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Erik Wemple

Erik Wemple (born August 18, 1964)[citation needed] is a US journalist who works as a media critic at The Washington Post. He was formerly the editor of the alternative weekly Washington City Paper.

Erik Wemple
Born (1964-08-18) August 18, 1964 (age 54)
Alma mater Hamilton College
Occupation Media Critic


Early lifeEdit

Wemple was raised in Niskayuna, New York,[1] and attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, graduating in 1986. In 1986-87 Wemple taught and coached sports at Trinity Pawling School, in Pawling, New York. In the fall of 1987, he moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue graduate studies at Georgetown University.[citation needed]


Wemple began contributing articles to the Washington City Paper in the late 1990s. From January 1999 to November 2000, Wemple wrote the paper's political column, Loose Lips, before becoming editor.[2] Previously, he was Washington correspondent for and CableWorld magazine.[2]

In 2004, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies awarded Wemple and Josh Levin an Alternative Newsweekly Award for their article "Off Target", published in Washington City Paper.[3]

In June 2006, Wemple accepted the editor-in-chief position at The Village Voice. A month later, he announced he would not assume the position, stating that "the paper's ownership and I have failed to come to terms in our many discussions about moving forward, particularly with respect to newsroom management."[2][4]

In February 2010, Wemple informed the staff of the staff of the Washington City Paper that he was leaving to be the new editor of[5]

In 2013, J. K. Trotter of Gawker Media declared Wemple a "hero", and that "like a deeply embedded anthropologist, Wemple scours Washington media (and, not infrequently, their New York counterparts) for hypocrisy, excess, and corruption. He's the anti-Mike Allen, frequently piercing the Politico's madman's self-inflating bubble of hype at the moment it threatens to blot out the sun."[6]

Notable storiesEdit

In his Washington Post blog, Wemple frequently broke news about a libel suit against fellow journalist Betsy Rothstein and the website Fishbowl DC. Rothstein wrote several posts alleging that a local Washington publicist, Wendy Gordon, was promiscuous and often drunk.[2][7] Rothstein asserted as a defense that she had not libeled Gordon because what she had written was in part satirical. Wemple was the first to report settlement of the lawsuit, and also the first reporter to whom Gordon spoke, an "exclusive" which he posted on his "Erik Wemple blog" in the Post.[8] Rothstein countered that Wemple's exhaustive coverage of the case, which Rothstein said was "excessive" and unfair, was driven by earlier negative posts she had published about Wemple at Fishbowl DC, writing that "Wemple does not see how his disdain for FishbowlDC just drips through" while making "decisions he made while writing."[9]

Wemple also claims to have broke news with regard to the Washington Post hiring minority writers.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Wemple is married to Stephanie Mencimer, who as of 2018 works a staff reporter in the Washington office of Mother Jones.[11]


  1. ^ McGuire, Mark (2014-09-21). "Niskayuna native Wemple now a D.C. fixture". Daily Gazette. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  2. ^ a b c d "Erik Wemple", brief biography in the People Directory of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN), accessed August 29, 2007. (Inc. hyperlinked archive to "In the News" articles by and about Wemple and his AAN award and honorable mention.)
  3. ^ "Alternative Newsweekly Award Winners Announced". Association of Alternative Newsmedia. 2004-06-27. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  4. ^ Motoko Rich, "Before He Moves In, The Village Voice's Editor Moves On", The New York Times, June 16, 2006, accessed April 11, 2008.
  5. ^ "Washington City Paper Editor Erik Wemple is Leaving the Paper". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  6. ^ J.K. Trotter. "Gawker Heroes: Erik Wemple". J.K. Trotter. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  7. ^ Erik Wemple, "Inside the Lawsuit Against Fishbowl DC", The Washington Post, January 23, 2013
  8. ^ "Inside the lawsuit against FishbowlDC". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  9. ^ "WaPo's Wemple Wimps Out". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  10. ^ Ian Schwartz (15 February 2017). "Tucker Carlson Roasts Washington Post's Erik Wemple: "I See You As A Political Hack"". RealClear Politics. Retrieved 25 September 2018. said he "broke news" in his exclusive report that The Washington Post had a problem with hiring minority writers.
  11. ^ "Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend isn't helping the nominee's case". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2018-09-18.

External linksEdit