Washington Post Editorial Board Nails a Belly Flop

Why is this man laughing?

by James C. Sherlock

We sometimes note here that the editorial boards of the largest press outlets in Virginia can seem out of touch.

Most lack philosophical balance on their editorial boards. We get that. It is their right.

But that in turn can create intellectual echo chambers, denying the discipline offered by internal challenges. Such discussions can weed out embarrassments before publication. Without them, editorials are vulnerable to occasionally displaying a stunning lack of self-awareness.

Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post, in order to prove the point, editorialized:

If you can’t join them, buy them. This is the philosophy billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk appears to have adopted as he launches a hostile takeover bid for the social media platform Twitter. Let’s hope he doesn’t succeed.

Seriously. They published that.

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41 responses to “Washington Post Editorial Board Nails a Belly Flop”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Bezos probably sent it to the editors in a Tweet, don’t ya think?

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Facebook. And Bezos didn’t send it. It was a targeted ad by Zuckerberg.

  2. You know the saying ‘OSBBOAB’ Only Some Billionaire Buy Outs are Bad.

  3. It is so heartwarming to see BR readers chiming in with blame heaped on Jeff Bezos for the WaPo’s editorial position. I think there’s a huge problem here that Jim Sherlock raises, even if by accident. What do we do with the spread of misinformation and deliberate “disinformation” on social media? How balance “free speech” versus “malicious speech”? The WaPo editorial goes on to say,

    “Mr. Musk has promised to make Twitter a “platform for free speech around the globe.” This vision is more or less the same one now-departed CEO Jack Dorsey championed throughout his tenure, and especially in the platform’s early days. But like its industry peers, Twitter has moved over time toward stricter rules. That isn’t because executives have changed their views, but rather because they have learned some lessons after observing how their products can be abused to manipulate elections, or spread health misinformation, or harass people en masse. Certainly, moderators sometimes make mistakes, and more transparency surrounding enforcement decisions is in order. But a broader backtracking would be an error. To protect speech at all costs and keep Twitter free of bots and spam, as Mr. Musk has said he would like to do, is almost impossible.”

    How balance free speech and the risk of malicious speech? That’s the issue, and it’s a serious one. Given the WaPo’s past commentary on this I doubt Bezos personally had anything to do with raising it this time. And given Musk’s past commentary on this plus his loose-cannon attitude towards the press, I think it’s quite plausible that he intends, if successful, to turn Twitter into a platform of free speech without restrictions, all the disinformation and misinformation and hate speech and hype for Musk’s enterprises included.

    1. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar

      Well, you may be right, but who is going to stop him? Not government. The Board has adopted a “poison pill” policy, but that will get the Board nothing but lawsuits. Once the stockholders get a whiff of the big premium they are going to receive for their shares, they will stampede for the exits.

    2. Acbar, how would you have handled the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop articles in the Daily Mail, which those in authority dismissed as “Russian disinformation” but the NY Times and Washington Post have found, a year and a half later, to have been genuine?

      1. Glad I didn’t have to make that decision myself. As I recall, the information available about the laptop’s contents at the time was ambiguous, but I won’t excuse any player’s mishandling of the subsequent reporting. Neither will I excuse making NO attempt to ban false reporting and disinformatino campaigns by foreign and domestic entities just on the outside chance that the initial call might be wrong. At least the MSM has some basic journalistic standards for fact-finding to uphold, and to judge them by, even if a few notable media on the right (OAN and Newsmax and Breitbart for example) make a mockery of those standards.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar

          You recall wrong. The laptop was as unambiguous at the time as it is acknowledged to be now.

          The media campaign to bury it, including from the Obama IC, before the election was political disinformation and misinformation. Your attempt to blur the issue now is itself disinformation and makes a mockery of media standards.

          By your own standards your content should be moderated. OTOH I think you should be able to say any D* fool thing you want, and you have.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            But could you guarantee the content of that laptop?

          2. Like the MSM guaranteed the truthfulness of the so called Clinton/DNC/IC ‘Steele Dossier’?

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Yes, just like that. Remember, they caveated the salacious items.

            “The veracity of allegations can vary widely, with some allegations publicly confirmed,[8][34] others unconfirmed,[180] but, according to James Clapper and Fox News host Shepard Smith, none are disproven.[181][182]”

          4. as DCIA briefed Obama and Biden in the White House about the Clinton/DNC misinformation operation of the ‘Steele Dossier’ to discredit Trump…. and no one did anything about this…..Why was the CIA briefing about it? How did it know about it? Why didn’t the USG take action to stop this false flag operation?

          5. Lefty665 Avatar

            So far it has all checked out with 3rd parties on the emails verifying them. For example, Hunter’s business partner Bobulinski confirmed that he met with old Joe hisself and that old Joe was the “big guy” who was reserved a 10% cut.

            There are millions of dollars to Hunter from Chinese spooks that are verified by bank statements. There are joint bank accounts, some joint Hunter and the Chinese and some joint Hunter and old Joe, and Hunter paying old Joe’s expenses.

            There is one email from Hunter to his daughter complaining how he has funded the family for decades and that old Joe takes half of everything Hunter “earns”.

            Then there are the payments to old Joe’s brother Jim … it goes on and on and we’ve only scratched the surface. So it ain’t my guarantee, it is the laptop proving itself at every turn. The Biden’s have never denied it was Hunters, even while old Joe was bleating about Russian disinformation..

            I’m glad Trump is gone, but that does not mean I embrace corruption. That the corrupt payments include millions from our adversaries has horrifying national security implications. Did I mention the millions from the Russian oligarch’s wife to Hunter?

