To: Jeff Bezos, Owner, Washington Post
Washington Post: Fire Fred Hiatt
Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt's unconscionable stances are out of step with both his readers and the country. It's time for Post owner Jeff Bezos to let him go.
Why is this important?
Washington Post editorialist George Will recently opined that rape victims enjoy "a coveted status that confers privileges". In the face of widespread calls for Will to be fired, Fred Hiatt defended that stance as "within bounds of legitimate debate" and "very healthy and exactly what a good opinion section should be offering its readers". Apparently Mr. Hiatt thinks his newspaper is operating in the Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan rather than the modern West.
As Iraq again explodes into heartbreaking deadly violence, it's important to remember that this same Fred Hiatt oversaw an editorial page that penned 27 columns urging the US to invade that country. His page rarely saw fit to host "healthy debate" on that important decision and savagely mocked Al Gore when he spoke out against the idea. Over 600,000 innocent civilians lost their lives as a result. Hiatt has never apologized. Yet he considers whether or not rape victims are "privileged" to be within the bounds of debate.
As Mr. Bezos tries to return the Washington Post to its former glory and credibility using a subscription model, he would do well to stay mindful of the values of its readers. He can start by updating his editorial page to something more fitting with the 21st century and the decency of its readership.