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Archives: November 2012

CQ Roll Call Publicist Shifts Gears To Editorial

CQ Roll Call Publicist Rebecca Gale is making a big leap this week from the public relations side of the publication to editorial. Specifically she will be a contributing editor for Roll Call. See the internal memo from Editorial Director Susan Benkelman below.

Team –

I’m happy to announce that Rebecca Gale, who’s been working as director of publicity and has handled our media relations, will be working in editorial, beginning immediately. Rebecca will serve as a contributing editor and will be working on Roll Call, helping out on the opinion section and working on other projects as needed. In fact, she’s currently writing a piece for Roll Call as we speak. She’s sitting in a cubicle near Dave Rapp’s office, so stop by and say hi.


See what Gale had to say about the move… Read more

Zucker: ‘I Don’t Have All the Answers, No One Does’

CNN Worldwide’s new President Jeff Zucker sent a warm note out to staff this morning, expressing his excitement for the future of the network. He also said bluntly that he doesn’t have all the answers. This, despite the large volume of reporters who keep bombarding him with questions about it. Notice his signature: all caps.

November 30, 2012

With Thursday’s announcement behind us, I wanted to communicate directly with you to say how excited I am to be part of CNN’s future. I have long been a consumer and admirer of CNN’s journalism. And I see endless potential for CNN across all of its platforms. As Phil Kent and I said yesterday, we are committed to maintaining CNN’s core mission. In fact, in my mind, CNN’s values are more distinct and more important than ever in today’s media landscape.

At the same time, we will have to continue to evolve. I don’t have all the answers. No one does. But I hope that we can challenge each other to think even more broadly about what CNN is and can be, and to enhance this truly special and powerful brand. The opportunities are limitless.

It is a great honor to join you on this journey. I look forward to getting to know the organization and the great people who work here.

Officially, I will begin work in late January, but I’ll start diving in soon. I’ll be travelling [sic] to meet with many of you in the weeks ahead. I can’t wait. Until then, thanks for the already warm welcome.


Nikki Finke is NOT a ‘Gossip Guru’

FishbowlDC committed a sin of biblical proportions on Thursday, which was that we referred to Nikki Finke, founder of Deadline Hollywood, as a “gossip guru.” Certainly we didn’t mean it as a slight but as a testament to her mastery of entertainment reporting.

Still, we received this note from her at 5: 27  a.m. this morning which would be 2:27 a.m. Pacific Time. It’s curious that a variety of respected outlets such as LAT, the AP and Newsweek have all apparently committed the same wretched sin and “error” we did. Also, please note the sentence in which she points out our “error.” It reads: “I really don’t know how media like MB can be so incredible [sic] sloppy and erroneous.”

Jing, jing-a-ling, jing-a-ling, jing-a-ling, what fun to hear the sleigh bells jingle! Happy holidays Nikki! Don’t forget to give us a ring when and if you visit Washington.

See her letter… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

Writer questions Facebook friend advice

“OK, Facebook, I’ll bite: WHY do you think Tipper Gore and I should be friends (or, you know, ‘friends’)?” — Former Yahoo! News’ Deputy Editor and author Chris Lehman.

TV reporter has potentially psycho cleaning lady 

“Ok, my cleaning lady is GASLIGHTING ME! tell her not to do laundry. come home … SHE”S DOING LAUNDRY… with a big smile on her face.” — ABC7 reporter Stephen Tschida.

From the Dept. of Bragiculture…

“I think I may be the only tweeter that intersperses tweets about poop apps and the UN recognizing Palestine. I’m diverse that way.” — Kathleen McKinley, Houston Chronicle political blogger.

Wrap your head around this strange anonymous tip: “Too bad the editor isn’t named Buzz instead of Ben.   Then it could be called FeedBuzz.”

WTOP caller gets the axe

“Unhinged person. Not taking them.” — WTOP’s Debbie Feinstein regarding a caller who wanted to question Dr. Drew Pinksy about how gay people created HIV-AIDS in their Thursday morning “Ask Dr. Drew” segment.

Real HuffPost headline: “What’s the sweetest thing your child has said to you since the divorce? Share your story!” Good times HuffPost!

Obama/Romney lunch aftermath

“Romney and Obama had lunch together today. And you thought your Thanksgiving meal was awkward.” — Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.

“I just assume these meetings between a potus and the man who ran to defeat him are extremely vulgar and profanity-laced.” — ReutersSam Youngman.

Convo Between Two Journos

Today’s conversation is between HuffPost’s Elise Foley and TNR’s Julia Loffe.

Loffe: “Does ANYONE speak on the record in Washington?”

Foley: “I request anonymity to speak freely, but no.”

Eddie Scarry contributed to this report.

See who made our FishbowlDC Fan Club Board this week…

Read more

Dr. Drew Deeply Worried About Lindsay Lohan

Dr. Drew Pinsky has a lot weighing on his mind these days. Among the topics brewing are relationships, closeness, and HIV and AIDS awareness. And then there’s Lindsay Lohan.

On the heels of the latest Lohan debacle — she was arrested for fighting with a woman in a New York nightclub — Pinsky, who hosts Dr. Drew on HLN and previously VH1′s Celebrity Rehab, told FishbowlDC that he really worries for the troubled actress. “Lindsay is very sick. She is going to die if she doesn’t get help,” he said during a commercial break of a special hour-long “Ask Dr. Drew” radio segment this morning at WTOP headquarters in northwest D.C.”We need to be praying for her. I’m very very scared for her. She’s a recalcitrant drug user.”

Pinksy is in town for an HIV awareness forum at the White House today. He also has a special airing on MTV Saturday at 7 p.m., a documentary on young people living with HIV. Aside from a West Wing tour, he has never been to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in any professional capacity. He said he hoped to meet President Obama. On air  with WTOP’s Mark Lewis and Debbie Feinstein, he hammed it up, saying, “First we’re going to share a beer, how’s Mitt, how’s your buddy?”

Continuing on about Lohan on air, Pinksy said something that could make the hair on your neck stand on end. He has real fears that the actress could lose a limb before it is all over. He didn’t elaborate.

Pinsky speaks out about HIV, addiction and stress… Read more

What Happens When VPOTUS Goes to Costco?

It was a momentous occasion in Washington, D.C. The District’s first Costco opened. The location is in Fort Lincoln and it brought quite a draw for it’s first day: namely, VPOTUS Joe Biden. According to pool reports, Biden walked up, flashed his Costco card and strolled through the store enjoying samples and shopping for items like children’s books, fire logs, a TV and an apple pie. God bless America. One enterprising salesman at the store even tried to sell Biden some tires! According to the pool report, Biden said, “”Hey man I don’t need tires,” he said “I don’t drive anymore.”

Naturally, Twitter had a field day. ReutersSam Youngman was thoroughly impressed with the tire salesman. He tweeted, “I have finally decided on my vote for Time’s Man of the Year: The Costco employee who tried to upsell Biden some tires.”

Plenty of others weighed in…. Read more

Lindsay Lohan Gets Comic Book Treatment

Forget about her third degree assault charge, actress Lindsay Lohan is in a new biography comic book called Infamous: Lindsay Lohan. The book follows her roller coaster life and is hitting the e-book world.

Infamous: Lindsay Lohan is available for download on the Nook and Kindle through Barnes & Noble and Pricetag: $199. The author is New York Times Best Selling writer Marc Shapiro and the illustrator is Japan’s Mimei Sakamoto. The cover art is by Joe Phillips.

Shapiro alleges the book isn’t all salacious headlines (wink! wink!). He says the, ahem, COMIC BOOK, tries to portray how she came to this hot mess of a point in her life as well as the “causes of her inability to straighten out her life.”

Right. And we’re sure Lindsay will appreciate the California Dept. of Corrections artwork.

‘You’re A Teenage Girl’: Politico‘s Byers, HuffPost‘s Stein Squabble Over GOP Media Strategy

A Twitter tiff between Politico‘s Dylan Byers and HuffPost‘s Sam Stein started with a blog post that made little sense without spending five minutes to really contemplate it.

Yesterday Byers posted an excerpt from a HuffPost story by Stein, who had interviewed former GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman:

“‘In an interview with The Huffington Post, [Jon] Huntsman laid out his vision for the Republican Party going forward….’

“Get it?”

And that was it.

Stein reacted to the post by saying he “always thought it was weird that people think Republicans can’t talk to [HuffPost] and still be conservative.”

With that, Byers’ post starts to make sense. He was suggesting that HuffPost, known as a left-leaning publication, may not be the best platform for a Republican to try influencing the GOP.

“Call a GOP strategist and ask them if [HuffPost] is best place to lay out your vision for GOP,” Byers said to Stein. “Seriously?” Stein replied. “We scored a [Mitt] Romney interview in the primary? We talk to GOP lawmakers all the time, top operatives, officials, etc…”

A former Huntsman communications director says HuffPost is a reasonable place for the GOP to speak out…

Read more

National Journal Announces Newsroom Revamp, 10 Layoffs

National Journal‘s newsroom operation is making big shifts. The news outlet will be divided into “two distinct teams” — one for members, another for digital. Outgoing Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier will be the “star reporter” on the digital platform. His titles are Editorial Director and National Correspondent. Brownstein, who will also write for digital, is shifting into a new corporate-level role of Editorial Director for Strategic Partnerships for Atlantic Media. Amid these changes also come 10 editorial layoffs.

They won’t name names.

“First, however, some unwelcome news,” a memo released to the newsroom today states. “One component of the reorganization involves eliminating 10 positions in the newsroom. We understand this is deeply disappointing for all of National Journal’s 174 employees. We have notified the individuals affected and will be working with them in the days and weeks ahead to assist with their transition.”

Atlantic Spokeswoman Linda Douglass wouldn’t discuss the departing employees. She told FishbowlDC: “This is an effort to take national in addition to serving insiders in Washington to aim at a national audience of sophisticated readers who are interested in politics and policy.”

The memo states that Fournier, in his new role, will now be able to devote nearly all of his time to reporting, writing and tweeting! We certainly hope he lets loose with his tweeting.

See the immense memo from Bruce Gottlieb, President of National Journal Group. We’ve bolded the important parts so your brain doesn’t explode reading it… Read more

Nikki Finke to Newsweek: ‘I Didn’t Want Washington’

Back in the early 80s gossip guru Nikki Finke, Editor-in-Chief and founder of Deadline Hollywood, had choice words for Newsweek about Washington, D.C. “I’d specifically told the Newsweek powers-that-be that I didn’t want Washington,” she writes. “So of course they put me in D.C.”

Our siblings at FishbowlLA have a racy writeup about her antics reported on They include her breaking up with her married lover, flying on Air Force One and a photographer taking nude shots of her in a bathroom. Fun times?

Finke’s Washington past is plentiful. She worked for Rep. Ed Koch (D-N.Y.) before going to work for the AP in Baltimore. She has also written for WaPo.