It looks like it’s time for Katharine Graham to roll over in her grave yet again. Yesterday’s Outlook section was quite full of things about the Post itself. Outgoing section editor Steven Luxenberg wrote a piece on his tenure there, beginning with the classic understatement “Over the course of my nearly 10 years as Outlook editor, I witnessed the demise of the mass media.”
Then Fred Hiatt wrote a column defending his page, which came under withering fire from the Joint Chiefs of Staff last week over a cartoon by Tom Toles. Then, just in case there was any doubt in your mind that the Washington Post loves terrorism and hates America/freedom/apple pie/your mom, it gave space to Mousa Abu Marzook, deputy political bureau chief of Hamas for an op-ed last week. Hiatt defends both actions, saying, “The freedom to offend brings with it a responsibility not to offend gratuitously.”
As Hiatt points out, “In an era when the Web allows readers to read only commentary that they agree with, we continue to think there’s value in an opinion page that offers a wide range of commentary. Our editorials don’t always share Toles’s point of view; the op-eds we publish frequently disagree with our editorials. Our aim is not to offend, though some readers will at times be offended, but rather to stimulate, provoke and inform debate.
“We’re glad to hear from readers when they think we’ve gotten it wrong, and even sometimes when they think we’ve gotten it right.”
> Speaking of the Post, the website today launched a new D.C. politics blog for all six of you who care deeply about what bow tie Mayor Williams is wearing.