Bloomberg Politics reporter Dave Weigel, the apparent courageous cowboy of JournoList, is calling on Rolling Stone‘s Sabrina Erdely to resign. Galling as that is, Weigel has somehow anointed himself the truth teller to end all truth tellers. He thinks he’s in a position to call for such a thing.
As is so horribly cliché for Washington, Weigel saw a grand opportunity to insert himself into the Rolling Stone story on Monday and he ran with it.
Aren’t there editors for stupid decisions like this?
“I quit a dream job when some of my leaked emails reflected poorly on my newspaper,” he wrote on Twitter, where he has set up his bed and his toilet. He advised: “If @SabrinaRErdely had any integrity, she’d resign.”
Instead of examining how funny it is that writing a blog about people he despises for WaPo was his “dream job,” let’s review what Weigel wrote on JournoList that was so problematic.
For one thing, he was secretly conspiring with fellow liberal journalists to organize news coverage in the nation’s major publications. Ding! Ding! That’s not so kosher in the world of journalism. He wanted Matt Drudge to die in a fire. He referred to “Ron Paul fanatics” as “Paultards” and he encouraged his fellow liberal journalists not to follow up on “hot hot” scoops by Washington Examiner’s Byron York.”
This one’s not so much offensive as it was laugh until your stomach hurts. He scolded the Washington Examiner for covering his dancing at a wedding. The headline: “Weigel Likes To Waggle, Sweat.” He called for everyone in the world to block then-gossip writer Tara Palmeri for writing it.
What Weigel fails to disclose outright in his call for Erdely to quit is that after his valiant resignation, it’s not like he went off to a mountainside in Tibet to reflect on what he’d done wrong or began tirelessly volunteering at soup kitchens. He quickly went to work for Slate, which, at the time, was owned by WaPo. So his whole resignation was kind of meaningless all around.
He went on to lie about who actually broke the story of those emails, which was yours truly, followed up by more extensive coverage by my current employer.
This part is sort of forgivable. I mean, who wouldn’t lie in a jam like this? When I asked for comment, Weigel told me he’d give me one and would write back in 15 minutes. I waited and I waited and I waited. And it suddenly dawned on me that he was going to try to beat me to the punch.
So I published. And his so-called apology note came minutes after.
So…integrity, Weigel? Not quite.
The only thing worse than having to endure the concept of Weigel calling on anyone to do anything — which appears to be one of those abominable Washington traits along with calling on people to apologize — is that WaPo‘s resident Ferguson activist Wesley Lowery then RETWEETED him in his call for Erdely to resign.
As a D.C. journalist put it, “We’ve all been in that position and we all feel terrified. And almost none of us committed a serious offense to be in that position. You’d think he would know that more than anyone.”
Politico media writer Jack Shafer employed Satan to describe the rather ugly phenomenon of self-righteous blame going on this week.
“May Satan capture your soul and make it his plaything if you think you and your publication are incapable of such journalistic malpractice. Editors and producers at the highest ranks of journalism have fallen again and again during the past few decades, committing crimes against journalism that match or surpass those of Rolling Stone and Erdely.”
Just for the sake of opposing these two clowns — meaning Weigel and Lowery — I sincerely hope Erdely doesn’t resign.
She made mistakes. She’ll likely learn from them. Or she won’t.
And the ever so humble Weigel will soldier on.