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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Pelton’

WaPo Salons: Brauchli Responds to OTR Criticisms

According to the NYT, in a letter from WaPo‘s Marcus Brauchli to Charles Pelton, the former WaPo marketing executive allegedly responsible for the WaPo Salon debacle, Brauchli admitted that he was aware that the Weymouth dinners were being promoted as “off the record.”

The letter was released to the NYT by Pelton’s attorney late last week – presumably because Pelton is pursuing legal action against the Washington Post.

Brauchli addressed the letter in his online chat today:

Philly, Pa.: If you know a reporter has reported something about you which is inaccurate, are you not obligated to publicly correct the record?

I’m sorry, sir, but I lost all respect for you after reading the letter you sent to your former colleague. You knew that it was reported that you claimed to have no knowledge of the off-the-record promises, and you chose to allow that to stand. You scapegoated an employee, and misled the public. Of course, that version is being generous, and its every bit as likely that you just lied to the NYT’s reporter, hoping not to get caught.

You lied to your readers. You lied to your employees.
I hope your retirement is happy and fruitful, and I hope it starts very soon.

Marcus Brauchli: When these events were planned, we intended that the information from them would inform and shape our coverage, without attribution. That is not, under our rules, off the record.

They were later promoted as “off the record,” and I knew that before July 2.

As I have said repeatedly since then, I failed to reconcile the language and the intentions, which I should have done.

The notion that I lied to the New York Times “hoping not to get caught” is absurd.

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WaPo Salon-ster Resigns

Charles Pelton, the marketing exec. behind WaPo‘s infamous Weymouth “salons” has resigned from the newspaper, the Post reported today.

Pelton’s resignation letter didn’t acknowledge the notorious events series. Instead, Pelton wrote, “Given the current circumstances with regard to the resources needed to launch [an events business], my family and I have decided not to relocate to Washington, D.C.,” from California.

See Paul Farhi‘s article for more details.

WaPo ‘Salon’ Follow-Up: Weymouth Reacts, Ombudsman Weighs In, Gibbs Asked

WaPo publisher Katharine Weymouth responded to Politico‘s earlier ‘salon’ report in an interview with colleague Howard Kurtz. “Absolutely, I’m disappointed,” she said. “This should never have happened. The fliers got out and weren’t vetted. They didn’t represent at all what we were attempting to do. We’re not going to do any dinners that would impugn the integrity of the newsroom.”

Kurtz additionally heard from executive editor Marcus Brauchli. “It suggests that access to Washington Post journalists was available for purchase,” Brauchli said. The proposal “promises we would suspend our usual skeptical questioning because it appears to offer, in exchange for sponsorships, the good name of The Washington Post.”

WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander also weighed in, calling the paper’s ‘salon’ plan a “public relations disaster.” On Omblog, Alexander describes Politico‘s Mike Allen‘s reporting as accurate and he outlines the situation citing Brauchli and Charles Pelton, who he says “joined The Post recently to find ways to generate business through conferences and events.” Alexander’s blog post also includes feedback from angered and disppointed readers.

• The topic was also brought up in White House press secretary Robert Gibbs‘ daily briefing. He was asked if anyone from the administration had been invited to attend the WaPo ‘salon’ and what the White House’s official policy was on such events. Check out his response via Politico video below: