I’ll never completely disrespect the ideal of the Fourth Estate, journalists recording public events as they occur for the purposes of eventual recorded history and the vague possibility of an opportunity for citizens to hold their public officials accountable.

That is usually not what happens. For practical purposes newspapers are either political weapons in periodical form or commercial product and services taking the shape of dramatic pablum. Either way the Washington Post markets the organization as a vanguard against bad things, especially with their current slogan: Democracy Dies in Darkness. They adopted this tagline circa late February 2017.

We should never ever ever take them super-seriously as long as they wear that on their sleeve. Which is only to say that we should not dismiss a newspaper nor automatically declare the intentions and actions of the reporters, writers, and editorial staff as if it were all done in bad faith. Yet any news agency that promotes itself in a melodramatic fashion should be treated as if it’s being overly self-serious and quite possibly self-righteous.

As it is though I want to use this as a tag, whenever the opportunity strikes, for every time the Washington Post publishes a story that belies their pumped up promotional identity. Even better, any time they fail to live up to this hype. All said, I think adopting this hype undermines the purpose of a great American newspaper.