The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

News From the People’s Democratic Republic of 3600 New York Avenue

Posted on | January 4, 2013 | 13 Comments

The paranoid managerial regime now in charge of The Washington Times has announced a successful further liquidation of the kulaks:

The Washington Times summoned several staff members to the auditorium this morning. Inside sources say management has laid off approximately 25 employees in a newsroom of 90 . . .
Several employees who were not invited to this morning’s meeting… suspect that they will be fired separately. . . .
Meanwhile, TWT consultant John Solomon, who ridiculously insists he has nothing do with layoff decisions, is meeting with the remaining employees this afternoon to discuss operations.

Another Glorious Triumph of the Five-Year Plan!

Such helpless ineptitude would be funny if it were not so tragically sad. FishbowlDC also published a brutal resignation letter submitted last month by the paper’s former deputy editorial page editor:

The Washington Times today is the most unprofessional and dishonest organization I have ever encountered. I can’t continue to spend the lion’s share of my professional time fighting unethical practices being pushed by top leaders in the company.

When I quit five years ago — immediately after it was announced that Solomon had been hired from the Washington Post to replace retiring editor Wes Pruden — some of my co-workers thought I was crazy. Most of those people were subsequently laid off and, whenever I run into one of them nowadays, they congratulate me on having had the foresight to get out while the getting was good.

UPDATE: Veteran photographer Rod Lamkey, sports writer Patrick Stevens and web editor Ted Starkey were reportedly among the kulaks liquidated by the regime in the latest purge. One staffer, Steve Repsher, who got re-hired after being laid off in 2009. was laid off again, but not before remarking the irony:

UPDATE II: By my count, the Washington Times is on its fourth editor in five years. Editor No. 3, Ed Kelley, was hired in June 2011 and lasted only 16 months in the job. David Jackson was hired as his replacement (Editor No. 4) in November. Meanwhile, John Solomon (Editor No. 1) was re-hired by the Times as a consultant in June (after he left the Daily Beast in January) and was reportedly the man in charge of “reviewing all the departments to decide who they retain” in the latest round of layoffs. You have to be sort of a Kremlinologist to understand who’s who in the Supreme Soviet of the People’s Democratic Republic these days.

UPDATE III: In November, Washington Times editorial page editor Brett Decker resigned and, about three weeks later, Kerry Picket announced she was leaving the paper to join

“This is a smart move for Breitbart News and a huge blow to the Washington Times. There is no other way to spin it,” said former TWT editorial page editor Brett Decker, who was Picket’s boss from 2009 until last month. “Kerry’s online reporting generates millions of pageviews a year. During my last days at the newspaper, she had about 1 million pageviews for a single post.”

When Kerry walked out, among the valuable assets she took with her was a Twitter following of more than 12,000. Is there any staffer remaining at The Washington Times who has a social-media presence that size? The newspaper’s main Twitter feed has barely 60,000 followers. (By comparison, David Limbaugh has 87,000 Twitter followers, Dave Weigel has 98,000 and Mark Levin has 190,000.)

This just goes to show the myopia of management. A couple days ago, The Glorious Peoples Commissar David Jackson published a “vision” paper with a lot of blather about becoming a “digital-first news organization” in which “our Internet and online audiences will become our first thought.”

This would seem rather difficult when there’s apparently no one in the organization with a significant social-media presence.


13 Responses to “News From the People’s Democratic Republic of 3600 New York Avenue”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 4th, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

    I wish we could get more than just some cult to buy some publications and report the conservative message. Donors who gave millions to Karl Rove last year, might have had a much bigger impact if they bought a news paper or two and hired some smart young conservatives to run it.

  2. dmbatten
    January 4th, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    After the damage the Washington Times and its unethical reporters havebrought upon the US Constitution and the Liberty that we all should enjoy I have several options for them:

    1. Learn to love your unemployment
    2. Figure out how to go on disability
    3. If you get another job, let’s hope its around 50K with no benefits so you can share in the joy that is Obamacare
    4. Open your eyes to the damage the Socialist in the White House has caused and will contiue to cause and join the rest of us fighting it….. or….
    5. ….something having to do with Kool Aid.

  3. Libertarian Advocate
    January 4th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    Exactly. We need many more media outlets.

  4. robertstacymccain
    January 4th, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

    Dude, I think you don’t know what you’re talking about. The Washington Times is a conservative newspaper.

  5. Quartermaster
    January 4th, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    Here’s an idea. Why don’t you apply for the EiC position? Just be sure to keep the tip jar here. I’m sure in a couple weeks you could telecommute and buy it for a dollar.

  6. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    January 4th, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

    Is dmbatten mistaken, referring to some other WT event, or a troll?

    I do recall one strange post at a WT by some on line doofus WT staffer last year that was definitely not conservative. But from all the egg nog I consumed over the holidays I do not recall what it was. So that is why I ask.

  7. Adjoran
    January 4th, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    The industry is dying. There is no model which allows an organization with a widespread news-gathering operation to be profitable anymore, at least not in any way that those who have been raised in management of newspapers or television news as we have known it can possibly envision. Newspaper managers in particular have no clue at all what to do. Warren Buffett just bought a bunch from Media General and has already begun shutting them down.

    TV News is no longer worth the loss to corporate, so they ditched the news operations except for the on-air talking heads and a few writers and producers. Why spend money gathering news when you are just going to report whatever the liberal line is on any given subject anyway?

    TWT may be worse than others in its death throes, but it’s a hard place in the world they inhabit and there are no answers.

  8. robertstacymccain
    January 4th, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

    “There is no model which allows an organization with a widespread news-gathering operation to be profitable anymore”

  9. Adjoran
    January 5th, 2013 @ 12:30 am

    Oh, they were certainly worth a try, for their own sake, but how are they working out so far?

  10. Bob Belvedere
    January 5th, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

    Do you, perchance, mean The Washington Post???

  11. Bob Belvedere
    January 5th, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    This calls for an Intervention! Egg Nog is a dairy product which means Evi has gone cannibal!!!

  12. Bob Belvedere
    January 5th, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    When you start building your media empire, I expect to be appointed VP In Charge Of Bikini Slideshows – it’s the right thing to do.

  13. Five Years Ago Today … : The Other McCain
    January 17th, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    […] wave after wave of layoffs and sundry other embarrassments at what I’ve begun calling the People’s Democratic Republic of 3600 New York Avenue.A totalitarian ethos of paranoia has evidently taken hold in management, prompting one staffer to […]