The Corner

Post Vs. Politico

The Post vs Politico

The rivalry between Politico and the Washington Post seems to have heated up a bit recently.

A few weeks ago, Politico gleefully ran a piece on Dave Kindred’s Morning Miracle: Inside the Washington Post – A Great Newspaper Fights for its Life.  The piece’s author, On Media blogger Keach Hagey, seemed disappointed that there were “no shocking exposes in Dave Kindred’s heartsick paean,” but was all too happy to recount some of the “shocking battle scenes,” as well as the sequence in which Don Graham ancient khakis split open on the golf course.

Hagey also noted, a bit huffily, that Kindred gave Politico short shrift in the book, saying:

“The book’s sole mention of POLITICO — founded by ex-Posties in 2007, in the midst of the storm the book chronicles — is the acknowledgment that it broke the story of the Post’s plan to offer off-the-record salons with its reporters for a price tag of anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000.”

On Monday, the Post tried to get some revenge over the salon story by running a Howie Kurtz item on Politico’s morning briefing cash cows, on topics like finance, technology, and health care (shout out to Politico’s Pulse – an invaluable morning health care read).  Kurtz acknowledged that “[t]here is no evidence that the gas industry’s support has affected the energy digest.” But he got a little huffy as well, writing that “just as when The Washington Post was considering the awful idea of having sole sponsors underwrite off-the-record policy dinners last year, a single advertiser can create an appearance problem.”

Politico’s Hagey, who was clearly aware of the Kurtz item as he mentioned it on his blogresponded by hitting the Post where it hurts, attacking its Pulitzer-bait series about the national security establishment.  Hagey pointed out that the Post series was co-authored by one William Arkin, who has done “stints at Greenpeace International and Human Rights Watch – activist associations that might not pass the classic standard of journalistic objectivity.”  Hagey also noted that the Post is under fire on the objectivity front recently over the Dave Weigel incident.

I‘m not sure if conservatives should have a dog in this fight, but it is fun to watch, and always helpful to get additional insight into the goings on at both papers.  

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide.

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