Flack-O-Meter Alert!

By: Harry Jaffe

Our flack-O-meter went off the dial Monday morning after reading an item in Howard Kurtz’s “Media Notes.”
 
The main story was a solid piece of reporting about the lack of black journalists in the White House press corps. It was Kurtz taking a critical look at the state of Washington reporting.

But two items into the column, Kurtz reports very stale news about how colleague Tom Ricks was blackballed by the Army War College—in 2005. Then the offending chairman of the school’s Strategic Studies Institute apologized to Ricks. So why the retelling?

Kurtz explains to readers that Ricks “tells the tale” on the Web site of Foreign Policy, which he says was “recently bought” by the Post, and is being “expanded online” by the paper’s former head of national news.

The entire affair could have been covered in a press release written by the Post’s PR department.