The Washington Post & washingtonpost.com

There was a lot of Web chatter last week about the difference of opinion between the newspaper and the Web site regarding the name and labeling of Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing column. Between the more than 1,800 comments in this blog and the hundreds of blog entries elsewhere -- including an especially comprehensive one by Jay Rosen at PressThink -- pretty much everything seems to have been said about that issue.

As I mentioned in Jay's piece, my biggest concern all along has been that highlighting this issue -- one that has been openly discussed by John Harris and me for some time -- would create a perception that The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com are not working closely together on a daily basis. We are. Here's how:

-- Each day, the newspaper's continuous news desk -- a team of reporters and editors who serve as a paper's liaison for washingtonpost.com -- helps coordinate the posting of between 15 and 20 Post-authored breaking news articles to allow us to keep the site updated on a 24/7 basis with Washington Post-quality journalism. Examples are here, here and here.

-- Our news desk and the continuous news desk talk via phone more than 50 times per day, and the paper and the site hold four daily conference calls to debate story play and discuss what stories we need to be planning for. The section editors at the newspaper and the site talk throughout the day and meet in person frequently. We have a full-time staffer who sits in the Post newsroom to help us coordinate major projects with the newspaper, and also helps resolve operational issues that arise on a daily basis.

-- Each week, Post staffers serve as guests for 30-35 hourly live discussions. These guests include Michael Wilbon, Gene Weingarten, Carolyn Hax, Dana Priest, Howard Kurtz, Lisa de Moraes and Tom Sietsema.

-- We also have the Post Politics Hour, where a member of The Post's political unit answers questions each weekday at 11am ET, and Ask The Post, where readers can pose questions to senior editors at the newspaper.

-- In October, washingtonpost.com staffer Chris Cillizza kicked off The Fix, our daily political blog. To make sure he had the best possible access to The Post's political staff, we positioned Chris in The Post newsroom, a decision that has undoubtedly contributed to the success of that blog.

-- Post staffers Howard Kurtz, Mark Maske, Jay Mathews and Jabari Asim write online-only columns for washingtonpost.com. Others, such as Sally Squires and Michelle Singletary, write e-mail newsletters for us.

-- Post staff writer Joel Achenbach blogs for us at Achenblog

-- The Fairfax County bureau has its own blog, and the Fairfax Extra section that runs in the newspaper on Thursdays features highlights from the blog.

-- Post metro reporter Michael Shear maintained a blog chronicling the Virginia gubernatorial race called Race to Richmond, and with that race now over, Michael has transitioned to a new blog, The Richmond Report.

-- Post staff writer Fred Barbash -- who once covered the Supreme Court -- is exhaustively maintaining our Campaign for the Court blog.

-- The Web site has recently begun to outfit Post reporters with video equipment to allow them to enhance their articles with multimedia. You can see an example of this in Post reporter Kevin Sullivan's recent filing from Ireland.

-- Thanks to the teamwork of post.com's Adrian Holovaty and The Post's Derek Willis, we recently put our Congressional Votes Database online. The data has been used by the newspaper for years as an internal resource, and both sides agreed this was something worth putting online.

-- We frequently work with Post staff photographers to build galleries that combine photos that ran in the paper with other high-quality photos that did not make it because of space constraints.

-- Washingtonpost.com video journalist Travis Fox has partnered with Style reporter Phil Kennicott on more than a half-dozen documentary video pieces from around the globe. Here's their most recent work, a feature on the democratic movement in Azerbaijan.

-- In addition to these features, there are daily successes, such as the Yemen series that ran in this past weekend's newspaper, and the Afghanistan rebuilding package that recently came out of The Post's investigative unit.

We're proud of what we've accomplished together in 2005, and grateful that the partnership with the web extends to just about every corner of the Post newsroom. But there's still a lot to do. In January, we're planning to launch new blogs featuring reporters from Metro, Style and Business, and we'll be launching an initiative with the newspaper's Young Journalists Development Program. Additionally, we're hoping to launch some reporter-specific podcasts and dozens of other new features in early 2006.

