Post ombudsman Deborah Howell follows up on David Broder's buckraking speeches:
The NAM, the ACCF and the national parents of the Minnesota group and Northern Virginia Realtors do lobby Congress. Broder later said he broke the rules on those speeches. He also said he had cleared his speeches with Milton Coleman, deputy managing editor, or Tom Wilkinson, an assistant managing editor, but neither remembered him mentioning them. Wilkinson said Broder had cleared speeches in the past. Editors should have been consulted on all of the speeches as well as the cruise.
"I am embarrassed by these mistakes and the embarrassment it has caused the paper,'' Broder said.
Is it just me, or does this seem a little unsatisfying as a resolution? Broder broke the basic norms of professional conduct, and he broke the specific procedural rules of The Washington Post, and never disclosed these conflicts of interest, then he got caught, and now he's sorry so we just wash our hands of the whole thing because, after all, he's the Dean? That's that, I suppose, but it tells you what kind of business I'm in. Imagine the press's treatment of a politician caught up in a serious scandal we tried to get away with just mumbling "sorry." I can't imagine Mark Foley or Elliot Spitzer getting away with that.
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