Washington Post‘s “reported” media blogger Erik Wemple went after Politico again this week. This time, charging that COO Kim Kingsley had to go up against sexism at the office. Politico staffers are increasingly puzzled by what they feel is Wemple’s near maniacal obsession with the publication.
Pre-fight backgrounder: This week Kingsley landed on Elle‘s “10 Most Powerful Women in D.C.” list. At around the same time, Politico unveiled its “Women Rule” roster which includes Robby Myers, editor-in-chief of Elle. Wemple, who ran then-Allbritton owned TBD into the ground, called it “mutual admiration.” Whatever. Next up: sexism. Wemple declared this part of Elle‘s profile on Kingsley “the killer part.” It reads: “Early on, the men would have impromptu meetings behind closed doors to talk about the future of” Politico, said Kingsley. “I always looked at those rooms and wanted a seat at the table. After a while, I just started opening the door, walking in, and sitting at the table.”
See, Wemple, the “reported” blogger, doesn’t necessarily need evidence when he writes things. He has his opinions. That’s good enough, right? “Oh, what would the Erik Wemple Blog have given for that quote last year around this time, when we wrote a piece on gender issues at Politico,” he sniffed in his piece.
Blissfully (at least for my purposes), after Wemple published his story, a brawl broke out on Twitter, in which he declared that Kingsley was charging her own superiors with sexism. She never spoke with Wemple, so he declared her thoughts for her. How kind of him.
Dylan Byers: What is the point of this piece?
NYT‘s Michael Barbaro: To suggest a quid pro quo, no? Fairly or not.
Dylan Byers: Or not.
Erik Wemple: Elle editor names Politico exec as Top 10 D.C. power person, gets speaking gig at Politico conference.
Erik Wemple: I stand accused! Asked both parties for an accounting of how it all went down; they’re still welcome to give details.
Erik Wemple: Plus, Kingsley accuses her bosses of sexism — worth noting.
Dylan Byers: Where? I missed that part. It would appear you’re inferring causality on very little evidence.
At this point the Erik Wemple quotes the Kingsley comments above.
Dylan Byers: Man do you like to infer.
Erik Wemple: Yeah, so irresponsible!
WaPo‘s Adam Kushner: I’m just a bystander here, but isn’t it strange to gripe about inferences without, um, making an actual rebuttal?
Dylan Byers: I’ve made my rebuttal. He’s inferring something with extremely limited evidence. I don’t get to speak for others.
Erik Wemple: To repeat: I asked for an explanation from both Politico and Elle, and printed what I got. Evidence is plain, not limited.
WaPo‘s Adam Kushner: No, not your job, but he *did* ask for comment. Yet no rebuttal. There’s value in laying out facts!
Dylan Byers: Erik, stop it. You just claimed she accused her colleagues of sexism. That’s bullshit. She never said that.
Erik Wemple: OK, she claimed that there were only men making decisions about Politico and she had to barge in. Call it what you will.
The Mirror sought comment from multiple people at Politico, including Kingsley. All declined. Seeing as the “Erik Wemple Blog’s” comments were all public, I felt no need to ask him anything else. I also tend to feel like I need a Silkwood type shower after dealing with him. No offense, of course.