Having already said his piece on NYC, Friedersdorf takes aim at a new target:
The overlap between colleagues and friends, already more pronounced in Washington, D.C. than any other city I've observed, is intensified by the fact that standards of loyalty are complicated. It is expected, if lamentable, that ideological movements label fellow travelers to be betrayers of the cause, or useful idiots, on certain occasions when they engage in honestly held disagreement. Even more insidious, however, is the notion that by criticizing someone's book, or questioning the findings of their research, or calling out their employer, one is betraying a friend, or even an entire circle of friends.
So much about Washington, D.C. incubates that fraught culture: its smallness, a social calendar organized around events with ideological affiliations, the combination of high rents, staffers right out of college, and free food provided by think tanks at lunchtime round tables, group house living, happy hour networking, the fuzzy line that separates journalism and activism, the people who cross back and forth without lengthening their commute, etc.
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