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Posts Tagged ‘Ann Compton’

A Candid Convo Without the Boys on the Bus

On Dec. 13, several Washington female journos will convene to discuss their experiences on the campaign trail and the upcoming presidential election.

The reporters — ABC’s Ann Compton, NPR’s Mara Liasson, and WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty — will join The Atlantic’s Linda Douglass in a candid conversation at the Newseum. The event, which boasts a coffee and dessert reception, is being underwritten by ExxonMobil. A description: “With the 2012 election looming and popular interest in the political press corps surging, the discussion will combine analysis of the election and insight into political strategy as the evolution of women’s presence in political reporting and what it’s like to be a woman on the trail.”

More info: Contact Elizabeth Vargas at evargas@theatlantic.com.

Yahoo! News Celebrates Chalian, Campaign Season

Photo L to R: Rick Klein, Robin Sproul, Richard Kaplan, Ross Levinsohn, Jonathan Karl, Amy Walter, Joe Ruffolo.

If you didn’t make it up to the rooftop of 101 Constitution Ave for Yahoo! News’ swanky soiree on Wednesday night, here’s a quick recap of what you missed:  Thrown by event extraordinaire Philip Dufour, the party was held in large part to welcome new DC bureau chief David Chalian.  In addition, the newsgroup used the opportunity to kick off their 2012 campaign coverage plans and to raise a glass to their partnership with ABC News.

Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo! EVP of the Americas  (and American University alum),  spoke about Yahoo! News’ expanding editorial coverage and presence in Washington to a crowd that included many familiar faces from ABC’s DC bureau:  Ann Compton, Jonathan Karl, Rick Klein, Polson Kanneth, Richard Kaplan, Amy Walter and Robin Sproul.  Also in attendance were WaPo‘s Dana Milbank, Neil Patel of the Daily Caller, NJ’s Chris Frates, Jane Mayer from the New Yorker, CNN’s Dan Lothian and Alex Mooney, Politico’s Marty Kady and Keach Hagey, Judy Kurtz of The Hill, NBC’s Adam Verdugo, MSNBC’s Karen Finney, CQ Roll Call’s Mark Walters and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The Power Inside a Power Party

Washington is known for its “important” power lists. Most publications have them. There are lists for top lobbyists like Washingtonian‘s “Hired Guns: The City’s 50 Top Lobbyists.” Both The Hill and Roll Call also boast top lobbyist lists. There are lists for important people everywhere (TIME‘s 100), for socialites (Washington Life‘s Young and the Guest List) and there’s FNC’s “Power Player of the Week.” This week The Hill presented their annual summer “50 Most Beautiful People of Capitol Hill.”

Politico‘s 50 to Watch party Thursday night at Barcode in downtown D.C. was unusual in that not even those attending knew whether they had made the list or whether they were just being invited to a party with booze and balloons.

“I had no idea. I had no clue,” remarked ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton on her way into the party upon discovering that she’d made the list under the category of New Deans of the White House Press Corps. “What fun!” She continued, “Having been here since I was brand new at 27, to be discovered is really cool.”

Many who didn’t make the list made jokes. NRSC Spokesman Brian Walsh told me he was unofficially #51. And Sen. John Thune‘s (R-S.D.) press secretary Kyle Downey agreed to be #53. Walsh’s illustrious dog, Rudy, slid in at #52.

HuffPost-AOL Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington showed up just to mingle. She knew she hadn’t made the list. Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) made the list and few understood why with all the “formers” in his title.

The concept of a power list? “It’s very Washington,” said a GOP flack at the party who wished to remain anonymous.

A sampling of who made the list: CBS News’ Mark Knoller and Bill Plante, American Urban Radio’s April Ryan,  fundraisers like Alison Baker of Straus Baker, Paula Dukes of Rizzo Dukes Group, Joanna Brooks, a religion columnist, Greg Giroux of Bloomberg Government, David Waldman, a liberal blogger. TV Faces included Brett Baier (FNC), Sam Feist (CNN), David Gregory (NBC), Phil Griffin (MSNBC) and Norah O’Donnell (CBS).

Waiters and bartenders at the party had chiseled physiques and wore tight-fitting Politico T-shirts. “What’s not to like?” replied one waiter when asked if he liked the T-shirt. “It says Politico. And then people ask me what Politico is and I have no idea.”

Oh, look! Another White House Dean. April Ryan, a correspondent for American Urban Radio who most recently landed a seat on the WHCA board, also made the list. Like Compton, she was surprised and tickled to make the cut. “It’s amazing,” she said. “I’m thankful. It’s nice that someone recognized the work I do. I wasn’t doing anything to be recognized. I just do my job. It’s an honor.”

WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart was in the crowd. Asked what these power lists accomplish, he replied, “The most important thing they do is they let people know quite possibly who they should be paying attention to in a serious manner rather than the folks they are already paying attention to. Most of the time the people we think are important aren’t as important as we think they are or they think they are.”

Politico‘s Mike Allen (pictured above in a photograph that makes him look like a cartoon character) had a different, POLITICO (all caps) sort of response when asked to comment on the list. “This is the next generation of newsmakers,” he said. “These are the people who are going to win the cycle.”

Some were excited about the list. “I like the lists,” said ABC’s Polson Kanneth. “Everyone loves a good list.”

As mentioned earlier, The Hill‘s “50 Most Beautiful People of Capitol Hill” came out this week. Party banter inevitably turned to it. One male who had previous been on the beauty list expressed shock over this year’s list. He looked almost embarrassed to have once been on it. Another partygoer expressed outrage, “It’s not just that they were not that attractive. It’s that some were actively ugly.”

While the bar quickly filled with political and media types who appeared to be enjoying themselves, not everyone there was so hot on the concept of power lists. An intern from Ghana perusing the 50 Politicos to Watch glossy magazine at the bar remarked on lists like this in general: “They’re all corrupt. But I have no evidence to prove that.”

And there was publicist Janet Donovan, who also doesn’t appear to think much of lists. “I hate lists,” said Donovan. Drifting into the crowd of important people and those watching them, she added, “They’re condescending.”

For more on the White House Deans, read Politico Patrick Gavin‘s story here.

Find out who else was in the crowd…

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Happy Birthday Mike Allen!

Today is the birthday of “the man the White House wakes up to.” That’s Politico‘s Playbook Author Mike Allen, who was born in 1964 in Orange County, Calif.

You won’t see this news in his own birthday section — he’s not that sort of guy. So we wanted to shower him with Happy Birthday wishes here. (h/t ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who tweeted the news this morning, saying, “Happy Birthday Mike Allen, the one birthday you won’t read about in Playbook.”)

We have remarks from a special person in Allen’s life: NJ‘s Marc Ambinder, who lobbed a public grenade at Playbook last week at the Page One screening/panel at the Newseum. Ambinder specifically criticized Allen’s select birthday listings for “further politicizing Washington” and for “pushing the Administration’s agenda.” The pair later exchanged relative niceties over email.

Ambinder’s birthday message for Allen is as follows: “Happy Birthday to the best-sourced, most jealousy-inducing and nicest journo I know (and like to occasionally public tweak).”

NYT‘s Mark Leibovich, who wrote the immense 2010 profile on Allen, remarked, “Is it his birthday? If it wasn’t in Playbook, how can we be sure he (or anyone) was really born? It’s the DC equivalent of the long-form birth certificate.”

When asked for birthday comments for Allen, Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris wrote: “Mike and I have known each other for 20 years–we were both young reporters in Richmond–and I think we’ve been friends longer than any of his other Washington colleagues. He was a force of nature then and is a force of nature now. One of the most exceptional journalists of his generation, and one of the most exceptional people.”

We at FishbowlDC wish Allen a very Happy Birthday.

UPDATE: ABC’s Ann Compton tweeted a birthday message to Allen today. She wrote, “Happy Birthday to the guy in the only picture on my WH booth wall.” See the photograph after the jump…

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Time-People Party a Blend of Pomp, Cynicism and Booze

The fallout from WHCD continues.

The TIME-People party on Friday night at the St. Regis was jammed with members of the media with nearly all networks and publications represented. We spotted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer by the bar, NBC’s Norah O’Donnell by the couches, FNC’s Chris Wallace and wife, Lorraine chatting with ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton, who was all decked out in a long-sleeved, sparkly cream dress. TIME‘s Richard Stengel could be seen mingling with the likes of MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie and actor Steve Buscemi. Asked by one scribe how he felt about being shot by mobster Tony Soprano, Buscemi said, “If you’re going to get shot, might as well be by Tony Soprano.” Partygoers whispered about Bristol Palin being in the mix. Though much discussed, guests didn’t approach her in droves. She mostly stuck to quiet spots with her aunt and avoided anyone who tried to interview her.

