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Len Downie's (WaPo Editor) Lap Dance With Drag Queen (Coverup/Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
The Washingtonian ^ | December 21, 2006 | Harry Jaffe

Posted on 12/21/2006 10:42:28 AM PST by abb

The Post's editor had a R-rated encounter with a drag queen during a Post party this month—but so far the photos have stayed private.

Journalists get the occasional juicy and anonymous letter. Most are titillating but not worth publishing or broadcasting.

The letter in large type about a party hosted by the Washington Post photography staff seemed to fit the second category: It mentioned in paragraph three that Post executive editor Len Downie was “the recipient of a lap dance and breasts in his face” by one of the party’s entertainers—who were drag queens!

Too good to be true?

A second anonymous letter said word had gone out at the Post to kill any pictures of Len’s lap dance.

I started making a few calls, figuring that if such an event had taken place, photos and videos probably would be on YouTube or some other website. If it had indeed taken place.

I got eye witness accounts. I wondered: Could a monthly magazine, with a lead time of several weeks, actually break a story about the Post’s top editor caught in an amusing, if not compromising, situation?

Here’s the scoop:

The Washington Post is not known for throwing lively parties, especially under staid executive editor Leonard Downie.

When the photo department decided to bid farewell to retiring staffers, it did not intend to get racy. Photo editor Joe Elbert booked Perrys, a sushi restaurant in DC’s Adams Morgan, for a Saturday afternoon. Owner Saied Azali promised to do something special because he was friends with well-known Post photographer Lucien Perkins.

Would the something special be free champagne? Special sushi? Not exactly.

Azali invited male dancers dressed as women who perform at Perrys’ Sunday “drag brunches.” Len Downie made an appearance just as the queens began to mingle. According to eye witnesses, one performer sat down next to Downie and wrapped him in a big hug.

Downie seemed at bit shocked, but one photographer says: “He took it in good humor at the time.”

But apparently Downie was less amused by the photos and videos being shot, and he asked that they be kept private.

No leaked pictures, so far, but many of those retired staffers would dearly love a picture of Downie in the embrace of a drag queen.

Please keep those anonymous cards and letters coming. Photos welcomed, to: hjaffe AT washingtonian DOT com.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: dbm; downie; leonarddownie; newspapers; wapo
Looks like the FreeRepublic crack investigative team should take a look at this...
1 posted on 12/21/2006 10:42:31 AM PST by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; bwteim; ...

Ping


2 posted on 12/21/2006 10:43:03 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

Lap Dance with Drag Queen? You can't make this stuff up!.........


3 posted on 12/21/2006 10:43:39 AM PST by Red Badger (New! HeadOn Hemorrhoid Medication for Liberals!.........Apply directly to forehead.........)
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To: Red Badger

IIRC, wasn't it another WaPo editor who made famous the observation, "It isn't the crime, it's the coverup?"


4 posted on 12/21/2006 10:47:35 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb
While no fan of the WaPo, I think this has all the makings of a nonstory and a non-scandal. The guy was more or less ambushed by the entertainment, pictures were taken, and he behaved as well as just about anyone would in a similarly awkward, uncomfortable situation. So what?
5 posted on 12/21/2006 10:50:44 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan
So what?

Substitute the name "Rush Limbaugh" or "Sean Hannity" in place of Len Downie and tell me what the Drive-By Media would be doing now? The earth would cease rotation until pictures of said event were found and broadcast worldwide for days...

6 posted on 12/21/2006 10:55:08 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

Did he get a pole dance?


7 posted on 12/21/2006 10:57:33 AM PST by SmithL (Where are we going? . . . . And why are we in this handbasket????)
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To: abb
The Post's editor had a R-rated encounter with a drag queen during a Post party this month

Doesn't this party violate a whole host of HR rules? Or would that only apply if the dancers were actually female?

8 posted on 12/21/2006 11:01:33 AM PST by Tribune7 (Conservatives hold bad behavior against their leaders. Dims don't.)
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To: Tribune7
Doesn't this party violate a whole host of HR rules? Or would that only apply if the dancers were actually female?

But one of a plethora of questions that won't be answered until the coverup is undone...

9 posted on 12/21/2006 11:04:28 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb

Absolutely, American's should know their "news" comes from the NY bathhouse boys.


10 posted on 12/21/2006 11:07:05 AM PST by roses of sharon
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To: abb
You wrote, in response to my 'so what?' comment, "Substitute the name "Rush Limbaugh" or "Sean Hannity" in place of Len Downie and tell me what the Drive-By Media would be doing now?"

