Former Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton penned a column for the Washington City Paper on Thursday in which he offered Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a few pieces of advice pertaining to Bezos’ purchase of the Post last month.
Pexton dispenses a few sage bits of advice that one would offer to anyone who is taking on a high-profile media job, including “First, grow a thick skin” and “Remember that the product you’re selling is news.” One major piece of advice was a little more unexpected, however.
“(F)ire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin,” he wrote. “Not because she’s conservative, but because she’s just plain bad.”
The former ombudsman continued, “She doesn’t travel within a hundred miles of Post standards. She parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike in transparent attempts to get Web hits. Her analysis of the conservative movement, which is a worthwhile and important beat that the Post should treat more seriously on its national pages, is shallow and predictable. Her columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the right, but you feel bad afterward.”
In addition, Pexton said, Rubin is frequently just plain wrong on the facts.
“She was oh-so-wrong about [former Massachusetts Gov.] Mitt Romney, week after week writing embarrassing flattery about his 2012 campaign, calling almost every move he made brilliant, and guaranteeing that he would trounce Barack Obama,” he noted. However, when President Obama won re-election, Rubin turned on Romney, savaging him as a mediocre candidate and his campaign as shoddy.
In addition, Pexton said, she wrongly claimed that the Norway shootings by right-wing extremist Anders Breivik were actually the work of al Qaeda. She called Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) an anti-Semite.
“And does she apologize?” Pexton asked. “Nope.”
As ombudsman, he said, he received more complaints and corrections regarding Rubin’s work than any other writer at the paper.
“Dump her,” Pexton advised Bezos, “like a dull tome on the Amazon Bargain Books page.”