I am Mark Hemingway!

The other day I received this letter asking, quite simply, “Who is this ‘Mark’ person who keeps writing posts for GetReligion?”

Now, I realize that if you happened to have missed this notice the other day, you would not realize that Mark is, in fact, Mark Hemingway, the husband of the Divine Ms. Mollie Ziegler Hemingway. Other than this role, he is best known here in Beltway Land as a scribe in a number of settings, most recently National Review Online and, now, the editorial pages of the the Washington Examiner.

Trust me, he is a very nice, low key kind of guy, the rare Capital Hill resident who says, “Good morning” and smiles when you pass him on the sidewalk.

Mark is, at the moment, pinch hitting for young master Brad Greenberg, who has been (a) coping with a hurt foot and (b) trying to survive his first set of law school final exams (though not in that order). Brad will be back soon, perhaps by the end of next week. Meanwhile, I hope that Mark will continue to slip in the occasional odd post for us here at GetReligion, perhaps when MZ is buried in other duties, which happens from time to time.

And, besides, Mark is now famous or infamous, depending on one’s point of view. He’s a brand name.

If you’ve been reading the fine print here at the weblog (including some exchanges in the comments pages) you know that something very strange happened the other night on “30 Rock.” Here’s some of the report that followed at The Politico.

Did NBC’s “30 Rock” take a swipe at a local opinion writer on Thursday’s show?

Sure seems like it. During one scene, Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) makes fun of the incoherent ramblings of Liz Lemon, Tina Fey’s character, saying that she sounds just like Hemingway.

“Mark Hemingway, that is.”

Who’s Mark Hemingway? We’ve written NBC to confirm, but all signs point to conservative opinion writer Mark Hemingway, who recently left his position at The National Review to join the opinion pages of the Washington Examiner.

“I have no connection to the show that I know of,” Hemingway told POLITICO. “But the general consensus seems to be that they were referring to me. How many writers are there named Mark Hemingway? I’m pretty much it.”

Hemingway thinks that the reference may have been a political dig at conservatives by Baldwin, who has made his liberal views quite clear over the years. … Hemingway is not bitter, however, calling the joke “funny” and saying “the whole thing is just an honor and a privilege.” He says that he and his wife are big fans of the show, and he’s already heard from friends jealous of his 15 seconds of fame.

The Politico has promised to watch for updates from NBC. Meanwhile, the wise crack did draw a very vague, unexamined nod from Entertainment Weekly and several other chatty websites have mentioned it, with the general assumption that its just a generic shot at conservatives, especially cultural conservatives. Or maybe it’s just the name.

But don’t you think that GetReligion, as a way of saying thank you to Mark for his work in extended relief, should try to find a shop in DC that is capable of creating an “I am Mark Hemingway!” t-shirt for Mark and those who support him in this tiff with the more-ironic-than-thou Baldwin?

By this, I mean that we should do this as a kind of, “I am Spartacus” gesture. Don’t you think?

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://rub-a-dub.blogspot.com MattK

    I am Mark Hemingway.

  • http://washingtonexaminer.com Mark Tapscott

    No, I am Mark (Hemingway’s boss)

  • MichaelV

    I’m trying to decide where I want to see one of you end up next. The Office would be cool, but they don’t seem to deal in the right subject matter. Maybe there are ghosts I’m missing. :)

  • Chris Bolinger

    Terry, why would you try to find a shop in D.C.? Find a shop on the Web.

  • http://www.ecben.net Will

    Here’s Mark Hemingway, who writes about Platonic philosophy, and Mark Hemingway, who writes about Hegelian philosophy, and our chaplain Mark Hemingway. Would you like to change your name to Mark Hemingway? It would be less confusing.

  • Chip Smith

    Meanwhile, the wise crack did draw a very vague, unexamined nod from Entertainment Weekly and several other chatty websites have mentioned it, with the general assumption that its just a generic shot at conservatives, especially cultural conservatives. Or maybe it’s just the name.

    Most likely it just means that some of the writers on 30Rock have read The Corner. The joke was about spewing incoherent thoughts.

    I get that Mark is pinch hitting and not becoming a regular contributor to GetReligion, but does GR really need another voice whose take on cultural/political issues when they intersect with religion is quite conservative? The biggest weakness of GR is the lack of diversity.

    Newsrooms that don’t “get religion” don’t just suffer from a lack of theologically conservative Christians, they also lack the perspective of theologically liberal Christians as well as all manner of Muslims and Jews and Pagans, etc. Reading GetReligion over the past few weeks has driven home how the lack of a Muslim voice on GR is a problem.

    Simply put, you would do a better job of fulfilling your mission if you branched out. (I’ve mentioned before that I would love to read all of your contributors’ answers to the tmatt trio to see if your answers really would be as similar as I assume from their writing here.)


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