Post Sells Access to Officials, Reporters

For $25,000, lobbyists can meet with lawmakers, WaPo staff
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 2, 2009 9:34 AM CDT
In this Feb. 28, 2007 file photo, pedestrians walk past the main entrance to the Washington Post in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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(Newser) – Lobbyists who pay $25,000 to $250,000 can attend off-the-record Washington Post gatherings with administration officials, members of Congress, and members of the paper's staff, Politico reports. The offer, described on a flier passed along by a lobbyist, “essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters,” writes Mike Allen. “An evening with the right people can alter the debate,” says the flier. “Bring your organization’s CEO or executive director literally to the table.”

“Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No,” says the flier of the “dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and publisher Katharine Weymouth.” “What is guaranteed is a collegial evening, with Obama administration officials, Congress members, business leaders, advocacy leaders and other select minds.” The first in a series of “salons” provides “an exclusive opportunity to participate in the health-care reform debate among the select few who will actually get it done.”