If nothing else, Politico, along with its Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen, come off completely self-aware in the latest installment of their “Behind the Curtain” series. That is, VandeHei and Allen know they’re in no small way a part of D.C.’s often narcissistic, cynical culture.
In the piece, Allen refers to himself as one of Washington’s “top journalists” and he and VandeHei speculate that Allen is the focus of “at least a chapter” in NYT Chief National Correspondent Mark Leibovich‘s forthcoming book This Town.
“We won’t love the book, either,” Allen and VandeHei write. “It is clear that POLITICO and [Allen's] Playbook are portrayed as enablers of the culture Leibovich lampoons.”
Aside from Politico‘s “Behind the Curtain” the story being largely about… Politico, it’s meant as a forewarning to those who may appear in unflattering portrayals in Leibovich’s book. (Leibovich wouldn’t comment on the speculation in the article.) Who’s included: Democratic lawyer Robert Barnett, publicist and sometimes journalist Tammy Haddad, Capitol Hill flack Kurt Bardella and scores of other to-be-named self-promoters and elbow-rubbers.
A final dig from the piece (which refers to Leibovich as “Leibo”), suggests the book may be destined to flop. “The inhabitants of this town might obsess about themselves — but does anyone in the real world give a hoot?” they write. “We have a hunch they might, if the smaller characters help indict not just the culture but also the bigger names in national politics.”