An opportunity for reporters to do work

This sort of amused me, from today’s WaPo chat:

re: Correspondent’s Dinner: “One should hope that the reporters who cover these people are not swayed by one night of festivities.”

Not only that, but it’s a chance to get insight into the secret depths of our favorite reporters…

Like the fact that Richard Cohen was considered quite the cut-up in junior high; and that Stephen Colbert is just not very funny.

Ed O’Keefe: And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background, you pick up news tips, etc.

I know very little about how journalism works, but this strikes me as a bit absurd.






66 replies
  1. 1
    Zifnab says:

    Like the fact that Richard Cohen was considered quite the cut-up in junior high; and that Stephen Colbert is just not very funny.

    Modern Journalists. Not knowing things that are literally directly in your face.

    Seriously, there are some days when you morn the death of the dinosaurs, and there are some days when you just wish they’d rot away already.

  2. 2
    The Moar You Know says:

    If free food and booze combined with chatting with your buddies and the glitterati is “work”, then I am a sucker and have been doing it wrong my entire life.

    Kill these people with fire.

  3. 3
    Cameron says:

    Looks like someone is still smarting from the burns they received from Colbert at the 2006 Correspondents dinner. The dead quiet in the room as Colbert completely and utterly eviscerated both Bush and the media for their failures is such a telling example of the disconnect between the Beltway and the rest of the nation. I’m still in awe of the huge brass balls it took for Colbert to openly mock the laughable Bush Presidency in front of GW himself.

    Here’s the link in case anyone missed it…
    http://video.google.com/videop.....7758574879

  4. 4
    The Moar You Know says:

    OT: Crist is running. Looks like we don’t get 60.

  5. 5
    Kevin says:

    Man, they still hold a grudge against Colbert. Yeah, the guy whose written for SNL, The Dana Carvey Show, The Daily Show, Strangers with Candy, and…The Colbert Report just isn’t funny…

  6. 6
    joel says:

    Hrm, there seems to be a bit of smoldering resentment from Colbert’s skewering of the press last year.

  7. 7
    bayville says:

    DougJ you are wrong. It is totally absurd.

  8. 8
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    These guys seem to think that jerking off is training for actual fucking.

  9. 9
    sparky says:

    waaah! TV guy stole our clue an’ made fun of it!

    it’s not like they were using it anyway.

  10. 10
    Tom Hilton says:

    And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background, you pick up news tips, etc.

    Last night on Olbermann, addressing the coziness between press and press subjects at events like this, Richard Wolffe said the opposite–that this isn’t the sort of venue where you get background info from insiders. Somehow, I think Wolffe has a better idea of what he’s talking about.

  11. 11
    canuckistani says:

    It takes a lot of lemons to get the proper facial expression for “I don’t see what’s so funny about Stephen Colbert”.

  12. 12
    Joshua Norton says:

    K-Lo was there. K-Lo did not have a good time.

    I’m guessing people got tired of her going up to their table and asking “are you going to finish that”?

  13. 13
    Woody says:

    @ #3, The Moar You Know

    OT: Crist is running. Looks like we don’t get 60.

    “60” is a chimera.

    The Pukes, because they directly represent the Owners, and therefore don’t have to pretend to care about the people, will always have 60 votes for cloture when they have any majority at all, because the Blue-Dawg/Moderate (Ben Nelson/Evan Bayh/Mary Landrieu, etc) DIMs will always come through; similarly (though clearly the obverse) the Dims can NEVER count on 60 votes when they’re the majority, no matter their ostensible strength, because they can always count on the desertion of one or more (howsoever many as necessary) of the aforementioned Blue-Dawg contingent to obstruct legislation to which the Owners might find burdensome.

  14. 14

    And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background, you pick up news tips, etc.

    The key word here is “opportunity.” As in, “I had the opportunity to chase down a lead but I got too wasted and dropped my recorder in a urinal.” Or even “I had the opportunity to get some background on a story but I remembered I’m just a glorified stenographer so I got trashed instead.”

