It’s not surprising to me that some conservatives don’t like my friend Dave Weigel. He does excellent, no-holds-barred reporting on the conservative movement and that sometimes makes the movement look foolish. At the same time, he’s always done a good job of staying on excellent terms with many conservatives and players in the movement—that’s part of how he reports effectively. So somehow we got to the point where Fishbowl DC writer and lobbyist Matt Dornic decided he wanted to start publicly campaigning for Weigel to be fired and a writer at The Daily Caller teamed up with someone with access to an off-the-record email list to embarrass Dave by leaking some intemperate emails that he’d written with an expectation of privacy.
It sort of surprises me that this campaign worked, and The Washington Post seems to have felt that these emails constitute a good reason to accept Weigel’s resignation. I say “sort of” because obviously no organization that employs Charles Krauthammer on a regular basis can be counted on to exercise sound judgment in a consistent way. Ben Smith argues persuasively that this confirms the theory he’s held for some time that the Post was confused when they hired Dave and thought they were getting a “conservative blogger” to counterbalance Ezra Klein. It’s a bit confusing to me how one could have thought that, but a lot about the Post confuses me.
It doesn’t surprise me at all to see Jeffrey Goldberg dancing on Weigel’s grave. In some ways, it’s an illustrative contrast. For all the hate that’s been directed at Dave lately, nobody disputes any of his actual reporting. Instead they’re digging around his private emails. All I’ve ever seen Goldberg do in private is be funny and charming. It’s his work that’s dangerous and inaccurate.
To sum up, though, I think the odds that Dave Weigel will still be doing political reporting in 2030 are much better than the odds that Kaplan, Inc.’s political journalism subsidiary will still be in business.