City Desk

Washington Post Memo: Don’t Send Washington Post Memos to the Press

After the employee cafeteria at the Washington Post's office downtown was closed by health inspectors yesterday, Washington City Paper and Jim Romenesko reported on a memo that Jeff Cox, the paper's director of operations and administrative services, sent the staff. That didn't sit so well with Post editorial writer Charles Lane, who just sent an email to newsroom staffers about the publication of Cox's memo:

For us, the closure of the cafeteria due to cleanliness issues is a minor inconvenience, a bit of an institutional embarrassment, a modest health issue and, of course, fodder for the usual newsroom snark.

For the cheerful, hard-working father of four who wakes up every day before dawn to make our coffee and spread out our salad bar, however, it is a serious matter, entailing loss of income, reputational damage, additional expenses, etc. – even though it’s entirely unclear how much this decent, honest man, or the employees who assist him, are actually at fault, or how much harm anyone actually suffered.

So it would be nice if he did not also have to contend with being mentioned, and indeed implicitly mocked, by name, in the press, before he’s even had a chance to remedy the situation and submit to follow-up inspection.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2014/05/06/washington-post-cafeteria-shut-down-after-evidence-of-some-mice-activity/

Alas, someone who received Jeff Cox’s email thought it would be cute to spread this bit of internal trivia to the City Paper and others, and couldn’t resist the impulse.

If I were the cafeteria operator, I might be exploring my legal options (defamation, breach of privacy, etc.) right now. I suppose that’s just one of the unfortunate possible side effects that the leaker didn’t consider.

Sincerely,

Charles Lane

Should Lane send another email out about this post, be sure to look for it here. In the meantime, you can read the report from the D.C. Department of Health's inspection of the Post's cafeteria below. We've redacted information about the cafeteria operator, though it's now a matter of public record, out of deference to Lane.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

 

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Comments

  1. #1

    Wow, where to start? What case does Mr. Lane think there would be for exposing the public record of a health inspection? Maybe no one has gotten sick yet from mouse droppings on the panini press, but it's pretty much just a matter of time. For a newspaper person to think the answer to a health violation is "think of the poor man and his family" as opposed to, this guy shouldn't be in the business of running a food establishment, well, just no words.

  2. #2

    Wouldn't it be nice if all "journalists" considered the impact of their victims before publishing all the smarmy accusations, true or untrue???

    Nine times out of ten, the "journalist" never followup to make sure that the accused get their name cleared once the accusations prove false. And with the internet, people can now find false accusations about someone from nearly twenty years ago. the accusations live on forever, and the fact that they were never true gets buried almost immediately.

    A true journalist isn't just looking to get their byline on the front page. And they care more about getting the story right than they do about being the first one to broadcast it.

  3. #3

    That inspection report indicates some pretty serious problems, including cold food in warm places, hot food in cool places and extensive rodent droppings. And despite Lane's silly prattle about the guy who shows up early to make everything right, the report says the manager didn't appear until two hours after the inspection began and no one on the premises could answer basic food safety questions. Maybe the state of the cafeteria explains the decline of the Post; everybody's fighting low-grade food poisoning.

  4. #4

    What a bunch of garbage! As others have said, it's unlikely they extend that courtesy to all their subjects. Maybe they should focus their energy on cleaning up their vile comment sections.

  5. #5

    The Post comments section is what makes it fun. Nice to respond to liberal twits with no clue in language they can understand.

  6. #6

    What? The WP did not get an exemption from their friendly Obama? The elite seem to put themselves above the peasants as they try to rule over us.

  7. #7

    What?

    Some of the slime they pushing spread from their newsroom to the cafeteria?

  8. #8

    DO IT RIGHT! Just do your job and do it correctly

  9. #9

    maybe it looked as delectable as Moochelle's cardboard crapola menus......

  10. #10

    The way I see it Wash Post has been adding fecal matter to our news for years so this is really just fair play right?

  11. #11

    Lane's memo reads like it should have been handwritten in all-caps and taped to the lunch room's refrigerator door.

  12. #12

    Loved the thinly-veiled threat of (bogus) law-suit against the leaker. So typical of Illiberal modus operandi...

    "Defamation" my behind -- reporting FACTS are what newspapers are supposed to do, and business-ownership and health-inspections are all public records.

    You can usually look-up the inspection results of an establishment online.

  13. #13

    Now can we start on the Editorial section?

  14. #14

    Well that explains the reporting.

  15. #15

    Oops! Sorry. We thought we were in the Washington Times cafeteria. Please don't tell Harry Reid or Obama we came here by mistake.

  16. #16

    They got the garbage they print mixed up with the garbage they eat.

  17. #17

    Rumor has it that the rats turned the WaPo in. Seems they complained that Obama's fellators were causing their rat-hole home values to decline.

  18. #18

    This so typifies the attitude of the Post’s editorial staff. If they like you or feel sympathetic towards you they will cover for you by bending the facts and covering up relevant information. In turn if the same Post editors don’t like you or believe you because to be unjust they will distort the truth and make up facts along with anything else they can think of to cast the subject in a bad light. Trust me if this “cheerful hard working father” were at an organization the Post didn’t like. Said editors would have no problem A) Running the story and B) List the man name for all to see. They would probably make up some lies along the way just to further embarrass whoever the target was.
    This situation is a shining example why circulation is / has been going downhill. Not so much because of the internet, but rather the biased unreliable reporting the Post exhibits every day.

  19. #19

    Sounds as if Mr. Charles Lane could be writing Benghazi excuses for Hillary.

