Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Post Misses the Point

The Washington Post’s ombudsman defends their decision to fire Dave Weigel and fails miserably at it. He can’t even honestly state the case, judging by this statement:

He said that when Weigel was hired, he was vetted in the same way that other prospective Post journalists are screened. He interviewed with a variety of top editors, his writings were reviewed and his references were checked, Narisetti said.

“But we’re living in an era when maybe we need to add a level” of inquiry, he said. “It may be in our interests to ask potential reporters: ‘In private… have you expressed any opinions that would make it difficult for you to do your job.”

But nothing Dave expressed created any difficulty in doing his job. He had already been doing his job, and doing it very well, long after he said those things in private. Despite his antipathy toward some conservatives — the ones who clearly deserve such antipathy — he was scrupulously fair in everything he wrote about conservatives.

He went out of his way to defend them when other liberals made arguments against them that were unsupported by the evidence or if their analysis was presumptuous or overly simplistic (as it often is, of course). He displayed intellectual honesty and integrity time and time again despite his privately expressed dislike of demagogues and nuts like Drudge and Limbaugh.

The only thing that has made it difficult for him to do his job is a spineless Washington Post establishment.

And then there’s this, from the Post’s web editor:

“I don’t think you need to be a conservative to cover the conservative movement,” Narisetti told me late today. “But you do need to be impartial… in your views.”

This is gobbledygook. Word sald. An empty platitude. There is no such thing as an impartial view, nor should there be. He should be impartial in his reporting. That means he should always strive for total accuracy and never gloss over an inconvenient fact or reach an unjustified conclusion. And by that measure, he was being quite impartial.