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Update, 5:50 p.m.: Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti responds via email, writing, “Our decision not to run the piece had nothing to do with whether or not an editor agreed with the author’s opinion.”
Nationals fans may be smarting after today’s loss to the Cardinals, but reporter Neil deMause says there’s still more bad Nats-related news. According to deMause, District residents are still getting ripped off on the bond and taxes deal that financed Nationals Park. Perhaps worse, he says that the Washington Post won’t even carry that story.
According to deMause, the author of a book about publicly financed arenas, someone in the Post‘s Outlook section asked him to write an article about Nationals Park and whether Washington’s investment in the stadium has paid off.
After he submitted the article, deMause says, it was rejected by a higher-up at the Post because they disagreed with his interpretation of the stadium’s impact. He eventually posted the op-ed on his blog.
DeMause tells City Desk that he doesn’t know who in the Post killed his story, but says he isn’t surprised. With both Washington’s business and political establishment saying the stadium has been a success, he says it’s hard for the Post to say otherwise.
“My interpretation was ruled outside the bounds of acceptable debate, because people in power say that the Nats’ stadium is a money-maker, so it damn well must be one,” deMause wrote on his blog. The Post, which I reached out to around lunchtime, has told me they’re working on a response to my query.
DeMause doesn’t seem to have a grudge against the Nationals—-he wished Washington luck with today’s game when we talked, not that it helped much—-but he’s suspicious about whether Nationals fever was worth the cost.
“Who can put a price on the Nationals, who can put a price on all this excitement?” deMause says. “I would argue that you can.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery