WashPost Again Keeps Hearings Off Page One, Opting for Openly Gay H.S. Track Star and Pizza Patio Robbery

The Washington Post on Friday stuck to its practice of keeping oversight hearings off the front page. On A-3, readers would learn Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the Senate, and the new IRS chief was being questioned about lavish spending in the House.

The Post did lead with the data-mining story (perhaps that’s a Bush/Obama scandal, not an Obama scandal), but also carried front-page stories on an openly gay track star at a local high school and a New York Post-like story on “the puzzling case of the pizzeria patio pilferer.”

The track-star headline was “Student-athlete will not be defined by his sexuality: Openly gay track star is one of T.C. Williams’ most popular students.” You may laugh at this headline. Ask yourself how many heterosexual high-school track stars make the front page of the Post.

Reporter Roman Stubbs made the story all about how being gay and being heckled led to Terrence Curry having more drive to succeed.

This could have easily been the front page of Metro or of Sports. In fact, at the bottom of the front page of Metro was “First lady rallies supporters for McAuliffe” in the Virginia governor’s race, which could have been front-page news.

The pizzeria story was about how two men eating pizza on the patio at Pizzoli’s Pizzeria in the Adams Morgan neighborhood were robbed at gunpoint, and how it became a viral video (one of the victims calmly offered the robber his half-eaten gyro).

The Holder story by Sari Horwitz forcused less on Justice Department overreach and more on Holder being questioned about how long he intends to remain in his job, which came up at the hearing’s end. In mid-story, Horwitz reported that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) asked if the executive branch was spying on Congress, and Holder replied there was “no intention” to do that.

The IRS story by Lisa Rein focused on an IRS official named Faris Fink, a “top deputy in the department that flew 2,600 managers to Anaheim, California, for three days in 2010.” Fink claimed the IRS was now in a “very different environment.” Ahem. Fink was the guy who dressed up as Spock at the event.

Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel testified he was moving to fire several officials who took more than $1,100 in free food from an outside event planner and tried to hide the gift. (Good luck with that...)

Also just inside the paper on A-2: “Boehner accuses Obama of threatening shutdown,” which one could argue is going to be a long-running story.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis