Post Ombudsman Thinks Dave Weigel is Stanley McChrystal

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/post-ombudsman-thinks-dave-weigel-is-stanley-mcchrystal/58779/