I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Unrest at the post

A few weeks ago the Washington Post started including Technorati searches with their on line articles and columns. This was stopped apparently because the reporters and pundits were uncomfortable with having commentary on their reporting and punditry so readily available. But that wasn't enough. Now they have taken on the Posts very popular column by Dan Fromkin.
Political reporters at The Post don't like WPNI columnist Dan Froomkin's "White House Briefing," which is highly opinionated and liberal. They're afraid that some readers think that Froomkin is a Post White House reporter.

John Harris, national political editor at the print Post, said, "The title invites confusion. It dilutes our only asset -- our credibility" as objective news reporters. Froomkin writes the kind of column "that we would never allow a White House reporter to write. I wish it could be done with a different title and display."
Froomkin defended his column here.
There is undeniably a certain irreverence to the column. But I do not advocate policy, liberal or otherwise. My agenda, such as it is, is accountability and transparency. I believe that the president of the United States, no matter what his party, should be subject to the most intense journalistic scrutiny imaginable. And he should be able to easily withstand that scrutiny. I was prepared to take the same approach with John Kerry, had he become president.

This column’s advocacy is in defense of the public’s right to know what its leader is doing and why. To that end, it calls attention to times when reasonable, important questions are ducked; when disingenuous talking points are substituted for honest explanations; and when the president won’t confront his critics -- or their criticisms -- head on.

The journalists who cover Washington and the White House should be holding the president accountable. When they do, I bear witness to their work. And the answer is for more of them to do so -- not for me to be dismissed as highly opinionated and liberal because I do.
Post Political Editor, John Harris, responded here, claiming that all he is upset with is Froomkin might be mistaken for a Post White House reporter. Sorry John, fat chance of that. The White House reporters for the MSM, including the post, have done little but regurgitate White House spin for the last five years. As Froomkin said:
The journalists who cover Washington and the White House should be holding the president accountable.
Something damn few reporters have done since Bush occupied the White House. In the comments section of Harris' piece one commentator put it very well:
John - It's you who are confused. I hear the cocktails and weenies at those Republican parties can be bad for the mind. You might try laying off them... Maybe your sanity will come back.
Democracy is damaged when reporters become embedded with the people they are reporting on.

From the comments section:
FYI, we're still doing the Technorati links; there was an issue on Monday that delayed their appearance on a few articles.

(not speaking for WaPo)

Digby has some thoughts

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