WaPo reporter dismisses "silly" questions about paper's balance

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Yesterday, the Washinton Post opinion page "asked members of Congress and others whether federal budget earmarks are defensible" -- but all three members of Congress were Republicans. As Media Matters noted, "The Post's omission of contributions by Democratic lawmakers is consistent with a pattern Media Matters for America has identified in the media of portraying earmarks as a practice unique to Democrats."

During an online discussion today, Post reporter Ed O'Keefe was asked about the Post printing the opinions of Republicans, and Republicans alone -- and dismissed the question as "silly":

Skewed Opinions?: Are you ever embarrassed by the Post's Opinion pages, since they so regularly skew to the right?

On Sunday the Post "asked members of Congress and others whether federal budget earmarks are defensible." The three members of Congress whose responses were listed -- Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) -- are all Republicans; no Democratic members of Congress were quoted. The Post's omission of contributions by Democratic lawmakers is consistent with a pattern I've been noting in the media of portraying earmarks as a practice unique to Democrats. What's your take on this, Ed?

Ed O'Keefe: My take is I have no take on this.

The Opinion and news sections are kept separate at The Post. I have no input or idea what they're working on, and vice versa. And even if I did have an opinion, I wouldn't share it.

There've been several silly questions like this today, and this one's the most tame. Folks, save it.

What's silly is the idea that O'Keefe is incapable of having an opinion about what the Post's Opinion section does, and that he would so blithely dismiss a reader's valid question.

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