There's more I could discuss here, but I hope the point is made: washingtonpost.com could never be what it is today without the partnership we have with The Washington Post. One difference of opinion should not be viewed as a threat to that.

Thanks,
Jim Brady
Executive Editor, washingtonpost.com

By Jim Brady |  December 19, 2005; 12:33 AM ET  | Category:  Content
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Comments

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You need to fire Harris. Period. George Bush claims complete and total power, while the WP sits by and kisses his a**.

There is something deep and fundamentally wrong here. America does not spy on its citizens without a warrant. America does not condone torture. And fundamental to the American system of government is the rule of law and a system of checks and balances.

If you don't see what is wrong, then your are not a journalist. Your just an employee. No different and no more special than an executive at Wal-Mart.

Posted by: | December 19, 2005 06:03 PM

A question for Mr. Brady...

Does Ms Howell also function as ombudsman for the Post online?

***************

Thanks for the update....I don't think there is anyone who doesn't believe that the Post's online edition is far and away the leader when it comes to integrating the content of the "dead tree" newpaper and the potential of the internet. You and your colleagues have been doing a great job.

That being said --- the credibility of your site is being damaged by the right-wing slant of the Post's political editor, Mr. John Harris. Indeed, I recently saw a credible critique of Harris by a former operative of the Democratic Party, pointing out that Harris is right wing.

Shouldn't Harris be labelled an "opinion" editor on wpost.com, rather than a news editor, given his obvious ideological biases?

Posted by: paul lukasiak | December 19, 2005 06:49 PM

I find it totally remarkable that, when Jay Rosen asked John Harris for an example of Dan Froomkin's liberal bias, John Harris pointed to one and only one place: a web post which he said "does not seem far-fetched," a web post entitled "Dan Froomkin: Second Rate Hack" that was written by Patrick Ruffini, Bush-Cheney 2004 Webmaster and current eCampaign Director for the Republican National Committee. I find it even more remarkable that Harris characterized Patrick Ruffini not as a Republican operative but as "this conservative weblogger." I find it most remarkable of all that John Harris says that his identification of Ruffini as "this conservative weblogger" was not an accident or done out of ignorance: that Harris knew full well that Ruffini was "affiliated with Republicans."

Either way, it seems to me that you have a substantial problem. If John Harris really believes that it "does not seem far-fetched" to classify the people you hire at WPNI to write for the web as "second-rate hacks"--if he knows as little about the web and about your operation as that--then you have a problem of one kind. If John Harris doesn't believe it but finds it a handy weapon to use in his attempt to satisfy Republican "concerns," then you have a problem of a second kind (and, I would argue, the print *Post* has an *enormous* problem). I don't see a third alternative, but I would be happy to learn that I am wrong.

Posted by: Brad DeLong | December 19, 2005 08:25 PM

The Washington Post has Bush at 47% but Gallup/CNN and ARG show no bump at all.

Will the whoring for Bush ever stop? What does he have to do? Suspend the Constitution? Guess as long as you get a good nickname and an invite to the Christmas party - your good, right?

Posted by: | December 19, 2005 08:37 PM

Brad, what's the crime? Is a characterization of Froomkin as liberal inadmissable because it was made by a conservative?

Posted by: Christopher Fotos/PostWatch | December 19, 2005 09:02 PM

Christopher, if you'd troll less you'd be more effective...

As you know, there is an important difference between conservatives on the one hand and Bush-can-do-no-wrong RNC operatives on the other--a difference Harris was (pathetically) hoping would be overlooked.

Posted by: Brad DeLong | December 19, 2005 09:11 PM

The most frightening thing about this post?

"and we'll be launching an initiative with the newspaper's Young Journalists Development Program. "

Oh, God. I can just see it now.

"Okay, young cub reporter. I'm going to teach you how to cozy up to administration sources. First, invite them for drinks. Then publish whatever they say without critical analysis. Third, remember to minimize their misdeeds, especially if they have good poll numbers. And always, always, remember - the truth is less important than 'balance'. You remember all that? Good. One day we will let you bury a scoop until your book comes out."

