While it is true that “politics is show business for ugly people”, it is equally true that those who join the Beltway media become part of the high school that goes by the name of ‘The Villagers.’ Once enrolled, the maneuvering, the sucking up, the herd mentality, takes over as alliances and cliques are formed and broken, all in the pursuit of attaining a seat at the ‘cool kids table.’
The late, great Jim Cappozola, referring to an essay by Margaret Talbot, described it here, back in 2002:
Alpha Girls, Talbot wrote, armed with intelligence and cunning, devote considerable time and energy to waging complicated, intricate, and highly personalized battles with other girls of similar age, the intent of which is to damage the other girls’ friendships, relationships, and reputations, all in an effort to enhance and sustain their popularity and status.
The Alphas accomplish their goals through a wide variety of means, including spreading rumors — some true or at least based on truth, others wildly false — using the power of information and the means of its distribution to assault their prey. With an uncanny ability to identify and exploit their victims’ weaknesses, their opponents’ most vulnerable Achilles’ heels, the Alphas mercilessly exclude from membership — or “merely” reduce the social standing of — those who don’t make the cut.
For these aspiring hot list media personalities, nirvana is attained at the cool kids table (i.e. Washington Post, New York Times, network TV, major cable outlets) which is where everyone who wants to be anyone has to sit because it carries the cachet of celebrity, and also because the work is infinitely easier since all that is expected of you is to nonchalantly spout conventional wisdom gibberish in return for fat paychecks and better seats at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
See: Roberts, Cokie … or anyone who appears on Morning Joe, for that matter.
But what of the not-so-cool kids, the geeks, the nerds, the sweaty strivers who have given up all hopes and dreams of being an Alpha and have resigned themselves to life in the Beta lane? Well, the Alpha rules still apply but the slap fights are sloppier, the mud-slinging is muddier, and the back-stabbing is a tad more ham-handed.
Witness l’affaire Wahl…
Back on March 5, Liz Wahl made news when she resigned on-air from her anchor’s job on RT (formerly Russia Today) to protest RT’s coverage of the Russian incursion into the Crimean peninsula. Up until that time, you had probably never heard of Liz Wahl and it is likely that RT, which is Vladimir Putin’s Russian infomercial network, is not at the top of your must-see TV list. But, in certain circles, her resignation was A Big Thing.
Contributing to Wahl’s Big Thing-ed-ness, was the fact that it was preceded by another RT ‘journalist’, 9/11 truther Illuminati conspiracy buff Abby Martin, making similar comments on air, but without that actual cutting and running part.
Enter Jamie Kirchick, war-mongering neo-con and former Marty Peretz’s former cabana boy who, within minutes of Wahl’s on-air departure, scored an exclusive interview with her.
Next up: Buzzfeed politics (yes – Buzzfeed cover politics in -between pictures of lolCats and “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You? think pieces) reporter Rosie Gray piled on RT for their propaganda efforts.
Entering, stage left, comes Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek at truthdig, who explain that Wahl’s dramatic resignation was stage managed by neo-con Kirchick . Additionally they provide evidence that Wahl was also working in league with Rosie Gray and Rosie’s ‘boyfriend’, the almost-as-always-wrong-as-Bill-Kristol Eli Lake who is employed by The Daily Beast for some unexplainable reason.
Jumping on the Rosie Gray ‘is doing the nasty with Eli Lake who is influencing her with his penis’ bandwagon is Dan Wright at FDL, who, writing at the FDL News Desk, said of Lake and Rosie Gray:
Lake may be pumping more than stories into Gray.
…before changing it to :”Lake may be having a romantic relationship with Gray” after receiving a complaint from Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith. Also, too: Rosie Gray’s dad wrote a book.
You want more? Of course you do.
Dave Weigel at Slate visited with Liz Wahl at her home to discuss the whole drama club dramarama and she played for him a voice mail from FDL’s Kevin Gosztola, where Kevin represented himself as working for Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media – home of Glenn Greenwald’s ‘Edward Snowden Fanfic” website – and Kevin gave her 24 hours to respond to him before he was going to publish a selfie of her with Kirchick and: “That does not look good.” (Cue ominous music: dun dun dunnnnnn…).
But wait…there’s more!
Gosztola took to FDL to say that, yeah he kinda of did that lying thing, but it’s cool because …. journalism.
Finally, Patrick Howley who is Tucker Carlson’s worst hire outside of Jim Treacher and Betsy Rothstein and Matt Boyle (combined) took to Twitter to wonder who would want to “pump Rosie Gray” and then Howley had to nuke his Twitter account and Tucker had to apologize for Patrick, and now Patrick can now go back to masturbating to images of lesbian actresses and Mapquesting the best back-alley glory holes in the greater DC area for Josh Barro.
Liz quit her stupid job with Jamie’s help, Rosie was in on it because her boyfriend Eli holds the power of the dick over her, Max and Rania totally called them all out on it, Dan said that Rosie and Eli are ‘doing it” and that Rosie’s dad is big poopyhead, Liz confided to Dave that Kevin has been leaving her creepy voice-mails and also humble-bragging that he has a cool new job even though he still works at the mall, and Patrick was perving out on his iPhone and now Tucker has grounded him and he probably won’t be able to go to the Spring Fling dance and now who is going to set up the tables and chairs and sneak Captain Morgan into the punch?
You know who wins in this? Nobody.
But it does make you think that maybe the DC media hierarchy is meritocracy based.
Nah. See; Russert, Luke … or anyone who appears on Morning Joe, for that matter.
[Young students studying together in a classroom on Shutterstock]