When NYT Mark Leibovich used the mashed phrase “friend-source” to describe Politico‘s Mike Allen’s friends and sources in a magazine cover story in late April of last year, Washington’s journalism world felt collectively queasy. Not because it wasn’t true, but rather because it can be exactly that way.
The WaPo obit published today on Saadalla Mohamed Aly could make a Washingtonian just as uneasy. Aly was the “waiter who poured orange juice and served salmon to a familiar roster of pundits” who have appeared on NBC’s MTP. He was “My friend! My friend!” said Veep Joe Biden. The story refers to him as the “perennially tuxedoed butler.”
But the worst came from Democratic pundit James Carville: “In a Washington way,” said Democratic strategist James Carville, who was shaken by the news of Aly’s death, “he was kind of a friend.”
Not all of it was Washington revolting. Aly’s daughter, Dalia, had these kind words to say of the Washington crowd her father served. “They were his family,” she said.