    However, some journalists might take advantage of the opportunity. And not get hammered.

  15. 15
    wasabi gasp says:

    @joel: The questioner reeked of feet and patchouli.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    It takes a lot of lemons to get the proper facial expression for “I don’t see what’s so funny about Stephen Colbert”.

    @canuckistani: I thought it was a tabasco sauce enema. Shows you what I know.

  17. 17
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Not only that, but it’s a chance to get insight into the secret depths of our favorite reporters…Like the fact that Richard Cohen was considered quite the cut-up in junior high; and that Stephen Colbert is just not very funny.

    So many things wrong with this. When did Colbert become a reporter?

  18. 18
    Joshua Norton says:

    @Woody: He even consulted with his “wife” about it.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background, you pick up news tips, etc.

    Shorter: Sucking up and kissing ass

  20. 20
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Woody: Stop being right and let me dwell in my bubble of ignorance, please.

  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Not only that, but it’s a chance to get insight into the secret depths of our favorite reporters…Like the fact that Richard Cohen was considered quite the cut-up in junior high; and that Stephen Colbert is just not very funny.

    Isn’t this the question, intended to be deadpan-sarcastic? (“Yeah, you’ll never believe what you learn from the Correspondents’ Dinner, like the time we learned that Richard Cohen was the King of Comedy.”) Then Ed O’Keefe responds.

  22. 22
    TR says:

    Stephen Colbert is just not very funny.

    Is that why his WHCA speech was a best seller on iTunes?

  23. 23
    Danton says:

    I’d be more inclined to read Cohen’s columns if I knew he took benadryl.

  24. 24
    Incertus says:

    @The Moar You Know: Florida was never the easiest path to 60 anyway. New Hampshire is the best chance, and I’d put Ohio up there as well, and depending on what happens with Bunning, potentially even Kentucky.

  25. 25
    aimai says:

    Can crist win florida if he’s forced out of the closet? I doubt it.

    aimai

  26. 26
    Indie Tarheel says:

    These folks are so far removed from any real journalism that I daresay there is no way back for most of them. The only reason they’re still butthurt over Colbert’s evisceration of them is because 1) he made them look like the sack-suckling sycophants they are, 2) he did it in front of their BFFs in the government (and the worldwide online audience that picked up on it later), and 3) they know the world is in on the fact that the comedy industry is running circles around them at what they are supposed to do – and primarily using TWO people to do so.

  27. 27
    Comrade Darkness says:

    and that Stephen Colbert is just not very funny, but also a f*cking genius

    –fixed

  28. 28
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @canuckistani:

    It takes a lot of lemons to get the proper facial expression for “I don’t see what’s so funny about Stephen Colbert”.

    Joe Scarborough has that face permanently.

  29. 29
    Brachiator says:

    @aimai:

    Can Crist win florida if he’s forced out of the closet? I doubt it.

    Never underestimate the power of denial.

    Because, like, didn’t Crist get married in 2008? He couldn’t possibly be teh gay.

  30. 30
    Dork says:

    I’m guessing people got tired of her going up to their table and asking “are you going to finish that”?

    This is some funny shit.

  31. 31
    Keith says:

    And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background, you pick up news tips, etc.

    I do recall David Gregory’s brilliant on-the-record discussion with Karl Rove over whether terrorist suspects respond better to the Hip or the Hop.

  32. 32
    georgia pig says:

    And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background, you pick up news tips, etc.

    Yeah, like you can get real info from a bunch of muckety-mucks. This guy has never heard of a real reporting like, say, the kind done by Seymour Hersh. He talks to middle-level bureaucrats that wouldn’t be found anywhere near these circle jerks.

