What do you suppose the point of this could possibly be?
Politico editor-in-chief John Harris and chief executive Jim VandeHei are expected to visit The Washington Post on Wednesday to discuss the paper's recent scrutiny of chief White House correspondent Mike Allen and his influential Playbook newsletter, according to a source familiar with the meeting who is not authorized to discuss it.
The Politico higher-ups are scheduled to sit down with both editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and media critic Erik Wemple, who has aggressively covered Allen and recently suggested the Politico star writer rewards Playbook advertisers with favorable coverage. After digging through Playbook's archives, Wemple concluded in November that "the special interests that pay for slots in the newsletter get adoring coverage elsewhere in the playing field of Playbook."
A few years ago, it was Politico's Allen breaking the "Salon-gate" scandal at the Post; he reported the paper planned to allow lobbyists and executives the opportunity to pay for off-the-record access to Post editors and reporters at exclusive salons. Now it's the Post, through Wemple, that's asking Politico questions about blurring the line between editorial and business interests.
So far, Allen has been silent on the matter. He didn't answer Wemple's queries prior to publication or at a public event after the story ran on Nov. 20.
While VandeHei and Harris haven't engaged Wemple's line of questioning about Playbook's sponsors, each has criticized his coverage in recent interviews.
Gosh I sure hope they can work it all out. It would be a shame if these good friends weren't able to hash out some guidelines about how to report on each others' corruption. It's just plain uncomfortable.