July 3, 2009

"The real story has as much to do with journalistic irrelevance as journalistic integrity."

Roger Kimball on WaPo's Pimpsalongate.

I made up "Pimpsalongate." It's just a placeholder coinage. Help me out here!

IN THE COMMENTS: Curtiss has "All the President's Pimps."


Allen said...


"Gate" is WAY over-used, and is often just a way of saying "Aren't we being quaintly ironic? Doesn't this name tell you that THIS outrage is nothing like what Nixon was getting away with?"

traditionalguy said...


Curtiss said...

"Follow the paper money."

ricpic said...

Salongate? Powerplayergate? Networkingate?

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Perhaps Salono'money.

Fred4Pres said...

I am shocked the WaPo would sell its integrity.

Curtiss said...

All the President's Pimps.

AJ Lynch said...

The major newspapers have put themselves at the beck and call of big PR firms especially political PR firms. These PR firms are very profitable.

Companies like Fenton Communications make millions for their shareholders. One of their key services is organizing PR campaigns to get out a political party's latest bullcrap.

It was inevitable that newspapers would ask themselves:

"We are losing boatloads of money so why are we shoveling the party shit for free for deep-pocketed groups like like Fenton or Pew or Heritage Foundation?"

This is what businesses do when they are struggling to survive.

john said...


Since yesterday morning Excitable Andy featured Sarah Palin eleven times.

The Wapo salongate? Nonce.

Andy's Palin also trumps Honduras, Cap/Trade, and Healthcare; everything except Iran elections. What's important? Just ask Andy.

Bob Sacamano said...

Requisite lefty commenter comment:

This kind of thing happened all of the time under ChimpyMcHitler and none of you wing-nuts said anything. Hypocrites!

Richard Fagin said...

May the Post follow The New York Times into financial bankruptcy. They were in ethical, professional and moral bankruptcy many years ago.

Roger J. said...

Whores of the highest order wrapping themselves in the great freedom of the press schtick--fortunately for them the story breaks on the day before a long weekend and will killed by Monday.

And where are our lefties to discuss this? Bush didnt do it, so that doesnt fly--although I am sure they will trot it out--Apparently the DNC/Obama agitprop machine hasnt issued its marching orders yet

SteveR said...

Sorry, after I read this,

“i heard joe biden tried to pay the Post $25k to have access to the obama administration”

I lost my train of thought. If it comes back, I'll revisit the quest for a good name.

William said...

Post-it press.

AllenS said...

Another definition of Pay As You Go.

Randy said...

"-gate" is beyond trite. It was already so overused as to be meaningless about two decades ago. I imagine for many people, just seeing the appendage causes the eyes to glaze over and a search for a story that is actually interesting. It's continued use can probably be attributed to a generation of baby boomer Woodward & Bernstein wannabes and the still dominant baby boomer cultural elite which remains emotionally scarred by the Nixon years.

Lem said...


Wapo is so in tune, in league, joined at the hip with Obama you cant tell the apart.

With a number of tax cheats in Obamas cabinet and the Obama car running venture Wapo is just playing catchup.

I wander what the Wapo line was about Abramoff. Remember Jack Abramoff?

Freeman Hunt said...

They should have a banner over the entrance to the meeting room:

"Welcome to the Post's First Annual Pay for Play with the Politburo"

Theo Boehm said...

If you read Sir Archy in these comments, it seems that one of his themes is how things haven't changed or improved that much since the 18th century.

That's certainly true for newspapers. Dr. Johnson's quote from the "Idler" No. 30 from 1758 is hard to improve upon. Speaking of pieces in the papers of his day, he writes,

To these compositions is required neither genius nor knowledge, neither industry nor sprightliness; but contempt of shame and indifference to truth are absolutely necessary. He who by a long familiarity with infamy has obtained these qualities, may confidently tell to-day what he intends to contradict to-morrow; he may affirm fearlessly what he knows that he shall be obliged to recant, and may write letters from Amsterdam or Dresden to himself.

"Contempt of shame," and "indifference to truth" were the principal qualities of news-scribblers in 1758. It's refreshing to see that, in this at least, our Western Civilization has preserved something intact from our fast-disappearing traditional past.

EDH said...

