‘Go Woke, go broke’ is the true slogan of The Washington Post

‘Go Woke, go broke’ is the true slogan of The Washington Post

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In case you haven’t noticed, The Washington Post, despite its long-held reputation as a fearless defender of truth, has caught the woke mind virus — putting what’s left of its stature and bottom line at risk.

As I point out in my soon-to-be released book titled, fittingly, “Go Woke, Go Broke,” businesses that channel left-wing dogma — think Budweiser, Target, Disney, all those floundering legacy media companies — have suffered the consequences of American consumers who don’t like to virtue-signal when they drink beer, buy clothing or watch the news.

The Washington Post went there as well.

It’s suffering the consequences, which if you know how to read a balance sheet are existential.

The man brought in to fix the mess isn’t a seasoned business turnaround specialist, but a veteran ink-stained wretch named Will Lewis, the paper’s newish publisher.

(Full disclosure: Lewis and I are acquaintances. Our time overlapped when he was CEO of Dow Jones, a sister company of the New York Post and Fox Business. He didn’t return requests for comment.)

He’s a long-time reporter and editor, though I have my doubts he has the business chops to do what’s necessary.

Journalists might be good at covering business, but they’re not normally ruthless change agents, which this job definitely requires.

A true turnaround specialist would start taking the blowtorch to WaPo’s woke newsroom and start bringing in new blood to create some diversity of thought to return the publication to its glory days.

Last year, the paper lost an estimated $70 million to $100 million; its circulation is down 50% since 2020.

Its business trajectory is equally dismal, I hear.

Management, I am told, is hamstrung by the staff’s union, which is oblivious to the root cause of the paper’s decline.

Under normal circumstances it would be filing for Chapter 11, but it’s owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who bought the paper in 2013.

With a net worth of around $200 billion, Bezos has money to burn, if he wants to burn it on the broadsheet.

Apparently he no longer wants to, hence Lewis’ recent announcement to divide the newsroom into three parts: news, opinion and some ill-defined social-media strategy.

Lewis is also bringing in some new managers from the outside who are presumably not bitten by the woke bug.

When Lewis announced the new business model last week, editor Sally Buzbee, who initially agreed to work in the new system, suddenly quit.

Wokesters in the newsroom then went nuts.

Their biggest gripe was not how their jobs will change, or if there will be job cuts given all the losses, but that Lewis’ new management structure included bringing in three white dudes to help carry out his vision.

Lewis tried to appease the woke mob with vows to make the paper and its management more diverse.

All of which gets straight to the problem that afflicts the Washington Post.

Its biggest problem isn’t diversity in a woke sense but a lack of ideological diversity in its opinion pages and how it approaches news.

It’s the fealty to report stuff that just doesn’t sell.

Even a causal reader can see that the paper is more of a conformist rag to the leftist cultural establishment than a truth-to-power muckraker in the tradition of Woodward and Bernstein, as well as others who still remain, producing excellent journalism that gets drowned out by the trite and transparently leftist propaganda that passes for reporting on its pages.

Churning out drivel

The publication’s slide into irrelevance and near-insolvency, it is fair to say, can be traced to its march to the far left on its news pages that has been getting worse since the Trump presidency in 2016 — when reporters thought they were doing God’s work by attacking the “Orange Man” for scandals mostly unreal and largely imagined.

It’s been churning out leftist drivel since.

The examples are endless.

Last month, the Post broke a “news” story, with faux scandalous overtones, that Jewish business leaders in the Big Apple had the cajónes to call Mayor Adams and demand that he break up that antisemitic student sit-in at Columbia University celebrating Hamas’ butchering of innocent Israelis on Oct 7.

The message of this absurd piece of reporting: Every group in the world gets to demand justice from its elected officials, except Jews looking to protect Israel, the ultimate target of left-wing hate as we are so aware of these days.

I do feel for Lewis.

First, his restructuring announcement leaked to The New York Times so he had to scramble to address the fallout late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

He pleaded with his staff to try to make his changes work because the only alternative is insolvency.

“The game is up . . . We have to move into fully pursuing untapped audiences . . . If we keep doing the same things in the same ways . . . we’re nuts,” he said, according to the publication NOTUS.

Going forward, he will have to deal with some of the wokest reporters on the planet, who bizarrely attacked him on management diversity when they could be fired in a year because the business is falling apart.

Plus, if Lewis doesn’t turn things around, he will ultimately have to deal with Bezos.

Charles Gasparino is the author of the forthcoming book “Go Woke, Go Broke: The Inside Story on the Radicalization of Corporate America.”


Charles Gasparino

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