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One newspaper, two stories

Many of you may have noticed something more than a tad odd Tuesday morning in our coverage of Chancellor Rhee's now immortal comments to "Fast Company." My story, which appeared on the front of the Metro section, said that Rhee had yet to explain or elaborate, and that there would be no comment until later in the day. My Monday evening blog entry said pretty much the same thing.

The editorial page told a different story. Citing "information released by the chancellor's office on Monday," it said that of the 266 teachers laid off in October, six had served suspensions for corporal punishment, two had been absent without leave on multiple occasions, and one was on administrative leave for allegedly having sex with a student.

So, after asking DCPS about this since Friday--and being promised a response all day Monday--I read the answers in an editorial. Channel 4's Tom Sherwood also had Rhee's explanation on the air Monday.

But it's the disconnect between the editorial page and the news section that I feel requires some kind of explanation. So let me try.

The news and opinion columns of The Post are wholly separate and independent operations. This assertion frequently draws a torrent of skepticism, but if this episode does nothing else, it should give the lie to the notion that there is some sort of sinister linkage. I have little-to-no contact with Jo-Ann Armao, who writes The Post's education editorials (full disclosure: Jo-Ann hired me in 2002 when she was the assistant managing editor for metro news; but we're all allowed a lapse of judgment now and then). About the only time we cross paths is at news events involving District education. Jo-Ann is a dogged journalist who pursues her own information.

That includes talking to Chancellor Rhee. And I would wager that the Chancellor talks to Jo-Ann more than she does to me. (After a well-documented period of silence, the Chancellor started taking my calls and e-mails again last summer)

Chancellor Rhee can obviously talk to whoever she wants about whatever she wants. While some of my colleagues don't agree, my view is that Jo-Ann isn't responsible for watching my back journalistically any more than I would be expected to align my reporting with her points of view.

The chancellor is clearly more comfortable speaking with Jo-Ann, which is unsurprising. I'm a beat reporter charged with covering, as fully and fairly as I can, an often turbulent story about the chancellor's attempts to fix the District's public schools. The job involves chronicling messy and contentious debates based in both politics and policy, and sometimes publishing information she would rather not see in the public domain.

Jo-Ann, on the other hand, sits on an editorial board whose support for the chancellor has been steadfast.

That's what editorial boards do. They form opinions and write about them. People can buy in.

Or not.

Where this gets complicated is that board's stance, and the chancellor's rapport with Jo-Ann, means that DCPS may prefer to talk to her than me. This could be what happened last September during the flap over the out-of-boundary admission of Mayor Fenty's twin sons to Lafayette Elementary in Chevy Chase.

The chancellor avoided questions about whether policies and procedures had been followed to place the kids in the coveted school. A few days after the dust settled, an editorial offered an explanation: the Fenty's neighborhood school, West Elementary, had only one fourth grade class. Lafayette's multiple fourth-grade sections made it possible to separate the twins, which studies show is developmentally desirable.

Is this kind of thing going to keep me from doing my job well?

Nope.


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By Bill Turque  |  January 27, 2010; 10:41 PM ET
 
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Next: No plan to move Ellington, until there is

Comments

Thanks for addressing this strange incident. As a tax-paying resident of the District whose child attended DCPS for years, this feeds the overall impression I am getting of Ms. Rhee that she doesn't feel she has to account to average parents like me. She is willing to chat up her buds at the Post editorial board but the rest of us don't deserve an explanation of her actions via the Post's actual education reporter. (Oh and of course she'll send out a slew of personal emails justifying her actions but she won't really listen to and engage the people on the receiving end of those emails.)

I'm tired of being told that those who criticize her methods must be in favor of lazy teachers and failed administrators. I pay my taxes, Ms. Rhee. I sent my kid to DCPS for 9 years. I am not an influential member of the WaPo editorial board but I have just as much right to an answer as they do.

Posted by: oldmh | January 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

This is terrific stuff. There's nothing that makes me more proud of journalism than when it treats readers like grownups--and the feet of the powerful to the fire. Bravo, Bill. You done good.

