The Washington Post Can't Even Get A Basic News Story Right

[oldembed src="" width="425" height="239" resize="1" fid="21"]
Here's Ed Schultz, raging about this situation last year.

No, it's not your imagination. The Washington Post far too frequently slants their "news" stories in service of a pro-conservative, pro-corporate, pro-privatization agenda - whether on purpose or through sheer carelessness, it's hard to say. But this is only the latest example:

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays starting Aug. 1, the agency is set to announce Wednesday.

This means that for the first time Americans will receive mail only five days a week, a significant shift for the storied mail agency that has suffered tens of billions of dollars in losses in recent years with the advent of the Internet and e-commerce.

Gee, that sounds right. There couldn't possibly be anything more to the story! After all, everyone you know uses email, so the internet killed it. I mean, those things you buy from eBay (another thriving internet business) must arrive by magic, right?

USPS plans to continue Saturday delivery of packages, which remain a profitable and growing part of the delivery business. Canceling Saturday mail deliveries will save USPS $2 billion annually, according to congressional and postal officials, who confirmed the news ahead of a formal announcement later Wednesday.

[...] The Postal Service said that it suffered a $15.9 billion net loss for fiscal 2012, which ended Sept. 30. That’s three times the loss recorded a year earlier.

As a former editor, I can tell you for a fact: As a group, reporters are some of the laziest people in the world. So if they get a press release about something like this, it is highly unlikely the reporter will engage his or her brain enough to probe into the reasons behind the story, because (as I said), reporters are lazy. (The pre-written narrative is "the internet killed the post office.") So the copy editor is supposed to corral the staffer and either get them to fill in those gaps, or do it themselves.

Except that with massive layoffs in the newspaper industry, it is also likely that unqualified, inexperienced staffers are now working the copy desk.

Here's what the story is missing:

The problem lies elsewhere: the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, and do so within a decade, an obligation no other public agency or private firm faces. The roughly $5.5 billion annual payments since 2007 — $21 billion total — are the difference between a positive and negative ledger.

Why would the Republican-controlled Congress pass such an absurd requirement? Why, it's almost as if they were trying to put the Postal Service out of business!

Well, it's really a twofer. First, they want to break up the federal unions. And second, they want to privatize the post office and give those plum contracts to their good buddies at FedEx and UPS.

But you're not going to read that in the Washington Post. And to be fair, you probably won't get that context in the Times, either. That librul media!


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.