The Washington Post's boneheaded—and aborted—plan to lobby for lobbyists.

Media criticism.
July 2 2009 7:22 PM

Monetizing the Washington Dinner Party

The Washington Post's boneheaded—and aborted—plan to lobby for lobbyists.

(Continued from Page 1)

If it's ugly for a Washington Post reporter to lobby for lobbyists, it's doubly ugly for the publisher to do the same. The publisher should sell lobbyists all the subscriptions to the paper that they want, sell them as many pages of advertisements in the Post as will make them happy, and, I suppose (if she wants to take the heat), even sell them the right to sponsor a Washington Post conference, as long as the sponsorship is public.

What really stinks about the now-aborted salon-for-dollars scheme is that Katharine Weymouth appears to have contemplated the sale of something that wasn't hers to sell—the Post's credibility.

******

Disclosure: I work for the Washington Post Co. But you knew that. Tell me something I don't know via e-mail at slate.pressbox@gmail.com. For that which you don't know but need to know, monitor my Twitter feed. No lobbyists will visit your home. Or mine. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

Track my errors: This hand-built RSS feed will ring every time Slate runs a "Press Box" correction. For e-mail notification of errors in this specific column, type the word Weymouth in the subject head of an e-mail message, and send it to slate.pressbox@gmail.com.

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.