April 6, 2007: Celebri-spiraling in Washington, D.C.'s Fishbowl
After writing this past week about DC's trifecta of overwrought gladhanding and boundary crossing dinners ( April 1, 2007: Crossing the Line Part Deux-Gridiron Dinner and March 31, 2007: What We Call The Celebri-spiraling News), I was disappointed to see Patrick Gavin's Fishbowl DC post Uh-Oh...Somebody Needs To Call This Writer A Waaaaa-mbulance.
The post mocks Hamilton Nolan of PR Week, who notes in his article entitled Joke is On the Press at Annual DC Dinners that there's a conflict of interest for reporters who get so damn cozy with the people they cover when they cavort with them at events like the Gridiron and White House Correspondents Dinner. Ummm, did he lie? He's stating the obvious, at a very charged and divisive time in our nation's history, when the administration these reporters cover is, by many accounts, the most secretive and media-manipulating of its time. If ever there was a time for church-and-state-ish division between reporters and elected officials, it's now.
If you want to be snarky, which is fine by me, then I prefer Gawker's ever so slight re-edit of Hamilton Nolan's article, which riffs on the celebrity-media-flavored, skanky, and tarnished boundary crossings that contribute to global celebri-spirals, not just the politically-infused ones we experience inside D.C.'s beltway. As someone who's celebri-spiraled all over the globe, I have no problem pointing the finger of responsibility for market demand back at negligent consumers like me.
But to ridicule Nolan's basic thesis by saying he's whining and needs to call a Waaaaaaa-mbulance is to strip down and hop into bed with the dark side, if you ask me.
What is Fishbowl's point? Is the blog part of the same incestuous culture that Hamilton Nolan criticizes in his piece? Fishbowl DC dispenses loads of unjustified adulation not just on major media companies and journalists, who Patrick probably hopes will give him a job one day, but on politicians and officials that the press are supposed to be covering dispassionately. It seems to me that Gavin's blog just proves Nolan's point every day.
As a reader of Celebri-spiral told me, the fact that the ostensible DC media blogger is not only totally down with celebrity worship culture, but also throws such school yard insults at someone who criticizes the practice, is a sad commentary on the state of journalism in this town.