Marcus Brauchli

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  • Washington Post tries new all-Beck format

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Three full days after Beckapolooza, the front page of the Washington Post's web site featured at least six links to Glenn Beck-related content earlier today:

    There's certainly merit in major news organizations taking an in-depth look at Beck -- the factual and logical merits of his claims, the consistency of his arguments, etc. But phrases like "virtually nothing objectionable was said" and "rally recap fills an hour" suggest coverage for the sake of coverage.

    And there were two more links in a separate front-page box that disappeared as I was writing this, so perhaps even the Post is starting to think there are more important things to cover. Then again, maybe not: Here's the front of the Post's On Faith site:

    That's four boxes featuring Beck, including the main box, which gives Beck and the President of the United States equal prominence. Beck is, after all, one of America's foremost spiritual leaders (right up there with Sarah Palin.)

    In 2002, 100,000 anti-war protesters got an article in the Washington Post's Metro section. In 2010, Glenn Beck gets wall-to-wall coverage in the Post for days on end.

    And remember: Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander and executive editor Marcus Brauchli claim the Post needs to be more responsive to conservatives.

  • A simple question for the Washington Post

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    For months, I've been trying to get key Washington Post journalists to answer a basic question: Does the Post think it is sufficient to occasionally debunk falsehoods, or does the paper believe it should do so every time it prints those falsehoods?

    It's a simple question, but nobody seems to want to answer it. I've submitted that question to countless "Live Q&A" sessions hosted by Post media critic Howard Kurtz, executive editor Marcus Brauchli, and managing editors Raju Narisetti and Liz Spayd. But none of them have ever answered the question. Kurtz's refusal to do so is particularly glaring, as he ducked the question once by demanding an example of the Post failing to correct a falsehood -- and has subsequently ignored questions that contain such an example. (Here's some background.)

    Narisetti is conducting a Q&A session at 1 PM today, so I'm trying yet again to get an answer. Here's the question I submitted earlier this morning:

    This is roughly the 20th time I have submitted a variation on this question to Live Q&As held by you, Liz Spayd, Marcus Brauchli, and Howard Kurtz, so I hope you'll answer it: Does the Washington Post think it is sufficient to debunk false claims once, or does the Post think it should debunk false claims every time it prints them?

    Mr. Kurtz has praised the Post's handling of the "Death Panels" lie -- but the Post has printed numerous articles that refer to "death panels" without making clear that the charge is false. (E.g.:

    So, again: Do you think it is sufficient to debunk a false claim once, or should the Post do so every time it prints that claim?

    If you'd like to submit your own version of this question, you can do so here.

    UPDATE: Narisetti just wrapped up, and didn't see fit to answer my question, though he did find time to say the Post should have covered the bogus NBPP story sooner, to comment on the frequency of Live Q&A sessions, and to answer a subscriber's question about an undelivered newspaper.

    I honestly have no idea why Posties would be so afraid of answering this simple little question.

  • Wash. Post ombudsman favors the Right -- again

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    In a blog post about David Weigel's departure from the Washington Post, the paper's ombudsman demonstrated once again a stunning bias in favor of its conservative critics. Ombudsman Andrew Alexander, like other key figures at the Post, routinely gives more weight and credence to criticisms of the paper that come from conservatives than to those that come from liberals -- despite the fact that on several of the biggest stories of the past two decades, the Post has (intentionally or not) placed not just a thumb but an entire forearm on the scales in favor of conservatives.

    Among the most weighty progressive critiques of the Post:

    1) The relentless obsession with Clinton-era non-scandals on the part of both the Post's news and editorial pages, as illustrated by the paper's editorial call for a special counsel to investigate Whitewater even as the paper admitted there was "no credible charge" either Clinton had done anything wrong. The Post's overheated reaction to every trumped-up allegation in Clinton is even more glaring after having witnessed the paper's comparatively minimalist approach to Bush-era misdeeds.

    2) The Post's "war against Gore" during the 2000 election, exemplified by Ceci Connolly's snarky -- and 100% false -- lede on December 2, 1999:

    "Add Love Canal to the list of verbal missteps by Vice President Gore. The man who mistakenly claimed to have inspired the movie 'Love Story' and to have invented the Internet says he didn't quite mean to say he discovered a toxic waste site when he said at a high school forum Tuesday in New Hampshire: 'I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal.' Gore went on to brag about holding the 'first hearing on that issue' and said 'I was the one that started it all.'"

    That -- including some of the words in quotes -- is just completely wrong. And it was typical of the Washington Post's thumb-on-the-scale coverage of the 2000 campaign -- coverage that, given the election's razor-thin margin, can fairly be described as having unfairly put George W. Bush in office.

    3) The Post's abject failure to appropriately cover the Bush administration's false case for war in Iraq, a failure to which enough Post reporters and editors have confessed that it need not be detailed here.

    And those are just the clearest example of the Post's history-changing mishandling of specific stories. There's also the matter of what may be the nation's worst editorial & opinion pages and the constant drumbeat of articles and features that adopt conservative framing and assumptions.

    If there is a single legitimate conservative gripe about the Washington Post that even begins to approach the magnitude of the Post's shoddy coverage of Clinton, the 2000 campaign, and the Iraq war, I've never heard it -- and I've never seen a Post reporter, editor, or Ombudsman cite it.

    And yet Alexander and Post editors routinely refer to conservative unease with the Post, and validate that unease by bending over backwards to appease their conservative critics. Meanwhile, they typically pretend that liberal critics don't exist, and that the fiascos outlined above never happened.

  • Howard Kurtz, still covering for his bosses

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Last October, Washington Post/CNN media critic Howard Kurtz insisted "My track record makes clear that I've been as aggressive toward CNN -- and The Washington Post, for that matter -- as I would be if I didn't host a weekly program there."

    In fact, Kurtz's track record -- particularly his kid-glove treatment of CNN president Jonathan Klein, who endorsed Lou Dobbs' promotion of Birther conspiracy theories -- directly undermines that assertion, as I pointed out at the time. As for Kurtz's "aggressive" coverage of the Post, that leaves something to be desired as well. Here's a refresher:

    Just a couple of weeks ago, news broke that Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli apparently misled The New York Times over the summer about his knowledge of the Post's marketing of controversial (and since abandoned) dinner parties at which corporations would pay for access to Post reporters. In his defense, Brauchli claimed he hadn't misled the Times; the Times reporter had misunderstood him.

    But then, the Politico's Michael Calderone revealed that Brauchli had told him the same thing he told the Times, and that Calderone had interpreted it the same way the Times had. That's quite a blow to Brauchli's defense -- it seems improbable that two different reporters at two different news organizations misinterpreted two different Brauchli statements in precisely the same way.

    Calderone tried to reach Brauchli for comment, but Brauchli wouldn't talk to him. Brauchli did, however, give Kurtz an interview. In the article Kurtz wrote for the Post, he noted Brauchli's assertion that the Times had misunderstood him. But Kurtz didn't mention Calderone's revelation that Brauchli had told him the same thing the Times said Brauchli told them.

    That's a key fact, and one that does a great deal to undermine Brauchli's defense. But Kurtz left it out of his article. Brauchli, of course, decides whether Kurtz continues to stay on the Post's payroll. And now Kurtz insists that he doesn't pull his punches when it comes to the Post. Yeah, right.

    Incidentally, Kurtz won't answer questions about his treatment of Brauchli, either. And Brauchli won't answer questions about Calderone, or about why he would only talk to Kurtz.

    That brings us to today's Washington Post, which features an article by Howard Kurtz about the paper's new policy for journalists' participation in events the Post company sponsors. Here's Kurtz' explanation of the background:

    Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth apologized in July for an aborted plan to stage a series of off-the-record policy dinners at her home, with sponsors paying up to $25,000 to break bread with administration officials, lawmakers, business leaders and Post journalists. Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli also took responsibility for not blocking the plan, which the paper's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, described as "an ethical lapse of monumental proportions."

    But once again, Kurtz politely avoids mentioning Brauchli's apparent lie to multiple reporters about his knowledge of the scheme. Some things never change.