            Thank you for asking.

          6. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            “I’m glad Trump is gone, but that does not mean I embrace corruption.”

            I think the first part corroborates the second.

          7. Lefty665 Avatar

            Maybe, but there are no indications Trump sold his position as an elected official. Jared on the other hand seems to have traded on Trump’s with the Saudis. They at least had the discretion to wait until Trump was out of office to pay off.

          8. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Book is still open… 15 boxes of TS documents.

          9. Lefty665 Avatar

            Yeah, so far it looks like classification violations and presidential records retention issues, but not much substance. Which is not to trivialize either of those. The report’s not out yet, we’ll see eventually.

          10. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Well, that and an autogolpe

          11. Lefty665 Avatar


          12. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Behind every great fortune is a crime.

          13. Lefty665 Avatar

            Wash Post and NYT miraculous recantation on the laptop (a pic is worth 1k words department)


        2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          Acbar, you must admit that “ban(ning) false reporting” is how the Chinese and Russians characterize their censorship.

          It is more than possible in my view to consider and reject wild rumors and purposeful inaccuracies (the Clinton campaign’s Trump – Russia hoax that lasted for years and named the President a foreign asset) without blocking reporting by credible conservative sources like the New York Post and the Federalist.

          You call out OAN and Newsmax and Breitbart. Fair enough.

          Enlighten me if you will of the “journalistic standards” of MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, the Washington Post and NPR. Clinton hoax 24/7 for years and no apology when the indictments finally started coming. Nary a word about Hunter’s laptop, crime, Joe Biden’s clearly failing faculties or the border crisis.

          I will contrast those outlets to the New York Times, with whose editorial opinion I seldom agree, but with its new editor seems to have regained its standards.

      2. Timothy Watson Avatar
        Timothy Watson

        Don’t forgot that every major media outlet said they wouldn’t use hacked information to disparage Joe Biden, but had no problem using hacked information to harass private citizens that gave $50 to the Canadian trucker convoys.

    3. Who gets to define “malicious speech” and “disinformation”?

      1. Of course! But if the alternative is that nobody defines it, the result is self-evidently unsatisfactory. I realize that’s a hard sell to a libertarian who doesn’t believe in any restrictions whatsoever on personal freedoms, but that’s why we’re having this discussion.

        1. But if the alternative is that nobody defines it, the result is self-evidently unsatisfactory.

          Yes. Leaving such terms undefined is clearly the worst choice – except for all the others.

        2. Lefty665 Avatar

          It is a no sale to anyone and everyone who believes in the 1st Amendment. That is a group that includes Libertarians and many others.

        3. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          “Acbar WayneS • 15 hours ago
          Of course! But if the alternative is that nobody defines it, the result is self-evidently unsatisfactory. I realize that’s a hard sell to a libertarian who doesn’t believe in any restrictions whatsoever on personal freedoms, but that’s why we’re having this discussion.”

          I think it’s highly probable you’ve never met a Libertarian when you make such a blanket statement, which is wrong.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Remove the hurdles of knowing it was false and proving damages, and it’ll clean up realllll quick.

      3. Genl Clapper and the other Intelligence Community experts who claimed that Hunter’s laptop story was a Russian disinformation operation — the IC pros & USG experts should know.

    4. Lefty665 Avatar

      “How balance free speech and the risk of malicious speech? That’s the issue, and it’s a serious one.”

      It has a very simple answer. More speech. The answer to bad speech is good speech.

      As far as I am concerned your advocacy for censorship is itself malicious speech. However, unlike you I would not ban it, but refute your malignant speech with good free speech as in:

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

      Subverting the 1st Amendment through hiding behind private ownership of speech platforms is sedition. That’s my speech and I’m sticking to it.

      1. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar

        One of the best comments I have read at BR. I wanted to take this tact earlier today, but could not find the words or collect my thoughts. Well-said!

      2. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        You mean fall back on the old premise floated by Justice Brandeis (Whitney v CA) , Counterspeech Doctrine. We can’t do that, it would hurt peoples feelings that they couldn’t silence others using their own “fact checkers”.

    5. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Seems to me that the easiest solution is to remove the libel exceptions on famous people, satire, and parody. That would clear it up with, oh, fewer than a dozen lawsuits.

      With malice aforethought …

  4. Our multibillionaire patron is more virtuous and worthy of owning his own media platform than your multibillionaire patron. Ours is only the second wealthiest man on the planet.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      What’s that old chestnut about picking fights and buying ink by the barrel?

  5. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    The Post’s editorial board is arrogant, often purposely ignorant of facts and essentially dishonest. Bezo’s mistake was not firing everyone when he bought the Post.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Nah, no mistake, he got what he wanted. It is just the way he likes it.

  6. Lefty665 Avatar

    Only in America, the miraculous story of how a pauper like Jeff Bezos could come to own the Wash Post then crusade against evil billionaire Elon Musk’s brute money attempt to takeover Twitter.

    It is the heartwarming story of the wonderous confluence of government, tech capitalism and traditional media in their patriotic quest to apply vigorous content moderation to all outlets to save us from worrying our pretty little heads about disinformation. Is this a great country, or what?

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Three words: William, Randolf, Hurst

    Speaking of disinformation, these Ukrainian snipers are waaaay better than anything we could train up here. Eight or nine generals all killed by snipers… using pistols.

  8. It’s a racist attack on an African!!!!! The rich liberal white guys don’t like such an interloper.

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