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Washington Post stylist DeNeen Brown has always been one of this weekly’s great obsessions. We’ve written about her overwriting; we’ve written about her bad reporting; and we’ve given her a handclap or two when one of her daring literary devices works as planned.
Our most recent snark on Brown came when she rode along with First Lady Michelle Obama on an outing to a soup kitchen for the homeless.
Brown wrote up the event for the post’s 44 blog, and here’s how we handicapped it:
* Here’s Brown writing her own Brown parody sentence (all italics mine):
And Obama dished risotto, one by one. Offering steamed, fresh broccoli.
* There is apropos-of-nothing color:
Man in green sweater: “You really are tall.”
“I am tall,” Obama said.
* And, finally, complete kerblooey:
And the guests stood behind in the hope that she left behind.
We don’t know for sure right now, but that last line, unparalleled in its preciousness and bullshitiness, could have prompted the newspaper’s management to make the move announced in the memo below: DeNeen is off the First Lady beat:
We’re pleased to announce that Robin Givhan will be returning to Washington soon to cover Michelle Obama and the first family. Robin has long been one of our most graceful and insightful writers, not only on fashion designers but on politicians as well. She won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2006, in part for her work on the public image of powerful people. Now, she’ll bring that sharp eye to bear on the cultural and social issues that swirl around the new occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., picking up on the good work begun by DeNeen Brown, who has been our go-to person for several months on the story of the new first lady. Robin will also continue to write about fashion through her Sunday column. DeNeen will focus her attention to stories about people “on the edge” — the poor, the uneducated, the disenfranchised; and Race in the age of Obama — looking at how racial mindsets, definitions, are changing.
Raju Narisetti Steve Reiss