Political Animal


April 26, 2013 12:58 PM The Citizens of “This Town” Anticipate the Joys of Being Skewered

By Ed Kilgore

Is this Charles Pierce’s birthday? It ought to be, because the world of political media is putting on a veritable banquet for his dyspeptic appetite today. Like me (though with significantly less inhibition), the Esquire blogger has already taken down the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and Peggy Noonan’s latest column. I can only imagine what he will do with the latest “Behind the Curtain” VandeHei/Allen column, which somehow manages to give us a classic Beltway insider’s celebration a book mocking Beltway insiders.

The subject is a yet-to-be-published (of course! You have to look “behind the curtain” to find out about it!) memoir by former New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich entitled This Town (an allusion to the ancient and annoying term invariably used by “insiders” for the large city of Washington, DC). In a tone that alternates from light self-mockery to thinly disguised contempt for Liebovich’s sell-out, VandeHei and Allen inform us that their peers are proving the book’s main premise by buzzing endlessly about whether they appear in it. But here’s the main question they leave with us: Will it sell?

What’s not clear is if a book that focuses so heavily on figures little known outside of here can actually sell. The inhabitants of this town might obsess about themselves — but does anyone in the real world give a hoot? We have a hunch they might, if the smaller characters help indict not just the culture but also the bigger names in national politics.

Now that would raise irony to the level of soul-destroying cynicism, if a book ostensibly aimed at the trivial treatment of politics by Beltway Journalists made its author rich by sharing trivialities about politicians!

But just reading this column has given me a major case of mental—perhaps even spiritual—indigestion. I’ll leave further thoughts to Mr. Pierce.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 26, 2013 1:01 PM:

    Seriously!!! WTF is up with that Emily's List pop-up on the home page!!! It's insufferable. Make it stop!!!!

  • c u n d gulag on April 26, 2013 1:23 PM:

    At least CNN was really, really good for a long period of time before it sunk to the depths it's at now.

    Politico sucked flounder d*ck right from the jump.

    Jim Fan-o-daHooey and Mike Alien-eyes actually make Mark Halperin look a respectable journalist - and, trust me on this, he ain't ever going to be confused with a respectable journalist.

    Hey - maybe this book will be the one that's finally going to be good for John McCain?

  • c u n d gulag on April 26, 2013 1:30 PM:

    Hey, WaMo!

    Listen to what Sgt. Gym Bunny says, or I'll send you to the GULag!!!

    A lot of sites have pop-up surveys.
    ALL of the ones I go to, once you've done it/them, or declined to do one ONCE that feckin' day, you don't have it come back every time you go return to the site, or use your back-arrow.

    Does anyone there know how an IP address works?

    Who does IT for you guys?
    Reinhart and Rogoff?

  • janu on April 29, 2013 2:16 AM:


    we provide best deals in Washington DC, best online deals. Our deals offer best discounts on beauty spa treatments Sign up now for a new deal every day. Looking for natural and beneficial technique for hair removal?? Here comes the band aid for your theme. New Look Day Spa and Laser are having expertise people dealing with this technique.

    for more details:

    Address: 201 Elden St, Suite #203, Herndon, VA 20170
    Customer Enquire: