Skippy analyzes the Villagers, whom he defines as
the coterie of Washington insider journalists and pundidiots who support and protect one another and support and protect the politicians and personalities they cover, often to the detriment of the people who go to them for news and information.
Further on in the post, he remembers when NBC News asked him and other bloggers to a “summit”:
First, throughout last year’s presidential election campaign, reporters fawned all over John McCain like they were in love, replaying again and again the Village script that McCain was a maverick, ignoring how McCain had voted with Bush time and again on an agenda that was disastrous for the United States, and mentioning, frequently, how McCain had thrown a barbecue for the press. The barbecue: that’s the key.
Second, though my recollection is a teensy bit fuzzy, rendering the precise quote perhaps off by a few words, the gist is accurate, so I recall for you a quote from a book I used to own. If I get the time, I’ll see if I can find someone with a copy of the book and look it up. The book in question is David Halberstam’s “The Summer of ’49”, which describes the 1949 American League pennant race between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. At one point Halberstam quotes Joe DiMaggio as he expresses his disgust with sports writers. “Look at ’em, ” DiMaggio says contemptuously, “I can buy any one of them for a five dollar steak and a bottle of wine,” meaning he could take a reporter to dinner and that’s all it would take to get that reported (sic) on his side. A five dollar steak and a bottle of wine. Feed them a meal.
That’s what the shrimp was about. That’s why NBC thought we would all be bought off and become their BFFs, because if you put a shrimp platter out for the NBC news crew, you buy them forever and they become your BFFs. When those disparate stories converged in my mind, I understood how you can own the Villagers: buy them dinner. That’s all you have to do. Buy them dinner. They are as cheaply bought as that.
I jokingly said to someone yesterday at DL that “I have always wanted to be an Authorized Personnel.”
The Villagers consider themselves “Authorized Personnel,” for the rest of us cannot be admitted through the doors they freely enter.
Now, I have been an “Authorized Personnel” allowed to walk through the door bearing the sign, “Authorized Personnel Only.”
The Villagers revel in their “Authorized” status and forget that “Authorized Personnel” is nothing more than a fancy word for “employees.”