Posted by: | December 19, 2005 09:54 PM

Brad, that's a genuinely disappointing response. I noted your visit to my blog, posted your comment in the main body of one of my own posts, and cordially posted a link in the body text to your own site for those of my readers who were unfamiliar with you.

So...Ruffini was out of bounds because he was a particularly loyal conservative?

Posted by: Christopher Fotos/PostWatch | December 19, 2005 10:18 PM

Turn it around: should the _Washington Post_ conclude that it is being too easy on Bush and point to James Carville or Paul Begala if they complain? Of course not.

Posted by: Brad DeLong | December 19, 2005 10:48 PM

Actually I'd be stunned if there were no example in recorded Washington Post history of a time when it pointed to criticism from the left in support of some point or another. Come to think of it, that would be your standard Post editorial.

Posted by: Christopher Fotos/PostWatch | December 19, 2005 10:56 PM

I think it's time-- after all the torrent of verbiage that has flowed starting with Howell's original column-- that it's time for someone, or some group of individuals to admit that they'd radically overplayed their hand, displaying the dirty laundry of internal politics and resentment, to the detriment of the Washington Post, both the newspaper and the web site, and to offer a clear and unqualified apology to Dan Froomkin. They will be running a special on Humble Pie in the company cafeteria to ease the burden of confession.

Barry

Posted by: BBJ | December 20, 2005 01:17 AM

To Jim Brady:
If Harris and Howell had had their way, as implied at the begining of all this, they would have been pleased to see Froomkin's status either neutered or, better, "spiked." What a scary, but hapless, duo. This agenda had to be dramatically downsized, once it was clear where reader opinion rested and the intensity of the support which Froomkin garnered. It was to your credit, Mr. Brady, that you stepped in quickly and chivalrously to reject the notion of a title change for the WHB column. But that is not enough-- you need to also make clear that you WILL NOT be introducing a "fair and balanced" anti-Froomkin column. As some previous reader comments have suggested, that second column would have to deal with falsehoods to balance truth and zero-accountability to balance accountability. Please, please, SAY IT LOUD-- no more tinkering of any sort will be permitted to Froomkin's column as long as you are running the .com shop. Until then, your job is not yet done.

JE

Posted by: Juno the Elder | December 20, 2005 01:31 AM

Mr. Brady,

While your comments are welcome, this post does still does nothing to address the substance of the issue. Ms. Howell's piece is still posted on washingtonpost.com. In it she declares Dan Froomkin's column "highly opinionated and liberal"; a claim that Mr. Harris agrees with. I trust that she or Mr. Harris will have the courtesy to respond to your readers concerns by citing evidence to back up their assertion. Dan's readers and I'm sure Dan himself, welcome the discussion. But as far as I can tell, it is a discussion that Mr. Harris and Ms. Howell are unwilling to have. If they, in a manner offensive to journalistic standards, are unwilling or unable to produce evidence to support their claim, they should retract their statements and apologize to Mr. Froomkin. Ms. Howell and Mr. Harris, in their roles at a major newspaper, should understand this better than anyone.

Posted by: JPS | December 20, 2005 02:49 AM

Chris Fotos: //"So...Ruffini was out of bounds because he was a particularly loyal conservative?"//

Ruffini wasn't out of bounds, but it was intellectually dishonest and misleading not to characterize him as a paid gun. He isn't Joe Citizen off the street. He is a hired hand. Having all the information gives the reader the tools (such as motive) necessary to assess the credibility of any source.

Any professional organization concerned about how Froomkin's column was labelled should have handled that concern internally. WP stock has gone down in my book as a result of this incident. If I were you Jim Brady, I'd be distancing the website company from the paper, not the other way around.

Posted by: | December 20, 2005 06:19 AM

I've rarely read a response that so thoroughly sidesteps the true issues raised by Howell's and Harris's comments.

You appear to be taking plays from Scott McLellan's playbook:

1. Marginalizing the other side: "Chatter?"

2. Stating the obvious: "Openly discussed by John Harris and me?" Well, if it were clandestine, you wouldn't be talking about it here? Or at least I'd hope not.

