The sad story of how the Washington Post advertised special dinners for lobbyists and corporate executives at which they could learn first-hand from Obama officials and their own reporters what was happening in the world is now known to one and all. Katharine Weymouth, the new publisher worked with her marketing department to dream up the idea of 11 dinners at her house which, for a modest fee in the thousands, one could break bread and news with key officials in the Obama administration as well as learning from Washington Post reporters the latest news about life in Washington and the world. Weymouth, granddaughter of the great Washington Post publisher, Katherine Graham, appeared not to grasp she was head of the among the most important newspapers in the world.
A great newspaper does not send out brochures to the business community advertising; “Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table…Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No. The relaxed setting in the home of Katharine Wemouth assures it.” Frankly, a bit of confrontation in which issues were being debated might have warranted such dinners, but to sell the soul of the Washington Post for a few thousand merely reveals what has happened to the American media.
Perhaps, Ms. Weymouth could hold dinners at which CEOs might write the next day’s editorials for the Post.