Gabriel Sherman has a long piece in TNR today about the Washington Post, the primary purpose of which is to allow Post staffers to vent—about 'Salongate,' inexperienced business executives, entrenched editorial leadership that stunted ambitions, and, most notably, the fact that two WaPo staffers left the paper to start Politico, which is now kicking the WaPo's ass regularly on...Drudgebait:
"What a mistake," says Baker. "The most obvious indictment is the failure to foresee what opportunities were out there that John Harris and Jim had created."
But the other thing that WaPo staffers despise, just as much as the failure to build a Politico-type thing in-house? The fact that the WaPo now competes with Politico, in pursuit of Drudgebait.
"The coverage of Washington became much more inside-baseball coverage," one former staffer told me.
So: Staffers hate the fact that the paper stupidly allowed Politico to suck up all the inside baseball scoops, and they also hate the fact that their paper now goes after inside baseball scoops. And left mostly unremarked upon is the Post's actual biggest shift of the past year: the fact that the paper has pulled out of the rest of America and gone local, leading Marcus Brauchli to declare that "we are not a national news organization." Now that's a big deal.
Anyhow the Washington Post is fucked up. What else is new?