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By Jim Brady |  December 4, 2005; 7:30 PM ET  | Category:  Reader Feedback
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It is typical of you Yankees that you just barge into Canadian land to get your precious oil in Alaska. You have done that all along. And you wonder why a lot of people don't like you Americans.

If you didn't have the military technology to invade countries in the Middle East, you would be invading Canada and Mexico like the bullies you are.

By the way: remember softwood lumber.

Posted by: Fiona Byers | December 5, 2005 06:26 AM

We applaud Senator Lieberman for his courageous comment on what is happening in Iraq. He is putting off politicizing the conflict unlike John Kerry or Nancy Pelosi or my own off the wall Senator Russ Feingold who say its ok to lose.

Posted by: Keith Best | December 7, 2005 01:24 PM

I'd like to add my comments to those of my fellow bloggers regarding Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing" column. I too consider it "must-read" material, and I never fail to make reading his marvelous column an integral part of my daily schedule. I do not consider Mr. Froomkin to be "liberal"; rather, he's the closest thing to "fair and balanced" in terms of political reporting that your website has....
Regarding Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing" column --

Mr. Froomkin makes a point of providing the provenance for all of the links he includes in his daily column, and if trying to hold this--or any other--Administration accountable for its actions is considered "liberal bias," then so be it. His articles on the continued policy of the President's advance-team regarding inclusion of only like-minded individuals as spectators at Presidential events, and the refusal of the White House to let the President's Press Secretary to speak candidly, openly and honestly with reporters on the White House beat, should be noted and considered fair game for any and all political observers and/or writers.

I do not find the title of Mr. Froomkin's column at all confusing, nor do I think that it, or his work, infringes on the turf of the political reporters who work for The Washington Post's Print Edition. I respectfully ask that you continue to allow Mr. Froomkin to conduct his fine work for the online edition of The Post in the manner that he has done since the inception of his column. He performs a valuable public service for all readers, but especially for "political junkies" like me, who have little time to go hunting for all of the materials he so helpfully consolidates into one fine daily column. WE NEED OUR DAILY "DAN" FIX!!

On a personal note, I too offer my congratulations to Dan on the impending birth of his baby, and my best wishes to him and to his family for the best of holiday seasons. Thank you for taking the time to read this....!!

A loyal fan --

Posted by: Anne | December 12, 2005 03:00 PM

In case you somehow miss it, please see the comments section in response to Dan Froomkin's posting today at post.blog.

I have never seen such unanimity over anything: Dan Froomkin's column should be treasured, not criticized; if you meddle with it, you will lose a great deal of post.com readership; the print writers should take a page from Froomkin's book to learn what real reporting is about; and Deborah Howell is not responsibly performing her job.

Posted by: xyz | December 12, 2005 04:08 PM

Dan Froomkin's column is the best in the paper, and on some days, the only column worth reading. I trust him absolutely.

Posted by: jane | December 12, 2005 06:00 PM

Dan Froomkin's column is the best in the paper, and on some days, the only column worth reading. I trust him absolutely.

Posted by: jane | December 12, 2005 06:00 PM

xyz says it all re: Froomkin's defenders writing, emailing, etc to the com(Post)

"I have never seen such unanimity over anything"

I read a single 'nay' vs 100's of yay's

Absolutely amazing

Froomkin roools

Posted by: Calvin | December 12, 2005 08:38 PM

I agree with my fellow Froomkin readers, he is a major reason I come to washingtonpost.com on a daily basis. The editors would be wise to take note of this and realize that maybe their readership is smart enough to "get" what his column, and its title, is all about.

Posted by: eio | December 12, 2005 09:20 PM

As an asute writer to the Froomkin revival put it:

"Let me tell you: the conservative revolution is going to be remembered as a short-term phenomenon built mostly on hot air and hubris. What you're reading in the polls and, yes, in this venue, is the collective voice of the majority of Americans who are silent no longer and itching for November 2006 to begin the process of casting you all out of office."

It's amazing how out of touch you must be!!

Who knew there was so much room in that Bubble?

