‘Wash Post’ Ombud Hits John Edwards Story

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By: E&P Staff

More criticism arose within The Washington Post on Sunday concerning the paper’s recent front-page story about the sale of former Sen. John Edwards’ local house.

The article by the Post’s Lois Romano and John Solomon — and its placement on the front page — had earlier been criticized by another Post reporter in an online chat. Solomon, in his own online chat this week, defended it.

Recently hired as a politics reporter by the Post, he had been criticized by liberal bloggers repeatedly for previous stories about Sen. Harry Reid and other Democrats when he was still at The Associated Press.

Today, the Post ombudsman, Deborah Howell, wrote a column finding fault with two Post pieces, charging that even accurate stories “can be misleading.”

The Edwards story, she related, “was controversial even in the Post newsroom and was attacked by Edwards, his staff, liberal-leaning blogs and about 50 readers.”

She quoted a reader Robert SanGeorge of Chevy Chase: “I read it three times and could not figure out why it was a news story, let alone a front-pager. What’s worse was that the placement, the headline and the tone of the story clearly implied that former senator Edwards had done something sleazy.”

Howell’s take: “The story was interesting, but it was more of an item for the Reliable Source or In the Loop — and not worth Page 1. It seemed like a ‘gotcha’ without the gotcha.”

To find out what this is all about, check out Howell’s column at www.washingtonpost.com.

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