We’re not going to do any dinners that would impugn the integrity of the newsroom.

Sounds like a couple of very important qualifiers on the extent of the Post's virtue.

Lem said...


The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is a program of the United States government to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions in order to strengthen its financial sector. It is the largest component of the government's measures in 2008 to address the subprime mortgage crisis.

Lem said...

After it rains, do you always need to cancel a baseball game because the field has become unplayable? One way to protect a baseball field is with a heavy-duty polyethylene, or poly, tarp. A baseball field tarp will provide year-round coverage for grass, dirt, and sod against wind, water, and UV rays.

NKVD said...

I am sure that Woodward and Bernstein are turning over in their graves.

Lem said...

The WAPOTARP will provide year-round coverage.

holdfast said...

"Me ruv you rong-time missa robbyist"

AJ Lynch said...

This is a huge admission for the MSM. They finally realize they have to begin charging the Dems to print their propaganda.

Every time Governor Rendell sends a press release to the Philly Inquirer, the Inquirer will print it word for word and send a bill to the governor.

It's win-win for the paper and its readers. Not so win-win for the Governor and the Dems who used to get this service gratis.

jayne_cobb said...

-Washington Host?
-Weymouth's House of ill repute?
-15th St. walkers?

Sorry but that's all I got.

Fred4Pres said...

The Best Little Whorerag In DC

Fred4Pres said...

The winner has to be: "Me ruv you rong-time missa robbyist"

Lem said...


Not if Scalia has anything to do with it ;)

Lem said...

The Best Little Whorerag In DC.

So last century.

Lem said...

Your search - "wapotarp" - did not match any documents.


•Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
•Try different keywords.
•Try more general keywords

Ok, so even google says I stink ;)

Lem said...


"Follow the paper money."

Salongate? Powerplayergate? Networkingate?

Too long - you want one word.

This post has been removed by the author.

I like that one ;) but again it should really be one word.

AlgonquinS said...

Washington Post Advertisement:

News to print...$25,000
More better news...$50,000
Totally more better news...$100,000
Give us an idea, and our whole newsroom will make something up...$250,000

AJ Lynch said...

"Miss Kitty's Best Little Whorehouse On The Potomac".

Katherine Weymouth

Lem said...

Wapotarp is good in so many levels (to use an Althouse refrain ;)

Before the current trend of old fashion baseball parks that started with the Orioles Camden Yards most new stadiums were built with a rug sometimes called 'astro turf' (after Huston's Astros Astrodome)

One of the most notable features of Astroturf was that the ball once hit would get you a lot quicker.

Isn't the most notable feature of a news story for time inmemorial "you heard it here first"?

traditionalguy said...

"Rats-leaving-a-sinking-ship-Gate", because it appears that the WAPO staff does not want to end up with a Social Securty that's affordable and a health care lite services free 6 months after a need arises. They are in panic because they see what is really going on in DC in the "un-read" and un-reported Porkulus and proposed Single payer plan. Who can blame them. It is a little like insider trading since we chumps are left waiting for their reports on government news that they are supressing while selling out for cash in a panic.

Christy said...

Are we distressed that the WaPo was selling access to policy makers or are we distressed that the WaPo is so intimate with the Obama and Pelosi administration that they could broker such access? My heart breaks. I'd held the WaPo so above the NYT.

Lem said...


Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research

Call this "the case for coining Wapoturf"

Lem said...

I have 'Wapotarp' and 'Wapoturf'

I'll take either one ;)

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm distressed that policymakers would be party to brokering such access. I'm distressed that we don't run them out on rails for it. I'm distressed that we have become so brazenly Statist. Yikes!

Lem said...

With 'turf' you loose the Obama tarp angle of running things behind the scenes.

But turf is more granular, easier to reference and it was alluded to in the flyer by the term Washington.

It is the Washington post.

Wapoturf implies that they are conected to the players.

I'm leaning Wapoturf.

Ralph L said...


Actually, I agree with Randy, -gate is trite.

What lobbyist would be stupid enough to want to meet government officials in the presence of reporters? Does the WaPo think they're that desperate?
Maybe conservative lobbyists are, and would pay.

Lem said...

Results for: "wapoturf"

Did you mean: "waturf"

Google endorses "wapoturf" ;)

bagoh20 said...

Kinball writes:
"...the squamous light of publicity..."

Is that correct use of squamous?

bagoh20 said...

I suggest we start substituting "gate" with "fuck". It's the same short length, works much better descriptively, and gives scandal it's proper panache.

Lem said...

Unfortunately I have to go. I'm late as it is.

But for the record, just to make things clear I put my Wapoturf up against any of yours anywhere, anytime, day or night.

Just name the scandal baby ;)

bagoh20 said...

Therefore, I suggest "Postpimpfuck": Getting screwed by someone after the money has gone to another.

Bruce Hayden said...

Are we distressed that the WaPo was selling access to policy makers or are we distressed that the WaPo is so intimate with the Obama and Pelosi administration that they could broker such access? My heart breaks. I'd held the WaPo so above the NYT.

I think primarily distressed at the WaPo here for prostituting itself. Yes, before now it always had some sort of minimal plausible deniability. I don't see how anyone can any longer take them seriously when it comes to reporting on this Administration.

Karl Rove this morning had a couple of good points here. First, someone in the Obama Administration, likely decently far up, had to be involved. Why? Because high White House staff are booked fairly far in advance, and the WaPo had to have had some assurances that someone (or more) would be available on the appropriate nights, and that took coordination with the White House.

Secondly, if Katharine Weymouth didn't know, then someone very, very close to her was involved. Why? Because it was to be at her house, and that just isn't done without a lot of coordination. Imagine one of your employees committing your house for an event such as this, without your knowledge. Just isn't plausible.

Not surprisingly, the WaPo tried to bury the story as deeply as they possibly could, but apparently the NYT, scenting a bit of blood, ran it on the front page.

I think I remember stories awhile back about Katharine Weymouth putting on these power dinners. But what is different is that those attending from the government are likely much higher up, AND, they were trying to make a bit of money on them.

Beth said...

And where are our lefties to discuss this?

What's to discuss, Roger? It's a terrible thing. I first read about it on a couple of liberal blogs, condemning the Post - do you expect otherwise? Between this, and Helen Thomas' takedown of yesterday, I'm happy to see the press being called to task. That's a good thing.

Original Mike said...

What lobbyist would be stupid enough to want to meet government officials in the presence of reporters?.

Interesting question, Roger L. Maybe they felt $25k was enough to buy the WaPo's silence. Or maybe they thought not going was more dangerous than going. Your question also sugggests a motive for the whistleblowers:

Lobbyist #1: "We can't go to this thing, it would be stupid".

Lobbyist #2: "But it might be more stupid not to go.


Lobbyist #1: "I know! We can leak this. It gets us out of going, AND we can claim we were offended by the ethical implications.

Lobbyist #2: "Brillant!!"

Lobbyist #1: "Brillant!!"

Jim said...

I have to say that the lobbyists come out of this one looking like the good guys and the WaPo loos like an evil influence-peddler.

Oh the sweet irony.

ricpic said...

...the still dominant baby boomer cultural elite which remains emotionally scarred by the Nixon years.

As one who was there, bubby, I can tell you that getting Nixon was an orgasmic delight for elite baby boomers. Scarred my tuchas.

Sofa King said...

What's to discuss, Roger?

How about the administration's culpability? Is the WaPo really the only guilty party?

bearbee said...

The Washington Toast

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Wretched Access"?

Hey, what's a Gray Lady without a Painted Lady to complete the set?

Original Mike said...

"All the news we're paid to print".

No wait, that's the other paper.

Richard Fagin said...

Christy, holding the Post over the Times is like holding Castro over Kim Il Sung. Or Al Capone over Bugsy Moran. Or PDVSA over INOC if you want to make organizational comparisons.

The Drill SGT said...

Christy, holding the Post over the Times is like holding Castro over Kim Il Sung. Or Al Capone over Bugsy Moran. Or PDVSA over INOC if you want to make organizational comparisons.

I'm truly disappointed, and disgsted with my paper here. Sure, the news staff leans left, but what product of a J-school doesn't. What I counted on was that the Editorial page could be counted on to tell it like it is, or at least once and a while do so.

To find the Publsher and the Editor on the take, selling influence? hell, it might as well be that NYC rag.