The Sorry State of the Washington Post

So WaPo finally corrected their egregious Koch Brothers/Alberta oil sands hit piece — but “critics remain unsatisfied,” says Jonathan Adler.

Well, yeah. Here’s how WaPo’s Jonathan Adler kinda-sorta wriggles his paper free:


The charges against the Post’s Juliet Eilperin for an alleged conflict-of-interest on this story are overwrought as well. Eilperin covers energy and environmental issues, and her husband works on climate policy. Big deal. Unless she’s actually covering his work, I don’t see the problem. I believe the Post’s policy on conflicts is sufficient and have no reason to believe it’s been disregarded here.

No? Really? After a story so shoddily reported and sourced as Eilperin’s, she really ought to be given a different beat, or to have her future stories given a great big asterisk and an explanation for who her husband is and what he does for a living. The level of public-private incest in Washington would be absurd if it hadn’t become so obscene. Worse yet is the tolerance for it displayed by Adler and so many others.

The Post barely corrected the story — which in fact should have been retracted — and had to be dragged kicking and screaming for nearly three weeks just to do that. A competent editor, or at least a non-ideological one, would have facepalmed immediately upon learning of Eilperin’s sources and lousy numbers, and issued a correction immediately.

But in this case sorry seems to be the hardest word.


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