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Dinner and a Show

John on July 2, 2009 at 9:02 am

Oops…The Washington Post was caught offering access to senior White House staff for money. In this particular case it was on the issue of health reform:

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post has offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few”: Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and — at first — even the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer was detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he felt it was a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

[...]

“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.”

I wonder if the Post got the idea from the Atlantic, which has been hosting invitation only press salons for some time. Of course the Atlantic wasn’t asking people to underwrite their soirees. On the other hand, the Post’s willingness to offer access to anyone who can pay is sort of refreshing compared to the elitism of the Atlantic’s version.

Perhaps Obama can combine the Post’s concept with his own stage managed “townhall” events.  He could sell every question for $10K and raise a bundle.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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