We finally met up with Gawker‘s Political Editor Jim Newell, who described his blazer/khaki ensemble as “country club casual.” He said WHCD weekend is “obnoxious” but didn’t see the damage of stars mingling with Washington types. “I don’t understand why it has become celebrified,” he said. “Why do they come to this nerdy insider’s banquet?” A reporter in atttendance who wasn’t allowed to bring a plus one complained, “These assholes won’t let me bring my wife!”

Guthrie took exception to the negative undertones. She said she was looking forward to the dinner. “It’s fun to see your colleagues,” she said. “I enjoy it and I’m not cynical about it.” She told me she was planning to wear a long, black Michael Kors dress. “Really boring,” she said, downplaying her gown.

By and large, the party was enjoyed, especially those gift bags that many lugged out.


Wolf Shines at RTDNF First Amendment Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation held court last night at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington D.C..   Journalists from around the country attended the black-tie affair to celebrate the 2011 First Amendment Award recipients: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Hearst’s David Barrett and Raycom’s Susana Schuler, and pay tribute to the tenth anniversary of September 11th.  The program also honored nine reporters who displayed special poise and bravery during the 9/11 attacks.  ABC’s Martha Raddatz, ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, Warren Levinson of AP Radio, CBS’s Byron Pitts, CBS Radio’s Charlie Kaye, Jeanne Meserve of CNN, Rick Leventhal of Fox News, NBC’s Rehema Ellis and NPR’s Melissa Block all received special recognition for their dedication to journalism during the national crisis.

Guests at the event were treated to a luxe, three-course meal including scallop appetizer, tender beef entree and tasty chocolate pastry dessert.  And though the dinner was delightful, the highlight of the night was certainly the presentation of the Leonard Zeidenberg Award to Wolf Blitzer.  The award was presented by Turner Broadcasting Chairman and CEO Phil Kent who gushed, “I love this guy”  before playing a hilarious video tribute to the Wolf-man (below and worth the watch).

*Interesting side note:  Blitzer takes off on a whirlwind tour with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week.  Among their destinations: Egypt and Tunisia.

Daily Caller Piles Into Top of the Hill

Daily Caller staffers and about a trillion (exaggerating slightly) other people piled into Top of the Hill last night at the Pour House on Capitol Hill. The reason for the party (as if the Daily Caller really ever needs a reason) was to welcome new members of Congress and their aides to Washington. Topics of conversation included how crowded the room was, Congress stuff and political musings, the fantastic open bar, and Daily Caller spokeswoman Becca Glover Watkins‘ birthday (which, as FBDC noted earlier, is today).

As is the case with any good party, people got fairly drunk. A pleasant, fun kind of drunk. Editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson took notice, and also addressed how crowded the Top of the Hill had become. “I’m not try to encourage people to drink, but there’s a lot of alcohol downstairs as well,” he said.

A number of congressmen were in attendance, but we spotted one  freshmen for sure: Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

Also at the party: Publisher Neil Patel, executive editor Megan Mulligan, Mary Katharine Ham, reporters Jon Ward, Chris Moody, Jonathan Strong, Jeff Winkler, and Mike Riggs (the “Daily Baller” wasn’t doing anything too crazy though), and online editors Julia McClatchy, Chad Brady, and Pat McMahon (who demanded to be mentioned “or else”); Fox News’ Shannon Bream and her husband Sheldon; ABC News’ Ann Compton, her husband, Dr. Bill Hughes, and her daughter, the Atlantic‘s Annie Hughes; Chris Bodenner, also of the Atlantic; WaPo‘s Katherine Zaleski; Washington City Paper‘s Mike Madden; Chris McGreal of The Guardian; C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman; Dan Hirschhorn of Politico; CNN’s Brianna Keilar; Washington Examiner “Yeas and Nays” columnist Nikki Schwab; Christina Wilkie and A.B. Stoddard of The Hill; Moe Tkacik; Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa and the bain of Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz‘s existence; Speaker of the House John Boehner‘s spokesman Michael SteelTony Blankley, Executive Vice President at Edelman; and NYP‘s Charlie Hurt.

Lots of love among Daily Caller staffers. Reporter Jeff Winkler goes in for a kiss with online editor Pat McMahon. Spokeswoman Becca Glover seems to enjoy it.

WCP‘s Mike Madden, however, didn’t enjoy it. (We don’t know that he was watching the kiss, but it’s entirely possible.)

Photos courtesy of Wonkette‘s Elizabeth Glover.

Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers

QUOTES of the DAY

Sen. John McCain‘s (R-Ariz.) daughter and Daily Beast Columnist Meghan McCain gets new spectacles. “I will now go home at night and turn into Lois Lane,” she tweeted Tuesday.

