This one has potential

I’m not sure “I wish someone had raised concerns” is going to replace “no one could have predicted” but it’s pretty sweet nevertheless:

The Washington Post’s ill-fated plan to sell sponsorships of off-the-record “salons” was an ethical lapse of monumental proportions.

[….]

Neither Weymouth nor Brauchli can recall anyone raising concerns, although both say they wish someone had.

I don’t recall anyone raising concerns about the number of caprihinas caipirinhas I consumed last night, but I wish someone had.






24 replies
  1. 1
    gizmo says:

    What I wonder about this deal is whether the WaPo had already been in touch with anyone in government and had secured a confirmation that they would attend this Pay-O-Rama shindig?

  2. 2

    This is just to say that the word “caprihinas” has sent me to the Google. You’ve gotten a win already today!

    Ah. In part that’s because it’s apparently spelt differently. Caipirinha, although it would have made no difference; I’ve never seen the word in either iteration.

  3. 3

    Neither Weymouth nor Brauchli can recall anyone raising concerns, although both say they wish someone had.

    If only the majikal Concerincorns had been present!

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    Neither Weymouth nor Brauchli can recall anyone raising concerns, although both say they wish someone had.

    This, quite simply, is insane. At best, the people making the decision deliberately avoided the people who might have warned them about the stupidity of the salon idea. At worst, they shut these people down, and now are pretending that they didn’t know.

    Publishers and editors know each other, and they know the traditions of journalism. Aspiring journalists learn about ethics in journalism school, and learn the practical aspects when they start working in a newsroom.

    For example, the Post has had a long relationship with the LA Times, and everyone in the industry knows about how an earlier erasing of the borders between marketing and editorial ultimately led to the demise of the Times (Los Angeles Times Square? Not on Your Life, Pal!).

    The LA Times’ earlier partnership with the Staples Center, you’ll recall, led to a secret sharing of ad revenue between the newspaper and the sports arena that caused a scandal that ended with parent company Times-Mirror being sold to the Tribune Co., and the departure of the paper’s top management team: Times-Mirror chairman Mark “Cereal Killer” Willes; publisher Kathryn Downing; and editor Michael Parks.

    Here, the flap began with the publication of a series of Times supplements that looked like news coverage, but was really ad copy directed and paid by Staples marketing.

    Everybody knows that the Beltway thrives on its social circuit in which reporters and politicians and lobbyists kiss each other up. But until l’affair de salon, this was more about informal whoring than outright total prostitution.

  5. 5
    JK says:

    OT

    Sarah Palin’s $2 Million Meme
    http://www.henkimaa.com/2009/0.....ollar-meme
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....snt-add-up

    Megan McArdle Freaks Out and Compares Matt Taibbi to Sarah Palin
    h/t http://business.theatlantic.co.....lin_on.php

  6. 6

    Did y’all see this over at EmptyWheel?

    Why doesn’t it surprise me that she’s the one who was involved? She should be removed from the healthcare beat–but she won’t.

  7. 7
    kid bitzer says:

    no no no.
    a caprihina is a cross between a capybara (world’s largest rodent, kind of like a tyrannabeaver), and a piranha.

    this sort of thing happens in south america sometimes, esp. when both rodent and fish have been drinking too many caipirinhas.

    when you get a swarm of them attacking a wooden ship, man, it’s ugly. and over with quick.

    i actually tried raising some of these once in my backyard. no one raised any concerns about it at the time, though i wish someone had.

  8. 8
    JK says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    Ceci Connolly has always been and will forever be a tool.

    2 good columns from the Columbia Journalism Review

    Salons Under Scrutiny
    http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_.....p?page=all

    Journalism Scandal at News Corp
    http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/s.....s_corp.php

  9. 9

    @JK: And traditional media wonders why they are losing consumers. I am not surprised by the crap, but I am still disgusted with it.

  10. 10
    eric says:

    i am such a fool…i had always thought that the best business model for a newspaper was to be THE place for breaking stories and presenting reporting that was unaffected by sources’ biases while digging down below a story’s surface.

    I mean really…

    I think the WSJ is the closest newspaper to a great “news” – paper, though it is weaker on going after large financial insitutions (go figure), but it has the single worst editorial board on earth.

    I have not paid for a paper in at least 15 years and likely wont ever again.

    eric

  11. 11
    Patrick says:

    I only wish, someone at the Washington Post, had raised concerns over Bush’s surveillance program, the non-existence of WMD in Iraq, the use of FEMA to reward donors, etc.

  12. 12
    gizmo says:

    What puzzles me is the notion that somebody thought that anything useful could come out of a pow-wow between WaPo journalists and a bunch of Washington politicians, hosted at the publisher’s Washington home, for chrissakes….

    That’s a recipe for an echo chamber wrapped inside a bubble.

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    @gizmo:

    That’s a recipe for an echo chamber wrapped inside a bubble.

    In other words, a typical day inside the Beltway.

  14. 14

    If no one raised any concerns, that just illustrates the ethical failures of the people WaPo mangers hang around with. Obviously, no one asked the reporters, who would have skipped right past ethics and gone straight to the “I won’t go to this strokefest unless you pay me” response.

  15. 15
    steve s says:

    @kid bitzer:

    kind of like a tyrannabeaver)

    I think I dated her in college.

  16. 16
    flounder says:

    Why do I get reminded of Tim Russert whining that no one called him to tell him the Iraq War run-up was bullshit:

    My concern was, is that there were concerns expressed by other government officials. And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them.

  17. 17
    steve s says:

    i am such a fool…i had always thought that the best business model for a newspaper was to be THE place for breaking stories and presenting reporting that was unaffected by sources’ biases while digging down below a story’s surface.

    Actually I don’t think there’s much reason to think that at all. The best business model for newspapers seemed to involve having a local monopoly on printing presses advertisers needed. Now that advertisers have better and cheaper options, newspaper revenue has collapsed.

    Good, deep reporting was always more of a luxury enabled by high profits, than the driver of the profits.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    eric says:

    @steve s: but that business model had failed years ago. the only thing left was to do better reporting than could be done in 2 minute tv pieces. god knws CNN decided in depth only matters when it came to reporting on the exploits of the clenis.

    eric

  20. 20
    lawnorder says:

    Ouch!!!

    Hangover from caipirinhas is one of the only legal reasons for Euthanasia in Brazil!

    ;)

  21. 21
    PhoenixRising says:

    No one raised any concerns about my brother in law adding Limoncello to the adults’ lemon-flavored snow-cones at the end of the wedding reception I attended last week, but I wished that someone had.

    Until roughly this morning, I wished that fervently. No one could have predicted THAT headache.

  22. 22

    @Brachiator:

    Publishers and editors know each other, and they know the traditions of journalism.

    Well, editors are supposed to know the traditions of journalism. Publishers are frequently business or (usually) advertising types who know the traditions of getting the biggest money contracts on overpriced paper real estate and growing that income for the stockholders.

    Those traditions of journalism? Wm. Randolph Hearst and Rupert Murdoch, also.

  23. 23
    Mike G says:

    Why do I get reminded of Tim Russert whining that no one called him to tell him the Iraq War run-up was bullshit:

    Exactly. “I wish the small coterie of insiders whose propaganda I swallow whole and regurgitate unquestioningly, had told me something other than convenient lies”.

  24. 24
    SqueakyRat says:

    ‘Cause if someone had raised concerns, Weymouth and Brauchli would have immediately recognized the complete ethical untenability of what they were proposing. But how were they to know?

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