7. John Kelly: In case you couldn’t tell by my subjects, this is the job I want: Metro humor columnist. Too bad this position will likely be extinct in a few years, the result millions of morons like myself furiously regurgitating others’ work. For now, though, we can enjoy Kelly’s Seinfeldian observations, which range from humorous to historical to gut-wrenching. Kelly sees daily life in D.C., and makes it sing on the page.
Kelly also has another great gift, besides chronicling our irritations with the Beltway and snow storms — he can write in many voices, including fiction. His most memorable work is written from the perspective of animals in the National Zoo, as they all comment on a lion killing a deer in 2009. Even if I had that idea, I couldn’t have written it as he does.
8. Robert Thomsen: Dr. Gridlock has all the transit dork stuff locked down in the D.C. area. Every Sunday that Metro section Commuter Page has some super cool map or explanation of the Silver Line — always a must-read for anyone interested in how cities work.
But what I like best about Thomsen is how he tows the line between drivers and Metroers, Washingtonians and suburbians. He equitably distributes his coverage and takes plenty of angry letters that would make me pop a gasket. A recent one from a District resident bemoaning D.C.’s anti-car reign of Gabe Klein, really got me going. Thomsen printed the dude’s whole letter, then responded in a cool, calm manner befitting a top-tier journalist. Bravo.
9. Dan Steinberg: What do we bloggers owe Steinberg and his D.C. Sports Bog, named after Steinberg’s following interaction with Ralph Friedgen? A lot.
The Author covered the Maryland football team in 2005. When he told Ralph Friedgen he was leaving the beat, the coach replied, “I don’t even know what a bog is.”
Steinberg is a good reporter, and he took Bill Simmons idea of humor sports writing a step further and actually breaks stories. He is, as all good comedians are, self-deprecating, and sets an example for how good journalists will produce content as newspaper revenue keeps heading digital. It is not clear what is in store for Steinberg, but I would not be surprised if he eventually becomes a full-time columnist — he is just a really gifted writer. As long as he keeps bogging, hell, I think we can all agree that’s a fine move for him.
10. Chris Cillizza: Minute-by-minute, state-by-state, Cillizza produces a lot of content on national politics. And along with most of the other writers on this inane list, he shares a sense of humor that puts his writing and reporting over the top, most glowingly his “Worst Week in Washington” feature, which salted Albert Haynesworth’s nuts in fine fashion recently:
Albert Haynesworth, for setting a new (low) standard for how a professional athlete should act, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Chris Cilliza, you’ve been selected as one of the Washington Post’s best writers by an obscure local blog. Congrats, or something.