This list is entirely subjective and also pretty stupid. I don’t care. Walter Pincus has won a Pulitzer and I respect what he does, but don’t read everything he writes. These writers, in no particular order, I never miss…(See parts two and three).
1. Gene Weingarten: Though I am sad he no longer writes long-form pieces for the now way-too-upbeat Washington Post Magazine, there is bright side. In addition to his weekly humor column, he now produces the comic strip Barney & Clyde with his son, David, and artist David Clark.
Gene spoke at my graduation at Maryland — I subsequently tuned him out. He might not be the best public speaker but he is ROFL funny and poignant in his own curmudgenous way. He frequently makes great, if satiric, observations about language and journalism in his columns, and for that I thank him.
2. Paul Duggan: THE Washington crime writer. His series on the South Capitol Street Shootings (parts one, two and three) read like chapters from a George Pelecanos book. Maybe Duggan should consider writing one.
Duggan easily immerses himself in the seamy underbelly of the city, pushing through police jargon and correctly using D.C. slang as he gets at scoops that make cops’ blood boil. His work is infrequent, but when it comes out, pour some coffee and get comfortable: It’s going to be good.
3. Thomas Boswell: The Boz is a prolific writer and author, specializing in baseball, and he writes columns and leads chats that are intelligent and mix stats and “old-school” journalism seamlessly. He’s been doing it forever, and I hope he never stops. His Nationals optimism is a tad ridiculous, though. That can be forgiven.
In contrast to Michael Wilbon, who started lazily tossing out opinions backed up with little reporting after he got on PTI (though his recent work writing for ESPN has been encouraging), Boswell gets better with age. A friend explained Boswell can be so persuasive, he has seen people change their minds on a big signing after reading one of Boz’s columns. Umm, like you mean how he made me second-guess the Red Sox signing of Carl Crawford? Yes, Boz is that good.