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The news out of the Wilson Building last week was of the real earth-shaking variety. And no, we don’t mean the resignation and guilty pleas by former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown—but rather, the drama encountered (or ginned up?) by the press corps covering it all.
In the rush to squeeze more news out of Brown and get ahead of competitors who were attending all same the plea hearings and Wilson Building stakeouts, D.C. reporters were willing to suffer all sorts of minor indignities. And perhaps not surprisingly, they were also willing to tell everyone about said indignities.
A look at what was on the line:
• Mark Segraves’ Chest (But Not Tom Sherwood’s Foot)
NBC 4’s Tom Sherwood, who cancelled his vacation to cover the story, had his own moment of physical danger Wednesday when a Brown staffer slammed a door on his foot. Sherwood’s foot made it; the door, which broke, did not.
• Bruce Johnson’s Vacation
Johnson, who was also on vacation when Brown’s case started heating up, wasn’t about to let Segraves get all the shoving for his tweet. Johnson announced that he was back with a pulled-in-for-one-last-big-score style tweet:
Feel bad that WTOP’s Seagraves was pushed asking question of Kwame Brown bout my tweet yesterday. canceling vacation, heading back to work.
• Mark Plotkin’s Involuntary Vacation
Radio host and statehood agitator Mark Plotkin lost his WTOP show in January after yelling at a cleaning crew, and since then has been working quietly as a political analyst at Fox 5. The reporting about Plotkin’s temper and the friends he had alienated made you wonder whether we’d ever hear from Plotkin again. But even he got in on the Brown indictment news.
Plotkin’s expertise here is that he was the first reporter to provoke Brown publicly during the investigation, getting in a screaming match with Brown at Fox 5’s studios earlier in January. In interviews with Plotkin, Fox led with the now-tame-seeming story—Kwame didn’t even touch him!—on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Friday, Plotkin made his return to the radiowaves on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show.
With multiple appearances on radio and TV in one week, the Plotkin comeback tour is on. The lesson: encounters with Kwame Brown can be hazardous to your health, but not for your career.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery