Monday, January 23, 2006

Ombudsman Central

"Simple obscenity is not the same as invective and invective is not the same as sexist personal attacks. But, of course, since we haven't really seen the offending emails/comments/whatever we still don't know exactly what got their knickers in a twist."
- Atrios

50 Comments:

Blogger semblance said...

I hate how the Post tried to switch the story to be about the commenters, instead of their own lies. And Deborah STILL hasn't gotten the story straight!

This episode has caused enormous damage for them.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Cozumel said...

Howdy, Taylor!

Nice blog you have here.

http://dontbelieveyourlyingeyes.blogspot.com/

5:48 PM  
Blogger rkrider said...

Should've come clean Debbie, now look what you've gone and done.

Great idea ....thanks.

5:52 PM  
Blogger PSoTD said...

Who woulda thought that the Washington Post was now staffed completely by delicate flowers?

5:59 PM  
Blogger ac said...

Debbie Debbie Debbie...

All you had to do was be fair and post a correction to that factually flawed story you wrote.

Out here on the internets, you have to be fair and balanced or the internets will do the balancing for you. Oh and by the way, remember that interview you did with Donita Moorhus in 1993? I read it and I have to say I was shocked at your use of four letter words. How can someone speak the way you did in that interview and be embarrassed by ANYTHING said in the comments section on WaPo?

Just saying... Another perfect example of how the web finds balance. And skeletons... and Snerk Snerk Snerk... sorry... I can't help it. You just gotta love the internet!

You are getting what you deserve.

6:03 PM  
Blogger B. Muse said...

It is fun to see them squirm. They didn't know the left had it in us did they? They are used to the right holding their feet to the fire and now the left is going to do it too. They might just have to start actually doing their jobs and report the facts from now on. Novel approach to journalism, he?

6:06 PM  
Blogger Tennessean said...

I appreciate you setting this site up. Apparently, one has to do things like this to be able to engage in FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS with MEDIA. We need an "Ombudsman to the Ombudsman" in order to have any reader representation because Howell, the "reader's representative" is clearly representing someone else.
Like the WaPo knows all too well, unfortunately, "it's the cover-up that gets you."

6:13 PM  
Blogger Thesaurus Rex said...

Dear Debbie-

We've got your number and we're sending you a pizza with your ass on it. Try and shut off comments here, I dare ya!

Welcome to the new world of interactive journalism. We'll be doing guerilla fact checking on you, so watch your (FILTHY!) mouth. Hooray for the Internets!

Rex

6:15 PM  
Blogger D0n Camillo said...

I've never seen an ombudsman who is unwilling to admit a mistake. Did the Washington Post really mount a nationwide search to find her? What must the rejects have been like?

By the way, Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake said to say hi.

6:19 PM  
Blogger A. Citizen said...

This is a great idea. Here's my recent letter to the Assclowns at the WaPo:

CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION.

Oh, wait...I don't subscribe to your egregarious example of spin, misleading articles and Bush administration propaganda so I cannot really cancel my subscription....

But if I did......

This post at AmericaBlog
would cause me to do so. In all seriousness why have an ombudsman at all if that person cannot do their job.

I define that job as making sure your newspaper prints some reasonable facsimile of the objective truth.

Perhaps you have another standard.

It would certainly seem so.

It's little wonder your subscription is declining.

6:47 PM  
Blogger annie said...

ooookay, parties rollin'
so debbie , are ya having fun yet?

thanks taylor, for hosting

6:50 PM  
Blogger Concrete said...

Let the games begin!!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Brave Soldat Svejk said...

It's just not fair! The left has thousands of evil bloggers and mill-yuns of the newspaper-reading-public and all the right has is talk radio, Faux News, Olin and Scaife Foundation subsidized magazines and think tanks and talking heads and Karl-Rove-Ken-Mehlman-orchestrated pushback. Deborah HAD to do something to balance the inequity!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Kurt said...

Hello Taylor!

Thanks for modding this blog.

Deborah and the WaPo, this is for you:

This is not about you. This is not about Jack Abramoff either, really. This about the 'War on Truth' that the GOP, and the Bush Administration have been waging on this country. America deserves better!

I never even used to read blogs until it was no longer possible to get real news on tv or in the papers. If you main stream media folks had been doing your jobs and reporting the news as factually as possible, I wouldn't even be here. It's a sorry state of affairs when media outlets like the WaPo and CNN are less reliable sources of news than some guy in an apartment in the boonies somewhere, or some girl in Oregon with a bunch of dogs.

I think I speak for the majority of bloggers when I say that we have no desire beat up on the WaPo just to be mean...we just want reporting to be as accurate as possible. And when mistakes are made, we just want a timely retraction. That's it, it's not rocket science.

Bottom line is if you can't get your act together and start doing journalism again, your paper will be consigned to the dustbin of history, as irrelevant as the buggy whip. How many people do you think really give a crap about that stupid runaway bride, or that guy that fell off the cruise ship? I mean I'm sympathetic to a certain extent, but when our President is busy turning our country into Nazi Germany-lite, I'd rather actually see what he's doing in the news instead.

I've noticed a lot more facts coming out of the WaPo in the last few days, and that's great. Keep up the good work. But be aware that thousands of educated, informed people are out here watching you, and we're no longer afraid to say something when you stop doing your jobs.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Ed Deevy said...

Just wanted to express a word of support.I'll add a link and my blog and would express others to do the same.
You may want to add some links on the blog (Firedoglake, Atrios, AmericaBlog, Crooks & Liars, etc.)
Good luck!I'll be back to visit.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Valleygator said...

Well, I have regretably canceled my home-delivery over this matter. I will miss the Post, but I can not bear to pay money to support such reckless journalism. At least the Times, for all its problems, attempts to address readers' concerns and, in general, attempts to explain its errors and apologize for them. Ms. Howell seems unable to do more than pout. Sad.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

Hi Taylor,

Glad too see someone is watching out for us true Americans. Hitler had his Propagandists so its only natural the Der Fuehrer Bush and his Gestapo have theirs.

If you can't be factual Debbie than I suggest you find another job. We don't need any more spinmeisters.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

Sorry for the second post, but I had trouble logging in. I think I might have misspelled my username the first time. How would I go about checking my profile to correct it if I did?

Thanks

PS: I hope FDL keeps the fire burning under Debbie everytime she mistakes the facts. We need more truth in journalism, not less.

7:42 PM  
Blogger LowerManhattanite said...

I come at the Post from a reverential angle--my folks were Watergate "heads" if there ever were any. Many a Sunday was spent in my home with my folks and their gaggle of friends sitting at the dining room table during that "Watergate Summer" discussing the details of the burgeoning scandal, and at the ready was always a copy of the Sunday Post, brought by my dad's friend Royall, who drove a big rig home to NYC every early Sunday morn.

They'd rehash the hearings, basically having a proto "McLaughlin Group" in my home, but studiously using that thick Sunday WaPo as the factual bible to go by. The paper and its personalities were effectively lionized in "All The President's Men"--the book and the movie, which presented the news gatherers and their editors as dogged, unstoppable, thruth-seeking divining rods.

Now, I know movies are just movies. Superman doesn't fly. Seventy-foot tall apes aren't trashing my city and an army of robots gone amok do not threaten to enslave us all--yet. But for the love of almighty God, is it possible, remotely possible that the Washington Post of 2006 could have even a scintilla of the fantasy integrity of the 1976 movie version in "ATPM"? It would seem, not.

My fascination with the Post continued long after my parents sparked my interest. I read the Ben Bradlee (and thought "Crowninshield" an incredible middle name) autobiography "A Good Life" and wolfed it down in days, reading of his wartime exploits, his worries about the Watergate reporting--yes, even how his marriages imploded. That's how into the Post I was...to plop down dough to read about its somewhat 'celebrified" editor.

I say all of that to say this: as grossly disappointed as I was in the Post with what I felt was prurient and horse-whipped (by GOP coachmen) reportage during the Clinton presidency and impeachment (which I had the utter misfortune to be in town during and read the paper), and the shoddy as a wet-toilet paper suit reporting during the run-up to the Iraq war, this recent bit of duplicitousness, hubris, and dime-store psycholgy transference in spinning the Jack Abramoff/K Street Project scandal has now finally put me "off" your paper--probably for good.

The lackluster reporting was bad enough, but the buttressing and haughty, canard-stuffed defense of it by Ms. Howell is so far beyond the pale as to be nearly trans-goddamned-parent. For her to initially state a falsehood that had already been debunked (and had to be because it was being repeatedly talked up by those wishing to obfuscate the truth) smacked of one of two things--a.) shoddy fact-gathering and slipshod presentation, or worse, an intentional attempt to spin a raw golden truth into the spun dull-lead of a pre-packaged lie.

Far be it for me to call Ms. Howell a liar. That would be uncivil and caddish--the sort of thing one would do if one was aloofly cussing up a storm at a National Press Club interview a decade ago when that was so au courant. No, instead...I'll err on the side of...well, "error"--namely, that she engaged in shoddy fact-gathering and slipshod presentation. But if I cede that, then I must, I abso-goddamn-lutely (there I go...National Press Clubbing again...sorry!) must ask, why when that was pointed out to her early on, did she not own up to her gaffe but instead dug in her sensible heels and try to wriggle off the hook she'd effectively run through her body and out the back?

Why shore up a clear untruth like that? What would a beltway media insider stand to gain by letting the political party in charge of everything where she plies her trade and probably resides, off so pitifully easy on a story that is all about greed and illegality on their side? Hmmmm? I don't know. I just don't know. But what I do know is that feeble attempts to somehow "balance" a story invariably fail when--guess what? A story actually isn't balanced to begin with. If a Post sportwriter covered a 56-14 blowout of the Redskins at the hands of the Cowboys by summing up the game by saying, "Both the Cowboys and the Redskins scored some points today", he or she'd probably find themselves relegated to covering pick-up games on cracked and sloped Anacostia schoolyards. For the "ombudsman" of the Post to do equivalent reporting on the Abramoff scandal (especially when her job is to cut through the spin--of even her won paper) is so incredibly damaging to the reputation of the paper, it is almost beyond words--but I have a few nonetheless. Further making the situation uglier still is the Post's boulder-fisted handling of the online criticism of Ms. Howell's several gaffes royale. To pull the comments, stoked by her stonewalling and the paper's circling the wagons via Kurtz's "Kreskin" mind-reading of her words reeks of cowardice and simple shame at being called out publicly and roundly on a rather public screw-up.

That may well be the straw that snaps this camel's back insofar as news consumption from your paper. I was already tentative after the silly, pedantic, talking-pointed and ego-laden attempted smackdown of Dan Froomkin's web column. That bothered me verrrrry much--but not as much as the Howell debacle of a few days back. I generally check the Post every day or other day or so, just to pick up on how stories are being reported on in the Beltway--but no more after this. I saw something dark and ugly with the way this whole thing was handled from beginnng to end. It began with a lie, middled out with a lame defense of the lie and pretty much ended when the people being lied to being called barbarians and verbal thugs for immediately and forcefully questioning the lie and it's later "validation".

As a news consumer, I don't appreciate being called names or having aspersions cast upon me because I call (cover those tender National Press Clubbed ears) "bullsh*t" on obvious "bullsh*t". If daring to question the motives, integrity and competence of someone who, in the face of facts, parrots a lie nonetheless, makes me "offensive", "mean-spirited" or "abusive", well then...so be it. Call me that.

But understand that I will call someone who knowingly foists an *ss covering (for themselves and others) lie, a liar and stooge with little effort and plenty of gusto.

And will easily live without your paper's resources--until things change drastically. Until then, there are other news sources galore to reada nd it is those I shall patronize instead.

7:52 PM  
Blogger LowerManhattanite said...

I come at the Post from a reverential angle--my folks were Watergate "heads" if there ever were any. Many a Sunday was spent in my home with my folks and their gaggle of friends sitting at the dining room table during that "Watergate Summer" discussing the details of the burgeoning scandal, and at the ready was always a copy of the Sunday Post, brought by my dad's friend Royall, who drove a big rig home to NYC every early Sunday morn.

