Washington Post Terminates Its Best Columnist, Dan Froomkin

The Washington Post has given columnist Dan Froomkin his walking papers. What a stupid, myopic decision. Froomkin is the best columnist the paper has. As Gawker puts it:

"The Washington Post, which pays money to opinion writers such as Bill Kristol (smarmy) and Richard Cohen (smarmier), has fired blogger Dan Froomkin, one of the only WaPo opinion writers who pointed out that the Bush White House was crooked."

The Post says his column has outlived its usefulness. Is that another way of saying Obama is so popular there's no need for a journalist who seeks to hold him and others in the Administration accountable? Do they really think because Bush is gone, the problems are over? Just wait a few more months...the restless stirrings by interest groups are already there, criticism is just around the corner.

Froomkin undoubtedly will have no trouble landing another media outlet for his work. I hope it's soon because his voice is too important not to be shared.

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    Wow! And I don't mean... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Romberry on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:30:41 PM EST
    ...a good "wow" when I "wow" to that.

    My understanding has been that Froomkin is quite popular and draws a substantial number of page views. And I do like the way that he isn't a willing sycophant for anyone.

    I don't know that I believe he WaPo's explanation in this case. I do know that if Froomkin starts up another blog (in addition to his work with Neiman Watchdog), I'll follow it.

    He's certainly the only thing I click to (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 07:42:30 PM EST
    in the WaPo. Used to click to, that is.

    He always has a different take on things and an original voice. Never phones it in.  Hope he lands someplace more deserving of his talent.


    Katherine Graham must be (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 06:42:24 PM EST
    whirling in her grave at her beloved Washington Post morphing ever faster into the Washington Times.

    Remind me again why the Post is still considered a liberal newspaper?  Probably for the same reason Obama is described as a liberal Democrat.  In other words, for reasons that have nothing to do with reality.

    Wherever Dan lands - and I can't imagine he will be jobless for long - there are a lot of readers who will follow him, me among them.

    I always think of her (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Madeline on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 07:01:50 PM EST
    when they are repulsive, and that is frequently.

    I don't believe Katherine Graham would have approved nor would she be so inept, particularly on editorial policy making.


    Froomkin (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 08:48:50 PM EST
    was the best they had, and they fired him?

    The Washingron Post remains a bad joke.

    I hope and assume some smart media operation will snap him up.

    Ridiculous decision (none / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:16:12 PM EST
    The free market will punish them.  My bet is that Froomkin's career will only benefit as a result of this.

    contrary to the established (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:05:14 PM EST
    conservative cant, neither the wp nor the nyt's have been bastions of the "liberal" media for nearly 20 years, this won't make them much less so. both papers quickly succumbed to the "whitewater" non-story in the early clinton days, and have just gone downhill since.

    it's an unfortunate development, but i'm sure mr. froomkin (hardly a constant incisive analyst) will find gainful employment elsewhere.

    I would be happier (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:12:34 PM EST
    if newspapers dumped all their news columnists and just did news, and sent their columnists to Sports, or Travel, or Arts & Living where they belong.

    Dan (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kmblue on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:31:05 AM EST
    watched over the White House without fear or favor.
    Now the WashPo is a vast wasteland I will no longer visit.

    I've unsubscribed (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by sallywally on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 08:36:55 AM EST
    and told them why.

    Here's to a better media outlet Dan (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 07:15:11 AM EST
    Sometimes saying goodbye is a second chance or even a better chance.

    What is their readership? (none / 0) (#1)
    by hairspray on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:29:28 PM EST
    I read that it was about 700,000.  If that is true they may not have much national readership, but they seem to be an important village voice.  At least Sally Quinn and her minions seem to rely on their stories for their cocktail parties.

    Just an FYI... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Romberry on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:32:26 PM EST
    Froomkin's blog/column is on-line only. Not sure about how many page hits he gets, but I know that in the past the number has been at least hinted at as being substantial.

    I am sorry to hear that. Now I really (none / 0) (#4)
    by hairspray on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 05:49:25 PM EST
    think these people are corrupt.

    asdb (none / 0) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 06:21:36 PM EST
    Oh gawwwwl, you've got to be kidding me.

    His was the only column I read with any regularity there.

    Now they won't get any hits from me!

    Unsubscribe (none / 0) (#6)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 06:41:22 PM EST
    I have just done an unsubscribe from my WaPo email alerts....I hope thousands do that.

    I did that (none / 0) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 07:32:00 PM EST
    some time ago, about the time of the Iraq War.

    WaPo didn't do Obama any favors (none / 0) (#12)
    by Idearc on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 08:57:47 PM EST
    WaPo didn't fire Froomkin as a favor to the white house.

    Please, if that was true, they would fire all the neocon idiots.

    Ironic, on other blogs, people said they fired Froomkin because he was favorable to the White House.

    But, (none / 0) (#15)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:14:15 PM EST
    did WaPo actually give a reason?

    The rumor (none / 0) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:19:25 PM EST
    I heard was that Froomkin was mean to Krauthammer.

    And you know Krauthammer can dish it out, but can't take it.


    That make sense (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Idearc on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:24:19 PM EST
    The WaPo editorial page slants to the NeoCon perspective.

    Froomkin's statement: (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    Via Politico:

    "I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn't 'working' anymore," said Froomkin. "Personally, I thought it was still working very well, and based on reader feedback, a lot of readers thought so, too. I also felt White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online. As I've written elsewhere, (http://www.niemanlab.org/category/themes/danfroomkin) I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That's what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else."

    The Post might as well have said, "It's not you, Dan, it's us."


    "The White House Brand"? (none / 0) (#21)
    by talesoftwokitties on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:54:28 PM EST
    "BRAND"?  Oy!  My father, the late great Bob Haggart of the Syracuse Post Standard, is rolling in his urn of ashes.  Real journalism is dead, dead, dead.

    I think you misread that: (none / 0) (#22)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:56:34 PM EST
    He refers to the Washington Post brand, not the White House brand.

    Oops! (none / 0) (#23)
    by talesoftwokitties on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:56:44 PM EST
    Make that the Washington Post BRAND!  I forgot to edit/proof read - my father would not be amused.  

    We should get (none / 0) (#17)
    by koshembos on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:19:14 PM EST
    used to the second rate world. After all, we elected a president who was the lesser candidate of his party.

    It's also interesting (none / 0) (#27)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 09:21:16 AM EST
    ...that Froomkin was one of the few mainstream "liberal" pundits who criticized Obama as frequently as he did Bush or anyone else, when it was warranted. It seems clear the Washington Stenographer wants no dirty hippie-ism besmirching their oh-so-tasteful 100% Village-approved White House coverage. It's a shame, but I hope that some other, smarter, outlet will see this for the golden opportunity it is. Hey Wall Street Journal, you could use a good editorial writer...

    Obama's numbers are dipping... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 10:15:15 AM EST
    ...(but still high) on the economic front. So I suspect a lot of liberal or social democratoc types are going to get fired.  Expect to see even more of Max Boot and Kristol in the coming months.