The wonky Washington, D.C. publication Politico turned 15 years old. And you probably heard about it, as the publication wasn’t shy about touting the accomplishment. But buried within their glowing self-promotional “Oral History” feature, published Saturday, the publication makes a rather outlandish claim: that they revolutionized Capitol Hill hallway interviews. Under one section titled “Breaking Taboos,” the publication claims: “Around this time in the Capitol, there was a certain way of doing things. Stopping a senator in the hallway for a question? Normal now, but back then, it could cause problems.” To support the claim, the publication turned inwards to Politico’s own communications spokesperson Brad Dayspring, who wrote: “Things that happen 1,000 times a day now, and are totally commonplace, were just unheard of at the time. Instead of grabbing a congressman or a senator in the hallway, reporters would call the press flack.”
That claim made by Politico was blasted by reporters. “No. Politico did not invent Capitol hallway interviews,” Mother Jones’ Dan Friedman tweeted. “Showdown at Gucci Gulch, which was written in 1988, was based on and described exactly this kind of reporting,” New York Times reporter Coral Davenport, who once worked for Politico, said. Washington Post reporter Olivier Knox noted, “It was completely normal in 1998-1999, too, This Old Guy Confirms.” “OMG it’s been normal for decades,” CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood added. Reached for comment by The Daily Beast, Dayspring said that the conclusion drawn from the article by high-profile reporters was “silly.” “The point was that the types of stories being written at the time and the pace for filing them dramatically changed when Politico arrived in 2007,” he said.