Second WaPo Doc Offers More Info On Salons


When a leaked flier last week revealed the Washington Post‘s plan to organize a corporate-sponsored “salon” on health care, the paper portrayed the flier as the hastily-created product of an over-zealous business department which misrepresented the Post‘s genuine vision for the event.

But now Politico — which broke the original story — has obtained a copy of a word document, sent out over two weeks ago, for the planned July 21 event. The document’s existence will intensify questions about how, as the Post has claimed, the business and news sides of the paper could have been on such different pages over the event.It also reveals more information about what the Post had in mind — and suggests additional similarities between the paper’s vision and the approximately 100 salons that, TPMmuckraker revealed yesterday, The Atlantic has hosted since 2003.

For instance, the document says that the Post intended to hold 11 different salons a year — just slightly off the pace that The Atlantic seems to have kept up over the last six years.

And, perhaps in the Post’s partial defense, the document also makes clear that it wasn’t just health-care lobbyists, Post-ies, and politicians who would get a seat at the table. Other potential invitees are said to include “leading researchers from key think-tanks and academic institutions,” and “patient advocate group representatives.” (Though unlike the corporate interests, neither of those groups would be “underwriters,” of course.) That slightly more mixed guest list echoes The Atlantic‘s stated efforts to provide a range of differing viewpoints at its own salons.

The Post is conducting an internal review to understand how the original flier went out. So one would think the paper will be taking a close look at this new document as well.

Here’s the text of the word document:

The Washington Post

Health Care Salon – July, 2009

The Washington Post is seeking two underwriters to support its inaugural Salon Dinner on the topic of Health Care Reform. One evening during the week of July 20, 2009, The Washington Post will host a Salon dinner-discussion on the topic of U.S. health care reform and funding. Washington Post Salons, which are limited to 20 participants, are underwritten by two organizations each of which may send a senior representative to participate in the discussion.

Topics Discussed Will Include:

· Who pays for health insurance?

· The government’s role in the health insurance market

· Could there ever be a single-payer system in the U.S.?

· Should health insurance be taxed?

· Should there be a payment cap for health care providers?

Hosts and Discussion Leaders:

· Katharine Weymouth, CEO, Washington Post Media; Publisher, Washington Post’

· Marcus Brauchli, Executive Editor, Washington Post

· Other Washington Post health care editorial and reporting staff

Invited Guests Will Include:

· Congressional leaders at the forefront of building health care legislative initiatives

· Administration and agency officials involved in creating health care policy

· Leading researchers from key think-tanks and academic institutions

· Hospital and medical group trade association representatives (may be an underwriter)

· Health care insurance trade association representatives (may be an underwriter)

· Patient advocate group representatives

· Corporate leaders in health care delivery, health care IT, and / or insurance (may be an underwriter)

Why Underwrite a Washington Post Salon?

· Participate in an issues-based discussion as an equal at the table with key policy-makers

· Interact with core players in an off-the-record format

· Build key relationships in an informal setting

· Discuss critical topics of interest to you and your organization in a neutral environment with Washington Post news executives

· Acknowledgement in formal printed invitations and at the dinner of your underwriting role

Financial Support and Sponsor Involvement:

· Individual salon sponsorship offered at $25,000 per salon, per sponsor

· Investment of $250,000 provides sponsorship of an annual series of Salons

· Maximum of two sponsors per salon

· Underwriter CEO or Executive Director has a seat at the table

· Formal invitations clearly state that the dinner is underwritten by the sponsors

About Washington Post Salons

Washington Post Salons, held monthly in the home of Publisher and CEO Katharine Weymouth, provide an intimate and informal dinner and discussion setting where leading policy makers and business leaders discuss issues, options and solutions relating to major international, national, local and cultural affairs with top Washington Post editors, columnists and journalists.

The Washington Post is the media brand that sits at the intersection of business and policy. It engages in dialogue with readers, business leaders and Washington-area policy-makers and influencers through three platforms: The Washington Post newspaper and printed special reports;; and through a series of live, face-to-face conferences and roundtables.

Washington Post Conferences reflect up-to-the-minute thinking and analysis provided by The Washington Post newsroom. All conferences, including Salons, are editorially driven. Washington Post Conferences take The Washington Post newspaper and Web site and help them come alive.

Overall Salon Frequency:

· Up to 11 times annually, monthly except for August


· Two-and-a-half hour dinner discussions

· No more than 20 participants

· Discussion moderated by Washington Post editorial

Editorial Involvement:

· Executive editor, key section editor, beat reporter (optional)

· Discussion topics and scripts produced in conjunction with Washington Post Conferences

· Off-the-record

For Information on Sponsorship, Participating and Attending

· Charles Pelton

· [email and phone numbers redacted]