Friday, January 20, 2006

A Few More Comments From the WaPo Blog

So that you can decide for yourself if the commenters engaged in personal attacks and hate speech. Some did, sure, just as some do in my comments. But did enough people do so to justify taking down the whole thread? See the post after the next one for more explanation about this.

Here is a chunk, randomly chosen, from the thread:

Posted by: John Casper | Jan 15, 2006 11:20:44 PM | Permalink

The Post should be ashamed and issue a very prominent retraction for the charge that Abramoff contributed to Dems.

Posted by: Upper West | Jan 15, 2006 11:23:21 PM | Permalink

While disappointed with the Post's support of an obviously corrupt Presidency and Republic Party, may I say that I am proud of your readers?

Perhaps you should listen to them.

Posted by: Concerned Reader | Jan 15, 2006 11:24:08 PM | Permalink

Toward a Genealogy of Contemporary Propaganda

"It must be forbidden to publish papers which do not conduce to the national welfare."
From the Program of the National Socialist German Workers Party, 1920

I guess the WaPo (like the rest of the "mainstream media") got the updated, Bushist memo …

Sieg heel! (like a dog)

Payola, planted stories, "talking points," "access," "unnamed officials," "double super secret background,"
"fair and balanced," outright fabrication: so much press corruption, so little ink.

Posted by: Eddie Murrow | Jan 15, 2006 11:25:52 PM | Permalink

Come on, people. Are you really suprised by this? Newspapers have been slipping away for decades. We are now witnessing the fall of the few remaining heavyweights. Shitty business + bottom line thinking = easily corruptible hacks. The good news is that no one listens to these people anymore.

Who thought blogs would soon exceed newspapers in terms of credibility?

Posted by: Arthur Davis | Jan 15, 2006 11:28:59 PM | Permalink

Deborah, I am so impressed with your stellar fact finding. Hey, maybe for your next article you could delve into that mystery about Soylent Green. People? Or just Democrats?

Posted by: another deb | Jan 15, 2006 11:30:03 PM | Permalink

"Seriously, Deborah Howell needs to quit and just work for her republican paymasters instead of trying to pass herself off as a journalist. Democrats took money from Jack Abramoff? Where would the proof of that be exactly Deborah? Democrats took money from Indian tribes, which last I checked is hardly illegal"

My thoughts exactly.
If the WP is going to print the Lies fed to their "Journalists" (and I use the term in an entirely sarcastic manner) without checking the most basic facts of the story, then perhaps sacking the overpaid likes of Deborah Howell and employing a stenographer would be the ideal solution.
Deborah could then get the job in the Republican Party HQ she has alway's aspired to and the WP could just print the handouts from the GOP (minus grammatical and spelling mistakes) and pass them off as "News" to all their readers.

Posted by: Wess | Jan 15, 2006 11:31:05 PM | Permalink

Howell is going down Judy Miller Boulevard, not a pleasant road in the end. As we recall, Judy dealt a serious blow to the integrity and credibility of the NYT. Yet they kept her on, long after they should have loudly and publicly dumped her. Now we have WaPo and Howell, a lying ringer for Judy. How long will WaPo hold onto her as she does serious damage to the integrity and credibility of the paper? Will they keep defending the indefensible? Take umbrage at the "evil lefties" who are "out to get her"? The Abramoff matter is about facts. She needs to be fired. Do it quietly or do it loudly (preferred), but for god's sake do it! Act like any boss should when faced with an employee who is not only incompetent and a liar, but whose actions are seriously damaging your newspaper.

Posted by: Gary Morris | Jan 15, 2006 11:31:31 PM | Permalink

PS I think Arthur Davis is exactly right when he says we're witnessing the downfall of Big Media, thanks to the freedom (in every sense) of the Internet and their own consistently unethical, delusional, unpatriotic, and generally godawful behavior. Thanks for saying it so well, Arthur!

Posted by: Gary Morris | Jan 15, 2006 11:34:42 PM | Permalink

I am cancelling my online subscription. Not a big deal, but just a note to indicate that I have no interest in wasting my time with any publication that employs slobs and hacks like Deborah Howell.

RNC bootlickers are a dime a dozen these days - take comfort in numbers.

How far you have fallen. Sad indeed.

Posted by: Coloradoan | Jan 15, 2006 11:35:40 PM | Permalink

I have been quite dissappointed with WaPo's egregious violations of journalistic integrity.

I still haven't gotten over the way Dana Milbank treated John Conyers. This Deborah Howell is more of the same, but she seems even more loyal to Bush than Milbank was for so long.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with the media's complicity with Bush's treason and war crimes.

I've never felt this way about American media and government before in my life and I'm not alone. There will be hell to pay.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 15, 2006 11:39:20 PM | Permalink

Please provide proof that Abramoff gave money to Democrats, any Democrats, much less many. Otherwise, please fire Ms. Howell.

Posted by: drinkof | Jan 15, 2006 11:42:43 PM | Permalink

Maybe some of your liberal / progressive ADVERTISERS will feel the same way about the direction you're going with the GOP shilling? Maybe angry readers translate into angry consumers?

Posted by: consider this... | Jan 15, 2006 11:46:20 PM | Permalink

Ms. Howell:

Don't you think you owe us--the readers, your supposed clients--a public response? Why does everyone else at the Post come out from behind their bylines and you never have? Afraid of a little "Post On-Line Chat?" The NY Times ombudsman--who, by the way, puts you to shame--keeps a public weblog.

No doubt you will write these comments off as somehow orchestrated. You would be wrong. These posts are driven by genuine outrage over your abject incompetence and partisanship, and we won't stop until we have gotten some answers and some results.


