If the staff of The Washington Post Express had overheard a reporter walking away from "The Gettysburg Address", they would have reported it like this:
"Wow, that was pretty good!"
-- Abraham Lincoln expresses his opinion of the Civil War
Imagine my chagrin when I read one of my favorite blogs this morning only to find that The Washington Post Express has done it again.
In today's blog entry, the witty, clever, sometimes snarky but always humorous Herb of DC reports that he got a mention in the WPE. Cool stuff. This almost always prompts commenters to congratulate you and then you go to the WPE website and download that edition so that you can have it forever. It's like you won a Grammy or something.
Now that I think of it, we should start having "After The WPE Awards" parties. Red carpets, goody bags, paparazzi, Joan Rivers... How great could that be?
There was one small issue with the part of the blog that the WPE chose to cite in their paper, though. They weren't Herb's words. In fact, the weren't actually even part of Herb's blog. They were comments left by me on a brief video that Herb wanted to share with the world.
Herb was extremely laid back about the whole episode. He said that he was "dismayed". He also included very kind words for the author of the actual citation, referring to the entry as "...very smart. Analytical. Sober." Thank you, Herb. You're a better man than I am.
Now you may think that this is a little "whoops" episode and is no big deal. In fact, in this particular case, it's probably not. Herb got recognition for his blog even if the attribution was incorrect. I got a compliment out of the whole deal. The problem is that this is not the first time the WPE has botched things up.
In what I consider a much more serious episode, Liz of WhatLizSaid fame wrote a brief but thoughtful and moving article about 9/11 on the 7th anniversary of the date we all remember. The gist of her article was that she heard people talking about where they were or what they were doing when tragedy struck on 9/11/2001, as if proximity to an event of that caliber mattered in some way. Her point, I believe, was that it simply doesn't because in the end we were all affected in a very deep way.
The Washington Post Express managed to take just a few of Liz's words out of context, and then make an editorial comment that showed that they had completely missed the entire point of her article. Their comment made Liz look like some kind of hypocritical hack when in fact the thrust of her essay was exactly the opposite of what they said. I very much fear that more people may read the WPE than actually read Liz's article, and that's just way too bad. They owe her an apology in a very big way.
Liz - I'm very sorry that the WPE did that to you.
Herb - I'm very sorry the WPE did that do you. In future comments, I will make every effort to be less smart, analytical, and certainly sober. Perhaps I'll make humorous references to bodily functions or throw in a misspelling or two.
Washington Post Express - I don't speak for all bloggers, but if you're going to be so sloppy, inattentive, haphazard, and unprofessional in what you do, then I'd simply prefer that you remove the "Blog Log" section of your "paper" entirely rather than include improper citations and editorial comments that only display the fact that you can't be bothered to actually read before you publish.