By all accounts Politico‘s Mike Allen is a kind, welcoming person and an intelligent journalist. He’s also King of Humblebrag, a hamlet in Rosslyn, Va.
WaPo‘s Erik Wemple took a hatchet to his innocent and pure Tuesday morning plea for readers to buy his eBook. Allen reported that some readers have offered to pay for Playbook even though it’s free. Best quote in the WaPo piece comes from attorney to Washington’s big shots Robert Barnett (who apparently has said he’d pay): “Mike . . . personalizes [Playbook] by things like birthdays and weddings and engagements, and in a world in which we all tend to pay not enough attention to the people around us and their real lives, that’s a real public service.” So let’s get this straight: We need Allen’s Playbook to remember who is important to us? That’s humbling.
Today the humblebrag turns more cringeworthy as Allen announces that “The Right Fights Back” eBook has hit the top of the Kindle political charts (he again explains that you can purchase the book by simply clicking on the Politico banner — it’s just that easy). And then there’s this: a big wet kiss from Business Insider‘s Zeke Miller (read: look for more Zeke in a Playbook near you sometime soon): “I just finished ‘The Right Fights Back’ … The tone and authority sets it apart from anything that’s been written on the campaign to date – and in my humble opinion, Richard Ben Cramer and [the late] Theodore White should enjoy their royalties … Thank you for filling in some of the gaps in my knowledge, confirming more than a few of my educated guesses. Already I can’t wait to read the next installment.”
The statements in bold are intense — a humblebrag within a humblebrag? Now that is deep.