The paper of Bernstein and Woodward has suffered quite a falling-off in recent years. Its editor, Fred Hiatt, is a right-wing stooge of the purest kind, stacking the paper with fellow conservative hackaroonies such as Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, Cheney apologist Marc Thiessen, PNAC Platoon leader William Kristol, and Ben the Bigoted Wet-Behind-the-Ears Plagiarist Domenech to join lying crapweasel Charles Krauthammer and genteel racist George Will, while dumping on and then simply dumping Dan Froomkin, who is arguably one of the ten best mainstream-media reporters working in the US today.

Entwined with the hard-right push is a hard-sell ethic, or non-ethic as the case may be. The Post never has been a moneymaker for its owners at Kaplan Test Prep, and the efforts to change that have veered like a drunken frat boy between the ridiculous and the horrifying. There’s been the "salon" scandal, wherein access to WaPo writers was to be sold to lobbyists for as much as $250,000 a pop. There’s the unspeakable deal with the devil himself, billionaire leech Pete Peterson, who wants to use the Post as a platform for his decades-old war on Social Security and Medicare and has apparently bought their compliance with the lure of free content via his Fiscal Times propaganda rag.

So really, it isn’t that surprising that the WaPo is hiring itself out yet again, this time to the coal industry:

The Washington Post introduced a new web page about politics called PostPolitics.com, and the site’s exclusive sponsor is the coal industry’s shady front group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). ACCCE is the group whose lobbying firm, Bonner and Associates, was caught forging letters to Representative Tom Periello (D-Virginia) in July, 2009, which urged Rep. Periello to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate bill. The letters were supposedly from groups like the NAACP or Creciendo Juntas — on what appeared to be their stationery. ACCCE admitted that Bonner had been working on its behalf as a contractor to another PR firm, The Hawthorn Group. Hawthorn’s Senior Partner, Suzanne Hammelman, in late 2008 sent out a report to "friends and family" boasting that Hawthorn’s astroturf activities succeeded in manipulating presidential candidates to support "clean coal" in the run-up to the 2008 election. Hammelman wrote, "President-elect Obama and Senator McCain, their running mates and their surrogates adopted our [clean coal] language and included it as part of their stump speeches." Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club‘s Global Warming and Energy Program, argues that the term "clean coal" is misleading: "There is no such thing as ‘clean coal’ and there never will be. It’s an oxymoron." Despite ACCCE’s shady track record, and the misleading nature of supposed "clean coal" technology, Post National Editor Kevin Merida says of the paper’s new page, "What we bring to the often muddled political landscape is a clarity that is unmatched and an authority you can trust."

Have you no shame, Fred Hiatt? At long last, sir, have you no shame?