The best-kept secret at the Washington Post is not who will replace Marty Baron as executive editor. It’s who runs the Post‘s Peloton account.
Reports of the Post Peloton account have bounced around on social media for a couple of months. People seem most likely to encounter the Post Peloton account when they unexpectedly receive a “high-five” from it after completing a workout or hitting a milestone. (As the partners of several Washingtonian employees have patiently explained to me, Peloton users can buy a subscription from the company that allows others to congratulate you when you accomplish something.)
Having a presence on Peloton is in line with the Post’s engagement goals. As Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, then a Post managing editor and now the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle told me in 2019 when I called to ask why the Post had a TikTok account, it’s partly a matter of better name recognition for a news outlet that for years was identified solely with the Washington region, partly a way to build an audience among folks who might otherwise be hard to reach.
However, unlike the Post TikTok account, the person behind the Peloton account is a mystery. After I tweeted Monday that the Post hadn’t answered an email from five days earlier asking for an interview with this person, a spokesperson got back to me to say it wasn’t going to make anyone available for an interview. A follow-up email asking whether Post PR actually knows who’s behind the account has not yet won me an answer.
Non-sanctioned discussions with staffers reveal theories: It’s unauthorized. It’s a ploy to find out who’s riding their Peloton during work hours. Some people say they know who it is but aren’t at liberty to say. Talk about a black box!
This is an open message to the person or people who run the Washington Post Peloton account: I will not burn you. Tell me the secret. This current situation is exactly the kind of darkness in which democracy dies.
immediately went to my peloton app and the washington post is on a 36-week peloton workout streak, apparently.
— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) May 10, 2021