Posted by: Calvin | December 12, 2005 09:39 PM

Froomkin's column is the only reason I seek out wp.com. If he were to move to another venue I would follow him without a qualm. Over the last 5 years I have noticed a decided bias in traditional news and it certainly isn't liberal. If I want administration talking points I can go to Fox and Murdoch. When I want honest analysis I go to Froomkin. As best I can tell he is one of the very few who is objective and stays out of the spin cycle in his writing.

Posted by: Sandra Granich | December 13, 2005 12:05 PM

But for Froomkin, the only entity in my house reading anything from this once proud paper would be my canary.

Posted by: old gold 30 | December 13, 2005 06:01 PM

I read the Washington Post because I think it is a great paper. I have complimented the Post many times for the great breaking news stories that they have published (CIA prisons, DOJ memo that was overruled, etc.) I have also complimented them for their chats. There are many fine reporters & columnists that I enjoy reading. Mr. Froomkin happens to be one of them.

I was quite stunned to see the harsh words used against him by Ms. Howell and Mr. Harris. Not only do I not agree with Ms. Howell and Mr. Harris but I can not believe that they have started this firestorm in such a public way.

Mr. Harris has been far worse in his comments than Ms. Howell. At least Ms. Howell stuck to criticizing only Mr. Froomkin, Mr. Harris, on the other hand, was quite dismissive of the readers of the Post. I don't know Mr. Harris so I will be charitable and say that perhaps his statements were the result of being overrworked. But, whatever the reason, someone needs to rein this guy in before he says anything else.

Quite frankly, I think that Howell & Harris have caused more damage to the reputation of the Post than anything that the name of Froomkin's column could possibly do. I think a grownup at the Post needs to step in but quick.

By the way, Ms. Howell has yet to answer two emails that I sent to her weeks ago. They were the only emails that I ever sent the Post ombudsman questioning a story. Perhaps she should focus on her job and maybe readers like me can have their questions answered in a timely manner.

Thanks.

Posted by: pmorlan | December 13, 2005 11:28 PM

I would just like to add my comments in favor of Mr. Froomkin's column. It is the only media column I read regularly on the web and I find it a well put together round up of news from many sources. I find it most hard to believe that the Post's Executive Editor feels it necessary to state "We want to make sure people in the [Bush] administration know that our news coverage by White House reporters is separate from what appears in Froomkin's column because it contains opinion." I don't see any relevance at all in what the Bush administration thinks about your writers. It is what your readers think about your writers that should make all the difference.

Posted by: Chuck Reif | December 13, 2005 11:48 PM

I'd just like to congratulate whoever was responsible for using this blog to bring the Froomkin matter to our attention.

Given the extraordinary response, I'm curious if you are having any regrets about that decision at the moment? :)

Posted by: paul lukasiak | December 13, 2005 11:56 PM

Web Executive Editor Jim Brady:

THANK YOU for your 'stand your ground' comments at E&P in response to the POLITICAL pressure applied by your Executive Editor and Political Editor cohorts at the print edition of the Post. FINALLY, somebody at the Post starts to sound a little like the former leadership of your paper during its Watergate days.

I don't even read Dan Froomkin - I simply see links to his work occasionally elsewhere on the web. I DO however, have the unfortunate experience of listening to White House Beat reporters try to "take on" no-comment commenters like the White House Spin Spokesman. Anyone who thinks that that beat has any sort of credibility to lose, has another think coming... [After all, those reporters are all WILLING patsies to the White House P.R. spin game. Why show up at all? Send a tape recorder.]

Bottom Line: As journalists, editors, and newspaper owners working in the heart of the federal bureaucracy and covering the Executive Branch of our government, if you are NOT hearing about your coverage constantly, from your powerful subjects, then YOU QUITE SIMPLY ARE NOT DOING YOUR JOBS OF INFORMING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC about their own government. The feds SERVE US, not the other way around (I realize that the current bunch think that they are the CEO's of the sole world superpower and are therefore "untouchable," but oh, how deluded they are). The ONLY thing they have ANY right to complain about in your coverage, is factual inaccuracies. And that is the only thing the Washington Post has need to correct or atone for, in response to those in office attempting to influence your coverage of their service.

As to the apologies and amends that the Washington Post owes the AMERICAN PEOPLE, for its wholly INADEQUATE coverage of the federal government of late years (Mr. Harris), don't get me started...

Posted by: Hone Your Questions | December 14, 2005 01:25 AM

I posted a previous comment at the end of Dan's response in favor of his column and his commentary. He is not a reporter - who reports only facts, but a conduit for others' information and an analyst and opinion generator. I don't think the column needs a name change. To borrow a quote - "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Perhaps, if you feel you really need to change the name you could call it "Rose Garden Briefing" or something similar to connect with the WH. You might even have a reader contest to select a new name which would give Dan even more publicity.

Posted by: Pat B | December 14, 2005 01:38 AM

Dear Mr. Brady,

Please continue to stand fast Behind Dan Froomkin. Do not change the title of "Whitehouse Briefing".

The eruption of spontaneous support for Mr. Froomkin got me thinking again why I like his work so much.

1) He does everything out in the open. This is a function of his fantastic aggregating skills and the web itself. When reading his work I do not feel that he is feeding me scraps of information that a group of insiders have decided can be fed to the readers. There are no anonymous sources, no gentleman's agreements not to raise difficult questions.

This is what makes the Harris/Ombudsman attack so distasteful. In absolute contrast to Froomkin's work their criticisms are self-evidently driven by some kind of back room pressure, which readers can only make guesses about. If some of the criticisms of those going up against Froomkin seem over the top it is precisely because there is such an aura of conspiracy to the whole thing. Who can help but ask what motivates Harris and the ombudsman? Is it really just reader's confusion, or is it jealousy, pressure from outside, from the Whitehouse? If these seem like ill temperd speculations by intemperate defenders of Froomkin's work they may be, but the way Harris and the Ombudsman went after him with veiled threats is just pouring gasoline on the fire.

Froomkin is not in competition with the WP journalists, but with news aggregators like Google News, Drudge Report etc. Whatever the internal and external political pressures on you please don't loose sight of the fact that Froomkin's work is at the cutting edge of the constantly changing field of media delivery.

Loose Fromkin and you are not just loosing a bright and insightful reader and writer of the news, but someone with a vision of future news delivery who has positioned himself and helped to position the WP in a really interesting and productive way.

Posted by: Richard H | December 14, 2005 08:48 AM

Mr. Brady--

Thank you for your stated support for Dan Froomkin and his column. I hope you will continue to take a firm stand on behalf of journalistic integrity and independence before it becomes a complete oxymoron. Froomkin's column is the best thing you have on the Post website. As you can see from the outpouring in these thousand-plus blog comments, there are many of us who understand what is going on and who will not remain silent in the face of the print Post's cowardice and hypocracy.

Posted by: J Shelley | December 14, 2005 10:20 AM

So what happened to Froomkin's response to that ombudsman column, the 1000 or so comments in his support, the John Harris entry which added even more fuel to the fire, and the Achenblog post about it all, not to mention another 1000 or so comments? When I tried to click on the Rosen links, the posts had disappeared. So who erased all this? Since the ombudsman column still seems to remain, it doesn't feel right to delete Froomkin's defense. Actually, it doesn't feel right that any of it got deleted-- doesn't sound like what a news-site ought to do.

So what's up?

Posted by: lissa | December 17, 2005 12:34 AM

John Harris's unconscious betrayal of his thoughts that adversarial and irreverant attitudes have no place in the mind of the "
fighting thru fog for the truth" White House suck ups that he leads will, I believe, be as infamous in the future as Sally Quinn's immmortal column about the Clintons and how they "trashed" Washington.

