WaPo meltdown continues: "Is this who we are?"

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

Does the Washington Post have any reporters who actually cover news these days? Apart from those serving on suspension, that is? Or are they now just a platform that funds performative outrage?

Advertisement

Don’t get me wrong — the fights over That Which Must Not Be Retweeted have been enormously entertaining, as everyone on Twitter knows. But as a subscriber, I have to wonder whether the Post’s real value isn’t already available for free.

After getting her “good friend” and occasional byline partner Dave Weigel publicly defenestrated over a dumb RT, Felicia Sonmez then turned her sights on another colleague who had the temerity to publicly criticize her public criticism:

My pal and colleague Guy Benson summed this up well:

Guy’s correct that it should raise other questions about Sonmez work and character, but that’s at best a secondary issue. This raises more important questions about the character of the Washington Post, its editors, and its ownership. They are the people who allow and at least tacitly encourage Sonmez and the other activist reporters to publicly attack colleagues and intimidate editors and ownership into submission. The Post’s management set the incentives for this market; Sonmez is only responding to it, perhaps even rationally so.

Advertisement

Nor is the Post the only major media outlet to have succumbed to rank-and-file radicalism. The New York Times set the same incentives in its handling of the staff revolt and public outrage of their activist ranks when James Bennet made the perfectly mundane choice of publishing an op-ed piece from a sitting US senator, Tom Cotton. The staff erupted in allegations that Bennet’s decision made them feel “unsafe” because of Cotton’s opinion on using force to end the riots in 2020, and so on. The Times threw Bennet under the bus, even while granting similar space to people like Vladimir Putin and Iranian regime officials on occasion. More analogous would be their post-Cotton publication of Xi Jinping toady Regina Ip, who explained helpfully why Beijing stamped out pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong with nary a peep from the activists within the Gray Lady’s rank and file.

One has to wonder whether the editorial levels of these outlets and others are caving to the outrage mobs out of cowardice or because they are a part of the outrage mob themselves. Neither answer lends any credibility to their output; how can readers trust what they read in either circumstance? If the editors are complicit, then their radical nature is going to get reflected in news coverage. If the editors are merely cowards, then we can expect that the radicals are likely making the editorial decisions that matter too, and we get the same result. (That’s clearly what happened at the NYT.)

Advertisement

Now in fairness, we know that some Post reporters do a fine job in reporting actual news. But this public meltdown and replay of China’s Cultural Revolution on miniature scale this week certainly calls into question whether we should trust that to be the norm or whether those are exceptions, and how long those exceptions will survive. The longer that l’affaire Sonmez plays out, and especially the more she gets her colleagues silenced for offending her, the stronger the case for the latter becomes.

In fact, the Washington Post is making that case on their own. “Is this who we are?” Sonmez wondered. It’s who they all are.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos

Advertisement
John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement