Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for THE POLITICO and “'the most powerful' or 'important' journalist" in Washington, D.C., has a clutter problem. This is a photograph of his office at Time magazine, where he worked as a political reporter until 2007.
The photograph, and others like it, was referenced in a 2010 New York Times profile of Allen by Mark Leibovich, which described Allen as a "legendary hoarder."
It got so bad at Time, where Allen was given his own office, that it became difficult to even open the door. His chair was raised at a crooked angle, as if it were not touching the floor, and the debris rose so high in some places that it blocked a portion of light coming through a picture window. Colleagues took pictures, as if the place were an archaeological site. It was disturbing to those who cared about Allen, especially after a photo of the office in a seemingly uninhabitable state made the rounds of the press corps and George W. Bush’s White House.
We issued a call for this photo earlier this week after the New Republic ran an interview with THE POLITICO co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei. In it, VandeHei responded to the charge that THE POLITICO is too "insidery" thusly:
The critique of Politico—“Oh my gosh, Politico is so insidery!”—my response is always, “What part of Politico don’t you understand?” This has always been a publication focused on this city. So we write about everything: the good, the bad, the personalities, the politics, the policies. Unless you understand, holistically, all those ingredients, you don’t understand the town.
Our hope is that the photo above will help readers understand, holistically, how a crucial component of the Washington, D.C., media environment operates.
[Photo of Allen via GettyPremium]