Greater Greater Washington

DC Examiner closing local section; will you miss it?

In what might be her last big scoop as an Examiner reporter, Kytja Weir announced on Twitter that the paper is closing its local section. Losing their hardworking team of reporters will be a big blow to the depth of local coverage, but I won't miss the times its clear anti-bicycle, anti-transit, pro-AAA editorial viewpoint warped ostensibly-objective news stories.


Photo by pinelife on Flickr.

The Examiner had far more detailed local coverage than other media outlets. They reliably informed people about many small yet important developments at WMATA, area schools, city budgets, road projects and more. There have often been many stories in the Examiner that other media outlets simply didn't cover.

At the same time, the Examiner is flagrantly anti-bicycling and anti-transit even though their reporters usually aren't. Its stories were often the worst stenography of AAA talking points (though the Washington Post is not exemplary in this area, either). Moreover, their focus on finding waste in government sometimes finds real waste, but often nitpicks really unimportant budget items to death.

The Examiner's strength was cranking out a lot of articles on many subjects. Since the start of 2012, we have included Examiner articles 284 times in Breakfast Links, second only to 531 Washington Post mentions (third is City Paper, fourth DCist). Our policy is to link to the article that has the best and/or most complete original reporting on a subject, so the high number of mentions means a lot.

Examiner doggedly pushed war on non-cars

However, on bicycling and transit, the editors repeatedly took reasonable articles, placed inflammatory headlines atop them, and splashed them on the front page.

DCist even started mocking the way the front page editors juxtaposed angry anti-city headlines on the top with large pictures that illustrated other articles below. Most recently, they matched up Pope Benedict with driving being "hell."

The Examiner delivers paper copies for free to suburban households periodically (I believe once a week), and at least the last "war on cars" front-pager, by Eric Newcomer, was on the distribution day. It's hard not to see this as propaganda designed to enrage suburbanites against the city (and maybe drive up subscription numbers).

Certainly an article whose headline proclaims "D.C. waging war against drivers" is not seriously attempting to educate anyone. Newcomer's piece wasn't quite as bad as the headline, but he did clearly set out only to identify costs to drivers, a one-sided approach. Further, someone Newcomer called about the story told me that Newcomer had approached him specifically for comments for a story on the "war on cars"; the assignment was slanted from the start.

If AAA had a point of view, you could usually count on an Examiner article which quoted AAA heavily, then maybe added a token quote or two from the police or the mayor's representatives. Alan Blinder's article today is a classic case: it leads with a dollar figure they got from AAA DC officials, then has some quotes from AAA spokesman John Townsend, followed by a couple quotes from the mayor's representatives, and then closes with AAA talking points again.

Examiner reporters almost never spoke to pedestrian or bicycle safety advocates for these stories. Every story about cameras got the frame, city officials versus drivers. The people who get killed on the roads don't exist. Unfortunately, Ashley Halsey III's articles in the Washington Post are the same way; cameras are just "lucrative" and not "life-saving."

Ledes emphasized "what you pay" over "what you get"

Moreover, Examiner articles frequently confronted any budgetary issue by leading with what it would cost taxpayers rather than the benefits. For example, a Maryland House committee yesterday approved a proposal to increase sales taxes on gas. This will have two effects: people will pay more for gas, and Maryland will get more transportation infrastructure that it needs.

This morning's article on the proposal, by Andy Brownfield, leads off with the costs and makes no mention of benefits. Yet Brownfield made the time to quote conservative opponents, a form of balance that we rarely see on AAA stenography articles.

This form of journalistic bias, which frames any government proposal in terms of harm to taxpayers much more strongly than benefits to residents, was common at the Examiner and reflected its editorial views.

I wish I could say the Washington Post's article on this subject, this time by John Wagner, was betterbut it's not.

Spent $10 too much on pencils? Front page story!

The more money any organization spends, public or private, the more often some piece of that spending won't quite stand up to close scrutiny. With government, we need to have the press playing a watchdog role. The Examiner did more of this than anyone.

With the pressure to come up with stories on spending, however, this often went too far. The paper would relentlessly FOIA budget documents from everyone (except state DOTs, whose road projects they didn't look at too closely) and write a headline about almost any kind of spending.

Sometimes that spending is really inappropriate, and it's the press's duty to call attention to it. Sometimes, the numbers just sound high when you drop a dollar figure on the front page without context, but actually make sense. Or sometimes, the spending might be inappropriate, but it's really a tiny issue, and maybe the cost of adding more accounting controls is even higher.

This focus on waste also obscures another serious problem with government: not getting things done. Take Ken Archer's recent exposé about the DC Department of Employment Services and the One-Stop job centers. Their process puts up so many obstacles to getting training, such as proving residency, which are so arduous that many job seekers end up dropping out and not getting any training.

I couldn't help but wonder: if DOES fixed the process to make sure that more people got training, inevitably here and there some person might get training who isn't eligible. If the Examiner found out, even if that's a negligible number of people, it'd be front-page news about how the program is wasteful.

The biggest problems with DDOT projects is not waste, but procurement delays. It's just so hard to get anything done. We have exhaustive processes to ensure not a single dollar gets spent without review, bidding, and on and on. In practice, that means that staff spend so much time trying to move their projects through the financial process that they have too little time for actual design, community engagement, and more.

The main burden for all of these flaws should fall on editors rather than the reporters. Some reporters were better than others, but editors write the headlines and choose what to put on the front page, not the reporters. Editors assign subjects and push the reporters to write more or less on certain topics.

We can hope that the good reporters there find new jobs. In fact, they deserve to get better jobs working for editors who are actually trying to run a journalistic enterprise. I've long wished that reporters like them could work for a better paper; now, hopefully, is the chance.

Update: The original version of this article said that AAA sent the dollar figures to Alan Blinder for his story, but the story says they came from DC officials. Many articles in the preceding week did get their numbers directly from AAA, like Ashley Halsey's, and AAA has been sending around press releases with these or similar figures, but this particular story did not specifically get the numbers from AAA.

David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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"the paper's strident editorial biases"

takes one to know one?

by teddyhux on Mar 19, 2013 12:49 pm • linkreport

it's not clear to me what this means. Does this mean that the local news hole is being shuttered, but the paper will still publish? If so, that doesn't mean necessarily that the paper will not publish strident locally-oriented editorials.

by Richard Layman on Mar 19, 2013 12:52 pm • linkreport

Right-wing drivel.

by Ed Bias on Mar 19, 2013 12:53 pm • linkreport

It's like losing the local version of the Onion.

by Alan B. on Mar 19, 2013 12:53 pm • linkreport

"the paper's strident editorial biases"

Given GGW's bias(though one I agree with often) on certain issues, you might want to rethink that comment. I always thought there ridiculous stances gave more credence to the opposite position rather than harmed it. At worst, it created dialog on issues that you and many GGW readers care about.

by Jeff on Mar 19, 2013 12:54 pm • linkreport


Pot, meet kettle.

Of course the difference is the Examiner is theoretically a for-profit enterprise, although I don't understand their business model.

(Or the editorials, since the biggest users I ever saw was Metro riders. However, they were pretty good at bashing WMATA as well. Funny, will we miss that?)

But why pay people to cover local news when you can get people to do it for free?

by charlie on Mar 19, 2013 12:58 pm • linkreport

, but we'll be better off without the paper's strident editorial biases.

Doesn't this just mean "conservative" bias since many of its positions are just that?

But I'm glad you pointed out the WPost's all editorial biases and it has encouraged more divisiveness and acrimony at a level on par w/any of the Examiner's offerings.

I do not think we'll be "better off" w/the loss of coverage. Sure, it will make a lot of partisans happy not to read an opposing view, but it does make the city look more and more like a bastion of liberalness..which I don't believe is a good thing.

by HogWash on Mar 19, 2013 1:03 pm • linkreport

A. er, call me old fashioned, but I consider the standards for something holding itself out as a news paper different from those for a blog. even as newsy a one as this

B. I think folks may underestimate just how biased the Examiner is. Note, whenever there was a scandal at MWAA, for example, the headline was always "rail board implicated..." Not airport board. Always rail board. Even though MWAA exists to manage airports. Cause they werent concerned so much with the scandal, as with getting in a dig at the Silver Line.

C. Yeah, they do sometimes have good local coverage. Dont know who else will step up. WAMU has gotten better (despite Michael Pope).

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:04 pm • linkreport

GGW doesn't claim to be unbiased "news" - in fact it's purpose is to supply viewpoints: "Greater Greater Washington is devoted to improving the vitality of Washington, DC and the walkable cities and communities in the Washington metropolitan area." The Examiner's news section claims to be "news" and yet it is highly influenced by their editorial views.

Do people not understand this distinction?

by MLD on Mar 19, 2013 1:04 pm • linkreport

" I don't understand their business model."

take money from rightwing billionaire who wants a right wing voice in the capital.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:05 pm • linkreport

I have a hard time believing GGW would've been so quick to point out and criticize the bias of the Examiner if the majority's of their opinions, articles and headlines didn't agree and support GGW's progressive and urbanist POV.

by Fitz on Mar 19, 2013 1:07 pm • linkreport

"Doesn't this just mean "conservative" bias since many of its positions are just that?"

Well first of all the examiner is not a conservative paper. The WaPo is a moderately conservative paper on most issues. Examiner is a flagrantly reactionary paper.

And its not just its editorial line - or even its opeds and columnists who are uniformly right wing (compare to the "liberal" Wapo who publish George Will, Robert Samuelson, Michael Gerson, and Jennifer Rubin - heck the WaPo's budget for conservative columnists is probably high enough to publish a decent local paper) its the bias in the news coverage - usually quite blatant.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:09 pm • linkreport

I'll miss those wacky front pages. Some of them, like the one posted in the story, as masterpieces. I'll also miss the local sports coverage, particularly Brian McNally

by Birdie on Mar 19, 2013 1:09 pm • linkreport

The news business needs competition, so its a sad day when any local outlet closes its doors. Their bias was so transparent that it never really bothered me.

Interesting that this happens at the same time the Post announces a decision to start charging for content.

by JimT on Mar 19, 2013 1:11 pm • linkreport

"...but we'll be better off without the paper's strident editorial biases."

GGW should retract that statement. It's hypocritical of this site, which so often criticizes traditional media for not telling all sides of the story (including in this very post), to celebrate the elimination of an opposing voice.

by Frank on Mar 19, 2013 1:15 pm • linkreport

I agree with the above about losing the local version of the onion.

However, I feel that the examiner was one of the few (if not only) sources to reliably criticize metro or point out metro flaws. We're losing that, which probably has Metro management giddy with joy.

by Nick on Mar 19, 2013 1:19 pm • linkreport

JimT

losing the examiner reduces competition among newspapers, the way losing a Taco Bell reduces competition among French restaurants.

We could certainly use more newspaper competition in town. It would be nice to have an actual liberal paper, for example.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:21 pm • linkreport

one of the few (if not only) sources to reliably criticize metro or point out metro flaws

Indeed. The City Paper is good, but doesn't publish frequently enough to make the grade as highly.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on Mar 19, 2013 1:24 pm • linkreport

I have corrected that sentence at the end of the first paragraph, because I think that the commenters who object to it were misunderstanding what I was saying.

I am not saying that having a paper with editorials on a certain position is bad and that we should not want it around. I think that's what it might seem to mean when I say "editorial biases."

That's not what I meant to say. What I mean is that it wasn't just that they had good news and then editorials, like the WSJ does or used to have (crazy editorial board, good reporting). Rather, their NEWS editorial decisions about what topics to assign, what to put on the front page, etc. made it a very non-journalistic enterprise.

