WaPo cancels money-for-access dinner at publisher's home (updated)

Thomas Lifson
Howard Kurtz conveys - with a straight face! - the official Washington Post rationalizations of its public disgrace over selling access to administration officials and its reporters to lobbyists.

"Absolutely, I'm disappointed," Weymouth, the chief executive of Washington Post Media, said in an interview. "This should never have happened. The fliers got out and weren't vetted. 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."

Translation: The marketing guys figured out the game, but didn't run it by the lawyers, who could add the cover language.

Moments earlier, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said in a separate interview that he was "appalled" by the plan, and he insisted before the cancellation that the newsroom would not participate.

"It suggests that access to Washington Post journalists was available for purchase," Brauchli said

No, it doesn't just suggest, it shouts.

Weymouth knew of the plans to host small dinners at her home and to charge lobbying and trade organizations for participation. But, one of the executives said, she believed that there would be multiple sponsors, to minimize any appearance of charging for access, and that the newsroom would be in charge of the scope and content of any dinners in which Post reporters and editors participated.

"Minimizing any appearance" = "disguise"

A Steve Gilbert put it, the bell cannot be un-rung.

Update: Powerline has a copy of the invitation via the Washington Examiner. It is stunning.

wapo invitation

Howard Kurtz conveys - with a straight face! - the official Washington Post rationalizations of its public disgrace over selling access to administration officials and its reporters to lobbyists.

"Absolutely, I'm disappointed," Weymouth, the chief executive of Washington Post Media, said in an interview. "This should never have happened. The fliers got out and weren't vetted. 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."

Translation: The marketing guys figured out the game, but didn't run it by the lawyers, who could add the cover language.

Moments earlier, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said in a separate interview that he was "appalled" by the plan, and he insisted before the cancellation that the newsroom would not participate.

"It suggests that access to Washington Post journalists was available for purchase," Brauchli said

No, it doesn't just suggest, it shouts.

Weymouth knew of the plans to host small dinners at her home and to charge lobbying and trade organizations for participation. But, one of the executives said, she believed that there would be multiple sponsors, to minimize any appearance of charging for access, and that the newsroom would be in charge of the scope and content of any dinners in which Post reporters and editors participated.

"Minimizing any appearance" = "disguise"

A Steve Gilbert put it, the bell cannot be un-rung.

Update: Powerline has a copy of the invitation via the Washington Examiner. It is stunning.

wapo invitation