The Vast JournoList Conspiracy

Tuesday, July 27, AD 2010


The vast JournoList conspiracy can be called over-heated rhetoric.

But then again, facts get in the way.

The liberal staff writer for the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz, agrees with me on the left-leaning JournoList:

To conservatives, it is a pulling back of the curtain to expose the media’s mendacity.

To liberals, it is a selective sliming based on e-mails that were supposed to remain private.

But there is no getting around the fact that some of these messages, culled from the members-only discussion group Journolist, are embarrassing. They show liberal commentators appearing to cooperate in an effort to hammer out the shrewdest talking points against the Republicans — including, in one case, a suggestion for accusing random conservatives of being racist.

Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller site, which has been dribbling out the e-mails, drew fresh reaction Thursday with a piece about Journolist members savaging Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor responded with a slam at the media’s “sick puppies,” saying she was confronted during the 2008 campaign by “hordes of Obama’s opposition researchers-slash-‘reporters.’ ” But the people making the most stridently partisan comments in the invitation-only group weren’t reporters at all — they were out-of-the-closet liberals acting like, well, liberals.

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12 Responses to The Vast JournoList Conspiracy

  • William Tecumseh Sherman:
    “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.”

  • “To liberals, it is a selective sliming based on e-mails that were supposed to remain private.”

    Well, all the participants need to do is to release the archive, something they have been unwilling to do. Of course to conservatives none of this comes as a surprise: the mainstream media, by and large, is made up of men and women who tilt left and despise conservatives. None of this of course affects their coverage of news. 🙂

  • No, not at all. Their views never affect how they report it.

    Thank beelzebub for MSNBC and CNN!

  • Iowahawk has his own special take on the controversy:

    “Welcome to the Journolist Top Secret Progressive He-Man Wingnut Haters Club and L33t H4xoR Chat Room. Disclaimer: this is a private discussion forum intended solely for the benefit of JournoList members. Reproduction, transmission, redistribution, or description, in whole or in part, of any content (including, but not limited to, private insults, insider innuendo, political manifestos, hair styling tips and/or gossip) without the expressed written consent of the commissioner is strictly prohibited. Please read and agree to the User Consent Form. And, as always, remember the first rule of JournoList: there is no JournoList.”

  • Mickey Kaus:

    “”Shut up” seems to be a favorite talking point of Journolist defenders. But I don’t think non-members need to accept their message discipline.

    Journolist was a terrible idea from the start, not so much because it enabled the promotion of “lock-steppedness” and a progressive party line across media organizations (though Salam more or less concedes that it did), or because it fostered an “us vs. them” mentality (which it also obviously did). It was a bad idea, mainly because it took a process that could have been public, democratic and transparent and gratuitously made it private, stratified and opaque. This was an odd move for “progressives” to make when confronted with the revolutionary openness of the Web. It’s as if they’d looked at our great national parks and said hey, what we really need is to carve out a private walled enclave for the well connected. Invited to a terrific party, they immediately set up a VIP room.”

  • Invited to a terrific party, they immediately set up a VIP room.”

    That seems to define many, if not most, liberals, including his Liberalness Obama, peace be upon him.

  • I wouldn’t have problems with these sorts of revelations if they were just honest in their work.

    I make no secrets about my biases and points of view, why should they? Oh yeah, to be “objective.” Well, that was their first mistake. There’s no such thing as objective journalism.

  • One feature of modern journalists is a shameless tendency to overestimate themselves. Some of them truly believe that they can reshape people’s minds, many more pretend to believe it. Or they start barking when the Vatican issues a statement in a way they wouldn’t have done, because PR is oohhh soooo important, don’t you know……
    This is simply not the case.

    I am Italian and I can tell you that even after 17 years of shameless linkage between media, politics and business the impressive media apparatus of the most famous thief in the land could never move more than a couple of percentage points of the electorate; and this not without an immense effort and expense and losing two elections in the process.

    In the UK where I now live the amazingly leftist BBC is omnipresent and utterly ignored by the electorate in its voting decisions.
    In May the “Guardian” (and old-style socialist newspaper) tried to separate themselves from the sure loser, the Labour party and supported the Liberal Democrates; the LibDems promptly went on to lose votes and seats.

    Another big newspaper, the Sun, only support the probable winner in order to be able to say that they are the kingmaker; they are rather the king’s jester, methinks

    There are notable exceptions of course, but you get my drift.

  • Has anyone really taken the MSM seriously for the past two decades? I mean, besides themselves and fellow travelers, of course.

