The Washington Post has allowed George Will to publish distortions and lies about climate science for years, without correction. Because of netroots outrage at Will’s most recent lies, Will’s editors — editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and Washington Post Writers Group editorial director Alan Shearer — have come under increasing pressure to restore journalistic ethics to their pages. Questioned by the Wonk Room Wednesday during a panel on how journalists cover energy policy, Washington Post reporter Steve Mufson washed his hands of the Will Affair:
The editorial page, just for the record, is a separately run part of the newspaper from the news page, and the news reporters have nothing to do with George Will’s column. Although it is safe to say the column has been the subject of some conversation.
Mufson made his remarks at the Energy Information Administration 2009 Energy Conference, where he, Eric Pooley, USA Today’s Barbara Hagenbaugh, and energy blogger Robert Rapier discussed energy and climate journalism with John Anderson, journalist-in-residence at Resources for the Future.
The “conversation” among Post employees has now spilled into the public square. Mufson, one of the Post’s most senior scribes, joins Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, reporters Juliet Eilperin and Mary Beth Sheridan, cartoonist Tom Toles, ombudsman Andrew Alexander, and blogger Andrew Freedman in distancing themselves “for the record” from Hiatt and Shearer’s use of the Washington Post’s reputation to support George Will’s lies.