Oct 092013
 

In this episode of the Wait Wait… Washington, D.C., has long been thought of as a city filled with corrupt, cynical careerists who care only about themselves. Well, New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich has written a book called that basically proves it.

We’ve invited him to play a game called “You think you’ve got to suck up …” Leibovich may be an expert on Washington culture, but what does he know about the court of Versailles under Louis XIV?

Listen to the Story

PETER SAGAL, HOST: And now the game where we ask interesting people about things they’re not interested in. It’s called Not My Job. Everybody always thought of Washington, D.C., as a city filled with corrupt, cynical careerists who only cared about themselves. Well, New York Times reporter Mark Liebovich wrote a new book, called “This Town” that basically says we were all right. Mark Leibovich, welcome to WAIT WAIT.

MARK LEIBOVICH: Thanks, Peter, good to be here.

SAGAL: It’s great to have you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So my first question is: What weasel talked you out of your initial title for the book, which was, I understand, “Suck-up City”?

LEIBOVICH: That’s a great question. I mean…

P.J. O’ROURKE: That’s a great title, too.

LEIBOVICH: My wife, basically. I blame her. No, we were talking, and we have young kids. It seemed a little crass and a little in your face. It was definitely close, and “This Town” won by a hair, sort of clean and generic, right?

SAGAL: I understand. Now you’d been in Washington for many years, right, as a reporter for the Post and for the New York Times.

LEIBOVICH: Yes, 16 years.

SAGAL: Sixteen years. And what finally put you to the point where you’re like I just have to write this book-length screed about these shallow, horrible people?

(LAUGHTER)

 

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