It sucks watching the icons of your youth crumble into dust and decay. And dishonesty.
Growing up as the child of a professor journalism in the last half of the 20th century, there are certain movies that become “stop and watch” events whenever they are on. One of those is “All the President’s Men.” The story of Woodward and Bernstein exposing the cover-up of the Watergate break-in and the activities of the Committee to Re-Elect the President is a great story. It encourages belief in the news media as the Fourth Estate and that there are good guys in the world.
Unfortunately, it appears that honor of the Washington Post, the newspaper that ultimately stood with Woodward and Bernstein and published their reportage, has been bought sold with the paper itself. Tonight we learn from David Halperin (and if you haven’t read his latest e-book, you really should) this:
This week the Washington Post editorialized against President Obama’s “gainful employment” rule, aimed at holding career training programs accountable for leaving students with insurmountable debt, without disclosing that the newspaper’s publisher, Katharine Weymouth, serves on the board of directors of a company that owns for-profit colleges and that is lobbying actively against the rule.
The act of disclosure of any possible conflicts of interest is critical to building trust. Is this being a kept (poorly) a secret from the WaPo staff? Halperin provides a link to the listing of board members of the Graham Holdings, and there it is, plain as day. Either the editorial board is intentionally misleading its readers (lying) or the concept of investigative journalism has been lost at the Post.
It’s a shame. Really.
Especially after the alleged “Fact Checker” column took the US Department of Education (USED) to task for statistics it was using to justify it’s latest iteration of the Gainful Employment rule and said this:
while The Washington Post used to be owned by the same company that runs Kaplan Education, a big player in the market, The Post is now owned by Jeff Bezos, so there is no longer a potential conflict of interest.
Outright lie or just plain ignorance?
Read Halperin’s article. It is damning.