The following article apeared in Human Life Review, Summer, 2014. Copyright © 2014 by Mary Meehan
How Jeff Bezos Can Fix the Washington Post:
Mr. Jeffrey Bezos
Dear Mr. Bezos:
As a longtime Washington Post reader, I have watched with great interest your purchase of the Post and your efforts to keep it going and make it better. By now you have received truckloads of advice about solving all the problems the Post faces. I'm sure much advice deals with making the paper's Internet version profitable. That is clearly a critical need, since the print version has suffered drastic falls in subscriptions and advertising revenue in recent years.
You, of course, know far more about best use of the Internet than I ever will. Yet I do have experience in journalism. A freelancer, I have done reporting, political commentary, and long articles based on archival research. The Post published some of my op-eds and several articles for "Outlook," mainly in 1979-81. A native of Washington, D.C., I have lived in Washington or Maryland for most of my life. This means many decades of reading the Post--sometimes in awe, but often in frustration and discontent. I believe that improving its journalism would do much to increase digital subscriptions and advertising revenue. Such improvements can help move the Post toward financial stability--and possibly even profits. I will make several suggestions for general improvement in Post journalism. Then I'll focus on one of today's most divisive issues and how the Post can improve its coverage of that issue.
Don't Miss the Scoops
After you bought the Post last year, it was encouraging to read that you were seeking advice from Bob Woodward, the Post's legendary reporter on Watergate and many stories since. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that Woodward's "ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn't be talking about is extraordinary and maybe unique."(1) His ability to obtain current, secret government documents is also extraordinary.
Good reporting, though, sometimes involves much digging into old documents in both public and private archives. On February 9 of this year, Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon--a conservative, online outlet--scooped the Post and other major media by reporting on archival papers of the late Prof. Diane Blair. Prof. Blair, a close friend of Hillary Clinton, taught political science at the University of Arkansas. She also kept fascinating records of White House visits and phone conversations with Clinton when the latter was First Lady. The Post, playing catch-up the day after Goodman's story, offered a brief piece on the "four most notable nuggets" in Prof. Blair's papers. Yet that report failed to mention the most startling revelation--a comment on a major sexual-harassment case.(2) In 1992 the Post scooped other papers with an exposé about then-Sen. Robert Packwood (R-OR). The report described Packwood's forcible kissing and groping of women on his Senate staff. There were other Packwood targets, too, including a job applicant, campaign workers, hotel/motel employees. The Senate ethics committee that investigated the matter eventually recommended Packwood's expulsion from the Senate. He headed that off by resigning in 1995.(3) Late in 1993, when Packwood was still fighting for political survival, Prof. Blair discussed him with Hillary Clinton. Blair recorded that her friend was "tired of all those whiney women, and she needs him [Packwood] on health care."(4) Whiney women? Voters who see Clinton as a great leader on women's issues might want to ask her about this.
Mr. Bezos, it might be worth your while to ask Post editors whether the Clinton machine pressured the Post to downplay the Washington Free Beacon story or any others. Last year that formidable machine--with help from Republicans--blocked a planned documentary on Hillary Clinton. Director Charles Ferguson, an Academy Award winner, was working on the project with CNN Films. Ferguson soon ran into an anti-documentary campaign being waged by Clinton's press secretary, by another Clinton operative he called her "media fixer," and by others. Ironically, the Republican Party establishment, fearing the documentary would be pro-Clinton, also came out against it. Charles Ferguson soldiered on, but eventually wrote in the Huffington Post that "when I approached people for interviews, I discovered that nobody, and I mean nobody, was interested in helping me make this film. Not Democrats, not Republicans--and certainly nobody who works with the Clintons, wants access to the Clintons, or dreams of a position in a Hillary Clinton administration. Not even journalists who want access, which can easily be taken away." Ferguson felt forced to cancel the documentary, and he called that "a victory for the Clintons, and for the money machines that both political parties have now become."(5)
Although previous Post leaders were rightly celebrated for their courage in printing the Pentagon Papers and for their Watergate coverage, those events occurred roughly 40 years ago. More typically, the Post has been too close to government officials, especially on foreign policy, and too close to Democrats generally. If the Post is to be a truly great newspaper, you will have to guard against these tendencies. They kill good journalism.
