By nature gossip blogging is a malicious profession. Especially in the self-important world of Washington, D.C., where even those who have cashed in their gossiping chips and fled town remain vulnerable to attack. Case in point: Ana Marie Cox, founding editor of Wonkette and former high priestess of D.C.-area snark, under fire from Betsy Rothstein, editor of FishBowl DC and current high priestess of D.C.-area snark.
This afternoon Rothstein penned a blog post titled "Has Washington Already Forgotten Ana Marie Cox?" devoted to highlighting Cox's diminished profile in D.C. since her move out of the Beltway this summer. It doesn't spare details about, say, her Twitter followers or personal life. Punctuating the end of the post, Rothstein says Cox represents a kind of "cautionary" tale for Washington journalists: "One day, the new hot thing. The next, a footnote."
Talk about assuming the gossip throne magnanimously! The rather spiteful post isn't necessarily surprising given Rothstein's penchant for getting under other journalists' skin. But you'd think she could sympathize with someone fleeing the muggy world of Washington, D.C., given that Rothstein took her own "sabbatical of sorts" to Portland, Oregon in 2009. But nay. It appears Rothstein has somewhat of a yen for tweaking Cox. It was just earlier this month that Rothstein reported on Cox's "shrinking audience" on Twitter. (At the time, Cox went from 1,470,000 to 1,450,000. Gasp!) We asked Cox if there's something personal going on between her and Rothstein and will update if she responds. For now, there' still Cox's response to Rothstein's initial post on her Twitter clout from September 10:
"Losing 1.3% of my Twitter followers is the kind of tragedy I would write a mocking Tweet about had I not come to realize that covering the minutiae of the lives and careers of the 'famous-for-DC' is exactly sort of bottom-of-the-bellybutton scraping that has caused so many Americans outside the Beltway to look upon our insular culture as something repellent, pitiable and possibly untenable," Ms. Cox wrote in a statement provided to The Awl. "By the way, is Fishtank hiring?"