    Re Crist, he seems to be positioning for 2016. Why bother running for senator in 2010 if you’re planning presidential run for 2012? He knows Obama wins in a walk in 2012 if the economy is halfway decent. The Repubs will likely still be lost in wingnutland in 2012 and will get decimated in the 2012 presidential race. After that debacle, he can be the new moderate savior of the GOP in 2016. That’s if he doesn’t get primaried in FL and decides to become a Dem. Come to think of it, that would be a novel way to get to 60.

  33. 33

    I don’t see what the flap is. If a journalist isn’t trained to see “working” as being “access to celebrities involving free food and liquor” …. what is he trained for?

    Anybody who took one class at the Tim Russert Institute of Gourmand Reporterizing would know that.

  34. 34
    Fencedude says:

    Crist is far too reasonable to be a proper Republican.

    On the other hand, maybe this means we can finally get a Dem as Governor here in Florida again.

  35. 35
    sparky says:

    @Woody: Would you like your Senator in a blue box or a red box, sir?

  36. 36
    anonevent says:

    And in all seriousness, it’s an opportunity for reporters to do work: You can speak with potential sources and other contacts either on the record or on background

    Where else can you go and find a large gathering of people all named “Anonymous.”

  37. 37
    Ninerdave says:

    I know very little about how journalism works, but this strikes me as a bit absurd.

    Why? You’ve never been to a schmoozed at a party or dinner looking for new contacts or leads? It’s not just journalism, it’s how a lot of business works.

  38. 38

    I know very little about how journalism works

    I think this qualifies you to get your own show on cable tv.

  39. 39
    Joel says:

    Nate Silver has a bit on Crist. He’s better than the republican alternative and only moderately (if at all) worse than the blue dog alternative.

  40. 40
    gbear says:

    @joel:

    Joel, Colbert’s speech was given two years ago. After the trauma that caused, they went with Rich Little the next year. I find it hard to believe that you would have forgotten Rich Little’s memorable performance. /snark

    On another note: Go Jesse Ventura. His big mouth and ego got the best of him during the second half of his governorship, but ya just gotta love a big mouth that speaks the truth about Bush and Cheney.

    I’ll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.

  41. 41
    AhabTRuler says:

    Rochester, NY: Did you see that torture architect John Yoo is weighing in on SCOTUS selection in his new column at the Philly Inquirer?
    Any chance we’ll see nominees subjected to waterboarding? If it worked for discovering Al Qaeda’s secret plots, it ought to work for finding out what nominees really think about Roe v. Wade, right?

    This has to be your question DougJ (or you have a coven). Too bad he ducked it, but at least the editors (not The Editors(TM)) let it through.

    SRSLY: WTF is up with the comment editor. I want my tags back. I think that I will simply start bashing the keys with my head, as there is a distinct likelihood that this will produce a better coded post than any actual effort on my part.

  42. 42
    John S. says:

    I honestly would not be surprised if Crist ended up being a better Senator for Dems than either of the Nelson boys.

    He doesn’t win or stay in office on just Republican votes alone. In fact, Marco Rubio is going to give him a contentious primary, and overall Florida GOP are not too thrilled with him. He’s not wingnutty enough, though like Specter, who knows which way he’ll think the wind is blowing when he puts his finger up.

  43. 43
    TR says:

    I know very little about how journalism works

    Neither do most reporters. They think they’re supposed to be stenographers and PR men.

  44. 44
    flounder says:

    I am reminded that the secessionist Todd Palin’s handler, Greta Van Susterenenen, freaked the fuck out and started whining about ambush journalmalism because someone was trying to work a source.

  45. 45
    Cat Lady says:

    @Brachiator:

    When the movie Outrage gets more coverage than in the Washington Blade, Crist won’t get through the primary. The base likes teh gheys in the closet.

  46. 46
    canuckistani says:

    I’ll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.

    Not a fair test – Cheney is probably guilty of the Sharon Tate murders.

