i just need five minutes of his timeI have officially abandoned all hope:

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

Have I mentioned how much I hate fucking Fred Hiatt?

The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.

And you thought the Moonie Times was bad.

POLITICO has asked The Washington Post for a response, and will post it when it arrives.

Sources at the paper say the marketing offer may be getting ahead of what the newsroom is prepared to deliver. The newspaper recently hired someone to organize conferences, and his primary mission is to stage on-the-record events about topical subjects in Washington. Conferences are a trend throughout the news industry.

“Washington Post Salons are extensions of The Washington Post brand of journalistic inquiry into the issues, a unique opportunity for stakeholders to hear and be heard,” the flier says. “At the core is a critical topic of our day. Dinner and a volley of ideas unfold in an evening of intelligent, news-driven and off-the-record conversation. … By bringing together those powerful few in business and policy-making who are forwarding, legislating and reporting on the issues, Washington Post Salons give life to the debate. Be at this nexus of business and policy with your underwriting of Washington Post Salons.”

The first “Salon” is titled, “Health-Care Reform: Better or Worse for Americans? The reform and funding debate.”

Of course it is.

Speechless. Except to say “fuck the old media”.

TPM has more.

Washington Post Sells Access, $25,ooo + [Politico]

Wonder what Katherine Graham would say. I thought my opinion of WaPo couldn’t get any lower when they fired Froomkin, but once again, I was wrong.

@Mistress Cynica: Alls I can say is I hope they start sending fish to go along with the wrap, or nobody‘s gonna be buying it much longer.

Ezra Klein posts an email from WaPo’s editor:

The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers.

As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this.

And as TPM reminds us, Politico is run by a bunch of ex-Posties. Which probably explains why Politico sucks, too.

@nojo: “properly vetted” = we forgot to take out the part about the money.

Sorta related TJ/

Hi-larious video for our font-loving Stinquers!

@flippin eck: Very funny. Also the wrong pizza. Plus terrific movie.

You hate fucking Fred Hiatt? Why on earth are you fucking Fred Hiatt?

@RomeGirl: Perhaps that should be hate-fucking Fred Hiatt. Which, come to think of it, doesn’t make it any better.

@blogenfreude: That headline deserves some kind of award:

Repo Man Recovering Delorean Kicked In Taint By Michael Jackson Impersonator

In other news, the universe has collapsed on itself.

@nojo: That’s why I love Jalopnik, even with the tedious Cadillac SUV tests. And who the fuck buys a used DeLorean? That’s dumber than buying an old Peugeot or Renault. It’s not a car, it’s a sentence.

@nojo: zOMG – they are still building them. $57,500. For a car with a 3-speed automatic that sucked when it was introduced in the sixties .

You can get a new M3 for that money. Think about that.

@blogenfreude: @nojo: Does anyone know how long it took before “Elvis Impersonator” became a serious day job? Because I think that MJ impersonator is on its way, warp speed.

@flippin eck: Awesome. And perfect for work, no audio necessary!

ADD: @blogenfreude: I like how Europe and Midwest merit equal geographic coverage by the DeMoCo.

@Nabisco: Does anyone know how long it took before “Elvis Impersonator” became —


Stories in the tabloids proclaiming that MJ is alive.

They’re coming, just as surely as MJ impersonators. Search your feelings. You know this to be true.

@chicago bureau: If the glove doesn’t set, you must resurrect.

Meanwhile, back at the WaPo Op-Ed page, it’s John Bolton!

Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities. Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people.

As always, substitute “America” and “Americans”, and see what happens.

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