Whoa, talk about good timing for Dan Froomkin. Who would want to be employed by such a corrupt and venal organization as the Washington Post?
The Washington Post died today. It was five months short of its 132nd birthday.
News of the demise of the once-great news gathering organization came in a story by Mike Allen at Politico.com, which reported that Post publisher Katharine Weymouth has decided to solicit payoffs of between $25,000 and $250,000 from Washington lobbyists, in return for one or more private dinners in her home, where lucky lobbyists will receive a chance for “your organization’s CEO” to interact with “Health-care reporting and editorial staff members of The Washington Post” and “key Obama administration and congressional leaders …”
The decision by the Post’s publisher to sell access to government officials was the latest–and by far, the most horrific–in a series of disastrous decisions in the last two weeks which, taken together, have destroyed what was once one of the proudest finest brands in American journalism.
As news of the Politico story raced across the Internet this morning, former and present news executives inside and outside The Washington Post Company reacted with stunned horror. As Allen put it in his Politico story, “The offer which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.”
The Washington Post has been running on NeoCon fumes for quite a while, but this is perhaps a final blow. Hopefully, anyway.