Hire That Commenter as a Copy-Editor!

While The Washington Post’s Saturday editorial is far from the most tendentious thing written on the already-tired topic of Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, James Fallows makes a good point: it is peculiar that the editorial board, in expressing its preference for the Iranian martyr Neda Agha-Soltan, did not at least mention in passing that such an award would have violated the Nobel’s prohibition against posthumous honors (and, for that matter, the February deadline for nominations, given that Neda was killed during the protests in June).

It’s not just Fallows who caught it, though—a decent share of the more than 700 comments the editorial has attracted make the same points. The fourth comment, from lseltzer: “I would prefer Neda as well, but they don’t give posthumous Nobel awards.” The tenth, from smitdave: “The Nobel nomination process starts in February, too late for Neda.” The thirteenth, from truncatedcone: “the editorial board should have known that (a) Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously and (b) no one knew who Neda was in February and [she] was thus an incredible long shot to be awarded the prize.” All of which may be, in a roundabout sort of way, reassuring to those who worry about decline at the Post: the readers are still pretty sharp.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.