The Washington Post yesterday terminated the “White House Watch” column written by Dan Froomkin. Froomkin did far better and more courageous coverage of the torture scandal than did any other Post columnist or editorial writer. (Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles also did magnificent work on this score). Froomkin was off to a strong start on the Obama administraiton, highlighting the new president’s hypocrisy and abandonment of principles. A pink slip was Froomkin’s reward.
Froomkin recognized that cravenness is destroying the newspaper and media businesses:
“If mainstream-media political journalists don’t start calling bullshit more often, then we do risk losing our primacy — if not to the comedians then to the bloggers.
“I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling than a well-informed beat reporter – whatever their beat. We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way”
Apparently, as long as top Washington Post editors can keep reaping the rewards of publishing BS, that is all that matters. And Washington Post honchos will no longer need to worry about complaints from The Powers That Be about Froomkin pointing out their lies and betrayals.
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent column on Froomkin’s firing here.