More Washington Post Ethics Issues: Blogger’s Employment by White House Goes Unmentioned

July 2nd, 2010 2:24 PM

You would think in the wake of the problems with former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel in addition to abandoned plans by the Post's publisher Katharine Weymouth to charge lobbyists and trade groups thousands of dollars for access "to top congressional and administration officials for $25,000 a plate" at a dinner party her home, the folks at the Post would be a little more careful with their ever-expanding empire of new media. But that's not the case.

According to a July 2 article posted on by Ron Brynaert, there is an undisclosed connection between the Obama White House and the Post. Brynaert notes in the Post's July 2 report from Ed O'Keefe, the whopping $38.7-million payroll of the Obama administration reveals there are three people that aren't taking a salary, which O'Keefe fails to name. One of those is Patricia G. McGinnis, "Advisor to the Obama White House on leadership programs for Presidential Appointees." But there is more to McGinnis, which Brynaert pointed out. (h/t mattsheffield)

"McGinnis' Georgetown biography notes that she "is the former President and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government, where she created and led a number of innovative programs to improve the performance of government, during her 14 year tenure" and also ‘serves [as] a panelist and blogger for the Washington Post 'On Leadership' website.'"

McGinnis was also listed as an unpaid adviser in 2009. Now this might have been nice to know because it violates the Post's ethics policy, as Brynaert explained.

"McGinnis was also listed as an unpaid adviser in the White House payroll statistics released in 2009," Brynaert wrote. "According to the Post's media ethics policy, ‘This newspaper is pledged to avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest, wherever and whenever possible. We have adopted stringent policies on these issues, conscious that they may be more restrictive than is customary in the world of private business.'"

As for McGinnis' content - there are indeed some glowing accounts of Obama, which Brynaert has compiled, including one in January: "The first year of Obama's presidency has produced an ambitious agenda for change, which congressional Republicans have resisted at every turn with chilling partisanship."