They'd rehash the hearings, basically having a proto "McLaughlin Group" in my home, but studiously using that thick Sunday WaPo as the factual bible to go by. The paper and its personalities were effectively lionized in "All The President's Men"--the book and the movie, which presented the news gatherers and their editors as dogged, unstoppable, thruth-seeking divining rods.

Now, I know movies are just movies. Superman doesn't fly. Seventy-foot tall apes aren't trashing my city and an army of robots gone amok do not threaten to enslave us all--yet. But for the love of almighty God, is it possible, remotely possible that the Washington Post of 2006 could have even a scintilla of the fantasy integrity of the 1976 movie version in "ATPM"? It would seem, not.

My fascination with the Post continued long after my parents sparked my interest. I read the Ben Bradlee (and thought "Crowninshield" an incredible middle name) autobiography "A Good Life" and wolfed it down in days, reading of his wartime exploits, his worries about the Watergate reporting--yes, even how his marriages imploded. That's how into the Post I was...to plop down dough to read about its somewhat 'celebrified" editor.

I say all of that to say this: as grossly disappointed as I was in the Post with what I felt was prurient and horse-whipped (by GOP coachmen) reportage during the Clinton presidency and impeachment (which I had the utter misfortune to be in town during and read the paper), and the shoddy as a wet-toilet paper suit reporting during the run-up to the Iraq war, this recent bit of duplicitousness, hubris, and dime-store psycholgy transference in spinning the Jack Abramoff/K Street Project scandal has now finally put me "off" your paper--probably for good.

The lackluster reporting was bad enough, but the buttressing and haughty, canard-stuffed defense of it by Ms. Howell is so far beyond the pale as to be nearly trans-goddamned-parent. For her to initially state a falsehood that had already been debunked (and had to be because it was being repeatedly talked up by those wishing to obfuscate the truth) smacked of one of two things--a.) shoddy fact-gathering and slipshod presentation, or worse, an intentional attempt to spin a raw golden truth into the spun dull-lead of a pre-packaged lie.

Far be it for me to call Ms. Howell a liar. That would be uncivil and caddish--the sort of thing one would do if one was aloofly cussing up a storm at a National Press Club interview a decade ago when that was so au courant. No, instead...I'll err on the side of...well, "error"--namely, that she engaged in shoddy fact-gathering and slipshod presentation. But if I cede that, then I must, I abso-goddamn-lutely (there I go...National Press Clubbing again...sorry!) must ask, why when that was pointed out to her early on, did she not own up to her gaffe but instead dug in her sensible heels and try to wriggle off the hook she'd effectively run through her body and out the back?

Why shore up a clear untruth like that? What would a beltway media insider stand to gain by letting the political party in charge of everything where she plies her trade and probably resides, off so pitifully easy on a story that is all about greed and illegality on their side? Hmmmm? I don't know. I just don't know. But what I do know is that feeble attempts to somehow "balance" a story invariably fail when--guess what? A story actually isn't balanced to begin with. If a Post sportwriter covered a 56-14 blowout of the Redskins at the hands of the Cowboys by summing up the game by saying, "Both the Cowboys and the Redskins scored some points today", he or she'd probably find themselves relegated to covering pick-up games on cracked and sloped Anacostia schoolyards. For the "ombudsman" of the Post to do equivalent reporting on the Abramoff scandal (especially when her job is to cut through the spin--of even her won paper) is so incredibly damaging to the reputation of the paper, it is almost beyond words--but I have a few nonetheless. Further making the situation uglier still is the Post's boulder-fisted handling of the online criticism of Ms. Howell's several gaffes royale. To pull the comments, stoked by her stonewalling and the paper's circling the wagons via Kurtz's "Kreskin" mind-reading of her words reeks of cowardice and simple shame at being called out publicly and roundly on a rather public screw-up.

That may well be the straw that snaps this camel's back insofar as news consumption from your paper. I was already tentative after the silly, pedantic, talking-pointed and ego-laden attempted smackdown of Dan Froomkin's web column. That bothered me verrrrry much--but not as much as the Howell debacle of a few days back. I generally check the Post every day or other day or so, just to pick up on how stories are being reported on in the Beltway--but no more after this. I saw something dark and ugly with the way this whole thing was handled from beginnng to end. It began with a lie, middled out with a lame defense of the lie and pretty much ended when the people being lied to being called barbarians and verbal thugs for immediately and forcefully questioning the lie and it's later "validation".

