Here, let Editor and Publisher clue you in:
In her Sunday column this week, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell responds to charges of improper money-making from special-interest groups against two of the newspaper’s stars, David Broder and Bob Woodward. The allegations were carried in the current issue of Harper’s by Ken Silverstein, the magazine’s Washington editor.
Both Broder and Woodward recently took buyouts from the paper but remain as contract workers.
The Post Stylebook’s ethics and standards section says only: “We freelance for no one and accept no speaking engagements without permission from department heads.” Howell observes: “Broder and Woodward did not check with editors on the appearances Silverstein mentioned.”
My, how the mighty have fallen.
Bob Woodward, the man who (with Carl Bernstein) broke the story of Watergate, is now in thorough disrepute. Somehow, I don’t think this is what Deep Throat meant when he told those two intrepid reporters to “follow the money”! And David Broder, who used to write well but has been turning into a bloviating archconservative in his old age, has earned more than just some richly deserved disgust by people looking for accurate reporting, not grandiose gasbaggery. Well, now we know why both of them have gone bad–it’s the money, honey.
Here’s the WaHoPo’s ombud on the details:
…Broder made a number of speeches to business groups, including the Western Conference of Prepaid Medical Service Plans, a group of nonprofit health plans; the National Association of Manufacturers, which met at a Florida resort; a Northern Virginia Association of Realtors fundraiser; and the American Council for Capital Formation, a nonprofit group promoting smaller government and lower taxes.
Broder said the groups paid his expenses. He received two speech fees — about $7,000 from the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, and, in 2006, he accepted $12,000 from the Minnesota League of Cities. Mary Beth Coya, the Realtors’ senior vice president for public and governmental affairs, said the event was not a fundraiser but was attended by elected officials “to promote our government affairs programs.”
Broder and his wife, Ann, also took free passage on the 2007 Seabourn Cruise Line’s 13-night “Rio and the Amazon” cruise in exchange for three speeches about presidents he has covered.
Woodward said all his speaking fees — which range from $15,000 to $60,000 — go to a foundation he started in the 1990s with his wife, journalist Elsa Walsh. The Woodward Walsh Foundation has about $2.3 million, he said. He gave me its latest 2008 IRS filing, which will be made public, showing total gifts of $107,874, compared with $17,500 in 2007. Its largest donation in the past year was $51,000 to his daughter’s Sidwell Friends School. Among other recipients were Investigative Reporters and Editors, Martha’s Table and D.C. College Access.
But I guess it ain’t whorin’ if it’s all going to your own private charitable foundation, eh? Talk about a hooker with a heart of gold.
You can read more about the whole whorish kerfuffle at Harper’s.