all the other sites Quantcast measured are doing.

Read more

The Erick Erickson Tweet That Blew a Gasket

When the clock struck 6:39 p.m. last night, RedState Editor and Fox News Contributor Erick Erickson released a tweet that would draw mountains of hate from lefties his way. Before he did it, he released Bible verses. Some 171 retweets and 87 favorites later, was it worth it?

The tweet that blew a gasket:

Asked whether he regrets his remark, Erickson told FishbowlDC: “I think the blowback certainly has to make me reconsider whether it was wise to do at that time. And I probably should have waited, though I think the senator who raced to the floor to make it about global warming set a very high bar for politicization that I did not reach. The reality though is had I tweeted that today, tomorrow, or next week the accusations would be the same though not as intense.”

Do the obscenely negative responses affect him? “I’m used to it,” he wrote by email. “It also highlights just how angry some people are — to an irrational level of anger. You can disagree with and be offended by that tweet, but I’m not sure how it makes me evil, racist, or not a Christian.”

Erickson pointed to another tweet that also sparked hatred. It came from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palinand involved prayer. “Honestly, what stuck out more to me was Sarah Palin’s tweet praying for the people of Oklahoma,” he wrote. “I pulled it up to retweet it and on my Twitter app, right after she’d done it , the app showed the first response to her from someone was ‘shut up you bitch.’ Amazing.”

Also amazing to Erickson was this: “The people fixated on that tweet ignored the many dozen others I tweeted or retweeted encouraging people to pray and donate to relief efforts.” In conclusion, he said, “Odd for me to say given my job, but I’m more and more convinced that the 24 hour news cycle focused on tragedy outside anyone’s control is just not helpful for people’s well being.”

And the 8 best in worst reactions to Erickson’s remark… Read more

D.C. Journo on New ABC Reality Show

Sasha Horne, a 28-year-old Washington, D.C.-based journalist who most recently covered technology and trends for the RIA Novosti news agency, will appear on ABC’s murder mystery summer series “Whodunnit?”

According to a release,”Whodunnit?” is a series that puts 13 amateur sleuths’ skills to the test in a mystery reality competition. Players will use crime scene techniques to uncover evidence in a series of puzzling murders and ultimately reveal who among them is the killer. Players will form alliances, while others will choose to go it alone to win the grand prize. Each week players must solve a new crime to advance in the game. Failure to solve the crime will lead to a player’s demise, until only three are left. In the final episode, one player will unmask the killer and take home the $250,000 prize.

Sasha got her start in news with the help of NBC4 Anchor Angie Goff. “Sasha Horne was my first intern and she left some HUGE shoes to fill,” Angie wrote in a blog post. “I was so proud of her.”

Sasha says the internship wasn’t easy, including working abominable hours of 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday. “Keep in mind at that time I was still working full time from 9-5 and I had grad school three evenings a week,” she wrote in a post. “The deadlines were real. As an intern I helped research and produce Angie’s daily morning segment as well as helping to respond to the SLEW of RSVP’s she’d receive for various community events. Anyone who knows Angie knows how much giving back is important to her, so managing her calendar was quite the task! Did I make mistakes, yes. Was it hard? You bet! But that’s all a part of learning and growing.”

After the internship, Sasha moved on to help produce at CNN and had an on-air gig in North Carolina. She also made appearances on TV and radio and covered politics in Atlanta.

The series premiers on June 22 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Who are the 13 competitors Sasha will compete against? Read more

Lanny Davis Challenges TNR Editor to ‘Fact Chack’

Last week The New Republic‘s Senior Editor Isaac Chotiner expressed his extreme distaste about a story on Lanny Davis, a crisis counselor and former special counsel to Bill Clinton by Washingtonian‘s Editor-at-Large Carol Joynt. On Twitter Chotiner chided Joynt for writing such a puff piece on Davis.

Joynt took Chotiner’s commentary in stride and didn’t really fight back. Chotiner told FishbowlDC: “The reason I reacted to that piece is because Davis is a figure who has represented terrible dictators.”

We sought out Davis to see what he thought. Did he think Joynt went too easy on him? Would he tell us even he did?

Much to our surprise, Davis fired back against Chotiner. Only he has a funny way of writing in that he doesn’t carefully proof his copy. At one point in a long tirade against Chotiner, he uses the phrase “fact-chaecking” or “fact chacking” whichever you prefer. He also presents an interesting challenge to Chotiner — namely to admit he has his facts wrong.

Have a look.

Read more

NYU Prof. Jay Rosen, Nerd Extraordinaire, Declares Luke Russert Unsuitable for NBC

As the expression goes, those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach, right? Enter NYU Professor and blogger Jay Rosen, who makes a habit out of nerding out on Twitter. This week he went after NBC Congressional Correspondent Luke Russert, who has been under fire this week for posing a question about age to 72-year-old House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. At a briefing earlier in the week, Pelosi expressed how offensive it was that Russert had asked if staying in leadership prevented a more youthful one from persevering.

Female lawmakers on the dais shouted at him with cries of discrimination. Feminist and Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen and other offended women online also put him in his place. And then comes Rosen who jumped on Russert after the correspondent appeared on Martin Bashir‘s program. A particularly feisty Bashir grilled Russert about the beliefs of members of the Republican leadership, who won’t appear on his program. Russert answered his rapid fire questions as best he could. Could Rosen fare half as well? Even so, Rosen declared on Twitter, “NBC News should admit that its Luke Russert experiment is just not working out. Make him a producer.”

Russert, who doesn’t usually fire back at anyone, lashed back at Rosen. And we salute him for that… Read more

ABC Spox Calls Daily Caller Story ‘Nonsense,’ Tucker Carlson Calls Him ‘Whiney’ and ‘Hardboiled’

An egg tossing contest might be in order for The Daily Caller and ABC News. Although we fear the dry cleaning bill could be quite high.

Jeffrey Schneider, Senior VP and Spokesman for ABC News who also handles communication for a myriad of programs such as “World News with Diane Sawyer,” and “20/20,” has one word for The Daily Caller‘s story on Martha Raddatz‘ relationship with President Obama over the years. As a matter of fact, it’s the same word he uses to describe the publication’s attempt to attack ABC Spokesman David Ford: “Nonsense.”

In a story published early this morning by Daily Caller story by Publisher Neil Patel and Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, they into great detail about Ford’s attempt to discredit Josh Peterson, the reporter who looked into the story on Raddatz, a longtime ABC correspondent and tonight’s debate moderator.

“When confronted with proof by The Daily Caller months later, ABC made up facts to minimize the appearance of impropriety,” they wrote. “A network flack named David Ford sent a statement to sympathetic liberal news outlets attacking Peterson for daring to question Raddatz’s impartiality. In his statement, Ford claimed that Obama’s attendance at the wedding didn’t mean anything, because ‘nearly the entire law review attended the wedding.’ …When Peterson pressed Ford for just how many Harvard law students went to Raddatz’s wedding, Ford stopped answering. None of this stopped the Huffington Post, Politico or the Daily Beast from dutifully repeating Ford’s whopper with no questions asked.”

Schneider sees The Daily Caller story as uncanny timing for tonight’s debate. “I think they failed to smear Martha and in lieu of that they’re trying to attack David Ford and it’s just nonsense,” he told FishbowlDC by phone today.

When asked to comment on Schneider’s remarks, Carlson replied, “It’s remarkable how whiney these hardboiled newsmen get when held to their own standards. We didn’t try to smear anybody. We just printed a series of verifiable facts we thought our readers had a right to know. That’s called journalism.”

He added, “I’m really struck by how fragile these network people are. It’s like they’ve never been challenged before, and I guess compared to the rest of us they really haven’t. But it’s also clear they know on some level their business is terminal, overtaken by cable and the internet, and it’s just a matter of time before it’s just a memory. I guess I might be hysterical too if I worked at ABC.”

Mother Jones Editor Calls Carlson a ‘D–kbag’

Mother Jones‘ Engagement Editor Adam Weinstein, relatively new to Washington’s cozy media world, is making fast friends. But not with The Daily Caller‘s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson.

