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The WashPost House of Ill Repute

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dave Kindred, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    I am here to confess. The Washington Post didn't name me, but I can't let my fellow desperadoes take the heat alone. I am their bookie.

    For a long time now, I have collected cash in the house we rent at Augusta every April during the Masters. After anteing up, $50 each in this case, we draft the 90-some players, even Charles Coody and Doug Ford in the day. We pay for the day's low round, most cuts, most in the top 24, 1st-2d-3d.

    Turns out that the Post ombud thinks we're sinners doomed to journalistic hell unless we repent by replacing cash with Oreos. You'd think, reading her swill, that one of us ran into the 11th fairway on Sunday and threw Tiger's swoosh-ball into the trees, the better to manipulate the results.

    My man Kornheiser, on his Post radio show, called the ombud column "the dumbest waste of space in the newspaper's history."

    To be fair, we should understand it was a slow news week. There was only the Imus firing, and the Duke rape-charges dismissal, and Paul Wolfowitz using World Bank money to pay off his girl friend. Small wonder the ombud chose to harangue a gang of sportswriters.

  2. CapeCodder

    CapeCodder Member

    As you say, Dave, it's not like there wasn't a whole lot of other journalistic questions to delve into that week. Shame on you. ::)

    But if you have to wager a delcious snack treat next year instead of a few bucks, I vote for Mallomars--a far superior cookie to the traditional Oreo (unless it's double-stuff were talking about here...)
  3. I think the reader, Sullivan, raises a valid concern.

    probably wasn't worth a 922-word piece by Howell.
  4. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    What is the concern?
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    The fundmental stupidity of Howell's column was its assumption there's some way a writer who put a bet down on a sports event COULD alter his coverage.
    You can't spin the scoreboard. You have no way to influence an event nor really to twist or even shade its facts. Whenever, and it's rare, sports coverage reflects a bias, it's always an emotional one, not fiscal.
    Next up from Howell. To insure integrity, our business section reporters must keep their savings in their mattresses.
  6. Debbie Howell spends most of her time hiding under the bed from nasty bloggers who point out that Fred Hiatt is a wanker.
    Tough to see the forest for the trees from under there.
  7. I always thought that the best bet to make at Augusta is to see who can eat the most of those cheese sandwiches they have at the course. One of them is delicious but I'm curious if anyone can hold down several of them.

    Next year - $50 says you can't eat five in five minutes and not puke within the hour.

    BTW - Paul Wolfowitz did nothing wrong but your mention of him does illustrate how sportswriters today let their political bias seep into the most unconnected sports affairs. You'd be surprised how big a turnoff that is to many, many readers
  8. The liberals on the WB board are after him.
    As to the actual topic, this is the kind of thing that ombuds live for -- inconsequential and not an issue that will get them disinvited tp the finer soirees.
  9. I've had two as a meal once and I was left with that three McDonald's cheeseburger feeling in the pit of my stomach.

    As far as Wolfowitz is concerned - first off I think Dave K is stretching to even mention the Wolfowitz story in the same class of news as the VT shootings or the Duke story and I think that belies a bias which as a reader I see common in many sportsreporters. Second - my understanding is that the World Bank ethics committee twice looked into the matter and found nothing wrong (it is only the MSM who is trying to make this an issue people should care about - much like the Augusta National story from a couple of years ago). Third - my criticism was a general one - many people go to the sports sections to avoid the partisan bickering and bitterness and we get upset when sportswriters take it upon themselves to insert their political biases into a story that has nothing to do with politics.
  10. I think Fenian is saying we should stay on topic here and in that I agree.

    Sorry for the Wolfowitz sidetrack.

    Do Oreos contain transfats? If so maybe we should send a joke letter to the editor chastising Howell for suggestiing people eat unhealthy foods which is worse than gambling.

    Also - out of curiousity - does the WaPo publish betting lines? If so - that raises a whole other issue.

  11. In fact, and I can't find the link, but I believe the WaPo eliminated betting lines with great moral fanfare a few years back.
    Don't even think about screwing with Oreos.
  12. Maybe we should take the healthcare angle.

    Dear Miss Howell,

    I just read your Ombudsman column dated April 15th and I must say that I am a bit outraged at your attitude towards the sportswriters in question. These folks mostly lead sedentary lives and yet you would have the winners of the betting pools in question gorge themselves on cookies? Is the health insurance at the Washington Post that good that you can suggest employees take obvious health risks (even in jest)? With childhood obesity a major problem in this country and heart disease the major killer in this country - I find your suggestion of using Oreos to bet with instead of cash highly irresponsible. Doesn't the Washington Post care about the children? I'm guessing that you are neither a wife or a mother because if you were you would know better than to try to change the way men act around other men and you would not suggest foods loaded with transfats as a substitute. Why don't you suggest the men cut out beer and substitute drinks colored with red dye while you are at it?


    Chris L
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