AT LAST, SOME WASHINGTON GOSSIP. Mark Leibowich, a New York Times Washington reporter, has written THIS TOWN, a book about the interactions of Washington politics, Washington journalism and lobbying. The book has gotten a lot of attention, most notably in the Washington Post. For example, the book does not have an index, so the Post has compiled and published an index of 739 names that are in the book. Washington insiders are writing articles about the book even before the official publication date of July 16. Here is an article by Walter Shapiro, and here is one on Politico by Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen.
My reaction to the book is that this kind of reporting is long overdue. What is in the book is the kind of information that is well known to the inner circles—and the other circles— in Washington. People outside of Washington should have access to the gossip as well. There should be lots of books and articles modeled on the memoirs of the Duc de Saint Simon. Vandehei and Allen say; “The inhabitants of this town might obsess about themselves â€” but does anyone in the real world give a hoot?” The answer is yes, they should and they do.