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Washington Post would give access to power for $25,000
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, July 3, 2009
Posted: July 4th, 2009

For generations, The Washington Post has been a scrupulous watchdog over the capitals cozy world of power networking. For a short time, it almost became the networks host. The Post decided Thursday to cancel plans to charge lobbyists and trade groups $25,000 or more to sponsor private, off-the-record dinner parties at the home of its publisher, Katharine Weymouth, events that would have brought together lobbyists, business leaders, Post journalists and officials from the Obama administration and Congress. The revelation of the parties early Thursday morning by appalled members of The Post newsroom and put the paper squarely in the cross hairs of journalism ethicists. In response, Ms. Weymouth canceled the first dinner, scheduled for July 21. A flier describing the events promised corporate sponsors conversation (Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No.) at the Washington home of Ms. Weymouth. Sponsors were asked to pay $25,000 to attend an event, or underwrite a series of 11 for $250,000. The July 21 event, focusing on health care reform, guaranteed a collegial evening with health industry advocates, Post journalists covering the field and administration officials involved with its policies. The Politico article prompted an immediate newsroom reaction. The Posts ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, wrote on his blog that this comes pretty close to a public relations disaster. With the print business in tough straits, many news organizations have turned to conferences and other events to raise revenue and their profiles. But the planned Post events seem particularly audacious, not only acting essentially as a paid conduit between lobbyists and government officials, but also providing sponsors the opportunity to make their case to Post journalists.

Note: This article shows the blatant manipulations going on behind the scenes in our major media. To learn just how compromised the media have been for a long time, click here to read about former Post owner Katharine Graham's connections with the CIA. And to understand how major news is suppressed, click here.

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