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Pravda says farewell to L'il Debbie; lambert sheds a single tear [not]

Meet the new ombudsman. Let's just hope they're not the same as the old ombudsman.

I'm told it's a thankless job. To readers, the ombudsman often is seen as an apologist for the paper. To the newsroom, the ombudsman is the dreaded investigator from internal affairs.

But that's what Ben Bradlee, then the executive editor, had in mind when he created the position in 1970. He wanted an honest broker who would listen to readers and scold the newsroom* when necessary.

Well, there's your problem: Howell was a dishonest broker.

You can communicate with me in three ways. E-mail me at ombudsman@washpost.com. Leave a message on the ombudsman's line at 202-334-7582. Or write to me, care of The Post, at 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.

Each day, I'll relay your questions and concerns directly to Post reporters and editors. The goal is to get answers and resolve complaints. Many issues you raise will be addressed in my Sunday column. In coming months, there will be more opportunities to interact through online forums on washingtonpost.com

Good. Let's see how it goes. I mean, I don't really read Pravda for news anymore, but it's always good to listen to the Village talking to itself, and that's certainly a worthy goal in and of itself, and well worthy of First Amendment protection. The best of luck!

NOTE * Actually, it's not the newsroom that's the problem; it's the ownership. Unfortunately, we can only get at the newsroom, so they bear the brunt.

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CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Hilzoy writes:

I haven't written about George Will's factually challenged column from last Sunday, but I have been following the various refutations of mistakes he made. I have also been following the various requests for comment from the Washington Post, and wondering when the Post might respond. Now they have ...

If Will actually read these two articles, it's hard to see how he's not being deliberately deceptive by citing them as he did. If, as I suspect, he just got them from some set of climate change denialist talking points and didn't bother to actually check them out for himself, he's being irresponsible. All those people who supposedly fact-checked Will's article as part of the Post's "multi-layer editing process" ...

And Andy Alexander? He should read the cites George Will gives him before he sends them out, under his own name, in support of his paper's decision to publish Will's piece, if he doesn't want to be embarrassed like this again.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

had the wrong mindset for the job:

When I started work several weeks ago, my predecessor, Deborah Howell, had left some hand-me-downs on the ombudsman's desk: a military combat helmet, brass knuckles and a hand grenade (fake, I think). Her message: Get ready to rumble.

I guess the truth is harder to defend than I thought.