On August 20 I asked some serious questions of the Washington Post about what appeared to be a propaganda piece on the reconstruction of Haiti pimped to one of their “journalists” by the State Department. I sent the same questions to the Post’s Ombudsman via email and a phone message. I explained that I would publish his reply on this blog. I resent the email for good measure a day later.
There has been no reply.
There was however this comment posted to the original piece by “Lafcadio.” I don’t know Lafcadio or know who he is, but he has commented here about the State Department knowledgeably in the past. Here’s what he said:
Don’t blame the writer for this drivel. The editors at the Post are the ones responsible. They hold all the power, and big Public Affairs (PA) at State has been cutting deals with them.
After Mary Ryan got fired due to “unauthorized” leaks back in 2002, State started working the hometown paper. (They never had to work the NY Times, Times has almost always been in the bag for the Foreign Service). A lot of FS heavies (Black Dragons in Diplomatic Security [DS] speak) put pressure on the Post editors (and owners) to not run so many negative stories. As an incentive, big PA gives “exclusives” to the Post, in return for not running or downplaying the unauthorized leaks, and running a few puff pieces, like this one.
How would I know ths? Some of the young flacks in big PA have big mouths. They even boast about this in Foreign Service Institute (FSI; the State Department training facility) presentations.
Some of the writers at the Post chafe at the bit to run more of the unauthorized leaks. But their editors made a deal with the devil, or in this case, the Black Dragons.
This raises the question of whether the Washington Post has devolved from writing about all the president’s men to being them. Ombudsman, still waiting on you…
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