Posted by: Bob R | December 26, 2005 03:07 PM

Leave it to The Post to rush to print the gospel according to the AP.
Upon reading several "media" accounts of the "outrageous" comments made by Pat Robertson I decided to go to the source and hear Pat's comments in their entirety. What every single agenda driven "media outlet" failed to mention is that 90% of Robertson's piece on Sharon was spent pouring praise over him as a close and dear personal friend. He clearly turned toward biblical text to propose that perhaps the new leader of Israel, whomever that may be should not tempt God and should not split Israel. The Godless Marxist left will never turn up the opportunity to take Mr. Robertson out of context and totally misrepresent his intent. Is is becoming increasingly clear that the only thing that the extreme left hates more than Jews is a righteous Christian who is an incorruptible supporter of Israel. See for yourself http://www.700club.com/700club/ If viewing after 1/6/06 see archives. Extremely revealing. (For those who have the guts to seek the truth.)

"Every exponged or censored word will eventually resound from mountaintop to mountaintop"

Posted by: Michael Austin | January 6, 2006 06:06 AM

To Ms. Howell, who is supposed to be an Ombudsman handling reader and subscriber issues:


HOW DARE YOU!!


I find it OUTRAGEOUS that you have the gall to write that Sue Schmitt, Ms.Bush Stenographer, is right in saying that Democrats are implicated in this scandal the same as Republicans, and that Abramoff gave money to both parties.

Chairman Dean is ABSOLUTELY right when he said no Democrat got money directly from Abramoff, and no Democrat has been indicted for dealing with Abramoff.

Indian tribes may have given money to political action committees or politicians, but since when is that against the law? INDIAN TRIBES, looking out for their best interests, gave money to both parties. The Abramoff scandal is REPUBLICAN pay-for-play.

It is part and parcel of Gingrich and DeLay's signature K-Street project, it is an outrageous example of the Republican culture of Corruption that has afflicted our Government like a metastasizing cancer, and Democrats have no part of it.

And Schmitt and you know it, but you're scared of the GOP's media enforcers. I expect corrections, Ms. Howell.

Soon.

Like NOW.

Ed Johnson

Posted by: Blue06 | January 15, 2006 10:01 PM

Regarding the Ombudsman's column in the 1/15 edition: I am sure that you've received MANY incensed comments regarding the column from both sides so I will attempt to keep this professional.

In the 4th paragraph of your column, you print the following:
"Schmidt quickly found that Abramoff was getting 10 to 20 times as much from Indian tribes as they had paid other lobbyists. And he had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties."

The records of the FEC for the past 4 years show that Mr. Abramoff has made NO contributions to either the Democratic Party or any Democratic candidates. Clearly a factual error has been made in this column. If Ms. Howell meant to say that some of Mr. Abramoff's clients (or, arguably, victims) made such contributions, that fact should have been clearly laid out. As it stands, however, 'he' did NOT make such contributions. As such, a correction should be posted.

Second, at the end of the column, after Ms. Howell factually states that no Democratic officeholders or staff are the subject of the investigation, she adds the words "But stay tuned. This story is nowhere near over."

As Ms. Howell is not reporting this story, I am assuming that she has no source or sources to corroborate such a statement. Without any qualifying statements following her post, such a statement leads the reader to assume either 1. That the Democrats WILL be placed in the first tier of the investigation or 2. That Ms. Howell hopes that such an event will occur.

In either case, without more, the statement should NEVER have been put into an ombudsman's column. If Ms. Howell has an opinion on the subject matter of Ms. Schmidt's column, other than the fact checking or the examination of the methods by which Ms. Schmidt stated HER facts, there are many other areas in the Post to which such an opinion may be placed.
If Ms. Howell is stating as a fact that the investigative status will change to include Democrats, the basis of such a claim should be laid out.

As it stands, Ms. Howell's column, rightly or wrongly, leads readers to believe a set of facts that just do not exist.

I hope that the Post will clarify and correct the record in this matter and contiue the high degree of journalistic integrity to which it has rightfully staked a claim.

