This is friggin outrageous. The Washington Post is fast becoming yellow journalism, plain and simple. From Politico via TruthOut:
Washington Post Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Katharine Weymouth said today she was cancelling plans for an exclusive "salon" at her home where, for as much as $250,000, the Post offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to "those powerful few": Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and even the paper's own reporters and editors.Is this what's known as pay to play? It sure sounds like it. How can you separate your newspaper from the lobbyists when you do something like this?
The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its "health care reporting and editorial staff."
Where in the blue hell is journalistic integrity in this mess? Seems that the communications director wasn't too keen on this bullshit either:
In his e-mail to the newsroom, labeled "Newsroom Independence," Brauchli wrote: "Colleagues, A flyer was distributed this week offering an 'underwriting opportunity' for a dinner on health care reform, in which the news department had been asked to participate. The language in the flyer and the description of the event preclude our participation.WaPo has been going downhill for quite a while now, with the exception of a very small cadre of investigative journalist's..this just seals it for me. Dana Milbank is a tool and so is Katherine Weymouth. Journalist integrity my fucking ass...A free press? Not at the Washington Post evidently.
"We will not participate in events where promises are made that in exchange for money The Post will offer access to newsroom personnel or will refrain from confrontational questioning. Our independence from advertisers or sponsors is inviolable. There is a long tradition of news organizations hosting conferences and events, and we believe The Post, including the newsroom, can do these things in ways that are consistent with our values."