Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Dan Froomkin ’85

Since his days at the Yale Daily News, Dan Froomkin ’85 has never been one to duck an argument. He started plenty in the past five years in “White House Watch,” his column for Now Froomkin will have to find a new jousting ground: the Post has axed “White House Watch.” (Click here to read the June 26 column, his last.) The daily feature, originally called “White House Briefing,” was renamed in 2005 amid grumbling by Post political reporters that readers would confuse Froomkin’s “highly opinionated and liberal” work with their own “objective” writing. Froomkin, in turn, criticized the cozy relationship between Post staffers—especially Bob Woodward ’65—and the Bush White House. By the time of his firing last week, a Post spokeswoman dismissed “White House Watch” as “the blog that Dan Froomkin freelanced for” The decision, a Post editor said, stemmed not from Froomkin’s politics but from “viewership data, budget constraints and judgments about how well the column was or was not adapting to a new era.” The firing of “the WaPo’s best blogger” inflamed liberal and not-so-liberal commentators, with Salon lamenting the loss of “one of the rarest commodities in the establishment media,” a “long-time Bush critic and Obama watchdog (i.e., a real journalist).” Perhaps prophetically, Froomkin (who has occasionally written for the Yale Alumni Magazine) declared a month ago on a separate blog that journalists should “be brave enough to call things as we see them. … Playing it safe,” he argued, “is often transparently bogus—and boring, to boot.”

Filed under journalism, milestones, fired
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