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Posts Tagged ‘Rosie Gray’

11 Scenes From the Bowels of the Buzzfeed Party

 

By Betsy Rothstein and Eddie Scarry

Buzzfeed‘s Washington Bureau officially popped its cork last night with a packed party at the U Street haunt Brixton, where a DJ spun vinyl records thanks to Bureau Chief John Stanton.

11. Trying to get anyone at the party, but especially Buzzfeed underlings, to trash talk Editor Ben Smith, in from Manhattan, wasn’t easy. Slate‘s most weigelicious reporter Dave Weigel (pictured at right with Michael Hastings), a longtime, intense Smith fan, remarked, “I think Ben is creating a good news organization in a tabloidy sort of way. They’ve captured what people like about the news. I’m a big fan of what they’re doing. I completely, seriously and unironically think it’s really good.” Weigel, in an unironic black  golf shirt and jeans, looked in his element in the divey scene, sipping on a Hendrick’s martini. At one point he offered a rather complex tirade on the bar’s eclectic drink menu (we caught about half of it). At about 7:40 p.m. he said, “You know you’re in D.C. when some douche says, ‘You going to the convention?’” This came after he asked if we’d be attending the party conventions.

10. Buzzfeed‘s Michael Hastings proved to be quite the conversationalist. We anticipated having to hunt him down and wrestle him to the ground just to introduce ourselves. Not so. Despite a couple contentious emails he sent us back in June regarding a report on a Twitter fight, Hastings was a pleasure. “Sorry I was kind of a dick in those emails,” he told us. “But I knew you would publish them.”

9. Politico White House reporter Byron Tau and Zeke Miller got into a spontaneous argument for the sake of taking a more natural picture. (See at left.) We had no idea Tau could be so violent or that Miller would take it so well.

8. At 8:30 p.m. we ran into Roll Call HOH Columnists Neda Semnani and Warren Rojas. Warren on keeping his jobs amid the wealth of recent layoffs at CQ Roll Call: “They can’t get rid of us. We know where all the bodies are.” He called the layoffs a “slaughter” and added, “Tomorrow, we still have a job.” Shortly thereafter, Washington Examiner gossip gal Nikki Schwab offers an uncharacteristic warmish hello. And for that, we put away the ice thermometer. At least for today. Hey Nikki!

LOL! Meeting Ben Smith

7. Asked about working at Buzzfeed, Chris Geidner takes a moment to gush. “I love it. It’s totally fun and everyday there’s …. just then Smith walks up and tells us he has a kind speech prepared for when people tell him they hate me. Thanks Ben! LOL! Back to Geidner, who is describing what it’s like to work at Buzzfeed: “It’s being at a place where everyday there is something new and amazing happening. Everyone is so good at their job. Go look at the page,” he’s saying about a recent graphic that accompanied his story. “It is so fucking awesome.” BuzzFeed doesn’t have an actual office in D.C. yet and Geidner wasn’t about to tell us about plans to open one. “I’m definitely not telling you that,” he said. “It’s still TBD.” (Later on, Smith would tell us they’re searching for office space, but it won’t be a conspicuous one. When asked if it’d be located in Anacostia, where reporters might need a bulletproof vest, he said it wouldn’t matter: “No one’s going to mess with Stanton.”

6. Speaking of someone not to mess with, it’s BuzzFeed publicist Ashley McCollum‘s turn to come up with a bad thing about Ben. “I think Ben is as much an incredible editor as he is a great boss. Everyone’s ideas count. Anything bad about Ben Smith, you call me when you find it.”

Joining Smith were other buzzies well-acquainted among Washington media such as Stanton (pictured at right) Hastings, Miller, Andrew Kaczynsky, McKay Coppins, Chris Geidner, Rosie Gray and Dorsey Shaw, the video guy who, as was pointed out several times, could pass for Sting. McCollum was on the scene making sure Buzzfeed reporters mixed and mingled and didn’t make asses of themselves. In that sense, she was a success. She’ll return in a few weeks as C-SPAN gives Coppins a grilling. Speaking of which, we ran into C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman outside the rust-colored bar at about 8 p.m. He made his cameo and gave the party high marks, but said it wasn’t exactly his scene as he headed home to his wife and kids.