GGW is not claiming to be that; we are not employing beat reporters who are supposed to be looking at an issue with fresh eyes. We are clear that we have a point of view.

If all of the reporters at the Examiner had said, "we are writing for an anti-bicycle paper," then fine. But they were not claiming to be that; they were claiming to be striving for some journalistic standard. And I think, individually, they were, but their bosses were not. Just like with Fox News, the paper represented itself to be more "fair and balanced" than it was.

by David Alpert on Mar 19, 2013 1:28 pm • linkreport

So does this mean we won't have AAA to kick around anymore?

by ceefer66 on Mar 19, 2013 1:33 pm • linkreport

"I am not saying that having a paper with editorials on a certain position is bad and that we should not want it around. "

You are entitled to your opinion. Let me suggest that the 1st amendment restricts govt censorship - not my personal delight that a particular editorial line goes away. There are certainly editorial lines that we are better off not having a platform - stalinist, neofascist, proapartheid, etc. Whether the Examiner fits that category is something about which reasonable people may disagree, IMO. I do not believe that Mills was right, that in a contest of ideas always the best one wins. Humans are too flawed for that. I DO believe that govts (or any other power holders)cannot be trusted with the censors power - so the 1st amendment is a good idea. But I can certainly cheer when a decietful voice supporting disastrous positions silences itself.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:33 pm • linkreport

A Walker wrote:
Well first of all the examiner is not a conservative paper. The WaPo is a moderately conservative paper on most issues. Examiner is a flagrantly reactionary paper.

WaPo certainly has a robust group of conservative writers (maybe the best in the country) but none of them are on the editorial board, which is as far as I can see all left-of-center.

Plus WaPo is the same media outlet that has Wonk Blog, which is clearly a group of progressive voices, in the Business section instead of the Opinion section. Just because you add neat little charts to analysis doesn't mean it's not without bias.

by Fitz on Mar 19, 2013 1:34 pm • linkreport

They weren't the opposing view, they were the republican view.

by Thayer-d on Mar 19, 2013 1:36 pm • linkreport

@Fitz WaPo has become increasingly right over the past several decades - then again, so have politics in general, so perhaps that's not surprising. They swing based on the issue. They were big Iraq war cheerleaders, for example, and go to bat for the for-profit college industry (*cough*Kaplan*cough*) but a more centrist on some social issues.

by Distantantennas on Mar 19, 2013 1:38 pm • linkreport

"WaPo certainly has a robust group of conservative writers (maybe the best in the country) but none of them are on the editorial board, which is as far as I can see all left-of-center"

the editorial board has fairly consistently taken positions on macroeconomics and budgets that are traditionally "moderate republican" (and often on some other economic issues). If you define the center by an equivalence in which Dems are always considered as liberal as GOP is conservative, than WaPo is mostly centrist. If you recognize that the Dems are (by either euro standards or those of the US preReagan) a coalition of center rightists and center leftists, and that the GOP is a coalition of conservative and far rightists, I think its clear the WaPo is center right.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:42 pm • linkreport

fritz

wonkblog is a nice blog, but I am thinking in terms of the dead tree paper. There are LOTS of sources of commentary and analysis on line.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:44 pm • linkreport

Aw. The front page is usually good for brightening my day. It seems like every week they have some heartwarming story about how the District has raised a staggering number of millions of dollars through red-light and speed cameras.

by oboe on Mar 19, 2013 1:45 pm • linkreport

Also, let me break with the crowd in saying that the Examiner provided an important service to the community. I'm not sure how suburbanites are going to know what to be terrified of now. Twitter maybe?

by oboe on Mar 19, 2013 1:47 pm • linkreport

The Examiner?

