Kurtz (hey, he’s quick with these things as much as I hate him) has the response from the WaPo newsroom:
The Washington Post’s executive editor said today he is “appalled” by a plan to charge lobbyists as much as $250,000 for off-the-record gatherings at the home of the paper’s publisher — with Obama administration officials, members of Congress and the paper’s reporters and editors — and insisted that the newsroom will not participate.
“It suggests that access to Washington Post journalists was available for purchase,” Brauchli said in an interview. The proposal “promises we would suspend our usual skeptical questioning because it appears to offer, in exchange for sponsorships, the good name of The Washington Post.”
Brauchli was responding to fliers, circulated by the paper’s parent company, offering an “intimate and exclusive Washington Post Salon, an off-the-record dinner and discussion at the home of CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth.” The fliers, which said participants would be charged $25,000 to sponsor a single salon and $250,000 to underwrite an annual series of 11 sessions, were reported this morning by Politico.
“We do not offer access to the newsroom for money,” Brauchli said. “We just are not in that business.”
What bothers me most about this is that they’re calling these things “salons”. At least call them “massage parlors”.
Update. Commenter clone12 suggests the euphemism “message parlor”.