A Washington Post Soon-To-Be-Former Subscriber

Posted by: Daisy | Jan 15, 2006 11:47:18 PM | Permalink

I'll add my name to the list of those who have found the recent turn of events at the Post disheartening. Deborah Howell is just the latest outrage.

It's ironic that the "old" print media is attacking the bloggers for a lack of integrity, and yet here is another example of how the once venerable news organizations are continually failing to live up to any real standards of reporting while they claim that only the traditional media can provide these standards.

The future is coming, and it doesn't look good for organziations like the Post if they can do nothing but act as stenographers and mouthpieces for those in power.

Posted by: Andrew Mayer | Jan 15, 2006 11:49:46 PM | Permalink

I anxiously await the WaPo's sarcastic and dismissive remarks to the numerous letters it has received pointing out, once again, deceptive practices the newspaper's employees have engaged in. I'm sure those of us who inform the WaPo that we are aware of Deborah Howell's misrepresentaions and her astounding lack of basic journalistic fact checking will be scoffed at and derided as members of the 'lefty blogosphere' by your editorial staff. After all, people who catch you disseminating blatant disinformation and who demand you correct this nonsense about the Abramoff affair being 'bipartisan' must be loonies, no?

Posted by: B Thwaithe | Jan 15, 2006 11:49:54 PM | Permalink

Deborah Howell is grossly incompetent.

Jack Abramoff did NOT make substantial campaign contributions to both major parties. In fact, he made ZERO contributions to Democrats.

Ms. Howell's job as Ombudsman is to make sure that the Post adheres to the basic
principles of sound journalism. She cannot do her job without conducting basic research--obviously in this instance she did not.

If Deborah Howell is incapable of doing her job, she should quit and go to work for the GOP spin machine. After all, they are the ones--not the Post, its subcribers and advertisers--who should be paying for her efforts on behalf of the GOP.

Posted by: John | Jan 15, 2006 11:53:47 PM | Permalink

Deborah Howl, and I do mean Howl, is as incompetant at her job as the Bush administration is at its job.

There is no evidence that any Democrat accepted campaign contributions from Abramoff. Whis is this fact so difficult to comprehend. Some people gave money to Democrats who also happened to hire Abramoff as a lobbiest. This is not a crime. It is not unethical.

Any attempt to portray the Democrats as in the same boat as the Republicans with Abramoff is a damnable lie, and the Repugnican motivation to do this is obvious to anyone who is not retarded.

Deborah Howl should go on the payroll of the REpugnican Party, she is such a good shill for their sneaky talking points. Unless she already is on the take from the Republicans, which would explain her lack of due diligence with respect to the known facts.

Posted by: c4logic | Jan 15, 2006 11:54:33 PM | Permalink

I am completely appalled by the writings of Ms. Howell. I'd suggest finding a new line of work, you know, one that doesn't involve thinking.

Posted by: Caroline Jones | Jan 15, 2006 11:54:38 PM | Permalink

Dear Washington Post Editors and Reporters,

When you're once again bemoaning the decline in readership and the rise of certain blogs, please read Howell's Sunday column. It will provide you with the answer.


Posted by: Mimi | Jan 15, 2006 11:56:19 PM | Permalink

You know it's bad when a newspaper needs to get an ombudsman to oversee its ombudsman. The folks who have commented in this blog are part of Howell's audience, and she needs to do her job and address the many legitimate concerns expressed here. I hope her bosses are reading the comments.

Posted by: pdaku | Jan 15, 2006 11:57:03 PM | Permalink

Is your ombudsman on the Abramoff take? There is certainly enough evidence to warrant a serious investigation. Given the editorial endorsing Alito, perhaps you will need to outsource the investigation.

Posted by: Jim White | Jan 15, 2006 11:57:21 PM | Permalink

Ms Howell:
What part of the Republican slush fund/money laundering system don't you understand ? This is just a modern rendition of the old grease the machine with ill gotten gains laundered through faux faith based charities and other fake nonprofits. It was and is a system invented by, run by, and run for the benefit of Republicans - and its center of power runs through the Rove/Nordquist axis.
Your reporting on this outrage looks more like a steno job done to assist the Repubican machine than real reporting/journalism.

Posted by: stephen Conover | Jan 15, 2006 11:57:52 PM | Permalink

There is no polite way to state this. Deborah Howell has demonstrated, through her outrageous reckless disregard for the truth with respect to Abramoff and the Democrats, that she is nothing but a whore.

Posted by: Hologlyph | Jan 15, 2006 11:58:16 PM | Permalink

One (or many) can only speculate why such an easily researched fact was reported in error by Ms. Howell. Most anybody with a pulse knows the facts about Ambramoff contributions, yet Ms. Howell seems intent on adopting the RNC's talking points as fact for her column.

Public Editor? How about a Public Editor for the Public Editor? I sincerely hope the Post is working on a correction tonight.

Posted by: Herbie | Jan 15, 2006 11:59:26 PM | Permalink

The Washington Post has been so contemptuous of bloggers and yet, it appears that blogs are the only place to get reliable news these days. When once great news organizations become shills and apologists, it occurs to me that you are just a bunch of dinosaurs that are too stupid to crawl into the nearest tar pit. Deborah Howell has just hastened your demise. Bye bye!

Posted by: MargaretPOA | Jan 16, 2006 12:02:09 AM | Permalink

Show us the evidence Ms. Howell. Where is the evidence to back your accusations up please ?

I have the thread copied up to 3 a.m. on the sixteenth, and it went on for another day or so. But even my file would be 118 pages long. So I have to be selective, but I have deleted or altered nothing in the time chunk I posted.