Michael Allen (journalist)

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Michael Allen in 2010.

Michael Allen (born June 21, 1964) is the chief political reporter for Politico, and writes the daily Playbook; in April 2010, in reference to his frequent correspondence with White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, the New York Times called him "The Man The White House Wakes Up To."[1] Prior to joining Politico for its 2007 launch, he worked at numerous other publications, including The New York Times and Time.


Allen grew up in Orange County, California. An Eagle Scout, he graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1986 with a double major in politics and journalism.[2]

His first reporting job was with the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. He has also worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Time.[3]

At Politico, a Washington-based print and on-line publication launched by Allbritton Communications, Allen writes the daily “Playbook.”[4] In April 2010, the New York Times estimated that Playbook brings in $780,000 for Politico.[1]

Allen was featured in a piece for the April 25, 2010 edition of the New York Times Magazine entitled, "The Man the White House Wakes Up To". He is considered by many to be one of the most powerful and influential journalists in Washington.[2]

Allen is the son of conservative journalist and John Birch Society member Gary Allen (1936-1986).[5]

Allen has attracted criticism for focusing coverage on superficial aspects of politics and of the culture of Washington D.C..[6][7] In November 2013, the Washington Post wrote a length article detailing a payola scandal in which Mike Allen would give favorable coverage in return for advertising dollars.[8] Mr. Allen has refused to publicly comment.


In 2004, Allen won the White House Correspondents' Association’s Merriman Smith Memorial Award for outstanding presidential coverage on deadline. The award was given to Allen for his reporting of President George W. Bush’s secret trip to Baghdad, Iraq.[9]


  1. ^ a b Leibovich, Mark (April 21, 2010). "Politico's Mike Allen, the Man the White House Wakes Up To". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b Leibovich, Mark (April 21, 2010). "The Man the White House Wakes Up To". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Cook, John (2013-06-20) This Is a Picture of Politico Star Mike Allen's Old Office at Time, Gawker
  4. ^ Reporter Bio: Mike Allen Politico.
  5. ^ AP (1986-12-02). "Gary Allen, 50, Dies in West - Spread Conservatives' View - Obituary". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  6. ^ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113050/politico-story-mark-leibovichs-town-why-we-need-his-book
  7. ^ Leibovich, Mark (April 21, 2010). "Politico's Mike Allen, the Man the White House Wakes Up To". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Erik Wemple". The Washington Post. 
  9. ^ Journalism and Mass Communications-Washington and Lee University[dead link]

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