Ross Douthat says POLITICO did in The Washington Post and forced its sale to Jeff Bezo last week.
“I say this as someone who doesn’t particularly like the Politico style or the role it plays in our gilded capital, and who misses The Post as it was when I arrived in Washington. But nostalgia is for columnists, not publishers: Politico has claimed a big part of the audience that The Post needed in order to thrive in the world the Internet has made.”
“[G]iven that D.C.’s influence has only increased in the last 20 years, and the public’s interest in national politics has surged, it would have been entirely natural for The Post to become, in the new-media dispensation, the paper of record for political coverage … Instead, it’s possible to date the moment when that opportunity slipped away: it happened in 2006, when John Harris and Jim VandeHei left The Post to found Politico. … VandeHei and Harris looked like gamblers … Today, though, it’s Politico rather than The Post that dominates the D.C. conversation, Politico rather than The Post that’s the must-read for Beltway professionals and politics junkies everywhere, and Politico rather than The Post that matches the metabolism of the Internet.”