Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reliable Source Columnist Amy Argetsinger Tells Washington Gadfly Evan Gahr She Eloped

Journalists routinely make gratuitous references to themselves in stories.

As a New York Post press critic for the late Eric Breindel I called it "Journalism I-disease."

(Yes, that's a gratuitous self-reference. See down further for more gratuitous self-references and border-line name dropping.)

Anyway, it is  routine in celebrity profiles for the reporter to say how he arrived at the subject’s house and they went out for lunch. "I told Clooney we should try a great Sushi place on Hollywood Boulevard."

Little steps for little feet: the reader does not care about you.  He is only interested in George Clooney.

Another glaring example is when columnists write, “I think” or “In my opinion.”


You have your name and picture on the column. Does it really take a whole lot of guesswork by the reader to figure out just whose opinion is being expressed?

Or, "a spokesman told me."

Is that really such a coup? Getting a spokesman on the phone? 

Maybe it would be justified to write, "In her first interview since 1963 the reclusive Harper Lee told me . . . "

But are readers supposed to be impressed that you talked with someone whose job is to talk to you?

Amy Argetsinger, longtime  “Reliable Source” gossip columnist,  is one of the few journalists not afflicted by Journalism I-disease.

Washington Post Style editor Frances Sellers told staffers September 6 that Amy, who is engaged and pregnant, is leaving the Reliable Source for a position  with more stable hours.

But it looks from Google that Amy didn’t write about this herself. Or mention her engagement in the “Love, etc.” section of the Reliable Source, which she co-authors with Roxanne Roberts.

Now, it turns out that Amy also left readers in the dark about the fact that she eloped on September 12.  She did mention it casually in an email to this journalist, with whom she occasionally schmoozes,  on September 19.

Amy said she was sorry she had not replied to his September 12 email but “I was racing off to elope that very afternoon (seriously!).”

This reporter asked Amy if she would do a "Love, etc." item on that but she did not reply.

She, however, has done items on other items on couples eloping.

The veteran Postie--who recently did an item on this non-blog blog's scoop that Herman Cain was hawking a bogus cure for ED; he made his name as a salesman but has now devolved into a snake oil salesman for the one eyed snake--did not reply to an email asking for more details: Where was she married? Who performed the ceremony?

But in a profession populated by people--especially in DC--who are more self-absorbed than entire the cast of "Seinfeld" combined her silence is decidedly refreshing.

Evan Gahr, a former press critic and editorial writer for the late New York Post Editorial Page Editor Eric Breindel, has written for almost every major conservative publication, plus the Washington Post.  His reporting has been picked up by the Reliable Source, Page Six, the Washington Post, the Forward, the Huffington Post and the New York Times.

He just broke the story that the Washington Post is being sued for race discrimination. The Washington Post refuses to cover the story.