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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:

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