City Desk

Weekend in Review

So—six points against the Chiefs, huh? That's not even enough points such that the copy rules at Washington City Paper oblige me to use a numeral. Perhaps that'll be a reason cited when Zorn gets his walking papers this week.

The Washington Post's salon thing is one scandal that is living up to its -gate suffix. Back in July, the paper and its publisher, Katharine Weymouth, were reeling when it was disclosed that they were trying to put together intimate salons at Weymouth's home, complete with paying lobbyists and Post journos, among others.

And would they be on or off the record? Well, that was a critical point when the news broke. Around that time, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli told the New York Times that his understanding was that they wouldn't be off the record, the better for the Post's journalism side of things.

Yet they, in fact, were being promoted as off the record. By distancing himself from this off-the-record thing, Brauchli managed to paint this whole mess as a runaway project of the guy on the biz side who was working on them, Charles Pelton.

Pelton left his post in September, an occasion that the Times marked with an article by media correspondent Richard Perez-Pena. The story said that Pelton had failed to inform Brauchli that the salons were to be off the record—essentially recycling the version of events sold by Brauchli back in July.

Enter Pelton's lawyer, who pushed at the Times really hard to correct the record, to say that, hey, Brauchli knew these things were going to be off the record, and any suggestion otherwise does nothing but steamroll the career of this previously anonymous, mid-level executive. (That link is to Gabriel Sherman's piece in the New Republic, which is a great explanation of all of this.)

So on Saturday, the Times ran a Postscript detailing Brauchli's reversal on the matter. Hammered by the Pelton camp, the executive editor of the Post was forced to admit that he knew that the things were going to be off the record.

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  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    So the NY Times forced WaPo Exec. Ed. Marcus Brauchli to admit he lied. Good job, NY Times. Mr. Brauchli - liar liar pants on fire.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    And they published another Facebook story today.

  • karon-ann

    wapo loves facebook b/c wapo owner don graham is on the FB board. and his daughter is some big wheel at FB too.

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