Do the Right Thing

The Washington Post lost $77 million last year.  Now the paper’s owner Jeff Bezos spends $77 million on having his bald head waxed every month so the amount of money is almost inconsequential.  But the fact that they lost half of their subscription base was just too embarrassing and so Bezos brought in a hatchet man as publisher and now he has given the paper’s first female executive editor; Sally Buzbee the boot.

Well, the newsroom is very unhappy.  And what is there number one worry?  Loss of diversity!

  • “I don’t think she deserved to go out this way,” the first staffer told me, noting that in conversations with their colleagues, people “don’t feel good about the fact that the first female executive editor of The Washington Post got a one paragraph goodbye note at 8:30 p.m. on a Sunday, and that she’s being replaced by more white men we don’t know.

 

  • “Everyone was pretty shocked with your email last night,” one reporter said at the meeting, according to a source present. The reporter suggested that “the most cynical interpretation sort of feels like you chose two of your buddies to come in and help run the Post, and we now have four white men running three newsrooms,” and expressed surprise at this development given Lewis’s prior commitments to diversity.

 

  • Later in the meeting, another reporter asked Lewis whether “any women or people of color were interviewed and seriously considered for either of these positions,” a question that prompted applause.

Unfortunately, their boss is a little more concerned with the lack of readers wanting to read the written product produced by this much vaunted diversity:

  • At one point Lewis was asked whether he was intentionally bringing in people who come from a different culture than the Post. “We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore,” Lewis said. “So, I’ve had to take decisive, urgent action to set us on a different path, sourcing talent that I have worked with that are the best of the best.”

 

  • “Don’t we need our brilliant social journalists and service journalists as embedded in our core product to make sure that people are actually reading the thing that’s out at the center of the mission of the Washington Post?” one staffer asked, to which Lewis replied, “You haven’t done it. I’ve listened to the platitudes. Honestly, it’s just not happening.”

 

  • The fact that Will Lewis keeps going to his network rather than plucking Washington Post leadership implies that he finds everyone lacking, and I think that’s kind of the most disturbing thing,” a second staffer told me.

 

So, the Washington Post is no longer selling something people want to buy, threatening the jobs of everyone working there and all the drones working there care is that the people being sent in to save their jobs are white men!

It might almost make you wonder if maybe this fixation on race and gender clouds their judgement in terms of their writing.

I guess there’s some hope in the fact that the publisher they brought in openly tells his employees that they are failing at their jobs and things have to change.  Of course, what he probably really has to do is lower his costs by reducing his staff to an absolute minimum and pay them as little as possible.  He’s probably thinking he can buy an AI that will write, “Orange Man bad” for a small fraction of what he pays his Ivy League diversity hires.

The truth is that the whole news business has been upended by the impact of Google on the advertising model and also the ubiquity of news and opinion across the internet threatens the very existence of the print news industry.  Well, some of them will make it.  Apparently, the New York Times has stabilized their subscriptions by adding digital accounts successfully so it can be done.  But maybe there’s no place for another New York Times.  Maybe the Washington Post will have to go.  As I said, Jeff Bezos can pay to keep open or close down the Washington Post without changing his profit statement even a single percent.  But what will be interesting is how the delicate snowflakes react to the news that diversity doesn’t pay the bills or give the owner a reason to keep the place going in the absence of profits.

Now Christopher Rufo has become interested in the trials and tribulations of the Washington Post’s attempt to return to profitability.  And he’s come up with a recommendation.  Fire Taylor Lorenz.  You may remember Taylor from the time she doxed the woman who runs Libs of TikTok.  Because of this she is a very unpopular with a pretty good part of the American public.  Rufo’s point is that if the Washington Post wants to increase its potential reader pool maybe they should eliminate the more ethically challenged staff members.  And that’s the real reason for me writing this post.  I just think it would be hilarious if they gave Taylor the boot.

Wash Post Fires Woke Woman. America LOL

Felicia Sonmez the annoying scold who got her fellow reporter suspended without pay for a month for retweeting a funny joke about women was fired today for harassing all of her colleagues for a week about the dust up.

Apparently this woman sued the Post recently for some petty crap and they have been bending over backward to keep her happy.  But after she continued to pick fights with her other colleagues it reached the point today where she had to go.

The final straw was the anti-white card:

I don’t know who the colleagues anonymously disparaging me in media reports are. But I do know that the reporters who issued synchronized tweets this week downplaying the Post’s workplace issues have a few things in common with each other,” Sonmez wrote during a lengthy Twitter thread. 

“They are all white – They are among the highest-paid employees in the newsroom, making double and even triple what some other National desk reporters are making, particularly journalists of color – They are among the ‘stars’ who ‘get away with murder’ on social media,” Sonmez tweeted. “Of course the Washington Post is a great workplace. It is a great workplace *for them.* The system is working *for them.* What about for everyone else? The General Assignment team? The Morning Mix team? The newsletter researchers?