The Washington Post, and Editorial Standards

The next time Kathleen Parker chooses to write a column such as this, she could really save herself a lot of time. For instance, she simply could have written, “Lawrence O’Donnell says the Romneys treat their Olympic horse as a business rather than a health expense. A bunch of other people I don’t like, whom I will not bother to name, made some horrible comments that I didn’t like one bit. You will just have to trust me that they were really bad, because again, I won’t be quoting any of them here. Oh, and it’s better to use horses therapeutically than as circus or zoo meat.”

The column is an attempt, as far as I can tell, is to paint some people on the left as envious to the point of wanting to derail their success. Yet she gives no specific examples and makes no verifiable or “debunkable” statements. To be clear, there very well may be many people who feel this way, but you can’t show it from anything she has written.

Does the Washington Post no standards anymore?

The Washington Post feels that they have to have a few conservative columnists or they will be accused of ideological imbalance. Kathleen Parker is one of the less annoying conservative colunnists. If you think she’s bad, take a look at Charles Krauthammer’s columns.

Krauthammer IS an ideological prick, no doubt. But that doesn’t address the issue.

  1. Parker is a syndicated columnist. While she’s syndicated by TWP that would give her enormous independence in what she writes.

  2. The Washington Post is nowhere near as liberal as most people seem to believe. On budgetary and some other issues they’re quite hawkish.

  3. Just because you disagree with something that a periodical publishes doesn’t mean they don’t have standards.

I agree. I don’t really think the Post has no standards anymore. I would have been more careful if this were Great Debates, or perhaps should have put it in the Pit. And it’s not that I disagree with this column per se, it’s just that Parker doesn’t back up a thing she says. If you haven’t been following whatever issue she seems to addressing, you wouldn’t have any idea what she’s going on about. For example she says Ann Romney has been a target of ridicule. Okay, fine, but from who?

nm - misread the question.

If you don’t really think that The Washington Post has no standards anymore, then don’t say it. Starting a thread with an over-the-top statement isn’t a good idea. It merely causes other people to go over the top in their replies. In any case, a newspaper doesn’t do extensive fact-checking for a columnist. It can choose to not print a column if it thinks that it contains obvious lies, it can fire the columnist if they do such things regularly, or it can just go ahead and run the column if there is no immediately obvious problems in it. A newspaper is not responsible for the opinions of its columnists.

I didn’t.

I’ve been reading the Washington Post for 30 years now, and it has been growing increasingly conservative over most of that time. It’s not the Washington Times yet, but it’s heading in that direction.

It will never be the Washington Times. I interviewed over at The Times many years ago and the publisher told me flat out that ownership (The Reverend Moon) didn’t care if they made money. He just wanted to own a voice in DC and get a strong conservative voice out regardless of all other factors.

I was, unsurprisingly, shocked by the openness of it all.

The Washington Post is one of the three or four best newspapers in the world and the single best source for political news in the United States. They’ll be one of the last standing after the entire ‘newspaper’ thing has passed away.