Post Ombudsman Thinks Dave Weigel is Stanley McChrystal

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The Washington Post ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, has an odd piece up about Dave Weigel's resignation. I agree with one of Alexander's assertions, more or less: "Weigel's e-mails showed strikingly poor judgment and revealed a bias that only underscored existing complaints from conservatives that he couldn't impartially cover them." More or less because it isn't entirely clear Weigel was hired to be an unbiased observer; in fact, he was hired, it seems, under the mistaken belief that he himself is a conservative.

But here's the strange part: Alexander blames Weigel for hurting the Post's "standing" among conservatives: "Weigel's exit, and the events that prompted it, have further damaged The Post among conservatives who believe it is not properly attuned to their ideology or activities. Ironically, Weigel was hired to address precisely those concerns."

I think this makes entirely too much of this episode. We're talking about a 30-something blogger for a fading newspaper, not the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan. And who really cares if conservatives believe that The Post is not properly attuned to their ideology or activities? And who cares if liberals believe that the Post misunderstands them as well? Is that now the role of a newspaper -- to tailor reporting to the needs of specific parties or ideologies?

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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