On Thursday afternoon Politico and CapitalNY, both Allbritton-owned publications, officially consummated their relationship by blending the reporting talents of Dylan Byers and Joe Pompeo to break the news that TIME‘s Managing Editor Rick Stengel was leaving the magazine to work for the State Department. They called it “A Politico-CapitalNY joint.” At least in Politico, anyway (as pictured at right). Technically the duo reports to different editors. But their big boss is one and the same: Jim VandeHei, who is both Executive Editor of Politico and President of CapitalNY.
“It was an expected bonus of the deal – Dylan and Joe were able to help each other nail down a tip and pop it at same time,” VandeHei told FishbowlDC. “We have no plans for this to be routine but neither organization would ever pass up the chance to break news.”
The consummation had a bumpy start. Perhaps jitters. Wedding night and all.
For starters, the New York Times wrote the story without crediting Politico or CapitalNY. They may be the Goliath of newspapers, but they’re expected to be honest about story credit like the rest of the press corps and not swipe stories just because they may be able to get away with it. The lede on a story by Christine Haughney reads: “Richard Stengel, the managing editor of Time magazine, is leaving to become under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department, according to people with knowledge of the appointment.”
Oh really, people with knowledge?
Then, there were byline issues. While CapitalNY immediately gave Byers and Pompeo a double byline at 4:12 p.m., even generously giving Byers a picture by the story, Pompeo was left off Politico‘s identical story published at 4:20 p.m., setting off a brief Twitter firestorm.
Did Pompeo get stiffed?
Talking Points Memo reporter Hunter Walker asked, “So, how come Capital gave @DylanByers a byline, but Politico didn’t give one to @joepompeo?”
The problem was resolved sometime between 4:32 and 4:35 p.m. and Pompeo had the story’s lead byline on the “On Media” blog, but his name was in faint lettering, not the fat, bold letters enjoyed by Byers. By that point, Twitter being what it is, HuffPost‘s Ethan Klapper had a snapshot of the Politico story with Byers’ byline only and The Atlantic Wire‘s Alex Abad-Santos was closely following the mechanics of the story. “It’s there, but where’s the headshot?” Abad-Santos asked at 4:37 p.m. “I demand a headshot.”
Byers comically remarked on Twitter, “Gentleman, focus on the news.”
See all the screengrabs below:
What’s weird about the following two screengrabs from Politico is that in the first one Politico has Byers’ byline only at 4:20 p.m. Pompeo’s byline was later added, but it sure as hell wasn’t at 4:20 p.m. because that wouldn’t be possible. TPM‘s Walker posed his question about the lack of double byline in Politico at 4:32 p.m. — which, again, makes their corrective double byline a sheer impossibility at 4:20 p.m. As you will see, the last screengrab below has a Byers-only byline in Politico at 4:32 p.m. — so again, how is it possible that Byers and Pompeo had a single and double byline at 4:20 p.m.? Did someone travel back in a time machine? Does Politico have an in-house magician? No doubt they’ll get these glitches ironed out for next time.