Best National-Media Figure Commenting About D.C.
One of the great mysteries of the D.C. media landscape is this: Why do great minds of national news become blithering idiots when writing about their immediate surroundings? In a town where writers who know the partisan breakdown of rural Iowa counties often don’t know what ward they live in, national-media types’ infrequent local-news forays often boil down to PEPCO gripes and naïve rants against Washingtonian ingrates who dare disrespect Michelle Rhee. One exception: Matthew Yglesias of the Center for American Progress. Like all policy writers, Yglesias has his hobby horses. But in his case, the local news he analyzes through the prism of those obsessions—supporting density, opposing NIMBYish regulations—benefits from the perspective. Could he benefit from a few days of watching how power actually works at the Wilson Building? Yes. Could the local powers who know the city better also benefit from reading Yglesias’ occasional D.C. musings? Yes again.