You may have heard that Bob Woodward, whom somebody told 40 years ago that there were cads in the Nixon Administration, has announced that the Washington Post has assigned twenty reporters full time duty to dig into every aspect of Donald Trump’s life. That is now…..this was then (8 years ago, not 40):
An Obama Tilt in Campaign Coverage
By Deborah Howell
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.
Deborah Howell was the Post’s ombudsman in 2008. Soon after this article was written, she resigned on principle, as she could not in good faith give a credible accounting to the Post’s readers of the rationale behind the Post’s editorial decisions. And, again from Howell’s article, here is the rationale for the Obama decisions, as provided by the political editor himself:
Bill Hamilton, assistant managing editor for politics, said, “There are a lot of things I wish we’d been able to do in covering this campaign, but we had to make choices about what we felt we were uniquely able to provide our audiences both in Washington and on the Web. I don’t at all discount the importance of issues, but we had a larger purpose, to convey and explain a campaign that our own David Broder described as the most exciting he has ever covered, a narrative that unfolded until the very end. I think our staff rose to the occasion.”
Barack Obama’s campaign so excited the Washington Post that they couldn’t be bothered to delve into the issues, they had to convey the “narrative” of the campaign. But it wasn’t just the “issues” that they couldn’t be bothered to delve into. As Ms. Howell wrote:
But Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama’s acknowledged drug use as a teenager.
Of course we now know that there were many more “relationships” than just the one with Tony Rezko that needed covering back then, as well as much more factual data on the man’s record in all his undertakings. The revelations about the Washington Post’s approach to the election of 2008 were stunning. And of course early in the Obama Administration, we learned of the existence of the infamous “JournOlist”, a cabal of leftist writers dedicated to protecting Obama and guaranteeing his election however unscrupulously they had to do so. Oh, and by the way, the JournOlist’s chief architect, Ezra Klein, was a columnist for the Washington Post.
When asked about Woodward’s announcement in an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump explained that the Washington Post is now owned by Jeff Bezos, who is the CEO of Amazon. He surmised that Mr. Bezos might just be worried about a possible anti-trust investigation into his mega-company after a change of administrations and hinted that Bezos might be attempting to dig up as much dirt as possible, even to the point of creating scandals out of whole cloth, in an attempt to insure himself against such a probe.
Outlandish statements by Trump? Insulting? Slanderous? Yes, this is now, but remember when that was then. The Washington Post an honorable journalistic institution? You make the call.