Washington Post‘s Wesley Lowery is going to love this story – in the sense that it’s all about his favorite subject: him.
In an age when journalism is unfortunately entwined with personal branding, reporters never want the story to be about them. This is why both HuffPost and WaPo immediately released statements about their reporters regarding the events in Ferguson. (In other words, whenever possible, make the story all about you and hold on for dear life. Your bosses will love it. Hell, if Slate‘s Dave Weigel can make Robin Williams‘ suicide all about him, don’t doubt yourself, you can do it too.)
Last week, Politico‘s Chief White House Correspondent and Playbook proprietor Mike Allen wrote a playful graph about Lowery. His headline: “Ya Can’t Make It Up!” He ran one of Wesley’s many insufferable comments in the past week about the media: “Wesley Lowrey, 23-year-old Congress/politics reporter for the WashPost, responding on CNN to suggestions that he should have obeyed police amid a riot: ‘[L]et me be clear about this: I have LITTLE PATIENCE for talking heads.’”
Allen faced wide outrage for the crack, but he did accurately size up a 24-year-old egomaniacal punk of a reporter who was busy condescending to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (who I hardly ever defend) and a slew of Washington journalists. Scarborough dared to say that maybe Wesley should “move along” when a cop tells him to do just that.
There are many things to be said about how annoying “Morning Joe” has gotten. But Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinksi being too lazy to head down to Ferguson, Mo. with Wesley, isn’t one of them. They’ve been to plenty of disaster sites. They’ve done a ton of on-the-ground reporting. NBC has reporters stationed there. And besides, Mika had to take her daughter to college. (No cynicism here, it was exactly where she should’ve been.)
Even though Scarborough wasn’t mentioned in Allen’s post, NY Mag’s Jonathan Chait presumed he was the invisible ghostly force behind it. “Riding to Scarborough’s side today, forming a kind of journalistic Axis of Evil, is Mike Allen,” wrote Chait. He summed up his story with this kicker (and what I really mean is kick in the balls): ”If Lowery wants more favorable coverage from Allen, maybe he should think about sponsoring some ads in Playbook.”
Wesley, meanwhile, was not in Ferguson Sunday morning. He was where any self-loving journalist would be – back in Washington to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” A real man of the people dedicated to Ferguson coverage. First things first: Press for Wesley.
Which brings me to a question for WaPo: Why Wesley?