Might as well call it "USA-Today LITE"

by Sydney on Mar 19, 2013 1:48 pm • linkreport

I'm definitely terrified of Twitter.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:53 pm • linkreport

AWalker:

You can't really distinguish the digital side from dead tree side though, especially since the latter is on the money-losing end. Plus as far as I know many Wonk Blog articles are still published in print.

by Fitz on Mar 19, 2013 1:53 pm • linkreport

I read it every day on the train, they hand it out at the Metro station. I'll miss the great headlines like "GOVERNMENT WASTES TENS OF DOLLARS ON JUNKET TO CLEVELAND" but I'll also really miss their sports coverage. It was much better than the Post's. And the paper as a whole was a lot less cumbersome than the free version of the Post, which is an enormous mess of mostly advertisements.

by Dave Murphy on Mar 19, 2013 1:54 pm • linkreport

Why do we care about an advertisement folder that printed some day-old AP copy between its ads?

by Jasper on Mar 19, 2013 1:55 pm • linkreport

I got more intellectually out of the Express sudoku than out of the entire Examiner.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 1:56 pm • linkreport

The Examiner's business model was to provide advertizing, mainly legal notices, which are required by law to be run in a widely distributed publication. The reporting editorializing was to attract the readers to get the distribution numbers to satisfy the requirement for the legal notices.

I would call their editorial policy "populist," not right-wing. Populist, in part to distinguish it from the Post; -- why would one pick up an cheap imitation? -- and designed to catch the eye of everyday commuters and strap-hangers, to get those all-important distribution numbers for their advertisers. Thus the incendiary headlines; it is all just business.

by goldfish on Mar 19, 2013 2:07 pm • linkreport

GGW should retract that statement. It's hypocritical of this site, which so often criticizes traditional media for not telling all sides of the story (including in this very post), to celebrate the elimination of an opposing voice.

Sometimes that opposing voice is dishonest and wrong, so its collapse is a moral benefit to the rest of us.

(I, too, wish we had better local coverage in the DC metro area, though)

by JustMe on Mar 19, 2013 2:17 pm • linkreport

Dave Murphy, I'm especially going to miss the sports coverage. They had some good guys. Dead tree coverage is dwindling now with the Post being unfocused and the Times shutting down sports... again.

by selxic on Mar 19, 2013 2:19 pm • linkreport

I think the WPost is an extension of what we see in other liberal establishments. They're voyeurs who will throw race, class, gender, politics and any other issue into the mix for the sheer joy of entertainment rather than simply being hateful for the sake of being hateful...like a Rush Limbaugh.

and designed to catch the eye of everyday commuters and strap-hangers, to get those all-important distribution numbers for their advertisers. Thus the incendiary headlines; it is all just business

I can get w/that. I think we all can admit to being attracted to BOLD HEADLINES! Shucks, we even do it here....

by HogWash on Mar 19, 2013 2:26 pm • linkreport

Oh, and I think I remember hearing that part of the reason the post might start charging is to do w/the gutterdom of it's comments.

by HogWash on Mar 19, 2013 2:27 pm • linkreport

One often had to plow through a lot of polemical nonsense to get to the reporting. The Examiner is essentially a vanity project. It had seemed to be replicating what the Washington Times did in the 90s, but perhaps the owner is less willing to shoulder the debts.

by Rich on Mar 19, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

Good riddance ... although their puzzles (a staple for many a Metro rider) are generally more challenging than those in the Express.

by KevinM on Mar 19, 2013 3:14 pm • linkreport

So, because some stories are "anti-bicycle," which is a hilariously tiny worldview to be getting upset about, you're happy that 90 people lost their job in a terrible media environment? AWESOME.

by scone on Mar 19, 2013 3:37 pm • linkreport

A. er, there were more problems with the examiner than their view of bikes

B. If you've been reading the examiner, you would know that they will get new jobs quickly, because anyone with motivation can get a job, and the high unemployment rate is caused by UE benefits and food stamps, which tempt people to not look for work.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 3:42 pm • linkreport

WaPo certainly has a robust group of conservative writers (maybe the best in the country)

If hacks like Robert Samuelson, Jennifer Rubin and Charles Krauthammer are "some of the best in the country" then no wonder America's Right is floundering.

by Vicente Fox on Mar 19, 2013 3:48 pm • linkreport

When can we expect to see a similar article calling out The Post for its' WMATA stenography articles?

