City Paper is not for tourists
A few hours ago, The Washington Post finally got around to addressing the latest matters concerning Councilmember Marion Barry’s questionable use of contracts. Barry’s camp has repeatedly stated that the hiring of his girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt was not illegal. This time, the Post gets Barry to brag that he’d do it all over again. Or do it all again with the next love interest. The Post writes:
“You all think it is inappropriate to hire a girlfriend. I don’t think it is. In fact, there is no law against it,” Barry told The Washington Post. When asked whether he would hire another woman he becomes romantically involved with, Barry said, “Unless the law changes, why not?
Maybe he wouldn’t have done all of it over again, particularly the Denver hotel room drama. Maybe he wouldn’t even have his camp constantly text and call Watts-Brighthaupt throughout this ordeal in an attempt to get her to recant or who knows what. Watts-Brighthaupt was never sure what his people wanted from her post-July 4. Maybe he wouldn’t have insisted on labeling her “unstable” and giving her some kind of disorder.
What is so disappointing about the Post story is that the reporter doesn’t call Barry’s bluff. In fact, Barry had tried to do it all over again. On June 29, the councilmember offered Watts-Brighthaupt a new lucrative contract. And she turned him down in a scathing e-mail response.
“I feel as if I’m selling my soul to you for the tax payer’s dollar,” Watts-Brighthaupt wrote. At least one person in that relationship eventually believed those contract deals were fishy.
While we’re on the subject of setting the record straight, the Washington Post printed an error in a previous story on the Watts-Brighthaupt affair. If not an error than a real whopper of a misquote. In Friday’s story on the council’s probe, the Post writes:
“In an interview yesterday with The Washington Post, Watts-Brighthaupt raised further questions about the contract when she said she was hired to study Barry’s political life. That would appear to contradict the terms of the contract, which said she would consult on ‘poverty reduction strategies.'”
In interviews with Watts-Brighthaupt, she told us that she was interested in studying Barry and his grasp on local politics. That’s what attracted her to him in the first place. But she has always stated to us that she was hired to develop or consult on the Young Emerging Leaders program. She was never paid to study Barry. After the Post piece ran, she called us to complain about the error.