Friday, January 20

WAPO ANSWERS QUESTION POSED BY ANN COULTER

It appears that the Washington Post has answered the question posed by Ann Coulter in the title of one of her books -- "How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must)."

The answer: you don't. Or, maybe better put: you can't.

This story explains the genesis of WaPo's epiphany!

The Washington Post shut down one of its blogs Thursday after the newspaper's ombudsman raised the ire of readers by writing that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to the Democrats as well as to Republicans.

In her Sunday column, ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that Abramoff "had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties," prompting a wave of nasty reader postings on post.blog.

There were so many personal attacks that the newspaper's staff could not "keep the board clean, there was some pretty filthy stuff," and so the Post shut down comments on the blog, or Web log, said Jim Brady, executive editor of washingtonpost.com.

"We're not giving up on the concept of having a healthy public dialogue with our readers, but this experience shows that we need to think more carefully about how we do it," Brady wrote on the newspaper's Web site.

Progress? Maybe so. While the Washington Post rethinks how to have a "healthy public dialogue" with the left side of the blogosphere (good luck), maybe the Democratic Party could similarly do some soul-searching. Its liberal figureheads, after all, sound more like chatting Harry Bellefonte dolls these days than the party's statesmen of old.