The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, August 16, 2002  

At Least the Right Man Has It

Does Lloyd Grove have the easiest job in the world or what?

The Washington Post’s gossip, who writes a twice-a-week column, the incredibly misnamed “Reliable Source,” was out with one of his typical yawners yesterday, the only interesting feature of which is that it blatantly reveals how little effort Grove puts into his work.

Yesterday’s scribbling runs 842 words, excluding the byline, the headline, sub-headlines, and captions. Of these, 331 words -- 39 percent of the column -- were all but lifted from a story that ran on “Page Six” of Wednesday’s New York Post.

Not word-for-word, mind you, but it may as well have been. We invite you to compare the texts. Regardless, Grove’s lead story was not his own and as best we can determine, the scribe’s contribution to his readers’ understanding of the event under discussion amounted to a few telephone calls, only two of which are mentioned specifically.

Grove’s big “scoop,” which again, comes from the pages of the New York Post and not from original reporting, has an aide to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) briefly removing her blouse and revealing her bra at Rise, a bar in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in lower Manhattan, an act that led to her ejection from the cocktail lounge.

Here’s the sum of Grove’s reportage:

(1) Grove, or someone working for him, called the aide in question, Kara Hughes, once. Hughes did not return the call. That’s not too surprising, and arguably was unfair to Hughes. After all, when we sought a comment from Grove a while back we made four calls to him, none of which was, nor has been, returned even to this day.

(2) Grove, or someone working for him, called Sen. Clinton’s spokesman Philippe Reines, who responded, appropriately enough, “We don't comment on stories about staffers’ personal lives -- including mine.”

So that’s it, two phone calls, though Grove makes a vague reference to performing “some due diligence,” which could very well amount to nothing more than the two phone calls we just mentioned.

Other than serving as a gratuitous swipe at Sen. Clinton, what was the point of publishing this wholly unoriginal piece?

Just when you think he can’t go any lower, Grove finds another way to debase himself, pulling the reputation of the Post down with him.

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