Dave Weigel resignation and Washington Post credibility

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.

Here it is, in all its dubious glory (warning: some NC-17 language, especially variations on “rat[bleep]”).

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.”

MORE: Jeffrey Goldberg: An Unhappy Day At The Washington Post.

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.

Posted at 2:14 pm by Glenn Reynolds

UPDATE: Michael Walsh on the Weigel flap.

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?

Plus, questions from the other Rand.

FINALLY: Sorry — “Townhouse” list. And I hear it’s still going on.

JIM GERAGHTY: If Weigel Had to Go, What Other MSM Figures Wrote Terrible Things on Journo-List?

Posted at 6:22 pm by Glenn Reynolds

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.”

Posted at 11:36 pm by Glenn Reynolds

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.

Posted at 11:29 pm by Glenn Reynolds

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2 thoughts on “Dave Weigel resignation and Washington Post credibility

  1. Dave Weigel did no more or no less than any other Washington Post reporter or any reporter on any given days. He said some things in private no worse than anyone else. The only thing different is that his emails became public– against his will– something that could happen to anyone.

    Weigel was young. He was a blogger. He had a non-traditional background. No matter that he is a great reporter. That is the kind of guy published at the Post.

    Who keeps their job at the Post and other places?

    Those who espoused the WMD lies of the Bush administration.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58127-2004Aug11.html

    Those who have plagiarized.

    http://www.cjr.org/regret_the_error/to_catch_a_plagiarist.php

    And those who have engaged in unethical or sloppy journalism.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/16/AR2006041601027.html

    • You miss the point. Ezra Klein actually hosts the thrice-damned Journolist, and will keep his job. As Ezra Klein has never pretended to be something he wasn’t. Unlike Dave Weigel.

      I have no problem with people practicing agenda “journalism” — if the agenda is open on the table for all to see. I have less of a problem with the Puffington Host or the Village Voice (who openly practice liberal advocacy journalism) than I have with the WaPo or the New York Slimes (who peddle the same liberally biased BS while upholding laughable appearances of objectivity).

      As for “WMD lies”: precisely what did Sodamn Insane (through his henchman “Chemical Ali”, recently sent to join his master in Hell) gas thousands of Kurds to death with, unicorn farts?

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