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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Strupp’
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Quotes of the Day
Crazy or festive?
“Hannukah on my mind? swear I just read a headline, ‘Earth’s Moon May Have Latkes.’ — ABC News’s Rick Klein.
Forget Bradley Cooper, there’s George
Party crasher prides himself on ‘politeness’
Communications exec David Bass’s wife, Hope, shows off her stylish bingo person at the Abramoff book party. We’re not sure what the deeper meaning (or meaning) behind it is, but she wanted it documented.
Party down at Teatro Goldoni
“Sheer fun.” — Publicist Janet Donovan‘s description for FishbowlMatt’s farewell soiree last night at Teatro Goldoni. Scribes like Politico‘s Patrick Gavin, Karin Tanabe, The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz, Roll Call‘s Neda Semnani, USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich, TWT‘s Emily Miller, and CBS’s Christine Delargy were in the mix. Other guests: Nick Massella, Meghan Smith, Kelley McCormick, Jared Allen, and Glenn Ballard (who sometimes wears macrobiotic clothing). Donovan donned dark sunglasses for the lovely, low-lit affair. And we learned this fun fact: Judy Kurtz (a.k.a. Howdy Judy, Howeesha, Howlma) told us the nickname her friends call her. It’s Jew-dog. or Ju-dog. It was this Fishbowl writer’s first encounter with her. A pleasure to meet you, Howiella.
Reporter plays matchmaker for soldier
“Sgt. Scott Moore, the Marine attending the birthday ball with Mila Kunis, just cracked us up at Marine Corps Times. He sees me as a ‘wingman’ in getting his date.” — Army Times’ Dan Lamothe. Moore credited Lamothe for posting his video and landing the date. Read here.
Tschida hears noises in the night
“Sounds like someone stomping around upstairs at night. getting LOUDER. exterminator says it has to be a raccoon. I just hope it is.” — ABC7′s wild train rider and all around Drama King Stephen Tschida.
AnonymASS Tipster of the Week
Today FishbowlMatt and I take you inside last night’s book party at the Northwest Washington home of Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and his wife, Susie, for famed ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The book: Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist. We’ll give you a play-by-play interpretation of what went down — FishbowlDC style. Some of it’s blind quoting, eavesdropping, and prison jokes, for which we make no apologies. Some of it’s petty and juvenile and involves taking advantage of people who have had a few drinks (a la HuffPost‘s Drunken Specialist Sam Stein), for which we also make no apologies. By the way, actor Kevin Spacey and former Washington Mayor Marian Barry both RSVP’d that they’d attend. Neither showed. Who did? Find out after the jump…
5:07 p.m. FishbowlMatt texts and wants to know what I’m wearing. I tell him I’m dressing down, that we’re going to a party where there will be an island of misfits and we can wear whatever we want. I assure him my outfit will not incorporate Stephanie Green golf ball-size multi-strand pearl necklaces.
6:40 p.m. We arrive fashionably early Tucker’s house and are greeted by friendly valets.
6:41 p.m. Publicist Janet Donovan arrives by cab with a giant golden handbag.
6:42 p.m. It’s 66 degrees outside. Roaring fire clearly for ambiance. Not function.
6:45 p.m. Tucker is holding court by the fireplace discussing the Politico story about The Daily Caller‘s “growing pains” published earlier in the day. He has a lot of reactions, one of which involves explaining the importance of “pissing up.” All in all, the story didn’t upset him.
6:55 p.m. We go to the more remote bar off the living room where intern Jordan Bloom is dressed in a white shirt and black bow tie and tending bar. Matt writes, “We meet Jordan Bloom, battered intern.”
7 p.m. Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle arrives and chats up Tucker about the Politico story. Boyle refuses to talk to any member of the press on the record.
7:10 p.m. We run into communications exec David Bass in a big fat striped suit. The suit has fat blue and white stripes; Bass isn’t plump. We start snapping his picture. He wants a do over, explaining, “I have the same stupid look on my face in every picture. Let me try not to look stupid.”