It's a matter of milieu, I think: the consensus of one's peers regarding decorum, taste, and mores. For someone in Downie's crowd, the appearance of lap-dancing drag queens has the feel of a prank, a bit over-the-top, but not shocking, so the MSM would (probably) view it as I do: no conflict, no scandal, no story. However, the deliberate introduction of transvestites at a conservative gathering would be so contradictory, so implausible, that it couldn't help but be newsworthy. I can't imagine a possible world where Limbaugh or Hannity would attend a party or dinner or function where drag queen entertainment, booked by staff, would be acceptable.
11 posted on 12/21/2006 11:46:10 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: abb
The public has a right to know...
12 posted on 12/21/2006 1:33:49 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (Pinch and Keller need to check in at the Ken Lay Suite at a Federal SuperMax...)
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To: Rembrandt_fan
If nothing else, Woodward and Bernsteen taught us, "IT'S NOT THE CRIME, IT'S THE COVER UP!"
13 posted on 12/21/2006 1:35:59 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (Pinch and Keller need to check in at the Ken Lay Suite at a Federal SuperMax...)
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To: Doctor Raoul
Turn down the volume, willya?

The Watergate comparison simply doesn't hold up. Downie is not an elected official, for one thing. For another, no crime was committed. A Washington Post editor can have a thousand drag queen lap-dancing moments--and even attempt to squelch dissemination of photos taken while engaged in such flamboyant, outrageous behavior--with no legal charges pending and no effect on the body politic.

Again: no crime, no cover-up, no conflict, no story. You're simply not going to get traction from this.
14 posted on 12/21/2006 1:54:40 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan

We think it's important. News is what the editor says it is unless the publisher says it isn't. Dr. Raoul and I, in all modesty, qualify as editors here at Free Republic...


15 posted on 12/21/2006 2:37:20 PM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: abb
You wrote, "Dr. Raoul and I, in all modesty, qualify as editors here at Free Republic..."

I have no idea what 'qualify as editors' means on a forum like Free Republic, but sure, okay, by all means, go right ahead. Throughout my freelance career, I have written the occasional newspaper article and magazine piece, and based upon my experience--as a writer, mind you, not as an editor--this cover-up story of yours is going absolutely nowhere.
16 posted on 12/21/2006 6:28:33 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Doctor Raoul
One more thing: Carl 'Bernstein', not 'Bernsteen'. If you're going to try your hand at journalism, at least get the names right.
17 posted on 12/21/2006 7:33:30 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan
Evan Thomas spiked Monica, which made Drudge a millionaire.

The Post is spiking this photo, so "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire"...

The media are losers who were too dumb to qualify for the a job in the military.

18 posted on 12/22/2006 5:50:52 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (COMING SOON: MSNBC Going Out of Business Sale)
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To: Rembrandt_fan
I have no idea what 'qualify as editors' means on a forum like Free Republic,...

As opposed to the smarmy. self centered critics?

19 posted on 12/22/2006 5:51:56 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (COMING SOON: MSNBC Going Out of Business Sale)
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To: Doctor Raoul
As opposed to the smarmy. self centered critics?

I wouldn't edit a thing in your reply...

20 posted on 12/22/2006 5:55:41 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: Doctor Raoul
You wrote, "As opposed to the smarmy. self centered critics?"

And your pal abb wrote, "I wouldn't edit a thing in your reply..."

The word 'smarmy' should be followed by a comma, not period. 'self centered' is hyphenated; e.g.,'self-centered'.

Of course abb wouldn't edit a thing, since abb is evidently incapable of recognizing punctuation and usage errors. Further, abb's infatuation with ellipses--ending every post with them so far--is the stylistic equivalent of a facial tic, sophomoric and annoying.

And lastly, are my comments smarmy? Maybe. I do have a sarcastic streak; however, the word 'smarmy' implies a measure of unfounded criticism. Based upon the level of competence I've seen from both of you so far, my point still stands: one needs to know the basic tools of grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation before play-pretending print journalism.
21 posted on 12/22/2006 10:20:34 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan

...


22 posted on 12/22/2006 10:21:29 AM PST by abb (The Dinosaur Media: A One-Way Medium in a Two-Way World)
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To: Rembrandt_fan

I don't do journalism, I'm not a traitor to my country.


23 posted on 12/22/2006 10:41:36 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (COMING SOON: MSNBC Going Out of Business Sale)
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To: Rembrandt_fan
And lastly, are my comments smarmy? Maybe. I do have a sarcastic streak;...

Actually you're clueless with a large measure of paranoia.

Your reply #14 is pure fantasy. The Post is known for the Watergate story, which gave birth to the catch phrase used by hack journists like yourself, "It's not the crime, it's the cover up." I mocked the Post for hiding the embarassing photos. Nothing more, nothing less and certanly not the manifestation of paranoia you've provided.

24 posted on 12/22/2006 10:46:00 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (COMING SOON: MSNBC Going Out of Business Sale)
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To: Doctor Raoul
You wrote, "I don't do journalism, I'm not a traitor to my country."

Those are two distinct sentences; thus, the comma after the word 'journalism' should be replaced with a period, or--if you want to indicate a closer pairing of the two disparate thoughts, a semicolon. Further, according to abb, the two of you 'qualify as editors' on this forum. Within the context of abb's statement, the term 'editors' clearly denotes a journalistic position. The second statement, 'I'm not a traitor' is the result of fallacious inductive reasoning; i.e., since all journalists are traitors, and I am not a journalist, then I am not a traitor. That all journalists are traitors would surprise many, including such luminaries as Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, Michelle Malkin, and others.