As a news consumer, I don't appreciate being called names or having aspersions cast upon me because I call (cover those tender National Press Clubbed ears) "bullsh*t" on obvious "bullsh*t". If daring to question the motives, integrity and competence of someone who, in the face of facts, parrots a lie nonetheless, makes me "offensive", "mean-spirited" or "abusive", well then...so be it. Call me that.

But understand that I will call someone who knowingly foists an *ss covering (for themselves and others) lie, a liar and stooge with little effort and plenty of gusto.

And will easily live without your paper's resources--until things change drastically. Until then, there are other news sources galore to reada nd it is those I shall patronize instead.

7:52 PM  
Blogger notjonathon said...

This is a good idea. Will WaPo reporters be sneaking a peek here?

From home, of course, as the site will undoubtedly be blocked at work.

7:52 PM  
Blogger LowerManhattanite said...

And by-the-by, thanks Taylor for giving us this opportunity to speak out.

Best,
LowerManhattanite

7:54 PM  
Anonymous justmy2 said...

The Washington Post political team continues to outdo themselves...

Today in an online chat, Shailagh Murray of the Washington Post made a stunning appraisal of public opinion that seemingly contradicted everything I have recently heard...

Mouth of Wilson, Va.: Why has there not been one word mentioned in your paper or any major media outlet about the basement hearing convened by John Conyers on Friday?

Shailagh Murray: ...This issue is a problem for Democrats because you're right, it could seriously damage Bush --but it polls so terribly!


At least that is what Shailagh heard from his RNC sources last week, so why not just throw it out there and see if it sticks...

Except for this little issue...

A new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll shows that 51% of Americans say the administration was wrong to intercept conversations without a warrant. The poll also showed that 58% of Americans support appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the issue. The poll of 1,006 adults was taken Friday through Sunday and has a margin of error of +/--3 percentage points.

Ruh Roh Raggy...

Cross posted here....

7:54 PM  
Blogger ch2 said...

Hell yeah,
I wrote a post about this a while ago, when John Harris attacked Dan Froomkin.

http://coldmojito.blogspot.com/2005/12/turning-point.html

We have passed a turning point. Some shit will not be taken anymore. Thank you for setting this blog up.

8:12 PM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

Hi, again, Jane, and Hi to you, Taylor. It's JP from Firedoglake. Throwing a link up on my place now. You know, there's an old saying aboiut one hand washing the other.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Jeany said...

Sam Seder of Air America Radio's Majority Report interviewed Jim Brady of The Washington Post Online this evening about the Howell flap and the WaPo's reporting about Abramoff generally. He stonewalled, defended the Post's reporting although he couldn't personally stand over it since he's just the online editor. You can download the audio archive and hear it for yourself if you can stand that level of BS. The interview is in the second 40 minute "hour" (minus commercials) of the show.

8:18 PM  
Blogger pippen said...

I don't believe that Ms. Howell is some frail flower who needs to be protected by her male colleagues (Gentleman Jim Brady and Handsome Howie Kurtz) from those mean, nasty commenters.

She's been a newspaperwoman for decades. I bet you she's even heard a couple dirty words from her reporter colleagues-- or have newsrooms banned cussing along with smoking?

My mother-in-law was a city editor for a small-town daily, and she used to get death threats whenever she did her anti-hunting editorials. Oh, and those threats came in through good old-fashioned snailmail. You know what she did? She displayed them at the front counter so everyone who came in to pay their subscription bill could see the threats and who sent them. Did she get all faint and whimpery? Are you kidding? She was a newspaperwoman. She was made of tougher stuff-- and so is Ms. Howell, so you might do well to ask why she has gone on and on about how scary this is. You think she doth protest too much?

I think Ms. Howell is just trying to distract us from the reality of her mistake. Her "restatement" or whatever her non-correction was only further muddied the issue. I don't think that Washington Post readers can find the truth about Abramoff in that newspaper anymore-- the reporters and editors and columnists are trying so hard to defend the ombudsman that they're doing violence to the truth.

