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Report to Readers

Report to Readers: Fast, furious and well-told

Longtime readers of the Monitor might remember the name Ann E. Marimow, a talented reporter who got her start here and now works for the Washington Post. She had a particularly good story in the paper over the weekend. And if you, like me, have been feeling remiss about never quite getting your head around the so-called Fast and Furious scandal in D.C., it’s definitely worth a read.

The story is a profile of a Justice Department official whose career was dramatically derailed by Fast and Furious, despite the fact that he had no role in devising or supervising the controversial “gun-walking” scheme. It’s full of terrific details about an ambitious lawyer – including the fact that his first taste of Washington, D.C., came in the 1982, when he participated in the National Spelling Bee.

Marimow writes, “(Jason) Weinstein’s experience has become something of a cautionary tale about the risks and responsibilities of occupying a relatively high-level government post. And his past 18 months illustrate what it’s like to be swept up in the vortex of a Washington scandal that often inflicts damage on central figures and tangential players alike.”

Marimow covers the federal courts in Washington. At the Monitor, she made a name for herself covering John McCain’s first campaign for president in the 2000 New Hampshire primary. When we were divvying up the candidates among the reporters that year, we sure didn’t think McCain was the likely winner. The more seasoned political reporters that year got to cover George W. Bush and Al Gore. Marimow was young and serious, and as the McCain campaign took off, so did she.

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