Avoid Knee-jerk Coverage
The Post and other media over-cover several areas: the "first" of anything, anniversaries of anything, political dynasties, and celebrities. This leads to super-saturated coverage of some stories, and it diverts resources from more important ones. When two or three favored categories are involved, the coverage can be overwhelming, as in the 50th anniversary of President John Kennedy's assassination last November. This involved an anniversary, a political dynasty, and a mega-celebrity. By my count, the Post ran at least 98 stories related to JFK's presidency and the assassination in October and November of 2013.
The editors should also take another look at the hyping of political
dynasties. Like other media, the Post over-covers dynastic candidates:
Kennedys, Bushes, and Clintons. This is deeply unfair to other candidates,
who often begin with great financial handicaps and then run into superficial
media coverage. The dynastic obsession also goes against the spirit of a
republic. The United States, after all, fought a revolution to be free of a royal
dynasty. Are dynasties of wealth that much better? Barbara Bush, wife of
one president and mother of another, has offered words of wisdom on the
dynastic front. Asked last year if "there's room for another Bush in the White
House," she said that "if we can't find more than two or three families to run
for high office, that's silly. Because there are great governors and great,
eligible people to run. And I think that the Kennedys, Clintons, Bushes
The Post and the media in general over-emphasize celebrities: television and film stars, sports stars, and professional party-goers. This kind of reporting used to be left mainly to the tabloids and gossip columnists. There is much to be said for giving the celebrities back to them, or at least reducing the amount of celebrity coverage. An alternative would be to focus mainly on celebs' professional lives, which are often more interesting and deeper than their personal lives.
The Post, though, should emphasize mainly the key figures in government and politics. It occasionally does interesting articles on such people--for example, Lenny Bernstein's profile of Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell last December. Bernstein deftly wove her background and personality into the difficult policy issues she confronts.(7) We need more such profiles of major Washington players: other cabinet members, key members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, powerful lobbyists, interesting diplomats of the U.S. and other nations. Many good stories are there for the writing. If the Post wants to regain its position as the go-to place for national politics, this is one way to do it.
An Issue of Life or Death: The Post Can Do Much Better
Let's turn now to Post coverage of abortion, one of the most contentious issues our country faces. I do not pretend to be neutral on this subject: I have written against abortion for 35 years--with special emphasis on why liberals, antiwar advocates, and libertarians should oppose it.(8)
The Post, on the other hand, has supported abortion editorially for decades. That is its right; yet it still has an obligation to report the issue fairly and accurately. But Post reporters who try to do this are handicapped by a long-ago decision that they must use the negative label of "antiabortion" for one side of the controversy and use the positive word "rights"--a word revered throughout U.S. history--for the other side.(9) Fairness requires that, if one side is called "abortion-rights," the other should be called "right to life" or "life-rights." Alternative possibilities are "anti-abortion" and "pro-abortion" or "abortion foes" and "abortion supporters." I realize that groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America do not want to be called "pro-abortion." Yet they fight virtually every proposed restriction on abortion, and they also demand public funding of the practice. (Does anyone object to calling the National Rifle Association "pro-gun"?)
There should be an effort to avoid euphemisms and public-relations terms for abortion practice. Some reporters, at the Post and elsewhere, go out of their way to say that a doctor or clinic "offers" or "provides" or "performs" abortions, almost as though they're speaking of a consumer item or a concert. Why not simply say they "do abortions"?
One Post writer identified a 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), as "the former executive director of a women's health center in Philadelphia now run by Planned Parenthood." The writer neglected to say that the center, which Schwartz co-founded and ran for years, did surgical abortions when she was in charge. (It doesn't do them now, but refers for them.)(10) Why not just say this? Although initially a leading candidate for governor, Schwartz lost her primary election. As the next section shows, though, her prior occupation had special relevance to the governor's office.
Gosnell Trial: Post Missed the Early Part
Under former Pennsylvania governor Thomas Ridge, and for most of Edward Rendell's two terms as governor, state agencies didn't bother to inspect abortion clinics. This enabled Dr. Kermit Gosnell to run a dirty and dangerous clinic in Philadelphia for many years. He and a colleague did illegal, late-term abortions; they also killed many babies who survived abortion by severing their spinal cords. Gosnell severely injured some women, too. One had to have a hysterectomy after he punctured her uterus; another, with the same injury, died of sepsis. Another woman died because a Gosnell aide gave her a sedative overdose. Despite lawsuits and complaints to state agencies, public authorities didn't intervene until 2010. At that time, a grand jury later said, police raided the Gosnell clinic "to seize evidence of his illegal prescription selling." There they saw evidence of his abortion horrors as well. He was indicted for murder and other crimes, tried from March to May, 2013, and convicted.(11)
Like other major media, the Post failed to cover the early stages of Dr. Gosnell's trial. That changed when commentator Kirsten Powers wrote an opinion piece for USA Today on April 11, lambasting media outlets that weren't covering the trial. After describing terrible events in the Gosnell clinic, Powers declared: "The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace."(12) Post media critic Erik Wemple got right on the case, peppering his own and other media outlets with questions and writing short, strong pieces on the under-coverage.(13) Post executive editor Martin Baron promised to cover the trial and acknowledged that "we should have sent a reporter sooner."(14) Post writers Jennifer Rubin and Melinda Henneberger rebuked the media in general for failing to cover the Gosnell trial.(15) Sara Kliff, a Post reporter who often covers abortion, initially called the Gosnell case a "local crime" story in Philadelphia. But then she looked at the grand jury's report, said she had been "clearly wrong," and described "horrifying crimes committed" at the Gosnell clinic.(16) In short, the Post got the message.
The Post and other media under-performed, though, on political protection of abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. While they reported that the Gosnell clinic had not been inspected for many years, most said little about why it hadn't. The grand jury, citing a key state Department of Health (DOH) staff member, said departmental lawyers "changed their legal opinions and advice to suit the policy preferences of different governors. Under Governor Robert Casey, she said, the department inspected abortion facilities annually. Yet, when Governor Tom Ridge came in , the attorneys interpreted the same regulations that had permitted annual inspections for years to no longer authorize those inspections." The grand jury noted that in 1999 there was "a meeting of high-level government officials"; they decided against a proposal to restart regular clinic inspections. A senior DOH attorney attributed this to a concern that inspections might reveal that many clinics couldn't meet requirements for emergency evacuation of patients by wheelchair or stretcher. The officials feared that this, by reducing the number of clinics, would reduce women's access to abortion.
The grand jury said DOH continued this policy "after Edward Rendell became governor." Rendell served two terms, from 2003-2011. "The department continued its do-nothing policy until 2010," the grand jury commented, "when media attention surrounding the raid of the Gosnell clinic exposed the results of years of hands-off 'oversight.'"(17) Rendell later said he had been "flabbergasted to learn" about the DOH stance and that he immediately told them "to inspect these facilities." He declared that he'd "had no knowledge" that non-inspection "was the policy of the Ridge administration, nor that the policy was being continued." He complained that DOH "never reached out to me to discuss what the policy should be."(18) An alert governor, though, would have inquired about clinic oversight in a state where abortion has been a major issue for many years. And Rendell, a former district attorney and mayor of Philadelphia, knew about the problem of rogue doctors. "When I was district attorney," he said when interviewed during the Gosnell trial, "I actually prosecuted a doctor for doing exactly what Dr. Gosnell did."(19)
His predecessor, Gov. Thomas Ridge, was very quiet about the grand jury's statements. At least a few news outlets queried him about the no-inspection policy, but I found no indication that he responded. J. D. Mullane, a Pennsylvania reporter who covered the Gosnell trial very closely, commented while waiting for the verdict that Ridge "has been silent" about the trial. He suggested that the former governor stop by the courtroom "to see how his policy turned out."(20) Given the later and massive publicity for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's "Bridgegate" scandal,(21) reporters should have been sitting on Ridge's doorstep during the Gosnell trial. They should have asked Rendell, too, many questions about the crimes that took place on his watch.
