Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WaPo Ombudsman Fiasco, Phase II

Yesterday, I wrote about the Washington Post Ombudsman's lame defense of the Post's "reporters" who casually slimed Tea Partiers for an alleged racial incident purportedly occurring just after the disastrous Congressional vote that burdened us all with Obamacare PelosiCare. I actually read the original defense in the Post's dead tree version, having subscribed to this rag for roughly 40 years on a "need to know" basis. (It actually used to be a pretty decent paper way back when.)

When I wrote my entry, however, I was unaware that Power Line was covering the same thing in a different way. In today's installment, they provide an enlightening chain of correspondence between the Post's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, and a Tea Party member who was actually at the event in question. Rather than sum it up, I'll give you the link here. I urge you to read it and note several things:
  • Note how many times Greg Farrell (the Tea Partier) asks specific questions that are completely ignored by Alexander
  • Note the verbal twisting and sidestepping meant not only to obscure the shape-shifting nature of the original "story" but to confuse the issue
  • Observe how, in one response, Alexander takes issue with Farrell defining him as a member of the Post's staff, i.e., a W-2 employee. Alexander takes great pains to point out that he is NOT an employee, but this is a red herring. The point of having an ombudsman who's not an employee of a given newspaper is allegedly to ensure his or her objectivity. In point of fact, Alexander has a contractual arrangement with the Post to perform this service. Riddle me this, Andrew: if I were fortunate enough to have your contract, how many times would the Post allow me to blast its reporters for malfeasance and lack of professionalism before you'd find a way to terminate my contract? 
Needless to say, Posties get whacked just often enough by the current ombudsman that it creates a sense of verisimilitude for the average reader. But this is only skin-deep. The Post, perhaps less egregiously than the openly treasonous New York Times, still toes the Socialist Democrat party line which the paper myopically (or not) regards as a "moderate" point of view. Whomever their current ombudsperson happens to be, the paper will not countenance relentless criticism of their countless sins of omission and commission. You can bank on it. And you'll understand this better if you take the time to go through the tap dance I've cited above.

Look, Andrew, I myself have written the kind of Washingtonspeak you write, for two administrations (Democrat and Republican) no less. I know how this is played. And besides, I was being paid to be partisan. You and the Post's reporters are allegedly being paid to provide the unvarnished, objective truth, right? So why don't you investigate the left as vigorously as you attempt to discredit the right?

And when are guys like you going to do some soul-searching with regard to the role all of you have played in the destruction of a once honorable profession? This, rather than the loss of ad revenue to Google, is the reason why print journalism today is in such a sorry state. None of us expects an answer to this, of course. But maybe you should think about it.

No comments: