Is it sexist for reporters to salt their profiles of powerful women with descriptions of their fashion preferences? It's a question that's been raised more than once recently, and I've mostly agreed with those who argue no. After all, style is a deliberate, conscious choice full of all kinds of signfiers. A journalist who ignores this isn't doing his or her job.
On July 2 of last year, Politico broke a startling story: The Washington Post was planning to host off-the-record salons at which sponsors would pay to mingle with D.C. eminences and Post writers. The dinners--the first of which had been advertised in Post fliers as an “exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done”--were to take place at the home of Katharine Weymouth, the Post’s publisher. Weymouth, granddaughter of legendary Post owner Katharine Graham, had only been on the job for a year and a half.
Today's New York Times includes a "post-script" to the paper's Sept.12 piece that reported on the resignation of Charles Pelton, the former Washington Post executive at the center of the salon-gate controversy. In July, Politico broke news that the Post planned to host private dinners at the home of Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth, where corporate sponsors could mingle with Post journalists and senior Obama administration officials and policy-makers in an off-the-record setting. In the original Sept.