In a lengthy piece at TRUTHOUT, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship have weighed in on the Washington Post lobbyist salons. As you might expect, they give good scathe:
"Spirited? Yes. Confrontational? No." The invitation promises this private, intimate and off-the-record dinner is an extension "of The Washington Post brand of journalistic inquiry into the issues, a unique opportunity for stakeholders to hear and be heard."
Let that sink in. In this case, the "stakeholders" in health care reform do not include the rabble - the folks across the country who actually need quality health care but can't afford it. If any of them showed up at the kitchen door on the night of this little soiree, the bouncer would drop kick them beyond the Beltway.
No, before you can cross the threshold to reach "the select few who will actually get it done," you must first cross the palm of some outstretched hand. The Washington Post dinner was canceled after a copy of the invite was leaked to the web site Politico.com, by a health care lobbyist, of all people. The paper said it was a misunderstanding - the document was a draft that had been mailed out prematurely by its marketing department. There's noblesse oblige for you - blame it on the hired help.
In any case, it was enough to give us a glimpse into how things really work in Washington - a clear insight into why there is such a great disconnect between democracy and government today, between Washington and the rest of the country.
There's more, here. Additionally, you can watch Bill Moyers' video journal on the matter, in which he calls the paper's plan "an unholy alliance":