When a newspaper blatantly commits incest

I'm speechless after reading this Politico article by Mike Allen that details how the Washington Post is selling access to "key Obama Administration and Congressional leaders ..." for $25,000 to $250,000:

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health-care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it's a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its "health care reporting and editorial staff."

The offer-which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters-is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.

And it's a turn of the times that a lobbyist is scolding The Washington Post for its ethical practices.

How can anything written in the Washington Post be taken seriously anymore? One would think heads would roll after a revelation like this except the events are going to be taking place at the house of the publisher! Here's part of the copy on the flier:

"Underwriting Opportunity: An evening with the right people can alter the debate," says the one-page flier. "Underwrite and participate in this intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth ... Bring your organization's CEO or executive director literally to the table. Interact with key Obama Administration and Congressional leaders ...

"Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No. The relaxed setting in the home of Katharine Weymouth assures it. What is guaranteed is a collegial evening, with Obama Administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds typically on the guest list of 20 or less. ...

"Offered at $25,000 per sponsor, per Salon. Maximum of two sponsors per Salon. Underwriters' CEO or Executive Director participates in the discussion. Underwriters appreciatively acknowledged in printed invitations and at the dinner. Annual series sponsorship of 11 Salons offered at $250,000 ...

When it comes to a blatant violation of journalistic ethics, this one beats all. First ABC, and now the Washington Post have turned their media over to the Obama administration for purposes of advancing the White House agenda. And they're getting paid to do it.

"Whore" is too nice a word for it. I prefer the old fashioned "Strumpet" or perhaps "tart" to describe their actions.

Absolutely shameful.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky