The Mirror

WaPo’s Wesley Lowery Fights Back

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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“I hate everyone,” Wesley Lowery announced on Twitter this past weekend.

At the time, the WaPo reporter was under siege by conservative bloggers and Twitter screwballs who were questioning his motives on how he was covering Ferguson’s latest news of Jeffrey Williams, a 20-year-old black man who was arrested for shooting two police officers. The great thing about Lowery is that he replies to almost every single one.

But it all takes a toll. He periodically emoted, as he did above, to his LAT reporter pal Matt Pearce, as he fought bitterly with RedState‘s Ben Howe and others who were picking apart his piecemeal Ferguson reporting on social media.

To no one in particular, he wrote: “Always amazed by number of people on the internet completely incapable of having any level of good faith, civil interaction about any topic.”

At the center of Lowery’s angst in the past 72 hours is his insistence that Williams is not among the core protestors of the past several months. Wesley knows. He’s been there on the ground, on the front lines. Just think of Ferguson as his own personal Fallujah. (Unless of course NBC’s “Meet the Press” comes calling. Then f–k Ferguson, he’s on the first plane back to Washington. As he should be. Who doesn’t want that kind of national attention for hard work?)

On Monday, the Washington Examiner reported that Wesley’s coworker Chuck Lane, an editorial page writer, mocked Lowery over the weekend for his knowledge on whether the shooter was a protestor or not. An earlier report recently surfaced in the Examiner that some of his colleagues are not so enthralled with Lowery’s behavior on social media as some believe it’s not befitting of The Washington Post

Wesley scoffed at the latest report:

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Lowery didn’t lump Lane into his above dismissiveness, but the way his tweet is written, it appears that he may think Lane is a right-wing blogger. Asked to explain what he meant by it and who he was referring to, he assures me that’s not what he meant. He says “criticism from another right wing blogger” is actually me.

Whoa! What???

He says he hopes I’m not offended by his reference to me as a “right-wing blogger.” He explains his tweet is in reference to a graph from Monday’s story on him in the Washington Examiner:

“Like many of Lowery’s thoughts on Twitter, this one attracted negative attention from conservative bloggers, who note that the young reporter frequently accuses critics of racism and say his clear support for anti-police protesters makes it unlikely he is willing to cover the situation in Ferguson objectively.”

He explains, “Scarry’s sentence there seems to be a reference to your direct quote in his previous piece. For some reason, that quote from you has now transformed into ‘conservative bloggers’ plural. I guess apparently you are more than one person. As you know, Charles Lane is an award-winning Washington Post editorial writer and former reporter, not a ‘right-wing blogger.’ Appreciate you asking for clarification – and hope you’re not offended by being described as a ‘right wing blogger.’ As you know, often times articles written about people’s tweets either take things out of context or incorrectly assume things that were not the writer’s intent.”

Except 1. I am not a right-wing blogger and Scarry confirmed that he was not referring to me (or 10 of me). “I was referring to all the people who tweet at him,” Scarry said, citing RedState and HotAir. “They tweet at him constantly.” And 2. Plenty of right-wing journalists regularly critique Lowery on an ongoing basis.

Asked if he considers himself a right-wing blogger, Scarry, who has worked for TheBlazeMediaite and FishbowlDC, told The Mirror, “My title at work is reporter. And I cover media. So I’d say media reporter. I don’t think the real conservative bloggers would claim me.”

Over the weekend, Lowery dug his heels in about the Ferguson shooter, writing on Twitter, “That’s not to say he’s never protested in Ferguson — literally hundreds maybe thousands have  —  but safe to say he’s not a regular.” After Wesley said he asked four protesters if Williams was one of them and they all said no, Lane tweaked him: “I dunno, Wes,” Lane wrote. “What’s the usual answer to the question: ‘You know that guy who’s busted for shooting a cop?'”

Lowery says Lane’s tweet doesn’t bother him. He also disputes Scarry’s depiction of it as “mocking” him.

“I took no offense at Lane’s tweet,” Lowery told The Mirror Monday when asked for comment about it. “News happened, I called relevant sources and reported what they said, and he responded to those sources with fair skepticism of their motives. I don’t take that as him questioning my reporting. And I certainly didn’t take it as ‘mocking’ – which Scarry asserted seemingly without having reached out to Lane for any further comment or context about his intent.”

Lane aside, Lowery was indeed mocked. Howe began relentlessly questioning and ridiculing Lowery’s reporting on Williams. Lowery soon accused Howe of “maliciously misquoting” him.

Here’s a taste:



In a phone interview with The Mirror on Monday, Howe remarked, “He’s fooling himself if he thinks he’s a journalist. He’s clearly on a mission. If he wants to be what he obviously is, which is somebody who looks at a story and constructs his own point of view about it, do it. That’s what I do. But don’t run around getting your panties in a wad because that’s what he’s doing. He doesn’t have to be Tom Brokaw or whoever he thinks he is.”

The Mirror also requested comment from Lowery on his interactions with Howe.

“Unfortunately, this weekend Ben chose to deliberately misquote my coverage and then pretend as if he didn’t when called on it,” Lowery said. “As always, I’m open to constructive feedback and fair critiques of any of my work.”

The key words for Lowery being constructive and fair.