In an update on Tim Graham's earlier post about The Washington Post’s flier that circulated to Beltway lobbyists, the Post abruptly canceled its "salon" program to offer "exclusive access" to "Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds" for between $25,000 and $250,000. (View an image of the flier.)
According to the Washington Examiner, Post company spokeswoman Kris Coratti issued a statement Thursday morning claiming that the flier was a "draft" that hadn't been "properly vetted" before being dispatched.
"As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this," Coratti said, "We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business and that the Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. The newsroom will participate where appropriate."
There was an e-mail posted by Washington Independent columnist David Weigel from Brauchli which said that the "language in the flyer [sic] and the description of the event preclude our participation."
"We will not participate in events where promises are made that in exchange for money The Post will offer access to newsroom personnel or will refrain from confrontational questioning. Our independence from advertisers or sponsors is inviolable," Brauchli's e-mail states "There is a long tradition of news organizations hosting conferences and events, and we believe The Post, including the newsroom, can do these things in ways that are consistent with our values."
"This should never have happened. The fliers got out and weren't vetted," Weymouth told her paper. "They didn't represent at all what we were attempting to do. We're not going to do any dinners that would impugn the integrity of the newsroom."