The Washington Post

Washington Times editor demanded daily A1 Benghazi coverage

Grumblings started spilling from the Washington Times this month. New editor David Jackson, claimed the chatter, had demanded that Benghazi coverage be placed on Page A1 of the paper every day.

Decisions on newspaper-article placement customarily take place on a day-to-day basis, based on the journalism at hand -- not via prospective dictate. "Totally arbitrary," spat a source who was forced to deal with the mandate.

Totally necessary, Jackson might well respond. The Washington Times editorial boss, after all, is proud of his directive. "I told them I wanted it on the front page every day. And until we get all the questions answered, I want us to be one of the news media [outlets] that will not blink on that story," says Jackson. "I make no apologies for that." Recent Washington Times coverage on Benghazi, indeed, hasn't been tough to find. A Nov. 19 A1 piece carries this headline: "GOP says intel right, narrative wrong on Libya; White House blamed for changes." A Nov. 28 front-pager: "Senators troubled' by Rice answers on Libya; GOP lawmakers have more queries on attack."

Something tells me Jackson might have some words with military expert and author Tom Ricks, who went on Fox News this week and blasted the network for hyping the Benghazi story.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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