City Desk

Brauchli Intervenes in Style Fistfight

Around deadline on Friday, some tensions boiled over in the Style section of the Washington Post. According to an informed source, a disagreement arose between reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia and storied Style veteran Henry Allen.

Though it's unclear exactly what they were arguing about, it is clear that the mood was testy. Testy enough, that is, for Roig-Franzia to quip to Allen, "Henry, don't be such a cocksucker."

Allen didn't take kindly to the suggestion and went after Roig-Franzia, in the testimony of an eyewitness. Limited combat then broke out, though, again, it's not terribly clear how many punches landed.

The mayhem broke out not far from the temporary office of Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli. A lean man, Brauchli reportedly was among the first Post males on the scene to perform the time-honored "break it up" duties. A few others helped out, too.

We have calls out to both principals and will keep prosecuting the story as the day progresses.

Update 11:28 am: Attempts to get Brauchli on the line regarding his alpha-male heroics have proven futile thus far. The executive editor is apparently on travel today. However, WaPo spokesperson Kris Coratti issued this statement in response to questions about the matter: "I can't discuss private personnel matters but that doesn't mean we haven't taken this incident seriously and addressed it appropriately."

Just what "appropriately" means here isn't quite clear yet. Before taking on that question, we're looking to speak with Allen and Roig-Franzia, not to mention other individuals.

Update 12:25 pm: Reached Roig-Franzia on his cell phone. After I identified myself, his phone hung up.

UPDATE: Be sure to check out City Paper's exclusive reenactment of this historic event: Allen v. Roig-Franzia ~ The Movie!

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  • Chris Peterson

    I know Allen is a former Marine and all that, but he seems like a little guy to me. Was this a battle of little guys? (Macho guys no doubt, though, 'cause who doesn't like a dust up between word crafters.)

  • Thom

    The tensions and resulting contretemps/disasters at the Post all revolve one way or another around the attempt by the cabal of old hags led by desk diving diva Sally Quinn to control things from behind the scenes.

    If Katherine Weymouth doesn't wake up soon to the threat this posse represents to the organization moving forward and oust them once and for all from the building there will be no turning back from the drain.

    Honoring your grandmother's legacy Miss Weymouth does not mean forever hanging onto dangerous old relics, it means focusing on the forward momentum and doing what is right.

  • Chris Peterson

    I just want to know cologne the fist throwing Allen uses. I need some to macho up my game.

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  • Mrs. Graham

    Would Henry mind doing something about Paul Farhi too?

  • Alpine McGregor

    After a careful review of the three journalists' work, and given my penchant for favoring hard-nosed trash-talkers, I'm going to side with Mr. Allen on this one.

    Here's my rationale:

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    A good old-fashioned newsroom brawl. Put a beefsteak on that black eye, have a shot from the bottle I keep in the bottom drawer, get back out there & make deadline, then let's all meet at the Post Pub at 5 pm to discuss it all.

  • michael barrett

    Given his long track record, I am inclined to side Allen also. Style is not as compelling a read as it once was and, like the newspaper itself, seems sliding into senility.

  • Not Senility

    The paper has not slid into Senility, Barrett.

    It's dove into Neoconservatism, with Charlie The Kraut, Sick Willie Kristol, and the Brother Kagan. Fred Hiatt's a pimp for Avigdor Lieberman and little else.

    Read The Post and even George Will sounds like a leftist.

  • Michael Powell

    I don't advocate taking pops at fellow laborers in the newsroom, and Manuel is a good guy, but I'm here to say there are none better than Henry Allen. A magician of a writer, a thinker of Beat thoughts, and a great, hillarious not to mention hallucinogenic colleague. My only grievance with Henry is that with his own words he set the bar so very high ...

  • Chris Peterson

    Man, I ache to read some more Henry Allen stuff. His prose kicks butt in ways that no one should break up. In the early '90s his essays were the best in newspaper journalism essays. To read them was reason to move to the big city.

    I hope his typing fingers are still intact after the newsroom what-have-you.

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  • Grumpy

    Can't be a fistfight if dude didn't punch back.

    Old ass jarhead went 'Woody Hayes' on a staffer...LMAO

    He went Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann on Private Pyle...How great is that, a Full Metal Jacket scene right there at the beloved Post??

    Good times...Good times

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