Return of the Victim of JournoList

Fans of the intrepid political reporter Dave Weigel take notice:

Announcement from Cameron Barr, national editor, Scott Wilson, deputy national editor, Anne Kornblut, associate editor, and Steven Ginsberg, senior politics editor:

We are very excited to announce that Dave Weigel will be joining The Post as a National Political Reporter. Dave will bring his one-of-a-kind perspective and voice to our campaign team, where he will focus on the people and movements that are galvanizing so much of modern politics. Dave is also an expert on Rand Paul and will continue to cover his quest for the White House. And Dave will anchor a new political podcast that will launch later this year.

Dave comes to us from Bloomberg’s politics team, where he covered Rand Paul’s presidential campaign and created the fun and informative “Whoa, If True” feature. Before that, he was a senior politics reporter for Slate, where he hosted a political interview podcast and the “Weigel” news blog. He worked at The Washington Post as a blogger on conservative politics, a beat he had developed at a start-up, The Washington Independent, and at the libertarian magazine Reason.

What the announcement does not note is that Dave was fired from WaPo because leaks from the confidential JournoList list-serve led to conservative demands that “one of their own” cover conservative politics. Hence, the replacement of Weigel by Jennifer Rubin (after a three-day interregnum from Ben Domenech, who had a plagiarism problem; he later help found The Federalist). A later series of decontextualized excerpts from leaked JournoList posts–including some from yours truly–appeared at the Daily Caller.

In the end, for all the idiotic talk of JournoList being some sort of central distribution point for the Liberal Media Conspiracy, the only real victim of the saga was Weigel, though he pretty quickly landed on his feet at Slate. His return to WaPo in what appears to be a significantly more prominent position is well-earned. I do hope, however, his editors don’t constrain his reporting too much.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.