I heard early in November—and then confirmed—that Dave Weigel was leaving Reason, but for reasons you’ll see in my huge disclaimer, I respected Weigel’s request that I keep it on the DL until he announced it himself. From his blog:
[A]t the start of December I am leaving reason magazine, my journalistic home since April 2006. You could not concoct a better 30 months to be the political reporter for America’s flagship libertarian journal. I was there when the Republican party hit the rocks in 2006 (and I’m afraid I helped cost Jeff Flake his committee seat). I covered the Ron Paul r3VOLution from start to… well, is it finished yet? I was there when Bob Barr joined the Libertarian Party, there when he became its presidential candidate, and there when he ended his campaign by blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.
It’s an amicable parting. Starting last week, I’ve been writing at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog. There are three Word files with freelance stories open in front of me, and there are e-mails about additional reporting gigs in my mailbox. And I get to keep living in and covering D.C.
Wiegel is not only a great political journalist, but also a breathing, fidgeting, iPhone-checking encyclopedia of political trivia. Other people can do strange things with ping-pong balls, but Weigel rocks the party by reciting electoral-vote margins from the last eight presidential elections. A great example of the two skills meeting was his no-nonsense debunking of the Bradley Effect, which preceded less-colorful pronouncements by mainstream pundits. As a regular reader of his, I’m a little disappointed that he’ll be writing sans byline, but you can’t fault a guy for answering the door when opportunity called.
[Huge disclaimer: Dave Weigel and I worked together at Reason, where I am still a contributor. Weigel has also written for Washington City Paper. He once bought me a sandwich.]