City Desk

Anti-Nationals Stadium Story Spiked by Post, Says Writer

Update, 5:50 p.m.: Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti responds via email, writing, "Our decision not to run the piece had nothing to do with whether or not an editor agreed with the author's opinion."

Nationals fans may be smarting after today's loss to the Cardinals, but reporter Neil deMause says there's still more bad Nats-related news. According to deMause, District residents are still getting ripped off on the bond and taxes deal that financed Nationals Park. Perhaps worse, he says that the Washington Post won't even carry that story.

According to deMause, the author of a book about publicly financed arenas, someone in the Post's Outlook section asked him to write an article about Nationals Park and whether Washington's investment in the stadium has paid off.

After he submitted the article, deMause says, it was rejected by a higher-up at the Post because they disagreed with his interpretation of the stadium's impact. He eventually posted the op-ed on his blog.

DeMause tells City Desk that he doesn't know who in the Post killed his story, but says he isn't surprised. With both Washington's business and political establishment saying the stadium has been a success, he says it's hard for the Post to say otherwise.

"My interpretation was ruled outside the bounds of acceptable debate, because people in power say that the Nats’ stadium is a money-maker, so it damn well must be one," deMause wrote on his blog. The Post, which I reached out to around lunchtime, has told me they're working on a response to my query.

DeMause doesn't seem to have a grudge against the Nationals—he wished Washington luck with today's game when we talked, not that it helped much—but he's suspicious about whether Nationals fever was worth the cost.

"Who can put a price on the Nationals, who can put a price on all this excitement?" deMause says. "I would argue that you can."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    ORIOLES MAGIC

  • Roger

    The Washington Post has lost all credibility years ago. This just adds to the Kaplan Company's list of concrete examples of biased and selective reporting.

  • Mike Licht

    This may not be about the proposed column's content. If the Op-Ed rambles as much as the blog post, any editor would either spike it or refer it to the Department of Redundancy Department.

  • anons

    A little specificity would be nice because all the actual facts surrounding the stadiums cost point to the opposite of what he is claiming. How exactly is the city losing money?

    The debt servicing on the Bonds for the stadium cost the city 32 million a year, and the tax revenue and special tax created to pay for the stadium have been creating about 50 milllion a year, or about a 20 million surplus every year. There have been numerous stories the past 3 or 4 years as to how the city was using the surplus stadium revenue to fill holes in the city budget.

    I personally hate that we as taxpayer had to build a a billionare his toy, but we aren't losing money on it.

  • REALDC

    Typical of the current Post editorial team. This paper is becoming more irrelevant every day.

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