Posted by: rpondiscio | January 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

This is great news! With Jo-Ann Armao and Tom Sherwood on board, Chancellor Rhee can RIF her PR department and privatize those functions! Win-win.

Posted by: Trulee | January 27, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Good explanation.

The Editorial page is so obviously in the tank for Rhee.

Perhaps they don't understand: when I read a Newspaper, I expect to read the news that a reporter has reported.

Posted by: emrj | January 27, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you. You are the reason I still read the Post, and you and people like you are the reason the Post is still worth reading! Thanks again for the full story as always. I think many, many people who care about DCPS would feel completely lost and without hope if not for you.

Posted by: mfalcon | January 27, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Bill, you remind us of how important good reporting is. Without you, readers would be getting only one side of the Rhee controversy. You are doing a great service to the community. Thank you.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | January 27, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Bill,

I certainly appreciate being well-informed and, for what it's worth, entertained. However, one of the inordinate, existential prejudices of your articles/reviews is the fact that you are only focusing on and covering the friction in DCPS, particularly with the chancellor. I oftentimes ask myself, “Why don't any of these creeps write reviews about Jerry Weast, William Hite or Robert Smith?” As if controversy never takes place within these larger school districts. Why is everyone's radar on Washington, DC schools (DCPS)? Good questions, right? Here's another stark question: Why do you feel the need to campaign for Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray's possible mayoral candidacy? As if Mr. Gray's potential mayoral ticket has anything to do with “the story.” If this is fundamentally about children, then why not write about more of the extraordinary learning taking place in the District's classrooms. Why not publicize the successes in DC schools versus attempting to humiliate, dehumanize, target and crucify the chancellor? None of us are perfect or pure; we all make mistakes. I'm sure most would agree that we, if nothing else, need sustainable leadership in DC's education sector... rather than hidden, political agendas. If you're going to be honest, then be completely honest.

Posted by: rasheeedj | January 27, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Hats off to you Mr. Turque! Your courageous independence, persistence, integrity and “truth in journalism” are admirable and much appreciated.

Posted by: highquality4kids | January 27, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Bill Turque,

Thank you for having the integrity for seeking the truth even though you probably get a lot of flack for it.

We need reporters like you even more so these days because of Rhee and Fenty's policy of limiting transparency to the public. We also need it because Rhee is the master of spin. For Rhee to wait four days to respond speaks volumes.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | January 27, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

creeps-
nows there's a starter for a conversation.

Anyway, I appreciate your work here Mr. Turque.

(For those, like rasheeedj, who don't like Mr. Turque's work, you can find more ammo at www.dailyhowler.com. At the site, enter Turque into the search box)

I take issue with the line, "Jo-Ann is a dogged journalist who pursues her own information."

From what I can gleam from the Post website, she doesn't do much.
She doesn't respond to emails.
And is easily seen in this most recent editorial, or the one she wrote in defense of the RIFfing of teachers where she allowed Rhee to anonymously libel the teachers, or the one on Maryland and Race to the Top, she has strong biases that she uses to run over the facts.

Posted by: edlharris | January 27, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

creeps-
nows there's a starter for a conversation.

Anyway, I appreciate your work here Mr. Turque.

(For those, like rasheeedj, who don't like Mr. Turque's work, you can find more ammo at www.dailyhowler.com. At the site, enter Turque into the search box)

I take issue with the line, "Jo-Ann is a dogged journalist who pursues her own information."

From what I can gleam from the Post website, she doesn't do much.
She doesn't respond to emails.
And is easily seen in this most recent editorial, or the one she wrote in defense of the RIFfing of teachers where she allowed Rhee to anonymously libel the teachers, or the one on Maryland and Race to the Top, she has strong biases that she uses to run over the facts.

Posted by: edlharris | January 27, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Turque, what I find to be so alarming is that the Editorial Board would seem to have a conflict of interest when reporting on the Chancellor since her ex-husand, father of her children is so connected to this entity. I don't think that I will ever read their statement and feel that anything that they put out is truthful and in the best interest of the reader.