7:20 p.m. Oh look. It’s The Weekly Standard/Daily Caller‘s Matt Labash. He quickly admires FishbowlMatt’s gray tweed pants and says I’m not allowed to write anything about anything he says or he’ll break both my legs (the first part of this is true). FBDCMatt describes his trousers as a “tweed flannel hybrid.” Labash is clearly impressed.
7:21 p.m. More guests arrive. FishbowlMatt commentary: “There’s a glitterball coming in right now.”
7:22 p.m. Bathroom door locks but doesn’t latch. Not worth taking a chance. (Capitol File Editor-in-Chief Kate Bennett will later say someone walked in on her while she was in the can. She says she was just washing her hands.)
7: 25 p.m. Politico‘s Patrick Gavin and FishbowlMatt begin an in-depth conversation about no-iron shirts. Matt says he’s a “holy hell sweater.” Gavin says he plans to buy a decent wardrobe in the new year. Tonight he has worn a long-sleeved maroon shirt made of waffle material. It’s from the Gap.
7:30 p.m. I place a half-full wine glass on a stack of Jack Abramoff books for a moment and an undisclosed reporter says, “He was in prison for three years and tried not to get rimmed and look what you’re doing with a wine glass on the Abramoff books.”
7:33 p.m. An undisclosed reporter asks, “Who is that fat guy on the couch? I mean, he’s ‘stop-on-the-street’ fat. Isn’t he?”
7:34 p.m.: NYT‘s Mark Leibovich chats with partygoers. He says the book’s slowly coming along but that he must get back to regular newspaper writing soon. Guests tell him they can’t wait to read his book.
7:35 p.m. The living room speeches begin. Tucker says (in part): “I think Jack is a genuinely nice person. I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been humiliated in public.” He mentions being on “Dancing With the Stars.”
7:37 p.m. Jack: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he tells a packed room of guests. “This is my first book and may be my last if no one reads it.” He explains that his publicist Janet “is working me to the ground. I had 17 interviews today. I don’t have a tail and horns.” He says his wife, Pam, doesn’t read newspapers or watch TV. He also says she kept removing herself from the book until he explained that he had to explain where their children came from. Jack on prison life: “It’s a horrific place.” Jack on the kindness of others: “I’m not sure we deserve it, but I hope we keep meriting your friendship.” He recounts being on FNC’s Sean Hannity‘s program last week. He told Hannity he was going to appear on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell‘s show. Hannity tried to talk him out of it, telling him it was a waste of time. Jack appeared on O’Donnell’s “Last Word” anyhow and grew frightened as he spotted Michael Moore. He thought to himself, ‘We better hide.’ Soon he hears Moore inquiring, “Where’s Jack?” Moore approached and said, “God bless you. Keep up the great work. It’s fantastic.” Jack’s reaction: “Am I dreaming?” He calls the evening at Carlson’s home “the finest night of our lives in the last eight years. This tops them all.”
8:30 p.m. (roughly): A guest is ready to leave. He remarks, “I think I’ve done my time here, so to speak.” Reporters in the vicinity laugh.
Find out which reporter with a liberal agenda crashed the party…
As promised, Media Matters’s Joe Strupp wasn’t done going after Fox News. This afternoon he comes out with a story on Fox News management, specifically Washington Managing Editor and V.P. of News Bill Sammon. The piece claims that there is pressure on Fox News reporters by management (Sammon’s a known conservative) to “distort” or “slant” the news.
The story cites two unnamed sources. Not surprisingly, Fox News PR provided no comment when approached.
Sources tell Media Matters that the situation in the Fox Washington bureau represents a dramatic change from when Hume was managing editor. According to one source, the pressure to slant Fox’s reporting is coming from Sammon himself. Another source says that directives are coming from Fox management in New York and that Sammon — unlike Hume — doesn’t have enough sway to push back.
Media Matters Investigative Reporter and Senior Editor Joe Strupp recently wrote about what it’s really like for reporters to deal with Fox News PR. Critics questioned the validity of his story because Media Matters is a clear foe to Fox News. We caught up with Strupp for a quick five questions about how his story unfolded. He said he spoke with Fox News PR for his story, but the conversation was off the record. “The only thing they would allow on the record was the statement for the story, which is they declined comment,” he said. Strupp isn’t done — he’s busy working on Part II, the results of which promise to uncover new tantalizing behind-the-scenes details. “Yes, we will remain on the Fox News treatment of reporters story,” said Strupp, who, before Media Matters, spent a decade at Editor & Publisher magazine.
