Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Post Hires Right-Wing Blogger And Angers Left

In apparent attempt to placate conservatives, the Washington Post has hired Ben Domenech of Redstate.org to write a blog for the paper. Judging from the reaction over at AmericaBlog, liberals aren't too happy with the Post over its new hire.

Editor & Publisher indicates that news of the hire didn't fare well when the Post's political reporter, Tom Edsall, attempted to do his online chat today. Edsall responded online unsympathetically to the new hire today:

The hiring of Ben Domenench of RedState has provoked a firestorm, if the volume of questions this morning is any measure. One theory in the newsroom is that he was hired at the behest of Dana Milbank. More seriously, I am told that this is part of the Post's web operation's efforts to provide diverse views. These decisions are, unfortunately, above my paygrade, much as I would love to have the power to hire and fire . . . In fairness to the many inquiries about the Red State blogger, the questions you raise go to some basic issues of journalism that deserve much more expansive treatment and should get answers defining the principles guiding the Post as it engages with web. I could shoot my mouth off on these questions, but they should be answered by those with the power to set policy.

Editor & Publisher thinks the decision to hire Domenench may be to counter the Post's liberal blogger Dan Froomkin, who has recently stirred up quite a controversy with some of his opinions. The bottom line is that even the leading newspaper's in the country are coming to accept the valuable role bloggers now play in shaping American journalism and public opinion.

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