Editorial Board Needs Better Fact-Checking
The Post editorial board has run a campaign against strict regulation of abortion clinics in Texas, North Carolina, and elsewhere.(22) The campaign reached a high pitch last year when conservative Ken Cuccinelli was the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia. Post editorials thrashed him repeatedly for his role (as the state's attorney general) in demanding strict regulations. An April, 2013, Post editorial was titled "Virginia's Abortion Assault Claims a Victim." The "victim" was Norfolk's Hillcrest Clinic, which had just closed, claiming that it couldn't afford renovations that the new rules required. The Post declared: "At abortion clinics, the presence of awnings, the width of doorways and the dimensions of janitorial closets have little to do with the health of patients."(23) It may have been right about the janitorial closets. But doorways--and hallways leading to them--are critical in an emergency evacuation, and awnings are important in a driving rainstorm or a blizzard. The Post editorial came just ten days after a Post reporter, covering the Gosnell trial, described a patient's death from an overdose of Demerol. The patient's brother, he said, "testified that the scene was chaotic as emergency workers rushed to get Mongar [the patient] to the hospital. He said firefighters had to use bolt cutters to open a clinic emergency door."(24) (This makes me wonder, and not for the first time, if editorial board members read their own newspaper.) Dealing with the same incident, the grand jury report stated: "After cutting the locks, responders had to waste precious more minutes to maneuver through the narrow cramped hallways that could not accommodate a stretcher." Paramedics were able to restore a weak heartbeat for the patient; hospital doctors did the same after her heart stopped again; but in the end they could not save her.(25)
After the grand jury report, an Associated Press reporter looked at results of the now-resumed clinic inspections in Pennsylvania. He found that regulators had "ordered 14 of the state's 22 freestanding clinics to remedy problems." He said the most common problems "were failures to properly report medical conditions that qualify as 'serious events' and not keeping resuscitation equipment readily available."(26)
The Post continued its anti-clinic-regulation campaign in July, 2013, with an editorial that protested "costly and cosmetic" requirements in North Carolina and elsewhere "to widen hallways, doorways and even entrance awnings."(27) Then there was an August editorial that complained about the closing of NOVA Women's Healthcare in Fairfax City, VA, a clinic that did far more abortions than any other in the state. The Post called NOVA "a popular and privately owned women's health clinic that offered many services besides abortion." It was correct in suggesting that the new state regulations would have imposed extra costs on NOVA--and that the Fairfax City Council, by amending its zoning law, made it harder for the clinic to relocate. But while it noted that NOVA's landlord had sued the clinic twice, it didn't mention that the landlord said clinic clients "had been seen regularly inside the building 'lying down in corridors...and, in some instances, even vomiting.'" An earlier Post news story had mentioned that and also had noted that later the landlord sued the clinic "for failure to pay $95,000 in back rent." The clinic "agreed to pay the back rent and surrender the space, court records show." The Post editorial should have given the full story.(28)
Neither editorial nor news story mentioned that the longtime NOVA owner, Dr. Mi Yong Kim, had been disciplined by the Virginia Board of Medicine for serious failures related to the death of a woman aborted by Kim in 2002. The board described the woman ("Patient A") as 26 years old, "with a history of anemia and sickle cell disease." It said Dr. Kim "failed to order appropriate laboratory studies and to document an appropriate history or physical examination" of the patient and that Kim administered a sedative in an improper way. Apparently describing the point when the doctor realized the patient was in great trouble, the board said she told staff to give the woman oxygen and call 911, but "failed to determine whether Patient A was in cardiac arrest, to initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation or to defibrillate Patient A." Soon after transport to a hospital, the patient died. The Board of Medicine barred Dr. Kim from administering or supervising "conscious sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia." It required that another doctor or a nurse anesthesia-specialist do such tasks. The board also imposed extra record-keeping requirements on Dr. Kim. This disciplinary action took place in April, 2005. Two years later, the board again found a number of deficiencies in her work. Instead of contesting the board's findings, Dr. Kim agreed to permanent surrender of her medical license. She continued to own the clinic, but in 2012 sold half her interest in it.(29)
In yet another attack on Ken Cuccinelli in June, 2013, the Post editorial board also slammed his runningmate, E. W. Jackson, for calling Planned Parenthood "far more lethal to black lives" than the Ku Klux Klan. Yet E. W. Jackson was right. According to a summary of lynching statistics at the Tuskegee University Archives, 3,446 African Americans died by lynching between 1882 and 1968. While the Klan wasn't directly responsible for all lynchings, it created a climate of violence that encouraged murder, and many of its members were directly involved. The Tuskegee total does not include the late 1860s and early 1870s, when the Klan was extremely active and violent,(30) but scholars are trying to gather more complete statistics. Meanwhile, let's assume for the sake of argument that the Klan was responsible for 6,000 African American deaths--including those who died in race riots, which the Tuskegee statistics don't cover. Planned Parenthood clinics did 327,166 abortions in 2012. At least 30 thirty percent of U.S. abortions are done on African American women. If that figure holds for Planned Parenthood clinics, they aborted at least 98,150 African American children in 2012 alone.(31) And they have been in the abortion business for a very long time.
The Post editorial board should hire an independent fact-checker. It also should reject the partisanship shown by one of its members in 2008, when he claimed credit for the electoral victory of U.S. Senator James Webb (D-VA) two years earlier. Noting Post editorials critical of Webb's Republican opponent--and Webb's "use of these editorials in his advertising"--editorial board member Lee Hockstader said that "it was Jim Webb's victory that handed control of the Senate to the Democrats in 2006. So in other words, I'm basically taking personal credit for Democratic control of the Senate."(32)
Actually, why have editorials at all? Post reporters would be freer to do their work, and many sources would be more willing to talk to them, if reporters didn't have such an editorial burden on their backs. Post readers would trust the paper more if it offered just news and a rich variety of columnists.
In closing, Mr. Bezos, I wish you the best of luck in making the Post a better and a profitable venture. With your fortune and some bold moves, it could become the greatest newspaper in the world.
Unless otherwise stated, references are to online versions of the newspapers cited below.
1. Michael Calderone, "Washington Post's Bob Woodward Takes More Active Role in Jeff Bezos Era," huffingtonpost.com, 28 Oct. 2013; and Hadas Gold, "Gates: I Wanted Woodward in CIA," politico.com, 17 Jan. 2014.
2. Alana Goodman, "The Hillary Papers," Washington Free Beacon, freebeacon.com, 9 Feb. 2014. Prof. Blair's papers are at the university's main campus in Fayetteville, Ark. See, also, Sean Sullivan, "The Four Most Notable Nuggets from 'The Hillary Papers,'" Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2014.
3. Florence Graves and Charles E. Shepard, "Packwood Accused of Sexual Advances; Alleged Behavior Pattern Counters Image," Washington Post, 22 Nov. 1992; Helen Dewar, "Packwood Switches Attorneys; Major Criminal Lawyer To Advise on Subpoenas," ibid., 2 Dec. 1993 (both articles from ProQuest electronic database); and Senate Ethics Counsel, The Packwood Report (New York: Times Books/Random House, 1995). This book includes the Senate Ethics Counsel's report to the U.S. Senate's Select Committee on Ethics and some additional material; see, especially, pp. 43-126.
4. Goodman (n. 2).
5. Charles Ferguson, "Why I Am Cancelling My Documentary on Hillary Clinton," huffingtonpost.com, 30 Sept. 2013.
6. "Barbara Bush Interview," c-span.org, taped 29 Oct. 2013, Houston, Tex.
7. Lenny Bernstein, "Sally Jewell at a Different Kind of Summit: Head of the Department of the Interior," Washington Post, 25 December 2013.
8. See "Why Liberals Should Defend the Unborn," Human Life Review 37, no. 3 (Summer 2011), 15-30, available at humanlifereview.com and meehanreports.com. Also, see Doris Gordon, "Abortion and Rights: Applying Libertarian Principles Correctly," International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 19, nos. 3-4 (1999), 97-127. This outstanding article on the libertarian case against abortion is available at L4L.org.
9. Charles Paul Freund, "Parallel Lines of Debate on Abortion," Washington Post, 25 April 1989 (from ProQuest electronic database).
10. Nia-Malika Henderson, "Nine Women (and One Firm) in Politics to Watch in 2014," Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2014; Robert Huber, "Who Doesn't Like Allyson Schwartz?" Philadelphia magazine, 27 December 2013, phillymag.com; and plannedparenthood.org/health-center/ (in search box, type zip code "19107").
