The Washington Post is the dominant daily newspaper in Washington, D.C. with an average daily circulation that peaked at 832,232 in 1993 and has fallen to only 638,800 as of 2007. It was founded in 1877. Its current op-ed columnists include George Will and David Ignatius and formerly included Robert Novak and David Broder.
2013: The Washington Post, Amazon, CIA deal
In 2013 the Washington Post was aquired by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. That same year, Amazon also obtained a CIA contract worth $600 million, at least twice what Bezos paid for the Post. The Institute for Public Accuracy released a statement condemning the move.
When the main shareholder in one of the very largest corporations in the world benefits from a massive contract with the CIA on the one hand, and that same billionaire owns the Washington Post on the other hand, there are serious problems. The Post is unquestionably the political paper of record in the United States, and how it covers governance sets the agenda for the balance of the news media. Citizens need to know about this conflict of interest in the columns of the Post itself.
The Nation magazine also condemned the conflict of interest.
In 1981, Janet Cooke, a reporter hired by Ben Bradlee, described in a series of articles entitled Jimmy's World the profile of an eight-year old heroin addict. Cooke was nominated by Bob Woodward for the Pulitzer Prize, which she won after it was established that the story was a complete fiction.[Citation Needed]Post Ombudsman Bill Green concluded an investigation with several comments and recommendations, including "The scramble for journalistic prizes is poisonous. The obligation is to inform readers, not to collect frameable certificates, however prestigious."  The Ombudsman said of Bradlee, "Ensuring accuracy was the editor's job, and he had failed miserably." Woodward said of his nomination for the Pulitzer Prize, “It would be absurd for me or any other editor to review the authenticity or accuracy of stories that are nominated for prizes.”
In 1998 the Post printed a series of denials regarding public leaks of depositions given by President Clinton in the Jones v. Clinton case contrary to an Order of the Court. Dr. Deni Elliot of the Practical Ethics Center after reviewing the matter concluded the Washington Post knew the source of the illegal leaks yet "knowingly deceived its readers" by alleging the leaks could have come from the Court or the opposing counsels office. Dr. Elliot wrote in the Organization of News Ombudsmen’s publication, “The Post intentionally lied to its readers in printing this set of denials", and "None of this sounds like the making of ethical principles".