Here’s the official reason for White House Watch blogger Dan Froomkin’s unceremonious dismissal from The Washington Post, courtesy of Washington Post Media Communications Director Kris Coratti (to Politico’s Patrick Gavin):

I think the easiest way to put it is that our editors and research teams are constantly reviewing our columns, blogs and other content to make sure we’re giving readers the most value when they are on our site while balancing the need to make the most of our resources. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes features must be eliminated, and this time it was the blog that Dan Froomkin freelanced for washingtonpost.com.

So. Froomkin was the victim of journalism’s increasingly zero-sum game? Many in the blogosphere aren’t so sure, treating the contract termination instead as a politically motivated firing: Froomkin, they argue, was guilty of nothing more than BWL—blogging while liberal.

Andrew Sullivan:

A simply astounding move by the paper - getting rid of the one blogger, Dan Froomkin, who kept it real and kept it interesting. Dan’s work on torture may be one reason he is now gone. The way in which the WaPo has been coopted by the neocon right, especially in its editorial pages, is getting more and more disturbing. This purge will prompt a real revolt in the blogosphere. And it should.

Andrew Sullivan (2):

The MSM is bewildered and in some cases angered by how some bloggers have shown up their eagerness to placate those in power. Froomkin had the feel of someone saying what he believed, wthout wondering what others thought. This violates Beltway convention. And so, in the end, they violated him.

Wonkette’s Jim Newell:

Everyone give it up for your capital city’s hometown newspaper, the very liberal Washington Post, which has abruptly fired its only liberal pundit, Dan Froomkin, who in past years did more than the rest of the Post op-ed staff combined to show how our beloved leaders George W. Bush and Richard “Dick” Cheney were careless law-breaking criminals from Hell.

Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan:

The Washington Post, which pays money to opinion writers such as Bill Kristol (smarmy) and Richard Cohen (smarmier), has fired blogger Dan Froomkin, one of the only WaPo opinion writers who pointed out that the Bush White House was crooked.

Froomkin wrote the “White House Watch” blog and he was extremely “Liberal” because he generally pointed out the Bush administration lied all the time. (While the rest of the paper’s opinion page supported the Iraq War, etc, they really do suck)…Translation: the Washington Post has to be even more conservative now with Obama as president or else they won’t be taken “Seriously,” by assholes.

TalkLeft:

The Washington Post has given columnist Dan Froomkin his walking papers. What a stupid, myopic decision. Froomkin is the best columnist the paper has…. The Post says his column has outlived its usefulness. Is that another way of saying Obama is so popular there’s no need for a journalist who seeks to hold him and others in the Administration accountable? Do they really think because Bush is gone, the problems are over? Just wait a few more months…the restless stirrings by interest groups are already there, criticism is just around the corner.

The Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins:

I have to say that I greet today’s decision by the Washington Post to fire blogger and columnist Dan Froomkin to be both sad and alarming. Froomkin has been a leading light in examining the issue of state-sanctioned torture, and most importantly, has been the rare voice in the heights of traditional media to actually say that torture is torture. While the rest of the world soft-foots the matter with dumb euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation” and “intense questioning” — deployed for no other purpose than to signal “Nothing to see here, folks! Not a big deal at all! Attention need not be paid” — Froomkin refused to play that game. His loss is a big one.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.