Vanguard News Network
VNN Media
VNN Digital Library
VNN Reader Mail
VNN Broadcasts

Old June 18th, 2009 #1
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default Washington Post

[WP fires one of its most popular and linked-to columnists because he's criticizing Obama, thereby going against the party line and the agenda, which are more important than profits accrued through printing popular writers.]

The Washington Post fires its best columnist. Why?

by Glenn Greenwald

(updated below - Update II - Update III)

One of the rarest commodities in the establishment media is someone who was a vehement critic of George Bush and who now, applying their principles consistently, has become a regular critic of Barack Obama -- i.e., someone who criticizes Obama from what is perceived as "the Left" rather than for being a Terrorist-Loving Socialist Muslim. It just got a lot rarer, as The Washington Post -- at least according to Politico's Patrick Gavin -- just fired WashingtonPost.com columnist, long-time Bush critic and Obama watchdog (i.e., a real journalist) Dan Froomkin.

What makes this firing so bizarre and worthy of inquiry is that, as Calderone notes, Froomkin was easily one of the most linked-to and cited Post columnists. At a time when newspapers are relying more and more on online traffic, the Post just fired the person who, in 2007, wrote 3 out of the top 10 most-trafficked columns. In publishing that data, Media Bistro used this headline: "The Post's Most Popular Opinions (Read: Froomkin)." Isn't that an odd person to choose to get rid of?

Following the bottomless path of self-pity of the standard right-wing male -- as epitomized by Pete Hoekstra's comparison of House Republicans to Iranian protesters and yet another column by Pat Buchanan decrying the systematic victimization of the white male in America -- Charles Krauthammer last night said that Obama critics on Fox News are "a lot like [Hugo Chavez'] Caracas where all the media, except one, are state run." But right-wing polemicists like Krauthammer are all over the media.

In addition to his Rupert Murdoch perch at Fox, Krauthammer remains as a regular columnist at the Post, alongside fellow right-wing Obama haters such as Bill Kristol, George Will, Jim Hoagland, Michael Gerson and Robert Kagan -- as well as a whole bevy of typical, banal establishment spokespeople who are highly supportive of whatever the permanent Washington establishment favors (David Ignatius, Fred Hiatt, Ruth Marcus, David Broder, Richard Cohen, Howie Kurtz, etc. etc.). And that's to say nothing of the regular Op-Ed appearances by typical Krauthammer-mimicking neoconservative voices such as John Bolton, Joe Lieberman, and Douglas Feith -- and the Post Editorial Page itself. "Caracas" indeed.

Notably, Froomkin just recently had a somewhat acrimonious exchange with the oh-so-oppressed Krauthammer over torture, after Froomkin criticized Krauthammer's explicit endorsement of torture and Krauthammer responded by calling Froomkin's criticisms "stupid." And now -- weeks later -- Froomkin is fired by the Post while the persecuted Krauthammer, comparing himself to endangered journalists in Venezuela, remains at the Post, along with countless others there who think and write just like he does: i.e., standard neoconservative pablum. Froomkin was previously criticized for being "highly opinionated and liberal" by Post ombudsman Deborah Howell (even as she refused to criticize blatant right-wing journalists).

All of this underscores a critical and oft-overlooked point: what one finds virtually nowhere in the establishment press are those who criticize Obama not in order to advance their tawdry right-wing agenda but because the principles that led them to criticize Bush compel similar criticism of Obama. Rachel Maddow is one of the few prominent media figures who will interview and criticize Democratic politicians "from the Left" (and it's hardly a coincidence that it was MSNBC's decision to give Maddow her own show -- rather than the endless array of right-wing talk show hosts plaguing television for years -- which prompted a tidal wave of "concern" over whether cable news was becoming "too partisan"). In general, however, those who opine from the Maddow/Froomkin perspective are a very endangered species, and it just became more endangered as the Post fires one if its most popular, talented, principled and substantive columnists.



UPDATE: I just confirmed with Froomkin that Gavin's report is true, and hope to have some comment from him once he decides what he wants to say.



UPDATE II: In a post entitled "The WaPo's Best Blogger Is Fired," Andrew Sullivan writes:

A simply astounding move by the paper - getting rid of the one blogger, Dan Froomkin, who kept it real and kept it interesting. Dan's work on torture may be one reason he is now gone. The way in which the WaPo has been coopted by the neocon right, especially in its editorial pages, is getting more and more disturbing. This purge will prompt a real revolt in the blogosphere. And it should.

The single most transparent and damaging myth in American political discourse is also one of the most unquestioned: The Liberal Media.



UPDATE III: Here is Froomkin's statement:

I’m terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn’t "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online.

As I’ve written elsewhere, I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That’s what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else.

The Post's inability to articulate a coherent, credible explanation for what it did speaks volumes. Any media outlet is foolish if it doesn't strongly consider taking advantage of the Post's conduct by hiring Froomkin.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...6/18/froomkin/
 
Old July 9th, 2009 #2
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Not Just WaPo: Atlantic's Corporate-Sponsored "Salons" Tout "Private Conversations" With Top Journos, Lawmakers
By Zachary Roth - July 6, 2009, 1:13PM

Last week, Politico reported that the Washington Post had planned to put on an exclusive off-the-record "salon" at the home of its publisher, where corporate lobbyists would pay as much as $250,000 to gain access to Post reporters and editors, as well as Obama administration officials and members of Congress. The news provoked an outcry in DC journalism circles -- the Post's own ombudsman called it "pretty close to a public relations disaster" -- and the the event was quickly canceled.

But the notion that the Post's gambit represents some sort of new and uniquely outrageous collapsing of the wall between the editorial and business sides of a news publication is badly off the mark. In fact, it would be closer to the truth to say that the paper got caught pushing the envelope on a money-making and influence-building strategy that other outlets had been quietly deploying for years.

Check out this undated flier, obtained by TPMmuckraker. Sent out by Atlantic Media, which publishes The Atlantic, the flier advertises the magazine's "Salon Dinners," which it describes as "private conversations among thought leaders."

These aren't one-off events, by a long shot. The Atlantic has held approximately 100 of them since 2003, according to Zachary Hooper, a spokesman for the magazine.

And they're by and large initiated by the corporation that pays for them, according to Hooper. "The corporate sponsor" -- with whom the magazine generally has a longstanding business relationship -- "comes to us and says, 'We're interested in having a discussion on a certain topic.'" The magazine's business staff, said Hooper, takes things from there.

The events, as described in the flier, appear strikingly similar to the dinner planned by the Post -- right down to the use of the word "salon" to create an aura of intellectual inquiry. Just as the Post reportedly sought to have health-care lobbyists pay for an event on health-care reform, the Atlantic flier makes clear that the "salons" are paid for by corporations and focused on a public-policy issue in which the corporate sponsor has a major stake. It offers the following "sampling of salon dinner sponsors and topics":

• AstraZeneca on "Healthcare Access and Education"
• Microsoft on "Global Trade,"
• GE on "Energy Sustainability and the Future of Nuclear Power"
• Allstate on "The Future of the American City"
• Citi on "The Challenge of Global Markets"

Hooper declined to say how much these corporations put up to sponsor the events.

And just as with the Post, the Atlantic dinners are strictly off-the-record, and not open to the public. The flier describes them as:

Private, custom, off-the-record conversations of 20-30 key influential individuals, moderated by an Atlantic editor, designed to bring a thoughtful group together for unbounded conversation on key issues of the day.

And -- again like the Post's planned dinner -- the draw for corporations is access not just to the hosting publication's reporters and editors, but to other big-name journalists, not to mention members of Congress and other Washington heavy-weights. Among the "sampling of attendees" listed on the flier are Chris Matthews, George Stephanopoulos, David Brooks, Fred Hiatt, Maureen Dowd, Andrea Mitchell, James Carville, John Kerry, John Sununu, Gary Hart, Norm Coleman, Chris Dodd, Mitt Romney, and Rahm Emanuel (listed as a congressman, a position he held from January 2003 until the start of 2009).

Since last week, at least two separate posts on the Atlantic's website have drawn attention to the Post's misadventure. Both note in passing that the Atlantic itself organizes corporate-sponsored events, without elaborating.

There do appear to be differences between the Atlantic's events and what the Post had in mind. Hooper, the Atlantic spokesman, stressed that the magazine makes an effort to put together a guest list that will allow journalists and politicians in attendance to hear a range of viewpoints. For instance, said Hooper, the Astra Zeneca-sponsored dinner on health care included representatives from the National Business Coalition on Health, and Leapfrog, both of which are advocacy groups that support efforts to lower health-care costs, as well as from the National Alliance on Hispanic Health, and the American Lung Association. And the GE-sponsored event on nuclear power involved the Natural Resources Defense Council and the non-partisan research group Resources for the Future, among others.

"At the end of the day, it's something that helps our journalism," said Hooper. "It gives [our journalists] more perspectives for their journalism." He added that the money from the dinners "helps underwrite the broader journalism we do."

The salons aren't the only high-fallutin' corporate-sponsored events put together by The Atlantic. Last week, the magazine hosted its yearly "Aspen Ideas Festival," which brings together a similar roster of media, political and business elites, and is paid for in part by corporations. But those confabs are on the record and open to the media. Nor does there appear to be quite as close a link as with the salons between the discussion topics and the interests of the corporate sponsors.

It's not just the Atlantic, of course. As the Post helpfully pointed out in its effort to do damage control on the scandal, the Wall Street Journal earlier this year "brought together global finance leaders -- including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd -- for a two-day conference sponsored by Nasdaq and hosted by Robert Thomson, the Journal's top editor, and other editors and reporters." But that too was on-the-record, and was web-cast by the Journal.

The Post added:

The Journal also holds conferences with its All Things Digital unit. A session in May, described as offering "unmatched access to the technology industry's elite," was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and Qualcomm, among others, and featured the CEOs of Microsoft, Yahoo, NBC Universal, AT&T and Twitter, as well as Weymouth.

And of course The New Yorker holds an annual corporate-sponsored festival, featuring its editors and writers, as well as other big-name cultural figures. The one planned for this fall is paid for American Airlines, Delta, Westin Hotels and Banana Republic, reports the Post.

What to make of all this? Clearly, there are degrees of egregiousness here. A corporate-sponsored event that's off the record and closed to the media and the public seems more objectionable than one that's open and on the record. Equally, an event that's focused on a public-policy issue that's of particular interest to the event's corporate sponsor seems more objectionable than, say, having a clothing company or an airline put up money for a festival that treats everything from the global economy to indie rock, as in the case of The New Yorker. An event whose advertising seeks to lure corporate lobbyists by promising the ability to directly influence elected officials or journalists seems, perhaps, more objectionable than one where the potential for influence-peddling is at least less explicit. It's also worth noting that when a daily newspaper risks compromising its coverage of a key policy issue, it probably does more damage than when a monthly ideas magazine appears to do the same.

So it's fair to say that the Post's plans, as described, seem to rank highest on the egregiousness scale than any arrangement that's yet surfaced -- with the Atlantic's own long string of corporate-sponsored "salons" perhaps coming in second. But the key point is that, even before this latest occasion for outrage, there was hardly the kind of clear and distinct line between the news and business sections of many major media outlets that the reaction to last week's news would suggest.

Late Update: Atlantic Media publisher David Bradley responds. Our take is here.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmem...red_salons.php
 
Old July 17th, 2009 #3
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Dinosaurs Going Down For The Count
Posted by Charles Burris on July 17, 2009 06:51 PM
The wonderful Jack Shafer of Slate.com, has a hilariously insightful article, “The David Bradley Effect,” about the on-going DC Beltway controversy surrounding the outed pecuniary perfidy of Washington media royalty, baron David Bradley of the Atlantic, and baroness Katherine Weymouth of The Washington Post.

The Post has long been the mouthpiece of the establishment in the nation’s capital. The present publisher of The Post, Ms. Weymouth, is grand-daughter of Katherine Graham (known as Katherine the Great), and great-grand-daughter of Eugene Meyer, chairman of the Fed, owner/publisher of The Post, and first head of the World Bank.

(Meyer was succeeded in this last post by John J. McCloy, later chairman of the Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Ford Foundation, and key member of the Warren Commission (hint, hint!). He was widely regarded by wags in the know as “the chairman of the Establishment.”)

Ms. Weymouth and The Post, it seems, have been caught with their knickers down. The Post was on the verge of putting on a series of private, for profit, off-the-record meetings where top Obama administration officials, congressional leaders, major journalists, and top drawer corporate bigwigs could secretly meet, discuss and hash out public policy.

You know, private - like Jekyll Island-private, like Council on Foreign Relations-private, private like the famed Georgetown soirees grandmother Kay used to put on for the Beltway elites in journalism, intelligence circles, and the upper ranks of the Washington Nomenclatura, delightfully described in Hugh Wilford’s terrific book, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America.

The term, “the mighty Wurlitzer, coined by high level CIA official Frank Wisner, was used to describe the elaborate covert networks of propaganda, deception, and media manipulation sponsored by the Agency. A key player in this campaign of Cold War subterfuge and deceit was “the Golden Boy,” Washington Post publisher Phil Graham, Meyer’s son-in-law, the husband of Katherine, who later committed suicide (although some informed observers such as the distinguished award-winning journalist and historian Sterling Seagrave believe otherwise).

What has outraged many denizens of the incestuous Beltway is not that these meetings were to be clandestine or closed to the unwashed masses, but that they were to be manipulated to further the sagging, diminishing revenues of the dinosaurs at The Post and the Atlantic.

After all, this covert conspiratorial relationship has always been the super-glue binding the State to its mouthpieces in the mainstream media.

