The Sugar-Coating Of The Washington Post

June 8th, 2024 4:00 PM

The headlines are ominous. A sample:

From CNN

Morale plummets inside The Washington Post as staffers express alarm over publisher’s attempts to squash story. 

From Politico

Inside the culture clash upending the Washington Post

New CEO Will Lewis’ Fleet Street sensibilities are colliding with the Post’s self-regard in troubling and explosive ways. 

From Mediaite:

Can’t Sugarcoat It’: Washington Post CEO And Staff Reportedly Throw Down in Fiery Meeting After EIC’s Abrupt Exit 

There’s more of a similar nature. But the essence: The paper’s Publisher and CEO, one Will Lewis by name, dispatched Executive Editor Sally Buzbee. And has decided to bring in two new executives, both white males, to replace her. The staff of the Post threw a fit. 

Among other things, CEO Lewis is quoted as focusing on the paper’s massive bleed of money, cited in accounts as $77 million for last year alone and a staff reduction of 13%. Per a report at NPR, New CEO of 'The Washington Post' puts former colleagues in power, Lewis is reported to have bluntly said: “We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience is halved. People are not reading your stuff. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore.” He added that it would be “nuts” to keep running the paper in the fashion it had been run.

Now. Here comes the tell on the real problem. 

The Post is losing ground because its “journalists” are not really “journalists” at all. In fact they are left-wing activists masquerading as “journalists.”

To illustrate, here is this from NPR:  

"The cynical interpretation is that it sort of feels like you chose two of your buddies,” senior political correspondent Ashley Parker said. She said he had previously spoken “movingly” about the need for diversity. “And now we have four white men running three newsrooms,” Parker said, including Lewis, Murray, Winnett and the opinion section editor, David Shipley, in her count.

Note well. Parker defines “diversity” by skin color and gender. The liberal activists that are the Post’s staff would never in a million years demand intellectual diversity.

If Lewis brought in two females or minorities -- and they were seen as conservatives -- the uproar in the newsroom would be thunderous opposition.

This is, of course, an old trick that was outed years ago in government. Recall that when Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall retired during the George H.W. Bush presidency, the instant demand from the Left was that this was the “black seat” on the Court and a black must be appointed. President Bush went ahead and nominated Judge Clarence Thomas. In a blink the Left set about trying to defeat Thomas’s nomination because while he was indeed black, he was a decided conservative. And the rule on the left is that diversity of color or gender must require a liberal in whatever position is being filled. To this day left-wing media targets Justice Thomas with all kinds of political grievances.

Which brings us back to the real problem at the Post. Again, these are not “journalists”. They are left-wing activists. And in a readers world where there is in fact real intellectual diversity, conservative readers are beyond tired at the standard, decidedly routine left-wing slant of the paper. Ergo, that financial hemorrhaging of $77 million for last year alone and the staff reduction of 13%.

In short, these liberal activists posing as journalists would in fact rather see the paper collapse than start to report stories in a fair and balanced fashion that can be seen as not tilting left.

This same attitude was recently on vivid display at the New York Times when the Opinion Page editor, one James Bennet, lost his job at the Times. Why? For having the audacity to publish an op-ed on the use of the military to restore order in riot torn cities in the summer of 2020 after the George Floyd death became a hot button issue. 

There was an instant staff revolt inside the Times, with the same liberal activist pose as “journalists” going public.

In a sane world filled with common sense it would seem crystal clear what the problem at the Post really is - and it isn’t Will Lewis. The problem is left-wing activists posing as “journalists” - and resisting the job they have been in theory hired to do. Which is to report the news in an even-handed fashion without the far left tilt.

Will that happen? Time will tell. 

But don’t bet the ranch. As Lewis said, he opposes sugar-coating the problem. There is a serious possibility that the staff of the Washington Post would rather see it collapse completely than practice real journalism.

Stay tuned.