  • Questions Howard Kurtz won't answer

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Washington Post/CNN media critic Howard Kurtz held an online Q&A today. In light of last week's Q&A held by Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, in which Brauchli ducked tough questions in favor of queries about fonts and byline formats, I submitted two questions to today's Kurtz Q&A:

    You reported a week ago that Post exec editor Marcus Brauchli says the NYT misunderstood him over the summer; that he didn't say he had been unaware the Post's salon dinners were marketed as off the record. But Politico's Michael Calderone says Brauchli told him the same thing he told the Times, and he interpreted it the same way.

    Have you asked Brauchli about this? It seems hard to believe that 2 different reporters at 2 different news orgs would misinterpret 2 different Brauchli comments precisely the same way.


    So, CNN did a 4-hour immigration special. CNN's Lou Dobbs is one of the nation's leading critics of immigration policy. One of the experts interviewed for the special specifically criticized Dobbs' reporting. And CNN edited that criticism out before airing the interview.

    What do you think about that?

    Now, those two questions have something in common: They both raise issues that are uncomfortable for people who sign Howard Kurtz's paychecks. Actually, they have something else in common: Kurtz didn't take either of them.

    Kurtz did take a question about the hugely-significant Steve Phillips ESPN sex scandal, a throwaway about the name of his television show, a conspiracy-theory rant about the government and media "terrorizing" people about H1N1, a few questions about sports programming, a comment about the Post's redesign, and several questions about CNN's competitors Fox News and MSNBC.

    Obviously, these WaPo Q&As exist largely to promote the Post and its work. It's a shame some Post employees don't also see them as an opportunity to be accountable to their readers and take tough questions.

    (It should be noted that some WaPo Q&A participants don't seem to duck difficult questions. Perry Bacon's last few sessions are an example. I've been pretty critical of several of his comments during Q&As, but he deserves credit for responding to pointed queries from readers.)

  • "Judge us by our journalism"

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, in an online Q&A today:

    First, there were no salon dinners. They were planned and they were canceled. Second, Ceci Connolly, who is an absolutely first-rate, independent-minded reporter, was simply asked who might be worth inviting to a roundtable discussion on healthcare. There is no reason she should be taken off of this story. Third, while we appreciate your visiting with us on this chat, you should read what we write. We have scrutinized the insurance industry's claims about healthcare legislation extensively, including in a lengthy piece last week by Alec MacGillis. Finally, yes, I realize that the salon dinner episode was embarrassing and damaging to our credibility, but I would say to you: judge us by our journalism.

    If you're a Washington Post editor, you should really avoid using the phrase "judge us by our journalism" in the same paragraph in which you praise Ceci Connolly.

    Ceci Connolly invented a quote Al Gore never said, then used it to portray Gore as a liar. That was not "first-rate" journalism. Are you glad George W. Bush was president? Thank Ceci Connolly.

    Nor was it "first-rate" when Connolly promoted right-wing myths about end-of-life counseling.

    Nor was it "first-rate" journalism when Connolly wrote three straight articles about the recent insurance industry-funded health care "study" without ever getting around to pointing out the study's key flaws.

  • Accountability for thee, but not for me

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Over the weekend, a major story broke about the Washington Post's efforts to sell access to its reporters to corporate interests. When the story first broke earlier this year, Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli told at least two different reporters at two different news organizations -- the New York Times and Politico -- that he had been unaware that the events were being promoted as off-the-record. But over the weekend, it was revealed that Brauchli wrote a letter to a former Post marketing executive acknowledging that he had known about it all along.

    On Saturday, Brauchli refused to talk to Michael Calderone, the Politico reporter he seems to have misled earlier, instead talking only to Post reporter Howard Kurtz -- who happens to work for Brauchli, and who omitted any mention of Brauchli's earlier comments to Politico. Kurtz did, however, include in his article Brauchli's claim that the Times simply misunderstood him -- a claim that is seriously undermined by Calderone's reporting for Politico.

    Today, Brauchli held a previously-scheduled online Q&A session with Post readers. I noted this morning that the Post had subtly changed the way it was promoting the session, seeming to limit the topic to exclude questions about Brauchli's honesty.

    And, sure enough, Brauchli continued ducking tough questions.

    Brauchli took questions about the new format for bylines on Post articles, a request that the Post "capitalize the headlines," a question about page number formats, a complaint that the Post doesn't just leave its layout the same, and a positive comment about the paper's font choices.