3. This is actually a twofer - Burying the issue in irrelevant trivia, and making a virtue of a necessity: to paraphrase, "the team of print reporters helps update the website?" I'm missing something here - who else would do it?

How about the way the Post, evidently from the Ombudsman to the Executive Editor to the White House editor, bit hard after a ginned up, Republican ploy to discredit a worthy journalist?

Do you mean to tell us there was really no issue raised by this? That it's subordinate to issues of routine news collection and dissemination?

Posted by: John Fulton | December 20, 2005 10:14 AM

Mr. Brady:

DO you or someone you know believe that:
1) Mr. Froomkin is "liberal and opinionated" ?
2) Mr. Froomkin is a "second rate hack?" (Ruffini's phrase)

If you think so, as I imagine to be the case, then, could you offer us a sample of journalism from those who are doing the complaining, a sample that would clear things up and show us a model of "objectivity" and "first rate" hackery.

Until we are able to study a side by side comparison, we must continue to believe the obvious-- that Froomkin does a pretty amazing job to hold the White House accountable and thereby serve his readership in a unique way.

JE

Posted by: Juno the Elder | December 20, 2005 11:21 AM

Mr. Brady:

DO you or someone you know believe that:
1) Mr. Froomkin is "liberal and opinionated" ?
2) Mr. Froomkin is a "second rate hack?" (Ruffini's phrase)

If you think so, as I imagine to be the case, then, could you offer us a sample of journalism from those who are doing the complaining, a sample that would clear things up and show us a model of "objectivity" and "first rate" hackery.

Until we are able to study a side by side comparison, we must continue to believe the obvious-- that Froomkin does a pretty amazing job to hold the White House accountable and thereby serve his readership in a unique way.

JE

Posted by: Juno the Elder | December 20, 2005 11:23 AM

Mr. Brady,

Perhaps you should read today's post from Arianna Huffington at her news blog (if, that is, you feel you can stand to read something by some *gasp* liberal).

In her post, she discusses the crumbling of the NYTimes, and its failure to put the readers and the public before its cronyism.

Her quote, "The future of the Times hinges on its ability to convince its readers that its loyalty flows to the public and not to the powers-that-be", fits you just as well. Oh, sure, you haven't admitted to covering up domestic spying by the BoyKing for a year, you've only got that cretin Woodward to their Judy Miller, but your ignorant toolies Harris and Howell(?) have made it clear where your loyalties are.

Posted by: Gerhard von Ehrlichenbrenner | December 20, 2005 12:17 PM

All of that cooperation and synergy will survive John Harris's firing. These are separate issues. John Harris deserves to be "spiked".

Posted by: elliottg | December 20, 2005 02:47 PM

I also would hate to see this one issue become a rift between the Washington Post and washingtonpost.com. I think there is a great synergy between the two organizations. The online paper obviously could not exist without the print version, but the online version also gives the WP an edge in a world with a 24-news cycle and interactive media.

At the same time, I don't like to see the insult to Dan Froomkin papered over. The suggestion that his column somehow lessens the credibility of the Washington Post would be laughable if it weren't so insulting.

The follow-up letter by Mr. Harris just poured oil on the fire. I was appalled where it called Mr. Froomkin's column "adverserial", misrepresenting Mr. Froomkin's own words. I was insulted when Mr. Harris suggested I wouldn't read the column if it were about a democratic president. I support President Bush, but I hate how this administration has danced around the truth. I think that President Bush's recent candor is a result of the public's growing hunger for truth and accountability. And that is a hunger that Mr. Froomkin's column feeds.

And finally, I am baffled why The White House Briefing has been an "obstacle" to Mr. Harris's reporting, unless it is true (as some have suggested) that the White House itself has weighed in with him on this issue. I would very much like to know if that is true.

Tell us, Mr. Harris. What is the obstacle? We can handle the truth.

Posted by: Tracy | December 20, 2005 03:16 PM

The Ten Suggestions
By Michael C. Morris

In the news every night the words "Religious Right" and what it stands for comes from the TV. With the state of the world and America these days, I wondered if we were as a nation operating as the "Religious Right" believes. Being that the basis for Christian religion is the Ten Commandments, I thought I would examine, commandment by commandment, to see if America is on track.

