July 21, 2024

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The Washington Post Delves Into a Difficult Story: Itself

2 min read

The backyard goodbye party for Sally Buzbee, the recently departed executive editor of The Washington Post, was beginning to break up on Sunday evening when the newspaper published a critical investigation into her permanent successor.

The headline: “Incoming Post editor tied to self-described ‘thief’ who claimed role in his reporting.”

The article focused on Robert Winnett, the British journalist poised to take over The Post’s newsroom in November, and described his links to a private eye who used unethical media practices to land big exclusives. It noted that Mr. Winnett had declined to comment to The Post’s reporters — the same ones he will be managing in a few months.

The party was a farewell gesture by Patty Stonesifer, who was temporarily The Post’s chief executive last year and is a close ally of Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and the paper’s owner. As part of her job, Ms. Stonesifer helped recruit the new permanent chief executive, Will Lewis, whose reorganization of the newsroom prompted Ms. Buzbee’s resignation.

But the upcoming article contributed to an occasionally awkward mood at the party, held at Ms. Stonesifer’s home in Washington’s upscale Cleveland Park neighborhood and attended by senior editors and executives, according to two people with knowledge of the party.

It was just the latest uneasy moment for people at The Post. Employees have been reeling in recent weeks from successive revelations about Mr. Lewis and Mr. Winnett, who are charged with turning around one of America’s top news organizations. A day before the party, The New York Times reported that Mr. Lewis and Mr. Winnett had used stolen records for newspaper articles earlier in their careers in Britain. The Post declined to comment on that article.

At the party, Ms. Buzbee stood up to give remarks after Ms. Stonesifer encouraged her to speak, three people who were present said.

Ms. Buzbee said The Post stood for holding powerful people and institutions to account…

Benjamin Mullin and Katie Robertson

2024-06-17 21:23:15

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