NEW YORK -- Media critic Jack Shafer is joining Politico to write a regular column on the press and politics as well as feature-length articles, according to a staff memo obtained by The Huffington Post.
Politico editor Susan Glasser described Shafer as "the premier press critic of our time" in a memo announcing the hire.
Glasser said that Shafer will be an "indispensable guide to the political tumult, who always calls it like he sees it and whose sharp insights and razor observations come accompanied not only by deeply informed reporting -- but also by a requisite sense of the long history underpinning all this narrative of American political journalism."
Shafer, who has previously written and edited for Slate, Washington City Paper and San Francisco Weekly, was laid off from Reuters in November. In a spirited interview with Capital New York about the departure, Shafer balked at the suggestion that he had been "unceremoniously" let go.
"It’s wrong to say it’s 'unceremoniously,'" Shafer said. "The job is theirs. The job belongs to Slate or the job belongs to Reuters, not to me. The day that they decide that job doesn’t exist or they don’t want me in that job, there’s nothing unceremonious about it. We know this going in. We’re mercenaries."
There has been significant movement within Politico's newsroom in recent weeks, with high-level editors and senior writers both coming and going.
Shafer starts Tuesday.
Read Glasser's memo below:
The incomparable Jack Shafer is joining us! Jack is the premier press critic of our time, and we can’t wait to welcome him to POLITICO. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long; he’ll start here on Tuesday, launching a regular new column for us and doing more longform reporting and feature-length articles. As we begin the quadrennial follies of a presidential election amid a wave of media disruption, Jack promises to be the indispensable guide to the political tumult, who always calls it like he sees it and whose sharp insights and razor observations come accompanied not only by deeply informed reporting – but also by a requisite sense of the long history underpinning all this narrative of American political journalism. Jack’s resume is of course the perfect one to enable him to play the referee: he’s tried just about every kind of journalistic reinvention himself. Until recently, he wrote a column about the press and politics for Reuters; for 15 years before that he worked at Slate, first as deputy editor and then as the site’s Press Box columnist. Prior to Slate he spent 11 years editing two alternative weeklies—San Francisco Weekly and Washington City Paper. And before that he was managing editor of a now-defunct political magazine called Inquiry.
Please join us in welcoming Jack!