Anyone who follows Charlie Pierce on Facebook knows the guy was born to be a political blogger. Few combine snark, outrage and an eye for interesting links better than he.
Well, now Jim Romenesko reports that Pierce is leaving the Boston Globe Magazine to become the lead writer for Esquire magazine’s “Politics Blog.” (Pierce was already a contributing editor for Esquire.) Editor-in-chief David Granger says:
Charlie is going to make Esquire.com’s “The Politics Blog” one of the very few political blogs one has to read every day, all day. He is one of the great American voices, and we’re confident that he will lead a national conversation during what should be the most entertaining political season of our lifetimes.
The timing is a bit awkward for the Globe. While you still can, check out a video of Pierce talking about his favorite writers, which he made as part of a Globe ad campaign.
In 2009 I wrote about Pierce’s book “Idiot America” for the Guardian. Pierce is a longtime friend of Media Nation, and I wish him the best.
Update: Turns out there was more to Pierce’s departure from the Globe. Jack Sullivan of CommonWealth Magazine reports that Pierce was disciplined for writing an “intemperate and intolerant” blog post about Tea Party Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell for Esquire last year. Among other things, he called her a “sideshow freak” and a “crackpot,” observations that might seem unremarkable to anyone familiar with Pierce’s writing style, O’Donnell’s bona fides or both.
Pierce currently has a union grievance pending against management. Pierce told Sullivan, “You could probably safely say ‘yes’” as to whether the dispute was among the factors that persuaded him to leave.
It would be easy to rip Globe managers for letting one of their most original writers walk over such a minor matter. But I understand why a paper like the Globe prohibits its writers from going postal for other publications, much as that policy might seem archaic in the Internet era. So I’ll leave it at this: What Pierce wrote for Esquire was precisely what the Globe could have anticipated he would write — it was standard-issue Pierce, neither more nor less caustic than his political writing in general. (Good Lord, have they read “Idiot America”?)
And the Globe is losing a lot more than it’s gaining.