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 washingtonpost.com 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.