2010/01/07

The WaPo continues its downhill slide

Now this I have to say that this is just absolutely amazing. The basic story is pretty simple. The Washington Post produced an article in collaboration with the group called The Fiscal Times. It seems that The Fiscal Times is run by Peter G. Peterson, who is a billionaire investment banker with very decided viewpoints on economics and politics. The organizations he has founded and funded have "long advocated reducing the deficit through entitlement cuts and have called for the creation of [an 18-member task force to see to reducing entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security]. The article produced by the WaPo-Fiscal Times collaboration was a single-source piece that didn't make any use of any source that didn't agree that "entitlement reform and balanced budgets" were good and desirable things. This, despite the fact that 40 progressive organizations take strong issue with the Peterson group.

What's really sad, though, was this paragraph:

“We wouldn’t put anything in the paper that we didn’t believe was independent journalism,” said Marcus W. Brauchli, executive editor of The Post. “We had complete editorial control. Our editors conceived of the story. We asked if The Fiscal Times was interested in producing the story. We edited the story.”

So let's get this straight. The WaPo, in collaboration with a front group that advocates the things "entitlement reform and balanced budgets," that billionaire Pete Peterson has advocated for years, produces a single-source piece (The piece quotes the Concord Coalition, another front group of Peterson's) that copies and pastes rhetoric that Peterson has been putting out for years through his various front groups, and they admit editing it?!?!?!

What exactly did the WaPo editors do?!?!? Did they just run the piece through a spellcheck? Did they fuss over the grammar? Obviously, they completely ignored the fact that the piece was single-sourced and concentrated wholly on Pete Peterson's viewpoints. The editors completely ignored the fact that there were 40 progressive organizations, every single one of which would have been happy to have provided a contrasting, critical viewpoint on the viewpoint presented.

How could any self-respecting editor take credit for such an awful piece o' crud?!?!?!

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