The First Commandment: Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Let's see, money, self, possessions just to start. That does not even take into account the people who think that they are Gods. As I look around I would have to say that we have put everything on this earth before God. The funny part is that in a lot of cases, we do what we do in his name but against this commandment. On this commandment, America fails, completely. Grade F.

The Second Commandment: Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images. I think speaking as a nation that on this commandment we have not violated this commandment except for the possibility of money as money has in God we trust printed on it. Overall, I will give America a passing grade on this commandment. Grade A minus.

The Third Commandment: Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain. On this commandment I am guilty, maybe several times a day, of violating this commandment. But the question is about America's keeping the commandments. Looking from that point of view, America has "ruled" from the courts that God's name is not allowed in any part of our public society. (By the way, if the courts are going to write and enforce the law, then why do we need Senators and Congressmen? Could we not save billions of taxpayer dollars by just letting the courts decide what we want and need? They do it everyday anyhow.) If that is not taking God's name in vein, then I do not know what is. The courts have made God's name a bad word based on the rights of all, but is not the freedom that America cherishes inclusive of being able to worship openly and freely. And the truth be told, while I am a Christian, I have celebrated other religious holidays with friends without a court order. On this commandment, America totally fails with an F minus grade.

The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. While I hope that God is a football fan, I think the commercialism of Sunday is not what he had in mind when he handed down this commandment. Assuming that the Sabbath is Sunday and not Friday, the day should be spent reflecting the past week and spending time with family and friends. The Sabbath is a day to do charity work and other things of that nature. While we are all guilty of bending this commandment, America tries. For that I give America a C plus grade.

The Fifth Commandment: Honor thy Father and thy Mother that the days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Where do I even start on this one? For America, this commandment should be amended to Honor thy Abuser and thy Victim or maybe Honor thy Biological Male contributor and thy Birth Mother. No matter how you slice it, the family is dead in America. With a divorce rate of 85%, (Not the 50% that gives you hope that you will stay married and keep the multi billion dollar industry alive) parental rights obliterated, and a system that is designed to split families apart and keep them fighting so that lawyers can make money, is it no wonder Honor thy Father and Thy Mother is a joke in America. What I find interesting about this commandment is that it answers one of this nation's most vocal issue, the pro-life, pro-choice issue. The truth be told, if this nation had a wholesome family life, the need for the levels of abortions would be cut significantly. Maybe the Religious Right should fight against the destruction of families and the unborn issue will take care of itself, in my opinion. America fails this commandment and continues to support the genocide on the family on many fronts. Grade F minus-minus.

The Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. While kill is the literal translation, the intent of the day when the commandments where handed down to Moses was murder. Taking murder into context, prior to this administration I would have passed America. While I am sure this country has assassinated individuals for various reasons, good and bad, it was something done outside of the day to day operations of America. With the recent revelations that America has tortured prisoners and whisked them away to be tortured, we have joined the list of distinguished countries of World War II Japan and Germany, Iraq and many others. In my eyes what made America great was an overriding sense of right and wrong which no longer exists. Therefore the soul of America has died, and we as a nation have become hypocrites' of all we have sacrificed our loved ones for over the past 200 plus years. What I truly find appalling is that this administration and a small percentage of Americans feels that torture is ok as long as you have a good publicist to spin it. Grade F minus-minus-minus.

The Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery. America quite literally has a past President who has blown this commandment off the map. People magazine placed a woman on the cover as a hero when during her marriage she conceived 2 of her 3 children with her lovers. Over 25,000 men are in jail (at $150.00 per day of taxpayer dollars or $1,368,750,000 taxpayer dollars per year) for child support for children that are not even theirs. Maury Povich every day has the "Who's your Daddy Show" where 16 year old girls DNA test 24 men to see who is their child's daddy. Even within my own family there is a person who has found out that 2 of his 3 children were not his. Adultery is not only fashionable, but has become a multi billion dollar industry for the family court system and the people who exploit it. The only winners in this situation are the men who actually fathered the children who get out of any responsibility. Needless to say, F minus-minus.

The Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal. While I am sure that we all have eaten the cashews in the grocery store or something similar, the question is about America as a whole. Have we as a nation stolen? This is a tough one. Is a good business deal for natural resources stealing or just good business? In the case of national preparedness and FEMA's response to hurricane Katrina, were the billions spent prior to this disaster wasted or stolen. The only way to truly know if America has violated this commandment is to audit the expenditures since September 11th (911) and see where the money went. My guess would be a combination of wasted and stolen because it is obvious that no money was spent on our nation's preparedness. Grade Incomplete, awaiting further information.

The Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. WMD, Alkida connection to Iraq, detainment and torture of non-combatants without due process, should I go on? We are a Nation of liars who bear false witness each and everyday thanks to our legal system. It is always someone else's fault that you did something wrong. What is ironic is that while Americans have no reservations about lying, they hate to be lied too. Well on this commandment I give the Nation a grade of D as it is not all our fault.

The Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife, nor his manservant nor his maidservant nor his cattle nor anything that is thy neighbors. America covets EVERYTHING! It is called merchandising and business. If the neighbor has a new lawn mower, I must have one. If my best friend's diamond is 1 carat, I must have 2 carats. Even the kids of today use the word need instead of want or desire. But as a nation we have coveted oil and natural resources to make the beads and trinkets that we trade for our Manhattan. While I do not necessarily see this as a bad thing or in violation of this commandment, it does lead to many things that do go against this commandment. I give this nation a grade of C for this commandment.

While it is obvious that America fails as guardians of the Ten Commandments, it does not mean that we are lost as a nation. One of the great things about America is that when the truth is exposed and America gets to chew on it as opposed to being spoon feed, Americans usually make the right decision. But in order for this country to get on the right track, America must make some fundamental changes.

First and foremost the court system must be changed to enforce the will of the people as opposed to the law being written by and for the benefit of the courts. Next, the same court system, especially the family court system must be investigated as it presently operates in secret and with no oversight. The family court system is responsible for most of the nations "societal" problems by permeating an atmosphere of corruption and genocide for profit without this oversight. This flaw in our legal system must be corrected by putting oversight in place that is not comprised of lawyers, but people who actually grasp the concept of right and wrong. Next, our law makers must actually represent the people they pretend to represent. With today's communication abilities, each representative should have a web site and phone system that gets his/her constituents votes on each subject under discussion. This would put "WE THE PEOPLE" back in control of our government. Next, this country needs a law that holds our elected representatives and public officials accountable for every expenditure of public money. The penalty for violating the public trust should be life with no parole and the liquidation of all personal assets to the public treasury. This would be a start.

If America does not change the course that we are on, I will see all of you on judgment day as I don't believe that God considers what was written in stone by his hand, suggestions.

Posted by: Michael C. Morris | December 20, 2005 03:28 PM

You might be in the wrong thread. Michael. Religious theocratic hatemongering is two doors down.

Posted by: Uh... | December 20, 2005 03:55 PM

What a bizarre combination of populist sentiment ("Hold our elected officials accountable"/"put the people back in control of the government") and dangerously unbalanced right-wing religious zealotry.

Posted by: | December 20, 2005 03:58 PM

"... would create a perception that The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com are not working closely together on a daily basis"

You really don't get it do you? No one outside of WaPo Co. even cares that they are separate entities. To the public, they are two outlets with 99% the same content. (It's a mystery to us why Froomkin doesn't appear in the paper, but it doesn't really matter as long as we can read him online.)

The real problem here is internal to the WaPo Co.: The tiny little web site you started has now outgrown its venerable parent, and people at the print publication don't seem to have any clue how to deal with their reduced status.

Ms. Graham's family knew how to cope with change. You all should try to learn from their example.

Posted by: BB | December 20, 2005 04:13 PM

And then saith he: "I will see all of you on judgment day as I don't believe that God considers... "

Uh... wha ?

Posted by: Curly | December 20, 2005 04:13 PM

One quick questions for the Editors of the WaPo. Why don't you shut this worthless rag down and focus on the real future of news...Al Gore Radio?

