Politico‘s Ben Smith takes an intriguing look at WaPo‘s conservative issues blogger Jennifer Rubin. It’s impossible to tell whether Smith likes or dislikes her, respects her or doesn’t. Some conservative bloggers in the piece treat her with disdain as do some of her WaPo colleagues. Smith calls her Gov. Rick “Perry’s worst nightmare” and counts up the number of scathing columns she has written on him. It’s 60.
Rubin declined to comment on Smith’s profile.
She is WaPo‘s third try at a conservative blogger. The first two ended in “disaster,” one being blogger, Ben Domenech, the second, Slate‘s Dave Weigel, who resigned under the strain of JournoList emails. But she’s not the typical blogger. “I don’t have a loyalty in the same way that many conservative writers do that they feel hesitant or constrained about criticizing conservatives,” she tells Smith.
Among the most telling graphs is the last:
She is, needless to say, appreciated at Romney’s Boston headquarters. “She’s quickly establishing herself as a must-read for conservatives following the 2012 Republican primary,” Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said in an email. “She brings a lot of credibility and knowledge on the issues that matter, particularly as they relate to American foreign policy.”
The story is worth the read in that it shows a journalist who doesn’t travel with the pack. It leaves you wanting to know more about this woman who doesn’t appear to care what her WaPo colleagues think.