Journalism "used" to be something that people took pride in, and now, it seems that it is open to the HIGHEST BIDDER!!!

Posted by: lacairaine | January 27, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think neither coverage is ideal. Turque tends to go for the sensational, and gives short-shrift to improvements in DCPS under Rhee. (He barely mentioned the new state-of-the-art special ed diagnostic center that Rhee just opened.)

The editorial page,on the other hand, glosses over Rhee's shortcomings.

How about some balance on both sides?

Posted by: trace1 | January 27, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody else notice that this article was missing for awhile today? ALso, this is not the same article that was posted earlier today---it has been edited! Can we get the original back please or at least a note that it has been updated or changed?

Posted by: mfalcon | January 27, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I noticed the story was missing for a while. This should be interesting stuff for a rival newspaper.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | January 27, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Ben Bradlee, what's up with the self-censorship of this blog-post today? This is the USA not The People's Republic of China. Katharine Graham would be disappointed, but tricky dick sure would be proud...

Posted by: bob_dylan_rocks | January 27, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Here's the original line that must have upset Jo Ann Armao:

Jo-Ann, on the other hand, sits on an editorial board whose support for the chancellor has been steadfast, protective and, at times, adoring

Adoring is a rather mild adjective.
Maybe Jo Ann Armao's non de plume is Uriah Heep.

Posted by: edlharris | January 27, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Strange goings-on...

This story on Rhee and it seems another were missing for several hours - What's going on?

This article seems edited from the earlier one...

Posted by: 2belinda | January 27, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Mfalcon -- Yep - noticed that. eager for the explanation. Here's are some possibilities:

1. Meticulous writer that he is, Turque decided to clean up this piece after posting it hastily. It was just one of those weird website flukes that brought up that scary "this post has been removed" page.

2. The Post ed board, unhappy at this outing of intramural issues, pulled down the post, never thinking that someone would have already copied it and posted it in the comments section of another Post article (let's see if that one disappears!)so they put it back up, with a little editing and hoped no one would notice.

No, that's too dumb. They're not that stupid and couldn't think their readers are that stupid.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Posted by: efavorite | January 27, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, if the Post decides to scrub the version in the "Rhee hedges remarks on laid-ff..."
the original can also be found here:
http://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/more-slander-lies-and-spin-from-michelle-rhee/#comment-88

Posted by: edlharris | January 28, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Did anybody else notice that this article was missing for awhile today? ALso, this is not the same article that was posted earlier today---it has been edited! Can we get the original back please or at least a note that it has been updated or changed?


Yes, the first version was much more interesting ( who edited and why )

Posted by: mamoore1 | January 28, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

efavorite where?

Posted by: mamoore1 | January 28, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what else would explain the mystery, efavorite. Can I just bet on "stupid" and "think their readers are that stupid"?

Posted by: Trulee | January 28, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Removal and reposting speaks soooo well of the motives of the Washington Post. The archived, original version is available...if you know where to look.

Ahhh... the great newspaper as a organ for the government...

Washington Post 2009 = Pravda 1969

Posted by: shepDC | January 28, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

It's not the crime It's the cover up. Wonder which paper wrote that first ( hint, don't look far)

Posted by: mamoore1 | January 28, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

It would be funny if it wasn't so pitifully sad...
So the folks at WaPo don't yet know that nothing is ever really gone from the "web"

Posted by: 2belinda | January 28, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

You changed the best part!

Original: "Jo-Ann, on the other hand, sits on an editorial board whose support for the chancellor has been steadfast, protective and, at times, adoring."

Revised: "Jo-Ann, on the other hand, sits on an editorial board whose support for the chancellor has been steadfast."

The other area that's been excessively edited is the part about Rhee and Fenty:

Original:
**********************'

"Where this gets complicated is that board's stance, and the chancellor's obvious rapport with Jo-Ann, also means that DCPS has a guaranteed soft landing spot for uncomfortable or inconvenient disclosures--kind of a print version of the Larry King Show. This happened last September during the flap over the out-of-boundary admission of Mayor Fenty's twin sons to Lafayette Elementary in Chevy Chase.

