867-5309

The former Post ombudsman has some advice for Jeff Bezos:

Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor—who I like, admire, and respect—fire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin. Not because she’s conservative, but because she’s just plain bad. She doesn’t travel within a hundred miles of Post standards. She parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike in transparent attempts to get Web hits. Her analysis of the conservative movement, which is a worthwhile and important beat that the Post should treat more seriously on its national pages, is shallow and predictable. Her columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the right, but you feel bad afterward.
[…]
Rubin was the No. 1 source of complaint mail about any single Post staffer while I was ombudsman, and I’m leaving out the organized email campaigns against her by leftie groups like Media Matters. Thinking conservatives didn’t like her, thinking moderates didn’t like her, government workers who knew her arguments to be unfair didn’t like her. Dump her like a dull tome on the Amazon Bargain Books page.

Bezos is smart so I don’t think he’s going to reach down past the managers he supports to pick individual staffers to fire. But I would love to see him shitcan Richard Cohen immediately after showing Rubin the door, especially because I want to read Cohen’s whining after he goes.

(via Jay Rosen)






101 replies
  1. 1
    The Bobs says:

    I don’t think Fred Hiatt is any better than Rubin.

  2. 2
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I like the sentiment, but saying Fred Hiatt is admirable? Kind of like saying Brutus is an honorable man, if you follow my drift.

    PF37 +1 Fire Island Ale and +2 Bengali Tigers

  3. 3
    eldorado says:

    burn it down, jeff

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Bezos should fire Hiatt, if he can’t bring himself to do the right thing and have Hiatt drawn and quartered.

  5. 5
    EconWatcher says:

    Let me be the first to applaud to the Tommy Tu-tone reference.

  6. 6
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    The idea that Fred Hiatt isn’t the reason that they have someone like Rubin to begin with is the funny part of that. As if he was just waiting for a new owner to get permission or motivation to fire his conservative status quo-bolstering staff.

    One of my favorite comments of the entire history of blogodome to date was Matt Taibbi, in an online chat a couple of years back:

    Fred Hiatt was the Moscow bureau chief when I was there in the nineties. He would have made an excellent Soviet reporter, let me put it that way.

  7. 7
    Tone In DC says:

    Rubin was the No. 1 source of complaint mail about any single Post staffer while I was ombudsman, and I’m leaving out the organized email campaigns against her by leftie groups like Media Matters.

    She’s worse than I had imagined. Compared to Rubin, Kathleen Parker looks like a decent columnist.

  8. 8
    Scotius says:

    I don’t think Fred Hiatt is any better than Rubin

    Someone hired Rubin in the first place. Richard Cohen has been stinking up the Wapo editorial page since forever, but Jennifer Rubin was a Fred Hiatt production.

  9. 9
    kindness says:

    Wingnut welfare would save both Cohen & Rubin, but the tears of conservatives would be delicious enough to bottle.

    And if it stopped Sully from using Rubin as a reference (which it wouldn’t) it would be all the sweeter.

  10. 10
    smintheus says:

    @Tone In DC: Several WaPo columnists have spent years rolling around in the gutter out behind the Post building. But Rubin is the stain that lines the gutter.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    I didn’t know the WPO had editorial standards. A few of their good columnists have good standards, but I assume they carry those with them.

    If Bezos is going to be a new style old-school robber-baron buying a toy to play with, why would he be careful to follow protocol and stop the fiddling and disruption with the management, why not the mail room.

    Didn’t Harriman send his kids all down the line to start as brakemen?

    Edit: come to think of it, Bezos should have a particular fascination with the mialroom.

  12. 12
    piratedan says:

    maybe they could get Ms. Quinn to get her a box….

  13. 13
    mistermix says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: This guy is definitely a member of the church of the savvy, independent centrist denomination.

  14. 14
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    The sad part is that even if Rubin gets the ax, she’ll pop up again somewhere. Townhall, the Blaze, RedState, you name it. Some place where they’ll eat her ‘right-wing pornography’ right up. They’ll market it as Rubin having ESCAPED THE GULAG OF THE MSM and is now free to bring you the TRUTH. Of course, for all that right-wing bloggers bitch about the media, they’ll soak up the credibility (such as it is) of an ex-WaPoer like leeches.

    Can’t you just see it? Beautiful!

  15. 15
    Jenny says:

    Stop giving everyone my phone number!

  16. 16

    Anyone want Wiegel back in there in her place?

  17. 17

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The sad part is that even if Rubin gets the ax, she’ll pop up again somewhere. Townhall, the Blaze, RedState, you name it

    Maybe she will, but she won’t have the same degree of influence without the air of legitimacy she gets by being part of a major metropolitan newspaper. Rubin at WaPo has influence in Washington. Rubin at The Blaze is just part of the right wing echo chamber.

  18. 18
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @mistermix: Clearly.

    I’ve been reading “This Town”, just because what the hell, and it gives me the same feeling. He’s trying to poke fun at the whole thing but he’s so much of the self-styled “centrist”, Villager mindset himself that he doesn’t seem aware that such a thing exists.

    Russert was “the mayor” and everyone loved him — and that’s all there is to say about him. For several chapters, on and on. Scarborough and what’s her name stride like Gods in this world– and no mention whatsoever about how all you ever hear from all of these people are conservative talking points, regurgitated. Not an issue. Doesn’t exist. Politico is notable because it’s new media, replacing the old, no mention of it being a Republican cheerleader squad, essentially.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    If no one likes her, and I can’t imagine why anyone would, then I’d rather he keep her on.

  20. 20
    SFAW says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The sad part is that even if Rubin gets the ax, she’ll pop up again somewhere. Townhall, the Blaze, RedState, you name it.

    That’s like bemoaning Ewick Ewicksbastardson moving from CNN to Fox. Better to have them all in one (more or less) place, than to have them polluting places that the hoi polloi seem to believe are centrist. (Not that CNN is; it’s just that a bunch of people still seem to think they are. No one – well, no sane person with an IQ above room temperature, that is – believes Faux is anything other than right-wing propaganda.)

  21. 21
    ET says:

    I honestly think the WaPo print should get rid of all the op-eds. Op-ed in the print paper served a point back in the day and I don’t think that purpose is necessary anymore. AND you can get more opinions that you would ever want all over the Internet. And while some opiners are better than others there is something about the medium – at least how it is practiced today – that seems to encourage a number of them to be lazy, weak and just plain bad.

  22. 22
    Doug Milhous J says:

    As a liberal, I hope that that they keep Rubin and that she becomes ever more prominent. She’s about as bad a spokesperson for conservatism as anyone could possibly be. I agree with most of her advice for Republicans — nominate Romney over Santorum, pass some kind of immigration reform, for example — but she’s just such a hack, I can’t imagine anyone takes her seriously. She’s the worst liberal stereotype of a conservative — a brain-dead cut-and-paster with a nasty streak.

    If I cared about the Post, I’d want them to fire her. But I don’t.

    Conservative columnist Tobin Harshaw complained that the most powerful argument in favor of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation became “look at all the crazy shit Jen Rubin said about him”.

  23. 23
    Tractarian says:

    Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor—who I like, admire, and respect—fire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin.

    Shouldn’t a major newspaper ombudsman know how to navigate the who/whom minefield?

  24. 24
    kdaug says:

    Thanks for the earworm. Asshole.

    (True fact: that was a real number, briefly, in Plano when I was growing up. Also, too, nnn-GAYS was a fun number to tell your friends was a gay bar. It was the police department.)

  25. 25
    KmCO says:

    867-5309

    I see what you did there.

  26. 26
    NonyNony says:

    Huh. Most of what I got from that link was: “Fire most of your management. Hire copy editors. Hire more journalists. The previous owner trashed the WaPo brand so badly that you really need to refurbish the place – nobody trusts it anymore. The sports section is the only reason people buy the paper anymore. You could maybe make the style section another reason people buy the paper if you invest in it. I like Fred Hiatt. Fred Hiatt is an honorable man. But Fred Hiatt is not a smart man to have in charge of your editorial page. Fire Fred Hiatt.”

    The “Fire Jennifer Rubin” part was, I admit, the sensationalistic part of the story. But the underlying message of that whole piece is that the previous ownership of the paper sucked donkey balls, the management is terrible, the journalistic side has been under-invested in, and Fred Hiatt is such a terrible manager he doesn’t understand that Jennifer Rubin is not only not bringing anything to the paper, she’s actively hurting the paper’s reputation (what’s left of it, since it’s been systematically demolished for the past few decades).

    That piece is a surprisingly bracing, if subtle, shiv through a number of people’s ribs. Maybe Pexton didn’t realize just what he wrote when he wrote it, but that’s what it is.

  27. 27
    shortstop says:

    Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor—who I like, admire, and respect

    Ah, the old “I have to prove my goodwill and eminent get-alongability (plus allow you to save face) before I tell you something you don’t want to hear” trick. Only Fred Hiatt is dumb enough to fall for that one.

  28. 28
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @kdaug: It’s been playing absolutely non-stop in my head since I first read this piece. One thing I can’t accuse it of is not being catchy. I may have to go youtube it, sometimes that’s the only way to exorcise these things, confront them head on. Plus I do like it, always did.

  29. 29
    PeakVT says:

    @ET: 99% of op-eds and editorials are short-form fiction as far as I am concerned. The author comes up with idea s/he wants to push, and then constructs a pleasantly written narrative around it, facts be damned. Unlike fiction, though, op-eds should adhere to reality, not try to recreate it.

  30. 30
    shortstop says:

    @Jenny: He needs to make you his.

  31. 31
    shortstop says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Everyone secretly does. You’re man enough to admit it, and I respect that a lot.

  32. 32
    mistermix says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I’m reading “This Town”, too, and I get the same impression. He really tries to be “in it but not of it” but he clearly name-drops and sucks up as much as those who he dings for name-dropping and sucking up do. That said, he’s funny and breezy so I’m not hating the book.

  33. 33
    kdaug says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: You will go YouTube it. I already did.

    And then you’ll need this.

    “na, na, nananana, angel is a centerfold…”

  34. 34
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @mistermix: No, I feel the same way. He’s got this massive blind spot, but he’s a good writer and within what he’s setting out to do, he’s doing it well. On balance more fun than infuriating, but still infuriating in places.

  35. 35
    Valdivia says:

    @Jenny:
    Loved that. Win!

  36. 36
    rea says:

    I would love to see him shitcan Richard Cohen immediately after showing Rubin the door, especially because I want to read Cohen’s whining after he goes.

    (1) The charming thing about firing both Rubin and Cohen is that the Post can claim to have fired a liberal as well as a conservative, even though Cohen is only officially liberal.

    (2) But I’m not sure where you’d be reading Cohen’s whining if they fire him–surely no one else would give him a forum.

  37. 37

    @rea:

    But I’m not sure where you’d be reading Cohen’s whining if they fire him–surely no one else would give him a forum.

    You don’t think there’s a job waiting for somebody who’s officially a liberal but practically a conservative and has a job history like writing for WaPo? Haven’t you ever heard of failing upward?

  38. 38
    smintheus says:

    @ET: Wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep a few columnists on staff – the reality-based ones – and replace the rest with opinion pieces written by people with actual expertise in an area. That might produce op-eds that are not just more factual, but relevant to real issues Americans outside the DC chattering class actually care about. IOW, create an entirely different opinion page that talks about significant things.

  39. 39
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @kdaug: Okay well that actually worked. I think I was happier the other way though.

    Sort of the mouse-cat-elephant chasing fable, you get rid of one, but….what chases out the na na song now?

  40. 40
    Biff Longbotham says:

    @Jenny: Rimshot.

  41. 41
    joes527 says:

    @kdaug: yeah, well, every time someone mention that damn book “This Town,” the Gogos come back to haunt me.

  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    I read the WaPo fairly regularly, and awhile back, I noticed Rubin was behind a pay-wall, which was like someone sneaking into my yard and stealing the dog turds.

  43. 43
    Biff Longbotham says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Mexican Hatdance.

  44. 44
    mistermix says:

    @Roger Moore: He’s going to cry on the Twitter and Facebook, if he can convince his assistant to show him how to use those newfangled inventions.

  45. 45
    gbear says:

    Fun phone number fact: The Time’s song, 777-9311, was actually Dez Dickerson’s home phone number. Dez was the guitarist in Prince’s band before Purple Rain, and he was a high school buddy of mine. One of the concerts we went to see was a triple bill of Uriah Heep, Buddy Miles, and Deep Purple. That was weird but we were high enough that even Uriah Heep sounded great.

  46. 46
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Biff Longbotham: Okay well I had to go Google that because I couldn’t remember what it was. So now going through my head is a combination of the phone number and the na na songs but as done in a Daffy Duck cartoon.

    This is like being experimented on by DARPA or something.

