The Washington Post company is most identified with its newspaper, the Washington Post. But in fact its biggest source of revenue is its Kaplan subsidiary. Kaplan, in turn, is primarily identified with test prep work.
Fairly reasonably, the Obama administration has proposed that taxpayers stop subsidizing programs with dismal performance rates. That way educational entrepreneurs at places like the Post will have to work on making sure they’re delivering some real value to their customers. Also quote reasonable, the Post would prefer to keep on getting free money from taxpayers and thus “spent $350,000 on lobbying in the third quarter of this year, more than any other higher-education company.”
But what’s more, Donald Graham has personally “gone to Capitol Hill to argue against the regulations in private visits with lawmakers” and just to make the full scope of his interest in the issue clear “[h]is newspaper, too, has editorialized against the regulations.” Meanwhile, it looks like the new GOP majority in the House of Representatives has decided that taxpayer subsidies to low-performing for-profit colleges like Kaplan is one of the forms of wasteful government spending they like. And presumably every member of congress is now on notice that the city’s most influential newspaper is prepared to go to bat for its corporate partners.
As national newspapers become increasingly unprofitable, it may be that their only value is as a source of prestigious-sounding propaganda in the service of the money-making branches of the conglomerates that own them.