Journal: Washington Of, By, and For Washington

Government, Media
Chuck Spinney Recommends

Wanna know how incestuous amplification works in the politico’s OODA loop … or put another way, why the Hall of Mirrors that is Versailles on the Potomac has become so disconnected from reality? … See if you have the stomach to read this disgusting drivel.

Truth in advertising: I did not have the stomach to finish it, but you don’t need to finish it to appreciate the sicko psychology of worshipping at the altar of inside-the-beltway


April 21, 2010

The Man the White House Wakes Up To


Before he goes to sleep, between 11 and midnight, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, typically checks in by e-mail with the same reporter: Mike Allen of Politico, who is also the first reporter Pfeiffer corresponds with after he wakes up at 4:20. A hyperactive former Eagle Scout, Allen will have been up for hours, if he ever went to bed. Whether or not he did is one of the many little mysteries that surround him. The abiding certainty about Allen is that sometime between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m., seven days a week, he hits “send” on a mass e-mail newsletter that some of America’s most influential people will read before they say a word to their spouses.


“The people in this community, they all want to read the same 10 stories,” he said, table-chopping in the Hay-Adams. “And to find all of those, you have to read 1,000 stories. And we do that for you.”

As a practical matter, here is how Allen’s 10 stories influence the influentials. Cable bookers, reporters and editors read Playbook obsessively, and it’s easy to pinpoint exactly how an item can spark copycat coverage that can drive a story. Items become segment pieces on “Morning Joe,” the MSNBC program, where there are 10 Politico Playbook segments each week, more than half of them featuring Allen. This incites other cable hits, many featuring Politico reporters, who collectively appear on television about 125 times a week. There are subsequent links to Politico stories on The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post and other Web aggregators that newspaper assigning editors and network news producers check regularly. “Washington narratives and impressions are no longer shaped by the grand pronouncements of big news organizations,” said Allen, a former reporter for three of them — The Washington Post, The New York Times and Time magazine. “The smartest people in politics give us the kindling, and we light the fire.”

Phi Beta Iota: We read the whole thing, and here is the bottom line–Washington is incest on steroids.  It has little to do with reality, with the needs of the public, with balancing the books, or with actually engaging in public service.  It has become its own bog, Of, By, and For Washington.  And that does, as Brother Chuck suggests, make one sick with shame.

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