Jen Wagner NOT

Dateline: Sun 07 Jun 2009

I have to get my licks in re: Cathy Kightlinger's Talk of the Town column Thursday, revealing that Jen Wagner, a former Star reporter/Democrat activist, is leaving Indy for a better deal in Washington, D.C,

That's all well and good -- Kightlinger noted that the former Taking Down Words blogger has accepted a dream job with Team Obama (deputy director of public affairs for the National Nuclear Security Administration.)

But CK also referenced Wagner as having been dubbed "the  nastiest woman in politics," without explaining that little moniker came from blogger Brian Howey, who writes from the other side of the fence and had multiple pissing matches with Wagner -- hey, that's politics.

I have to say: Wagner was a young reporter at the Star who generously passed on tips when she covered the mayor's office and City-County government. As a blogger and law student, her Taking Down Words was must reading -- not only because it was newsy but because, yes, the girl had attitude.

So what? Wagner also has a generous heart and ethics.  I'll spare the sentimental details, but it's the truth.

She and her family will fare well in Washington. God speed, and please, let's bury the nasty woman bullshit once and for all. Or move it where it belongs.

Comments

Ms. Cynical [Member] said:

It just proves, once again, that Cathy Kightlinger is the wrong person for the job. <I>The Star</I> should never have fired Susan Guyett!

2009-06-07 13:48:12

hendy [unverified] said:

How droll....

But I cancelled my subscription three weeks ago. For all of those that think that the IndyStar is addictive as nicotine, let me tell you: I kicked the habit and life is so much better now without the madness of The Star to deal with.

Ok, I miss a few people. Dan, RU listening? Erica-- get a job with the IBJ before the ship sinks. Otherwise, life's become easier. I still jones for the comics, but they're mostly online anyway.

2009-06-07 13:56:15

Gary Welsh [unverified] said:

Ruth, I have to disagree with your comment about Howey writing from the other side of the political offense. It is true that Howey once worked for the GOP; however, nobody was a bigger cheerleader for Obama during the 2008 campaign than Howey. Jen used to contribute to Howey's newseletter when they were on good terms. She took a number of digs at him after she left as a contributor. I've had my disagreements with Howey on a number of issues, but I think he was justified in making that statement about Jen when he made it.

2009-06-07 20:06:45

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Gary, Howey is a tired political hack, His "predictions" are rarely true, and nobody pays that much attention to him any more. I honestly don't know how the man makes a living. It's not about his views, damn it--he's wrong more than he's right. He's entitled to his views. In a business (political newsletters) where you'd think it would matter.

Jen never professed to be anything other than a partisan political blogger. Howey professes to be a neutral political observer. When he took off on her, it was as bush league as anything I've seen in this town. And remember--this IS the Indianapolis media we're talking about. Some of them invented the term. I have heard him pontificate (for fees) at conferences, too...once, the audience was much more informed on a particular issue, and chuckled at several points he made. His response? He lashed back in print and in future speaking engagements.

He's an old woman trying to exact paybacks, and it's ugly. If, in that biz you ever WANT eo exact revenge, skilled politicos have ways of doing it.

And the good ones will all tell you "revenge is a dish best served cold." Something Brian never learned.

Bon voyage Jen. Our loss is DC's gain.

Oh yeah, she's a better writer asleep than Howey is awake. That counts for something in most places...not here, sadly.



Ruth was correctly referring to the moniker Brian attached to Jen. I, too, have met and dealt with Jen. She's blatantly partisan and kind, smart and humane. And honest.

Under no circumstances was Howey'sdepiction of Jen Wagner close to the truth or fair.

2009-06-07 21:01:58

JudgeNot [unverified] said:

I have known Jen in several capacities and have always found her to be forthright, honest and blunt. These qualities may irritate some but are attributes I value. Indy will miss her!

2009-06-08 09:29:59

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