The Examiner's basis is obvious and hard to miss but it was also one of the few outlets willing to actually investigate and report on the sorry state of our Metro system rather than simple reprinting WMATA press releases and taking even the most obviously false Dan Stessel quotes at face value.

by Jacob on Mar 19, 2013 3:56 pm • linkreport

Im pretty sure Ive seen some articles in the WaPo that were tough on WMATA.

Certainly their positions on WMATA are not as unbalanced as the positions taken by the Examiner.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 4:02 pm • linkreport

I have to agree with a lot of what's been said about the only lamentable part of this (besides the job losses) begin the loss of WMATA coverage (I'd actually put the MWAA coverage in a separate category).

The Examiner has been the only paper to consistently and reliably call bullshit on Stessel and Sarles. "Dr. Gridlock" and the Post swallow it whole, every time. No investigative journalism to be seen there. We need more voices calling out for a) far better transit in the area, and b) just plain less awful transit. The Post won't step up; who will?

by MetroDerp on Mar 19, 2013 4:13 pm • linkreport

because anyone with motivation can get a job, and the high unemployment rate is caused by UE benefits and food stamps, which tempt people to not look for work.

A rather simple view of unemployment, food stamps and personal motivation.

by HogWash on Mar 19, 2013 4:21 pm • linkreport

Hogwash,

AWITC is being facetious.

by drumz on Mar 19, 2013 4:35 pm • linkreport

"If you've been reading the examiner, you would know "

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 4:45 pm • linkreport

I pick up the Examiner everyday becasue it has better puzzles than the Express, but I always try to hide the front page so other commuters don't think I'm a fascist.

by nettie on Mar 19, 2013 4:50 pm • linkreport

WaPo certainly has a robust group of conservative writers (maybe the best in the country) but none of them are on the editorial board, which is as far as I can see all left-of-center.

Fred Hiatt has supported Social Security privatization, was behind the editorial page's full throated support of the Iraq war and was instrumental in HIRING many of those conservative writers that appear on the Op-Ed page. He is reliably center-right.

by JustMe on Mar 19, 2013 5:30 pm • linkreport

I fully agree with Mr. Alpert's view of the Examiner. It did provide the most (free) print coverage of region-wide news/issues, but had a clear anti-transit/conservative bias. Some transit projects deserve to be bashed, such as the 3 years overdue SS transit center, but the Examiner was basically the mouthpiece of AAA, criticizing any project that didn't promote auto use. It's a shame that the Post, which is somewhat more balanced, has such mediocre local coverage.

by King Terrapin on Mar 19, 2013 7:14 pm • linkreport

So is Kytja Weir losing her job? If so, I am bummed. She was one of the better beat style reporters covering day-to-day transportation news, especially at WMATA. While I never agreed much (at all, in most cases) with the Examiner's editorial content, I will say Ms. Wier's articles trumped some of the others in this area. With the exception of Dana Hedgepeth (sp?) at the Post, all the other "reporters" seem to just quote from agency press releases and the various official spokesperson.

I hope Kytja remains active in this area or at least can replace some of the other lazy reporters at other outlets.

by Transport. on Mar 19, 2013 7:30 pm • linkreport

wow...almost 1200 words of whining. the Examiner was a right leaning publication but thou doth protest (or gloat, not sure which) too much.

by dcguy on Mar 19, 2013 7:30 pm • linkreport

I don't at all agree with Moon or his positions but I found the local DC news webpage had no slant and was one of my regular bookmarks. They often had news others missed, which is easy since there's pitifully little DC news covered.

Ironically for this column, I think the anti DC measure is the dropping of DC news.

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 19, 2013 9:10 pm • linkreport

The Wash. Times is the Unification church paper, this is the Phil Anschutz paper.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 19, 2013 9:16 pm • linkreport

I will miss Kytja Weir and some of the other local reporters. They really did break quire a few stories, and I suspect no one will fill the void. It's too bad about all the people who will lose their jobs, including all those guys who hand them out to people at the Metro stations in the morning.

But I won't miss the editorials. I really do believe things like this shape public opinion and their editorials (and the reporting decisions that gave an editorial bent to stories) were based on fear, anger and falsehoods. That's not helpful (even if sometimes they were good for my blog). It's not about silencing a contrary voice. I like to think that the market has spoken and not enough people want to hear that voice, which is why it has failed. Their failure is not independent from their bad practices. And that is a good thing.

by David C on Mar 19, 2013 10:28 pm • linkreport

AWalkerInTheCity is right. The local coverage was a loss leader for the opinion cranks and skewed news. (Goldfish, public notices aren't enough to pay the bills for a free daily paper, that's the point of the weekly City Paper).

There were some good transportation articles. But without Kytja and the local reporters, the only 'interesting' thing about the Examiner is Byron York's coiffure.

by MC on Mar 20, 2013 12:08 am • linkreport

To those that find the Examiner too distasteful, by continually pointing out its shortcomings gets others to look at it to verify and consider. This adds readers, which undermines your purpose.

by goldfish on Mar 20, 2013 8:18 am • linkreport

> continually pointing out its shortcomings gets others to look at it

Where they will learn about "Lilo on trial," "Nude beach shut down on weekdays to reduce sex and drugs," and "Dr. Oz sued over home remedy."

@everyone else: Drat, he's onto our plan!

by MC on Mar 20, 2013 9:06 am • linkreport

"To those that find the Examiner too distasteful, by continually pointing out its shortcomings gets others to look at it to verify and consider. This adds readers, which undermines your purpose. "

A. Since its going away anyway (think many folks will read it online when there are so many other choices?) not a big deal
B. I don't think GGW has that huge an audience (esp for this deep down into the comments) that it matters
C. Let them look at it. Most people intelligent enough to seek out a blog like this will only be repulsed by what they see in the Examiner anyway

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 9:15 am • linkreport

I wonder where Harry Jaffe and Quanita Jones Barras will migrate to? I'm sure the Gray admin is gleeful since the Examiner's local webpage broke most of the scandals.

This is a major loss for DC.

by Tom Coumaris on Mar 20, 2013 9:22 am • linkreport

Its no loss for Virginia - the Examiner supported all the worst in Va politics. Not to mention their war on the Silver Line.

So no, even their local coverage, bicycles aside, was not the net positive some are saying.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 9:25 am • linkreport

"I really do believe things like this shape public opinion and their editorials (and the reporting decisions that gave an editorial bent to stories) were based on fear, anger and falsehoods. ..... Their failure is not independent from their bad practices. And that is a good thing."

This

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 9:27 am • linkreport

"> continually pointing out its shortcomings gets others to look at it
Where they will learn about "Lilo on trial," "Nude beach shut down on weekdays to reduce sex and drugs," and "Dr. Oz sued over home remedy."

You're pointing to the wrong website (examiner.com). The Washington Examiner is at washingtonexaminer.com. If you want to say that you don't like the WE, fine, but you should be looking at the actual publication that you're criticizing, not something else.

Personally, I'll be sad to see them go, because the Post should have as much competition as possible, especially now that it's about to go behind a paywall.

by Socket on Mar 20, 2013 9:29 am • linkreport

I am not a fan when people turn threads into things political. Somehow on so many sites the color of taxis is turned into "Obama is a socialist thread." In this case, however, it's appropriate.

Good riddance to part of this hateful, divisive trash that some people call a "newspaper." It's a rag and eventually all rags end up in the trash.

Any questions?

by Mike Rogers on Mar 20, 2013 9:29 am • linkreport

@MC: I was going to point out that Lilo was sooo last year, but after seeing her face all over today's Fox and Huffington Post, I guess I am wrong. Point is, populist tabloid fare is independent of slant.

