WaPo Has a Plan to Get Out of the Hole It's in, and It Involves More Digging

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File

What happens when a company's brand is Orange Man Bad at a time when voters are deciding maybe Orange Man wasn't so bad after all? If you're the Washington Post, it means losing half of your readership in just four years β€” and a whopping $77 million just last year.


β€œTo be direct," CEO Will Lewis warned his staff today, "we are in a hole, and we have been for some time." The warning came as part of the big reveal of Lewis's "Build It" plan to restore the once-mighty paper to profitability.

Yeah, about that plan...

I haven't been able to find a copy of the "Build It" plan yet, but Semafor's Max Tani has an ear on the WaPo meeting and summarized Lewis's remarks. "Lewis says [that] the three pillars of the new strategy are: great journalism, happy customers, and making money."

While you can be sure there were more details, those three "pillars" are more of a wishlist than a plan. Readers don't necessarily buy a paper for great journalism, believe it or not. "I canceled my WaPo subscription earlier this year because I got fed up with all of their Biden-bashing," one angry former reader posted to X.

Years of partisan hackery have left the Post with an audience that gets angry enough to cancel when the paper does do some honest reporting from time to time. But winning readers back with more ORANGE MAN BAD is hardly great journalism. WaPo is in a hole it dug for itself when it changed its brand from "earnest leftwing bias" to "rabid and unaccountable partisanship."


Resembling something closer to a plan was Lewis's pledge to put "AI everywhere in our newsroom." That sounds like Lewis is going to trim the number of journalists doing all that "great journalism" and replace them with chatbots that have a reputation for dull prose, drab left-leaning conformity, and just making stuff up.

No one will ever be able to tell the difference. Will the cost savings plug a 77 million dollar hole? We'll see.

For what it's worth, PJ Media's parent company has a blanket ban on writers using AI instead of our own brains and fingers to do the writing. Some critics might say I'm not much better than just a half-dozen monkeys with typewriters, but I'm still better than a chatbot. 

But back to the Post's woes, the timing couldn't possibly be more apt. Earlier today, I appeared on Amy Peikoff's Bitchute channel where we talked about "The Etiquette of Schadenfreude." How awful does someone have to be to take joy in their suffering, and how far should we go with it?

The topic came up because of late Iranian strongman Ebrahim Raisi's death in a helicopter crash last weekend, and some of the dark jokes we enjoyed over it. I figured that David Burge nailed it when, after Iran decreed five days of mourning for the Butcher of Tehran, he called for five days of helicopter jokes.


If the Washington Post fails, my schadenfreude will swell far beyond a few days' worth of bad jokes. I will instead literally dance on the paper's virtual grave. I might even dress up like Michael Jackson, finally learn to moonwalk, and write a little song to go with it. 

Recommended: Hey, How About Another Big Boeing Fail?

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