Hey, did you get the memo? All of the influential young pundits in Washington D.C. are young and male, and at not-quite-30 they’re already looking back on their younger days and opining on what’s changed and how far they’ve come. So that’s cool.
Ann Friedman has a great parody response, noting that lady-journos have been around all this time, without much recognition. Journalists of color have also been around for a while; they also aren’t getting cable news spots.
None of this is to take away from the hard work that writers like Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Brian Beutler, Dave Weigel, etc etc have put in. Those guys are all really smart; they’ve all hustled and put in all kinds of time and effort to get where they are. They are all immensely talented writers and thinkers.
But there are lots of women and non-white people who have put in time and effort too, and who have hustled just as hard. The focus, though, still remains on the “juicebox mafia” guys — they’re the ones being asked to be on TV; they’re the ones getting newspaper columns; they’re the ones getting New York Times articles written about them. Again, that isn’t to take away from the great work those dudes have done, but it is to say: Why isn’t there more room at the table for people who don’t look like those guys? Why are the only women mentioned in the article either (a) older “establishment journalism” women who are portrayed as nay-saying bitter bitches, or (b) fiancees of the men in the article? (Despite the fact that Annie Lowrey, who is engaged to Ezra Klein, is a successful journalist in her own right?).
Ann lists a lot of women (and not just white women!) who could have been covered just as easily: Annie Lowrey, a reporter for Slate; Suzy Khimm and Kate Sheppard, reporters for Mother Jones; Marin Cogan, a reporter for Politico; Phoebe Connelly, a freelance writer and former web editor for The American Prospect; Britt Peterson, an editor at Foreign Policy; Dayo Olopade, a writer for The Daily Beast, Kay Steiger and Shani Hilton, editors at Campus Progress; Kat Aaron, a reporter for the Investigative Reporting Workshop; Monica Potts, a blogger for The American Prospect; Amanda Terkel, a reporter for The Huffington Post; and Laura McGann and Sara Libby, editors for Politico. There are also men of color in DC who are doing fantastic work, like Adam Serwer and Jamelle Bouie at the American Prospect.
In other news, Bob Herbert has left the New York Times, and they’re looking for a replacement columnist. No offense, white dudes, but I hope the Times doesn’t pick one of you. I’d love to see Herbert’s spot filled with someone like Dahlia Lithwick or Ta-Nehisi Coates. Who else?