He was blunt in his distaste: “I say this as someone who doesn’t particularly like the Politico style or the role it plays in our gilded capital,” he wrote in his Sunday column the New York Times, all while noting he misses the WaPo that could’ve been, if only WaPo hadn’t stopped being a good newspaper.
Just in case you had doubt though, Douthat goes a step further today and tells us how he really feels about Politico.
“…the founders of Politico created a publication that can often feel as solipsistic, trivial, and insufferable as the cloistered world it’s writing about…”
Solipsistic, trivial and insufferable.
He again pointed out WaPo’s missed opportunities, citing Mike Allen‘s Playbook as an example. What if WaPo had had the foresight to create Playbook for itself? Would that have earned it a place in the social-media dominated news cycle, one dominated—as Douthat put its—by short attention spans? Maybe. But, just in case you were starting to think Douthat was getting warm fuzzies for Politico and Playbook specifically, he slaps the notion right out of your head.
“Not because Playbook — Mike Allen’s daily political briefing, for readers whose lives are interesting enough to do without it — represents a shining example of journalism at its finest; I doubt even Allen would make that claim for his most famous product. But Playbook does represent an example of how a news publication can build its brand and expand its audience in the age of Twitter and email and short attention spans and endless media offerings and all the rest.”
For readers whose lives are interesting enough to do without it. Then why can’t they stop reading? Read Douthat’s latest here.