Matt Lewis

Washington Post tweets praise for pro-gay rights fundraiser [UPDATED]

On the very same day it was reported that the Washington Post had warned staff not to ‘like’ or re-tweet things that involve “an opinion on a public issue or a candidate that we cover,” the Post’s food section tweeted praise of a pro-gay rights fundraiser featuring Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The event, titled, “Chefs for Equality” was organized for the Human Rights Campaign by Washington Post food columnist David Hagedorn.

According to their website, HRC is the largest group in America “working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”

The group is decidedly political, and “advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues.”

Tickets cost $150, and attendees got to mingle with O’Malley and “fashion icon” Tim Gunn.

According to HRC’s website, some of “DC’s top culinary chefs” participated in the fundraiser. The list of chefs included: Nelson Paz, The Ritz-Carlton, DC, Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Scott Drewno, The Source and Jon Mathieson, BLT Steak.

(While is unclear whether or not the restaurants have officially endorsed the chefs participation, the restaurant names are proudly listed on the HRC website.)

After the event, Hagedorn tweeted his thanks to Gov. O’Malley and the Ritz-Carlton.

No word yet as to when the Washington Post and Ritz-Carlton might decide to also help fundraise for the Family Research Council.

UPDATE – Interim Food Section Editor, Bonnie S. Benwick responded,

David Hagedorn is a freelancer, not on staff at The Washington Post. He tweeted under his own account.

The tweet from our WaPoFood account does not technically endorse  the event; it praises the work David did on it.

When I challenged this, arguing that the Post would never tweet encouraging support for a columnist who raised money for the National Right to Life, Benwick responded,

… I believe David did not raise money. HRC did. What he did was gather together a lot of the Washington area’s finest food talent. It’s a testament to their respect for him as former chef-restaurateur and food writer — at least that’s how I see it.