Today brought the happy, but not entirely unexpected, news that Dave Weigel, who left the Washington Post last month after emails he wrote to a private, and now-defunct, email list (I wrote about my experience with JournoList in our August issue) were leaked to a conservative publication, has joined Slate, an independent part of the Post's parent company. The amusing—and revealing—elements of the move aside (Slate also houses Mickey Kaus, the first blogger to published leaked emails from the listserv, JournoList), it seems like a great move for Weigel.
A frequent joke about Slate is that the web magazine can be needlessly counterintuitive. But where it frequently excels is in jumping subcultural trends up to the level of national conversation, exploring cultural and community dynamics, and fusing personality and voice to reporting. Pop critic Jonah Weiner regularly does the first in his rock and pop reporting, Emily Bazelon's reporting on bullying prosecutions of teenagers in a Massachusetts town is a masterful example of the second, and Timothy Noah's gentle pointedness on everything from insurance reform to summer camp and Jack Shafer's tart, sometimes crotchety media criticism, are archetypes of the third.
The Post may have wanted straight reporting from Weigel, and a blank slate behind it, but at Slate he'll be able to play, and to make an asset out of his personality and voice.