Hey! No dirty words! Not one! Does this mean I get noticed by the Post... or does it mean I get ignored?

8:29 PM  
Anonymous InciteToImpeach said...

So, Debbie now says she'll continue to express her opinions.

Psst....Deb. You are an Ombudsman, not an opinion columnist. You know what an ombudsman is supposed to do? Address reader complaints and issues. Sure, some opinion is gonna creep in there, somewhere; that's inevitable. But that's not your primary job.

Had you understood that basic fact, the statement that Abramoff contributed to both parties would not have crept into your Sunday column, and none of this would have happened. In an effort to be "fair and balanced" you decided to trash Democrats along with Republicans, per the RNC memo.

If you'd rather be an opinion columnist, I'm sure there's an opening, somewhere. You cite "50 years of journalistic experience" so I'm sure someone would hire you.

BTW, please stop clutching your pearls. It's not about you. You are unimportant.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous buddhistMonkey said...

At this point, with Howell as ombudsman, what exactly differentiates the Washington Post from the Washington Times? Font size? If Howell and Brady had been in charge during the Nixon years, I suspect we would have heard all about how BOTH parties were at fault for the Watergate break-in. After all, if the Democratic National Committee hadn't been headquartered there...

8:33 PM  
Anonymous sunny said...

Thanks for this blog!

I'm as mad as hell, and I ain't in the mood to take it anymore.

8:58 PM  
Blogger radlib1 said...

"HECKUVA JOB, DEBBIE"

An Open Letter to the Editors of The Washington Post --


"L'affaire Debbie Howell" represents a serious problem at the Washington Post -- not with its readers.

Deborah Howell printed blatant falsehoods in your paper. Jack Abramoff never gave one red cent to Democrats or to the Democratic Party.

To pretend, to insinuate, to print anything contrary to that true fact is to fabricate, to prevaricate, and to do steno-spin for the Bush Administration and the Republican Party.

Howie Kurtz, Jim Brady, and now Jim VandeHei are doing cover-up for Deborah Howell's partisan and demonstrably false words printed in your paper. Ms. Howell's and the Post's defensiveness and hubristic arrogance in this matter are astounding.

I suppose this shouldn't be surprising since the Washington Post has been a cheerleader for Bush's War on Iraq since it was begun -- on demonstrably faulty and "twisted" intelligence and deliberate and false insinuations that Saddam was somehow connected to 9/11.

This "Howell-Abramoff" matter is a much smaller arena for fertilizing and fomenting false information, but it is indicative of the Post's attitude (since the halcyon days of Katharine Graham and Watergate) about telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth in your paper.

Bristling defensively, rationalizing away the blatant falsehoods propagated by Ms. Howell, and then shutting down a website because a few people have uncivilly cursed her is a rather jejune response to criticism, don't you think? Besides, most of the criticism seems to me to be valid, even if some of it was "inartfully worded" -- as Howie Kurtz described Ms. Howell's reporting.

And after all, you people are supposed to be the "grown-ups" here, the "adults" with access to the arcane knowledge of the world inside the Beltway, aren't you? Now, because someone in the stands calls a member of your team bad names, you're going to pick up your ball and go home to Mommy?

Sorry, but to me it sounds like a storyline out of Peanuts, not the Washington Post.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous neurophius said...

Washington Post, if you still just don't get it about the "Abramoff gave money to Democrats" [not]flap, please read my post below in the comments under "An Open Letter." My computer and Bill Gates won't let me repeat them here.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous dreaminginthedeepsouth said...

