I stopped reading Politico a long time ago, partly because my favorite reporters there all left, partly because the solid beat reporting is increasingly buried under an avalanche of “big picture” wankery. This piece on that Mike Allen “Playbook” thing (which is unbelievably worthless, even relative to other daily political digests) blew my mind:
Allen’s updates have become perhaps the Beltway’s most impressive journo-business story of the past decade. As previously reported, advertisers pay a good $35,000 for a weekly run in “Playbook,” a price tag that has inflated nicely for Politico in recent years.
Another big name that’s gotten a healthy dose of earned media from Playbook is BP, a company that has faced quite a challenge in image-conscious Washington, thanks to the 2010 oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by the company. In recent months, BP has blanketed “Playbook” with ads hyping the company’s status as “America’s largest energy investor.” The free BP mentions authored by Allen tell a similar story.
Last June, for instance, Allen found newsworthy an AP story about a BP campaign to challenge settlement claims stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The item quoted from a full-page ad that the company had placed in newspapers, and that the AP story had cited. It also included a link to the ad.
But the Villagers are all good friends and Allen is such a nice guy, so no biggie!
To skim Playbook is to experience Washington in the midst of an attention-deficited conversation that can bounce from the Congressional Budget Office’s score of the health care bill to news of a “state visit” from Feldman’s parents (Jud and Sunny) to an all-caps directive that we all “ask Hari about his new puppy.”