By Versha Sharma - July 2, 2009, 12:21PM
This morning, Politico published a story detailing an interesting flier apparently being passed around DC health care lobby circles: a dinner invitation from the Washington Post at the house of CEO and Publisher Katherine Weymouth, selling access to its news and editorial staff and top Obama officials for $25,000 to $250,000. A health care lobbyist passed the missive on to Politico staff because he felt "it's a conflict of interest for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its 'health care reporting and editorial staff.'"
Two and a half hours after the story was published, executive editor Marcus Brauchli sent an internal memo entitled "Newsroom Independence," in which he stated that the news department will not be attending the dinner. The sentiment echoes the statement WaPo spokesperson Kris Coratti made to Politico:
The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company's vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers.
As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this.
Read the full text of Brauchli's memo and the original flier after the jump. More....