Crime happens everywhere. But it’s safe to say that crimes against journalists who think about public policy issues happen a lot more frequently in Washington than anywhere else. And when they do, it’s a good bet the incident will make it into the media before long—usually wrapped up in a politically-tinged argument. Some media figures who’ve fallen victim to D.C. crooks, and lived to prompt policy arguments about it:
Victim: Matthew Yglesias, Center for American Progress blogger
Media Upshot: Soon after being punched and kicked by a pair of strangers on a desolate stretch of North Capitol Street on Saturday night, Yglesias had blogged about the incident.
Policy Argument: Dense urban development makes it harder for random dudes to sock people. “All else being equal a denser city will be a better policed city,” Yglesias wrote shortly before midnight.
Victim: Marc Fisher, Washington Post senior editor
Media Upshot: The perp later posted a photo of himself and his loot on Fisher’s son’s Facebook page, giving the Postie an irresistible story.
Policy Argument: Cops should take property crime more seriously. “When the system treats such cases as nuisances, it breeds the cynicism that too many of us have about justice in this country,” Fisher wrote last Sunday.
Victim: Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe co-host
Media Upshot: Brzezinski was hit right in front of the bell stand outside a D.C. hotel—and just before then-Mayor Adrian Fenty’s previously scheduled appearance on her show. Co-host Joe Scarborough brought it up on camera.
Policy Argument: Hotels should watch nearby streets more carefully. “I’m angry at a hotel this morning,” Scarborough told Fenty. “Not you, ‘cause your cops can’t be everywhere.”