Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Seems that Katherine Weymouth...

... the current publisher of The Washington Post has decided that publishing the public record of Washington, D.C., is just not her cup of tea.

She now wants to be the Pearl Mesta of her time, bringing the powerful together for expensive parties (oooh, oooh, will there be quail wings, Katherine, will there, Katherine?, her reporters longingly inquire) mixing the rude peasantry of corporate CEOs with the odd Obama official and her reporters and a few choice Congress critters, all for a price, of course, to be paid by lobbyists hired by the CEOs to convince government to pour out its coffers (to which CEOs, individually and on behalf of their business operations are traditionally loathe to contribute) into their pocketbooks.

The Washington Post, of course, having been exposed in this latest little wrinkle on pay-to-play, is walking this back at a fairly brisk pace, claiming (and this is very funny, given that it's a fuckin' newspaper saying this) that the WaPo newsroom just couldn't go along with the proposal "as written." Marble-mouthed comments followed about this being something proposed by the "business" division of the paper and not being "properly vetted."

And, since when has the "business" division of the WaPo ever not been intimately associated with the newsroom? The "business" division, is, yes, run by the publisher of the goddamned paper, not some ethereal, amorphous, disconnected entity that Katherine Weymouth sees at stockholder meetings once a year. Katherine Weymouth is publisher of WaPo and CEO of Washington Post Media. These little tête-à-tête were planned to be held in her modest little mansion.

Lame, lame, lame.

Bad enough that the WaPo spent eight years doing its best not to give a full accounting of the misdeeds of the worst and most criminal administration in the history of American governance. Bad enough that its editorial page largely looks as if it were written and edited by mental and moral defectives who would be mimeographing newsletters for the John Birch Society if they weren't working for the Post. Bad enough that the editors of thought it would be a good idea to hire a fabulist and right-wing wingnut welfare recipient to "counter" the "liberals" writing in the paper's on-line edition, only to discover (thanks to their readers, rather than their own efforts) that they'd hired a young, wholly tendentious plagiarist who came to the job with nothing more than a vanishingly small skill set, a rabid and rigid right-wing ideology, and other people's words and ideas that he sought to pass off as his own.

Bad enough that they then decided to can the one genuine politics reporter they had on-line because he dared state the obvious about the vaunted and inordinately overvalued Charles Krauthammer, who, if there were any truth and justice in the world, should have purple mimeo stains on his delicate, bloodied hands, rather than a Washington Post byline.

And, now this tawdry business proposal to use the Post's news resources to go into the lobbying business. Maybe Katherine Weymouth went to one of those schools that have combined journalism and public relations programs because they "share" common techniques.

Molly Ivins once said, "newspapers aren't dying. They're committing suicide." As usual, Molly was more right than even she could have imagined.


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