BuzzFeed, the up-and-coming website that graduated from covering funny cat pictures to covering politics AND funny cat pictures, celebrated the launch of its D.C. bureau in a packed party at the Brixton Wednesday night. Reporters from nearly every outlet in town were joined by few political types -- Bill Burton of President Obama's super-PAC, Priorities USA, and Michael Steel, press secretary for House Speaker John Boehner, who showed up in jeans -- for the free booze, fancy cheese and prosciutto.
Apparently, all that free stuff made the Washington press corps forget its manners, because almost everyone totally stiffed the Brixton's excellent waitstaff. One server looked sadly grateful for two dollars thrown her way after hustling to deliver drinks. A bartender showed similar gratitude for a measly three dollars, leading Yeas & Nays to inquire if she had been receiving many tips that night. "No," she said. "Not at all." (BuzzFeed spokeswoman Ashley McCollum assures Yeas & Nays that the waitstaff was taken care of -- BuzzFeed provided gratuity.)
The crowd was treated to an LOL during BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith's remarks. Smith, who left Politico for the top job at BuzzFeed last December (a move that at the time raised some eyebrows), told the crowd it was "really fun for me to see my friends from Politico here."
"It's very ..." he seemed to struggle for a phrase while one lubricated partygoer supplied him with one: "Awkward!"
BuzzFeed's D.C. bureau will employ four members: John Stanton, recently snagged from Roll Call; Chris Geidner from Metro Weekly; Zeke Miller, who's moving to town; and a fourth reporter to be hired by year's end. The search for a newsroom is still on.