Some time ago, the Washington Post assigned Dave Weigel (formerly of Reason magazine) to cover the conservative “beat”. Weigel pretended to cover his beat from a neutral or even symathetic perspective, but was apparently anything but that. The Daily Caller got hold on what he wrote on fellow WaPo blogger Ezra Klein’s “Journolist” private discussion list of liberal journos.
Insty has been all over the story. Some links gleaned from his blog (and the twitter feeds I follow):
POLITICO: Why the Weigel mess is the Post’s fault.
UPDATE: Hot Air: “I’m actually surprised and disappointed that the Post didn’t do more to defend Dave in this instance. The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.”
Will Collier: “I still don’t think Weigel’s obnoxious JournoList rants were a firing offense, although failing to disclose his membership in Ezra Klein’s invitation-only Leftie club was a much more serious offense against Weigel’s readership. That said, I can understand why Weigel would leave at this point, and why the Post wouldn’t argue with him. Prior to yesterday, Weigel could claim to be something other than just another hostile Leftie journalist thanks to his previous stint at Reason. Once the mask was ripped off, though, the odds that anybody to the right of David Gergen would take Weigel’s calls dropped to somewhere around absolute zero.”
Put aside the controversy over whether the Post, which was advised by its star blogger, Ezra Klein (who once advised parties unknown, via his Twitter account, to “fuck tim russert. fuck him with a spiky acid-tipped dick”) that Weigel would do an excellent and balanced job of reporting on conservatives, even understood that it was hiring a liberal, and not a conservative (Ben Smith has more on this aspect of the controversy), the issue in the newsroom today is, How did the Post come to this?
“How could we destroy our standards by hiring a guy stupid enough to write about people that way in a public forum?” one of my friends at the Post asked me when we spoke earlier today. “I’m not suggesting that many people on the paper don’t lean left, but there’s leaning left, and then there’s behaving like an idiot.”
I gave my friend the answer he already knew: The sad truth is that the Washington Post, in its general desperation for page views, now hires people who came up in journalism without much adult supervision, and without the proper amount of toilet-training.
I think there’s a shortage of adults to do the supervision. Plus, A Teachable Moment: If You Want Friends, Get A Dog.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Weigel to HuffPo.
MORE: A roundup at Reason, including a report that Journolist is shutting down. But then, so did the Townhouse list that preceded Journolist . . . .
And what will happen to the Journolist archives?
STILL MORE: Rand Paul?
FINALLY: Sorry — “Townhouse” list. And I hear it’s still going on.
WAPO OMBUDSMAN: Blogger loses job; Post loses standing among conservatives. “Instead of just a replacement, The Post might consider two: one conservative with a Klein-like ideological bent, and another who can cover the conservative movement in the role of a truly neutral reporter.”
You mean, the Post had any standing among conservatives, other than “slightly more credible than the New York Times” (which is the very definition of “damning with faint praise”)?…
Bonus unrelated to Dave Weigel and the WaPo (but what if we substitute “WaPo” for the federal gov’t in the sentence below?)
ALEX LIGHTMAN ON FACEBOOK: “After researching the issue carefully and interviewing people in a position to know, I can now reveal that the current primary purpose of the United State government is to bankrupt the United States. It comes as a relief to know this. So many things now make sense.” Least hypothesis, and all that.