Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER
So, the Washington Post accepted David Weigel's resignation, apparently because he -- like every other reporter -- has personal views about some of the people he covers. From Post media critic Howard Kurtz's write-up of the resignation:
"Dave did excellent work for us," Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said. But, he said, "we can't have any tolerance for the perception that people are conflicted or bring a bias to their work. . . . There's abundant room on our Web site for a wide range of viewpoints, and we should be transparent about everybody's viewpoint."
It probably won't come as much of a surprise that this is not a standard the Post consistently applies. (After all, Brauchli's statement that the Post cannot tolerate a perception of conflict appears in an article written by Howard Kurtz, whose dual roles as Washington Post media critic and highly-paid CNN anchor pose the greatest conflict of interest in all of journalism.)
Jonathan Schwartz reminds us that during a 1999 Democratic presidential primary debate, the media was actively rooting against Al Gore. Time's Eric Pooley has written that during the debate, the reporters in the press room responded to Gore "in a collective jeer, like a gang of 15-year-old Heathers cutting down some hapless nerd." Jake Tapper has written that during the debate "there was hissing for Gore in the media room up at Dartmouth College. The reporters were hissing Gore." And Howard Mortman said: "The media groaned, howled and laughed almost every time Al Gore said something."
Now, I don't know if Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly, whose snarky, error-filled and at times downright nasty coverage of Gore's presidential campaign has been extensively documented, was in the press room during that debate. I do know that her byline appears on a Washington Post article previewing the debate, with a New Hampshire dateline.
So, given that the Washington Post just got rid of David Weigel because his private criticism of conservatives like Pat Buchanan creates the "perception" that he "bring[s] a bias to [his] work," I can't help wondering: Was Ceci Connolly among those reporters who reportedly jeered and hissed Al Gore in 1999? Were any other Washington Post reporters?