This paper gives me the dry heaves.

Posted by: The Lonemule | December 20, 2005 04:58 PM

Mr Brady,

I don't really understand why The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com are two different entities. Why do you work so hard to show how they are working together when it seems like they should *be* together?

Maybe I just don't understand the way your publishing works. Is The Washington Post (the paper) the same company that prints the paper? Or do you have another entity actually printing the paper? Is the paper distributed by The Washington Post or do you have a separate distribution company?

If all of these companies are separate, then I think it makes sense to also have a separate web publishing company. But if the printing and distribution are done through The Washington Post, then I think the website should be produced by The Washington Post, not another company.

It has been said that you keep the companies separate so that washingtonpost.com can hire nonunion workers in Virginia, which is a "right to work" state. Is that true?

I know this is kind of late in the day, but I really wish you would address these questions here.

Thanks.

Posted by: TBG | December 20, 2005 08:33 PM

I believe the separation between WP and WBNI is due to the 'operating agreement' between the Post and its reporters and pressmen. There is an existing union agreement between the print management and the writers, the www.washingtonpost.com sit is union free. It would cost the Washington Post big bucks to merge the two firms.

Posted by: | December 20, 2005 11:55 PM

As a former WaPo subscriber and reader, I have to say I am no longer the first, and only occasionally the second because the paper and the website seem to have lost their way. It makes no difference that they're separate; nothing plus nothing is still nothing.

Posted by: Laralil Brown | December 21, 2005 08:30 AM

Aren't Dan Froomkin and Al Finken (of Air America) "roomies" or "bunkees?" Now that Elton John and his partner have tied the knot (or something), maybe there's a more interesting story there.

Posted by: Smedley B. Shapiro | December 21, 2005 08:54 AM

Smedley
Go Peddley
Your Stuff elsewhere
where it may actually be appreciated.
(Try a hate group.)
Burton

Posted by: Burton | December 21, 2005 08:59 AM

I appreciate your overview. It's quite impressive.

This doesn't address the fact that the ombudsman's vicious, unprovoked harangue was partisan and unprofessional in and of itself.

It also doesn't address the issue of a selectively myopic and partisan Politics editor whose competence should be reviewed based upon his own response to the issue.

Take a look at the decidedly pro-Administration or pro-Bush tone taken in nearly every headline of the Politics section. Check it now.

Does that read like an institution that reports truth and holds it accountable? Seems more like a fluff piece written by an organization looking to feign impartiality, marginalize discussion and promote an agenda.

What is the WaPo going to do to right the wrongs that have been visited on Froomkin?

Now we're holding you accountable.

Posted by: Phinneas | December 21, 2005 03:33 PM

Fotos--are you talking about the same WaPo editorial board that continues to try to justify its unwavering support for the Iraq debacle? The same one that penned an editorial titled "Play Fair with Mr. DeLay?" That liberal editorial board??

Listen to DeLong and go crawl back under the bridge.

Posted by: Vienna Local | December 21, 2005 03:58 PM

Why is Froomkin now marked as "opinion" on the front page, but Kurtz is not? What's the relevant difference between what they do?

Posted by: Careful Reader | December 22, 2005 07:16 PM

The difference is that Kurtz is married to a highly placed GOP stooge and Froomkin isn't.

So of course Kurtz gets prominence in the WaPo's drive to attract Republican readers. Kurtz's column is OBVIOUSLY a conservative one, one that will not make even the GOP wives uncomfortable with its tedious listing and moral equivalencies.

The most striking difference between Kurtz's and Froomkin's columns, other than the fact that Kurts's is unreadable and Froomkin's is highly readable, is that Kurtz strikes me as someone who feels as though he HAS to say something, whereas Froomkin actually has something to say!

Posted by: Seamus | December 27, 2005 02:56 PM

Stop the lame explanations, fire your ombudsman, leave Froomkin alone, and tell your political reporters to stop apologizing for the inept, corrupt and lying Bush Administration. Do your jobs.

Posted by: Craig | January 10, 2006 04:41 AM

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