This weekend, Brian Lamb interviews the WSJ’s “Potomac Watch” columnist Kim Strassel (Sunday, 8pm/11pm ET).
She talks about moving to Washington from NY, how journalism and reporting is do different inside the beltway, the best advice the previous “PW” columnist, Paul Gigot, gave her, and Strassel’s favorite editorial writers and columnists today.
Strassel was told that, “the key to working in Washington is to treat it like it’s a foreign country”:
“You know, before I moved down here, someone called that they were writing a story about the fact that the column was starting again. Someone called Paul Gigot and asked him if he had any advice for me because I was now coming down to take over his old job and he said, treat it like it’s a foreign planet and — or foreign country, I should say and he’s right about that. It is a very different place. I think that journalists down here, it’s a hard job because (A) there’s so many of them, all chasing after some of the same stories and trying to get on the same thing but (B) you know, you really have to make sure that you don’t fall prey to the conventional wisdom in this city and that is a very easy thing to do. There’s a lot of people out there that once this theme of a story gets going then it tends to — sort of the pack gets in and that becomes the kind of way that people frame it and talk about all the time and being able to step outside of that and say, I’m going to look at it from this angle or maybe this is the way to look at it, get into it from over here. That’s, I think, got to be key in this city.”
“…People up in New York like to be really snobby about Washington D.C. They don’t got the clothes; they don’t have nice food. I think that’s not true. I think Washington is a lovely town. I think it’s got a lot of sophistication and I think the people are fun that come from all over the world and I think it’s a really neat town. My impression has only improved since I moved down here.”