Bezos makes the Washington Post worse
I want to add some thoughts to the Salon article. The Washington Post has problems way beyond the typical "finding a business model in the digital age" problem. Way beyond.
The Washington Post is a right wing Republican newspaper in a Democratic town. The inside-the-beltway precincts have gone Democratic in every presidential election since 1960, every single one.
Greater Washington grows more liberal with each passing year. Obama carried every jurisdiction from Frederick Maryland to Fredricksburg Virginia, every jurisdiction from the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a liberal area. Yet, for reasons best known to itself, The Post libeled Clinton, helped steal the 2000 election, lied us into the Iraq war, and participated in the betrayal of a CIA case officer.. This is just a partial list of their offenses. All of these things profoundly offended the worker bees of the home delivery market.
Since then things have only gotten worse. The Op-Ed section, which has become a regional embarrassment, has featured columns defending torture and child molestation, to say nothing of George Will insulting rape victims. Fred Hiatt ran The Washington Star into the ground and he is in the process of running The Post into the ground. But it would not be enough to replace him. The Post needs an editorial section significantly to the left of what it is now to win back the home delivery market.
Greater Washington is majority-minority. Not just the city itself, but the region as a whole. It is also majority female. So the openly racist-sexist editorial pages do NOT appeal to the home delivery market.
Now, the digital version of the Washington Post is an international newspaper; but its mystique rests upon the notion that nearly everyone in the Greater Washington area reads it. Politico, The Hill, and Roll Call are all publications for Versailles. The Washington Post is supposded to be a mass market news paper. But it isn't. Not anymore. Bezos thinks his competition is The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Not so. His competition is McClatchy, The Guardian, and to a lesser extent Google and Yahoo news. Back when I was still active in Democratic politics, I was struck by the fact that no one south of 50 read The Post. Should word get out that few of Washington's worker bees read The Post, the international appeal would evaporate. I really don't think that Bezos's Reaganaut publisher has any idea of how his neighbors feel about The Post.