The Post needed two writers to replace Metro columnist Marc Fisher. In tapping Robert McCartney and Petula Dvorak, the paper went for experience and comfort, not youth and passion.
McCartney is almost a Post lifer—he went there in 1982. He has covered Central American wars, Wall Street, and Europe and has edited foreign and local news. But what might have best prepared him for a local column is that his son went all the way through Montgomery County public schools.
“I’m looking forward to expressing my point of view,” McCartney says. The styles of the columnists he admires—Steve Pearlstein of the Post, Tom Friedman of the New York Times—suggest that his pieces will be more wonky than gritty.
Dvorak’s route to the column passed through writing jobs at the Prague Post and the Orange County Register. She’s been covering local news for a decade. Sources say her sample columns had the perspective of a working mom.
In other newsroom shifts, pop-music critic J. Freedom du Lac is giving up his gig to join a newly created team of reporters searching out hot news in the region—with Fisher as editor.
This article first appeared in the July 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.
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