Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton explored conservative dissatisfaction with the national news in polls and then wondered if the Post’s own columnist corps didn’t lean dramatically to the left: “The Post should first be about news without slant. If The Post wants to wrap its news in commentary, fine, but shouldn’t some of those voices then be conservative?”
He listed all the “progressives” the Post was planting throughout the paper:
On this weekend's Fox News Watch, panelist Jim Pinkerton proposed a simple way to clear up much of the murk surrounding JournoList. Let the Washington Post respond to the 20 questions about the matter that MRC head Brent Bozell has posed to the Post's executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, in an open letter.
JournoList was created by lefty blogger Ezra Klein in 2007, who continued to run it after becoming a Post staffer in 2009.
Responding to Pinkerton's proposal, Newsday columnist Ellis Henican, a liberal member of the News Watch panel, swung and missed at Bozell . . .
Managing Editor's Note: What follows is an open letter from NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell to Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli about the controversial [now defunct] e-mail listserv JournoList, founded and operated by the Post's Ezra Klein.
The JournoList scandal is getting worse every day and The Washington Post is at the center of it. Blogger Ezra Klein ran the operation and at least three other staffers were members. (Blogger Greg Sargent claims he wasn't a member after he joined the Post.) In addition, at least one member of Slate and two from Newsweek, also owned by Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, were members.
The almost constant revelations of political activism and journalistic conspiracy raise an enormous number of questions about Post policies, professionalism and ethics. As a conservative, and therefore a member of the movement JournoListers sought to demonize, I feel Post readers are owed full disclosure.
Any understanding of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics makes clear this list and the Post's involvement violate a number of ethical guidelines. In fact, much of the code seems to have been ignored. Here are just a few examples from the code.
Last week, the Culture & Media Institute published a study of The Washington Post's coverage of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. CMI found overwhelming bias in the Post's reporting during the seven days after gay couples could begin applying for marriage licenses. The celebratory tone of many of the articles was enough to merit charges of bias, but CMI had numbers to back them up.
During an online Q & A on March 15, CMI got the opportunity to ask Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli about the biased reporting. Here, in full, are the question and the answer:
Alexandria, VA: In the week after gay marriage was legal, the Post devoted 543 column inches to gay issues. Those stories quoted gay marriage advocates 67 times compared to opponents just 6 times. How can you defend how the Post has handled this story, especially since for all your push for home rule, this decision never even went to the voters who likely would have rejected it.
Marcus Brauchli: The polls don't necessarily support your view that gay marriage would have been rejected by voters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/06/AR2010020602300.html). But, in any case, the issue of gay marriage crosses a lot of important terrain--civil liberties, religion, local economics, national politics and, yes, home rule. I don't know how you're counting quotes. We quoted many people who were able to marry because of the legal change; it's hard to see how you'd cover a change of this magnitude without talking to the people most affected by the change. I can assure you, though, that we were just as intent on reflecting the views of those who opposed the ideas as we were those who favored it."
Hmmm ... Here's a quick summary of CMI's analysis:
In an update on Tim Graham's earlier post about The Washington Post’s flier that circulated to Beltway lobbyists, the Post abruptly canceled its "salon" program to offer "exclusive access" to "Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds" for between $25,000 and $250,000. (View an image of the flier.)
According to the Washington Examiner, Post company spokeswoman Kris Coratti issued a statement Thursday morning claiming that the flier was a "draft" that hadn't been "properly vetted" before being dispatched.