  47. 47
    MattF says:

    The Post’s op-ed page is a museum of political pathology. A couple of war criminals, a few Retired-In-Place know-nothings, people who were brilliant young prodigies thirty years ago. E.J.Dionne is about the only one I can read without wincing.

    ETA: And Greg Sargent.

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:

    @gbear:

    One of the concerts we went to see was a triple bill of Uriah Heep, Buddy Miles, and Deep Purple. That was weird but we were high enough that even Uriah Heep sounded great.

    I once saw Black Oak Arkansas (of Jim Dandy to the Rescue fame) open for James Brown. That was a weird double bill.

  49. 49
    eemom says:

    As mentioned before, I have subscribed to the Post for the entire 26 years I’ve lived in the DC area and for some weird reason, no matter how bad it sucks, I just can’t bring myself to cancel the subscription.

    However, lately I’ve discovered a silver lining: letting it lie ignored in the driveway……occasionally covered by tire tracks, or soaked with rain…..and instead of thinking of the subscription $$ being wasted, focusing on how well suited that fate is to its content, of which I remain blissfully ignorant.

    It works, kind of.

  50. 50
    gbear says:

    @Betty Cracker: A friend of mine was going to do that with a very limited-edition cassette of original songs packaged in a lunch bag (the name of his band was The Lose Your Lunch Band. really) His plan was to visit record stores and put copies on the front counter when no one was watching. The local entertainment weekly gave it a loving review saying it was some of the worst music they’d ever heard.

  51. 51

    @NonyNony:

    Maybe Pexton didn’t realize just what he wrote when he wrote it, but that’s what it is.

    I guarantee Pexton knew exactly where he stuck that shiv. Top-tier news organizations like WaPo have internal politics every bit as complex and brutal as anywhere. You don’t get into a job like he had without being able to effectively navigate those waters.

  52. 52
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jenny:

    It’s out there, sweets. Even Justice Kagan knows it. See American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 133 S.Ct. 2096, 2100 (2013).

  53. 53
    gbear says:

    @MikeJ: Wow. Sounds like the audiences may have been even more of a mis-match than the bands…

  54. 54

    And on the topic of opinion writers who need to be removed from their jobs for the sake of a better America, Fallows tweets a link to a quite excellent takedown of Nooners latest Obamacare scare column.

  55. 55
    shortstop says:

    @mistermix: Won’t he just type out his thoughts on one of his multiple manual typewriters and hand them to an unpaid intern to tweet/post?

  56. 56
    giterdone says:

    Doubt they will call it fired. That just increases her chances of getting some gig at Fux or redstate or whatever. Whatever they call it just git er done!

  57. 57
    Tone In DC says:

    @smintheus:

    Well put.

  58. 58
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Krugman had a good post on some of this, from the economics perspective. Saying that years ago economists like him would sit around reading the most ridiculous claims in editorial pieces, which almost all economists knew were nonsense, but there were very little avenues for anyone to dispute any of it. Other than a good stout letter to the editor, and who read those.

    He mentions Samuelson by name, who Krugman claimed once probably owes his entire Villager cred to people thinking that he’s Samuelson the late economist.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....-web/?_r=0

  59. 59
    gbear says:

    @shortstop: He probably has to load a sheet of carbon paper in front of his bond paper because he can’t find typewriter ribbons any more.

  60. 60
    gogol's wife says:

    @Tractarian:

    My thoughts exactly!

  61. 61
    shortstop says:

    @gbear: And the white-out bills are ginormous.

  62. 62

    Oh, please make this happen:

    But the conservative Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reports this morning that the RNC really is “looking to scrap the old model of having reporters and news personalities ask the questions at candidate forums.”

    GOP insiders tell [Bedard] that they are considering other choices, even a heavyweight panel of radio bigs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

    Please put Rush Limbaugh in front of the millions and millions of independent voters that don’t listen to his show. Please. We beg you.

  63. 63
    NonyNony says:

    @👾 Martin:

    I guarantee Pexton knew exactly where he stuck that shiv.

    I will admit, I threw that “maybe” in there because I’m always willing to entertain the idea that someone is a bit clueless about what critiques of their former places of employment really mean. In general saying “the management is good but boy the people who work for them are idiots” really says “I like the managers there but boy are they shitty at their jobs” and a lot of folks don’t seem to realize it.

    But yeah, reading it again the shivs are too carefully placed for me to believe this came from someone that clueless.

