Up the Post

Having actually looked at the flier, oy.To hear the Postdescribe it, this was a thing the third intern from the back made up in MS Paint and posted in the local Starbucks, and the problem was that he used Comic Sans instead of Rage Italic and that was what all the fuss was about. Like they were doing a piece on kittens and ran a photo of puppies instead. Like this was a packaging issue. As you can see, this clearly wasn’t made in an hour and not by an intern, either. Multiple people saw this and nobody said, “Um, hell to the no?” How hard is this shit?

(Confession: I would have posted this earlier but I’m kind of fuzzy around the edges from a migraine. Because I have ethics and standards and shit, I’m disclosing that to you. Mostly in hopes of staving off the many e-mails about my typos.)

The problem: The Post often decries those who charge for access to
public officials. This raised the specter of a money-losing newspaper
doing the same thing — and charging for access to its own reporters
and editors as well.

No, kitten, it raised theactuality of you hosting something you un-ironically named a “salon” and were telling people was an off-the-record chance to snuggle with the powerful once they’d put some dough in the kitty. I’m not naive, really. I understand the desire for the head of a newspaper to be not only a person doing a job in the newsroom but also a figurehead to represent the paper publicly in important discussions about the issues of the day. I just don’t think hosting “salons” is what that job ought to be.

For example, if I might offer an alternative, there are about a gazillion opportunities every single day to call out some conservative dickhead autowittering on about how the Post sucks and newspapers suck and reporters suck and your mom sucks, such that a person could keep very busy defending journalists and journalism and get nice and famous that way. I hearthese dudes keep a running list of scary journalistic shitin which you could get involved, if you feel the need to talk to senators and policymakers to feel important.

See, the emphasis on a fancy pay-for-play party to talk about how fucked poor people are offends me more than the money itself. Mostly because the pay-for-play in this case is just a little more blatant than it is usually. Do you think I could walk into the office of Katharine Weymouth in my Salvation Army dress and Target shoes and get a moment to talk about health care or the rule of law or how John Kerry should have been president? Fuck no. But if I had some numerals after my name and a huge checkbook and carried a Kate Spade bag, that would be different, and it’s the way it was before Politico worked up a head of steam about the actual price tag being out there for us to read.

Granted, I thought it would be a higher price than $25,000, to get in a room with Katie, but the fact is that there was a price tag on access to the elite of our punditry yesterday, and there will be one tomorrow, even if there’s no flier out there with the number on it for all to see.


8 thoughts on “Up the Post

  1. I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I’m still stunned.
    In what universe would this, in any way at all, be even marginally acceptable? The pamphlet wasn’t ‘vetted’? That means that the general idea was just fine, but the presentation sucked. Which is so George W. Bush; if we just describe the thing correctly, then people will accept if, even if it’s crap.
    Ethics in journalism have, I believe, taken a permanent powder. So we have David Broder nattering on about some fictional idea of bipartisanship, Dana Milbank calling the wrong person a dick, Fred Hiatt hiring columnists based on their political leanings not their ability to write kick-ass opinion pieces, and the pernicious doctrine of ‘balance’ so that if a Republican makes an ass of himself by spending a week with his mistress in Argentina, then it’s de rigeur to drag in a similarly fornicating Democrat. As someone elsewhere this week said, I don’t want my news fair and balanced; I want it accurate.
    And now to have them baldly offering to sell access to themselves and whichever administration pols who would be stupid enough to participate in this corrupt and morally offensive activity it just, simply beyond whatever pale still exists. Or it should be.
    Beyond the pale used to be a term to describe a person who was so far outside the mainstream that he was banished outside the city palisade, which was constructed of pales. But now, I find I am the one apparently outside the deranged and corrupt mainstream. I need a drink. Maybe two.

  2. The Balloon Juice commenter who called it a “message parlor” wins the internet today.
    Although I’d like partial credit for arguing that it was kinda tone-deaf for Medill to invite Weymouth to deliver their commencement speech. Oh if I only knew…
    “The people who actually get things done” part killed me. Also, “Spirited? Yes. Combative? No.” is like going on my business cards. The person who’s going to end up under a bus for copywriting that deserves some kind of medal for awesomeness in the service of terrible things.

  3. Pimping, I believe the word is.
    Oh, and a Roman numeral after your name doesn’t help. Believe me; I’ve tried.

  4. Glad to hear that I’m not the only person that doesn’t buy the weak story of a flyer for contributions being released to elite clients without vetting.

  5. Weymouth must have the world’s biggestsitting room.
    Snark aside, the P2PPo can’t report credibly on this issue any more. Informed readers will immediately draw it back to the corrupt behavior of the CEO and wonder.

  6. Ling started in television when she was chosen as one of the four hosts of Scratch, a nationally-syndicated teen magazine show based in Sacramento. At 18, she joined Channel One News as one of their youngest reporters and anchors. Among her roles was war correspondent, including assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has won numerous awards for her reporting. She attendedlisa ling the University of Southern California. Lisa Ling is fluent in Spanish.

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