Posted by: Jeff | June 29, 2010

Shameful

Truly.

Update: For those that don’t read Weigel regularly, or Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait, who have explained what is going on, here’s the gist:

As best as I can gather, and most people are only writing about a segment of the story at a time, Weigel wrote a story about a congressional Democrat who was surprised by a guerrilla cameraman obviously trying to capture a gaffe on film. The congressman kind of tweaked and grabbed the the cameraman in an awkward bear hug of sorts. Weigel used the word “hug” to describe the altercation, and some conservative commentators think that is a sign of some intrinsic bias on Weigel’s part (a complete non-story from the start in my opinion) and indication that Weigel is not fit to be the Post’s blogger on conservative issues and news.

Then, Weigel attended a wedding (Megan McArdle’s) and a bunch of other DC establishment types (mostly liberal) were there. Weigel apparently got pretty crazy on the dancefloor – alone, for the most part. So the Washington Examiner gossip blog wrote a horrible story about him as retaliation for him supposedly being a liberal in disguise.

Drudge picked it up and in his mocking way the story became a widespread “laugh at this Weigel loser” meme in the conservative blogosphere. So Weigel sent off an email to a list-serv of journalists disparaging Drudge and making a weird non-sequiter comment about Ron Paul.

Somebody (rumored to be Tucker Carlson) then leaked that email to the Washington Examiner, and when it was published the Post summarily fired Weigel for a lack of objectivity. Even though he’s a blogger. And even though he was continually disparaged and his employers didn’t stand by him. Even though his blog is immensely successful and immediately upon launch was respected as a insightful look at the conservative movement.  Ezra Klein explains a bit about how it happened and what the Journolist list-serv was all about.

On the Post being ridiculous, naive and unfair, here’s Chait:

I can see why the Post would not want a straight news reporter expressing strong political opinions, even in private, or semi-private. But, again, that wasn’t Weigel’s role. And the irony of the paper’s prioritization of the appearance of fairness is to lose a reporter who was unusually good at the substance of it — probably the Post reporter most respected by the right.

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Responses

  1. I saw Matt Yglesias post the same comment yesterday. Is there context surrounding this?

  2. As best as I can gather, and most people are only writing about a segment of the story at a time, Weigel wrote a story about a congressional Democrat who was surprised by a guerrilla cameraman obviously trying to capture a gaffe on film. The congressman kind of tweaked and grabbed the the cameraman in an awkward bear hug of sorts. Weigel used the word “hug” to describe the altercation, and some conservative commentators think that is a sign of some intrinsic bias on Weigel’s part (a complete non-story from the start) and indication that Weigel is not fit to be the Post’s blogger on conservative issues and news.

    Then, Weigel attended a wedding (Megan McArdle’s) and a bunch of other DC establishment types (mostly liberal) were there. Weigel apparently got pretty crazy on the dancefloor – alone, for the most part. So the Washington Examiner gossip blog wrote a horrible story about him as retaliation for him supposedly being a liberal in disguise: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/blogs/yeas-and-nays/Dancing-with-myself_-Weigel-likes-to-waggle-96333064.html

    Drudge picked it up and in his mocking way the story became a widespread “laugh at this Weigel loser” meme in the conservative blogosphere. So Weigel sent off an email to a list-serv of journalists disparaging Drudge, saying this stuff:
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/06/an_apology_to_my_readers.html?wprss=right-now

    Somebody (rumored to be Tucker Carlson) then leaked that email to the Washington Examiner, and when it was published the Post summarily fired Weigel for a lack of objectivity. Even though he’s a blogger. And even though he was continually disparaged and his employers didn’t stand by him. Even though his blog is immensely successful and immediately upon launch was respected as a insightful look at the conservative movement.

    On the Post being ridiculous, naive and unfair, here’s Chait: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/75857/the-post-retreats and http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/75861/more-weigel


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