Posted by Thomas Nephew on July 9th, 2009
Quick followup on the tragicomic “pay to play” scandal at the Post mentioned below, via Marcy Wheeler (“emptywheel”) — this Paul Farhi item (“Internal Review Launched on Post Salon Proposal“) in the newspaper on Tuesday:
Weymouth yesterday appointed the newspaper’s general counsel, Eric Lieberman, to review the discussions that led to the controversy. The review, along with a parallel inquiry by Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli and Senior Editor Milton Coleman, is aimed at avoiding another episode that could damage the paper’s reputation.
“We think we know what happened, but we want to know if there were any details we missed or if there was something we overlooked,” Weymouth said in an interview. “If any of our business practices aren’t clear, we’ll amend them.”
Weymouth was allegedly on vacation when the flyer was released, but I should think “buy the boss a Blackberry and CC her when inviting guests to her home” was already S.O.P. Also, it’s becoming clear this wasn’t just the new guy’s (Charles Pelton, a Post marketing executive) fault:
But while Post executives immediately disowned the flier’s characterization, senior managers had already approved major details of the first dinner. They had agreed, for example, that the dinner would include the participation of Brauchli and some Post reporters; that the event would be off the record; that it would feature a wide-ranging guest list of people involved in reforming health care; and that it would have sponsorship. [...]
The only unresolved question was whether the first event would have multiple sponsors or a single one. Brauchli and Weymouth have said they preferred multiple sponsors, to dilute the influence of any particular sponsor. Yet when Weymouth’s office sent out e-mail invitations to the event early last week, only one sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, was listed. (Kaiser officials have said they had not decided whether to participate.)
Seems to me like they should just leave Farhi on the case. But you’ve got to love the approach — pioneered, perhaps, by Rumsfeld after the Abu Ghraib story broke — of siccing multiple investigations on an issue, the better to pretend those in charge are as shocked, shocked! as the rest of us. As Wheeler observes,
This all feels so DC.