Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery is growing more attractive by the day. And not just because he says pompous, snippy things like, “Well, I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sitting sipping his Starbucks smugly. I invite him to come down here and talk to residents of Ferguson where I have been Monday afternoon having tear gas shot at me, rubber bullets shot at me, having mothers, daughter, a 19-year-old boy, crying, running to pull his 21-year-old sister out from a cloud of tear gas thinking she would die.”
In the saga that continues to be Wesley Lowery being Wesley Lowery, he reacted to a story written by his arch nemesis, Politico media writer Dylan Byers.
Late last week, Lowery announced on Twitter that “Dylan Byers says tons of dumb things.”
Perhaps he was premature.
Maybe he should’ve saved his fire for Wednesday, when Byers published a story on what little has changed at The Washington Post since filthy rich Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the famed newspaper a year ago. The gist: Bezos doesn’t have an office at WaPo. He’s largely uninvolved except with higher-ups who fly to Seattle to meet with him.
“The Post, far from embarking on the radical reinvention that many thought Bezos would bring, remains more old school than cutting edge. Its executive editor, Martin Baron, is the epitome of the 20th-century newspaperman. Its new publisher, former POLITICO CEO Fred Ryan, is a fixture of the old Washington scene. The paper has hired a whopping 100 staffers this year, but few among them are marquee names. It has launched several new blogs, but few have drawn much notice. The homepage could use a redesign.”
Lowery bristled at Byers’ story, which contained the markings of heavy Washington Post sourcing. He started off tame and worked himself into a lather of quintessential Lowery making it all about himself (pssst…he has a knack for that sort of thing).
Byers writes that WaPo has failed to hire any big name reporters in the last year. Ahem. Is Byers drinking too many coconut kale smoothies out in Los Angeles? Isn’t he forgetting someone? Mr. Lowery takes issue with the premise in a confusing, sarcastic self-deprecating, pity me jab that seems to say, “Dylan Byers just doesn’t get it, or me.” Yeah, me, me, me, and more me.
A little backstory: In the height of Ferguson fury over Michael Brown‘s death, Lowery’s twitter feed shot up by about 75K. He couldn’t admit it then (or now) that he’d made the story about himself by initially refusing to leave a McDonald’s mid-riot. Someone cracked on Twitter that he hoped that Lowery wouldn’t work for Politico someday. To which he replied, “Bro, black ppl don’t work for Politico.” In the aftermath of a media presence that swelled in Ferguson, Byers wrote a story saying Lowery and his partner in crime (yes, joking), HuffPost‘s Ryan J. Reilly, were not the heroes they were being made out to be.
In August, Byers wrote, “If it takes reporters getting arrested to heighten our awareness of an issue — it often does, even in Iraq, Gaza and Russia — then so be it. Still, the ambition here is to report with clear eyes. Ferguson is not Falluja, and Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly aren’t heroes. They’re two reporters who happened to be in the right place at the wrong time.”
And a feud was born.
Lowery took it so deeply personally that he added it to his Twitter bio: “Dylan Byers says I am not a hero.”
And on Thursday he alludes to Byers’ “hero” remark in subsequent tweets.