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Criticizing story placement in a newspaper is a tricky thing. Without sitting in on the budget meeting, you can’t know what stories fell through, and absent some damning email, there’s no way to prove a conscious intent to monkey around.

That said, it was awfully sketchy of the Post to give the prized center slot on its front page yesterday to a story about Newt Gingrich‘s newest project, “Newt U,” which, incidentally, is also the Washington Post Company’s newest project. Newt U’s website is run by Kaplan, a wing of the Washington Post Co., and funded by the Republican party, a relationship that isn’t disclosed in the piece until its 26th paragraph. Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti responds that the paper felt the disclosure was satisfactorily placed. (Incidentally, Alex Pareene at Salon tried out Kaplan’s interactive features at Newt U and wasn’t impressed).

Reporter David A. Fahrenholdt is hardly complimentary toward Gingrich and his lecture series at Newt U—-his angle is that conventions and projects like Newt U give failed primary candidates a path to fading away with dignity. If anything, his story paints Newt U as a retreat for a babbling has-been. Still, it’s hard to escape the fact that the Post ran a piece on the front page about a website whose revenues will go right into its coffers.

Newt Gingrich photo by Shutterstock