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The Washington Post Dies in Whiteness


l to r: William Lewis, Matt Murray, Rob Winnett

The answer to Scott’s headline question is “Yes, the Washington Post is going to be Murdoch’d.”

Dan Froomkin provides our header photo and a description of the new publisher of the Washington Post.

Will Lewis, the white male former Rupert Murdoch henchman and British lord who mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos installed as publisher of the Washington Post a few months back

You may notice a similarity among those three in the header photo! None looks at all like Sally Buzbee. And the other two are former Murdochites as well.

As Charlotte Klein wrote for Vanity Fair, one reporter at Monday’s meeting asked Lewis whether “any women or people of color were interviewed and seriously considered for either of these positions.”

According to Klein, “Lewis said there will be ‘significant opportunities’ within the new organizational structure. Asked by another staffer about which people he met with, Lewis said, ‘It was an iterative, messy process, which I don’t want to go into the details of.’”

In other words: No. Seeking the two future leaders of the second most important newsroom in America, Lewis didn’t consider a single woman or person of color. He phoned a couple white male friends instead. That’s inexcusable.

They were the best for the job, though, Lewis said!

Lewis held a staff meeting that did not go well. 

Lewis reportedly got testy when some reporters asked him pointed questions, responding to one query about bringing in outsiders: “Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. Right. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore.”

Josh Marshall has some observations about British newspapers.

British journalism is just a very sketchy world. I don’t know how else to put it. I mean this journalistically but also in terms of business, though I’m less versed in that part of it. And this is quite apart from the Murdoch domination of the British journalism world. When I was beginning my journalism career and did a lot more international and national security reporting, I realized very quickly and really to my surprise that even what I had understood to be prestige British dailies routinely crossed all sorts of ethical lines. Some of the big ones were pretty openly known as open for business to foreign intelligence services that wanted to place stories.

And they’ve been very anti-trans.

Bezos has always been part of the Silicon Valley culture, and it looks like he’s all in on the masculinist rightwing now.

Update: NPR says that Will Lewis tried to squelch a story they had about him too. That’s twice, and a major breach of journalistic ethics. In the US, anyway.

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