Its as old as Hamilton and Jefferson and their notorious newspaper wars in the early years of the Republic. Remember Sally Hemings?
 
Old July 17th, 2009 #4
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Dinosaurs Going Down For The Count
Posted by Charles Burris on July 17, 2009 06:51 PM
The wonderful Jack Shafer of Slate.com, has a hilariously insightful article, “The David Bradley Effect,” about the on-going DC Beltway controversy surrounding the outed pecuniary perfidy of Washington media royalty, baron David Bradley of the Atlantic, and baroness Katherine Weymouth of The Washington Post.

The Post has long been the mouthpiece of the establishment in the nation’s capital. The present publisher of The Post, Ms. Weymouth, is grand-daughter of Katherine Graham (known as Katherine the Great), and great-grand-daughter of Eugene Meyer, chairman of the Fed, owner/publisher of The Post, and first head of the World Bank.

(Meyer was succeeded in this last post by John J. McCloy, later chairman of the Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Ford Foundation, and key member of the Warren Commission (hint, hint!). He was widely regarded by wags in the know as “the chairman of the Establishment.”)

Ms. Weymouth and The Post, it seems, have been caught with their knickers down. The Post was on the verge of putting on a series of private, for profit, off-the-record meetings where top Obama administration officials, congressional leaders, major journalists, and top drawer corporate bigwigs could secretly meet, discuss and hash out public policy.

You know, private - like Jekyll Island-private, like Council on Foreign Relations-private, private like the famed Georgetown soirees grandmother Kay used to put on for the Beltway elites in journalism, intelligence circles, and the upper ranks of the Washington Nomenclatura, delightfully described in Hugh Wilford’s terrific book, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America.

The term, “the mighty Wurlitzer, coined by high level CIA official Frank Wisner, was used to describe the elaborate covert networks of propaganda, deception, and media manipulation sponsored by the Agency. A key player in this campaign of Cold War subterfuge and deceit was “the Golden Boy,” Washington Post publisher Phil Graham, Meyer’s son-in-law, the husband of Katherine, who later committed suicide (although some informed observers such as the distinguished award-winning journalist and historian Sterling Seagrave believe otherwise).

What has outraged many denizens of the incestuous Beltway is not that these meetings were to be clandestine or closed to the unwashed masses, but that they were to be manipulated to further the sagging, diminishing revenues of the dinosaurs at The Post and the Atlantic.

After all, this covert conspiratorial relationship has always been the super-glue binding the State to its mouthpieces in the mainstream media.

Its as old as Hamilton and Jefferson and their notorious newspaper wars in the early years of the Republic. Remember Sally Hemings?
 
Old July 17th, 2009 #5
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

The David Bradley Effect

Tuesday 07 July 2009

by: Jack Shafer | Visit article original @ Slate Magazine


David Bradley, owner and publisher of the Atlantic.

The corrupting effect of his [David Bradley's] off-the-record salons.

The off-the-record-for-dollars salon scheme that got Katharine Weymouth and the Washington Post in so much trouble last week prompted TPM Muckraker to flush David Bradley - owner and publisher of the Atlantic - into the open about his salon-happy organization.

In an interoffice memo that he posted to the Web yesterday, Bradley defended the corporately sponsored, off-the-record public-policy dinners that his company has been hosting for "a half-dozen years" in his patented self-effacing manner. He claims that his presence at his sponsored dinners "as to all things - tends to dampen high spirits." Elsewhere in the memo, Bradley writes, "Please forgive me if this runs long." Oh, no, David! It's your blogspace and your defense! Go on as long as you'd like! I'll even hold your coat while you do!

Bradley separates the intimate, off-the-record dinners he throws for policymakers and journalists in which no money changes hands, written about in April by the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, and the buck-raking, targeted ones that he convenes for corporate sponsors such as AstraZeneca, Microsoft, GE, Allstate, and Citi. As TPM Muckraker reported, the topics presented at Bradley's paid sessions have been financially relevant to the sponsors (in order, health care, global trade, energy, the American city, global markets).

There's not much new or wildly controversial about Bradley's noncommercial sessions. In its various incarnations over the decades, the Georgetown journalism establishment has tossed a million off-the-record dinners for the powerful. Former Washington Post Co. Chairman Katharine Graham served so many meals to notables at her Georgetown mansion that the District of Columbia's Food Safety Division could have easily insisted on conducting regular health inspections of her kitchen. You might not like the fact that the journalists and politicians socialize, but you can't do much about it.

It's Bradley's corporate salons and his defense of them that deserve scrutiny. He claims that the sessions are placed off the record to avoid canned remarks. "My own view is that there is a great deal of constructive conversation that can take place only with the promise that no headline is being written," he writes.

Has Bradley never attended a function at the Cato Institute, where the repeal of the drug laws, the phasing out of Social Security, the privatization of education, the dismantling of the Cold War war machine, and other contentious topics are discussed openly and cordially on a regular basis? The same can be said for discussions at the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for American Progress, and other think tank venues. Elsewhere in his memo, Bradley applauds his company's ability to attract "authors and activists" representing "all sides of an issue" at its talks: "conservatives and liberals, conservative think tanks and liberal think tanks, corporations and consumer groups, all manner of associations and all manner of environmental, health advocacy and public interest groups. The art here is bringing disparate parties to table for a constructive conversation."

It's fantasy to imagine that there's any "art" to staging constructive conversation in Washington, and Bradley knows it. All that's required is the selection of a topic in the news, the recruitment of a few interesting speakers, the procurement of a small auditorium or hall, the distribution of a few hundred invitations, and the production of an attractive cheese-ball-and-white-wine spread. Hit those marks, and the city's journalists, bureaucrats, office-holders, scholars, lobbyists, activists, policymakers, and freeloaders will storm your event to genially wonk around the clock. It would be easier to get a nap at your average think tank debate than in a soundproof room.

So why Bradley's elaborate defense of the off-the-record rules? Going off the record is what Washingtonians do to make themselves feel important. By placing his paid salons off the record and charging high prices, Bradley makes them appear exclusive, valuable, and daring. The sponsors feel important because they think they're impressing their audience with their frankness and because they're encouraged into thinking that the off-the-record journalists and politicians are sharing electric insights they could never share with their readers. The politicians, well, the politicians live in their own cognitive dissonance bubble. Any audience will do.

The rest of the country knows how badly off-the-record stinks. In 2004, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz's handler invited several regional reporters to meet his boss after he gave a speech in Omaha, Neb. Wolfowitz's comments would have to be attributed to a "senior Defense Department official," the handler said. The reporters replied that they and their editors had no interest in a no-name briefing. Besides, they noted, it was already public knowledge that Wolfowitz was the most senior Defense Department official in the region that day. Why the ridiculous sourcing arrangement? The standoff ended and the interview commenced when Wolfowitz agreed to go on the record.

If paid off-the-record salons are charades, why oppose them? For one thing, I hate to see anybody defrauded, even AstraZeneca. For another, no journalist should serve as an accomplice to fraud. But most important, the off-the-record comfort zones run by Bradley for the benefit of his corporate clients corrupts the business of journalism in deep, fundamental ways. Every new off-the-record venue drives a measurable quantity of political discourse out of the public sphere and into the private. It's in the interests of journalists and the public, as the Omaha press corps demonstrated, to push the powerful onto the record. Establishing safe harbors for them - and charging them for the privilege of anchorage - is not what journalism is about. The erection of such salons says this to corporations and public officials: You owe your candor not to the public but to one another, and journalistic organizations such as the Atlantic and the Washington Post will gladly pocket the cash to help you keep your "secrets."

If David Bradley doesn't understand this, will somebody please underwrite a public debate to fill him in?

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Selling Out the Washington Post

Wednesday 08 July 2009

by: Dan Kennedy | Visit article original @ The Guardian UK

A tawdry scheme to sell access to journalists tarnishes the reputation of one of America's great newspapers.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth's misbegotten plan to sell access to her journalists at off-the-record dinners in her own home is that so many found it so shocking.

Politico broke the news last Thursday, on the cusp of the long Fourth of July weekend, with the death of Michael Jackson still dominating television and Sarah Palin's bizarro news conference yet to come. Almost immediately the Post pulled back, explaining it away as a business-side mistake. And that, one imagined, would have been that.

But the story continued to grow. On Sunday, the Post published a letter to readers from Weymouth that begin with the inevitable "I want to apologize". On Monday, Geneva Overholser, head of the journalism programme at the University of Southern California and, not insignificantly, a former Post ombudsman, popped up on PBS's NewsHour to say how "unsavory" she found it. And on Tuesday, the Post published yet another story on the subject, this one reporting that an internal investigation had been launched.

Well, round up the usual suspects.

At a time when the news business is under siege and public distrust of the media remains at disturbingly high levels, it's encouraging that we are still capable of being appalled when we're afforded an unappetisingly close-up look at the nexus of power, media and money that so dominates the US political system.

But it's not as though we should be surprised by what happened ñ or, rather, by what almost happened. As Jonah Goldberg observed in the Los Angeles Times, "these shocked media outlets are acting like erotic masseuses scandalized by the whorehouse next door."

