City on the Make
A close-in look at the seamy world of DC's power elite
Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital
by Mark Leibovich
Blue Rider Press
$27.95 List Price
As I sit down to write, it’s roughly day 3 of the Washington political class’s overheated response to the release of Mark Leibovich’s This Town, and day 800 or so of what that class regards as the real story: the chatterbox narrative surrounding Mark Leibovich’s This Town. Politico has come forward with its latest report on the surveillance data it’s been collecting on all things “Leibo,” as the rag calls him. Glancing over the dispatch, it’s clear that the crucial question on Washington’s mind is this: Will this saboteur—who has courted no end of damning disclosures from his sources via his perch as the politics correspondent for the New York Times Magazine—be gracing the elite party salons of official Washington anytime soon, those same marbled hallways he has so dishonorably tarnished in his tome?
In the telling of Politico—the all-but-official tip sheet of the self-dealing lords of DC influence—the outlook is grim. To A-list socialites, labeling Leibovich’s recollections of exclusive, presumably off-the-record parties as a regrettable show of poor manners doesn’t begin to plumb the depth of his transgression. What Leibovich has done is much worse. He has threatened the ability of our Republic to function. “The fear,” Politico writes, is that Leibovich’s “cutting takedown of the city’s cozy culture . . . will send a chill through the elite after-hours social circuit—where the real business of this town often gets done between reporters and sources.”
It’s tempting to mark this absurd claim as the apex of the This Town saga. But the self-referenced frenzy surrounding what
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