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The Party's Over
February 24, 2010 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Washington Post editor Marcus Brauchli confirms that Sally Quinn's column, "The Party," will no longer be featured in the print edition of the newspaper, after Quinn used her precious ink to inexplicably air a conflict she had with a family member who scheduled their daughters wedding to conflict with her son's own wedding.

Known derisively among liberal bloggers as "Queen of The Village," Quinn is the self-styled arbiter of D.C. etiquette, and her column has long been a vehicle to dictate what she feels is proper conduct in the nation's capital. She is known to have nursed a serious grudge against Bill and Hillary Clinton because the latter declined a party invitation..

Her journalistic track record is marked by serious errors and distortions, but even with her latest misstep, The Post doesn't feel compelled to fire her. According to Brauchli, "Sally and I have agreed that the column will return to what had been its original focus on faith, family and entertaining and will appear online at "On Faith," a section of washingtonpost.com that Sally guides."

Related: Post-Apocalypse: Inside the messy collapse of a great newspaper, from The New Republic.
posted by mpbx (48 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Diddums.
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on February 24, 2010


So this has nothing to do with Peter Sellers?
posted by NoMich at 5:51 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've never read Sally Quinn before, but from that wedding conflict column, it doesn't seem like anything someone should be fired or demoted for. It just seems like a poor, self-important attempt at wrangling some sort of life lesson from what amounts to soap opera drama from a clerical error among a bunch of namedropping society people planning weddings.

Or like the plot of some kind of ungodly boring comedy film.
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:52 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


YES! YES! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

*cough*

Uh... I mean... good for them. Her trashy column wasn't up to the Post's usual high standards.
posted by zarq at 5:55 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


What a train wreck. Why in the WORLD do they let this woman write for them?
posted by misha at 5:59 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Our son Quinn Bradlee is marrying Pary Williamson in Washington on April 10.

Oh, aren't those two just precious.
posted by brain_drain at 6:00 PM on February 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


Quinn Bradlee
Wow, you can just hear the Brooks Brother suit with the upturned collar, can't you?
posted by The Whelk at 6:07 PM on February 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why in the WORLD do they let this woman write for them?

Way back when, she had an affair with the Post's former editor in chief, Ben Bradlee. He dumped his wife and married Quinn. I believe he's the one who gave her the column. Now that he's no longer her boss, it seems her gravy train at The Post is drying up.
posted by zarq at 6:09 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Our son Quinn Bradlee is marrying Pary Williamson...

I can't tell what is a first name and what is a last name, and if she hadn't said "son," I wouldn't be able to guess their genders, either. No wonder they found each other.

If this is the start of a trend (and I hope it is), then hopefully the next frivolous idiot columnist to go will be Maureen Dowd at the Times. This alone was certainly not enough to merit demotion, but it was probably the straw that broke the camel's back. Someone must have been waiting a while to do this...
posted by Edgewise at 6:11 PM on February 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Who the fuck reads Sally Quinn, for God's sake? The WaPo's problems run infinitely deeper. The NR piece documents its editorial problems. I know from first hand observation the no-talent Ivy League careerists that run its business side. And don't get me started on its opinion page: After subscribing continuously for almost 40 years, I hit my gag limit after Fred Hiatt chose to publish the second (the second!) Sarah Palin (yeah, I know, but it had her by line) anti-climate change op-ed in six months.
posted by mojohand at 6:12 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Inside the messy collapse of a great newspaper, from The New Republic.

Yeah, because when I think of who has a right to comment on total journalistic downfall, I think of The New Republic.
posted by ALongDecember at 6:12 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


NR=TNR
posted by mojohand at 6:14 PM on February 24, 2010


Meanwhile, at the rival "serious" newspaper...

Despite the [New York] Times' repeatedly misreporting that O'Keefe was dressed or posed as a "pimp" while meeting with ACORN employees in those videos, and even after being shown in no uncertain terms that he did not, the Times' Public Editor has declined to recommend the paper retract its reporting on this story. ...

[NYT Senior Editor of Standards Greg] Brock wrote, in a remarkable email exchange posted by The BRAD BLOG on February 8th, that "If there is a correction to be made, it seems it would start with Mr. O'Keefe himself. We believe him. Therefore there is nothing for us to correct."

posted by Joe Beese at 6:16 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Her trashy column wasn't up to the Post's usual high standards

Ooh, SNAP.
posted by eriko at 6:17 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Our son Quinn Bradlee is marrying Pary Williamson...

Quinn Bradlee is a goofy looking dude. I think she'd be out of his leauge if he weren't the son of the village queen.

---

Oh well, getting rid of a frivolous nihilist is nice, but too bad they just added another torture apologist to their Op Ed page. But not just any torture advocate, this guy was actually involved in the decisions to used "enhanced interrogation techniques"
posted by delmoi at 6:24 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


delmoi: "... too bad they just added another torture apologist to their Op Ed page. But not just any torture advocate, this guy was actually involved in the decisions to used "enhanced interrogation techniques""

The Overton Window has moved on without you, I'm afraid.