  47. 47
    Jon H says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “Isn’t this the question, intended to be deadpan-sarcastic? (“Yeah, you’ll never believe what you learn from the Correspondents’ Dinner, like the time we learned that Richard Cohen was the King of Comedy.”) Then Ed O’Keefe responds.”

    Yeah, Cohen’s response to Colbert was that a) Cohen was funny when he was young, and b) Colbert wasn’t funny.

    I think this was just someone taking the piss, deadpan.

  48. 48
    Ash Can says:

    I’m with Jake 4 that 1 and Ninerdave here. A good reporter is like a detective; tidbits of information that develop into story leads can pop up anywhere, and a sharp eye is rewarded. That’s how the infamous I-lust-after-beautiful-women-in-my-heart line from Jimmy Carter put that Playboy interview on the map. The reporter was on his way out of Carter’s place and the two were chatting in a friendly manner, and this pretty-girl bit came up as part of this banter. I mean, really — the interviewer was literally out the door at the time.

    In a situation like the WH dinner, I can see how a decent reporter could be like a kid in a candy store if, like Jake says, s/he doesn’t get trashed — and especially if everyone else does, and loose lips abound. However, with decent reporters so evidently few and far between these days, this is yet another of my pipe-dream scenarios.

  49. 49

    anyone happen to see Limbaugh’s remarks about how HNIC Obama is looking to give out reparations to his darkie pals?

    “In the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation’s wealth and return to it to the nation’s quote, “rightful owners.” Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    @Ninerdave:

    Why? You’ve never been to a schmoozed at a party or dinner looking for new contacts or leads? It’s not just journalism, it’s how a lot of business works.

    Having grown up in a home with a real journalist, not a star fucker or stenographer, I can tell you that my mother would not have been caught dead schmoozing around with people she was required to cover at parties or anywhere else. Journalism isn’t business. Advertising does that. Reporters never do because the minute you do, you are compromised in your ability to cover them with any sort of distance (I’d put good money on Sy Hersh not being there, probably ever). Which goes to show how few reporters there are in DC.

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    Wait, Colbert’s not funny this week? The 50% of conservatives who think Colbert is conservative think he’s a riot!

  52. 52
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Incertus:

    Florida was never the easiest path to 60 anyway. New Hampshire is the best chance, and I’d put Ohio up there as well, and depending on what happens with Bunning, potentially even Kentucky.

    Of FL, NH, OH, and KY, none is the easiest path to 60. Try MN.

    But second what was said about “60” being ephemeral, considering some of the votes that won’t go our way once it counts.

    And we’ll see how people like Crist after he goes through a Republican primary and starts taking direction from Mitch McConnell.

  53. 53
    mechanical jacobin says:

    My loathing for the Washington Post knows no bounds.

  54. 54
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I like Gov. Crist–for now. I don’t think he can stay so moderate and win, though.

    Fuck the press. Colbert is worth more than the whole lot of them. Colbert and Stewart can clean the White House’s Press Corps’ collective ass.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    @Cat Lady:

    When the movie Outrage gets more coverage than in the Washington Blade, Crist won’t get through the primary.

    The movie is not going to get wide coverage. Terry Gross, in a Fresh Air interview with the film’s director, noted that she was not comfortable naming names, even though the movie does. The review of the film in the San Francisco Chronicle does not mention any names. The review of the film in the LA Times does mention names, but then goes on to say,

    For one thing, aside from formerly closeted gay politicians who’ve already outed themselves, including James McGreevey, ex-governor of New Jersey, and Jim Kolbe, former Arizona congressman, it is beyond the resources of any film to prove conclusively the sexual orientation of people such as Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, California Rep. David Dreier and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

    This is really stupid, and is also unfair to what the film achieves. But it lets the reviewer dance around the facts with respect to closeted political figures.

    The base likes teh gheys in the closet.

