If there is to be one sure bet in the District ‘s 2014 mayoral primary election, it could possibly be that The Washington Post will not endorse D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray for re-election. Publisher Katharine Weymouth and editorial writer Ms. Jo-Ann Armao have made this evidently clear and have not been shy about it.
For the past four (4) years of Mr. Gray’s mayoral tenure, Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao have questioned his leadership and trust during his first mayoral campaign. The pages of The Washington Post, on its editorial pages and news reports, published editorials and stories have to raise doubts and to shape public opinion against Mayor Gray.
Through a series of editorials and stories about ethics, accountability, corruption, and transparency, The Washington Post has been a loud voice critical of Mayor Gray. However, having a loud bullhorn to express your opinion does not equal being right, so I have been told.
It would be a rational presumption to think all people want all their relationships, interactions, and dealings to be ethical and righteous. People do want their elected, religious, business, and civic leaders to know the difference between right and wrong and do the right thing. No one wants leaders who are corrupt, anymore than readers want reporters who plagiarize and fabricate news.
Unfortunately, when it comes to professional ethics and fairness, Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao are not in their own rights “leadership straight shooters.” Both Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao demand a level of leadership, trust, transparency, and ethics of others they are unwilling to give to the people of the District.
Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao are eager to demand answers to possible ethical transgressions of others, but refuse to address possible professional ethical questions of their conduct and those of newsroom editors. Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao seem to ignore the public's questioning of their judgment, leadership, and trust.
What is at issue here is more than reporting news. It is about a corporate agenda to be in control of events and people and believing it does not have to be accountable to the public for its own offenses.
Ms. Weymouth needs to be more “transparent” on her decision to get rid of the “public” ombudsman position and to replace it with an “in-house” reader representative, Mr. Doug Feaver, who as of last month is no longer with The Washington Post.
Ms. Weymouth and Mr. Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor need to be more “ethical” in letting readers know why commentaries and letters to the editor in support of Mayor Gray are not published in The Washington Post.
If The Washington Post is going to use its position to be the ethical purist, then it cannot deviate from that principle and have friendship variables with mobile lines of decorum.
While many believe elected and government officials are to be and must be held accountable to higher standards of ethics; should not Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao as watch dogs of elected and government officials’ conduct be held accountable to at least one?
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