Obama is a "torture apologist". His public position is, essentially, "We apologize for any torture that may have been committed and we promise never to do it again."

Thiessen and his ilk are torture promoters. And at this point, I'm not even going to blame them.

It's pretty to think that a majority of Americans oppose torture. (And I mean "oppose" - not "disagree with" or "have reluctance about".) I doubt it's true.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:33 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


For a religion writer, Quinn's misunderstanding of basic religious practices has been astounding. Consider her decision as an atheist to receive communion at the funeral of Tim Russert:
Last Wednesday I was determined to take it for Tim, transubstantiation notwithstanding. I'm so glad I did. It made me feel closer to him. And it was worth it just to imagine how he would have loved it. After I began "On Faith," Tim started calling me "Sister Sal" instead of "Miss Sal."
Level of presumption there is just astounding. Now consider this strange aside:
Unfortunately, our church does not do weddings during Lent or Easter.
Comparative Religions 101 tells you that, as a season of repentance and abstinence, Lent is precisely not the time a church schedules a celebration - period. Quinn seems most concerned about how churches can make things easier for her than understanding their basic theology.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:35 PM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Quinn seems most concerned about how churches can make things easier for her than understanding their basic theology.

When it comes to weddings, it might surprise you to find out how many people take that approach.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:38 PM on February 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Quinn Bradlee is a goofy looking dude. I think she'd be out of his leauge if he weren't the son of the village queen.

Quinn has velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS), a genetic disorder.
posted by govtdrone at 6:38 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, I for one am eagerly looking forward to the newly time-blessed Quinn's next tome: Hoist by My Own Petard, or, How My Homewrecking Adultery and Serial Narcissism Abruptly Ended My Own Career
posted by felix betachat at 6:41 PM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Known derisively among liberal bloggers as "Queen of The Village," Quinn is the self-styled arbiter of D.C. etiquette, and her column has long been a vehicle to dictate what she feels is proper conduct in the nation's capital.

To be fair, if DC didn't observe the proper etiquette we might have reformed healthcare twice in the last 20 years. My stars, this woman is a saint!
posted by DU at 6:49 PM on February 24, 2010


While googling, I found Quinn and Pary's engagement announcement:

# Engaged: Quinn Bradlee, 27, to Pary Williamson, 32, after four months of dating. The son of journalists Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn was introduced to the Georgetown yoga instructor by Maureen Dowd; popped the question over the phone Sunday night after a lovers' spat. First marriage for him; second for her.

Engaged after 4 months and a fight? Well, I wish them happiness.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:51 PM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Quinn Bradlee is a goofy looking dude.

I was all set to write some really mean (but funny) things when

"talking about classes he took at an upstate New York boarding school for learning-disabled students, he relates a story about a Shakespeare class. "I don't remember Othello that well, but I do remember Iago. At one point he says, 'I am not what I am.' I wrote that down in my journal. I think most LD (learning-disabled) kids could relate to that.""

which is kryptonite for the angry but sensitive. I don't care that their marriage is probably a sham. All best of luck to them.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:55 PM on February 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


Off-topic, but as an avid reader of the Post, this killed me:

But at the Washington Post, at least, a move to online-only counts as a significant demotion.

The Post is so unbelievably, ridiculously backwards about this whole digital thing. I don’t want to read the paper copy. I want to read an electronic copy, I want it to be really nice, and I want to pay for it.* But to the Post, the electronic editions are apparently some ghetto where people are sent to be punished. Ugh.

* My Kindle gets me 2/3 of the way there. I can read it, and I can pay for it, but it’s not at all nice. It feels like it was cobbled together by scraping the website with a Perl script written by a summer intern.
posted by Garak at 6:55 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Awl's take on this is the best. Also, their church with limited available dates is the National Cathedral.
posted by lalex at 7:01 PM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Post is so unbelievably, ridiculously backwards about this whole digital thing. I don’t want to read the paper copy. I want to read an electronic copy, I want it to be really nice, and I want to pay for it.* But to the Post, the electronic editions are apparently some ghetto where people are sent to be punished. Ugh.

It's like that at pretty much every traditional newspaper, even the free ones like the Metro. Part of this is because the dead-tree version brings in the advertising dollars and paid subscriptions. The rest is because most senior journalists did not grow up in the digital age, and have been slow to adapt to the internet.

Many senior editors at magazines and newspapers are suddenly being forced to embrace a whole new world that they didn't even realize existed three years ago. Twitter! Facebook! Blogging! A dear friend of mine who works at a local paper just got her first phone with internet access, because the powers that be at her paper want her to start twittering, and text to twit isn't going to cut it. Hell, as a publicist I've had to completely adjust my own systems of working and pitching. The world has changed, and we old dinosaurs are all struggling to change with it.

