- “It is the prime function of a really first-rate newspaper to serve as a sort of permanent opposition in politics.”
— H.L. Mencken, c. 1942.
- “I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.”
— The late Deborah Howell, then the Post’s ombudswoman, November 14, 2008.
- “At Washington Post, mum’s the word on JournoList.”
— Byron York, the Washington Examiner, July 20th, 2010.
- “Much of the suspicion of press bias comes from two assumptions that are commonplace, if contradictory. The first is that reporters are out to get their subjects. The second is that the press is too close to its subjects—in the parlance of journalists, ‘in the tank.’ The press has been guilty of both sins at various times.”
— Evan Thomas in Newsweek, then still owned by the Washington Post, March 1st, 2008, in “The Myth of Objectivity,” an article whose subhead claims, “Is the mainstream press unbiased? No, but we aren’t ideological.”
From JournoList to activist, it appears that WaPo‘s liberal blogger Ezra Kleinis once again blurring the lines between being a journalist and trying to sway politics. In what appears to be at a minimum a breach of journalism ethics, Klein spoke to a group of Senate Democratic Chiefs of Staff last Friday about the Supercommittee, just days before the Committee announced its failing. “It was kind of weird,” said a longtime Senate Democratic aide, explaining that while people “enjoyed it” and gave it “positive reviews” this sort of thing is far from typical.
A longtime Washington editor who deals with Capitol Hill regularly also said this is not the norm: ”I have never heard of a reporter briefing staffers. It’s supposed to be the other way around. This arrangement seems highly unusual.”