Media - Capitol Inquiry in the News

City Talk: The key players of Washington's influential and controversial weeklypaper look back on its legacy - Page 6

Marion Barry: First of all, the City Paper is so biased towards me and has so many vendettas against me, and does so many demonizing things, so I don't think fondly of the City Paper. It took me forever to find out who Loose Lips was. When [Ken Cummins] did that, I resented it. It was like "president for life" and "dictator" and other things I didn't like. But as it went on and people would talk about it, they started thinking about it differently, in terms of positive things for me. In fact, Mayor Fenty now calls me Mayor for Life, as does everybody else. I have really done so much in this town that it really is a deserving title.

Jack Shafer: The Washington Post did nothing but pussyfoot around the whole Barry administration. The Post, on one level, was conscious that this was an administration shot through with corruption and malfeasance, but they would never put it all together. They endorsed Marion Barry three times for mayor, right? ... Because the paper is an alternative to The Washington Post -- and I still think it is -- every cover story, every column, every review, was supposed to be a critique of The Washington Post. I think we wrote smarter; we wrote better, ordinarily; we were faster on our feet. We were, I think, more honest. So if the whole paper was kind of a critique of The Washington Post, I thought the paper also needed space for a directly critical look at the media. I tried to get other writers to write it because I was too busy editing, and nobody wanted the job because they were afraid it would reduce their chances of ever getting a job at The Washington Post.

After nearly a decade, Jack Shafer left City Paper to become editor of San Francisco Weekly. Soon after, David Carr was named editor of City Paper.

David Carr, editor, 1995 to 2000: Whatever generic skills I had as a newspaperman were overmatched for a while by lack of knowledge about the District. So I was not an especially popular hire. next >>

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