Washington Post “journolist” David Weigel was hilariously exposed as a hypocrite on Twitter today.
The user “kept_simple” shows a young Weigel calling protestors against intervening in Afghanistan “un-American” and descending into jargon. Most recently Weigel attacked Black Lives Matters’ protestors as “jargon-reciting brats.”
Weigel hasn’t yet replied to the tweet, which quickly went viral.
Weigel was once a college student newspaper editor. In fact, his publication received money from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, where I am a former fellow.
To be sure there were warning signs in Weigel’s early career that masked a deeper psychological issue.
Weigel was accused by a source of fabricating a quotation when he wrote for Campaign & Elections in a 2002 article about campaign finance reform efforts in Maine and Arizona. The source asked for a full retraction after Weigel attributed to him quotations that were “completely fictitious and erroneous.”
Weigel was quoted in the New York Times in 2004 talking about his conservative views. It was kind of awkward: ”I am personally abstinent,” he said to the Times, ”and I plan to stay that way, but I have no problem with international aid programs that use or distribute condoms.”
Here he is being quoted in a Delaware newspaper about his politics.
“I don’t have hard-core political beliefs that I will never diverge from,” he said.
Even so, Weigel, 22, said he was “radicalized to the right” by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and fits the institute’s profile of students who tend to think right of center. “I understood what conservatives had been talking about and why national defense was important,” he said.
Weigel was so moved by 9-11 that he even became religious. “When I heard it happened, I needed to feel there was a higher power,” he said. “I started praying nightly again.” (There’s not a lot of evidence that Weigel is still religious.)
Still Weigel kept pushing an interventionist streak. His support of military intervention went so far as to include writing up the “good news” out of Iraq in an article for USA Today. (January 27, 2005)
Except, Weigel went off on conservatives several years later.
But Weigel, who was institutionalized for mental illness because he felt nobody liked him, was once fired and then rehired at the Washington Post for wishing death on his conservative subjects.
He didn’t really own up to his attacks on Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh but blamed someone else when they were revealed. “I am going to continue to do the work I have been doing,” Weigel told Politico. “I am not planning on being as abrasive as I was before. I really think the important thing to note here is that my problems are based on my being kinda bratty in private, but there is somebody [out there] who broke their moral code in this industry.”
Weigel’s had a history of mental instability since at least his college days. His contrarian nature should probably be seen for what it really is.
Weigel did not return requests for comment.