Posted by: Douglas | January 16, 2006 10:55 AM

"...Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, a Post business reporter, have mentioned that a number of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), have gotten Abramoff campaign money."-Deborah Howell
Are Deborah and Jeffrey politically compromised, or financially compromised?
FACT:
"Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and NOTHING to Democrats, federal records show." Bloomberg.com
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=arVHles5cKJc&refer=us#
Read the article, from DOCUMENTED sources, not a Post stenographer. I want the TRUTH from a paper on BOTH parties. Examination of Jeffrey's spin and the documented truth leaves me wondering if Birnbaum should't get a part-time job with Ken Mehlman. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to get paid for disseminating fog is another matter. Actually, this reporters style seems to be getting paid for quoting another persons lies, as if they had weight. If you want to be a shill, at least be honest about it.
As far as Abramoff's clients giving money to the Democrats:
"The Saginaw Chippewas gave $500,500 to Republicans between 2001 and 2004 and $277,210 to Democrats, according to a review of data compiled by Dwight L. Morris & Associates, a Bristow, Virginia-based company that tracks campaign-finance reports. Between 1997 and 2000, the tribe gave just $158,000 to Republicans and $279,000 to Democrats." (same article above) These were clients of Abramoff who were giving to Democrats BEFORE the K Street Project. The whole K-Street Project existed to funnel money to the GOP and keep it away from Democrats. What part of that does ANYONE disagree with? It is documented, witnessed, and indicted and plea-bargained. Now let's put the blame where it belongs, fix the problem and move on. I am sick of having reporters dissemble so much I end up with a net loss as to the FACTS. How about some honest reporting and let the chips fall where they may? I wish Nader had some support. He wanted to clean this crap up 20 years ago. The biggest losers here are the Tribes, whose money now seems tainted because of Abramoff, Delay, Reed, Norquist..etc.
I am very thankful for groups like Public Citizen that take the time to RESEARCH THE FACTS and present the documented truth.
Example:
Blunt Has Strong Ties to Lobbyists and Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, Doled Out Favors to Campaign Contributors, Accepted Corporate-Funded Travel and More
-Public Citzen, Jan 13, 2005
http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2111
"DeLay facilitated Blunt's rapid rise and Blunt tapped into DeLay's enormous fundraising machine, especially the Alexander Strategy Group (ASG), founded by former DeLay staff. Ten of Blunt's biggest contributors have hired ASG as their lobbying firm. Blunt's committees paid ASG $485,485 since 1999 for fundraising and consulting services. ASG's clients, meanwhile, have funneled $581,866 into Blunt's committees. ASG was forced to shut its doors in January 2006 because of its connections with the DeLay-Abramoff lobbying scandal. Moreover, at least one of Blunt's PACs operated out of the same townhouse as an illegal soft money operation connected to DeLay operatives."

Alexander Strategy Group's demise was covered by the Post on January 10 this year. There was NO mention of the tentacles that extend from ASG to GOP incumbents all over the hill. It is a classic case of not following the money. Edwin A. Buckham, the former top DeLay aide who owned the company, will probably be indicted and I will read about it somewhere else. Your article and the Buckham quotes made it sound as if Ed was an innocent bystander that wasn't bitter about having to close up his money laundromat.
Those who are willing to take the time can still find the full truth that your newspaper fails to deliver.
The Post is doing some good work in spite of Woodward, Howell and their ilk. I have hope for the future of a once fine newspaper.

For Woodward and Howell:
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

Posted by: Michigander | January 16, 2006 12:44 PM

I have reviewed the comments both here and at the "Maryland" site, and find that comments from prior to 3pm have been hidden, and I am unable to link to any comment after 9:27 pm on Jan 15. I am very concerned that reader feedback on the Howell inaccuracies hae been censored. Is this another example of the Washington Post following orders from those who disagree with over 600 Americans expressing dissent by pointing out the incorrect information in Ms. Howell's slanted reporting?

