One thing that can be determined from the behavior of Politico in the last 24 hours is that they psychologically can’t handle coming in second place.
Even if that’s what they are in this instance — second.
We’re referring to Josh Rogin‘s Daily Beast story on Jofi Joseph, the anonymous NSC tweeter, which he broke Tuesday night at 8:27 p.m. Rogin got the Drudge link and appeared on morning shows such as NBC’s “TODAY Show” and ABC’s “GMA.” Every outlet from NPR to WaPo and the NYT credited him.
Take a wild guess who didn’t.
UPDATE: Politico reporter responds.
Politico‘s Glenn Thrush came in with the story an hour after Rogin at 9:25 p.m.. Twitter shows that at the time Rogin’s piece surfaced, Thrush hadn’t confirmed the story with the NSC tweeter or anyone else. He wrote: 1. “Jofi Joseph, named as @natsecwonk by @joshrogin tells me “he shares” many of the “sarcastic” opinions expressed on twitter feed. More TK” 2. “Jofi Joseph wouldn’t confirm/deny he was @NatSecWonk said that my asking him about it was “ridiculous” -would effect ability to get new job.”
He goes on to credit Rogin on Twitter, writing, “Jofi Joseph, named as @NatSecWonk by @JoshRogin, was in line for senior Pentagon Post, according to admin sources.” But then weirdly goes ahead and declares exclusive: “EXCLUSIVE NSC staffer Jofi Joseph tells POLITICO he was NatSecWonk — anonymously tweeting hundreds of anti-administration comments. More TK.”
Sure, Politico‘s story had something an hour later that Rogin’s did not — a quote from Joseph, who did not return Rogin’s requests for comment. But Politico’s story was still second and should have indicated that the news was first reported by Rogin and The Daily Beast.
Thrush did mention Rogin, but he in passing. He provided no link and mentioned a mild fact few would even remember. In approximately paragraph 10 of his story, Thrush wrote, “The revelation that Joseph was @natsecwonk came as a shock because Joseph was a familiar figure in the foreign policy world – as is his wife Carolyn Leddy, a highly-regarded staffer on the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, according to Daily Beast reporter Josh Rogin.”
Wow, that sure is something.
No doubt, Politico was chasing the story at the same time as Rogin. But the fact remains, Rogin beat them to the finish line and they should’ve come clean about it.
As WaPo‘s Outlook Editor Carlos Lozada wondered aloud to Politico on Twitter, “How about a little ‘first reported by’ love for @joshrogin here?”
We couldn’t agree more.
Rogin declined to comment to FBDC.
UPDATE: Thrush responded to our request for comment. Here it is in full:
“Josh beat me fair and square on a story were both pursuing – hats off to a great, aggressive reporter who dominates his beat. Here’s my take: My piece was written simultaneously with his and I was securing a direct admission from the subject of the story at the time he broke the news. Josh won the race but, in my view, his story was incomplete (No knock on him). We both had the same essential details (I know this because we interviewed two of the same sources) and I could have pushed the ‘send’ button three hours earlier.
“But I think the bar needed to be higher in a story involving the livelihood and reputation of someone who wasn’t (yet) a public figure. Securing an on–the-record admission, in my view, was the story. I wouldn’t have run it without it. I’m not parsimonious with credit. I’m not being judgmental. Nor am I bitter about being beaten — that happens every day.
“When Josh broke the story, I immediately Tweeted credit and laid down a marker: I was about to publish the same material with direct quotes from Jofi Joseph. After I popped my original draft, I reflowed the story to include credit to Josh for some of his reporting. I tried to strike the right balance here and if he feels sore about it, I’m sorry.”
UPDATE #2: Thrush points out that at 8:40 p.m., colleague Dylan Byers ran a quick, brief piece that credited Rogin. At which point Thrush was informed by internal alert that Byers was running something on it. See that story here.
UPDATE #3: We’ve changed the headline to reflect that it was Thrush who failed to credit Rogin, but not Politico as a whole. The original headline was: “Politico Skips Credit for Josh Rogin.”