You are hereTalking Points Memo: The very silly story of Darrell Issa's spokesman scandal

Talking Points Memo: The very silly story of Darrell Issa's spokesman scandal


Rep. investigates own office for former flack's e-mail leaking; Beltway self-absorption reaches new low

March 3, 2011- The self-obsessed, navel-gazing Washington press corps is in a tizzy over the dismissal of a congressman's communications director (the guy whose job it was to befriend and spin and leak to members of the Washington press corps), who was fired for the crime of sharing journalists' e-mails with another journalist who is working on a book about the self-obsessed, navel-gazing Washington press corps.

The congressman is Darrell Issa. The former spokesman is Kurt Bardella. The story, and the arguments on both sides of the story, are ably summarized by Jason Linkins here. Basically, Bardella was BCC'ing Mark Leibovich of the New York Times on a lot of his correspondence with Beltway reporters and TV bookers and so forth, for use in Leibovich's forthcoming book about how those Washington relationships work. Which is mildly unethical and certainly impolite, but as Jack Shafer pointed out, so is journalism in general.

It is really one of the silliest political/media scandals to bubble up from Capitol Hill in years, so inconsequential that it's difficult even to drum up schadenfreude for lazy Beltway hacks getting their comeuppance or anticipate the eventual embarrassing headlines for a zealous Republican lawmaker. I was barely even outraged by the shamelessness of Politico calling out anyone, anywhere, for excessive self-promotion. (But there is a lot of self-obsession without self-awareness in this entire scandal, and in that entire city.)

Yesterday, Politico reported on reporting that originally appeared in the New Yorker responding to Politico's reporting on the story that its reporters might eventually be embarrassed by a book written by the New York Times reporter. Politico left out the part about how its reporters might be embarrassed, though it reported that Issa may be embarrassed by opening an investigation into a thing that everyone in his office knew about.

FULL STORY HERE: