The Breakfast Clubbing.

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The Washington Post has undertaken a rather large investigative project in Dana Priest and William Arkin's "Top Secret America." Yesterday, in a rather unusual step, The New York Times urged their own readers to check out the competition. "We encourage you to take a look at it," read the conclusion of an unsigned blog post at the Times' At War blog. This is presumably because the Times' sees its role as a public trust as more important than making money, not that the two are necessarily in conflict.

Politico, another Washington Post competitor, decided they'd take the opposite route and try to discredit the story by airing right-wing complaints about one of the authors that aren't at all linked to disputes about the substantive reporting in the piece:

But from a media perspective, Arkin’s role as co-author of the series might be the more important. It marks the first time one of the Post’s bloggers -- lately the cause of controversy because they sometimes blur opinion and reporting -- has had a byline in one of the paper’s big, investigative pieces of Pulitzer bait.

Way to "win the morning." If the world of Beltway political journalism were an '80s movie, today Politico would be Biff from Back To The Future.

UPDATE: Certainly though, the Post's unwillingness to credit past work by other reporters is an important and legitimate criticism.

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