    And he responded to a comment (not even a question) about the Awesome Washington Post's Awesome Awesomeness:

    Alexandria, Va.: You did a real nice job with the redesign. I opened the Post this morning to find a refreshing and better design. Reminded me a lot of the WSJ! No surprise. I also want to comment that it seems recently the news sections have got a little richer. Maybe more stories, but not sure. All in all, I think the Post is really doing a lot to build a great product.

    From, a subscriber of 21 years.

    But Brauchli ducked questions about the weekend revelations that he apparently lied to two different reporters at two different publications about his role in the Washington Post's efforts to sell access to its reporters until the end of the Q&A, then chose questions that he could easily dismiss.

    Incidentally, I know Brauchli received and ignored tough questions because I submitted some so the Post could not claim Brauchli was asked only about fonts and bylines.

    Here's a question I submitted about the weekend revelations:

    You say the New York Times misunderstood you, and that you did NOT tell them you were unaware the Post's controversial corporate dinners were being promoted as "off the record."

    But Politico reporter Michael Calderone has reported that you said the same thing to him, and that he interpreted it the same way the Times did.

    Are we supposed to believe that two different reporters at two different news organizations misinterpreted two different interviews with you in precisely the same way?

    And is this why you refused to talk to Calderone yesterday, but did talk to your own employee, Howard Kurtz -- who failed to mention Calderone's reporting in his story about this matter?

    Brauchli didn't take that question. Nor did he take this question about his recent comments to Post Ombudsman Andrew Alexander:

    You told the Post's ombudsman that the paper needs to be more responsive to conservatives. Would you care to reconcile that position with the paper's abusive treatment of Al Gore during the 2000 election and with the paper's reporting on the Bush administration's Iraq war claims, which countless Post employees past and present have acknowledged was deeply flawed and insufficiently critical?

    Nor did Brauchli take this question about the massive conflict of interest he allows Kurtz to work under:

    Post media critic Howard Kurtz repeatedly gave CNN President Jonathan Klein a pass during Kurtz's reporting for the Post on CNN's Lou Dobbs and his promotion of the Birther conspiracy theory. Klein defended Dobbs' reporting and attacked his critics -- but Kurtz never mentioned Klein's defense, despite their clear news value, and despite his repeated reporting on the Birther story.

    Oh, and Howard Kurtz happens to be employed on the side by CNN.

    Why does the Post tolerate this conflict of interest? Are you investigating Kurtz' handling of this story? Do any of your other reporters have financial relationships with those they are assigned to cover for the Post?

    I guess Brauchli just didn't have time for questions like those after dealing with hard-hitting questions about how great the Post is and how wonderful the new font is. And a comment from a reader about how much her husband likes the Post's redesign.

    Brauchli did take two questions (at the very end of the Q&A) that touched on the salon dinner controversy -- but they didn't mention reporting by Politico's Calderone that undermines Brauchli's claim that he told the truth about his own role. Here's the first, which makes no mention of Brauchli's role:

    Rochester, NY: Obviously, you won't take this question, but I'd like to ask: isn't there a problem when the same reporters who were to be part of your health care "salon" are now essentially repeating insurance industry claims about the health care bill?

    I'm referring specifically to Ceci Connolly. I write as a regular reader and fan of your paper -- are you aware how much credibility you have lost as a result of the salons?

    Marcus Brauchli: Actually, I will take this question, because it comes with a silly premise that needs knocking down.

    First, there were no salon dinners. They were planned and they were canceled. Second, Ceci Connolly, who is an absolutely first-rate, independent-minded reporter, was simply asked who might be worth inviting to a roundtable discussion on healthcare. There is no reason she should be taken off of this story. Third, while we appreciate your visiting with us on this chat, you should read what we write. We have scrutinized the insurance industry's claims about healthcare legislation extensively, including in a lengthy piece last week by Alec MacGillis. Finally, yes, I realize that the salon dinner episode was embarrassing and damaging to our credibility, but I would say to you: judge us by our journalism.

    That last line is hilarious coming from someone who just spent a whole online Q&A ducking questions about the Post's journalism in favor of talking about fonts and byline formats.

    And the second:

    Philly, Pa.: If you know a reporter has reported something about you which is inaccurate, are you not obligated to publicly correct the record?

    I'm sorry, sir, but I lost all respect for you after reading the letter you sent to your former colleague. You knew that it was reported that you claimed to have no knowledge of the off-the-record promises, and you chose to allow that to stand. You scapegoated an employee, and misled the public. Of course, that version is being generous, and its every bit as likely that you just lied to the NYT's reporter, hoping not to get caught.

    You lied to your readers. You lied to your employees.

    I hope your retirement is happy and fruitful, and I hope it starts very soon.

    Marcus Brauchli: When these events were planned, we intended that the information from them would inform and shape our coverage, without attribution. That is not, under our rules, off the record.

    They were later promoted as "off the record," and I knew that before July 2.

    As I have said repeatedly since then, I failed to reconcile the language and the intentions, which I should have done.

    The notion that I lied to the New York Times "hoping not to get caught" is absurd.

    Notice that Brauchli chose to answer questions that didn't mention Calderone's report, while ducking a question that did.

    Imagine how the Washington Post would react if, say, John Edwards invited them to a press conference, then took only pre-screened questions about how great he is, refusing to allow anyone to ask about his affair and his false statements about it. That's essentially what Marcus Brauchli did today. It shows nothing but contempt for Post readers, and makes a mockery of the concepts of transparency and accountability.

  • WaPo's Brauchli takes reader questions today -- but will he answer them?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Is Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli laying the groundwork to duck questions about whether he was honest about his role in the Post's access-for-cash scandal?

    Brauchli is set to do an online Q&A at Noon today. Here's how the Post promoted that Q&A over the weekend:

    And here's how the Post has now changed that advertisement:

    Note that the formerly broad wording (Brauchli was going to take "questions about the newspaper and") has now been narrowed (Brauchli will take "questions about The Post redesign.")

    Is that an effort to discourage questions about Brauchli's honesty and other sticky subjects? We already know Brauchli ducked questions from Politico's Michael Calderone over the weekend, in favor of talking to a reporter who is on his payroll -- and who omitted key information calling Brauchli's honesty into question.

  • It's good to be Howard Kurtz's boss

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz spent much of the summer demonstrating that he can't be trusted to report impartially for the Post about CNN, which also employs him.

    Now he seems intent on establishing that he can't be trusted to report impartially about his bosses at the Post, either.

    Kurtz wrote for today's Post about yesterday's revelations that the paper's executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, seems to have misled the New York Times about his involvement in and knowledge of the Post's attempt to sell access to its reporters to corporate interests. Over the summer, Brauchli told the Times that he had been "explicit" with the Post's marketing team that the events would not be off the record. Yesterday, the Times, Politico, and The New Republic reported the existence of a letter in which Brauchli had in fact known that the events were being marketed as off the record.

    Brauchli claimed in the letter that the Times had simply misinterpreted his comments. But Politico's Michael Calderone then wrote that Brauchli had also told him that he did not know the events were being promoted as off the record. Calderone sought comment from Brauchli for his story yesterday, but a Post spokesperson told him "The letter speaks for itself."

    But it turns out Brauchli wasn't refusing all requests for an interview. He gave a comment to Howard Kurtz, who just happens to work for him:

    Brauchli said Saturday: "I have consistently said that my intention was that Post journalists only participate in events if the content could be used to inform our journalism. . . . I was aware, as I have said since July 2, that some materials described the proposed salon dinner as an off-the-record event. As I have also said before, I should have insisted that the language be changed before it surfaced in any marketing material."

    Kurtz also quoted Brauchli's claim that the Times reporter misunderstood him. But he include any indication that he pressed Brauchli on that claim -- and he didn't mention Calderone's statement that he got the same impression from Brauchli as the Times reporter, which seriously undermines the notion that Brauchli told the truth but was misinterpreted.

    Kurtz' article, in other words, omits crucial information that makes his boss look less than honest. No wonder Brauchli talked to him but not to Calderone.

  • Top WaPo editor Marcus Brauchli has some questions to answer tomorrow

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli, last seen saying the Post needs to be more responsive to conservatives, seems to have been less than honest about what he knew about the WaPo's widely-denounced attempt to sell access to its reporters off to the highest bidder.

