So it turns out that the preeningly pristine Washington Post got caught selling “intimate” rubber chicken dinners with Administration officials and liberal Think Tankers to anybody willing to pony up $25 grand who needs a favor or two!
Here’s the marketing flyer – click to expand:
Apparently it never occurred to to the WaPo execs that selling access to politicos was an ethically iffy proposition, but after the above flyer was leaked to Politico the hammer came down big time. Many lame excuses and outright denials ensued.
Now, WaPo Ombudsman Andrew Alexander has set the record straight. And he’s not mincing words:
The Washington Post’s ill-fated plan to sell sponsorships of off-the-record “salons” was an ethical lapse of monumental proportions.
The crash occurred July 2, when Politico.com disclosed details of a Post flier seeking underwriters for the first dinner to be held July 21 at Weymouth’s District residence. The damage was predictable and extensive, with charges of hypocrisy against a newspaper that owes much of its fame to exposing influence peddlers and Washington’s pay-to-play culture. The Post’s reputation now carries a lasting stain.
Wow. Fortunately this is an isolated incident. I mean, it’s not like the white house hosted a secret, off the record barbecue for reporters on the 4th of July or anything…