Today’s poll involves my column on Sunday, which most of you didn’t see. If you read my column in The Washington Post, or Wapo online, you saw this column, reprinted from 2002, presented without explanation, as though I were on vacation. But those of you who read my column in its syndicated version -- in one of the other newspapers that carry it, such as the Buffalo News and the Aspen Daily News -- saw this column , about a real medical practice in Texas. The Washington Post Writers Group, which syndicates the column, liked it a lot. The Washington Post, which originates the column, didn’t like it at all. Post editors declined to run it on the grounds that it did not meet Post standards of propriety OR humor.
So, I am okay with this, both officially and unofficially. It’s the editors’ job to edit the paper. It’s the editors’ duty to have standards, and to enforce them. Preemptively, because the word always comes up in these contexts, we may dispense with the notion of “censorship.” This wasn’t that. This was “editing.” (My only teensy worry is that the editors haven’t been reading my column for the last 12 years, and are going to start now.)
Anyway, without rancor and in the spirit of honest inquiry, today we examine whether, in your opinion, The Post made the right decision. I urge you all to give this real thought, and not respond in lock-step allegiance to Chatological Humor, or with concern for my feelings. Not that you ever do.