Free for All roundup of short critiques of The Post

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reading single, seeing double

While reading The Post on the morning of April 28, I had a feeling of deja vu all over again, as they say, as I noticed that basically the same article appeared in two sections of the paper: "Wanted ex-CIA station chief caught in Norfolk" in Spy Talk on Page A6 and "Ex-officer for CIA arrested in Norfolk" in the Local Digest on Page B2. The same story was even written by two different reporters -- one for each page.

Then I remembered that I noticed the same thing in the A-section on April 27: "U.S. puts Noriega on flight to France" in the Nation Digest on Page A3 and "U.S. sends Noriega overseas for trial" in the Digest on Page A6. Those two items seem to have been written by the same person but edited by different people.

I doubt that I'm the only one who reads the entire paper, but perhaps you could persuade your editors to do the same.

Erika Lang, Silver Spring

Falling for spin

It's disappointing to see a dearth of investigative reporting in The Post.

The May 3 news story "On a tour of Gulf Coast, Obama keeps an eye on New York City" said "comparisons have been made" between the Obama administration's response to the oil-slick disaster and the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

I expect more from a major newspaper than repeating the talking points of political strategists. The Post should conduct a fact-based inquiry to explore whether the cross-administration comparison holds water.

This mindless repetition of manufactured political gossip exemplifies a larger problem with our current political and media culture: It doesn't matter what's true, it matters who wins the public-relations war.

Kevin Barker, Washington

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