Over 50% of the citizens of this country have no voice, and no representation. Liberal, progressives, independants, by their nature, and by the mores of this country are willing to hear another point of view, to reason together with those who's opinions we do not share. We have put up with a lot from the DC Media. This flat is a "last straw" -- in that it isn't disagreement with an editorial , or an op ed columnist or the usual. This is the dang OMBUDSMAN giving the finger and the bum's rush to the very people she , in some alternate universe, is there to serve. We have gone through the looking glass. Cripes, how many people vote in this country? How many of that small group elected these people who are behaving as though God descended from heaven, crowned them, and said, "Burn the rest." Enough. When will the advertisers who buy valuable ad space in newspapers and on TV realize how many of us are not watching AT ALL -- not as an organized boycott : We simply are tired of being assaulted and insulted. I am not going to watch shows, and read newspapers that are lying to me, when I can go online,and read the international press, go to google, go to lexus/nexus , and fact check them in a matter of minutes. Honestly, what gives? Does the Ombuds-woman realize how terrible terribly insulting she is being? Does she have any clue? Does the WaPo? I am in outrage overload. Sorrreee. And now, I return to my padded room.

9:46 PM  
Blogger moioci said...

I'm still deeply concerned that Ms. Howell views attempts to correct the record as "attacks," when there's no ad hominem component, no name-calling, and the essence of the attack is this:

In defending Linzer and calling Media Matters' complaint "weak," Howell did endorse the printing of misleading statements without rebuttal -- regardless of whether that's what she said she was doing.

Only a partisan could see this as an attack, IMHO.

10:28 PM  
Blogger pseudonymous in NC said...

She's been a newspaperwoman for decades. I bet you she's even heard a couple dirty words from her reporter colleagues-- or have newsrooms banned cussing along with smoking?

The air in newsrooms is famously salty, and Howell's own interviews shows that, well, she talks like an editor.

10:54 PM  
Blogger skippy said...

i've seen most of the comments on mirrored sites this past week.

none of them were particularly vitrolic, but they were all passionate and some very angry.

absolutely none of them approached the pure hatred found on lgf or freeperville.

in fact, most of them rose (sank?) to the level of what you could read on any op-ed page in the country, including the washpost.

and quite a few were far more clever (my favorite: gilligan, the skipper and mary ann are voting deb off the island).

it's obvious the washpost didn't like their obsfucated miasma of vague innuendoes dissected into truth and lies, for all to see what fell where.

and the thing i love about blogtopia (aside from the fact that yes! i coined that phrase!) is the ability to write phrases like "obsfucated miasma of vague innuendoes" as if i knew what it meant.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

who would have thought that we would need an ombudsman for the ombudsman? The WaahPoo is certainly a different paper from 30 years ago.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Washington Post is a disgrace. I grew up in DC and I can tell you, it was a different paper when I lived there. With hacks like Susan Schmidt, who had such an obsession with Clinton's zipper, the paper is just lost. It's getting to the point where the SF Chronicle is better than either WaPo or the Gray Lady. You know things are bad when it takes George Clooney, an actor, to tell it like it is (I'm referring to his remarks about Jack Abramoff at the Golden Globes). Though your efforts to challenge the Matthews and Russerts of the world and the WaPo are admirable, I fear this battle is already lost. It is a shame is what it is.

Joanne
Santa Barbara CA

8:34 AM  
Blogger Dont_Feed_The_Meter said...

Clearly there is an agenda being served at WaPo that has little to do with providing the public something loosely resembling journalism and reporting - well - except for the have mores...
Realistically this is more than us vs. them, or the search for truth. It is a moment in the paradigm shift of how content and consumer interact.
Apparently the Post hopes that if it ignores its audience and belittles those who watch this will all go away quietly. But try as they might, the dinosaurs cannot undo the meteor or cover the crater.
Plainly, criticism and comments are reserved for club members, and the great un-washed need not bother to apply...unless they will play verbal volleyball from the right perspective.

Put succinctly, as my gran would always do, "when you're dealing with liars you might as well get a bucket, because all that comes out of their mouths is just
CRAP."

9:40 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

We don't know the content, and that some of the commentary was vicious or profane is only a talking point. What really flayed Howell were the hundreds of hard but fair observations on her ineptitude.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Taylor Marsh said...

Hmmm... "obsfucated miasma of vague innuendoes," wonder if Ms. Howell could figure that one out? I'll write her... OOPS. That's right, I can't, at least not in an online forum where comments can be shared and read by everyone.

Great input from everyone... er... what was it Bill O'Reilly called us? Oh, yeah, "organzied terrorists."

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