The back story: Yesterday, FishbowlDC published some e-mails made to the private lefty-commentator listserv JournoList by former Reason staffer and current Contributing Editor David Weigel, in which the Washington Post "inside the conservative movement" blogger suggested Matt Drudge "set himself on fire," encouraged "everyone to think twice about rewarding the [DC] Examiner with any traffic or links for a while," and used phrases like "screaming Ron Paul fanatics" and "Paultard Tea Party people." In response, Weigel apologized to his readers, Matt Drudge, to Byron York, and "if people find the word 'Paultard' offensive." His bosses then said:
"Dave's apology to readers reflects he understands, in calmer hindsight, the need to exercise good judgment at all times and of not throwing stones, especially when operating from inside an echo-filled glass house that is modern-day digital journalism," said Post Managing Editor Raju Narisetti, the architect of the Post's latest moves into the blogging space. "Time to move on."
Then this morning The Daily Caller published more listserv contributions from Weigel. Excerpt from that piece:
"Honestly, it's been tough to find fresh angles sometimes–how many times can I report that these [tea party] activists are joyfully signing up with the agenda of discredited right-winger X and discredited right-wing group Y?" Weigel lamented in one February email.
In other posts, Weigel describes conservatives as using the media to "violently, angrily divide America." According to Weigel, their motives include "racism" and protecting "white privilege," and for some of the top conservatives in D.C., a nihilistic thirst for power. [...]
"It's really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree."
In April, Weigel wrote that the problem with the mainstream media is "this need to give equal/extra time to 'real American' views, no matter how fucking moronic, which just so happen to be the views of the conglomerates that run the media and/or buy up ads." [...]
Weigel seems to harbor special contempt for a type of conservative he calls a ratfucker, a favorite phrase of his. [...]
Republicans? "Ratfucking [Obama] on every bill." Palin? Tried to "ratfuck" a moderate Republican in a contentious primary in New York. Limbaugh? Used "ratfucking tactics" in urging Republican activists to vote for Hillary Clinton in open primaries after Obama had all but beat her for the Democratic nomination.
Within hours, Weigel resigned, and now JournoList is reportedly shutting down. Follow the unfolding debate on Google and Twitter. We'll have more here later; consider this the "WEIGEL THREAD" that you have been demanding since the wee small hours.