Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

April 2, 2013

Washington loses another critical eye

The coming demise in June of the daily print version of The Washington Examiner is bad for the Washington region and worse for what it says about the direction of America.

The Examiner is a free daily tabloid that covers local news in D.C. and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia but is most well known for its scathing critiques of the Obama administration and big government. As of June it will move to a website and will offer a weekley print magazine focused on national politics.

According to a statement from Ryan McKibben, the president of Clarity Media Group, which owns The Washington Examiner, "As a result of research and analysis conducted over the past year, we have determined that there is an opportunity to bring our style of investigative journalism and keen analysis and commentary to covering national government and politics. The re-positioned Washington Examiner will meet that demand."

That's one way of looking at it.

Almost 90 current employees will be laid off in the process and its readers in the D.C. region of the country will lose great local coverage of politics and other news. That should leave Washington-area politicians happier and residents more likely to hear press releases fabricated as stories on nightly TV news, a dangerous trend going on around the country.

But more importantly The Examiner's new direction speaks to the problem with America: the rise of Washington as the nation's epicenter of wealth.

In essence, the paper is saying it can't make money as a newspaper so its new business model is to become one of the many feeding the ever expanding beast of government.

The company's press release said as much: "The target readership for the print weekly will be 45,000 government, public affairs, advocacy, academia, and political professionals in Washington, D.C., and state capitals."

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