Fox's New Series: When Journalists Behave Badly! (Part 1)
In this morning's Washington Post's Reliable Source, Richard Leiby reports:
New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee's party-throwing penchant and unusual byline earned her a lot of buzz when she worked in Washington. Now her fomrer landlady, in a lawsuit filed yesterday, claims that Lee's "raucous" shindigs in 2003 and 2004-- where the guests included congressional staffers, pundits and other reporters-- caused $148,000 in damage to her Washington condo.
"It looked like `Animal House,'" said Beth Solomon, a PR rep who rented Lee the $2,900-a-month apartment, near the Washington Convention center for 20 months. "There was urinating and defecating on the property, vomiting on the stairways. The kitchen was destroyed,the floors were destroyed, my baby grand piano was used as a wet bar...
'Lee, 28, would not comment yesterday on the allegations but did tell us, `I like Beth Solomon a lot and hope we can settle in a way that makes her happy.'
"A Harvard grad and former Washington Post reporting intern, Lee has been described by friends as an aspiring grande dame for the younger set. A New York Sun article lat year about her Washington parties was headlined `Meet D.C.'s Hostess of the Mostest."
Some comments of my own:
First of all, I do not know Jennifer 8. Lee-- and I want to take this opportunity to, either clear my name, or express my extreme disappointment (I am not sure which) that I have never been at one of her parties-- but there is just no way she is ever going to do anything for her ex-landlord that "makes her happy."
Second, how could anyone do $148,000 in damage to a condo? Leiby (an acquaintance and extraordinarily gifted reporter and writer) doesn't say. $148,000? I, for one, would like to find out. I'm going to call him and see if I can find out and report back as soon as I can. I'm not sure for whom. I don't believe that I have the first visitor to my blog yet.
Third, I want to take this opportunity to complain about my own landlord. (After all, what is a blog for, except for a personal agenda?) He just recently sent me a lengthy email deploring the fact that I do not properly remove all of the lint from the dryer after each load of laundry. And this from a landlord who will not do even basic repairs! In my fantasies, his next tenants are fraternity brothers from American University. Jennifer 8. Lee would do quite well in that fantasy as well.
Fourth, Leiby inadvertently takes a journalistic cheap shot at Lee, although that was probably not his intention: (Indeed, Leiby has restored some fairness and restraint to the Post's gossip column since Lloyd Grove decamped for New York.) Lee might have destroyed a condo and caused $148,000 in damage, but the term "former Washington Post intern" has become somewhat incidiary and pejorative ever since the most famous Washington Post intern has been... Jayson Blair.
I promise more on all of this soon....