This, along with the Washington Post's clear delay in reporting the speech given today by former Vice President Al Gore in Washington, give me even greater concern than I was experiencing last night regarding the apparent lack of objectivity in the journalism here. Ms. Howell's assertion that Democrats are implicated in the Abramoff Scandal by taking money from him is utterly false. As she seems unable to do routine fact-checking prior to publishing, alert readers have corrected here at the Washington Post Online. There is no dispute that she was wrong given the impeccable sources cited in the censored comments, including Reuters, AP and the FEC. How does the newspaper plan to explain this to what will easily be 1000 readers who have objected to this? Would one phone call from Ken Mehlman do it if the inaccuracy were targeted at Republicans? Perhaps just one call from Andrew Card or Karl Rove would necessitate a correction and apology to the readers and to those harmed, including the party, the Indian Tribes?

It is increasingly clear to me that the Washington Post cares little about the reader, the American Public. As long as the editors have continued access to the party in power, no matter how dirty thier coattails, even informed, subscribing readers are as unimportant as objective reporting and the truth.

I hope you will find it worth your integrity. Thomas Paine would not be for sale for the price of a cocktail appetizer, but apparently the Washington Post has less discernment.


Editor's Note:
We've deleted about a dozen comments in this thread that didn't raise any substantive issues and that were simply personal attacks on Deborah Howell or others. Every other comment that's been submitted has been published -- although because of the high volume of comments, it's possible that publishing has lagged a bit behind submission.

Hal Straus, Opinions Editor

Posted by: zennurse | January 16, 2006 10:23 PM

Mr. Straus--

If you've deleted a dozen, where did the several hundred others go? Perhaps as a corporate entity, you think that if you just hunker down, the storm will blow over, and tomorrow or maybe the next day, it will be business as usual? This time I think you're facing your own Katrina, and your reaction so far looks mighty like the WH response to that disaster.

Not one, not two but several of your reportorial staff have implicated themselves in WH spin mongering, and you continue to evade responsibility for it.

Ms. Howell's attack on Dan Froomkin, her factually inaccurate piece on the Abramoff scandal and Howard Kurtz's repetition of yet another "swiftboating" attempt on a courageous American patriot and Congressman show an appalling (I wish I had a more powerful word to use here) lack of jopurnalistic integrity.

John Harris's definition of journalistic integrity, which seems to be based on repeating whatever the administration deems "newsworthy," has now been extended beyond Ms. Howell and Mr. Kurtz to cover Mr. Willis, Ms. Schmidt and now you.

We are nearly to the point in time when we need to echo the words of Joseph Welch: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Posted by: notjonathon | January 17, 2006 03:42 AM

give it up, bo.

give it up,donny.

you may not remember me. but i remember you from my days as a crimed.

please extinguish your relationship with the intell services.

try to be a real newspaper, not an agitprop rag.

Posted by: albertchampion | January 17, 2006 04:08 AM

Mr. Strauss:
In response to your comment in my previous post, your assertion that all other comments previously posted which were not "personal attacks on Deborah Howell or others..", unfortunately this was not the case. I had posted a comment at or around 9:30pm on January 15 which had also disappeared, and it was niether a personal comment nor was it in any way false or abusive. I appreciate your attempt to clarify the situation, and to address the computer issues you seem to have, but for more alert readers who are concerned about honest debate and reasoned discussion of the facts in the Abramoff investigation, I feel sure you can understand our desire to see this and other biased comments in the Washington Post corrected rapidly.

I remain confused about why the Post has not publicly corrected this unfortunate situation. Mr. Kurtz was asked about it in his online chat; his response was assumption about Ms. Howell's motivation for her statement and does not in any way mitigate the situation. Members of you readership continue to expect a formal editorial statement regarding this unfounded inaccuracy which has now reached voters across the country. In addition, as we expect Ms. Howell to be an ombudsman to be fulfilling that job description and not that of a reporter, I would appreciate an explanation of why she was "reporting" on this issue at all.

zennurse
Gloucester, MA

Editor's Note:
I think the comment you're referring to is on the site at "http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/washpostblog/ 2006/01/new_blog_maryla.html#c12894003"

Hal Straus

Posted by: zennurse | January 17, 2006 02:54 PM

Mr. Strauss:

Thank you for the link to my previous comment, and your personal responsiveness to my remarks here. I am relieved of my concerns about censorship and appreciate the updates on your unfortunate computer problems. As I was scrolling for my comment last evening among the many hundreds that have been posted, I noted that many others provided factual information from numerous sources refuting Ms. Howell's inaccurate statement.

