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I really appreciate the Washington City Paper’s playing the role of ombudsman for complaints about the Washington Times (Dept. of Media, 4/16, 4/30, 6/18).

But I have a complaint about the Other Paper, the Washington Post, and it’s not one I can hope to share with it, except through you.

The problem is its identity. I have read both the New York Times and the Washington Post daily for over 30 years. In all those years, the Times has stayed fairly consistent editorially. Occasionally it has shifted right or left, but it has remained the same center-left paper it was when I started reading it.

Not so the Post. The Post demonstrated the absence of an identity when it galloped over to neoconservatism as soon as Fred Hiatt took over the editorial page. Under Hiatt, it embraced the Iraq war with fervor (Dept. of Media, 10/15) and remains as stalwart as the Moonie paper in denying the facts about that war.

The Post’s neoconservatism is not really the Post’s. It is Hiatt’s. After all, there is no evidence that Donny Graham is any less the centrist-liberal than his mother. And hence the identity problem. A great newspaper cannot flip-flop (to coin a phrase) when a new staffer comes on. As a family-managed enterprise, the Post should maintain the Meyer/Graham traditions no matter who the latest hire is.

Fred Hiatt’s views deserve a place on the editorial page. But should his voice be the ex cathedra voice of Donny Graham’s Washington Post?

Chevy Chase, Md.