Dave Weigel

is an American journalist, currently working for Slate magazine and MSNBC. Weigel began appearing on MSNBC in 2009, accepting a position as a paid contributor in June 2010. From April through June 2010 he wrote a weblog for The Washington Post

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daveweigel44 karma

This is a standard misuse of the "you know who else" formulation. Look: You've got to lead with something Hitler actually did. "You know who else spoke German?" Hitler did. "You know who else gave long speeches that were criticized by many?" Hitler did. And so on. Joke don't work if it's just a reference to Hitler in the abstract.

Wait, did Hitler actually do an AMA? If so I apologize.

daveweigel24 karma

We live that every day when Emily Yoffe's traffic crushes everyone else's like a remorseless, scaly kaiju.

daveweigel23 karma

Steve King and Rick Scott are both very warm personally -- people who worked for Scott in his 2010 loved the guy. You wanted someone from the left? I profiled Alan Grayson a couple weeks ago, because the online right definitely hates him, and he's definitely raw when he talks about what he sees as political stupidity, but he's an approachable guy who has become very good at bringing Republicans onto his team for various causes, usually libertarian causes.

Hey, here's a good opportunity to make a point. if you wonder why Lindsey Graham or John McCain end up quoted so frequently, it's because they are genuinely funny guys who will spar with reporters and stick around to answer your questions. The main bias of the political press is toward drama -- quotes, fights, etc, made possible with access.

daveweigel22 karma

That's nice of you to say! My friend Spencer Ackerman has a question/aphorism that he borrowed (with permission) from some mentor. "What is your journalism FOR?" I think my journalism is for readers who are smart and know that most people are lying to them, or being patronizing for them. And I know I'm a better color reporter/history geek than investigative reporter.

If you live and work in DC for long enough, the "insider" trope becomes pretty amusing. If you quote a low-level source by name, he's not interesting. If you quote "a White House aide" or a "Democratic strategist" or something, wow, it sounds like you're really deep into this! You notice that the really fantastic reporters on the Hill like David Rogers and Jake Sherman (no offense to anyone not named) don't do that. You're not doing readers any favors if you give anonymity to "insiders" -- you're getting played.

daveweigel19 karma

I'm really not. The reporter who worked that story, Jonathan Strong, has gone on to do fantastic reporting on the House for Roll Call and National Review, and we get along. I'm glad I resigned, and that the Post didn't have to answer for my snotty emails. My job at Slate is 500% better than any job I've ever had. But I don't want to dodge this! From time to time, someone will bellow "JOURNOLIST" to discredit whatever I've said, and no, that's not fun, being reminded that you will be associated with a widely-misunderstood scandal for years and years. I imagine it's how, like, Ben Affleck feels when someone heckles him about "Reindeer Games."

daveweigel19 karma

You're talking about "who's up who's down" analysis? I think you just need to see it up close, to see if it's real, get inside the head of the campaigners, and then rely on data. By "get inside the head," I mean you need to quickly recognize when and why you're being spooned bullshit. That happens very often, but it happens for a reason. Any good after-action report on a campaign will reveal what they did to snow the media; you go back, read that, and swear "never again." This is why I'm such a "gaffe" skeptic. It reads like I'm defending the candidates from their mistakes, but it's usually because we know most "gaffes" don't penetrate at all. I think it's more fun to figure out what a pol mean to say, and where his/her thinking developed, then to expose a Gaffe that might not even hurt them. Case in point: I knew the Joe Wilson "you life" "gaffe" was great for him, and he meant it, but it was initially covered like some huge career misstep.

daveweigel18 karma

Oh, that's easy -- blind for 20 years. You'd get a nice memoir out of that, whereas it would be tough to hit the keys with penis hands.

daveweigel17 karma

You'd be shocked to learn that the Fox News reporter made my quote sound worse than it was. What I told her was that at Northwestern, the anti-war movement was an outgrowth of existing left-wing and Socialist groups that had jumped from cause to cause, and that they were always critical of America. I didn't think opposing the war was anti-American.

Now, that said, I supported it because, at age 21, I believed the choice was between continued sanctions, which were killing people, and a war, which would kill people. It was a false choice, I was stupid, and I regret anything I did that questioned the patriotism of the opponents.

daveweigel15 karma

They are less impactful than the media would lead you to believe, according to research from political scientists.

daveweigel15 karma

They're Canadian, so they're as ineligible for the presidency as Ted Cruz.

(This is a joke.)