    When the story of the Post's planned corporate-sponsored dinners broke over the summer, one of the most criticized aspects of the whole affair was that the Post was marketing them as off-the-record. At the time, Brauchli told the New York Times that he had always been "explicit" with his paper's marketing department that the dinners would be on the record, suggesting that he was unaware the dinners were being marketed as off the record.

    It turns out that wasn't exactly true.

    Yesterday, the New York Times' corrections section included an unusual item billed as a "postscript" to its July 3 article about the dinners. In the postscript, the Times explained that a lawyer for Charles Pelton, the Post marketing executive who lost his job over the controversy, had provided the Times with a letter in which, as the Times described it, "Mr. Brauchli now says that he did indeed know that the dinners were being promoted as 'off the record,' and that he and Mr. Pelton had discussed that issue."


    Later yesterday afternoon, Politico reporter Michael Calderone got his hands on the Brauchli letter, and posted it online. Here's the key part:

    I knew that the salon dinners were being promoted as "off the record." That fact was never hidden from me by you or anyone else. For instance, the dinners were described as "off the record" in two slide presentations that I attended. You and I discussed the off-the-record nature of the dinners. The phrase was also used in marketing materials for the salons and in correspondence to the newsroom that you e-mailed to me.

    Interestingly, the Times postscript didn't mention Brauchli's letter went on to claim that "The New York Times reporter apparently misunderstood me."

    Even more interestingly, Calderone says he, too, talked to Brauchli over the summer:

    Brauchli made similar comments to me that he gave to the Times, and my understanding from our conversation was that he did not know the salon dinners were being promoted as off the record.

    So ... Either two separate reporters at two separate news organizations misinterpreted two separate comments Brauchli made to them, or Brauchli wasn't telling the truth over the summer.

    The New Republic's Gabriel Sherman explains how the Times' postscript came to be:

    According to a series of letters, Pelton was successful in proving that Brauchli changed his story and the Times' reporting failed to reflect that he walked-back from his original claims of not knowing about the off-the-record ground rules. It wall began on September 25, when Pelton, through his lawyer George Frost, succeeded in getting Brauchli to send him a personal letter stating that he "knew that the dinners were being promoted as 'off the record.'" For Brauchli, the letter was an embarrassing reversal of his prior public comments and an admission that he knew far more about the conferences than he first let on.

    With Brauchli's revised-comments in hand, Pelton and his lawyer pushed back hard against the Times. On Sept. 28, three days later after receiving Brauchli's letter, Pelton's lawyer Frost wrote a letter to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, executive editor Bill Keller, Pena and the public editor that cited Brauchli's revised comments on the off-the-record question and demanded the Times issue a correction.

    According to Sherman, Pelton's request was denied -- by the Times' general counsel, not a newsroom executive -- and the Times ultimately ran the post-script only after Pelton's lawyer threatened legal action.

    Politico's Calderone tried to reach Brauchli for comment yesterday, but was told by a Post spokesperson that "The letter speaks for itself."

    Obviously, it does not. But the letter, combined with the Times' reporting and Calderone's account of his own conversation with Brauchli and the refusal of Brauchli and the Post to discuss further, certainly suggest the top editor at one of the nation's top newspapers has been lying about his involvement in a newsroom scandal -- a scandal in which the Post was caught trying to auction off access to its reporters to corporate interests. It's worth keeping in mind that just a couple of months after trying to develop such a relationship between the Post and corporate interests, Brauchli began talking publicly about the Post listening more to conservatives.

    If Brauchli will not answer questions from journalists he previously misled, perhaps he will answer to Washington Post readers. Brauchli is currently scheduled to participate in an online Q&A Monday at noon on Monday. It seems certain questions will be submitted about Brauchli's honesty in addressing the dinners; it will be interesting to see if he takes those questions.

    It will also be interesting to see if he takes any questions asking him to reconcile his absurd claim that the Post needs to be more responsive to conservatives with the Post's shameful treatment of Al Gore, its notably pro-Bush coverage of the 2000 election, or its role as cheerleader-in-chief for Bush's Iraq war. Brauchli's deputies dodged just such a question last month.