A New ‘Reliable Source’ Come Fall?

The Post nears a new Reliable Source

Harry Jaffe has news out of the Post’s search for a new Reliable Source.

His reporting has the search winnowed to four finalists: the Post’s social reporter Roxanne Roberts and Metro writer Amy Argetsinger, Roll Call’s Mary Ann Akers, and Wonkgirl Ana Marie Cox. (After initially submitting the required application, U.S. News’s Paul Bedard took himself out of the running–perhaps realizing that he has a much better gig now.)

The only really surprising name on Jaffe’s list, which we hinted at earlier, is Argetsinger (pictured left). The “smart” and “sassy” writer emerged as the paper’s internal candidate du jour.

By all rights, the job should be Roberts (pictured right), who has covered the social beat longer than any reporter in the city, but there’s some reluctance within the paper about giving it to her alone. That’s one of the reasons the Post is seriously looking at returning to the glory days of Gerhart and Groer–that is, having two writers in addition to the full-time assistant, which would be a huge increase in staffing and might make the column more interesting.

The smart money on that list would be on Argetsinger or Akers, but Wonkgirl is the big unknown in the equation: She’d certainly liven up the column, but her track record in “mainstream media” hasn’t exactly been the greatest, and a lot of Posties wonder how she’d hack the obsessive reporting and fact-checking that the columns requires.

Regardless of who gets picked, as long as a certain editor remains, the Reliable Source is not going to get the freedom he/she/they need to make the column sing.

> Oh, and if you needed any evidence about why Richard Leiby was unhappy as the Source, read his excellent article leading the Sunday Style section. Collecting gossip isn’t exactly where his journalistic skills lie.