“Sigh. I remember when bowties were a mark of respectability,” Weinstein lashed out on Twitter Tuesday, referring to Carlson’s former penchant for wearing bow-ties. He hasn’t worn them in more than five years. Asked to elaborate on his thought and make sure he was, in fact, referring to Carlson, Weinstein told FishbowlDC, “It merely meant that Tucker Carlson is such a dickbag, he actually manages to sully the standard uniform of Rotarian alcoholic eight-pounds-of-hair-having Dixie conservative frat boy douchecanoes the world over.”

Carlson’s response was brief.

“Who’s Adam Weinstein?” he wrote by email.

 

Twitchy and Ezzy Engaged in Battle of Wills

In a brave new nasty world of online reporting, things can get twitchy.

Today, Twitchy, the right-leaning site that highlights weird or entertaining happenings on Twitter, engaged in a battle of wits with WaPo‘s left-wing blogger Ezra Klein.

Twitchy went after Klein on a nuance of a technicality. In other words, he made a mistake, they went after him for a post one of his writers did on VP Paul Ryan saying the Janesville plant shut down during the Obama Administration and then they nailed him for what they deemed was his not properly highlighting the mistake. Klein’s blog maintains that Ryan was misleading. The decision to close the plant was made during the Bush Administration. The actual shut-down happened under Obama’s leadership.

Twitchy thinks Klein needs to apologize for being a liar. “We are right,” Klein tweeted in response to their accusations. Somehow we don’t see an apology happening in this century.

Take a look here. See the latest version of post that started the squabble here.

TWT‘s Curl Goes After ABC’s Tapper

Don’t look for TWT Columnist and Drudge’s Joe Curl and ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper to kiss and make up anytime soon. Curl, a former White House correspondent, took a machete to the mainstream media in a Sunday column, taking large slices out of the media covering President Obama as a whole and ripping on TIME and MSNBC Contributor Mark Halperin. But he took special care and precision in going after “The Tap” as he writes, pointedly and personally mocking Tapper.

Curl begins with the “dog” metaphor and stretches it out, saying that the MSM has been in the “downward-facing dog position” for the past four years. And then, employing the reporter’s full name, the almost uncomfortable attack on “Jacob Paul ‘Jake’ Tapper” begins.

Tapper worked for Handgun Control Inc. and the “ultra-liberal” Salon magazine, writes Curl, who then goes after his wife, whom he does not name, indicating she’s the “former regional field manager for Planned Parenthood Federation.” He moves on to Tapper’s book, Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency, calling it a “mega-non-best-seller” and citing the author speaking about media bias. Then Curl twists the knife by making fun of an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

Tapper has been praised by conservatives for asking tough questions that some think make him decidedly anti-Obama: National Review Online writer Jonah Goldberg: “There’s a reason why ABC’s Jake Tapper is one of the few nonconservative reporters respected on the right: He’s stayed as skeptical of Obama as he was of George W. Bush.” National Review Editor Rich Lowry: “In May, a bi-partisan majority of the House, including 20 Democrats, voted to ban abortion for the purpose of sex selection. As the National Right to Life Committee noted, it didn’t occur to reporters to ask the White House about the president’s position on the legislation, with the honorable exception of Jake Tapper (who, for some reason, is always the honorable exception).” Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham: “Jake Tapper of ABC News, one of the few honest brokers out there in the non-Fox White House Press Corps.”

This won’t sit well. Washington can feel like a small town where media is concerned, so this should make for some exquisitely awkward party moments. We just hope we’re there to witness them.

Tapper declined to comment on Curl’s column.

An excerpt:

…America’s reporters are prepared to do what must be done so they can get back to their skewered shrimp in the faux gardens of upper Manhattan — with Barack Obama back in the White House.

All of this comes as a tremendous shock to Jacob Paul “Jake” Tapper. The Dartmouth grad who once worked for Handgun Control Inc. and the ultra-liberal Salon magazine (is his wife a former regional field manager for Planned Parenthood Federation? Yes, yes she is) did not really know there was this “liberal bias” when authoring the mega-non-best-seller “Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency” (surprisingly, it was not about how Al Gore tried to steal the presidency).

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