Ooh, smoke billowing at 14th and I, NW, in D.C.! Maybe it’s all the hot air being burned right now on Cabalist in the wake of that story on up-and-coming journalist-and-blogger Beltway Insiders, the one that had an all-male cast. Cabalist, should you not be a manly Beltway Insider yourself, is the email listserv Journolist replacement, where the in-the-know politicos discuss amongst themselves the weighty wonky workings of the world. (I’m jealous! I want in!) Here’s a brief note to our wonky Cabalistic boyfriends in D.C.: whenever a reporter calls, you always ask with whom else he is speaking. And who his editor is. And what his brief is. And you make yourself familiar with his work. And then you make suggestions of who else he should talk to! That’s called “not getting set up.” There’s no excuse for a reporter to be surprised by another reporter! And it actually is the subject’s responsibility to do that, and the subjects of stories often actually do know in advance what the article is going to say—because they ask questions. And what’s more, there’s plenty of people who happily say “actually, please do not write about ‘how awesome’ I am.” Because it might not be good for them.
Still, in the end, none of this matters. Who knows better than the folks that cover politics that there’s no difference between negative and positive attention these days? Now go get me some coffee, ladies.