WaPo’s publisher to step down in August; who will replace him?

By Dave Andrusko

The news came out this afternoon. “Fred Ryan, the publisher and chief executive of The Washington Post for most of the decade since it was bought by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, will leave the company in August, he announced Monday. Ryan, 68, will lead the newly formed nonpartisan Center on Public Civility at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.”

Since this just happened, here are a few tentative observations about a newspaper so full of itself, so breathtakingly tone deaf it added “Democracy Dies in Darkness” to the top of their website below The Washington Post logo in 2017. Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for the paper, “confirmed that we’re going to be seeing more of this slogan.“ Why you ask? “Jeff Bezos used the phrase at a Post event last year.” (PS Donald Trump had just assumed the presidency)

#1. To give you some idea of the Post’s readership, Ryan, the editorial page, and the paper in general were savagely attacked in  the comment section. Were you to believe most of the respondents, you would never have guessed that the “moderate” Post beat the tar out of President Trump for the better part of a year before the 2016 election and probably 50 times a day every day he was in office.

On April 27, 2021, I wrote, “From before Day One, the major media has done everything in its considerable power to destabilize the Trump Administration. We needn’t rehearse the obvious. The CNNs and MSNBCs and Washington Posts of this world had prepared themselves and their audience for the certain coronation of pro-abortion Hillary Clinton when, low and behold, pro-life Donald Trump pulls off one of the greatest upsets in American history. They were not happy and have gone after President Trump with every weapon in their arsenal.”

And consider what Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock wrote on April 28, 2021, “The Washington Post, which infamously added ‘democracy dies in darkness to its front page once Donald Trump took office, has now apparently decided that everything is just fine. As noted by The Washington Times, the liberal Post is ending its presidential database of fact checks. 

“Fact checker Glenn Kessler on Tuesday tweeted a link to the Biden database, saying, ‘Here’s the Biden database — which we do not plan to extend beyond 100 days. I have learned my lesson.’” 

“The reason? It’s all just too much work to hold Biden accountable.”

#2. Speaking of not even pretending to be objective, when President Trump was impeached, the Post’s was downright giddy. Nicholas Fondacaro wrote

In a late Wednesday night, post-impeachment tweet devoid of all self-awareness, Washington Post congressional reporter Rachael Bade flaunted how she and four other journalists from the paper were celebrating President Trump’s impeachment.

“Merry Impeachmas from the WaPo team! [Paul Kane] is buying … w/[Karoun Demirjian] [Seung Min Kim] [Mike DeBonis],” she gleefully shared in the now-deleted tweet, along with a picture of them around a restaurant table with food and at least two beers.

#3. “In an interview, Ryan said he has long been passionate about the issues at the core of the center’s mission, saying ‘the decline in civility is threatening the foundation of our democracy,’” according  to the Post’s Elahe Izadi and Will Sommer.

Talk about being out to lunch. Didn’t the Washington Post, in its unrelenting hostility and casual flurry of insults (how about Nazi?),contribute to that erosion of basic decency just a tiny, little bit?

#4. The Post is only the most obvious party that substitutes piling on masquerading as news coverage. It’s endemic.  Tim Graham writes, “Now the inaugural Harris Poll from the new website The Messenger repeats that Americans desire an objective news outlet:

Two in three voters in the poll, conducted by HarrisX, agreed that journalists mostly practice advocacy rather than unbiased journalism, including 77 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats.

Three in four voters agreed that the media “gives a biased picture of political events,” including 68 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Republicans, and 76 percent of Independents.

More than 80 percent of voters agreed that “we need a new news medium dedicated to even-handed treatment of issues without political bias.”

Harris Poll chairman Mark Penn concluded. “They are hungry for new sources of information.”

To come full circle, if Fred Ryan is some sort of “moderate”–who is “out of tune with his staff–heaven help us if the powers that be at the Post choose someone to Ryan’s left.