« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Keywords: Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Washington Post, circulation, problems.

Sorry about the title, but I want to make sure that Jeff Bezos – more accurately, his research team – sees this post. Mind you, I’m assuming that Bezos plans to introduce the Amazon customer service paradigm to the Washington Post, but surely this is not an unreasonable assumption, hey?

Anyway, on to the purpose for this post. The Washington Post is doing it again – and by ‘doing it again’ I mean ‘trying to recreate its macaca high from 200[6] by trying to incite another controversy about a Republican.’ Ed Driscoll has the details:

“The Washington Post Has a Fever, and the Only Cure is More Ted Cruz Birtherism,” Ace writes at the Breitbart.com group blog. “It’s breathtaking,” he notes, and really, you do have to see the post to believe it, since it features screen shots of over a dozen Ted Cruz birther-related stories, which if I’m looking at the date stamps correctly, all ran over the course of only one or two days at the Post.

On the off chance that Jeff Bezos doesn’t know this – and why should he? It’s entirely possible that nobody’s ever told him – George Allen’s loss in 200[6] in the Virginia senate race was largely due to the Washington Post making the conscious decision to use its front page to attack Allen, over and over and over again. Now, put to the side whether the WaPo’s (that’s one common nickname for the Washington Post, again for the benefit of Bezos’ research team) decision to do that was justified or not (spoiler warning: it was not). What may be more important here is that (as Ed Driscoll, Ace of Ace of Spades HQ, Jim Geraghty of National Review Online, myself [Moe Lane of RedState], and the rest of the Right-wing blogosphere have noted) the Post has kept trying to recreate that one, perfect high. The most infamous example was Bob McDonnell, in 2009; but there’s a pattern where the newspaper decides to flog a particular narrative, and then proceeds to do so. To death. And beyond. And, hey, it’s always to the benefit of a Democrat.

I don’t expect the Washington Post to become a conservative paper overnight; heck, I don’t even expect it to become a moderate or centrist one. But it does not seem unreasonable to suggest that new owner Jeff Bezos think about how the Washington Post is currently hurting its brand name. There’s a reason why the paper’s circulation and revenue has been dropping steadily over the last three years: and while I’m not in a position to prove that it is because the WaPo has decided to backslap half of its potential readership* it’s still a perfectly reasonable allegation to make. I assume that Jeff Bezos has an aversion to losing money because customers don’t like the way that Bezos’ product treats them, yes?

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Again, in case nobody’s mentioned this to the new owner of the Washington Post: a paper that caters to inside-the-Beltway types is going to have a potential audience that will have far more Republicans in it than the demographics of the Washington DC metro area might suggest.

[Weird: some last-minute fixes didn't take.]

Get Alerts