The chancellor repeatedly sidestepped questions about whether policies and procedures had been followed to place the kids in the coveted school. A few days after the dust settled, an editorial offered, without attribution, an "innocent explanation": the Fentys neighborhood school, West Elementary, had only one fourth grade class. Lafayette's multiple fourth-grade sections made it possible to separate the twins, which studies show is developmentally desirable.

Are Fenty and Rhee gaming the system by using the editorial page this way? Of course. Is this a healthy thing for readers of The Post? Probably not. Is it going to keep me from doing my job effectively?

Nope.

*******************
Revised:

*****************
Where this gets complicated is that board's stance, and the chancellor's rapport with Jo-Ann, means that DCPS may prefer to talk to her than me. This could be what happened last September during the flap over the out-of-boundary admission of Mayor Fenty's twin sons to Lafayette Elementary in Chevy Chase.

The chancellor avoided questions about whether policies and procedures had been followed to place the kids in the coveted school. A few days after the dust settled, an editorial offered an explanation: the Fenty's neighborhood school, West Elementary, had only one fourth grade class. Lafayette's multiple fourth-grade sections made it possible to separate the twins, which studies show is developmentally desirable.

Is this kind of thing going to keep me from doing my job well?

Nope.

**********************

The other changes are minor.

Original: "And while I don't have their call sheets in front of me, I would wager that the Chancellor talks to Jo-Ann more than she does to me. "

Revised: "And I would wager that the Chancellor talks to Jo-Ann more than she does to me."

Original: "The chancellor is clearly more comfortable speaking with Jo-Ann, which is wholly unsurprising."

Revised: drops "wholly"

Posted by: Cal_Lanier | January 28, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

edlharris: Here's my candidate for the original line that upset Jo-Ann

"Are Fenty and Rhee gaming the system by using the editorial page this way? Of course. Is this a healthy thing for readers of The Post? Probably not."

Posted by: Trulee | January 28, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

One newspaper, two stories.... and counting

Posted by: mamoore1 | January 28, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Chancellor Rhee could come in and sit down face-to-face-to-face-to-face with the Post editorial board.

Posted by: Trulee | January 28, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I think the Larry King remark was removed also. Gosh, this is like Watergate told in reverse!

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | January 28, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

just vote fenty out so dc can get rid of rhee. thats all that is needed.

Posted by: stayone | January 28, 2010 3:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Mathews and Turque are obsessed with Michelle Rhee. They are more like the “editorial paparazzi” versus education reporters...You seldom hear or read anything about children and/or teachable moments. These Post stories are getting quite boring and tragicomic.

Posted by: rasheeedj | January 28, 2010 5:18 AM | Report abuse

Gutsy reporting.

Goodluck getting Chancellor Moon to return your calls and emails.

Enjoy your new beat covering Loudon County zoning.

Posted by: GoDoZo | January 28, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

However, one of the inordinate, existential prejudices of your articles/reviews is the fact that you are only focusing on and covering the friction in DCPS, particularly with the chancellor. I oftentimes ask myself, “Why don't any of these creeps write reviews about Jerry Weast, William Hite or Robert Smith?”
Posted by: rasheeedj | January 27, 2010 6:39 PM


I think Mathews and Turque are obsessed with Michelle Rhee
Posted by: rasheeedj | January 28, 2010 5:18 AM

Posted by: edlharris | January 28, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Why did this post disappear? See: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/01/27/washington-post-blog-post-critical-of-washington-post-disappears-from-web-site/

Posted by: subwayguy | January 28, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

The editing of this post was unnecessary and more than a little silly. As a subscriber, I rely on the Post's integrity. If, as seems pretty obvious here, blog posts are changed on the demands of the editorial staff, the quality and independence of the paper are called into question. You're the Washington Post, not the Washington Times.