LOL: ‘Bad’ things about Ben Smith (SWAK!)

All night long we continued to pester other Buzzfeed employees and party-goers to badmouth Smith. This was the disastrous outcome of that.

Politico‘s Dylan Byers: “He really doesn’t understand the Israel issue.” Buzzfeed‘s Dorsey: “He’s my dream boss. I can’t say anything. He lets me do whatever I want.” Kaczynski: “He’s a really good boss. He’s like kind of the perfect boss.” Stanton: “He doesn’t know what a Bama is to save his fucking life.” Rosie: “I think the worst thing about Ben is that he tries hard to be there for all of us always, and I’m envious of his ability to do that.” Zeke: “When I miss my deadlines he sends me the #19 koala,” he said, explaining that there is a series of disappointed animal pictures Ben sends in place of a formal complaint. Adds Coppins: “Animals are disappointed in you. It’s the perfect Buzzfeed way to reprimand a reporter.”

Party tentacles reached most outlets around town — HuffPost (Sam Stein, Sabrina (a.k.a. Sabrini) Siddiqui, Elise Foley, Jeff Young), USA TODAY (Jackie Kucinich), ABC News (Polson Kanneth), Politico (Glenn Thrush, Olivia Petersen, Byers, Tau), WaPo, The Hill, TPM (Evan McMorris-Santoro), RCP (Erin McPike), Roll Call (Shira Toeplitz, Sujata Mitra), Metro Weekly, and even The Daily Caller, which has notoriously had atrocious relations with Smith, was present, but not many scribes there received invites.  Other conservative outlets represented at the party included the Washington Examiner (Philip Klein, Charlie Spiering, Nikki Schwab, Jenny Rogers) and Free Beacon (C.J. Ciaramella). Despite Breitbart.com‘s rabid insistence that Buzzfeed is an arm of the Obama Administration, both parties were repped. House Speaker John Boehner‘s Spokesman Michael Steel and ex-Maj. Leader Eric Cantor flak Brad Dayspring showed up as did Democratic Strategist and former Obama aide Bill Burton.

5. At approximately 8:30 p.m. Smith attempted a speech over the loud din. What we could hear: “It’s fun to see my friends from Politico here” and “I look forward to competing with them.”

4. Miller will be moving to D.C. but doesn’t have to relocate until after the election. He’s still looking for housing. Politico‘s Tau recommends his own hood, Columbia Heights. Tau says the resurrection of a Target and Best Buy has made the area a safe place to live.

LMAO: Awkward Encounters

3. Among the first people we saw was The Daily Caller‘s Michelle Fields (at left) in a tight bright red dress paired with, of course, the wood shop glasses. She approached mid-evening for introductions. All very civil. What wasn’t civil was our interaction with the Dweebmeister himself Ben Freed of DCist, who has trashed FBDC on countless occasions, which is perfectly acceptable, but don’t expect hugs. While we were chatting with The Atlantic Wire’s exceedingly polite John Hudson, he got right up in my left eye and wouldn’t leave. Finally, me: “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!” Needless to say, the rest of that didn’t go well and Hudson was a little horrified. And this: Jeff Kearns (reeking of Bourbon) of Bloomberg approaches NJ Publicist Taylor West and acts like they’ve known each other from childhood. It was a first meeting, which Kearns struggled to understand even after Taylor called him “Tim.” Tim. Jeff. Is there a difference?

OMG: Coppins wife is preggers; FAIL: Coppins and McCollum flopped on a high five

2. Making the rounds we chatted with Coppins and McCollum. We asked if “McKay Coppins” is, in fact, his real name. He assured us it is and admitted to being teased about it in grade school. “But now it’s great because it’s very SEO friendly,” he said. “Not that it matters now that things are moving from search to social,” he added. At this, McCollum threw her hand up to mimick the motion of cracking a whip. “Yeah! On message!” she said. Coppins mistook the motion as an invitation for a high five. Putting his hand up to meet McCollum’s he missed. All agreed it was perfect GIF material. More news on Coppins: He’s been invited to move to Washington from New York. He hasn’t made up his mind yet, largely because he’s considering his wife’s needs. He let slip that she’s three months pregnant. Congratulations!

Dorsey

Love is in the air?

1. We heard from one buzzy who preferred to remain anonymous that Dorsey, the Sting doppelganger, was hit on by a bartender. After the female bartender told Shaw who he resembled, he answered “I’ll take it.” The bartender replied, “I’ll take it, too.”

More pictures after the jump…

Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day — the media beat edition


“Life is too short to fake an orgasm.” – Current TV and The View‘s Joy Behar in response to being asked for her favorite life saying on Tuesday’s edition of The View. Moments later she said she had a serious answer: “Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

Olympic priorities on AF1

“AF1 wheels down Pueblo Memorial Airport at 6 p.m. No news from the flight, except no one in the press section is able to explain the rules of international handball, which was the featured Olympic sport during last leg of the flight.” — WaPo‘s Scott Wilson in a Tuesday White House Pool Report.

A seemingly innocent party question…

“Oh, did I spill on you?” — Wonkette and The Guardian‘s Jim Newell late-night at the Buzzfeed party, dumping a quarter of a pint of beer on my arm and into my shoulder bag. “It wasn’t intentional…or maybe it was, I don’t know.” More on the party later…but a late-night email from the famous Zeke Miller of the buzzy news outlet begins…”LOL” — how fitting.

A Little Birdy Tells Us That…

CBS’ Christine Delargy, a former FishbowlDC writer, is going to work as a producer for “PoliticoLive!” Politico‘s online reality news show. News traveled fast around the Buzzfeed party at Brixton last night, which Delargy attended.

The Observer

“Convinced there’s a silent contest going on among Fox News contributors to outdo each other with adjectives like ‘molotov-cocktail throwing’” — Politico‘s media writer Dylan Byers.

Reporter loses way in Washington

“You haven’t lived until you’ve gotten lost in the tunnels under the House office buildings.” — The New York Observer media writer Hunter Walker in town for the Buzzfeed party with girlfriend Rosie Gray. “I was indeed lost between Longworth and Rayburn,” he told us. “Kept getting bad directions. Amazing how many people you meet down there who have no idea where they’re going.”

FWIW translation: Not much

“FWIW, if it had been up to me, I would have honored the memory of those killed in Munich during the opening ceremonies.” — HuffPost‘ media writer Jason Linkins to WCP Managing Editor Mike Madden in an obviously profound statement weeks after the Olympics began. Memo to Linkins: You’re clearly a serious V.I.P., but when would it ever be up to you?

 

 

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day


“Can’t believe this is all I’m packing for 30 days in Costa Rica. Life gets a lot lighter without cameras” — D.C. based Editorial Photographer Melissa Golden.

TMI?

Making eye contact with your dog while she poops is such an awkward feeling.” — CNN Contributor and RedState.com Editor Erick Erickson this morning, presumably mid poop. (Relax, WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten. We’re not taking over your street corner.) Having excrement on his mind, Erickson later tweets, “Wetting the bed over Mitt Romney” and links to this story on RedState that posted at 4:47 a.m.

FNC’s Bret Baier is nothing if not severely dedicated to his Twitter fam. They praise him, insult him, assess his ties and tell him when he looks sick or tired. Baier vomit encompasses all kinds. Like this character, @TylahhhHoppahh (a.k.a. Tyler Hopper, who’s keeping it real): “YO I SAW YOU ON THE NEWS AND YOU SAID YOU MIGHT TWEET BACK SOOOO, hi.” Baier kept his word: “Hi.”

CNN’s Piers Morgan Wants You to Help Him Probe

“Heading to the Supreme Court today to interview Justice Antonin Scalia. What would YOU ask arguably America’s most influential lawyer?” — Piers Morgan.

From the Road

“What’s the deal with people gabbing on their phones in the airport at 5:30 am? Who wants to like, CHAT at that hour?” — Buzzfeed‘s Rosie Gray.

And something else that’s way too early…

“It’s too early for a Mika Brzezinski rant.” — The Daily Caller‘s TV reporter Jeff Poor.

Headline Head Scratcher

A Washington Examiner editorial Tuesday says it won’t tolerate campaigns rewriting and approving quotes post interviews with President Obama and Mitt Romney: “Examiner Editorial: All the news that’s fit to be censored.”  Headline translation: “Paper that doesn’t score big interviews revises its big interview policy … you know, just in case.” To quote Eminem, the Examiner “acts like a midget with a ladder in its back pocket.” The editorial came in response to a NYT report Tuesday revealing that the Obama and Romney camps hold conditions over reporters and, however begrudgingly, they agree to them. Interviews? No sweat. But quotes must be approved and can be edited after. WaPo‘s Erik Wemple analyzed the practice Tuesday. He quoted NYT‘s Mark Leibovich saying, “To introduce middle ground adds needless complication to the transaction.” Politico‘s Dylan Byers, who sometimes poses as someone who wants to purchase ads because his ethics are that good, weighed in on the Examiner’s reaction and NYT ethics this morning.

Pinch Us!

“Last minute, but if anyone wants to join me for Nats-Mets, I’ll be in the cheap seats.” — DCist‘s Ben Freed.

First World Problems

“That awkward moment when you take a pic of a crazy person in the metro and your flash goes off. #emilycahnproblems” — Roll Call‘s sneaky and mischievous Emily Cahn.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

 

Gingrich’s Media Entourage: Three Scribes Who Will Live, Breath Newt

BuzzFeed highlights three reporters today who are sticking it out with ex-GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich until the bitter end. Sure, he’s been toast for at least a month and most every other reporter has bailed, but his arrogance lives on in infamy. They will stay with him until May 1 when he “officially” shuts down.

The reporters are Lindsey Boerma of CBS/National Journal, Elicia Dover of ABC News, and Alex Moe of NBC News.

Check out the Gingrich’s stomach in the post by Rosie Gray. Looks like we know what he has been up to on the campaign trail.

BuzzFeed and Comedy Central Hook Up

Consider this an unusual date – real news versus fake. BuzzFeed and Comedy Central’s Indecision will present “UnSuper Tuesday,” a Twitter-centric live-streamed special on Ustream tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. EDT.

BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief, Ben Smith, will host along with editorial producer of Comedy Central’s Indecision, Mary Phillips-Sandy.  The “UnSuper Tuesday” team will offer commentary in the run-up to Mitt Romney‘s general election launch as the Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island primary results come in.

BuzzFeed political reporter and speed retweeter Zeke Miller will also be on-hand to monitor the “social conversation” on Twitter and “relay pertinent information from campaign and top GOP sources.”

There will also be insights from BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray on the political season’s most viral moments. Comedy Central’s Indecision bloggers Gonzalo Cordova and Jess Dweck will weigh in on the “crushing dullness” of Romney.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day


“To live my life in a kind of metaphorical fishbowl, it’s pretty challenging, yeah.” — Madonna on NBC’s “Rock Center” last night.

A Question to Ponder…“So isn’t castrating a dog worse than tying a it to your roof for a couple of hours? #askingforafriend” — BuzzFeed Political Editor Ben Smith.

Uh oh! Tschida’s pooch takes a leak in the house

“pup pees in house. supposed to praise profusely when he goes outside. so pick him up say LOVE YOU smother him with kisses. get weird looks.” — ABC7 reporter Stephen Tschida.

Deep Thoughts With Lachlan Markay

“It’s so cute when people complain about how dysfunctional DC is then insist on giving it more power.” — Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay.

CNN reporter endures DC DMV

“Covering presidential politics, White House, global issues – cakewalk compared to dealing with DC DMV.” — CNN’s Jessica Yellin.

Politico‘s Roger Simon: Resident Tough Guy

“Wife just killed a centipede. Thank God for wives.” — Roger Simon.

