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Hullabaloo


Friday, April 26, 2013

 
The Georgetown book review and lady's circle jerk society is meeting this week-end

by digby

This week-end is going to put the most insufferable side of Washington on display for their "Nerd Prom" in which they get all dressed up and admit for one day that they aren't Very Serious People but rather overpaid celebrities just like the movie stars they hire to come in and sit with them. In some ways it's the most honest day of the year in our nation's capital.

I'm going to guess it's no coincidence that this morning's Politico featured this nauseating little navel gaze:

A year after signing a book contract to chronicle the incestuous ecology of insider Washington, New York Times writer Mark Leibovich was schmoozing his way through a going-away party for Joe Lockhart atop the Glover Park Group headquarters. He stumbled upon an incredible gift.

Outgoing Pentagon flack Geoff Morrell was musing about his future now that his boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, was retired. Just then, Robert Barnett - Washington’s super-lawyer and a chief target of Leibovich’s upcoming book - popped over to brag about Morrell, his client: “He’s drowning in offers.”

Two months later, Morrell, with Barnett’s help, landed a very lucrative gig with BP America. This news was featured exclusively atop POLITICO’S “Playbook” – Mike Allen’s morning newsletter.

Talk about incestuous: A top Obama official cashes in with a top corporation with the help of a top Washington fixer and gets top-shelf treatment from one of Washington’s top journalists (who also happens to be the co-byline on this piece.)

And they’re all personal friends, to boot.

This scene is virtually certain to make the final cut of Leibovich’s upcoming book, titled “This Town,” scheduled to be published in July.The book’s subtitle, for reasons we cannot fathom, will soon be changed from “The Way It Works in Suck Up City” to “Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital.”

Yes, you read that right. The co-byline on this piece is also featured as one of the "suckup-ees" and doesn't seem to find any of it in the least bit embarrassing. But then, this is Politico and he's Mike Allen so I suppose one needn't say anything more. It speaks for itself:

*Barnett might [care]. The Democratic super-lawyer is portrayed as a quintessential operator who self-promotes and seems to have clients on every side: Democrats and Republicans, managers and employees, corporations and individuals. This is hardly shocking to Washington insiders – because most have had him on retainer. We are not sure he will much care, given that he jokingly boasts in speeches that he was once called “the doorman to Washington’s revolving door.”

Barnett once represented us for a brief period. Come to think of it, he represents almost everybody we know.

*Haddad may regret it, too. Leibovich asked a lot of questions about how the former TV producer courts the powerful. He focused on Haddad’s relentless promotion and fundraising for CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy), founded by Susan Axelrod, the wife of David Axelrod. Leibovich portrays this as a blatant effort to curry favor – a bald execution of the theory that you build connections to the powerful by finding out what interests the people around them.

David Axelrod is distressed by the expected portrayal and told us: “Tammy has been a great friend to Susan and me, and I think very sincere about it. She has never asked me for anything in return.”

Haddad did not give Leibovich a formal interview but the two recently had a clear-the-air lunch at The Jefferson hotel. Leibovich seemed suspicious of Haddad’s presence on Air Force One when Jon Meacham of Newsweek, then one of her clients, had an interview with President Obama. But Haddad has told friends it’s perfectly normal to accompany clients to interviews she has helped arrange. She declined to comment.

For what it’s worth, Haddad is a friend who has thrown parties for us. Come to think of it, she has thrown parties for virtually every other person and cause we know.

*We won’t love the book, either. It is clear that POLITICO and Playbook are portrayed as enablers of the culture Leibovich lampoons. (See: this column). He will write about how often Barnett appears in our publication, as both a source and subject, and how often POLITICO is setting the narrative on stories he argues are superficial or trivial. Mike is the subject of at least a chapter – drawn largely from the New York Times Magazine profile that helped win the “This Town” book contract — that paints him as suspiciously popular with people in power, oddly private and the middleman in many news transactions in town.

Hahahaha! It's just so droll. Here they are being "lampooned" for being so terribly, terribly insiderey and important! And they are! (After all, it would be far worse not to mentioned at all, don't you know.)

Honestly, I'd rather watch the Real Silicone Housewives of Anywhere than read that book about these fatuous, self-important social climbers. They are the least interesting wealthy celebrities in the world.

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