Kurtz stays silent about Klein; WaPo Ombudsman silent about Kurtz

In today's “Media Notes” column, Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz examined the role financial pressures play in the decisions reporters make.

But don't get your hopes up -- Kurtz wasn't writing about the financial conflict of interest inherent in his dual roles as an employee of both the Post and CNN, or about how his silence about Jonathan Klein's embrace of Lou Dobbs looks absolutely rotten in light of the payments Kurtz receives from Klein's cable channel.

No, Kurtz once again managed to avoid any mention of Klein, even as he wrote 386 more words about who is “Boosting the Birthers.”

Just like he led a discussion of Dobbs and the Birthes on yesterday's Reliable Sources without ever mentioning Klein. That's getting increasingly awkward, as Klein not only defends Dobbs and attacks his critics, he is also mischaracterizing Dobbs' show, and making comments Kurtz disagrees with.

At this point, Kurtz' conflict of interest is undeniable. The only question is why the Washington Post tolerates it.

Isn't this why the paper has an Ombudsman?

Speaking of Washington Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander, here's how his most recent blog post begins:

Readers often see secret motives and hidden agendas in news stories and columns. In most cases, their suspicions are unfounded. But the perception is real.

Alas, no mention of Howard Kurtz. I know a lot of journalists are reluctant to criticize Kurtz, lest they incur the wrath of the nation's most famous media critic. But surely the Washington Post's Ombudsman isn't among those who are intimidated by Kurtz. Is he?