Dave Weigel Just Wanted to Be Liked


Former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel, who resigned last week after his leaked off-the-record JournoList e-mails revealed that he had some not-nice things to say about the conservative movement he covered, is now telling his side of the story. Interestingly, he's doing it on Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism website — perhaps as a way to make amends for suggesting that Breitbart ally Matt Drudge set himself on fire. Or maybe the venue was chosen as a self-consciously un-liberal venue for any alleged liberal to vent. Because Weigel is no liberal!

I interned at the libertarian Center for Individual Rights in the summer of 2001. I supported the Iraq War and crashed an anti-war protest on my campus. I voted in Republican primaries in 2002 and 2004. (Since I was in Illinois, I voted in 2004 for Jack Ryan to get the GOP’s nomination for Senate, to oppose Barack Obama. I’m better off than one of those guys.)

But though Weigel maintains that he has always "cared more about finding out stories first than about advocating positions," he insists that he's not trying to "explain away" his e-mails. In fact, he's pretty harsh on himself.

I was cocky, and I got worse. I treated the list like a dive bar, swaggering in and popping off about what was “really” happening out there, and snarking at conservatives. Why did I want these people to like me so much? Why did I assume that I needed to crack wise and rant about people who, usually for no more than five minutes were getting on my nerves? Because I was stupid and arrogant, and needlessly mean.

He just wanted to be liked. And on the Internet, for some reason, that means snarking and being arrogant, as most any Internet discussion board or comment thread would confirm. Of course, we're all a little bit meaner behind closed doors, and the leaking of the e-mails was the real outrage here, not Weigel's private meanness. "No one who works in politics or journalism would accept a situation where the things they said off the record could immediately become public," Weigel writes. And, usually, they don't. Weigel was unlucky to be the one who got screwed over and serve as a reminder for every other journalist that nothing they say in private correspondence is ever really private. But he'll be okay. "I’m talking to a few media companies about what I’ll do next," Weigel writes. "Anyone who wanted to force me out of this business will have to settle for the consolation prize of me having to tediously inform sources of a new e-mail address."


in other newsdave weigel

Latest News from Daily Intelligencer

Justin Trudeau Just Found Another Excuse to Do Push-ups in Public

Because we all know Trudeau wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to show off his physical prowess in public.

Some Fear Massive Manhattan Church Fire Was Part of Coordinated Attack

The FDNY says it wasn't suspicious, though.

The GOP’s Impending Florida Apocalypse

It will be very difficult for Republicans to win the presidential election while losing in the Sunshine State — a likely outcome with Trump.

U.S. Soldier Killed in ISIS Attack in Iraq

The third U.S. serviceman killed in the fight against ISIS. 

India Is Using These Optical Illusions to Get Drivers to Slow Down

This is super trippy. 

Trump Suggests That Ted Cruz’s Dad May Have Been Involved in the Kennedy Assassination

"What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death — before the shooting. It’s horrible,” the presumptive GOP nominee asked Fox & Friends.

Watch Leicester City’s Wild Celebration After Clinching Its Improbable English Soccer Title

The players had gathered to watch an opponent's critical game on TV.

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Puerto Rican Debt Crisis But Were Afraid to Google

The crisis has children suffering, bondholders sweating, Paul Ryan beating back a mutiny, and Democrats feeling good about their chances in Florida this November.

ESPN’s Eight-Hour O.J. Documentary Is a Masterpiece

O.J.: Made in America is going to blow your mind.

Prospect Park Hires Goats As Adorable Fix for Hurricane Damage

The Prospect Park Alliance is taking a gambol.