He could try to do that subtly, and without deviating from the good-faith performance of his assigned task, perhaps by writing in a neutral, questioning style about what was going on with the righties these days and carefully raising doubts, undermining foundations, and strategically inserting a knife blade now and then. But would they get it? Didn't he need something a little more emphatic... and a little hipper?
So David started letting his need for lefty approval express itself on the email list, the Journolist, where the cool kids were being intimate and snarky. But those other kids were not tasked with covering conservatives. While they might have been embarrassed if the mean things they wrote in the email were ever leaked, they didn't have careers founded on their suitability for covering conservatives. The risk poor Dave took was of an entirely different nature. Why, Dave, why? Why did you risk the plum job?
“Honestly, it’s been tough to find fresh angles sometimes–how many times can I report that these [tea party] activists are joyfully signing up with the agenda of discredited right-winger X and discredited right-wing group Y?” Weigel lamented in one February email.He also said:
In other posts, Weigel describes conservatives as using the media to “violently, angrily divide America.” According to Weigel, their motives include “racism” and protecting “white privilege,” and for some of the top conservatives in D.C., a nihilistic thirst for power....
Of Matt Drudge, Weigel remarked, “It’s really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree.”
“This would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire.”Such nastiness doesn't hurt Matt of course. Matt drops another link, gets all the traffic, and moves on. Ironically, it is Dave who is undone. Having shown us his vivid hostility to the conservatives he was supposed to explain to us, we no longer have any reason to read him. Having destroyed the appearance of his capacity to enlighten us, he has lit the flame of his own self-immolation.
UPDATE: Weigel resigns.
Various readers suggest that the email-leaker was after Dave’s job. I think the WaPo should have a no-journolister rule for Weigel’s replacement, which would solve that problem, among others.Indeed. One of the problems that might be somewhat solved is the cheeky smugness of the young journalists. The exclusive little club turned deadly for one of its members. And isn't funny how people who should be in the know still don't get modern technology. Tiger Woods brought down by texting, Dave Weigel by email, etc. etc.
AND: In smugger days:
David Weigel|6.14.10 @ 5:01PM|#(Thanks to C3 for pointing to that.)
Well, I really enjoyed the two and a half years I spent here, and I'm constantly confused as to why mentions of my name lead to a lot of schoolyard insults. I really can't figure out why they do it -- lack of fulfillment seems like a good enough theory. After all, I'm here, and they're where I left them in 2008.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return to my rewarding job and large circle of friends. I don't know how my ego will ever recover...