News Bullets, completely clueless Tuesday;

In the past few months you may have noticed I've toned things down a bit. Less personal attacks against people, more news analysis. This has been interesting and everything, but I know it also provides less entertainment. I've been biting my tongue about a lot of things, hoping to just let them slide. Unfortunately my mouth is completely full of blood after reading a certain blog this morning.

Pictured: "The Beautiful Life"

If you head over to the Prince of Petworth, you'll notice a gem titled "Say What You Will About Fenty, But He Is Fixing Up a Lot of Parks." Dan Silverman, the professional blogger who operates Prince of Petworth full-time writes "I know folks have generally not been too happy with Mayor Fenty’s performance lately. But I have to give him props for fixing up tons of parks around town."

This comes amid a huge scandal involving the Mayor's questionable dealings to build and renovate parks. It's been mentioned on every news outlet in the District, it's been a big story in the Post, and if you read any blog you will have come across it. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have missed this story. The Council has held hearings and is crafting emergency legislation to prevent this from happening again.

I know a lot of people read Prince of Petworth for his happy-go-lucky style of "writing," which includes doors, porches and smells of the day. However, for someone who has made "blogging" a full time career, writing nonsense such as this is completely inexcusable. Especially when Silverman is generally recognized as a "news source" in the city. What bothers me the most isn't even that Silverman is agreeing with Fenty's "ends justify the means" argument... it's that it looks like he didn't even know there was a huge scandal unfolding.

Anyhow, on to the news bullets. This part-time blogger only has so much time to work with.

Police investigating suspicious death on 16th St, NW. MPD is looking for answers after discovering the body of a female in an apartment in the 3600 block of 16th St, NW. So far very little information has been released, except to say the circumstances are suspicious.

D.C. Council seeks crackdown on parks spending. As a result of the unfolding parks and rec scandal, Harry Thomas, Jr. (D-Ward 5) will introduce emergency legislation preventing contracts from bypassing the Council. There would also be limits to what DPR could spend without going to the Council. This is a good start, but the better solution would be to have an executive that didn't bypass the rules in the first place. Nickles and Fenty will likely find some other way to divert money.

Cheesy, but I approve.
Echoed across the universe, Andrew Hertzberg and and Andy Rollman got engaged at yesterday's Council hearing on same-sex marriage. The best part of all of this, though, was a comment by Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1). Thanks to Twitter, this gem did not go unnoticed.
@summersgill CM Graham suggests that couple should consumate (sic) their marriage on the plaza in Col Hgts. Wrong word.
District government pays out to family of St. Elizabeth's patient who was stomped to death. The city has paid $1 million to the family of Alan Martin. Martin, 56, was a doctor who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He was placed in a room in St. Elizabeth's with William Dunbar, 29, who had homicidal thoughts and had threatened family members. Dunbar killed Martin by beating him and crushing his skull. A jury found the District negligent for Martin's death, but the city stalled on making the payments. The always warm and fuzzy attorney general Peter Nickles made the payment saying he wanted to "get it over with."

Coming up this week: The best of Twitter, including the new "nuggets of hate" feature. Also, bust out those E-Meters because we'll be talking Scientology.


  1. Prince of Petworth = news source? Snort.

  2. Theory as to why Prince of Petworth sucks despite going "full time": he got fired from his real job and to save face (and advertisers) claimed that he was "taking it full time". Content has gone downhill because he's too busy scrambling to find another real job. Now the site is reduced to a distilled form of his inbox, with 80% of posts starting with "I received an email...". The remaining 20% is pointless bullshit about houses and smells.

    Again, just a theory.

  3. Your theory is incorrect.

    I am not going to defend the journalistic merits of his blog, but it should be pretty obvious that his formula is popular. Go to Google Reader. Click "details." Note number of Google Reader subscribers.

    You might as well criticize People Magazine. You may not like their style or give a crap about their news, but that doesn't alter the fact that a more people read People Magazine than Time Magazine, and more people read Prince of Petworth than Why I Hate DC. Yes, both are true.

    Reading hard-hitting news is not the only thing that a lot of people like to read and there is a place for both types of journalism.

  4. Jamie, I agree there is a time and a place for both "styles" of journalism. US Magazine has a place just as much as whatever else can afford to still print.

    I guess what bothers me the most is a lack of a sense of any sort of responsibility to his readership. The sort of ill-informed hasty posts without any research or information makes it harder for people to ever have the idea of a blog taken seriously. I don't expect a blog called "Why I Hate DC" to be taken seriously. However, by some force of something, "Prince of Petworth" is taken seriously, and is a serious full-time venture by it's owner. At some point when you have a large readership and you can influence people, you should have a feeling of responsibility to get things right and be informed.

    Just my $0.02

  5. Hey, I didn't like that post either. And if you read the comments, just about every one of them said the same thing as your criticism. He got the flack. It's not like Dan is the pied piper and thousands of people follow him off the cliff blindly when he presents a happy-go-lucky side of something.

    I think that just about everyone who reads his blog knows what they're getting, and the comments on this post are proof of that. His blog is entertainment and gossip, sometimes with a lighter take on the news of the world, just like People. He never purported to be hard-hitting journalism. Obviously, this is a niche that needed filling.

    Just because PoP is a full time venture doesn't mean it has to be serious, hard-hitting news. It's not like the formula is unique. Since when do you have to be serious all the time to be popular and make money doing your job? Is DCist hard-hitting? Wonkette? People? US? They all make money. People want something more serious they go somewhere else.

  6. It doesn't have to be serious all of the time, but just a little bit would be nice. Especially on big topics such as that. Clearly it is a popular formula. There's likely a fatigue from hard news all of the time. It's depressing. I just don't like to see such a glossing over of problems. But hey, whatever works for him, I suppose.

  7. Well, like I said, the overwhelming reader response to that post was, umm, not so much. That should give you faith that most people have decent heads on their shoulders and know how to interpret what they're reading.