Yesterday, we mentioned briefly WCP‘s Perry Stein‘s takedown of Sam Youngman‘s Politico piece. If you’re a self-respecting DC journalist, you should read it -if only as a salve for the irritation Youngman’s article likely caused you. Here’s a great paragraph, for example:
There are at least some D.C. journos who, unlike Youngman, always thought they would get tired of seeing former Sen. Gary Hart and Ron Kirk in a bar (since the very thought of being in a bar that’s also frequented by Hart and Kirk is pretty tiresome). There may be a few guys here who don’t think the city’s hot women are ‘a step above rehab hot and two levels below jury duty hot.’ D.C. even has college basketball! As for Youngman’s complaint that he doesn’t ‘recall the issue of, say, poverty coming up a single time in all my coverage’ of the 2012 campaign, that seems like something he might have been advised to try to remedy while, you know, writing about the 2012 campaign.
Today, Juliet Eilperin gives us an op-ed that voices the same complaint. Eilperin is a White House correspondent (as Youngman once was) for WaPo, and her piece really gives the lie to Youngman’s caricature of DC journos:
Several years ago I wrote about an Environmental Protection Agency study slated for Jacksonville, Fla., in which officials were going to examine the impact of toxic household chemicals on families with children, but they weren’t going to warn them that the chemicals were dangerous. The study was scrapped. This fall I co-wrote articles explaining the key management decisions that contributed to HealthCare.gov’s botched rollout, as well as some of the project’s ongoing technical difficulties. These stories matter; they have real-world consequences.
I still haven’t flown on Air Force One, as Youngman did. Like him, I’ve attended briefings in the Roosevelt Room — though I’ve devoted my time there to watching PowerPoint slides and trying to decipher administration officials’ spin, not being wowed by the scenery.
I think it’s sad that Youngman concludes that, after a while, ‘there wasn’t a single Washington story I wanted to cover.’ How is that possible, when there are so many critical decisions being made here?
The consensus in DC is clear: Youngman’s biggest problem was always Youngman -not DC.