Posted by: sonicfan95 | January 28, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

It's been a thrilling first two weeks for Bill Turque's DC Schools Insider Blog. First, the Ellington School students were to be packed off with their easels and toe shoes to a tumble-downy Logan Elementary. The Michelle Rhee delivered an early Valentine of terse not-quite-slander against RIF'd teachers. If the Chancellor doesn't want to talk to certain reporters, fine. There doesn't really seem to be an upside for her. If Mr. Turque wants to be the inbox of first resort for anyone who has a firebomb to throw at DC school officials, that's fine too. If he wants to burn sources like 4th-of-July sparklers, and sandbag city officials in his quest for the gruesome machinery of the truth--fine and dandy. But I am more or less reliably infuriated by Mr. Turque's writings, his evident biases, his cherry-picking of statistics, his cabinet full of axes to grind. All I know is that his job is considerably easier than that of a teacher in the DC schools.

Posted by: gardyloo | January 28, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Turque's admission of impotence only confirms what readers figured out a long time ago, which is once Nakamura was no longer Rhee's chief of PR, Armao took over and has done a fine job. This is a classic case, get the bad story out to friendly media outlet (in this case as in all with Rhee, the Washington Post)and let them do your dirty work. What Turque failed to mention is that Armao followed Rhee's story right down to an attack on the union, blaming the union for the problem.
By the way, it would be very interesting for Turque to start investigating just how Kaplan, the only profit making part of the diminished Graham empire (pace the normally superb Millbank), stands to gain from the total privatization of the DC public schools.

Posted by: duncanjo | January 28, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The City Paper article says this post was taken down and edited because it “…contained more opinion than allowed in the blog post of a beat writer.” I wonder if there’s a similar rule about editorials containing too much reporting, and if there’s any rule about fact-checking the reporting found in editorials or naming the reporter.

Gardylou says: “I am more or less reliably infuriated by Mr. Torque’s writings, his evident biases, his cherry-picking of statistics, his cabinet full of axes to grind.”

Sounds like how some people feel about the Ed board

Posted by: efavorite | January 28, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

City Paper story on how this blog changed from the original (includes text of the original)

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/01/27/washington-post-blog-post-critical-of-washington-post-disappears-from-web-site/

Posted by: justkiddingdc | January 28, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I still can’t believe the Post is so naïve not to realize that removing and editing this on-line article would bring more negative attention than just leaving it up as is.

So – what were they thinking? Is it some convoluted, high-intellect conspiracy that I can’t figure out? Did the ed board’s passion overcome its reason? What?

Posted by: efavorite | January 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

efavorite, journalists are a funny bunch, when one violates journalistic ethics or when the writer goes, well you read the column, a little wacko, they will sooner pull down the column in violation than leave it up even though you and others will comment on it. What are the chances, you think, that the column in question was incorrect?

Is the WTU gaming the Post by talking and working with Bill Turque? Everyone who frequents these articles knows that's the case. I think he has fully and completely drank their kool-aid to the point where he ignores facts that disagree with him.

Turque needs desperately to snag Jay Mathews job and he's going for as much Rumsfeld and Bush-style "Shock and Awe" as he can. He's the Rush Limbaugh of the DCPS coverage scene in the hopes that raises his profile. The Fox News Style junk works and he's filling the paper with it and you suckers, well you eat it up like it's prime rib. Wait until he fires off another wacked-out screed and gets fired, then, oh man, will we see the conspiracy theorists have a field day.

Posted by: bbcrock | January 28, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Bill Turque is telling us what the editorial board choose not to tell us.

There needs to be more honest reporting on Michelle Rhee like Turque's. Unfortunately most reporters are fawning all over her and not telling the public about her negative side.

Posted by: resc | January 28, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This story is all over the Post now – see Jay Mathews blog on the difference between news and editorials:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/2010/01/cool_clash_at_the_post.html

And Valerie Strauss’ blog for info on Rhee’s record of inconsistencies:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/dc-schools/rhee-in-her-own-words.html

Posted by: efavorite | January 28, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Gee I just read WCP and found what happened because I couldn't get on this morning. WAPO Board is as childish as Rhee. No wonder they like each other so much. Hang in there Bill. Trust me the citizens of DC and the posters appreciate all that you do. Smooches!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | January 28, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Now the ombudsman is chiming in on this - very interesting back-room stuff:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ombudsman-blog/2010/01/an_inappropriate_blog_item_cau.html

Posted by: efavorite | January 28, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't this post been updated to show it was edited? Where's the transparency?

