Little-noticed this week (meaning, little reported-on by the mainstream press) was the story that the Washington Post has discreetly begun selling editorial space to whoever can pay its price. Euphemistically called “sponsored views”, the Post says that it is “a new online advertising feature that invites organizations to post commentary related to or in response to content from The Washington Post’s Opinion section”, which “offers an opportunity for advocacy, communications and government affairs professionals to place their message in front of key constituents”.
Cut through the all the prevaricating, and the stench of desperation becomes unmistakable. No one who has eyes to see has believed that the Washington Post, or any of the rest of the left-establishment old media, has had any serious degree of credibility for a very long time, but this is so blatant and obvious that it cuts the legs out from under whatever small shreds of suspended disbelief may have been left out there. The first priority of any biased or corrupt organization is to maintain the illusion that it is not biased or corrupt. Selling corporations and special interest groups the chance to write editorials and have them placed in the Post’s pages – no matter what “restrictions” or “safeguards” are placed on them – is the kind of plain, undeniable, cards-on-the-table corruption that they’d never resort to unless things were very bad indeed. If they have let the mask slip to this degree, they’re in real trouble.
Good: as the great philosopher William Shatner said: “Let them die”. Their decline and fall is nobody’s fault but their own, and society will get along fine after them, just as it did before them. I will clap my hands at seeing another old media barbecue show.