ONE winter evening, Brian Beutler, 28, a reporter for the online publication Talking Points Memo, sat with his friend and roommate Dave Weigel, 29, a political reporter for Slate and a contributor to MSNBC, at a coffee shop on U Street. Recovering from a cold as snow fell outside, Mr. Beutler spoke about his younger — well, relatively younger — days in the city.
“Everyone’s gotten a little bit older and a little more boring,” Mr. Beutler said, speaking of a wave of Washington bloggers who have come of age together. “Four years ago, we were far less professionalized, and the work was less rigorous and less stressful. So in addition to being younger, we were also a bit less overwhelmed. That all has changed.”
In only a few years, these young men and others like them have become part of the journalistic establishment in Washington. Once they lived in groups in squalid homes and stayed out late, reading comic books in between posts as more seasoned reporters slogged their way through traditional publications like “The Hill” and “Roll Call.” Now the members of this “Juicebox Mafia,” as they were first called by Eli Lake of The Washington Times, in a reference to youth, have become destination reading for — and respected by — the city’s power elite. Indeed, arguably they are themselves approaching power-elite status (as well as, gasp, age 30).
The amazing parody:
One sweltering DC evening many months ago, Ann Friedman, 29, then an editor for The American Prospect, sat with her friends Annie Lowrey, a reporter for Slate; Suzy Khimm and Kate Sheppard, reporters for Mother Jones; Marin Cogan, a reporter for Politico; Phoebe Connelly, a freelance writer and former web editor for The American Prospect; Britt Peterson, an editor at Foreign Policy; Dayo Olopade, a writer for The Daily Beast, Kay Steiger and Shani Hilton, editors at Campus Progress; Kat Aaron, a reporter for the Investigative Reporting Workshop; Monica Potts, a blogger for The American Prospect; Amanda Terkel, a reporter for The Huffington Post; and Laura McGann and Sara Libby, editors for Politico, at a bar on U Street. Ms. Friedman spoke about her younger — well, relatively younger — days in the city.
“Everyone’s gotten a little bit older and a little more tired of being constantly rendered invisible,” Ms. Friedman said, speaking of a wave of Washington women journalists who have come of age together. “Four years ago, we were fact-checking and editing these male pundits, along with creating award-winning work of our own. None of that has changed.”
In only a few years, these young women and others like them have become part of the journalistic establishment in Washington — but you wouldn’t know it from reading The New York Times. Once they lived in modest studio apartments and stayed out late, talking about grammar, feminist theory, and ready-to-wear collections while their male counterparts appeared on cable television. Now the members of this “DC lady mafia,” as they began calling themselves because no newspaper style section deigned to give them a nickname, have become destination reading for — and respected by — the city’s power elite. Indeed, arguably they are themselves approaching power-elite status.
Read the whole thing. You won’t regret it.