11. R. Seth Williams, District Attorney, Report of the Grand Jury, Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Criminal Trial Division, Misc. No. 0009901-2008, accepted by Supervising Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, Jan. 2011, 3-8 & 11; and Brady Dennis, "Abortion Doctor Kermit Gosnell Convicted of Murder in Deaths of Three Infants," Washington Post, 13 May 2013. Dennis reported that Gosnell was also convicted of "infanticide and racketeering" as well as 21 charges of "illegal late-term abortions."
12. Kirsten Powers, "Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Horror: Column," USA Today, usatoday.com, 11 April 2013.
13. Erik Wemple, "Gosnell Case and Mainstream Media: Answers, Please?" Washington Post, 12 April 2013; and other pieces from April 12-29, 2013.
14. Erik Wemple, "Washington Post Pledges Gosnell Coverage," ibid., 12 April 2013.
15. See Jennifer Rubin commentary in ibid., 14, 15, & 18 April, 2013; and Melinda Henneberger, "Why Kermit Gosnell Hasn't Been on Page One," ibid., 15 April 2013.
16. Sara Kliff, "The Gosnell Case: Here's What You Need to Know," ibid., 15 April 2013.
17. Report of the Grand Jury (n. 11), 147-48.
18. Associated Press, "Rendell 'Flabbergasted' over Grand Jury Report that Says Abortion Clinics Weren't Inspected for Political Reasons," 22 Jan. 2011, www.pennlive.com.
19. Edward Rendell on "Morning Joe," MSNBC, 15 April 2013.
20. "Gosnell Courtroom Reporter Speaks Out on Trial," (J. D. Mullane, interview by Mike Huckabee), Fox News, taped 27 April 2013 and broadcast three days later.
21. For example, see fidlerten, "MSNBC's Christie Bridgegate Wall-to-Wall Media Coverage Shows Obsession," dailykos.com, 21 Jan. 2014.
22. See editorials such as "Wendy Davis Is a Formidable Foe of Abortion Restrictions," Washington Post, 28 June 2013 and others noted below.
23. "Virginia's Abortion Assault Claims a Victim," editorial, ibid., 26 April 2013.
24. Brady Dennis, "Abortion Doctor's Trial Focuses on Immigrant's Death After Procedure," ibid., 16 April 2013.
25. Report of the Grand Jury (n. 11), 129-30.
26. Mark Scolforo (Associated Press), "Checks of Pa. Abortion Clinics Find Some Problems," Erie Times-News, goerie.com, 25 Jan. 2011.
27. Editorial on "North Carolina's Abortion-law Sham," Washington Post, 7 July 2013.
28. Editorial on "Virginia Lawmakers' False War on Abortion," ibid., 29 Aug. 2013; and Tom Jackman, "Fairfax City Abortion Clinic, Busiest in Virginia, Closes," ibid., 14 July 2013.
29. Virginia Board of Medicine, "In Re: Mi Yong Kim, M.D.," 5 April 2005; and ibid., "Consent Order - Mi Yong Kim, M.D.," 18 May 2007 (both documents available at AbortionDocs.org; click "Virginia" on map and go to p. 3); Virginia Board of Medicine, Board Briefs, newsletter #68, July 2007, www.dhp.virginia.gov/medicine/newsletters/BoardBrief68.doc; and Jackman (n. 28).
30. "Lynching, Whites and Negroes, 1882-1968," tuskegee.edu/libraries/archives.aspx (go to "Tuskegee University Archives Repository" and search for "lynching statistics").
31. Planned Parenthood, Annual Report, 2012-2013, 15, planned parenthood.org; and Guttmacher Institute, "Induced Abortion in the United States," Feb. 2014, guttmacher.org. According to Guttmacher, 30 percent of those aborted are "non-Hispanic black women," and 25 percent are Hispanic. Hispanic women can be of any race, and many are of mixed race. For the influence of eugenics on Planned Parenthood, see Mary Meehan, "How Eugenics and Population Control Led to Abortion" (rev. 2007), meehanreports.com.
32. Adam Pagnucco, "Washington Post Editorial Writer Brags About Electoral
Power," Maryland Politics Watch, maryland-politics.blogspot.com, 22 July 2010, based on podcast of
Stanford University appearance, 5 Nov. 2008. Special thanks to podcast narrator Tommy Wallach for
sending the audio version to the writer.