NYT‘s Style section has dipped to a new low in Washington.
This is the deafening refrain that we’ve been hearing all day long today after Sunday’s story on the “Juicebox Mafia,” which involves a group of Boy Band liberal journalists who once belonged to the now defunct JournoList listserv. The featured “new brat pack” is comprised of four relatively short white liberal guys in their 20s: WaPo‘s Ezra Klein (pictured at left) Slate‘s Dave Weigel (pictured below), TPM‘s Brian Beutler and Center for American Progress’s Matt Yglesias. But there’s nothing “new” about them and they’re not really older or seasoned like the story suggests even if Klein does dine at Potenza, which he did recently with the story’s author and with Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson last summer. This was before Klein printed obviously private emails from Carlson on his WaPo blog because isn’t that what someone older and sophisticated does when seeking revenge? A true veteran D.C. journalist remarked, “Nice story, but I don’t think the young bloggers are going to replace [WaPo's] Dan Balz and [NYT's] Carl Hulse.” Another wondered, “Why do New York Times reporters always have to cover DC like National Geographic would cover a new species found in the depths of the ocean? Or like they are narrating the March of the Penguins?”
Sunday’s article is most noteworthy in that, well, most of our readers thought it was a joke.
Full disclosure: The story’s author, Sridhar Pappu, who is not a close friend short of a few emails and phone conversations, quoted me in his story. He wrote what I said and verified the quote with me prior to using it.
But Pappu, please. Did he or his editors ever think to fully disclose that he used to work with some of these ultra-cool cats at the Washington Independent? Did he think to disclose that they’re in this “mafia” simply because they’re all friends? Friends who do mafioso things together like cook, tweet, retweet, drink, play video games, read comic books and occasionally knock their heads together on MSNBC. Journalists in Washington struggle with the very premise of this story, that these guys have grown up as Pappu suggests, and that they’re somehow powerful and prominent figures. No time for geek trivia these days, claims Weigel. Why? Because his ancient 26-year-old friend, Ezra, is always on TV. Weigel’s cable TV career, meanwhile, has deflated since staunch defender Keith Olbermann departed. And it’s a wonder why he was so devoted. A hush fell over the Boy Banders when Olbermann disappeared.
Also Pappu, didn’t you or your editors think to note that all those media outlets such as TPM, MSNBC, Think Progress and The American Prospect are “liberal” since you called the The Daily Caller out for being “conservative?”
Questions from a D.C. journalist: “Why aren’t there any non-white, non-male characters included? Who the fuck edits this shit and hits “publish”?”