Archive for August, 2010
Aug 16

Veteran Political Reporter Marc Ambinder Joins National Journal WH Team

Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic’s Political Editor (right, seated), blogs CNN’s John King in conversation with political strategists Steve Schmidt and Robert Shrum 10.02.2009
Photo: Atlantic.Live

The “T” TeamTodd and Tapper – should consider themselves warned (that’s NBC’s Chuck Todd and ABC’s Jake Tapper). Marc Ambinder has lots of sources and long-time relationships in politics; he’s a must-read political blogger for, curates their Politics channel, and is the chief political consultant to CBS News. Ambinder is also half of the new “A” team recruited to help cover the White House for the National Journal Group.

NJ tripled its White House Team with the addition of Ambinder and Aamer Madhani, currently a correspondent with USA Today. They will be joining staff writer George Condon, Jr., who covers the White House for CongressDaily when the National Journal newsroom is unified this fall.

“The New ‘A’-Team—Ambinder and Aamer—is going to be formidable,” said National Journal Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier. “They are smart, savvy and richly sourced in foreign policy, domestic issues and politics. They have an extraordinary combination of skills that will give National Journal Group readers deep, dependable coverage of the Obama administration.”

When putting those skills to use, Ambinder says his ultimate goal is to “find out what I can find out and pull back the curtains as much as possible.”

Ambinder was also a founding editor of Hotline’s path-breaking news blog, Hotline On Call and one of the founders of ABC’s The Note. He will continue with The Atlantic through the November elections and join National Journal Group immediately thereafter.

Madhani covers foreign affairs for USA TODAY out of Washington, DC after joining the paper in December 2008 as the Baghdad Bureau Chief. He has also worked with the Chicago Tribune. Madhani will begin his work with National Journal next month.

Aug 16

Barring Through Summer Recess

August recess may be shorter this year, as Nancy Pelosi tweeted everyone had to return, but the District is finally slowing back down to wait out the heat.

Politico (in the first of a proposed three-part series it seems) engages the Capitol Hill bar culture about what happens when tired and thirsty staffers seem to disappear for a few weeks.


Categories: DC, Holidays, News Media

Aug 16

Debating the Off-the-record Lunch

While Robert Gibbs may be becoming the August cable poster boy, the President has been meeting the press.

Last Thursday, eleven White House reporters sat down with President Obama for an off-the-record lunch. The President has talked off-the-record recently with commentators like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, so what makes it so newsworthy this time?

Is it because it took some digging to find out who the Lunching 11 were? The Upshot outed them last week (Associated Press, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, Politico, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and USA Today). Or is it because the New York Times has been so outspoken about refusing the White House invite?

Times reporter Peter Baker tells Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post these off-the-record sessions are “to be avoided if possible. It can too easily turn into a substitute for on-the-record….”

“We’re not trying to be haughty,” he adds, but “White House reporters get relatively few opportunities to talk to the president on the record.”

Aug 11

AP’s Ben Feller Moves Up Front

Mid-week announcements are the best when it concerns White House Press Pools.

So without further ado, as Fishbowl DC informs us, Ben Feller is the AP’s new White House Correspondent. Feller covered education for the news organization from 2003 to 2006, switching to the White House since then.

This comes after the AP was awarded Helen Thomas’ seat last week. The official memo is below:

The Memo from Fishbowl after the jump

Aug 10

Meredith Fineman’s Fifty First (J)Dates

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Meredith Fineman carries her parents journalistic tradition into new media. Her father, Howard, is leading political light for Newsweek and NBC News; her mother, Amy Nathan, now at the FCC, got her start reporting for the Washington Post.

Fifty First (J) Dates is the 23-year old’s way to meet people after returning to her hometown of Washington, D.C. after working abroad in Buenos Aires.

“At first I didn’t tell them about it,” Fineman said. “They found out from other people about ‘how fabulous it was.'” The point, Fineman assures, is to be fun and humorous about dating in D.C. instead of a return to Washingtonienne.

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