Just moments ago, WaPo announced that Jeffrey Smith, a reporter there for a quarter of a century, is leaving for the Center for Public Integrity. He will be managing editor of the National Security Desk. Smith’s loss is significant — aside from James Grimaldi, he is the last reporter of the trio who won the 2006 Pulitzer for reporting of the scandal involving Jack Abramoff and former Maj. Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).
Memo writers appear to understand the loss, writing, “The Center for Public Integrity is lucky to get him,” and promise him “proper caking” in the near future. The pointed compliment for someone leaving isn’t typical WaPo internal memo behavior.
See the memo…
After 25 years of distinguished work at The Washington Post, R. Jeffrey
Smith is leaving to join the Center for Public Integrity. Jeff has been
named managing editor of the National Security Desk at the nonprofit
investigative news organization.
Jeff was hired by The Post in 1986 as a national security correspondent. He
next served as Rome bureau chief, covered two wars in Kosovo, a revolution
in Serbia and a rebellion in Macedonia. He shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize
for investigative reporting with Sue Schmidt and James Grimaldi for
memorable work on the scandal involving House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and
lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
During his years at The Post, Jeff has demonstrated a zeal for
investigative work and an ambition to pursue hard targets. He has a curious
mind that is matched by his versatility. He has written about defense
contracting irregularities and questionable campaign spending, delved into
the inefficiencies of the F-22 and unearthed some of the secrets of
Pakistani bomb maker A.Q. Khan. He has reported on military prisoner abuse
and helped chronicle the calamitous suicide attack at a CIA base in
The Center for Public Integrity is lucky to get him. We wish Jeff continued
success, and will give him a proper caking in the near future. Stay tuned
Kevin and Marilyn