1. How did the story come about? I started asking reporters about Fox News, but about something else. In talking to them, they all started saying the same thing. To be fair, my original story was something about Fox News doing something wrong. I don’t want to repeat it as it turned out to be a tip that didn’t pan out. Reporters began telling me they were very restrictive, difficult to deal with.
2. Was it difficult to get reporters to go on record for this? Yes, I think the story has three reporters on the record out of six or seven. They were all afraid of retribution. What a shock. They were afraid that Fox News would treat them even worse.
3. How much do you watch Fox News? More than I used to. I’ve never been a fan of it, but part of my job is to keep an eye on them. I watch probably several hours of it a day. I actually listen to it all the time. I peak at Hannity, sometimes O’Reilly.
4. What kind of effect do you think watching so much FNC has on you? It’s reminding me what they do wrong, which is push a lot of inaccuracies and a real slant, especially during daytime hours. I don’t think people know how much misinformation comes out. It can rattle your optimism about journalism when you watch so much Fox News, but it’s a good reminder that Media Matters is valuable because [FNC] really does have such a sharp brand of poor journalism.
5. Do you ever enjoy watching despite your best efforts? I can find some of it humorous because it becomes so ridiculous in some cases when the lies or unfairness is so clear. I am such a news junkie and have such respect for this business. I think all of us are lucky to be in this biz that to see someone like Fox News trample it is more angering than funny. I think that the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert brand of news is funny – they actually have more of a brand of truth than Fox News does. I have relatives who watch Fox News. They say it’s entertaining, lively, shouting back and forth. To me, it’s not interesting for news, it’s just babble and a waste of time.
A story published today by Media Matters writer Joe Strupp gets inside the inner-workings of the Fox News PR shop. The piece reports that Fox News PR shop is unusually aggressive with reps instituting odd rules and asking demanding questions, in at least one case asking a reporter to lie. Strupp’s main assertion is that Fox News PR pitches negative stories about other cable networks more than any other network.
One veteran reporter said anonymously, “They are in touch more than anyone else, they call or e-mail me with pitches, ideas, some that are positive about Fox but also negative about other people,” said one veteran media reporter who requested anonymity. “Other cable news networks are not like that. That is a hallmark of them; that is a thing they do.”
(That reporter offered e-mail evidence to Strupp that Fox News PR had pitched negative stories on MSNBC and poor ratings on CNN’s John King)
Oh, and the phone? We know first-hand and from many other reporters around Washington that when pitching negative pieces on other networks they prefer the phone as opposed to e-mail and will relentlessly call from blocked numbers until a reporter picks up.
Not surprisingly, a Fox News spokesperson declined to comment for Strupp’s story. (The above photograph is dirt.)
You know the guessing game will begin once Leonard Downie Jr.’s new novel, The Rules of the Game, comes out in January from Knopf. …
Downie, who spoke to us from his new office at the Post Monday where he is now vice president at large — having left the executive editor job just last Friday — says there is no link to Post folks: “It is not about The Washington Post,” he stresses. “I wouldn’t do anything fictional about the Post.”
But, he reveals, the fictional editor of the paper, one Lou Runyan, is based partially on a Post legend: “The only person in the book modeled on a real person is the editor in the book, who is clearly modeled on Ben Bradlee, aspects of Ben Bradlee — including his bravery as an editor.”
Read Schudel’s piece here.
Step it up Dinosaur Strupp!
Good morning Washington. It’s Joe Scarborough’s birthday! Also: Hugh Hefner and Jenna Jameson (why are we not surprised they share a day…thanks MicCheck). Also, on this day in 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.
Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:
written by Outlook Editor of The Washington Post John Pomfret and will cover the political, economic, and cultural elements playing into China’s rise as a world power.” Also coming to washingtonpost.com is “Intel Dump” by Phillip Carter. His blog will explore issues of national security and intelligence relating to American diplomatic, military and economic power.”
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