  20. #20

    This so typifies the attitude of the Post’s editorial staff. If they like you or feel sympathetic towards you they will cover for you by bending the facts and covering up relevant information. In turn if the same Post editors don’t like you or believe your cause to be unjust they will distort the truth and make up facts along with anything else they can think of to cast the subject in a bad light. Trust me, if this “cheerful hard working father” were at an organization the Post didn’t like. Said editors would have no problem A) Running the story and B) List the man name for all to see. They would probably make up some lies along the way just to further embarrass whoever the target was.
    This situation is a shining example why circulation is / has been going downhill. Not so much because of the internet, but rather the biased unreliable reporting the Post exhibits every day.

  21. #21

    What does the Post and the employee cafeteria have in common? They both serve cr*p.

  22. #22

    The real danger to America is not just gay Obama alone, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a filthy sodomite like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of a gay Obama presidency than to restore the necessary,commonsense ,Godliness and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a creature for their president.

    The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr.gay Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the gay fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. “The Republic can survive a gay Obama, who is, after all, merely a gay fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”

  23. #23

    Stacey is right. Just recall wapo's treatment of the young men at Duke falsely accused of rape some years ago. Liberal hypocrite = Lane
    Just wondering, were the other cafeteria employees not able to answer the health inspector's questions because they couldn't understand English?

  24. Ali Von Goldberg
    #24

    Liberal journalists need to have others keep their lunchroom clean and to clean up the mess they leave behind.

  25. #25

    probably afraid they might be feeding them some truth serum, and that would destroy the whole genre of the WP.

  26. #26

    A paper that publishes trash and feeds trash to its employees. OUTSTANDING!!!!!

  27. #27

    I take it the Post will stop publishing anything that would embarrass any cheerful, hard-working folks in the future.

  28. #28

    Wow...like they actually care about the cafeteria worker, "father of four". Somebody go interview this guy and see if they actually care about cafeteria workers or just using it to make employees think twice about leaking it.

  29. #29

    Jeff Cox should be fired. He is incompetent and dangerous.

  30. #30

    The health inspectors found some columns by Eugene Robinson on the steam table.

  31. #31

    We knew that all along.....

  32. #32

    The oldest trick in the book for TV stations at sweeps week is to do a health department inspection horror series, Special Report, "Was that a caper in your bruschetta or a rat turd?" Tonight at 6 & 11

    But ask a democrat a tough question? Ben Gozzi? Who's that, some mafioso?

    IRS did not audit a single big company but really pooned it up the Tea Party's bee hind? What? That's not news.

  33. #33

    An inspection result as bad as this would likely trigger closing the place down anywhere I can think of.

    No manager? No one there with any idea of the very basics of food safety?

    Food temperature control is one the most critical and basic requirements to keeping the food safe. These clowns didn't even have thermometers or know how to use them?

    Potentially hazardous foods sitting at unsafe temperatures that promote rapid bacteria growth?

    Food poisoning is a serious matter that kills 3,000 Americans a year. These guys should be charged with attempted murder.

  34. #34

    yuck. I saw a video on this at PirateShip .com , a heated debate followed, very interesting.

  35. #35

    In most cases where the establishment is closed down the establishment must demonstrate and explain to the Health Inspectors what efforts they have taken to correct the deficiencies and what actions they have taken to prevent such situation to happen again.

    What did they do? Blame it all on George Bush?

  36. #36

    It wasn't a modest health issue nor just about cleanliness.

    Food poisoning is serious and has the potential to kill someone.

    The inspection didn't just identify an unclean kitchen. It discovered very serious temperature control issues.

  37. #37

    After 30 years in culinary I've had scores of inspections. If you serve food to the public you have to have both establishment and your staff practice safe food handling. To be closed down by the DEC is pretty bad. Reviewed the inspection report and agree with the inspector 100%. Shut it down, train your food handlers, fix the place up with rodent deterrents and repair the kitchen.

  38. #38

    It looks like a lot of the aforementioned vile commenters showed up here to trash the Post. Seriously, go to any Post article about local crime or politics; 90% of the comments are from disgusting racists blaming black people. ("joe" is a great example. Gay Obama? What?)

    Back on topic: the worst part of this is the outrageous threat of a lawsuit. There are a lot of ways to say "I'd appreciate you keep these matters in-house" that don't involve threats of legal action. Dude, it's an internal memo about a cafeteria closure, not classified materials. The Post should be ridiculed far and wide for this.

  39. #39

    This is Notnews.

  40. #40

    The only people eating there are liberals so let them eat garbage, they rate it.

  41. #41

    What took so long? I worked in the Post newsroom from 1979-1983. The cafeteria was disgusting. The food was disgusting. It was an embarrassment given how rich the Post was in those salad days (pun intended).

  42. #42

    Liberal Rag, good only for bird cage linings.

    Milloy, Dionne, Cohen, Toles, Robinson, and especially Milbank, are nothing but Liberal Ob*ama Sycophants. It is little wonder why they are bleeding subscribers. I hope Bezos loses his Progressive shirt on this mis-adventure.

  43. #43

    apparently, Mr. Lane either likes eating rat turds or he is a brown bagger....I would say by his politcally correct response, he likes the former

  44. #44

    The reporters there are up to their ears in bullsh*t. Some of it must have leaked down to the cafeteria.

  45. #45

    So the Post named this guy in their original memo, sent it to the entire staff, it got released, and now the Post thinks there's grounds for a defamation and/or breach of privacy lawsuit? If I were Jeff Bezos I'd be hiding my wallet...

    Also, for defamation, doesn't there need to be a falsehood involved? Is the Post saying that the information it released in its memo is untrue?

    These people are a barrel...

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