It's both fun and scary. The concept of a news cycle is changing again.
posted by zarq at 7:03 PM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sally Quinn is almost 70, shouldn't she be retiring to their house Hamptons by now anyway? Both newspapers and Washington are such geritocracies, no one ever seems to retire to let new blood in.
posted by octothorpe at 7:13 PM on February 24, 2010


After reading Sally Quinn's column, I don't understand one bit how people say the Post-ies are out of touch!
posted by orthogonality at 7:19 PM on February 24, 2010


Greta, the daughter of my husband's son Ben Bradlee Jr. and ABC's Martha Raddatz

oh THAT martha raddatz

barf
posted by gottabefunky at 7:19 PM on February 24, 2010


wow, that is truly impressive.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:21 PM on February 24, 2010


I'm sorry Louis Auchincloss didn't live to see this.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:30 PM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whoa, I didn't even catch that she named her son her own last name. That's a bit odd.
posted by graventy at 7:35 PM on February 24, 2010


Quinn Bradlee is a goofy looking dude.

Crap, you're not kidding, he HAS NO LIPS.

Quinn has velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS), a genetic disorder.

OK well, now I feel bad. If that hadn't been brought up, I was ready to assume he had those looks from drinking too many "bloodies" in the Hamptons and telling wry jokes about the poors out of the corner of his mouth.
posted by contessa at 8:25 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, Quinn has a column, she submitted some copy to fill the space. That's her job. Some columns are good, some are less good. Occasionally, somebody submits something that's a waste of space.

If the Post had any self-respect, they should punish whichever editor let that nonsense run in what was once an important newspaper.

It's the editor's job to reject such a ridiculous column.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:45 PM on February 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Velocardiofacial syndrome is autosomal dominant, so Quinn Bradlee's son has a 50% chance of inheriting it... Wonder if the family considered this (genetic counseling would be a good idea), or if the baby was a spontaneous decision.
posted by orthovirus at 9:12 PM on February 24, 2010


Damn it. I meant Quinn Bradlee's child. Don't know why I was assuming it's going to be a boy.
posted by orthovirus at 9:13 PM on February 24, 2010


"Greta is a caring and generous young woman, and so is her fiance..."
huh?
posted by theperfectcrime at 10:21 PM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa, I didn't even catch that she named her son her own last name. That's a bit odd.

Actually, it appears that Quinn is one of his middle names: Josiah Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee. I don't know if that name is less weird, or more.

But hell, I got nothing against the dude. It's his mom that writes shitty inane columns, and serves as the social gatekeeper of a bankrupt high society. His funny name is just another example of his mother's self-indulgence.
posted by Edgewise at 10:59 PM on February 24, 2010


Quinn lost his virginity in a whorehouse, but he swears he didn't know it was a whorehouse until later even though he paid cash for the sex.

The whole family is a fucking disaster. Take away their money and you'd be laughing at them on COPS.
posted by bardic at 12:16 AM on February 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


The Onion's Jean Teasdale writes better columns.
posted by paddbear at 3:58 AM on February 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can only suggest that Ms. Quinn accept the One Pure Truth: John Frum! He Come!
posted by zaelic at 4:04 AM on February 25, 2010


So this is the great "journalism" we hear so much about? It can't die fast enough.
posted by tommasz at 7:24 AM on February 25, 2010


You are all so keyboard cool I hope I am never party to anything metafilter will notice.
posted by srboisvert at 9:58 AM on February 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


From one of the Media Matters commenters:
And let's not forget that Sally Quinn, way back when, was a backroom reporter until she had an affair with married editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee. So essentially, the rules of the court are being dictated by a courtesan at best and a whore at worst.
This is rather slanderous and rude. After all, most whores take a professional attitude toward their work.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:47 AM on February 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Quinn lost his virginity in a whorehouse, but he swears he didn't know it was a whorehouse until later even though he paid cash for the sex.

The excerpt from his book quoted in that link sounds like an AskMe question.
posted by amro at 11:47 AM on February 25, 2010


Josiah Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee

Bingo, found the name for the next paladin I roll up.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:32 PM on February 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


mojohand: I know from first hand observation the no-talent Ivy League careerists that run its business side.

That's a bit harsh. Care to back that up with some evidence?
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:42 PM on February 25, 2010


You mean would I like to name names? No, but thanks for asking. But for eight years I worked for a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company located a half mile from 1150 15th Street. I got an eyeful of their business people, both from the Post and WPNI. So while I could have come to the wrong conclusions, it's not from lack of data. Suffice it to say that in almost 30 years in publishing I've worked for a bunch of firms, and the WaPo was the nadir of the abyss.
posted by mojohand at 4:37 PM on February 28, 2010


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