WaPo civil war going public?
posted at 12:55 pm on January 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Normally when a newspaper gets a friendly cite during a public event, they’re pretty happy about it. When the Washington Post gets praise from a conservative like Senator Jim Inhofe, they should be delighted about it. Rosie Gray reports at Buzzfeed that instead of popping the bubbly, the Post is breaking out into open civil war:
Senator Jim Inhofe cited a blog post by conservative Washington PostbloggerJennifer Rubin during the confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel on Thursday, setting in motion a public argument on Twitter.
Inhofe, who called Rubin a reporter, cited a blog post of her’s about Hagel. Shortly thereafter, Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran took issue with Rubin’s work on Twitter, saying that Rubin “is NOT a WaPo reporter.”
His words brought into sharp relief something that has divided the Post newsroom for several years: Late to the internet and struggling to maintain its status as a top-tier news outlet, the Post turned to high-profile, often partisan bloggers, led by the liberal policy wonk Ezra Klein, to generate traffic and buzz. But the outlet’s unfamiliarity with the online news environment quickly showed: Their first conservative blogger was fired in a plagiarism flap, and the second, Dave Weigel, was let go after Post management learned — apparently to their surprise, if not to his actual readers’ — that he wasn’t a movement conservative.
Here are the tweets cited by Gray:
I hate it when senators refer to WP opinion blogger posts as articles. @jrubinblogger is NOT a WaPo reporter
— Rajiv Chandrasekaran (@rajivwashpost) January 31, 2013
Greg Sargent comes to Jen’s defense:
One can be a blogger and a reporter, even in traditional media outlets. Jen manages to do both, as does Greg, as Gray points out later with links to some of their work. It sounds like Rajiv might have a case of sour grapes. If so, then so does the paper itself:
“Jennifer Rubin is an opinion writer on the editorial page. She is not a reporter in the newsroom,” said Kristine Coratti, a spokesperson for the Washington Post.
Way to stand up for your writers, WaPo!