City Desk

Brauchli Confirms Print Death of “The Party” by Sally Quinn

After hours of frenzied calling and e-mailing and even a little Facebook messaging, City Desk has finally gotten someone in the know at the Washington Post to comment on the whole Sally Quinn situation. That would be the Executive Editor, Marcus Brauchli.

So much for the Brauchli Doctrine!

Moving to the subject on the minds of all those who pay too much attention to the Washington Post, Brauchli e-mailed City Desk a statement saying the following about Quinn's execrable column, "The Party": "Sally and I have agreed that the column will return to what had been its original focus on faith, family and entertaining and will appear online at "On Faith," a section of that Sally guides."

So, the wrapup:

1) The column is killed from the print edition. That's not to say that if Quinn gins up an incredible piece, it won't appear in the dead-tree version. But at the Washington Post, at least, a move to online-only counts as a significant demotion.

2) Sources consulted on the matter indicate that Brauchli wouldn't have taken kindly to the column if he had reviewed it before its launch. He likely would have killed it. But the Post has long given a nice amount of leash to its section editors—in this case, Style co-honcho Ned Martel, who was utterly unreachable on this matter today, as was Quinn and many others.

3) The column was originally supposed to be something that focused on holiday cheer. As Quinn put it in her opener back in November: "I originally thought to do a column for 'On Faith' called 'The Sacred Table' about entertaining. When you think about it, there is a sacred quality to the sharing of a meal. Just think of Jesus's last supper as an example. The table can be a kind of altar, with a cloth, candles, wine and bread. Every religion has some kind of 'breaking of bread' associated with its rituals and traditions. Many Christian denominations even call the bread itself 'the host!'"

Somehow, the thing survived into the doldrums of January and the squalls of February—just long enough, in other words, for Quinn to lay down an enormous turd that'll eventually get mentioned in another story about how the Post has lost its way.

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  • mitchell owens

    Thank God. But would somebody explain how a column can cover faith, family, and entertaining? God, what an unholy mashup.

  • Reid

    God. I had read a lot about that article, but only just now read it. What a steaming pile of self-infatuated disingenuous driveling shit.

    The Post needs to find its backbone and just fucking fire her outright.

  • Contrarian

    I love the juxtaposition of the tags on the article. They are so.... almost haiku-like...

    Jesus, Marcus Brauchli, Sally Quinn, turd

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  • Sideshow Mel

    The Style section is a complete disaster. Earlier this week, they ran a story in Kids Post about farting. Before that they had the story about Alex Rodriguez's snot rockets on TV. They've stopped covering music. Shales appears senile. Some comic-con guy wrote a story last week about Judge Parker, the never-read comic strip. Lynn Medford and Ned Martel, the co-editors, are clueless.

  • sprite

    Kudos to you who have the, ummm, "private parts" to print the commentary the folks at the Post can't. Let's hear it for public service!

  • The Donkey

    How delicious for you Erik to be making Chess moves all over town and you haven't even moved into "The Job" yet!
    I guess we still wait for Mr. Brauchli to get up to the curve and be as thoroughly sick of Sally Quinn as is the rest of Washington.

  • sprite

    Oh, and yeah, could you please review Sally's latest in the "On Faith" fest the WP publishes (her entry: "God The Punisher Of Children?") and help me stop my head from spinning. Am sure the girl has a point, but just can't get to it through her paragraphs. Anyone? Any insights?

  • Willem van Oranje

    Oh Sjeez. She's going to comment "On Faith", and she doesn't have any idea where ‘the host’ is coming from?

    Even this atheist knows it comes from the Latin hostia, and no, the sacramental bread in the Catholic Church, aka host, is not some male form of hostess.

  • Deborah

    Thanks Willem! One wonders if copy editors still exist at the Post--someone ought to have caught that "host" gaffe?

  • J Man

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. Quinn's self-absorbed column about PARTYING in these times of economic distress is another example of how the Post is clueless and floundering when it comes to attracting readership. Medford and Martel are bad, but Weymouth is the one who should be replaced. She's simply out of her depth. The paper has become an embarrassment.

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  • David Summers

    THIS is very weird. The WaPo closed all comments on this article at least two days ago. But somehow this crazy defense of La Quinn appeared on the site this AM:

    radbwana wrote:
    Sally Quinn has more class than the critics of her column, and this column in particular. She told the truth about this awkward familial screw-up and it was a "teachable" moment for all families.

