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Matt Welch: The Liberace Of Libertarians

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Matt Welch: The Liberace Of Libertarians
If daily paper people were so smart, Matt Welch would be working for one of them.

For some super-prissy daily newspaper reporting about Matt's move to Washington to be editor-in-chief of Reason magazine -- one of my monthly must-reads, and some of the best and most original writing and thinking out there -- there's this goofiness, by Monica Hesse, in The Washington Post.

No, Matt Welch is not gay and auditioning to take over some role from Liza Minnelli -- Hesse just makes him sound that way.

And on Jan. 1, [Nick] Gillespie will leave his print magazine role to bulk up the presence of and His replacement is Matt Welch, a former Los Angeles Times opinion writer who wears pink vests with rhinestone buttons and has a French wife.

Uh, actually, I believe Matt has one vest that's a kind of western dusty rose-ish color, not "pink," and Matt Welch was not just an "opinion writer," but "assistant editor of the editorial pages of The Times." And he also wrote a damn good book on McCain, McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. Got Google?

As for the "French wife," referred to later in the piece simply as "Emmanuelle," her name is Emmanuelle Richard, and she writes for Libération, French Vogue, and others, and she's training to be a private eye.

The piece opens with this:

Four minutes into Reason magazine's monthly bash at the Big Hunt lounge, and every Libertarian-as-Bacchus fantasy you've entertained plays out before your widening eyes.

Nick Gillespie, the leather-jacketed, Mama-said-you're-dangerous editor of the political rag peers at you intently. "What do you need?" he asks. "Do you need a drink? A cigarette?"

A stranger reaches out to knead your shoulders. Maybe what you need is a relaxing back rub.

My, is that cloying smell in the stairwell . . . marijuana?

Yeah, they ran out of the stuff for the meth lab. Oops, seems I missed the part where they were having an orgy on the floor. Your "Libertarian-as-Bacchus" fantasy is a guy offering you a drink or a smoke? Right.

Jeez! Where'd they find this girl! I mean, I think Nick is probably snickering at both the free press and how he's made out to be "dangerous" for merely being...I guess, dangerously hospitable while wearing a leather jacket...and Matt is probably laughing, but maybe a bit less, since everyone who reads that article will expect him to show up for CNN talking-headers in a big lavender boa and matching feathered mules.

The one bit of trivia I will reveal about Matt Welch is that it's near fucking impossible to take a good picture of him.

I mean, he's a good-looking guy, and I have probably taken 100 photos of him, all told, but here's the single best one I have EVER taken of him, from the LA Press Club Awards, where he's seated next to his "French wife" Emmanuelle. Emmanuelle Richard to you, Ms. Hessssse.


Wait! I forgot. Here's one more rare shot that captures Matt accurately, from Maia Lazar's birthday at Cathy Seipp's house (sadly, Cathy didn't make it that long).


Matt's in the middle. Roman Genn is on the left, Andrew Breitbart is the one (in the shower shoe!) on the right.

Yeah, them Converse with them-there black socks; clearly the footgear of the Liberace of libertarians. (We may have to call him that from now on. In fact, I'm retitling this post was, up till now, entitled, "If Daily Paper People Were So Smart...")

There's more:

The crowd is more guys than gals, and the women who do arrive look gamine and mischievous, and like they wouldn't say no to a cigarette.

Oh. Please.

Does anyone else find use of the word "gals" by anybody who isn't eligible for Social Security a powerful emetic?

And then there's this about Emmanuelle:

At a recent event, Emmanuelle, Welch's wife, wears black leather pants with a yellow racing stripe running up each leg.

And? Is this code for something, Ms. Hesse? She probably made them look better than an Oscars dress on most women. For example, here she is on her way to your fuddyass town:


And then there's this on the rug:

Five months ago, Reason leased a space in Dupont Circle. Those high on the masthead had decided a 202 area code was necessary for clout; the new location is low on office equipment but high on sex -- flat-screen TVs, granite countertops and a large shag rug. Beige, yes, but shag.

Yes, libertarians are strange, near-extinct animals grazing between the shag. Silly, silly piece.

Oh yeah, and in typical daily paper fashion, the comments on the piece, which came out December 23, are already closed.

link via Kate Coe