Wash Post Brawling Over “Liberal” Columnist
Looks like the Washington Post is having an internal struggle.
NEW YORK After two days of controversy, several newsroom staffers at The Washington Post, including Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., said today they do not object to online columnist Dan Froomkin’s “White House Briefing,” which has sparked a debate over its title and its alleged liberal content. But they contend that it should be clearly labeled an opinion column and urged Web editors to change the name.
“We want to make sure people in the [Bush] administration know that our news coverage by White House reporters is separate from what appears in Froomkin’s column because it contains opinion,” Downie told E&P. “And that readers of the Web site understand that, too.”
Washingtonpost.com Executive Editor Jim Brady said he does not plan to change the name, claiming it has not caused the misinterpretations that some believe it has. “The column has been on the site for two years and that is not something we have heard,” Brady said about concerns. “The column is extremely popular and it is not going anywhere.” When asked if a name change might occur in the future, Brady said it is possible, but “I have no odds on it.”
Downie, who does not have oversight of the Web site, had said he would leave the decision up to Brady.
So, does anybody think this will hurt the Wash Post‘s credibility or drive up the hits to Froomkin’s column? My money is on the latter, especially considering there’s an open debate on this.
When people spar open and honestly, I think people respect that. I know I do. We’ll see if that opinion holds true.
By the way, I think Froomkin should rename his column to better reflect its opinionated nature.