White House Has Some Ideas About How to Cover Washington

When New Yorker writer George Packer started subbing for Ryan Lizza in Washington, the White House had some helpful advice.

“Cover Washington as if it’s a foreign capital. Cover it like Baghdad,” Packer says a senior Obama aide told him, in a post on the New Yorker‘s website. (It’s not so surprising, given the Obama administration’s general frustration with the capital.)

Packer, who wrote a very good book about Iraq, took the suggestion to heart. In his big piece on the U.S. Senate this week, the upper house comes across as a bickering body that could rival any emerging democracy in its dysfunction.

That didn’t stop Packer from having a good time. “Of course, the institution is in a deep decline, but when you’re reporting a story like this, you don’t depress yourself, because the inquiry is bracing,” he wrote. “It’s the poor reader who ends up depressed.”

 

 

 

White House Has Some Ideas About How to Cover Washington