Friday, April 18, 2008

Mixed Signals From the Washington Post

First the good: The Washington Post's Mark Fisher names our friend Chris Needham of Capitol Punishment "Blogger of the Month," saying:
Capitol Punishment is what works on the web: A strong, attractive personality backed up by a clear devotion to accuracy and good storytelling, with a good dose of humor and a real interest in creating and maintaining a community. In other words, a smart, committed fan.

Then the bad news: The Washington Post fires Michael Tunison, one of its reporters, after he comes clean and admits that he is also a blogger (i.e. Christmas Ape of Kissing Suzy Kobler and Deadspin fame). The Post says that he is "a discredit to the paper."

Obviously there is a world of difference between the content of Capitol Punishment and KSK (for those of you who don't know, KSK works really, really blue), so it's quite possible that this is less a matter of cluelessness as it is of editorial standards (not that the blogger underground won't complain about it regardless of the reasoning).

Still, the timing is awkward and, given the history of blogger antipathy among some Post sportswriters, curious. At the very least, one would hope that the Post would explain what, exactly, Tunison has said under his nom de plume that has discredited it so egregiously.

Update: Initially missing the forest for the trees, it has now occurred to me that a lot of companies would fire Tunison based on the drunk pictures he used to accompany the article in which he outed himself, rendering his status as a blogger irrelevant. Makes one wonder if Tunison was simply looking to leave his job anyway and figured he'd find a way to (a) do it in style; and (b) do it with an unemployment check. Hmmmm . . .

Update #2: Tunison denies that he was trying to get fired, and links to a story at E&P with more background, including the statements from the Post which about which I inquired above.

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