A networking event to mark a business partnership between two fiercely ideological magazines isn’t exactly a wild time. But it’s part of the job for some media professionals in D.C.

Even so, freelance journalist Murray Waas, in the dimly-lit setting shown here, believes that if you’re attending such an event, you shouldn’t be on your phone.

“What is the point of going out when you’re texting?” Waas said to National Review reporter Andrew Stiles Thursday night. Apparently unsure what to make of the unsolicited social commentary, Stiles awkwardly replied, “I don’t know. To look like you have something to do.”

Waas floated around the party, hosted by The Nation and National Review at the Mayflower Renaissance hotel, butting into conversations, preferring to talk directly into people’s ears despite being audible at a normal conversational distance.

The writer made a name for himself during the Bush (43) years, reporting on the White House and, in the early 1990s, reporting on the Gulf  War. He was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Howard Kurtz, then a media critic for the Washington Post, wrote in 2006 that Waas was “getting his day in the sun.” Nowadays Waas updates his personal blog and freelances. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Hill, The Boston Globe, Talking Points Memo, The Atlantic and Reuters, among others.

He’s been featured in a lengthy 2007 WCP piece by Erik Wemple and Jason Cherkis (in the least flattering way) and in a rebuttal by Matthew Yglesias at ThinkProgress (the most flattering way).

“He was one of the biggest creeps I’ve ever talked to, saying things like ‘I’m your friend, right? We’ve been talking for five minutes, [and] I’m your best friend here?’” one attendee at Thursday’s gathering remarked to FishbowlDC. “And he smelled like garlic and booze.”

Yum.

About 100 people showed up for the event, all wearing name tags. Among them was National Review‘s star Capitol Hill Editor Robert Costa. Read more