Imagine, for just a moment, that you work at a pizza place. 

Your job is to shape the dough, add the ingredients, and slide that pizza into the oven so the customer can enjoy a hot meal. People come to the pizza restaurant you work at because they expect the pizzas to be delicious and made relatively quickly.

You, however, have decided to put a little less effort in. Your pizzas take longer to make, and are made poorly. As a result, the pizza place loses business, and it has less money to pay you. 

Layoffs are announced due to budget constraints. In protest, you announce that you’re going on strike until you’re paid what you think you deserve. You tell the boss you’re too important to let go; after all, you don’t see anyone else making the pizzas with you! 

But all the while, it is your inferior work that caused the issues in the first place.

This is what it’s like to be a liberal journalist striking at The Washington Post right now.

According to a statement from The Washington Post Guild—a guild is a type of union for entitled white-collar employees—over 700 employees would walk “off the job at midnight on Dec. 7” for 24 hours. Why? Because the Post announced that budget constraints necessitate laying off 40 employees and offered to buy out the contracts of 240 others.

The guild claims: “Democracy will die in darkness if there are fewer Post employees making the critical journalism that keeps our communities informed and holds our public officials accountable.”

Let’s think for a moment. Why would the Post be in such dire straits financially as to necessitate laying off hundreds of staff? Much like our pizza example, it doesn’t exactly take a marketing expert with a business degree to figure it out.

If you don’t produce a product with any value, people will quit giving you their money for said product.

The same publication that used to produce intense, carefully vetted, damning investigations such as Watergate has been reduced to a clown show of corrections for dishonest reports based on embarrassingly shoddy research and the rumor mill. 

The Post corrected over a dozen articles in 2021 after the so-called Steele dossier, a series of uncorroborated allegations of collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, was found to be completely baseless by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

One would think such a monumental failure in journalism would be corrected at the organizational level. It was not.

This year, the Post has been forced to issue corrections and retractions because of false claims it made concerning the Israel-Hamas war, Hunter Biden’s laptop and foreign affairs, parental rights activist Chris Rufo, and the political history of Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla.

The Post has ceased reporting its readership numbers in the past few years, suggesting that things aren’t going so swimmingly. After all, if the numbers were rising, why wouldn’t you brag about it? 

The reported data we do have shows that from 2004 to 2013, Post subscriptions dropped at a steady pace each year.

According to the latest information available from Comscore and Pew Research, The Washington Post’s digital traffic dropped by 20% to 9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The Post’s guild blames this decline on the “publisher’s poor business strategy.” The guild is correct, but not in the way it claims.

The Post’s poor business strategy was to hire a cadre of whiny, self-entitled children who believe that truth is second to activism and that their labor has inherent “critical” value regardless of its quality.

This simple analysis escapes the grasp of those whose narcissism and aggrandizement blinds correction to bad practices—much as toddlers unaware they’ve done anything wrong tend to do in the face of such evidence.

I’m afraid that the Post’s union isn’t the first class of mewling fools to grace us with their threats this year, either.

The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, which represents newsroom employees of The Indianapolis Star, called for a “byline strike” in May. In that action, liberal Indy Star reporters would continue to write articles but remove their names in protest of the Star’s inability to pay them more. 

Circulation had dropped precipitously over the past few years because of the poor work produced by the Star’s journalists, but the entitled guild pressed on.

No one cared, Star management didn’t budge, and the strike ended as pathetically as it began.

Gannett reporters from over a dozen other publications tried a similar strike in June, calling for a change in corporate leadership. No one cared, Gannett didn’t budge, and the strike was meaningless. In the past four years, Gannett has cut 59% of its staff.

This strike by Post employees will end like all the others—with this guild of self-obsessed journalists realizing that no one finds them brave or essential and that perhaps it would be better to have a job after all (while there’s still enough money to provide them with one). 

The “reporters, editors, cartoonists, visual journalists [whatever those are], advertising sales people and circulation drivers” will return to work yet again after this strike concludes. They’ll have nothing to show for their bold moves but dented pride and a skillset that won’t pay the bills for much longer.

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