USA Today travel writer deals with dopey cab driver; BuzzFeed reporter chokes on a pretzel

“Oh cab driver, that’s my arm u just slammed your trunk door on. Hope this is not an indication of what’s to come on this trip #travelfail” — Nancy Trejos.

“Started to choke slightly on a pretzel, tried to wash down with diet coke, spilled diet coke over hair, shirt, pants.” — BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray.

Washington reacts to Dick Clark’s death

  • “Dick Clark’s fabulous makeup artist is now available.” –  James McTague, Washington Editor of Barron’s.
  • “I move we cancel New Year’s Eve this year.” — ReutersSam Youngman.
  • “He made us feel as young and vibrant and optimistic as he was.” — President Obama.
  • “Condolences to the family of Dick Clark. We join them in mourning his passing, & will never forget his achievements in entertainment & music.” — Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
  • “#DickClark taught me & so many others to dance to the beat of the music. God bless his teenage spirit. Every Saturday morning after cartoons.” — Democratic pundit Donna Brazile.
  • “America’s oldest teenager has died. Dick Clark passed away at age 82. The phrase ‘good beat- easy to dance to’ keeps running through my head.” — NPR’s Michele Norris.

Journo Hate

“You see, Smith will have his staff go on and on about elevators and a dog named Seamus–but not a dog named Dinner.” — Breitbart.com’s John Nolte in a story claiming that BuzzFeed‘s Smith shills for Obama — i.e. he’ll cover the Mitt Romney dog on a roof flap, but not Obama growing up eating dog, as reported by The Daily Caller.

“Now officially hate the jaunty NPR ‘Hey there, Ari’ reporter intro. My friend H called this sort of thing ‘hearty hack.’ I blame @kairyssdal” — The Daily Caller‘s Mickey Kaus referring to NPR White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro.

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

BuzzFeed Fixes Whorish Headline-Photo Pairing

A story at BuzzFeed from yesterday has been adjusted after FBDC pointed out its awkward headline and photo choice.

The original BuzzFeed story, by Rosie Gray, was written under the headline “Another Problem at Conservative Conference: Whorishness.” Accompanying the story was a large photo of conservative blogger Melissa Clouthier, who had written a post on her own blog about “slut”-like attendees at CPAC last weekend.

We pointed out that an inattentive reader could easily mistake the “whorish” headline as referring to Clouthier in the photo.

BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith contacted us to note that a previous post by Gray used a photo of conservative activist Erick Erickson to illustrate comments Erickson had made on his own site RedState. But the headline for that particular post on BuzzFeed was “Erick Erickson Scolds Young Conservatives For Treaing CPAC Like Spring Break.” That’s quite different.

Regardless, BuzzFeed has swapped out the photo in the post about Clouthier’s CPAC comments. The art accompanying the story is now a screen cap of Clouthier’s blog rather than a photo of Clouthier herself.

BuzzFeed Pairs ‘Whorish’ Headline With Conservative Blogger

When reporting on anything that could potentially be offensive, journalists typically take great care when pairing up images with words. But not today’s BuzzFeed. Case in point, a Tuesday post by the fabulously named Rosie Gray. The post took a sampling of a conservative blogger’s personal rant on the “sluts” who attended CPAC.

“Another Problem at Conservative Conference: Whorishness,” blared BuzzFeed‘s headline of the item. It was paired with a large photo of Melissa Clouthier, the blogger who wrote the “sluts” rant. See the screen cap above.

In the full context of BuzzFeed‘s post, there’s nothing wrong with paring that headline with that photo of Clouthier. But to an unwitting reader (and let’s be honest, the unwitting reader has got to be at least 30 percent of BuzzFeed‘s audience) who simply takes a quick glance, it leaves the impression that Clouthier may be among the so called “whores.”

We emailed Clouthier to see what she thought about her mug being set under that headline. “BuzzFeed is doing what they can for hits,” she said, adding, “This is typical of the misogyny of the left and I’m used to it.”

We’re not sure if Gray is actually politically aligned with the left. We reached out to her for comment and will update if she responds.

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