    No. It’s worse than that for those that want to see being gay as sinful or an abomination. But as I said before, some are deep in denial, and part of that denial leads them to say that there are not now, and cannot be, gays in the Republican Party, especially as representatives.

  56. 56
    bondboy says:

    There is nothing wrong with journalists having a dinner with sources.

    I was a reporter for 25 years (having nothing to do with Washington). The idea that journalists should be on the record all the time is extraordinarily silly. You have to get to know people to make them comfortable before they will talk to you.

    The problem with DC journalism isn’t that reporters have drinks with sources. It’s that they don’t use whatever access they have to produce good stories. The problem lies with the lack of intelligence and proper perspective of the journalists, not the methods they use.

    Sy Hersch (for example) gets all his stuff off the record. He is great because he has a good perspective on what is true and what is outrageous and doesn’t focus on petty bullshit.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Anne Laurie says:

    Kill these people with fire.

    Yep, fire’s the only way to beat the zombies. And the Media Village Idiots are definitely zombies now.

  59. 59
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    it is beyond the resources of any film to prove conclusively the sexual orientation of people such as Idaho Sen. Larry Craig

    What, they couldn’t find an airport restroom to film in?

    The problem with DC journalism isn’t that reporters have drinks with sources. It’s that they don’t use whatever access they have to produce good stories.

    I think it’s that they’re a bunch of knob-slobbering stenographers who think access is more important than producing good stories.

  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:

    When the movie Outrage gets more coverage than in the Washington Blade, Crist won’t get through the primary.

    Oh pu-leaze. ‘Outrage’ could show a 10-minute clip of these proud Republicans sodomizing each other in a daisy-chain while watching Jeff Gannon dual-service Karl Rove and George W on the Oval Office rug Dubya was so proud of, and the average Rethug voter would say it was all f/x done by nasty, lying Demon-rats. As Roy Cohn used to say before he died of AIDS, a “manly” guy cannot be called a homosexual just because he has sex with men. Face it, anybody who could look at George W. Bush in a flightsuit without laughing is a lot deeper in denial than Larry Craig is in the closet.

  61. 61
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.”

    I always thought that “W” pin people were wearing meant “Walker”. Turns out it meant “Whitey”. I guess I can see where the confusion might come from.

  62. 62
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Anne Laurie: Ha! You win this thread thus far.

    To me, the press and the pols are pretty much blurry in my mind. It’s not that I think the journos are deliberately trying to be toadies to the pols–they just can’t help it. With so much infotainment passing as journalism these days, it’s hard to tell The National Enquirer from the NYT. Except, the latter has less pictures and more words.

    Cable news is the worst, though. They have so much time to fill, and their on-line personae have to be attractive rather than knowledgeable.

    By the way, I saw a clip of Contessa what’s her name on MSNBC. Man, she is really awful. David Schuster, on the other hand, needs his own show.

    Back to the topic–I am more frustrated by the state of journalism than I am by the state of newspapers. It’s all, “Taste great, less filling”.

  63. 63

    Palin’s handler, Greta Van Susterenenen,

    palinnnnn. linnnnn!

    Susterenenenenenenenennnnn!

    Alaskans are required to be named after chainsaw noises?

    You betcha :)

  64. 64
    DougJ says:

    This has to be your question DougJ (or you have a coven). Too bad he ducked it, but at least the editors (not The Editors™) let it through

    Yes, it was my question.

  65. 65
    tammanycall says:

    Don’t underestimate Kirby – he’s a well-known documentarian and quite a showman. People like him a lot and that goes a long way in getting your film screened at festivals and written up in the trades. If it picks up awards or a good distributer, it’s got a shot at reaching a much wider audience. Or if a political opponent of Gov. Crist’s (either in the general or in the primary) decides s/he wants a specific part of the electorate to see the film, it wouldn’t be too hard to get Rush to talk about the DVD, or even put the movie directly into people’s mailboxes.

    This is the party of “John McCain has a black baby” after all.

  66. 66

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