bf8e230a-7246-4caa-bccb-6b4888364ac8-1.jpgLots shakin' at The Washington Post lately. An alert Ombudsman had plenty to choose from, should she want to act as the Readers' Representative. Here are some examples (from just the last ten days) where readers deserved an ombud or two:

Syndicated columnist Robert Novak got confused about Valerie Plame Wilson's covert status, and blamed his confusion on the CIA Director.
Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt responded to Greg Sargent's question about identifying Liz Cheney as the Veep's daughter, and admitted he'd violated his own policies on identifying opiners.
Opiner Charles Krauthammer got fact-free discussing the reason RGJoe won last fall.
Media critic Howard Kurtz clued us in to Imus' charm.
The Editorial page parroted RNC talking points in criticizing the Speaker's "Pratfall in Damascus."
Richard Cohen declared Fifth-Amendment-taker Monica Goodling "no criminal."

From this embarassment of riches, what choice did Ombudsman Deborah Howell make? In response to ONE reader's complaint, she devoted her entire weekly output to a Masters golf tournament betting pool among five Post sportwriters that totalled $250. Reaching her customarily management-friendly conclusion, Deb opined

The Masters pool is not a grave ethical matter, but The Post should have written rules to guide sports journalists on betting. This answer didn't please [reader] Sullivan, who wrote, "Reporters go after others with zeal while believing that the rules don't apply to them and that they are above reproach. Accountability for thee but not for me."

Even when just one reader complains about something completely inconsequential, Post owner Donald Graham can count on Deb to side with the house.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge