Dept. of Corrections
The Jewish Daily Forward wins the prize for best correction of the week.
In his new book This Town (Blue Rider Press, 400 pp., $27.95), Mark Leibovich commits an act of treason against the Washington establishment. After years of attending its parties, Mr. Leibovich, a national correspondent for The New York Times, turns his pen against the city’s social class and empties his notebook of all the cozy friendships and indiscreet cocktail chatter. The book, when it finally came out last week, had already unnerved the capital for months. Politico published a prophylactic piece that attempted to scoop some of the book’s best scenes, with the clear message that their “Leibo” was no outsider.
But he doesn’t need to be. Mr. Leibovich goes out of his way to disclose his own insider status, and then uses it to deliver a thoroughly entertaining—and mildly devastating—critique of the grubby, self-dealing Washington establishment. His focus is on the city’s permanent class, “The Club,” as he calls it, “a political herd that never dies or gets older, only jowlier, richer and more heavily made-up.” Its members feed off a political establishment that seems far removed from public service, and they amass a local form of power through media hits, party invitations, Politico mentions and lots of loud conversations about their well-positioned friends. It’s “a system that rewards, more than anything, self-perpetuation,” and while it may be petty, transactional and transparent, as Mr. Leibovich points out, it often pays quite well.
The media in Washington has reached “a tipping point of self-celebration,” according to Mark Leibovich, so he’s decided to address the issue in a book. If that seems far-fetched, look here.
Mr. Leibovich, the Times writer behind the recent profile of Mike Allen, will take a look at the Washington “media-industrial complex” Read More
In Defense of
Yesterday, The New York Times published Mark Leibovich’s profile of the peculiar Politico columnist Mike Allen. For seemingly months, there had been rumors that The Times was working on a big critical piece about Politico. From the get-go yesterday, it was clear that this was not it. No take-down here.
That Read More
On Thursday morning, Jill Abramson of The New York Times appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to talk about the life of the late Ted Kennedy. She was joined by Chris Matthews and Savannah Guthrie. Towards the end of the segment, Mr. Matthews couldn’t help but take the opportunity to pick at an old wound. Read More
On Saturday, The New York Times‘ Mark Leibovich filed a piece about the legacy of Karl Rove, George Bush’s former senior advisor known to detractors as "Bush’s brain" and to friends as "Turd Blossom."
After noting Mr. Rove’s columns for The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek, his gig as Read More
Last month, Mark Leibovich wrote an extensive and somewhat unflattering profile of MSNBC anchor and political guru Chris Matthews for the cover of the New York Times Magazine.
How did Mr. Matthews feel about the piece?
According to freshly unearthed and highly anecdotal evidence: not so well!
To wit: In the current Read More