Washingtonian‘s newest blogger Carol Joynt spent the last three years feeding scooplets about herself to outlets like DCRTV, FishbowlDC and countless other Washington sites. Over the last year and a half we’ve received numerous requests to cover her events, some of which we have. But by all indication, DCRTV’s frightening proprietor Dave Hughes has been the most generous in indulging Joynt’s requests for publicity (although we never actually saw him at a Q & A Cafe — not sure the Ritz lets those types in). And, when Joynt headed to the Washingtonian, Hughes didn’t disappoint: He got an early heads up about Joynt’s move from New York Social Diary and wrote it up.
So Joynt gets to Washingtonian and her first in-depth profile is about…guess who? That’s right, Hughes, the “journalist” who lifts more copy than anyone in Washington. See here, here and here. Is that going to be Capital Comments’ legacy, you scratch my back I scratch yours? Or, kiss up to Carol and the magazine will repay you kindly? That visual is troublesome — and we don’t want to contemplate scratching Hughes’s back literally or otherwise.
We reached out to Joynt for comment on why she chose Hughes as her first subject. She claims Hughes wasn’t first to get her news because of her but rather because of a Washingtonian press release. We hardly think Washingtonian has Hughes on speed dial. What’s more, when Joynt sent FBDC the news, there was no release. So, sorry, we call B.S. on that one.
In her story, Hughes astonishingly says people steal stories from him. Joynt, in a subsequent email to FishbowlDC, says all media reporters accuse one another of stealing. But the truth is, not everyone steals. Contrary to Hughes’s vivid imagination and Joynt’s sweeping the matter under the rug by saying everyone does it, here in the Fishbowl we literally countdown the seconds from when we post something local to when it suddenly and mysteriously lands on DCRTV.
Self-pimping and back scratching are all part of a long tradition at Washingtonian‘s Capital Comment, so perhaps Joynt will fit right in. See how Editor Garrett Graff maneuvered his work into favors in a piece by Wonkette from 2007.
To be sure, Joynt insists writing on Hughes was no special favor. “Nah, no favor,” she wrote by email. “He’s posted about me but principally about my show, which is legit, and going to Wash is legit, too. He got that from their press release. Q&A stuff he gets in emails sent to my list. He’s a good story because all the people in local radio and TV read him religiously. Besides, my experience with Washington media is that everyone is routinely accusing everyone else of theft. They can take it up with each other.”
Some journalists around town were skeptical of Joynt’s hire. A Georgetown “friend” remarked to FBDC on condition of anonymity: “Carol’s a dear friend but anyone who’s spent time with her knows that Carol’s all about Carol. I’m surprised Cathy Williams didn’t know that. There’s worry amongst some of Carol’s Georgetown friends that the improvements desperately needed to resuscitate the Cap Comment section won’t happen and that she’ll damage the magazine by filling it with vanity projects and source greasing like this one.”
With a friend like that, well, who needs friends?