The same morning the New York Times posts their monster magazine profile of Politico newsletter savant Mike Allen, Politico management announces a high-profile hiring! Crazy! Washington influentials, please enjoy Maggie Haberman. And a VandeHarris memo!
(The Times Magazine piece was rumored to be, you know, a TAKEDOWN of Politico and how soul-crushing and miserable the whole enterprise is. It is actually an oft-sarcastic but ultimately sympathetic portrait of a deeply weird individual, named Mike Allen, and how he is, with more or less the best of intentions, actively destroying the entire American experiment and waging war on the concept of constructive political discourse.)
Long-time New York Post reporter Maggie Haberman is now one of Politico's lead national politics writers. She will blog. (Politico has also poached Hillary Frey from the New York Observer to be their new "media and style" editor.) Of course, they have a lot of positions to fill, as half their staff has, in recent months, departed for less world-harming ventures.
But Maggie! We assumed Haberman (daughter of longtime Times crank Clyde) would be with the Post for life. (In fact, fair warning to VandeHarris: Haberman left the Post once before, for the Daily News. And she quickly returned to Rupert's den of sensation.)
This also means that both of New York's tabloids have lost their most talented star political reporters—the News's Liz Benjamin just departed for Time Warner Cable's local news stations.
Here is Jim VandeHei's typcially obnoxious memo all about how much "metabolism" all of his new cult-members have. (Sooo much metabolism! This fucking Yale student they hired has more METABOLISM AND MOVES in his fucking PINKIE than The New York Times has in their entire WASHINGTON BUREAU. He will drive the motherfucking conversation right into your fucking face, asshole.)
From: Jim VandeHei
Sent: Wed 4/21/2010 6:33 AM
Subject: breaking news...
We have lots of exciting staff moves, so let's get straight to the news:
Hillary Frey, formerly of the New York Observer, is our new media and style editor. Hillary can flat-out write - and her mission is simple: to help us dominate coverage of political media and the political social scene. We have a great chance to rethink our media coverage, given Hillary's experience editing media coverage in New York. We are pleased to announce that the rethinking includes an expansion of coverage in this highly important area. More on that to come in the weeks ahead.
Maggie Haberman of the New York Post is joining the political team as one of our lead writers. She'll cover national politics, while continuing to mine her New York sources and breaking news on her blog. Anyone who follows New York politics knows Maggie as a scoop artist and a punchy writer. She has the same metabolism and moves as her friend and fellow New Yorker Ben Smith. Her presence will be instantly felt when she joins us next month.
Kim Hart, a former Washington Post reporter who runs a widely respected technology blog at The Hill, is joining us to cover the politics and policy of the technology sector. Kim is a terrific reporter with a very innovative mind. She will be instrumental in shaping our coverage of all technology issues in the months ahead. Kim starts in May.
Scott Wong, a high-impact reporter at The Arizona Republic, will be moving east to join our congressional team. A 2000 graduate of UCLA, Scott worked his way up through smaller papers in California until he landed at the Republic, where he's been breaking news on the state and local government beats.
We are in the process of a very significant expansion of our policy coverage, building on the success of our health care reporting. We want to apply the formula of smart morning products, newsy blogs and analysis to several policy beats. We will have a lot more to say on this soon, too. Among the first hires in this area are two health care reporters with terrific writing and reporting chops:
Newsweek's Sarah Kliff will join us in a few weeks, after she moves down to D.C. from New York. Kliff has been a rising star at Newsweek, covering health care and writing for the Gaggle blog, which is overseen by our friend and former colleague Ben Adler. She is brimming with ideas and energy.
The other half of the health care team is someone many of you have already met: Jennifer Haberkorn, who joined us Monday from The Washington Times. Jennifer covered the health care debate from beginning to end at the Times - and brings with her strong contacts and an even stronger command of the issues. Jennifer and Sarah will take over POLITICO Pulse next month.
With our deep gratitude for making Pulse a must read for official Washington, Chris Frates will now resume his role as a lead lobbying reporter.
A big reason for our excitement of late is the success we have had in spotting rising talent. Look no further than the Web team and recent congressional hires for proof. Two more up-and-comers will join us this spring, and both were interns last summer: Abby Phillip, of Harvard, and Zach Abrahamson, of Yale. Abby will be a staff writer, and Zach will serve as our researcher and staff writer.
Zack Hale, the newest member of our Web production team, joins us after completing internships at Roll Call and NationalJournal.com, where he wrote on topics including climate change, health care reform and politics.
We are also pleased to announce that three POLITICOs are taking on larger roles: Seung Min Kim has taken a prominent role in expanding our opinion-ideas coverage on the Arena page, MJ Lee will be helping Marty Kady guide our soon-to-be-unveiled Web page for congressional insiders, and Meredith Shiner has moved into a staff writer position on the Congress team.
Robert Allbritton and Fred Ryan are enthusiastically backing further expansion, including the addition of more editors to lighten the burden on our core editors and free them up to spend more time mentoring and brainstorming. We are interviewing candidates this week and hope to have some announcement on this front later this month.
Did you read all that? Wow! Why? Here is another picture of a kitty: