Friday, June 19, 2009

Boycott the Washington Post!

One of the things that continues to amaze me is why people on the left continue to patronize outlets like the Washington Post that pretend to be "the liberal media" but actually identify with the right. Yesterday, the Washington Post fired its token liberal blogger Dan Froomkin as part of its move to the right under Fred Hiatt and Dan Graham.

Former conservative Andrew Sullivan captures the firing well:
"Dan's work on torture may be one reason he is now gone. The way in which the WaPo has been coopted by the neocon right, especially in its editorial pages, is getting more and more disturbing. This purge will prompt a real revolt in the blogosphere. And it should."
But why should we limit our revolt to complaining? Why don't readers on the left fire the Washington Post in return.

This isn't to say that progressives should not read inform themselves of conservative views or keep up with right-wing politics. It's important that we do so and there are plenty of right-wing outlets like the Washington Times, TownHall, and RealClearPolitics that allow people to do so. Some of the conservative outlets like HotAir and Protein Wisdom are actually fun to read sometimes.

But why should we on the left allow an outlet like the Washington Post to maintain its reputation as a "liberal newspaper" while it pursues a right-wing agenda?

It's stupid and self-destructive on our parts to do so.

I'm not privy to the business model of the Post, but I would bet my bottom dollar that its ability to promote its advertising, sell newspapers, and generate on-line traffic depends heavily on the good will they'e earned among urban liberals and progressives.

The same would be the case with the New York Times and NPR.

But, now that the Post is taking a hard turn to the right, they no longer deserve the good will of people on the left. Given that the editorial page of the Post has become a major mouthpiece for neo-conservative war-mongering, it can even be said that the Post has become a significant vehicle for the most dangerous kind of right-wing politics.

In other words, patronizing the Washington Post has become the equivalent of sending checks to Newt Gingrich.

We shouldn't do it.

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