@AWitC: this has been an standing theme.

by goldfish on Mar 20, 2013 9:35 am • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity: What high unemployment rate? White workers (Have you ever seen a person of color associated with The Examiner?) have a pretty good job market.

@scone: Kinda like "I was just doing my job, following orders."?

by MARDC on Mar 20, 2013 9:35 am • linkreport

AWitC: this is the broken link.

by goldfish on Mar 20, 2013 9:38 am • linkreport

I really do believe things like this shape public opinion and their editorials (and the reporting decisions that gave an editorial bent to stories) were based on fear, anger and falsehoods.

Well yeah, welcome to the new world of journalism/bloggers...where the goal is to get you to hate/fear the other. Liberal outlets encourage fear/hatred of conservative ones and the same is true in the reverse.

by HogWash on Mar 20, 2013 10:15 am • linkreport

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 10:31 am • linkreport

Liberal outlets encourage fear/hatred of conservative ones

I can't think of an example, but probably because I don't read those either.

by David C on Mar 20, 2013 10:37 am • linkreport

I can't think of an example, but probably because I don't read those either.

Yeah I understand. I imagine there are a host of others like you who don't read the WPost either.

by HogWash on Mar 20, 2013 11:08 am • linkreport

Hog

I thought you were talking about a liberal paper. Or do you mean the WaPo is an example of a paper where you can read conservatives sprading fear anger and falsehoods, while establishment moderates complain about other moderates being too liberal and unwilling to compromise?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 11:12 am • linkreport

Hog

I thought you were talking about a liberal paper. Or do you mean the WaPo is an example of a paper where you can read conservatives sprading fear anger and falsehoods, while establishment moderates complain (falsely) about other moderates being too liberal and unwilling to compromise?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 11:12 am • linkreport

I thought you were talking about a liberal paper.

You were correct. I am referencing the Post as a liberal outlet.

by HogWash on Mar 20, 2013 12:07 pm • linkreport

Hogwash, that hasn't been my experience with the Post (outside of Courtland Milloy). Do you have a particularly egregious example in mind.

BTW, I'm interested in why you think a paper that has regular editorial columnists like George Will, Charles Krathammer, Kathleen Parker and Jennifer Rubin is "liberal".

by David C on Mar 20, 2013 12:22 pm • linkreport

"George Will, Charles Krathammer, Kathleen Parker and Jennifer Rubin "

add Robert Samuelson and Michael Gerson.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 12:29 pm • linkreport

"You were correct. I am referencing the Post as a liberal outlet."

thats whats confusing.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Mar 20, 2013 12:30 pm • linkreport

BTW, I'm interested in why you think a paper that has regular editorial columnists like George Will, Charles Krathammer, Kathleen Parker and Jennifer Rubin is "liberal".

Just because it has conservative columnists doesn't mean the paper doesn't slant liberal. The NY Times has conservative ones as well but I still classify it as a liberal-leaning outlet. If you're using Milloy as your "egregious" example of how the Post is liberal, then we could throw essentially any columnist/editorial fanning the partisan "why republicans are bad" wars.

by HogWash on Mar 20, 2013 1:13 pm • linkreport

Oh..and I don't really have an example of a "moderate-leaning" newspaper.

by HogWash on Mar 20, 2013 1:15 pm • linkreport

There's an art to learning to find and appreciate local news. You have to learn to deal with grammatical whoppers and conservative point of views. But the Examiner without a doubt provided the best local coverage and there is simply no question that their demise is going to hurt the local news scene. They are much better than all the other options combined, blogs included. They actually covered the city. As a long time consumer of news, I realize that if I need a cyclist's perspective, there were lots of other options. I knew better than to expect it from the Examiner. Again, you gotta get to know the landscape. There's no other way around it, this is horrible news.

by Jazzy on Mar 21, 2013 7:53 am • linkreport

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