Late last week, the Globe was sold by its owner, the New York Times Company, for $70 million in cash to investor and big-time Democratic donor John W. Henry. A few days later, the Graham family -- which owned the Washington Post since saving it from bankruptcy in 1933 -- sold the ailing newspaper to Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon.com, Inc., sometimes described as a "liberaltarian" who has donated money predominantly but not exclusively to Democrats.
The value of newspapers has been steadily falling for many years, even before Rupert Murdoch paid $5.2 billion for the Wall Street Journal's parent company, Dow Jones & Co., six years ago.
Yesterday the trustees who oversee Social Security announced that "the program's trust fund will be depleted by 2033 -- three years earlier than projected last year." "Never since the 1983 reforms have we come as close to the point of trust fund depletion as we are right now," trustee Charles Blahous said. But alas, the Washington Post shuffled that story over to page A3 rather than the front page.
So what actually made today's Post front page? Among other things, a highly parochial story about a lawsuit pitting neighbors against each other in a wealthy Northern Virginia community. "Plans for a Va. mansion modeled on Versailles irk neighbors," read the subheadline for Post staffer Justin Jouvenal's 30-paragraph story. Why on Earth is this worthy of front-page space? You have to wait until paragraph 14, when Jouvenal discloses that a former media executive is one of those filing the lawsuit against his neighbor, Young Yi:
It's probably safe to assume that a lot of reporters in the mainstream media lean to the left side of the ideological spectrum. And it was seen throughout the health care debate over the past year and a half - that somehow we need to raise the rhetoric beyond hyperbole like death panels, etc.
"[T]he Post found itself in another potentially embarrassing and ethically compromised position on Wednesday after one of its most senior reporters abruptly canceled an appearance at her own book party, which was being sponsored by a public relations firm with strong ties to the Democratic Party," Peters wrote.
"The Washington Post covers government agencies as closely as any daily newspaper. Yet an investor would have had to scroll through the Washington Post Co.'s (WPO) 10-K filing last week to see news of a Department of Education inquiry into its important education unit," Michael Santoli and Bill Alpert wrote for Barron's. "The Post's education business, anchored by the Kaplan for-profit college and test-prep businesses, contributed 58% of 2009's revenue and all of its $195 million of operating income."