With so many comments on this and other threads regarding this issue, I remain confused and somewhat alarmed that the Washington Post has no responded in a more specific and satisfactory fashion. I expect that when her next colomn is published, Ms. Howell will address this for us, but readers remain very concerned that the paper has failed to correct her inaccurate and misleading statements, now days after the original column was published. In my previous comment I asked questions in the second paragraph which you seem to have pointedly ignored. I assure you I am still very interested in answers to those questions and concerns as I am devoted to learning the truth as we move forward with this sad chapter in our nation's story. Given the links and statements recorded here and in other threads related, which I have investigated on my own, I am certain Ms. Howell's comments are not factual and lead the reader to believe her inaccuracies.

Mr. Strauss, I don't understand why it is so difficult to resolve this issue for readers and now others in the media who have noted the negative comments you are receiving. I will continue to monitor the paper for a response, but will remain doubtful as to the veracity of the content of news until the editors have responded to this and demonstrated your committment to objective and fair journalism.

Sincerely,
zennurse

Posted by: zennurse | January 18, 2006 09:56 AM

Mr Strauss:

I forwarded my comments on this thread to the e-mail address above including your posted comments in an effort to get my questions answered. Since then I have read the piece by Mr Leen today covering the Democrats' Congressional Ethics Plan which provides what I suspect is the information Ms Howell referred to in her column. In it, Mr Leen describes various Democratic lawmakers' receipt of donations from Indian Tribes over the period in question, Tribes which have been linked to Mr Abramoff. As these Tribes constitute members of these Senators and Representatives constituency, and there is no proof of direct quid pro quo,I find this proof rather weak. In addition, I have had the opportunity to read Elizabeth Drew's excellent piece at the New York Times Review of Books regarding the K Street Project and the influence of Republicans on the power elite in Washington, including threats, denial of access and lobbyists participation in drafting legislation in the Republican-controlled Congress. It interests me that along with your list of Mr Leen's list of alleged Democratic offenses he did not mention these Republican tactics for control which were clearly and directly funded by Mr Abramoff.

Which is the more accurate story, which is the more significant news? I begin to believe that as the Republican Party has exerted significant pressure in the Senate and the House, as well as on K Street, they have exerted pressure on the media as well. We have, unfortunately, seen the sad events this partisan reporting has had at the New York Times and on the career of Judith Miller. As the paper of record in Washington, and given the comprehensive nature of the K Street Plan, I am beginning to see that the same pressure is being applied at the Washington Post to fall in line. Along with Kurtz and Krauthammer, Mr Leen and Ms Schmidt, Ms Howell's relatively small but very inaccurate comment misleads the reader away from the understanding that the Abramoff affair is a Republican scandal in terms of direct and collaborative relationships, where the real story lies.

I'm sorry to see this happen to the Washington Post after a legacy of hard and honest reporting. I will continue to search for answers, but I think I may have found them today.

Sincerely,
zennurse

Posted by: zennurse | January 18, 2006 10:49 PM

Postscript:

CNN January 18, 2006

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS...ouse/ index.html

"Many lawmakers, including Democrats, have scrambled to return or donate contributions linked to Abramoff, and McClellan portrayed the lobbyist an an equal-opportunity campaign contributor.

That assertion does not seem substantiated by Federal Election Commission records.

Records since 1998 show no personal donations from Abramoff to Democrats, and almost two-thirds of the $4.4 million contributed by Abramoff and his associates went to Republicans, according to documents compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign-finance watchdog group."

Posted by: zennurse | January 18, 2006 11:16 PM

Hey! Where'd the Technorati links go?

And now all the comments to Howell's latest post have disappeared!

Have you guys just completely chickened out, now?

Posted by: Avedon | January 19, 2006 04:07 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

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