  64. 64

    Her columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the right, but you feel bad afterward.

    Awesome.

    @eemom: The local rag used to the occasional “free week!” where the paper lands in your driveway every morning, Mon-Fri, whether you want it or not. The subscription department then follows up with a phone call, asking if you’ve been getting the paper. My response was a cheerful, “Yes! I run over it in the driveway every morning.” Pause. “Yep, I can see them piled up where you left them!”

    The local rag no longer does “free week!”, at least, not on my street.

    @Betty Cracker: Awesome also.

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @MikeJ: The Stones opened for the Monkees.

  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MattF:
    Whatever happened to Eugene Robinson and Colbert King? I like these two guys.

  67. 67
    MattF says:

    @👾 Martin: Sure, show that Noonan is factually challenged– but it’s important to emphasize that facts are the furthest thing from her writing about Obamacare. She’s selling FUD, purely and simply, in the hope that one more person gets fooled.

  68. 68
    martha says:

    @👾 Martin: @👾 Martin: OK, now you’ve given me real hope for the future here. How can we make sure this happens? Oh. My. Good. Grief.

  69. 69
    Scott S. says:

    What I’ve always dreamed of doing was buying a paper and offering the worst columnists a 50-year exclusive contract. They couldn’t write *anything* for anyone else. Every column, every book, every article, every grocery list would be the property of the paper.

    And then, once they’d signed the contract, refuse to actually publish anything they wrote.

  70. 70
    gbear says:

    @BruceFromOhio: The other good response is to say that you were on vacation that week and the papers let everybody know you were gone.

  71. 71
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @jl: “I didn’t know the WPO had editorial standards.”

    Ouch.

  72. 72
    MattF says:

    @Amir Khalid: They’re on the side of the angels, politically, but they are old, tired, and unrepresentative of where liberalism is now. The Post could do much better, but that’s almost a tautology.

  73. 73
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Betty Cracker: Scary, since she isn’t even worth the price of a dime.

  74. 74
    TriassicSands says:

    @The Bobs:

    My advice to Bezos would be:
    1. Have Fred Hiatt fire Rubin;
    2. Fire Fred Hiatt

    Although Fred Hiatt is not really as bad as Rubin — he’s a neocon, not a science-denying, homophobic, racist lunatic — he is certainly more influential that Rubin and therefore it’s more important to get rid of him than it is to replace Rubin. Besides, as others have pointed out or implied, he should be fired for hiring Rubin.

    @Tone In DC:

    Compared to Rubin, Kathleen Parker looks like a decent columnist.

    Sure, but compared to Rubin, one of my cats would look like a decent columnist, maybe even a perennial Pulitzer contender.

  75. 75
    ericblair says:

    @smintheus:

    Wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep a few columnists on staff – the reality-based ones – and replace the rest with opinion pieces written by people with actual expertise in an area. That might produce op-eds that are not just more factual, but relevant to real issues Americans outside the DC chattering class actually care about.

    Sure. But this is the Village, and the point of the op-ed page is to transmit the received word of Your Betters to the grubby little hands of the proletariat on a daily basis. It’s their paper, dammit. Does the school newspaper clique ask the science nerds what they think about anything?

  76. 76
    shortstop says:

    @Scott S.: That is a beautiful dream and one of the best public uses of lottery winnings I can think of.

  77. 77
    ruemara says:

    @PsiFighter37: At this point, I’m nominating your liver for the Iron Man awards.

  78. 78
    MattF says:

    @smintheus: But… but.. what about the Great Chain of Asskissing? It would destroy the order of the universe.

  79. 79
    shortstop says:

    @MattF: Oh, I don’t think that’s really true of Robinson. I like him better in person than in print, though — he’s not too old and tired to make some pretty savage gibes, all delivered with his trademark cheerful laugh.

  80. 80
    TriassicSands says:

    @jl:

    I didn’t know the WPO had editorial standards.

    Of course they have standards, or at least the editorial page editor has standards. Unfortunately, they are neocon standards, which means being wrong all the time, but pretending you’re always right. Which is why Fred Hiatt probably is proud he hired Rubin, kind of the Iraq war of columnists. Either that or HIatt pretends he’s never heard of her.

  81. 81

    @NonyNony:

    But yeah, reading it again the shivs are too carefully placed for me to believe this came from someone that clueless.

    Yep, and actually rereading his article, and then rereading what I wrote above, it’s clear that the target is Hyatt. Rubin is merely evidence of the crime. If Bezos gets rid of Rubin and not Hyatt, we’ve learned something important (mainly that Bezos doesn’t understand the problem, but he’s willing to put a fresh coat of paint over a crumbling foundation). If he gets rid of Hyatt but not Rubin (and Hyatt’s successor gets rid of Rubin), we’ve learned something else (that he understands the source of the problem and is willing to be owner to a paper that is empowered to manage itself). If he gets rid of both, we’ve learned yet something different (that he both understands the problem but is going to micromanage the paper). If he does nothing, we’ve learned yet another thing (that he truly doesn’t give a shit about the integrity of the paper).

    No matter what happens, we learn something important. It’s a well designed test.

  82. 82
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Wouldn’t care about that since I don’t read rightwing websites. That would be great actually. Perhaps she could tag team with Sarah P on Faux Noise.

    Wonder who Washington Post could replace Rubin with. Can’t think of many thoughtful conservative writers.

  83. 83
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @ericblair: The main problem with Op-Ed pieces is that they have to cover a wide variety of topics, and there are very few folks who are actually knowledgeable enough to speak generally across many different areas without sounding like a bunch of ill-informed fools. Mr. Mustache tries to do this, but he too often comes across as having spoken to only his daughter’s college roommate to formulate the thesis of his story. Probably explains why he told Iraq to #SUCK.On.THIS

    I could do a better job than most editorial writers, and that’s because I actually care about the facts before projecting my view, instead of fitting whatever ill-gotten info they found from Wikipedia via their research assistants into an editorial that carries INFLUENCE!

    @ruemara: It’s vacation, I don’t give a fuck no more. Although I feel bad for writing like this with Mr. Cole getting sober.

    PF37 +4

  84. 84
    LAC says:

    If Bezos was smart, he would shitcan Hiatt, do a drive by of the cubicles of Rubin, Cohen, Chris “Cillispza”, Thessen and that other Bush dweeb, take Krauthammer and wheel his ass out of plane over Israel.And that would be the first day….

    girl can dream :)

  85. 85
    drkrick says:

    @raven:Not sure that happened, but Hendrix opened for them, although for fewer shows than planned. The parents of the preteens were not crazy about Jimi’s antics with the guitar. Peter Tork claims he decided to quit when he was dropped from the tour because he didn’t want to be associated with a band that didn’t want to be associated with Hendrix.

    Saw Lynrd Skynrd (along with Dickey Betts and J Geils) open for Peter Frampton a few months before the plane crash. A lot of the Skynrd folks left early, to say the least.

  86. 86

    @TriassicSands:

    Although Fred Hiatt is not really as bad as Rubin

    Organizationally, he’s worse. He hired Rubin. He keeps Rubin there. Bezos firing Rubin doesn’t solve the problem, it merely solves one manifestation of the problem. Bezos ordering Hiatt doesn’t solve the problem. What Hiatt writes under his byline isn’t relevant. Everything written by his staff is his to own as editor, and if he can’t recognize what shit Rubin writes, and is unwilling or unable to get rid of her, then there’s really no hope that the op ed page can be reformed. The only out Hiatt has is if he was blocked from getting rid of Rubin by his bosses. Barring that, he should be fired.

  87. 87
    MattF says:

    @👾 Martin: Remember Hiatt was the person who hired Bill Kristol for the op-ed page after Kristol left the NYT. The Times was dumb to hire Kristol, but there’s dumb and there’s dumber. If you’ve forgotten:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/.....n_guy.html

  88. 88

    @LAC:

    If Bezos was smart, he would shitcan Hiatt, do a drive by of the cubicles of Rubin, Cohen, Chris “Cillispza”, Thessen and that other Bush dweeb, take Krauthammer and wheel his ass out of plane over Israel.And that would be the first day….

    He misses an opportunity if he does that. The first test for Hiatts replacement should be to recognize who should stay and who should go and act on it. If that person fails that test, you immediately get rid of them and find another. If you clear house, you lose a chance to size up your editor, and the longer you take to size them up the more damaging it is to the paper and all involved when you have to lose them. If you have to go through 3 editors in 3 months, so be it – better than needing 3 years to get the right person in the job. WaPo may not have that long.

    These are important management positions that are well compensated and represent the face your organization puts to the public. Make them earn it. Don’t do their job for them.

  89. 89
    Betty Cracker says:

    @👾 Martin: Sadly, it appears Jeebus doesn’t love us that much: Limbaugh declined, saying he’s too famous and would overshadow the proceedings. :(

  90. 90
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s hard to behave seriously when you’re under the influence of Oxycontin.

    Either that, or maybe the Sandra Fluke financial hit has knocked sense into him, i.e. he won’t say anything too controversial such that regular folk will catch onto it.

  91. 91
    Mike E says:

    @raven: So did Hendrix.

    ETA beaten to it above, but another weird show I saw was a blues revue (BB King, Buddy Guy et al) that opened for Joe Cocker. I know. And Fishbone opened for Jimmy Cliff, also. Too.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @drkrick: I stand corrected!

  93. 93

    @MattF: Well, Hiatt wasn’t entirely wrong in his assessment. Kristol is a very smart, plugged in guy. However Kristol only applies the former to activities that benefit himself personally. Successful grifters and propagandists are very smart – it’s a prerequisite to being successful. And being plugged in is key as well. But neither of those qualities are applied to benefit the organization except in an exploitative manner, and Hiatt is either unable to recognize that, or is perfectly okay to use them in an exploitative manner. That might have been fine for the previous owner – propaganda for page clicks isn’t necessarily going to be a failure as a business model (especially compared to the business model they were operating under at the time of the hire – which was one that only pointed to WaPo going out of business like nearly all other papers), but it sure as fuck isn’t going to be a resilient or transparent business model. It’s quite desperate, in fact – certainly moreso than is befitting WaPo.

    And like I said above, that might be his out. The previous owner may have laid down conditions such as McCain faced in 2008 where he was clearly going to lose, had to try something, anything to change that calculus and chose Palin as running mate in a desperate bid to shake things up. Hiatt’s orders may have been ‘increase traffic, I don’t care what you have to do’. Now, in a proper world he wouldn’t have dragged the paper down to Kristol or Rubin’s level, but let’s not judge too harshly people trying to salvage their job and institution. I’m not convinced that was the conditions under which either of them were hired – I suspect Hiatt hired them because he thought the venal, crazy demographic was entitled to adequate representation on his page which alone is reason to lose him, but WaPo like other top papers have been under a lot of pressure for some time now. They’re going to make some desperate moves.

  94. 94

    @Betty Cracker: Heh. Rush Limbaugh is too much of a distraction against hiring the next ruler of the free world. Humble little guy, isn’t he?

  95. 95
    Anoniminous says:

    @👾 Martin:

    If that was true, it didn’t work.

  96. 96
    Calouste says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    American Soviet reporters weren’t exactly limited to Moscow.

    It was impossible to miss how much Maggie Thatcher was hated by parts of the British population if you lived in the UK or even just Europe (or even if you just listened to British music) in the 1980s. Yet judging by the general surprise in the US at reactions in the UK to Thatcher, all the UK correspondents for the major American news media in the 1980s managed to do exactly that.

  97. 97
    trizzlor says:

    I would take this a lot more seriously if the folks here could converge on even a single mainstream conservative that they would be happy editorializing at the Post. And before anyone says Larison, read up on his membership in the League of the South.

  98. 98
    Older says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Our local paper “gives”everyone who does not subscribe a free Shopper’s Edition once a week.

    Nobody wants those things. They lie around in the driveways and parking strips like enormous dandruff.

    I used to pick them up as I passed them and tuck them into my shoulder bag. Then when I passed the newspaper office I would chuck my accumulation into the fountain in their front patio. They no longer keep water in the fountain, so I have been reduced to recycling them in the normal way.

  99. 99
    jayboat says:

    Nobody ever deserved a shiv like that more than Rubin.

    Hiatt may decide to leave on his own, depending on how the direction and leadership of his new boss plays out.
    Which, I gotta say has me intrigued. Sure, another billionaire’s toy- but could be very interesting.
    I’m sure Mr Bezos has been thinking long and hard about this move. Can’t wait for the movie.

    Moar, please.

    Black Oak Arkansas and James Brown is a good one-
    the promoters were trying for every demographic in the county.

  100. 100
    IM says:

    @trizzlor:

    I would still pick Larison.

  101. 101
    JustRuss says:

    Saw Tommy Tutone shortly after Jenny hit the airwaves. For a one-hit wonder, they put on a heck of a show.

Comments are closed.