Around deadline on Friday, some tensions boiled over in the Style section of the Washington Post. According to an informed source, a disagreement arose between reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia and storied Style veteran Henry Allen.
Though it’s unclear exactly what they were arguing about, it is clear that the mood was testy. Testy enough, that is, for Roig-Franzia to quip to Allen, “Henry, don’t be such a cocksucker.”
Allen didn’t take kindly to the suggestion and went after Roig-Franzia, in the testimony of an eyewitness. Limited combat then broke out, though, again, it’s not terribly clear how many punches landed.
The mayhem broke out not far from the temporary office of Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli. A lean man, Brauchli reportedly was among the first Post males on the scene to perform the time-honored “break it up” duties. A few others helped out, too.
We have calls out to both principals and will keep prosecuting the story as the day progresses.
Update 11:28 am: Attempts to get Brauchli on the line regarding his alpha-male heroics have proven futile thus far. The executive editor is apparently on travel today. However, WaPo spokesperson Kris Coratti issued this statement in response to questions about the matter: “I can’t discuss private personnel matters but that doesn’t mean we haven’t taken this incident seriously and addressed it appropriately.”
Just what “appropriately” means here isn’t quite clear yet. Before taking on that question, we’re looking to speak with Allen and Roig-Franzia, not to mention other individuals.
Update 12:25 pm: Reached Roig-Franzia on his cell phone. After I identified myself, his phone hung up.
UPDATE: Be sure to check out City Paper‘s exclusive reenactment of this historic event: Allen v. Roig-Franzia ~ The Movie!