The Washington Post should blame last summer's scandal involving off-the-record "salons" on its publisher, according to The New Republic. In an in-depth look at the financial decline of the Post, TNR reports that the controversial dinners were very much publisher Katharine Weymouth's idea. “She had floated the [salon] idea several times,” said a senior executive close to Weymouth. “There was no enthusiasm on the sales side to pursue it.” The Post canceled the events after Politico broke the story about the exclusive dinners at Weymouth’s home, but the damage had been done. The controversy left both readers and Post insiders questioning the judgment of Weymouth and Marcus Brauchli, the paper's new editor. Meanwhile, in the past year, the Post has folded its business section into the A-section and eliminated its book review. The Post has also watched hundreds of staffers leave its newsroom in four rounds of buyouts since 2003.