Posted by: subwayguy | January 28, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

efavorite,

Bbcrock seems to make it his mission to root out all criticism of his paymaster Michelle Rhee. So he's been haunting the Post since Friday.
He also likes to ignore what is written and create diversions.

Bbcrock came up with a couple of whoppers yesterday that he won't defend.
He accused Bill Turque of "wildly misrepresenting" Michelle Rhee's comments.
Here are the quotes from Rhee and Turque:

Michelle Rhee (thru FastCompany):
"I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school.

Bill Turque (Friday):
Now we have Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's assertion, in the February issue of Fast Company magazine, that some of the 266 educators laid off in the October budget reduction had had sex with students, while others had hit them.


HOW is that "wildly misinterpreting" her quote?
In fact, Bill put a qualifier on her statement.

Bbcrock also typed that DCPS teachers are awful.
Yet, if DCPS teachers are so awful,
why did the 2008-2009 parent survey show 85% of the parents are satisfied with the teachers??
Maybe he believes (with the faith of a birther) that WTU stuffed the ballot box.

Posted by: phillipmarlowe | January 28, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"That's what editorial boards do. They form opinions and write about them."
~~~~~~~~

As someone who has been "interviewed" by Ms. Armao for an "editorial" I would ask how and when the "opinions" are formed?

When Ms. Armao called me for this editorial:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/18/AR2008091803393.html

her mind was clearly already made up. The Maryland State Constitution was of no interest and decisions of the Maryland Attorney General were of no interest. You will see neither were mentioned in the editorial.

$1,000 became "nominal" and the Editorial came out against following the Maryland Constitution's guarantee of a free public education for all.

The Editorial supported Montgomery County Public Schools continued imposition of fees for students to attend public school classes, a practice that continues today. And now, students who know the law ask for a "waiver" and their fees are waived. (That prevents any court challenges from being waged.) It is only students that are ignorant of the law that are still paying illegal course fees.

And the "opinion" of the Washington Post Editorial board is that taxing the ignorant is OK?

Why?

Posted by: jzsartucci | January 29, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Howard Kurtz's has your back, Bill:
Going public

Washington Post education reporter criticizes Washington Post editorial board -- and the City Paper has the story about how the blog post was taken down and an edited version later put back up. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with Bill Turque's original post.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2010/01/29/BL2010012901726_5.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: edlharris | January 29, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Here’s a comment posted on the City Paper article on this subject, from someone with the moniker “Longtime Post employee.” Two words have been removed -- and two have been [changed]:

God, it's depressing to see what a cluster -- my employer has become. Where to start?

1. Liz Spayd should have told Fred Hiatt to get the hell out. If she wanted to chew Turque's butt in private afterwards, great. Instead she set in motion a series of events that have made us look like idiots. Did she really think that editing the blog post would make the problem go away?

2. Fred Hiatt should stay the -- out of the newsroom. If he had tried this [crap] during the Ben Bradlee era, he would have been thrown out on his ear, and I suspect Mrs. Graham would have supported Ben. I wonder what Fred would say if a reporter walked into his office and told him to retract an editorial?

3. Jo-Ann Armao is a clueless dolt if she thinks she can "no-comment" her way out of this and maintain any credibility whatsoever.

4. All three of the aforementioned morons have once again proved that they can dish it out but they can't take it. They are engaging in behavior that they would never allow government officials to get away with, to wit:

a. Editing information after the fact in an attempt at a cover-up.
b. Throwing an underling under the bus for the sake of (office) politics.
c. Breaking clearly established reporting lines -- in this case, the firewall between the newsroom
and the editorial board -- out of personal pique.
d. Refusing to comment on what is clearly a newsworthy event.

Bill Turque showed some [guts]. That probably means he's on his way out.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/01/28/washington-post-editorial-board-livid-over-turque-blog-post/

Posted by: efavorite | January 30, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

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