Washington Post Corporate Hacks Defend the Indefensible

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anyone who doubted the Washington Post was nothing more than a bunch of corporate whores hacks, I refer you to this morning's editorial on for-profit "education". Pay careful attention to the second paragraph.
THE OBAMA administration is considering rules that could sharply limit the availability of for-profit colleges to American students. The government is right to fashion reasonable regulation to discourage fraud or misleading practices, but it would be wrong to impose rules that remove an option that is especially useful for poor and working students.Readers should know that we have a conflict of interest regarding this subject. The Washington Post Co., which owns the Post newspaper and, also owns Kaplan University and other for-profit schools of higher education that, according to company officials, could be harmed by the proposed regulations.
Right, kudos to the Post for doing what they should and disclosing this information, but why should we listen to one word they have to say on this subject? I mean, as the Post's own ombudsman points out this morning, Kaplan has an "outsize importance to the overall bottom line" of the Washington Post, accounting for "62 percent of The Post Co.'s total second-quarter revenues." But now, just because the Post discloses the information, we're supposed to give them a pass to defend the indefensible, namely the for-profit, ripoff-the-taxpayer, "education" industry? The short answer is "no." The longer answer is "hell no."  End of story.Now, if you want to learn something about what the Kaplan Times Washington Post is defending, check out Chris Cuomo's expose on the subject, featuring our old pal (and Jim Webb's 2006 Democratic primary opponent) Harris "Shiller" Miller (who the Post endorsed, by the way). Learn how these companies are nothing more than "marketing machines, masquerading as universities," how they rip off the taxpayer to the tune of billions of dollars per year, how they deceive prospective students, then saddle them with massive debt and worthless degrees, how they even recruit homeless people, etc., etc. After you've read all that, then perhaps you can put the Kaplan Times Post editorial in the proper context. In other words, the garbage can.
UPDATE: An attorney friend of mine points out that the Post should do what judges do in cases like this - recuse themselves. Just as it's not sufficient for the judge to say, "I have a conflict, now let's proceed with the case," it's not sufficient for the Post to say, "we have a conflict, now here's our editorial anyway." Lame.