Skip to Content

Media

Washington Read

The “Washington Read” is the phenomenon by which, through a form of intellectual osmosis, a book is absorbed into the Washington atmosphere, according to the Washingtonian magazine.

“According to former White House speechwriter Dan McGroarty, to qualify as a Washington …

Read More about Washington Read

full Ginsburg

The “full Ginsburg” refers to an appearance by one person on all five major Sunday-morning interview shows on the same day: This Week on ABC, Face the Nation on CBS, Meet the Press on NBC, State of the Union on …

Read More about full Ginsburg

Fourth Estate

The “Fourth Estate” refers to the news media, especially with regards to their role in the political process.

The phrase has its origins in the French Revolution, where the church, nobility and commoners comprised the first, second, and third estates. …

Read More about Fourth Estate

photo-op

A photo-op is short for a “photo opportunity,” an event specifically staged for television news cameras or photographers to increase a politician’s exposure.

The term was reportedly coined during the Nixon administration by Bruce Whelihan, an aide to Nixon Press …

Read More about photo-op

lid

A “lid” is what White House press secretaries use to indicate that there will be no news coming out of the White House that day. It can also be called a “Full Lid.”

The White House sometimes calls a lid …

Read More about lid

off the record

A term used in journalism meaning that the information given to the reporter cannot be attributed to the person saying it. Off the record quotes are often used to protect sources who are giving information that could get them in …

Read More about off the record

press gaggle

A “press gaggle” is an informal briefing by the White House press secretary that, unlike a backgrounder, is on the record. However, video recording is not allowed.

It can occur anywhere, such as on Air Force One, but it …

Read More about press gaggle

Godwin’s Law

Godwin’s Law is a term first promulgated in 1990 by author and lawyer Mike Godwin. Originally intended as a lesson in information “memetics,” or how the evolution of information spreads and evolves on the Internet, the term is used to …

Read More about Godwin’s Law