Let's back up for a moment. The scheme exposed by Politico was what disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich might recognise as "pay for play". For $25,000 apiece, lobbyists and executives of special-interest organisations could sponsor a "salon" in Weymouth's home at which they would have off-the-record access to White House officials, members of Congress, and Post senior editors and reporters.

The cozy arrangement was outlined in a flier that an outraged health-care lobbyist (imagine that) provided to Politico. The Post even promised a volume discount of 11 salons for just $250,000.

Immediately the Post's executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, said he knew nothing about the specifics and that his troops would not participate. The paper's ombudsman, Andy Alexander, called it "a public relations disaster." And Weymouth called off the salon, saying the flier misrepresented what she had in mind. (It is not clear what she had in mind.)

Of course, such intimate get-togethers are nothing new. The Post's offense was to get caught openly flogging the crass element of commerce. In a particularly withering commentary, New York Times media columnist David Carr compared Weymouth's proposed salons with those of her legendary grandmother, the late Post publisher Katharine Graham.

"The difference?" wrote Carr. "Mrs Graham bestowed legitimacy (Richard M Nixon never made the cut, even as president). Ms Weymouth decided to sell it, with her paper's editorial integrity apparently thrown in as a parting gift."

The trouble is, even pay-for-play is not all that unusual among media organizations. So it didn't take long for TPM Muckraker to reveal that the Atlantic, a low-profile though influential public-policy magazine, had held about 100 similar events since 2003, sponsored by corporations such as General Electric, Microsoft and the insurance company Allstate.

That, in turn, drew a defense from Atlantic owner David Bradley - and a biting essay by Slate's Jack Shafer, who wrote that the practice of holding such off-the-record gatherings "corrupts the business of journalism in deep, fundamental ways."

"The erection of such salons," Shafer added, "says this to corporations and public officials: You owe your candor not to the public but to one another, and journalistic organizations such as the Atlantic and the Washington Post will gladly pocket the cash to help you keep your 'secrets'." (Slate is owned by the Washington Post Company, though Shafer certainly didn't seem to hold back.)

The whole idea of journalism is to serve as an independent check on power. Outsiders ranging from mid-century rabble-rousers like George Seldes and IF Stone to the bloggers of today have railed against access as a compromise and, ultimately, a corruption of that independence.

When properly used, though, access is a tool that institutions like the Post can use to expose the inner workings of government in ways that outsiders, for all their virtues, rarely can.

Maybe that's why the Post's initial efforts at damage control proved so inadequate. Over the decades, the Post has used its access for the public good, bringing to light such important stories as Watergate, the mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital and the existence of secret, overseas prisons operated by the US government.

For Katharine Graham's granddaughter to try to sell that precious commodity as though it were just another supermarket ad is tawdry, but it's worse than that. It raises the spectre that Weymouth fails to appreciate the legacy she inherited and its importance as an institution.

Weymouth may not have understood that last week, but early indications are that she gets it now. It's just too bad that her growing pains as a publisher have to give the rest of us such an acute case of indigestion.

http://www.truthout.org/070809R?n
 
Old July 18th, 2009 #6
John in Woodbridge
Senior Member
 
John in Woodbridge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7,749
John in Woodbridge
Default

I remember when I moved to the DC area in my early 20's and didn't know anything about the controlled media. I'd read the Post and was perplexed about all negrophilia in the newspaper. The issue of welfare niggers in Ward 8 is pretty much irrelevant when you take into account the entire DC Metro area, yet they would have them plastered on the front page.

I still would read the Post occasionally because they do have some highbrow news stories that you won't find elsewhere. I always thought WN's could take some pointers from the Post when it comes to effective propaganda.
 
Old July 18th, 2009 #7
George Witzgall
Senior Member
 
George Witzgall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,961
George Witzgall
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Woodbridge View Post
I remember when I moved to the DC area in my early 20's and didn't know anything about the controlled media. I'd read the Post and was perplexed about all negrophilia in the newspaper. The issue of welfare niggers in Ward 8 is pretty much irrelevant when you take into account the entire DC Metro area, yet they would have them plastered on the front page.

I still would read the Post occasionally because they do have some highbrow news stories that you won't find elsewhere. I always thought WN's could take some pointers from the Post when it comes to effective propaganda.
the post used to be ultra-liberal. in the past decade the neo-cons have taken over.
__________________
I understand and do not understand.
 
Old June 26th, 2010 #8
Mike Parker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,311
Mike Parker
Default

David Weigel quits – and a debate begins

By KEACH HAGEY | 6/25/10


David Weigel, the Washington Post blogger assigned to cover the conservative beat, has resigned.

Blogger David Weigel’s resignation from the Washington Post after emails he wrote disparaging conservatives were made public has touched off a raging Internet debate about journalistic objectivity and prompted Weigel’s fellow Post blogger, Ezra Klein, to shut down the listserve where Weigel expressed his opinions.


The Post, which stood by Weigel after his first emails from Journolist were published and Wiegel apologized on his blog “Right Now,” apparently changed its mind when a new batch surfaced Friday.


“Time to move on,” Managing Editor Raju Narisetti told POLITICO Thursday night. But Friday Kris Coratti, the Post’s spokesman, said: "Dave offered his resignation and we accepted it."


It was the second time an attempt by the Post to find a credible blogger to cover the right ended badly. In 2006, it hired Ben Domenech, founder of the RedState group blog, but allegations of plagiarism against Domenech quickly surfaced in the blogosphere, and he never started.


More recently, the Post has moved aggressively into the blogging space, hiring a cadre of young bloggers who had built their names at more opinionated sites, including Klein, Weigel and Greg Sargent. But while Klein has been presented from the start as a liberal voice, Weigel’s ideology was less clear. A former writer for Reason magazine, he describes himself as having libertarian tendencies, but having voted for Obama. Post National Editor Keven Merida told POLITICO’s Ben Smith last month that he had never asked Weigel about his politics.


Weigel declined to comment, but Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reported that Weigel offered his resignation Thursday night and heard from Post editors that his comments were not serious enough to cost him his job. It was only after the Daily Caller published more emails that Post editors decided Weigel’s position at the paper had become “untenable,” Stein wrote.


In the latest emails from the list, Weigel joked about wishing for the death of Rush Limbaugh and accused Republicans of "racism." A spokesman for the Daily Caller said the reporter had been working on the story on for several weeks. The site crashed after the Drudge Report linked to it.


In his post announcing the shuttering of Journolist, Klein noted that it was ironic that it would be the Daily Caller, which was founded by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, that ended up publishing leaked Weigel’s emails from the listserv.


“A few weeks ago, its editor, Tucker Carlson, asked if he could join the list,” Klein wrote. “After asking other members, I said no, that the rules had worked so far to protect people, and the members weren't comfortable changing them. He tried to change my mind, and I offered, instead, to partner with Carlson to start a bipartisan list serv. That didn't interest him.”


Klein added that, while he didn’t regret starting the listserv in 2007, “ insofar as the current version of Journolist has seen its archives become a weapon, and insofar as people's careers are now at stake, it has to die.”


Fishbowl DC ran the first batch of e-mails Thursday. They said, among other things, that Matt Drudge should "set himself on fire."


After he learned that Fishbowl DC was about to publish some of the e-mails, Weigel apologized for his remarks on his blog, saying he was "incredibly frustrated with the amount of hate mail" he was getting after the Drudge Report linked to one of his stories about an encounter between Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) and a videographer.


The reaction has, predictably, varied widely.


To Newsbusters, the right-leaning blog that had previously criticized the Post for putting Weigel on the conservative beat, the leaked emails confirmed what they already believed.


“It seems that the Washington Post has little interest in an objective blog-based approach to the news -- something this humble blogger has noted previously,” wrote Newsbusters’ Lachlan Markey on Friday morning. “Likewise, Weigel seems to have little interest in covering the right with an even hand; he has consistently shown his disdain for the movement and its members.”


Others, like the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, argued Weigel had hurt the Post with a lack of professionalism.


“The sad truth is that the Washington Post, in its general desperation for page views, now hires people who came up in journalism without much adult supervision, and without the proper amount of toilet-training,” he wrote. “This little episode today is proof of this.”


As the news of the resignation spread across the Internet Friday morning, a groundswell of support for Weigel sent out over Twitter and from other bloggers.


The New York Times’ own young conservative, Ross Douthat, summed up much of the tone of the commentary: “The real story here isn’t Weigel’s public embarrassment — it’s the shame of FishbowlDC for publishing private correspondence, and the disgrace of JournoList for harboring at least one would-be career wrecker. The only decent response is to disband the email list — and to his credit, its founder is doing exactly that.”


And Stein summed up the idea that the traditional media just doesn’t get it, writing that Weigel's resignation from the Post “was a somewhat depressing reflection of the limits of the new media universe -- where the traditional powers have not quite yet reached a level of comfort with journalists who are transparent with their biases but, nevertheless, fair and accurate in their reporting.”