Birthday Notes: A special belated Happy Birthday to the Washington Examiner‘s Yeas & Nays writer Nikki Schwab, whose birthday was Monday. She celebrated late last week at The Mayflower. Other birthday’s today (h/t ABC Jake Tapper) are ABC News Radio’s Ann Compton and ABC News’s Jonathan Karl.

Snooki Vs. Joan Walsh: Who’s happier?

“I am confident that snooki has a better life than @joanwalsh.” — SCMcDonnell in a Tuesday tweet in reference to Jersey Shore’s Snooki and Salon‘s venomous political talk show pundit Joan Walsh.

A Politics Daily headline on ‘O’

‘O: A Presidential Novel’ — By Anonymous, Starring Obama and ‘Self-Obsessive’ D.C.

Daily rituals

“I make it a point that whenever @MichaelBarone comes into the office, that we fist bump,” Washington Examiner‘s J.P. Freire in a Tuesday tweet.

Something better said, not thought

“If u’r walking in a crosswalk, FUCKING MOVE!!! Don’t take your damn time! I don’t have all day for u to lollygag….JACKASSES!”

Reporter claims to be ‘out of loop’

“Consider me out of the loop: The Obamas were two blocks from my house today at the local middle school, unbeknownst to me until this evening.” — CQ‘s John Donnelly in a Monday Facebook update.

Journo gets emotional over Sawyer interview

“10 minutes into this Diane Sawyer interview with Mark Kelly and I’m already crying.” — ABC News Correspondent Yunji de Nies in a Tuesday night tweet during ABC’s Diane Sawyer interview with Rep. Gabrielle Gifford‘s husband, Mark Kelly on 20/20.

Hu, what, when, where how

After offending some overly sensitive followers with Hu banter on Twitter Tuesday referencing Chinese President Hu Jintao, ABC’s Jake Tapper declared, “A Hu pun ban is on.” To which Daily Caller‘s Chris Moody remarked, “Hu are you to make such declarations? Hu do you think you are, President Hu?” But Think Progress writer, Lee Fang, wasn’t laughing. He wrote to Tapper, “As a journalist, I hope you treat everyone you cover with respect regardless of ethnicity. No need for ethnic cracks.” Tapper replied, “Whoops. I think that’s a little strong. But I’m sorry if you were offended.”

Tapper Zaps Weigel for Calling Compton’s Work Sh*t

Slate‘s Dave Weigel came down on National Correspondent for ABC News Radio  Ann Compton Monday for reporting on a book being thrown at President Obama at a weekend rally in Philadelphia. He called her reporting sh*t, saying, “Don’t seasoned journalists feel a little bit of shame at wasting their time on shit like this?”

ABC’s White House correspondent Jake Tapper, chivalrously came to Compton’s defense, tweeting to Weigel, “Don’t pick on Ann. WH reporters always cover random things like that in addition to all the substance u dont link to.”

Weigel soon softened his blow. He wrote back to Tapper,  “It’s because I like her reporting that I groan when her talent is wasted.”

A historical note to Weigel, though we’re sure he already knows this because he’s no doubt a smart, wonky cookie: Former President George W. Bush called the incident in which an Iraqi reporter threw two shoes at him at a Baghdad presser “one of the most weird moments of his presidency.”

Obama only got the book thrown at him. Still, it had potential.

UPDATE (Weigel responds):  “That’s a wild misreading of what I wrote. The two publicity stunts at the event were, I thought, stupid and not worthy of the time they were getting. Thus, “shit like this.” I think the initial reference to the “seasoned journalists” makes it clear what I think of her work and reporting. She’s one of the best radio reporters on politics, IMHO.”

The Daily Caller Adds Two Reporters to Mix

The Daily Caller has hired two new scribes. Chad Brady started Tuesday as an online editor. In a complex political media web, Chad is the brother of Erin Brady who is engaged to Bill Hughes, the son of ABC News radio correspondent Ann Compton and Dr. Bill Hughes. Chris Moody is a new reporter who is coming over from The Cato Institute, a D.C. conservative think tank.

Said Daily Caller Spokeswoman Becca Glover Watkins: “We’re happy to welcome Chris Moody and Chad Brady to the Daily Caller team. We hope they’ll have as much fun here as we are! Chris will be reporting on whatever we throw at him and Chad will eventually take over our incredibly popular ‘DC Links’ morning email in addition to regular online editor duties. Chad’s hit the ground running this week and we expect Chris mid June.”

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