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Image Hosted by Tonight on TDS, Mark Leibovich,  This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral - Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking! - in America's Gilded Capital; and on TCR, musical guests The Lumineers .
sausage grinder of snark

John's got Mark Leibovich, whose recent book was reviewed on the FP  last weekend, where Susan Gardner seems to rate it as maybe half a step up from 'guilty pleasure':
From the opening paragraphs of This Town, a frothy Beltway insider tell-all by New York Times Magazine writer Mark Leibovich, you know you're in for one of those reads that is equal parts riveting and horrifying, in which you compulsively keep reading even as you tell yourself it's nearly 400 pages of focus on ego, power, cash and trivia.

But is that all it is? Trivia? Well, it's certainly gossipy and (frankly, embarrassingly) rollicking fun and sharply written. And it certainly documents the trivial preoccupations of the preening class of politicians, media personalities who cover them, and lobbyists who attempt to sway them—the collective class Leibovich calls "the poli-media pigpen." But the bottom line is, these egomaniacs control our information flow and run our government. The fact that they are turbocharged with one-upmanship, starved for attention, single-mindedly devoted to advancing their personal "brand"—these facts are not trivial. And it's pretty damning that one of their own—a guy who freely admits he partakes of the same parties, funerals, bar mitzvahs and weddings as his co-horts—is turning over the rock and shining a light there for the rest of us...

The NYTimes book review (Leibovich writes for the NYTimes Magazine) has this to say:
Not to ruin it for you, but: if you already hate Washington, you’re going to hate it a whole lot more after reading Mark Leibovich’s takedown of the creatures who infest our nation’s capital and rule our destinies. And in case you are deluded enough as to think they care, you’ll learn that they already hate you...

 Anyone who’s lived in Washington for any length of time, listening to the latest candidate for the nation’s highest office thump the lectern and proclaim he is going to change the way we do business in Washington . . . will yawn. We heard rather a lot about all that in 2008. So, has Washington changed? Or as Sarah Palin would put it, “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for ya?”

The answer, according to Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, is: yes, actually, it has, but not in ways that benefit the Republic that the founders bequeathed us and that we squander so promiscuously.

He adduces four serious — I’m trying to avoid saying “tectonic” — shifts that have taken place over the last 40 years. Combined, they make “This Town” read like the endgame chapters of Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” In addition to his reporting talents, Leibovich is a writer of excellent zest. At times, this book is laugh-out-loud (as well as weep-out-loud). He is an exuberant writer, even as his reporting leaves one reaching for the Xanax. As for those four big changes...

Hahahahahaha! “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire!" Hahahahahah!

Um. Well. So.

Plenty more out there, just waiting for your google-fu. Here's some of the easy ones:

publisher's page



gossip at Fishbowl DC

Mark Leibovich: “Washington is not a psychologically savvy city”
Mark Leibovich, author "This Town," tells Salon about the money lobbyists and pundits make off D.C. dysfunction

NY Observer review:

In his new book This Town (Blue Rider Press, 400 pp., $27.95), Mark Leibovich commits an act of treason against the Washington establishment. After years of attending its parties, Mr. Leibovich, a national correspondent for The New York Times, turns his pen against the city’s social class and empties his notebook of all the cozy friendships and indiscreet cocktail chatter. The book, when it finally came out last week, had already unnerved the capital for months. Politico published a prophylactic piece that attempted to scoop some of the book’s best scenes, with the clear message that their “Leibo” was no outsider.

But he doesn’t need to be. ..

Politico Has Published an Astonishing 17 Items on Mark Leibovich's "This Town"

I do like when Stephen has musicial guests, but these videos are leaving me rather bleh (and I usually expect to enjoy folk-rock!). Maybe it'll be better live.  

Thought I'd like this one, but these guys do know that covering a Dylan song doesn't mean you have to actually mimic his vocal, um, techniques -- right?
Though maybe it's not affect:

Loved this, though:

on youtube

on facebook
on twitter

song premiere at Rolling Stone

And the lazy:
Upcoming guests:

Mo 7/29: Mark Leibovich
Tu 7/30: Tim Gunn
We 7/31: Hank Azaria
Th 8/1: Colin Quinn


Mo 7/29: The Lumineers
Tu 7/30: Atul Gawande
We 7/31: Emily Matchar
Th 8/1: Bryan Cranston

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