What you probably mean to say is that you don't 'do' coherent, readable writing or clear thinking.
25 posted on 12/22/2006 11:19:50 AM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan

I've got your comma right here cupcake...


26 posted on 12/23/2006 1:10:37 AM PST by Doctor Raoul (COMING SOON: MSNBC Going Out of Business Sale)
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To: Doctor Raoul
You've got my comma? I've got your number, sport.

Resort to long-distance insult and ad hominem attack identifies the moral and physical coward. I encounter it most with the battle-flag-waving neo-confederates and the sore-loser, faux libertarian Ayn Rand crowd. Neither types can hold their own in reasoned argument. Both are soon reduced to name-calling and invective. Hope you like the company you're keeping.
27 posted on 12/23/2006 4:16:54 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Doctor Raoul

One last thing: a comma should follow the word 'here' in the sentence, "I've got your comma right here cupcake..."

Consider yourself edified, 'Doctor'.


28 posted on 12/23/2006 5:26:26 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: abb
Sunday “drag brunches.”

That would kill my appetite.

29 posted on 12/23/2006 5:36:13 PM PST by csvset
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To: Rembrandt_fan

So have long have you been laid off? Any job prospects that don't involve french fries?


30 posted on 12/23/2006 6:20:53 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (COMING SOON: MSNBC Going Out of Business Sale)
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To: Doctor Raoul

You wrote, "So have long have you been laid off?"

'Have long?'

You keep writing, I'll keep laughing.


31 posted on 12/23/2006 8:51:23 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan

As a matter of fact I will take fries with my order. You're one of the few people that look natural in a paper hat.


32 posted on 12/24/2006 12:54:55 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (BUSH KNEW liberals didn't have the balls to fight terrorism.)
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To: Doctor Raoul

You wrote, "As a matter of fact I will take fries with my order."

A comma should be placed after the word 'fact' in that sentence.

As Bugs Bunny would say, 'What a maroon.'

Keep 'em coming, sport. You're becoming a source of endless entertainment.


33 posted on 12/24/2006 12:59:03 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan

I really hate to take advantage of your OCD, but "Tag your it".


34 posted on 12/24/2006 2:19:58 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (BUSH KNEW liberals didn't have the balls to fight terrorism.)
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To: Doctor Raoul

Sorry, no OCD. I do, however, know sloppy writing reflects slipshod thinking and poor judgment. If you want to be taken seriously as an editor, since you're supposedly qualified as such, then quit fooling around and learn the tools of language.


35 posted on 12/24/2006 2:42:39 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan
Sorry, no OCD.

Sorry, but I believe you're lying.

36 posted on 12/24/2006 3:46:13 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (BUSH KNEW liberals didn't have the balls to fight terrorism.)
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To: Doctor Raoul
You wrote, "Sorry, but I believe you're lying."

Again with the insults--insults lacking even a modicum of wit or originality. I'm guessing you aren't a doctor of anything. Now, what kind of person uses an honorific like 'Doctor' in a screen-name, and throws around mental health industry shorthand like 'OCD' and uses terms like 'paranoia' with no clear conception of either the condition or the mental state 'paranoia' implies?

Your grammar and syntax indicate a high school education, no more. That remark about fast food and paper hats indicates a driving need to feel superior, so you chose the service industry. When class-conscious people make deprecating remarks of this kind, they usually choose a position they consider a few rungs below their own.

I'm betting you're an orderly in a senior citizen care facility. I'd almost bet mental health clinic worker of some kind, but those positions require a certain level of competence, good judgment, and--if necessary--physical ability. Guys who revel in long-distance, anonymous insults aren't, as a rule, very physically capable, so that's ruled out.

Changing out bedpans isn't much fun, is it? And how about those sponge baths?
37 posted on 12/24/2006 7:28:38 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan
Thanks for confirming your OCD.

I really shouldn't take advantage of that but it's fun having the power to make you reply.

38 posted on 12/24/2006 9:11:23 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (BUSH KNEW liberals didn't have the balls to fight terrorism.)
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To: Doctor Raoul
You wrote, "...but it's fun having the power..."

Yeah, I bet it is--when you're bullying some poor, helpless Alzheimer's patient.

As I wrote previously: I've got your number; i.e., a very clear mental image of who you are and what you're about, and it isn't pretty.

You seem determined to get in the last word here, so by all means, get in the last word. Ordinarily, I don't take it personally when argument gets heated on this forum, but this hasn't been an argument in any real sense of the word. The word 'argument' implies reasoned debate, and there has been none of that since you never respond directly to the point; you simply fire back with crudely insulting and simpleminded nonsequiturs.

You also wrote, "I really shouldn't take advantage of that..."

Trust me, you have no advantage here, either morally or intellectually.
39 posted on 12/24/2006 9:49:58 PM PST by Rembrandt_fan
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To: Rembrandt_fan
But your last post proves I was right about your OCD.

You really should seek professional help. It's not the fault of others, it's your lack of interpersonal skills.

40 posted on 12/24/2006 10:13:39 PM PST by Doctor Raoul (BUSH KNEW liberals didn't have the balls to fight terrorism.)
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