“Getting an exceptionally good sense of who my friends are today,” Weigel Tweeted. “For the record, a whole lot of people are worse off than me. I'll be all right.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/39025.html
 
Old August 5th, 2013 #9
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Jew-jew transfer, but it will be interesting to see what the Amazon guy tries to do with one of the nation's top two anti-white newspapers.

http://gawker.com/uhhhhhh-jeff-bezos...ost-1033049827

The Wall Street Journal sold six years ago for $5 billion; the WaPo is selling for 1/20th of that. That's the direction the newspaper business is headed. It is becoming a boutique business for extremely rich people— a way for them to luxuriate in the prestige, and cultural respect, and political influence that newspapers still command, to some extent.
 
Old August 7th, 2013 #10
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Bad Day for Liberalism: August 5, 2013

By Gary North

The Tea Party Economist

August 7, 2013

The big story on the morning of June 5 was that the New York Times Company sold the Boston Globe for a paltry $70 million. It had paid $1.1 billion in 1993, which was worth $1.76 billion in today’s money.

That afternoon, the bombshell hit: the Graham family is selling The Washington Post for a paltry $250 million to Amazon owner Jeff Bezos. Bezos has no background in running a newspaper. He just thought it would be a kick to own one. Well, I am sure it will be.

The Post has been the flagship for Beltway liberalism for two generations. It was second only to The New York Times in its influence in American journalism.

If the peripheral Boston Globe was worth $1.76 billion in 1993, and $70 million today, think of what the Post was worth in 1993.

The Grahams were presiding over a doddering patient with a catheter. They sold out just in time. By hanging on for two decades, they walked away from a fortune. They wound up selling to an billionaire who owns the largest mail-order operation in the world. He is taking on the project the way that rich men play with hobbies in their spare time.

Bezos now has two options (1) do nothing new, and serve as the captain of the Titanic; (2) change the entire operation. In either case, liberalism has suffered a major hit.

I think Bezos will play the first role. He is imitating the career of Ted Turner, who sold to AOL, and watched Time Warner shrivel. Turner thought AOL was the wave of the future. Bezos thinks his knowledge of how to run a gigantic mail-order Walmart will enable him to get the doddering patient off the catheter. He won’t.

The reporters who work for the Post are in the wrong profession. Their peers in Boston could do nothing. They sat their until most were fired, one by one. They will suffer the same fate. The industry is a buggy whip.

The industry was liberalism’s trifecta: newspapers, television networks, and the school system. Two are bleeding red ink. The third soon will be, as online education enables students to live at home, take courses online, graduate with accredited degrees, and pay $15,000 in tuition, total. A widely accepted estimate is that half of all American universities will go under over the next five decades. It won’t take anywhere near that long. The no-name private colleges will go under first, Cutbacks in tax funding will complete the procedure. Legislators will figure out that they can fire two-thirds of the faculty and replace them with online lectures and low-paid, untenured professors and graduate students to grade written exams.

All that liberalism will have left is the public school system, K-12. This dinosaur has been caught trapped in the tar pit ever since 1963, when SAT scores peaked. Online education is invading today. The American Federation of Teachers is on the defensive. In 50 years, the suburban schools will be online. Competition will demonstrate that the public school bureaucracies cannot compete.

Liberalism made entrepreneurial decisions on where the future was headed. The World Wide Web is taking the world in a different direction. It is leaving liberalism behind.

Liberals call this process of ideological decentralization “Balkanization.” I call it the break-up of a cartel that can no longer compete on the free market.

August 5, 2013 was a great day.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/08/g...chs-sell-wapo/
 
Old August 11th, 2013 #11
Roy
Perception Manager
 
Roy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,794
Roy
Default

There are many reasons that newspapers are on their way out.

1: They are bulky, and require a physical delivery system costing money
2: They lack the interactiveness that a comment section provides on the internet
3: They can be in color, but not the vivid colors and detail on your screen
4: They are inherently pro-regime in that they are part of the establishment (aren't edgy and therefore boring)
5: Online you can be your own editor, selecting the stories you are interested in, rather than what the editor is selecting for general interests. Even if you aren't interested in home decorating, you still have to get it with what interests you.
6: It's easier to send an article to a friend through a link than it is to put an article in an envelope, put a stamp on it and then mail it.
7: They are physically dirty, using special easy-smear inks that get all over everything, also requiring a disposal system for what is rightfully called, "dead tree media".

So, best of luck to Bezos. Maybe he has something up his sleeve that he can use to turn around a newspaper, but in my opinion he invested in a horse carriage manufacture 5 years after Henry Ford invented the Model T.
 
Old September 4th, 2014 #12
Alex Linder
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder
Default

Paul Craig Roberts: "In my days on the Congressional staff, the Washington Post was regarded as a CIA asset. Today the Post has sunk far below this status."

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/09/p...pletely-batty/
 
Reply

Share


Thread
Display Modes


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:42 AM.
Page generated in 0.15089 seconds.