By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2009, 8:15pm PT  

Seemingly dead-set on hastening its obsolescence, Washington Post has fired "White House Watch" columnist Dan Froomkin, one of their only unflinching truth-tellers who never stopped telling those truths, even through every dark year of the former oppressive regime when McCarthyesque tactics prevailed, and 99% of the men and women who held jobs like Froomkin's failed the nation by pulling their punches and folding to the cynicism of fear and intimidation.

Says Froomkin in response: "I'm terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn't "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online."

Ironically, folks like Howard Kurtz and Dana Milbank remain employed by WaPo in the meantime. So do unapologetic wingnut liars and tools such as Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, George Will and a bevy of others. And in more irony, despite the paper's purge of just about anyone who might have been described as "liberal" or "progressive" (and yes, Froomkin held Obama feet to the same fire he held Bush's), the still-employed wingnuts will continue to label the hard-right charging WaPo as "the liberal media," even as the editors and publishers of the paper run out of money, wonder what happened to them, and blame "the Internet" for their own failures in falling for the bait.

"As I've written elsewhere," Froomkin said in his statement, "I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That's what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else."

Glen Greenwald notes in his Froomkin "obituary"...

What makes this firing so bizarre and worthy of inquiry is that, as [Politico's Patrick] Gavin notes, Froomkin was easily one of the most linked-to and cited Post columnists. At a time when newspapers are relying more and more on online traffic, the Post just fired the person who, in 2007, wrote 3 out of the top 10 most-trafficked columns.

Andrew Sullivan describes Froomkin as "WaPo's Best Blogger" and decries:

A simply astounding move by the paper - getting rid of the one blogger, Dan Froomkin, who kept it real and kept it interesting. Dan's work on torture may be one reason he is now gone. The way in which the WaPo has been co-opted by the neocon right, especially in its editorial pages, is getting more and more disturbing. This purge will prompt a real revolt in the blogosphere. And it should.

Jane Hamsher helps kickstart that revolt by noting the origins of the fear-based firing, following years of Froomkin getting it right, and even holding WaPo accountable when they didn't (as they didn't, so much of the time):

In the end, the bitter petty people who discredited the entire profession with their coverage of the war and its fallout just did not like the mirror he held up to them.

And an organization that has long felt it could change reality simply by refusing to acknowledge its existence runs true to form once again.

UPDATE: Greenwald adds, in a follow-up today, noting (with citations) how far to the right today's edition alone of WaPo is, even as the pathetically delusional Krauthammer decried on Wednesday that Fox "News" is the "only voice of opposition in the media. ... And it makes us a lot like Caracas where all the media, except one, are state run":

The Washington Post does more to advance neoconservative ideology than The Weekly Standard, the American Enterprise Institute and Commentary combined. But Post columnist Charles Krauthammer --- and so many like him --- fantasize that they're surrounded by a Liberal Media that oppresses, persecutes and silences them. Just ponder the levels of delusion and self-pity necessary to believe that.

UPDATE 6/26/09: Froomkin pens his final column for WaPo, and we share a few more thoughts...

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