‘Wash Post’ Reporter Wonders About Paper’s Front-Page Story on John Edwards’ House Sale

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By: E&P Staff

When The Washington Post hired reporter John Solomon away from The Associated Press and put him on the politics beat, liberal bloggers recalled their many complaints with his reporting last year, particularly a series of AP articles on Democratic Sen. Harry Reid that raised ethics questions. Solomon, in his first online chat at the Post earlier this month, responded to the charges, saying he had received hundreds of emailed complaints but stood by his work.

Now a fellow Post reporter, Jonathan Weissman, has raised questions, or at least eyebrows, about one of Solomon’s first major articles for the paper — a front pager today (co-authored by Lois Romano) about former Sen. John Edwards selling his mansion in Washington, D.C. to some people who are “the focus of legal complaints by some of the same labor unions whose support Edwards has been assiduously courting for his presidential bid.”

In his online chat today, Weissman, a Post congressional reporter, had this exchange.
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Arlington, VA: Can you explain why John Edwards’ real estate transaction warrants front page coverage today? I read the article a couple of times, and frankly, I’m at a loss trying to decipher what John and Elizabeth Edwards did wrong. Now, if the buyers used part of proceeds from the questionable stock sale to buy the house, that’s the buyers’ problem, not the seller. And considering the Edwardses sold the house for LESS than what they were asking, I ask again: what did they do wrong?

Jonathan Weisman: Umm, this is, for obvious reasons, a sensitive question. I for one was looking for more of a connection between the Edwards and the buyers. I didn’t see it. Frankly, I bought a house from some people named Buckmaster DeWolf and Rosemary Ratcliffe. I love their names but I met them for about 15 minutes as we signed our papers. So what?

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