    So thank you Sally and calm down, Mr. Brauchli. You are much too recent on the DC scene to fully appreciate that Ms. Quinn has never been forgiven by a number of DC society's doyennes for Ben Bradlee's luck in marrying her. So they love to jump at every opportunity to drag up their bias.
    2/25/2010 11:02:38 AM

    Maybe Sally is continuing her "column" in the Comments page.

  • WaPoster

    Luck in marrying Ben Bradlee? Pulleeze! Ben Bradlee was not such a catch. Society dames can't stand Quinn because she is mean,grasping, and crass. She has no boundaries or sense of noblesse oblige which are the big deals with the society swells.

    Its not weird though. Its about time Quinn is mounting some kind of a counter offensive to the tsunami of bad press. She has the levers at the Post at her command after all. There was even a sad riposte from what is assumed to be her son in the "On Faith" comments on her piece alledging God punishes children. A gentlewoman would be staging a graceful exit but that is unlikely.

    For the sake of the innocent, Ben Jr.'s family, etc. though its probably time to let it drop. Clearly the Graham's don't get it and Bradlee threw away his legacy long ago. This is truly a sad, sad, denouement to what was once the great saga of the Washington Post and Washington journalism. Moving forward Sally Quinn has made sure it is purely tabloid fodder.

  • Mark

    Good-bye, Georgetown Sally.

    You and your fans will not be missed.

  • Nobody

    I dunno who "Jack Star" is, but his post in Politics Daily is a hoot:

    As posted to Politics Daily in response to "Is Sally Quinn about to Blink" -- She may blink, but she won't spit! "In Washington before there was something known as a "Lewinsky", there was a Sally Quinn." That pretty much sums up in a nut shell this narcissist's reputation. Her only talent being an ability to stifle her gag reflex coupled with a taste for gristle. Those 108 year old social types (cave dwellers in Washington parlance), knew her for what she was if they knew her at all, never accepted her, never allowed their daughters to associate with her or their sons to date her. Its really only since the old guard has passed on (particularly legendary newspaper woman and Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham who tolerated Quinn to placate Ben but who Quinn has desperately attempted to be the second coming of) that Sal has been able to kick her Norma Desmond, Blanche Dubois personalities into high gear. By reinventing her CV to imbue her parents with some stature (who knew?) and herself with some actual work experience of the nature acquired sitting or standing Quinn has leveraged her relationship with Bradlee and her Elena Ceaucescu self into a being a kind of social cudgel in DC. Her father was in the Army and clearly Ol' Sally knew her way around a barracks but the rest is pure fantasy. Ben Bradlee brought her on board at The Post saying, when it was revealed that even then she couldn't write, "well nobody is perfect." Before that her claim to fame had been throwing boozy pajama parties featuring herself, a dozen or so assorted men, a bottle of hootch, a tub of Crisco, and a warm coke. It has been said that Quinn and her "parties" set the benchmarks for the emerging gay bathhouse scene in the 70s. For some reason Ben bought the cow and Mustang Sally stashed the requisite bun in the oven, the hapless Quinn Bradlee. He suffers from velocardiofacial syndrome which may or may not be related to fetal alcohol syndrome or the after effects of syphilis. Needless to say she couldn't quit drinking along as that was her hold on Ben once the allure of her doing lustily what most wives wouldn't wore thin. One could only guess that Bradlee, having a family already, only went along to shut Quinn up and no one has ever suggested that there is anything "maternal" about her. Poor Quinn Bradlee is somewhat caught in a wedge between his father's dotage and Cruella de Ville's venality, guilt and anger. There are those who say his fiancee, Baby Mama Yoga is "suspect" but who knows her motives. She is much married already and has secured her income stream with the heir apparent. She is also, apparently, Rahm Emanuel's yoga instructor which has spawned a tremendously funny speculation that the two have come up with a new yoga position, "the marking dog"! Nonetheless, there is some hope the poor guy won't find himself completely estranged from his father's other children because he really will need them. Sally Quinn never could write. It has long been accepted that anything appearing under her name has been ghost written by Post staffers. Bleeding out from between the lines of her bilge is a kind of elitist, fascist, rascist nostalgia for an Old Southern order wherein Miss Sally is sitting on the veranda sipping her mint juleps awaitin' her beau while the darkies are lowin' in the field. She has insulted and high-hatted both the well and low born. She has been no part of any of the important socio-political or civil rights advances born out through her tenure in Washington. The nasty, snarky, holier then thou attitude from such a clear low life is what people resent most. Quinn's reputation is at this point irredeemable. Changing one column won't do anything,(her most recent about "God Punishing Children" - watch out Quinn- is no improvement) to turn around years of revulsion. The only thing is for Quinn to essentially leave town, there is no coming back from this for her. When Ben Bradlee dies it will get even nastier. Who knows though, a woman who has so degraded herself in so many ways, over such a long run will probably get off on it. FYI - My personal favorite Sally Ceaucescu Quinn vignette comes from her own voice and concerns the day she showed up at Grey Gardens (which she and Bradlee subsequently bought) and bamboozled Little Edie Beale into allowing her to purloin what was left of the family heirlooms in the attic. Of course, ever since then, in her own mind Sally has been a Bouvier, oh even better, make that, Sally has been Jacqueline Bouvier! She's ready for her close up Mr. DeMille. "Big? I'm still Big! Its the pictures that got small!" Posted By: Jack Star | February 25, 2010 at 02:03

  • Rick Mangus

    Washington Post, can we also say Chapter 9!

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  • JCH

    She is a relic from another era. And in this era, where massive budget cuts, layoffs and online only is a sad reality, you just cannot afford to keep someone like this on staff as a favor or for nostalgia.

  • Jack Star

    Jack Star here, thanks, and a tip of the hat to Erik Wemple, Editor.

    I am with those thoroughly amused by the fact that it appears Mr. Wemple is calling the shots at the Post as well as WCP and politico.

  • sprite

    The WP employs a number of talented writers. Ms. Quinn not considered among them. It is surmised that were she not married to the "legendary" Ben Bradlee, Ms. Quinn would not be associated with the Post at all. And the reason her columns can be so cringe-inducing is that, purportedly, editors at the Post are afraid to criticize or cross her. Perhaps not anymore? Still, I don't see how writing for the website only is much of a "demotion." Perhaps in the minds of old-time print/paper news persons, a website is some second-class citizen?

  • sprite

    Mr. Summers, you are correct. The WP comments section (for Quinn's column) were closed on the 21st. And yet, there appears a comment posted on the 25th from some Sally Quinn apologist. What gives? Some sort of Sally demand that had to be obliged before she went off to the website?

  • Texarkana Girl

    These are terribly ugly personal comments. Regardless of one's opinion of "The Party," I do not think it acceptable to disparage Sally Quinn as a person, nor to make hurtful and demeaning comments about her family members. There was a day when the ad hominem attack was, by definition, beyond the pale. It still should be.

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  • Anna

    New in town, TGirl? Sally Q. has said terrible things about just about everyone she's ever met, including, but not limited to, Katharine Graham, Janet Auchincloss, Woodward, Bernstein, the respective spouses of both, Mark Felt--need I go on?

    No one here remembers Svetlana, Quinn's astrologer who had a column in the WaPo in the 80s, as Sally's command. She told Sally that she would have a perfect life, but that her progeny would pay for her bad acts.

  • Lucky You

    Isn't there a statute of limitations for the WaPo to indulge the aging Trophy Wife of their ancient ex-editor? Please, spare us. Her Party column was a weekly train wreck wherein she embarrassed herself and the WaPo -- it also made her the laughing stock of Washington. Increasingly it read like a desperate cry for help-- "Pay attention to MEEEEE-- I used to be someone 40 years ago when I slept with my rich boss and destroyed his marriage."
    Now she's become the StepGrandmother from Hell as well as the Mother of the Groom from Hell. Poor Quinn and his pregnant fiancé should just go to City Halll and have a nice quiet wedding ceremony, away from the grotesque narcissm of his self absorbed mother and her delusions of grandeur. Enuf already.

  • sprite

    Well, it's rumored that the son Quinn's wedding to Pary W. is OFF for April 10. Am no reliable source, however. And, of course, in these matters, the Post folk can't comment. Think "Reliable Source" for that column should be renamed "Reliable Source But Only If Bradlee (Et Al.) Approve."

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  • Helen

    Please explain what this's all about .

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