  • Thanks to a diversity of media options and the rise of new media, liberals have lost their choke-hold on the “message” and are now complaining like a flopping fish on the beach.

  • And they’re asking for govt. money to keep them going.

  • Well, why not? everyone else is asking.

I am Shocked, Shocked!

Friday, June 25, AD 2010

Hattip to Ed Morrissy at Hot Air.  The Washington Post hired David Weigel, who has previously come to the attention of this blog here,  to report to their readership on that strange group called American conservatives.  This small and obscure group, only 42% of the adult population of the US according to the latest Gallup poll released today and twice the number of self-identified liberals, was the focus of the reporting of David Weigel.  To my non-surprise, Weigel is now revealed in his own words to be a bitter Democrat partisan and uber-liberal:

Weigel was hired this spring by the Post to cover the conservative movement. Almost from the beginning there have been complaints that his coverage betrays a personal animus toward conservatives.  Emails obtained by the Daily Caller suggest those complaints have merit.

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10 Responses to I am Shocked, Shocked!

  • I am certain that the Washington Post will now find someone to cover conservatives who does not despise conservatives.

    Hey, Donald, as you know I am originally from New York. I have a hot tip on a bridge that might be for sale. 🙂

  • I had a client once Paul who claimed to have purchased the Brooklyn Bridge, so I know it can’t be that one! 🙂

  • Must dissent. What has happened would be unsurprising at the Boston Globe or the post-Rosenthal New York Times, but the Washington Post once made a point of developing an engaging editorial page which published commentary from a variety of perspectives. They could also breed their own talent, which the Times never could. George Will, Henry Mitchell, Richard Cohen, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Kinsley, Edwin Yoder, Joseph Kraft, and Emmett Tyrell all had space at the Post when the Times was trafficking in the likes of Anthony Lewis. The Post seems to have fallen on hard times if they are hiring utter cretins.

  • Art Deco,

    Good point.

    In addition, they remove their faux conservatives to.

  • “The Post seems to have fallen on hard times if they are hiring utter cretins.”

    A dog walking on its hind legs Art always deserves applause for attempting the feat, but inevitably the dog will be walking on four legs again soon enough.

  • I did not sign up for an avatar, so what’s that doing there? That appears by my handle at Front Porch Republic as well. Hmmm….


    In all seriousness, this man’s employment is very odd. There are all manner of things about the kultursmog around the chatterati one might criticize, and I suspect it is true that there has been a general decay in the quality of thought and argument from the political opposition. (Robert Bork, who was a public figure before and after, has said there was a large and discrete change in the quality of public discourse around about 1981; 2001 also seems a year of consequence). That having been said, they have on their staff a man who is apparently not minimally curious about the terms of political conflict; also, his sensiblities are so peculiar he thought it ‘despicable’ for Gov. Palin to tweak the nose of an ‘investigative reporer’ who rented a house next door to her. This guy is not normal. Why did he apply for the position? If not, why was he assigned to it? Do his editors not know what his views are? That he resigned toute-de-suite suggests someone in the Post‘s apparat understands this as inappropriate.

  • Art Deco,

    In my near fruitless crusade to encourage our readers to sign up for gravatar, I changed the default setting for users without a custom avatar of their own, to display a generated logo from “Identicon” to “MonsterID”.

    Identicon generates those abstract random patterns you normally saw.

    MonsterID generates ‘monster’ pics.

    Since I’m no fan of abstract/pattern art, I went with MonsterID in hopes of encouraging those to sign up for (free) gravatar.


    Like Identicon, MonsterID assigns a random monster pic particular to each individuals email address.

    Hence why you recognize your MonsterID.

  • “That having been said, they have on their staff a man who is apparently not minimally curious about the terms of political conflict; also, his sensiblities are so peculiar he thought it ‘despicable’ for Gov. Palin to tweak the nose of an ‘investigative reporer’ who rented a house next door to her. This guy is not normal.”

    Quite right Art. What struck me was the jejune nature of his comments which basically amounted to grunts of “Conservatives very bad!!!”. Political movements can sometimes benefit from insightful critiques from adversaries. I have admired some of the articles by John Judis on conservatives. This fellow however had nothing to offer except a deep dislike of the movement he was supposed to cover.

    As for your avatar, God only knows what WordPress is doing. Time for you to get a more appropriate avatar:

  • Thank you for your article.I agree with Alehouses and Dan Riehl over the Dave Weigel resignation from the Washington Post. It is no surprise to me that Ben Smith is on Journolist too. Hope you will continuo your informative post.

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