June 25, 2010

I don't normally get involved in media inside baseball, because 1) it's even more boring to readers than it is to me and 2) "old" media is so last season's Prada shoes, you know?

But since we're on a roll here today, what with Amato wondering why the media never bothered to cover Gen. McChrystal's cover-up of Pat Tillman's death and me writing about the self-censoring media, this fits right in.

Far too often, Beltway journalism resembles nothing so much as a high-school lunchroom. That's why, when Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel turned in his resignation yesterday, the Post eagerly accepted. (Morons.)

Weigel is a really good journalist who, although he's a libertarian, doesn't let ideology get in the way of his work. (Sorry, Dave. You have to know you're unusual, right?)

The Post brought him on to cover the Tea Party movement, and he's done an excellent job. So why is he being shown the door? Did he regurgitate false information and start a war? Plagarize? Make racist or anti-Semitic comments? Heck, no. Those things get you your own cable show!

He did the worst thing of all: He made the conservatives cry.

Remember what I said about high school? Like, omigod!

"Okay, like, there's this email list? Called Journolist? And like, this one girl named Betsy Rothstein, who is like, slaving away in a basement and probably really a little J-E-L of Dave Weigel, pumped up her hit count by posting a bunch of emails where Dave trashed some famous conservatives, including that perv Rush Limbaugh. Which got her a link from that icky Matt Drudge, and got Dave a bunch of hate mail from the right-wing whatevers.

"Okay, so Dave's ticked off and tweets something about how Matt Drudge should handle his personal issues by being more responsible, like maybe by publicly setting himself on fire. I mean, a joke, right? Funny! But okay, Dave apologizes to Drudge and Drudge responds by sending the flying monkeys after him again!


"Tucker Carlson, that smarmy little frat boy who used to wear the bowties? Yeah, I know, right? Short! Anyway, he got mad because that guy Ezra wouldn't let him on JournoList and so he decided to publish Dave's emails on his site. You'd think a grown man would have something better to do. I mean, he reproduced and all, maybe he should be home nurturing his clones, or something.

"Okay, okay, okay. Anyway! So Dave turns in his letter of resignation, and that Poindexter over at the Atlantic, Jeff Goldberg - I think he's that guy who picks his nose and eats it, or was that the kid from The Simpsons? Anyway, he, like, totally disses him.

"How could we destroy our standards by hiring a guy stupid enough to write about people that way in a public forum?" one of my friends at the Post asked me when we spoke earlier today. "I'm not suggesting that many people on the paper don't lean left, but there's leaning left, and then there's behaving like an idiot."

I gave my friend the answer he already knew: The sad truth is that the Washington Post, in its general desperation for page views, now hires people who came up in journalism without much adult supervision, and without the proper amount of toilet-training. This little episode today is proof of this. But it is also proof that some people at the Post (where I worked, briefly, 20 years ago) still know the difference between acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior, and that maybe this episode will lead to the reimposition of some level of standards.

"And like, clearly what the Carlton Banks-wannabe means is, oh, Mr. Washington Post, sir, I would never disrespect my elders or color outside the lines. Why would you hire him instead of rehiring MEEEEE???

"Um, everyone knows Jeff's, like, a total tool? Who's more of a stenographer than a journalist, and like, a lot of Iraqi civilians are dead because of his total d-baggery. Like, dead babies and stuff.

"Which you might think would bother him, but apparently not.

"But omigod, they keep wondering why we don't want to read them! Duh!

"Oh hey, what are you wearing to the party tonight?"

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