Washington Post Cancels Lobbyist Dinner Amidst Outrage

July 2, 2009

Washington (ChattahBox) – The Washington Post has canceled a dinner event which has caused an uproar within the public, after an expose by Politico announced that the newspaper had been offering access to high political figures and it’s own reporters in exchange for $25,000 – $250,000.  The newspaper appeared to be selling influence, as a go-between lobbyists and the White House, while assuring the cooperation of its reporters and editorial staff.

The Washington Post has claimed that it was all a mistake, and that the fliers passed around, which were sent to reporters by a lobbyist who had been invited to the event, had not been authorized for release.

“This should never have happened. The fliers got out and weren’t vetted. They didn’t represent at all what we were attempting to do. We’re not going to do any dinners that would impugn the integrity of the newsroom,” Katharine Weymouth, whose home was set to be the event’s location, told Politico.

The flier reportedly said:

“Underwriting Opportunity:

An evening with the right people can alter the debate,” says the one-page flier. “Underwrite and participate in this intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth.

Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table. Interact with key Obama administration and congressional leaders.”

Evidently a lobbyist felt uncomfortable with the ethics of the situation, and gave a copy of the flier to Mike Allen who reported the story for Politico.  Making a lobbyist feel slimy, now that’s an accomplishment!


Comments

2 Responses to “Washington Post Cancels Lobbyist Dinner Amidst Outrage”

  1. carly on July 3rd, 2009 10:56 am

    What were they thinking? there is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?p=2042

  2. Washington Post publisher apologizes for perceived as influence peddling dinner plan | ChattahBox News Blog on July 5th, 2009 9:14 am

    […] — The Washington Post’s publisher has apologized to readers today (Sunday) for their attempt to charge business leaders and lobbyists for private dinner discussions with government officials […]

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