Over the weekend Jonathan Martin, senior political reporter of Politico, published a nearly 2,000-word review in WSJ of two books on Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. Huh? Why not for Politico? But worse: Martin apparently read the wonky books while honeymooning in Europe with his new bride, NBC “MTP” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer.
As Politico Editor-in-Chief John Harris explains it, Martin writing the piece for WSJ involved standard operating procedure. “We don’t typically do standard book reviews of the sort Jonathan wrote for the Wall Street Journal,” Harris wrote FishbowlDC. “Those guys had specifically solicited him to do this review and, following our policy for outside assignments, he asked for permission and in this case we gave it. I thought it was a very well-turned review of the Rubio books and I’ll confess to a momentary pang of ‘maybe we should have done this’ but in any event I’m glad he did it. My understanding is he read the Rubio books on his honeymoon—the last of the great romantics.”
But something worthy to note: Politico has lost several prominent reporters to WSJ. One was White House Correspondent Carol Lee in February of 2011. The other, media writer Keach Hagey in March, 2012. In the spring of 2010, Victoria McGrane left Politico and went to Dow Jones. By September she was — you guessed it — at WSJ. Also in 2010: Patrick O’Connor left Politico for Bloomberg. He, too, eventually wound up at WSJ.
Read Martin’s WSJ review here.