The Washington Post announces a new role in Texas and is dismissed on Twitter
A Washington Post The job opening ad for a new role in Texas led to an unlikely partnership between conservatives and liberals on Twitter, as both sides took turns dousing the tweet for what they saw as an out-of-touch tone.
The newspaper shared the post, a position reportedly based in Texas as a national correspondent, to its Washington Post PR account on Monday.
“The Washington Post is looking for an enterprising Texas-based journalist to document life in America’s red state and develop a new beat mapping culture, public policy and politics in a region shaped by the ‘conservative ideology,’ the caption read.
The tweet, which garnered hundreds of retweets on Tuesday, seemed to quickly capture the attention of many netizens, but perhaps not for the reasons the outlet predicted.
“Texas, the final frontier. These are the travels of the Washington Post. Its mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek new life and new civilizations, to go boldly where no Journo has gone before”, Noah Pollak, contributor to the Free Washington Beacon and political consultant, wrote.
Erin Perrine, the former director of communications under the Trump administration, also waded into despondency, retracting the line the outlet used to describe Texas as a “region shaped by conservative ideology.”
“This post legitimately acts as if Texas is a different country,” she wrote. “That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about The Washington Post.”
While some of the criticism of the job posting came from people on the right side of the political spectrum, including Senator Ted Cruz’s communications adviser, who simply replied with “lol,” it also drew derision of left-wing observers.
Across the aisle, respondents felt that the job description that covered the state – which “includes five of the country’s 12 largest cities and two of the top five metros” – as a “Gobi desert “Conservatism was both an inaccurate and tired reduction of one of the most diverse places in the country.
“Texas ranks in the top three U.S. states by population, land area, GDP, and diversity, features five of the nation’s 12 largest cities and two of the top five metropolises, and they write the jobs list as if you covered the Gobi Desert. I’m TIRED, man,” wrote Shehan Jeyarajah, a national college football writer for CBS.
Mr Jeyarajah observed that one of his “favorite parts of covering college football is engaging seriously with people across the country” and added that to be “good” at your job, such as the one advertised in Texas, “You’ve got to take care of us people. When you don’t, it’s painfully obvious. Just like that.”
The comments section quickly filled with responses from people who felt hurt by the oversimplification of their state’s government, missing the real issues of voter suppression and gerrymandering.
Others criticized the outlet for announcing a job that many feared would lead to countless “dinner” features, a series of dispatches that have become synonymous with the Trump presidency in which journalists traveled to the regions of Rust Belt to slip into restaurant booths and discuss the views of the city’s white, working-class, and politically conservative residents.
(The Washington Post filed their own gag article on this kind of reporting in a 2017 editorial).
The Washington Post announced in February that the newsroom had big plans to expand its coverage in 2022 with the addition of 70 new positions.
“The expansion we feature today reflects our strong commitment to our informational mission to scrutinize power and empower people,” editor Sally Buzbee wrote in the release. “We believe this expansion will attract an even wider global audience for our journalism and deepen our engagement with that audience.”