In which The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple leans out a seven story window and drops a safe on Politico’s Jim VandeHei and John Harris (pictured above) over a Dylan Byers’ nothingburger “expose” of infighting at the New York Times.
Whereas I saw Politico and Byers committing the sin of hyping a non-story, much of the left-wing media saw sexism-on-parade. Apparently, within the media-collective, Politico is seen as something of a men’s club where women staffers have a hard time surviving. For reasons I don’t fully understand (I can’t hear dog whistles), the Byers’ piece has finally boiled over these long-simmering resentments.
Wemple’s response has been to publish an expose’ against Politico that the Post previously refused to publish but has now approved because Politico…my head hurts.
Don’t worry about the “isms,” enjoy the in-fighting:
Based on interviews with more than a dozen former members of Politico’s editorial staff, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, Politico stories about sexism at other organizations carry a certain PR risk. Word of a strong male culture in Politico’s corridors is the subject of a great deal of chatter in Washington journalism circles. It stems from the hyper-aggressive reportorial mindset installed by the paper’s top two editors, John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei. As explained in Mark Leibovich’s New York Times Magazine piece from April 2010: “Working for Politico is ‘like tackle football,’ VandeHei reminds people, which might explain why most of Politico’s best-known bylines are male.”
These claims have swirled around Politico forever. But to be fair to that awful Obama-shilling media outlet, I am unaware of any specific claims that cross any kind of reasonable line when it comes to the treatment of women. It also seems counter-intutive to accuse Politico of being both sexist and mercenary in its pursuit of media dominance.
If you are discriminating against talent based on gender, you are getting in the way of your own success.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC