Weigel, Journalistic Voting Records, and the Washington Post's "Perception" Problems

I don't have any real desire to throw my spit in the ocean of commentary on L'Affaire Weigel, but since Reason was Dave's longest-tenured home, we have inevitably come up enough in discussion to warrant a couple of clarifications. First this, from Weigel's own account of his career, published at Big Journalism:

After the 2008 election, I drove up from Atlanta to D.C. and was greeted by my editor, Matt Welch, with surprising news. It would be better, he said, if I worked somewhere else. I'd voted for the Obama-Biden ticket (having joked, semi-seriously, that I was honor-bound to vote for a ticket with a fellow Delawarean on it) and wasn't fully on board with the magazine's upcoming, wonky focus on picking apart the new administration. My friend, Spencer Ackerman, immediately bought me Ethiopian food and suggested I come to work at his magazine, The Washington Independent. I was dicey about the suggestion, partly because I was already doing some work for The Economist. At Reason, I'd become a little less favorable to Republicans, and I'd never been shy about the fact that I was pro-gay marriage and pro-open borders.

To the extent that this gives the impression that Dave's job was in any way tied to him voting for Obama, I need to shout from the rooftops that this is emphatically not the case. If it were, Ronald Bailey would no longer be our Science Correspondent and Tim Cavanaugh would not be our back-of-the-book columnist. If preference for Obama over John McCain in November 2008 was any kind of litmus, then I would be disqualified to work here, even if I wouldn't have pulled the lever for the guy had I bothered to get my D.C. voting registration in order. Having been on the losing end of political litmus tests in the past, and having refused to sand down the edges of my own ideological quirkiness in the pursuit of various journalism jobs, I am hyper-sensitive to even the whiff of an implication here. We are a libertarian magazine, yes, but not an enforcer of political or philosophical purity. This has been true, and will continue being true, for decades.

There were multiple factors at play in the Weigel/Reason separation, none of them having to do with voting records, and many (though not all) pointing to what Dave alludes to in his post: What he wanted to write about, and what we needed him to write about, were two different things. As I think the subsequent track record makes abundantly clear, both parties benefited from that realization.

Another clarification, especially for people unfamiliar with Reason: There is, to put it mildly, zero professional sanction at this magazine for being "a little less favorable to Republicans," or being "pro-gay marriage and pro-open borders." I have decorated this post with examples of why.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, has given off a couple of misleading impressions of its own. Particularly this:

[Raju Narisetti, the managing editor who oversees The Post's Web site] said that when Weigel was hired, he was vetted in the same way that other prospective Post journalists are screened. He interviewed with a variety of top editors, his writings were reviewed and his references were checked, Narisetti said.

"But we're living in an era when maybe we need to add a level" of inquiry, he said. "It may be in our interests to ask potential reporters: 'In private... have you expressed any opinions that would make it difficult for you to do your job."

Seconded here:

Asked about Weigel's strong views about some conservatives, Brauchli said: "We don't have the resources or ability to do Supreme Court justice-type investigations into people's backgrounds. We will have to be more careful in the future."

This makes it seem like it's just so dang hard to do background checks in the hyper-cyber-fangled 21st century! But consider this: The Post never spoke with Weigel's longest employer before hiring him. That's considerably less than even a Circuit Court justice-type investigation.

Getting back to the issue of voting records and transparency, the Post, typically, gets a couple of key points wrong (IMO):

"I don't think you need to be a conservative to cover the conservative movement," Narisetti told me late today. "But you do need to be impartial...in your views."

And:

[Brauchli said] "we can't have any tolerance for the perception that people are conflicted or bring a bias to their work.... There's abundant room on our Web site for a wide range of viewpoints, and we should be transparent about everybody's viewpoint."

You don't need to be impartial in your views at the Post, or else Ezra Klein (among many, many others) wouldn't have a job. Nor do you need to be impartial in your views to do perfectly good journalism. What you need is to not get caught. If the Post was even remotely interested in viewpoint-transparency, it would follow Reason's (and Dave Weigel's!) lead in, at bare bloody minimum, showing us who their editorial staffers–particularly in the newsroom–have voted for in presidential elections. Three chances of that happening, either at the Post or any other major newspaper: Slim, none, and fat.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We only demanded one Weigel post, Matt.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    The last one got to 500+ comments. Reason is milking this for all the page views it can.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    As well they should. Get all the traction they can out of it.

    And technically, it's all Welch's fault. He's the one that fired him for voting for Obama. Part of his grand design.

    The tentacles of the Kochtopus strech far and suck hard!

    :eerie and ominous music:

  • Japanese Porn Producer||

    hmmm "tentacles"

    Is this Kochtopus fellow looking for work?

  • Colin||

    Somehow, though, it didn't make the list of top posts from last week.

  • -||

    We are a libertarian magazine, yes, but not an enforcer of political or philosophical purity

    Indeed. The putative enforcers of political/philosophical purity here are the commentariat, whose fury rivals that of a hundred scorned women.

  • Max||

    One Weigel post was enough. Don't be a ratfucker.

  • Bruce Majors||

    So this was all a plot to get Dave a better job at NBC and to get Reason mentioned all over the blogosphere?

  • Ragin Cajun||

    What I want to know: who is Weigel's Iago?

  • Esoteric||

    Someone within JournoList who, ironically enough, didn't like the fact that he was occasionally less than an utterly savage partisan when it came to prominent right wing figures/ideas.

    That's the leading theory, at least. Weigel angered a lot of people on a personal level, though. A bunch of people didn't like the way he began carrying himself, especially after landing the Post gig. Too big for his britches, etc.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    So the leading theory is that there was some epistemic closure on the JournoList, and they didn't want to hear any outside ideas?

  • Esoteric||

    Nothing that calculated. More like:

    "Who does this suckup bitch think he is, acting like he's one of us and trying to curry favor by acting all hip and liberal and with-it. He's clearly not one of us, because if he was he would be using his position to expose the evil lies of Republicans and Teabaggers. But he's not, because his coverage is only 90% negative instead of the 100% coverage a true liberal would bring!"

  • Esoteric||

    FWIW, as bad as this looks for Weigel, I can actually sympathize. This sort of in-group/out-group social BS has happened to me before, too (and to a bunch of others, I would reckon).

    You have to try *REALLY* hard to ignore the human emotional aspect of this for Weigel. Yes he was a dick and said terrible things, but it comes from a basic personal insecurity of his that's been there since his NU days: he really, really, wants to be appreciated for his intellect and liked as a person. So he speaks to everyone, everywhere, as an instantly ingratiating presence, trying to make you think he's "one of us," whatever that us may be. His own private views often will disappear behind that public performance, as he tries to be all buddy-buddy. It's not even a calculated thing, near as I can tell. It's just who he is. He just likes being able to find ways to identify with everyone.

    But it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, to say the least. People have a hard time trusting people who have a reputation as ideological chameleons. And I think that's what did in Weigel.

    He didn't deserve it.

  • Weigel||

    Thank you mommy!

  • Shorter Esoteric||

    Weigel is a lying little bitch.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    And that's why I made the "Iago" reference above. Weigel is coming across as a kind of Millennial tragic hero, who is bright and accomplished, has achieved the near heights of his profession, and yet has this personality defect which is going to doom him (even his "rebuttal" today seems to show this). We know how his story is going to play out, we just don't know who has been assisting in his downfall.

    Yet.

  • PR||

    Having someone cover conservatives who considers them ratfuckers isn't wrong. I'd just like to see WaPo cover the left that way too.

  • d||

    The editors remove it due to redundancy

  • ||

    Matt,

    The lesson of this is be careful who you hire. Weigel is a real dishonest bastard. For him to claim now that Reason and him parted ways because "he voted for Obama" is just disgusting. As you point out, and indeed me and several other commenters point out about once a week, lots of the Reason staff voted for Obama. Reason is a lot of things, not all of them good, but no one can honestly claim it is some kind of shill organization for the Republicans or that it is any harder on Obama than it was on Bush.

    You guys gave him his first big break. And now he shits on you like this. He really is just a piece of garbage.

  • Mike M.||

    As long as Reason has now fully disassociated itself from this lying dickhead and will no longer be giving props to the steaming piles of crap he calls his work, that's good enough for me and I'm ready to move on and forget about him the way he deserves to be forgotten.

  • Mo||

    Considering that he said that Reason made him less favorable towards Republicans means that he wasn't saying what you say he's saying. If Reason picks sides, they pick against the guy in charge. That's why you agree with their editorial slant a lot more now than you did prior to November 2008.

  • ||

    No. You just think that because you an idiot who doesn't read the posts. I have the same positions now I did three years ago. I still go after Reason over its stance on borders. And defend Obama over his handling of terrorism issues and the war in Afghanistan just like I defended Bush. Now, I do laugh my ass off at Reason whenever Obama continues Bush's policies. But that is just because they were such rubes thinking he would change them.

    I am no more or less favorably disposed to Reason now than I ever was. And, that is because neither I nor Reason have changed positions on any major issues. You just think I have because you are hack and that is what you would do.

  • RATFUCKER||

    + Fuck Yeah!

  • ||

    But that is just because they were such rubes thinking he would change them.

    There's a difference between believing that there's a chance that a politician would live up to his campaign promises vs. actually believing that such a thing would happen. Why ascribe naivety when none is likely to exist?

  • ||

    I think they thought Obama was going to be better on the war in Iraq and civil liberties issues. And I think that view was foolish. I have said all along that the Democrats are terrified of there being another 9-11 on their watch and nothing was going to change no matter what they promised.

  • Mo||

    If anyone has reading comprehension issues, it you not me. I'm not saying your views changed at all. In fact I said the exact opposite. My comment was that Reason's editorial focus change. Rather than focusing on opposing Republican statist issues, the focus is more on ones from the Democrats. Not because Reason has changed their views, but because the parties in power changed. So you are more likely to agree with a given article because they're more likely to be focused on you political enemies rather than allies.

  • ||

    And that is still completely untrue. I still disagree with Reason about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The only difference is that I am now defending Obama rather than Bush. Reason has a set of values, most of which I agree with but some of which I don't. That doesn't change because the party in power changed.

  • Shitty Friend||

    Yeah, John is a wee bit disingenuous. If Obama loses to Romney, he'll be hiding like Joe Boyle. I guarantee!

  • ||

    Fuck you. Read the God damned posts. I have defended Obama on the war numerous times. I have never changed my position.

    And for the record I can't stand Romney. If you assholes are going to get on here and start throwing shit, at least bother to read the damn posts and know your ass from a hole in the ground.

  • Shitty Friend||

    John, I have read your status quo conservative in libertarian clothing posts for a while, and quite frankly they're annoying as fuck.

    Right, I forgot Romney's mormon, my bad. (and Please don't use the Lord's name in vein when cursing me.) If Huckabee (or some other R) defeats Obama, you'll skip out. That's all I'm saying, mang.

  • ||

    Fuck off Dan T. At least have the balls to post under one name. And I hate Huckabee more than I hate Romney.

    And if you don't like posts, don't read here you dumb fuck. It is interesting that that actual libertarians with whom I sometimes disagree never have a problem with my posts they just argue with them.

    It is only the liberals who whine about it. You can't come up with arguments, go play on the liberal threads where everyone will smell your farts and tell you how great you are.

  • Shitty Friend||

    My farts don't smell. Srsly. I have to get some work done, but I made a prediction and I stand by it.

    Once your party is back in power you will leave these threads, virtually guaranteed. You will not be able to defend the horseshit that your party will enact. And you know this is true, that's why I hit a nerve. Otherwise, have a great day.

  • ||

    I never left here when they were in power before. And your farts most definitely smell. One need only read this thread to realize it.

  • Bruce Majors||

    So Shitty are you predicting that John's party will be in power? Most of the Demwits I see on the net, at the anus end of the leftover GI tract, farting out the points fed to them the day before by OFA and Tedium Tatters, are still maintaining that Obama is very popular and the Demwits will retain their autocracy. Even though the Fembot of the House and the girls at MSNBC have begun to whine about how Obama is their albatross.

  • D. K, K Industries||

    "Reason is a lot of things, not all of them good, but no one can honestly claim it is some kind of shill organization for the Republicans" Hey, I paid for that dance!

  • The Gobbler||

    I wonder what the possibilities are for reaaranging the letters in David Weigel

    Livid E. Dawg is all I got. What's the gay man's middle name?

  • gay man's middle name?||

    Gobbler

  • Bruce Majors||

    I don't think he's gay. My gaydar is not what it was back when I was young and I nailed 4 or 5 new guys every week. But I am pretty sure he isn't.

    In fact I don't think Reason has any gays among its staff or interns. They have a broad spectrum of somewhat cute nerds, geeks, and metrosexuals. But no actual gays. Only faux gays.

  • RATFUCKER||

    I thought supporting gay marriage and being pro-open borders was, like, fucking required here. That disingenuous weasel is a real piece of work. Damn good job firing his worthless ass Matt.

  • ||

    Read the rest of the paragraph:
    After the 2008 election, I drove up from Atlanta to D.C. and was greeted by my editor, Matt Welch, with surprising news. It would be better, he said, if I worked somewhere else. I’d voted for the Obama-Biden ticket (having joked, semi-seriously, that I was honor-bound to vote for a ticket with a fellow Delawarean on it) and wasn’t fully on board with the magazine’s upcoming, wonky focus on picking apart the new administration. My friend, Spencer Ackerman, immediately bought me Ethiopian food and suggested I come to work at his magazine, The Washington Independent. I was dicey about the suggestion, partly because I was already doing some work for The Economist. At Reason, I’d become a little less favorable to Republicans, and I’d never been shy about the fact that I was pro-gay marriage and pro-open borders. But could I do the same work if I jumped to a left-leaning web magazine? I figured that I could, largely because I wouldn’t change at all.

    DW is not the one being disingenuous.

  • Bruce Majors||

    It is easy to construct an argument for why libertarians should oppose gay marriage and why libertarians should oppose open borders, given that we have a welfare state, a President who would like to create an expanded class of illiterate impoverished voters, and a gay rights lobby that would use gay marriage to punish any and every private association, person, or institution that did not include homosexuals.

    You could have a debate between libertarians on these issues. One side or the other might fare better, but one could make a plausible case against both open borders or gay marriage, in the context of the current statist society.

  • hmm||

    I caught that first impression of him getting canned for his vote. It reeked of victimization and woe is me.

    I don't think I'd bother answering or defending any accusations or impressions. I'd just walk away from this shit storm and try to keep my shoes clean.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I have always liked David, always found him somewhat opaque and confusing in his beliefs and intentions, and do now think he was perhaps engaging in an older profession than journalism in his post at the Post.

    I think the really interesting aspects of this story, that deserve future coverage by Reason and others, are not about Dave:

    1) That there is an email list where leftists daily discuss how to shape and filter the news and serve their new masters in the White House

    and, more picayune,

    2) According to Wonkette the Post bloggers are really paid nothing to be bloggers there, the work, or the credentialing for the resume, is it's own reward.

  • ||

    I find it significant that the Washington Post never contacted Reason as a reference. Couldn't sully themselves with contact with those evil libertarians, I suppose.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Tophats and monocles, Pro Lib. Tophats and monocles.

  • ||

    If I were to wear two monocles, would they still be monocles?

  • T||

    Sure, you need to connect the two in some fashion before they cease being monocles. But glasses would be easier.

  • Visnu||

    everything is connected always

  • No||

    technically, one of them would be birth control

  • Esoteric||

    If they had the cool little chain attaching them to your ear, then yes -- still monocles.

  • ||

    I prefer bicles. Or bionocles.

  • Esoteric||

    I could see a steampunk superhero wearing bionocles. And wearing a tophat, too.

  • ||

    Is Lee Majors still available?

  • Bruce Majors||

    I keep running into Post reporters in my work as a real estate agent.

    I helped one Post reporter who is a really nice person and a great customer buy and sell a home, and know another whose mother is a realtor with whom I work. Both good people and intelligent, though both I suspect very conventionally "liberal." Both work more on the metro/city desk areas than on national and international news.

    I had a fascinating encounter with the then editor of the Post's real estate section way back in 1997 or 1998 or so shortly after the beginning of the DC real estate market's almost uniquely steep appreciation. This editor was looking at a detached tear-down listing I had in the Cherrydale section of Arlington, Virginia. She hung out for most of an open house talking to me. I had noticed that the Post usually covered topics (e.g. multiple-offer bids, escalator clauses for contracts) about 3 months after they were widespread in the market, such that their articles were never actually NEWS to anyone trying to buy a property or to any realtor. I started suggesting story ideas to this woman, most of which had never occurred to her.

    I asked her about her career. I think she may have come from the Baltimore Sun. She told me that editors fall mainly into two or three groups at newspapers. The "soft" section editors, like health, food, style and real estate, are one group. The op-ed, international and national news editors are another group. An editor of any soft section can fairly easily try for a job on another soft section. So someone who began her career covering dance performances and then went on to edit the health section could end up editing a real estate section.

    It's really sad that the internet is replacing all that with unvetted commentary and reporting by unqualified people. There really out to be a law.

  • Jennifer||

    "I don't think you need to be a conservative to cover the conservative movement," Narisetti told me late today. "But you do need to be impartial...in your views."

    And does this standard apply to all aspects of journalism? When Fred Phelps comes to town, only a reporter with no opinion of Phelps and his followers can cover it? The anti-immigrant movement can only be covered by someone who doesn't care about illegal immigration one way or another? Good luck finding enough lobotomized automatons to cover the news, then. May as well fire all editors and reporters and merely reprint press releases all day.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Absolutely right, J. But why do so reporters like to pretend that they are automatons?
    Every reporter is biased. Every last one. It would be better, as Welch suggests, that we admit our biases up front.

  • Mo||

    Everyone reporter is biased.

    FTFY

  • Jennifer||

    I wouldn't say reporters "like" to pretend they are automatons; it's just that for some bizarre reason this has become a job requirement at many places.

    But I agree: we all have biases, and freely announcing them would be better and more honest than pretending otherwise. Even Fox News: I wouldn't mind them so much if they came right out and admitted "We have right-wing viewpoints"; it's that crap "Fair and balanced" claim of theirs that sticks in my craw.

  • ||

    Yeah but you can still at least try to be intellectually honest. I am Republican but I will freely admit that Katrina was a big deal, should have been covered, and that the federal government dropped the ball in a big way. And had I been a reporter covering Katrina I wouldn't have gone out looking for ways to spin what was going on to benefit the Republicans.

    Now explain to me why liberals can't do the same with the BP spill? Why is the coverage so radically different and sympathetic to the President? Yeah, we all have biases. But we are also thinking and rational and ought to be able to at least try and see both sides and arrive at the truth. Just because you have biases shouldn't give you cart blanche to spend your entire career trying to spin the facts to benefit your side.

  • RATFUCKER||

    "Fair and Balanced" was an eye-wink advertisement that Fox News did not share all of the biases of the competition.

  • ||

    A while back, most journalists announced their political views with pride; newspapers even named themselves "arkansas democrat" and such. Then, some papers got the idea of marketing themselves as objective. Many consumers believed that these ostensibly unbiased sources were more credible (some were) and objective newspapers sold more editions. Fox news' success is evidence that the pendulum is swinging - no one believes fox is inherently fair and balanced, but many believe that fox goes a long way toward balancing out the media equation. But my question is, what does "slim, none, and fat" mean?

  • ||

    It was a play on words. "Slim chance" "No chance" and "Fat chance" are all ways of saying it won't happen.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Fox is Fair and Balanced compared to every other broadcast or cable outlet. It has Judith Miller, Kirsten Powers, Geraldo Rivera, Juan Williams, Moira Liasson, Bob Beckel, Ellen Ratner, the daughter of that felon NJ Congressman Melendez, and a constant stream of moronic leftovers as panelists. Most of whom, excluding Liasson, Powers, and Miller, have nothing to add except on occasion an ability to bark out talking points quickly and attempt to interrupt other people's thoughtful remarks.

  • Brett L||

    I would hope "transparent in your views" would be enough. I hope media consumers are sophisticated enough to understand that everyone has biases and blind-spots. It is the pretense and (attributed - I didn't pay enough attention to Wiegel's stint here to develop an opinion) dishonesty that has people angry.

  • Barack Obama||

    I'm still thanking you for your vote Jennifer! Keep on fighting the good fight, provided it agrees with My Administration!

  • affenkopf||

    Impartiality is a lie. Newspapers (or what remains of them) should get back to open partisanship (instead of partisanship hidden behind impartiality.)

  • ||

    No, but as Matt has already pointed out, Weigel got caught. At least he took away from all this that he should reserve his honest commentary for the cocktail party circuit, like all good Washington journos do.

    May as well fire all editors and reporters and merely reprint press releases all day.

    That may well be an improvement at the WaPo.

  • ||

    There's a difference between having an opinion on a story one is reporting on and letting that opinion unduly influence the perspective of the story. It's impossible for one's opinion to have zero influence on their writing, but the job in most cases is to report, not to opinionate.

    Of course, the story chosen may in an of itself reflect the bias of the reporter. So be it. As long as the tone of the writing comes off as factually oriented rather than editorializing.

  • MSNBC||

    "Good luck finding enough lobotomized automatons to cover the news, then."

    Works for us.

  • d||

    I'm starting to think that I don't care who they voted for. I want to know how old they are.

    It is amazing in this recession how ancient history (pre 2003) is somehow nonexistent.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Were I a publisher, I'd give every reporter $100 to donate to any political campaign he or she wished each year, then publically report on the results.
    I'd probably also be in prison for violating campaign finance laws.

  • Logan||

    Thanks for the clarification, Matt. I love reason and I've also been a Weigel fan, so it's good to see that the parting of ways wasn't some sort of Orwellian plot.

  • hmm||

    He should probably count himself lucky The Jacket didn't fire him. He might not have survived that.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    The Jacket is the only one who makes Gillespie nervous.

  • RATFUCKER||

    If it were, Ronald Bailey would no longer be our Science Correspondent and Tim Cavanaugh would not be our back-of-the-book columnist.

    If I were sitting in the Emperor's seat of this here coliseum it would be thumbs down for Bailey and thumbs up for Cavanaugh. I wouldn't care if Bailey had voted straight LP all his life and spent Sundays going door-to-door with free Jack Chick-style comic tracts of Economics in One Lesson, or if Tim put on a Che T-shirt to harvest sugar cane with Cynthia McKinney, Fidel and Hugo Chavez.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There is, to put it mildly, zero professional sanction at this magazine for being "a little less favorable to Republicans," or being "pro-gay marriage and pro-open borders."

    I was explaining to a friend that, as far as I can tell, there is little in the way of ideological douchebaggery in which a Reason staffer/contributor could engage to get shown the door. I assume that Weigel's wishes of Matt Drudge burning in effigy (sans the effigy part) could have come to light while he worked at Reason and it wouldn't have meant a thing to anyone (probably not even Drudge).

  • ||

    Yeah - didn't get the Drudge attack as Drudge himself said other than drugs and abortion he's pretty much a straight-up libertarian. And Abortion is a subjective, debatable issue where either side could arguably be libertarian or totalitarian depending on your subjective viewpoint. Even if Wiegel considers himself a left-libertarian like I do, Drudge would still be a lot better than 90% of conservatives.

  • highnumber||

    Something about me likes that this story is going the way that political stories tend to get spun nowadays:
    We start with information taken out of context and distorted. The commentariat runs with the distortions, expands on them. Those in the know publish their take, which turns out to be more complicated and nuanced than the original story. The commentariat continues to run with the original distortions, claiming that all the new information confirms what they've been saying all along.

    Part of me enjoys seeing that because it plays out like a social psychology experiment. Another part of me hates it.

  • ||

    highnumber,

    Are you going to take advantage of your new right to bear arms? No more bicycle thievery!

  • highnumber||

    I haven't read the story, but I assume it will apply to my tree lined streets as well, eh?

    Not sure how having a handgun in my house would have stopped someone from stealing the bikes out of my garage when I wasn't home, though.

  • Abdul||

    Vincent: Tell me about it. I had it in storage for three years, it was out for five days and some dickless piece of shit fucked with it.
    Lance: They should be fucking killed. No trial, no jury, straight to execution.
    Vincent: Boy, I wish I could've caught him doing it. I'd have given anything to catch that asshole doing it. It'd been worth him doing it just so I could've caught him doing it.
    Lance: What a fucker!
    Vincent: What's more chickenshit than fucking with a man's [bicycle]? I mean, don't fuck with another man's vehicle.
    Lance: You don't do it.
    Vincent: It's just against the rules.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Shoulda been nicer to "Punchy".

  • ||

    You can't just own weapons, highnumber. You have to act like a guy who owns them. Thus will the bicycle thieves eschew your home.

  • ||

    I'm not sure how the ruling affects the rest of Cook County. Is there a ban beyond the Chicago city limits?

    Of course, it has implications for all of us, but if there was nothing draconian in place outside the city, then you can still hunt down, capture, and imprison your bicycle-stealing nemeses at your leisure.

  • RATFUCKER||

    The H&R commentariat said Weigel is a worthless Dem-shilling lying sack of shit and Matt confirms it. Your point being?

  • highnumber||

    Exactly.

  • ||

    Thanks Matt - that's a good, thorough post.

  • Zimriel||

    I disagree that the problem with David Weasel is that he got himself "caught".

    Weigel's problem was that he'd not made public that he was here in Reason as a moderate-liberal troll (nor, for that matter, WHILE he was in Reason). WaPo could have then marketed Weigel as Our Troooollllll In The Rightwing Dunnnngeon. Maybe we wouldn't like it, but we'd at least respect it.

    Instead Weasel leveraged his Reason service as a badge of libertarian cred.

    It's not that he got caught; it's that he lied. When you lie you almost always... get caught. That's what mommy tried to tell you.

  • Barack Obama||

    Not my mommy.

  • Colin||

    Suffice to say, Matt won't be getting a job at the Post anytime soon.

    That is, unless they perform the same thorough research they performed on Weigel.

  • Bruce Majors||

    The Post has actually published Matt. Which would make it funny that no one called him when they hired his reporters. But the Post is large enough one part has no idea what the other part is doing.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I know some reporters who say it's important to keep their own views private in order to keep critics from labeling all of their stories as shilling for one side or the other. I don't buy it, but I do see their point.

  • T||

    "we can't have any tolerance for the perception that people are conflicted or bring a bias to their work"

    As I said this weekend, it's not the conflict or bias that's a problem for the WaPo, it's the perception. If the public still perceived that Weigel was unbiased, the Post wouldn't give a damn. I think that's more of an indictment against the Post than an explanation.

  • ||

    Dave's problem wasn't his reporting. His problem was belonging to a list that states as its objective shaping the news to benefit one side, and apparently participating in that process (see comments on Martha Coakley).

    The Right, in general, does have a tendency to believe that reporters are either with them or against them, and thus wants reporters who are "with them" to be cheerleaders. But surely the presence of such a list (and Weigel's participation on it) is exactly the sort of thing that feeds this attitude, and exactly the sort of thing that makes it impossible.

    It's hard to say whether or not the Post or the Right would have accepted fair reporting from Dave (as he generally provided) together with him being outspoken about his views. But there was clearly no way anyone could accept him belonging to a semi-secret private list designed to shape news coverage so that it favors the Left, and that news spilling out in such a way.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Matt Welch, you should be way more pissed that you were out-and-out lied about in this. I mean, savage that little weasel.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Just for clarification, how key is this "and":

    and wasn't fully on board with the magazine's upcoming, wonky focus on picking apart the new administration.

  • Esoteric||

    It's definite an artfully-phrased piece of obfuscation. What he really meant was "I was rooting for the success of the Obama administration and saw no margin in picking them apart when I would prefer to build them up."

    Not exactly the response one would expect from a self-identified libertarian. Whatever happened to distrusting the government?

  • Sidd Finch||

    Obviously gay. Who else becomes more liberal after college?

  • Esoteric||

    Very intellectual people who are/were disappointed by the caliber of their conservative company, and found the 'liberal gang' (Klein, Ackerman, et al.) more socially/culturally engaging. And thus began leaning heavily that way because of the inevitable force of social gravity upon political values.

    It's a law of social behavior, nothing more mystical or complicated than that. If Weigel had been more certain in his moorings, originally, he could have stood his ground politically even with his intellectual's disdain for hackish stupidity (for it quite obviously exists on both sides, though it was easier to see on the Right during the Bush years). But he grew up in THIS era, with THESE friends, and that's why he drifted leftward.

    Not leftward enough, though. Because Weigel is still Weigel, after all -- he *isn't* just a Zelig, he still retains his intellectual detachment in some ways, and that meant that some of his secretly ultra-doctrinaire (and ultra-petty) new lefty buddies never fully liked or trusted or accepted him.

    And THAT'S the story of what happened to Dave Weigel.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "It's a law of social behavior, nothing more mystical or complicated than that."

    I had another law in mind: cool, loose chicks turn into skanks with ass antlers.

    "and found the 'liberal gang' (Klein, Ackerman, et al.) more socially/culturally engaging."

    totally gay NTTAWWT

  • Esoteric||

    Not gay. In fact, his girlfriend (who I will not name) played a big role in helping establish his crediblity as a man of the left with his new friends. She's a former American Prospect employee, natch.

    He ran with a liberal crowd and turned left to fit in.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The one who lives 5 layovers away? Cover fail.

    (BTW, I'm joking ... mostly.)

  • RATFUCKER||

    his girlfriend (who I will not name

    Why not?
    The one in Alaska:
    http://twitter.com/alexgutierrez

    She was named in The Washington Examiner leading to a Weigel meltdown email attacking the paper and encouraging a link-boycott.

  • No Doubt||

    ^^Weigel^^

  • Bruce Majors||

    Actually I think gay libertarians are more immunized than (white male) heterosexual ones against the virus that makes you want to ape "liberals" and spurn the tea party lest you be accused of racism or thought uncool.

    I already know I am a minority and "transgressive." I don't need to hang out with so called "liberals" to feel special.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Actually I think gay libertarians are more immunized than (white male) heterosexual ones against the virus that makes you want to ape "liberals" and spurn the tea party lest you be accused of racism or thought uncool.

    I already know I am a minority and "transgressive." I don't need to hang out with so called "liberals" to feel special.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Imagine the stuff he is writing on his own listserv.

  • Russ R.||

    Better to be pissed in private and be civil in your public discourse.

    Some people have given me plenty to be pissed off about, but rather than return fire in a shit-slinging battle, I've found it better to say as little as necessary and let a candid world judge for themselves.

  • ||

    I agree.

  • Abdul||

    I think the Post was justified in filing for divorce. If Weigel was on the conservative beat, he would need to have the respect and trust of conservatives in order to get scoops, background information, etc. Similarly, If I'm covering the local baseball team, I need the trust of some players and managers to get inside stories. If they find out that I was never on their side, but actually cheer for the rival team, there goes my ability to do the job.

    Weigel had trust for some time, but blew it when his emails to Journolist showed that, in his heart, he's basically a run-of-the-mill Daily Kos commenter.

  • ||

    Some of it comes down to how much objectivity you expect from your reporters.

    If a judge or police officer got outed referring to the criminal suspects before them as ratfuckers, speculating on how bad they were, hoping they would die, etc., on a mailing list comprised in large part of people who are openly anti-suspect, then most people would find it concerning.

    If a family court judge turned out to belong to a "father's-rights" mailing list where he posted about how various pro-mother's rights leaders were ratfuckers who should burn, people would be even more worked up. (And yes, I'm sure many cops and judges do post stuff like that, but they shouldn't, and that's why it would work people up.)

    To defend Weigel, you have to argue one of two things:

    1) Journalists shouldn't have to be as objective as judges or cops. (I agree with that, but only if it's open. If Weigel had tweeted about the ratfuckers, I might ask what the Post was doing, but I wouldn't have anything against Weigel.)

    or

    2) Conservatives are so bad that Weigel's opinions are inescapable. You can't find any reasonable journalist who doesn't think that the GOP is a bunch of racist ratfuckers, so what do you expect?

  • Mo||

    Judges and cops are objective? Since when? If judges and cops are objective, then why are Supreme Court decisions really predictable on ideological, rather than principled, splits and why is Joe Arpaio still a cop?

  • ||

    Mo, do you think Judges and Cops should try to be objective, or should they just try to be biased in "good" ways without being caught by people who might object?

  • Jennifer||

    JMann, you're seriously trying to compare cops and judges -- i.e., people with the actual legal power to take away people's property or freedom -- with a political blogger?

  • ||

    The comparison is instructive, in that it highlights similarities and differences. You are a believer in defense (1), I take it. . .

  • Sidd Finch||

    [x] opens with pop quote
    [x] meaningless words about college
    [x] scapegoats
    [ ] explains anything
    [x] closes with pathetic plea to be loved

  • Esoteric||

    Brilliant.

  • johnl||

    Nice note Matt. Really Dave wrote a lot of good stuff here and then afterwards. Right Now was better coverage of conservative politics than anything else you will see at mainstream media.

    There is something creepy about his recent blending his Democratic party activism and his writing. I don't think he was always doing that. It seems like there is a deer-in-the-headlights stupor affecting Dems similar to what hit the GOP in 2007. Democrats are all acting even dumber than normal, Weigel included.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I vote for rehabilitating Weigel. Really. Sadder but wiser, and all that.

  • PR||

    I wonder if Weigel now feels dumber than before, or smarter, or both.

  • Esoteric||

    Another vote for rehab. But only if Reason gets to 'deprogram' him too.

  • RATFUCKER||

    Right Now was better coverage of conservative politics than anything else you will see at mainstream media.

    Yeah, because without Dipshit Dave how were we "GOP Shills" even know who Orly Taitz was, much less that she is our "Queen". I read Weigel here, at the Windependent, and the WaPo. He was always going off about Orly Taitz. I finally googled her and found the only place anyone took her seriously was...left wing blogs and forums.

  • johnl||

    I feel sorry for Orly. It is so obvious she is scammed by her "witnesses" who then back away from their stories. And yes it is only lefties who pay any attention to her, even in Orange County.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Maybe he just has a thing for the foreign ladies.

  • Steve Chaos||

    I agree with this; I generally liked his writings, and took the accusations of "liberal bias" with a hefty grain of salt (which, not being under the jurisdiction of King Bloomberg, I am still free to do...). I thought Weigel was a pretty good "straight" politics reporter, and his WaPo blog overall had decent reporting.

    The e-mails coming out was a bit of a shock, but even more was his lame, self-serving apology (first on his blog, where "Paultards" apparently is only an insult if you interpret the portmanteau of "[Ron] Paul" and "retard" as you know, an insult. Right.

    Then there's the Breitbart piece, which was just stomach-turning. I was rather glad to see Matt set the record straight, and what little respect I had for Weigel evaporated when one sees him trashing Reason for the sake of covering for the fact that he wasn't ready to criticize the Anointed One.

    It's a little hard realizing I'd misjudged Weigel so badly, thinking that most of the commentariat had been handing him a raw deal. I imagine it's even more difficult for the actual editors.

    The fact is, outing him may have been a dick move by the petty left-wing echo chamber he was trying to fit into. But the fact was, Weigel was hoist upon his own petard.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Maybe he just has a thing for foreign-born Presidents.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Asked about Weigel's strong views about some conservatives, Brauchli said: "We don't have the resources or ability to do Supreme Court justice-type investigations into people's backgrounds. We will have to be more careful in the future.""

    If your tenure causes your employer to revamp their vetting process, you might be a douche bag.

  • ||

    If it were, Ronald Bailey would no longer be our Science Correspondent and ....


    Shouldn't that be "Ronald 'Danger' Bailey"?

  • Tman||

    I tried to read Weigels post over at Big Journalism, but it was literally sickening to read it.His sense of importance is only overshawdowed by the degree in which he distorts the truth to fit his ridiculous storyline.

    To find out that he lied about why he was fired from Reason, and then to find out that the WAPO couldn't be bothered to check with Reason concerning his resume is just icing on the cake.

    Story line writes itself: "Unimportant blowhard Writing For Major Newspaper Gets Exposed as Unimportant Blowhard."

    Film at 11.

    Close the book on this loser. There's been too much ink spilled over him as it is.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    While there's a lot going on here, I think the most important part is that nobody at the WaPo checked Dave's references, despite their claims. If anybody links this post, I hope they'll give it the headline: "Washington Post did no 'vetting' of Scandal Boy."

    And while I still love Dave like the special needs son I never had, I encourage everybody to get SCANDAL BOY into circulation as his new nickname.

  • ||

    Now that is what I am talking about.

    Good for you Tim. So much better than the "we wish our former colleague Dave the best" posts.

  • Tman||

    SCANNNNNNDALLLLL BOYYYYYY!!!!!

    I don't want to talk about this weasel unless it involves calling him SCANNNDALL BOYYYY repeatedly.

    And yeah, I'm with John. Let's see Nick let the jacket take a swing or two at Scandal Boy. It would make for entertaining reading.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    So much better than the "we wish our former colleague Dave the best" posts.

    I do wish him the best. I don't think he's covered himself in glory since Reason, but the stuff he did when I was working with him holds up pretty well, and I was always impressed by his commitment to mastering the details of races down to the county-freeholder level in all the 50 states and Guam. Horse race stuff isn't my cup of tea, but Dave is extremely good at it. I don't understand why he hasn't found a natural home at Politico. The Post issue is fascinating not only because it shows the hypocrisy and ethical bankruptcy of the MSM, but because it highlights a particular MSM managerial habit: hiring a guy with a very clear talent, and then preventing him from exercising that talent. They should have had him reporting, not making 2008-vintage jokes about Sarah Palin.

  • Esoteric||

    Dude, why are you even still on staff? You voted for Obama.

  • ||

    Sorry, Tim, but "very clear talent"? I might agree with you... if I could remember something Weigel had written. As for the "lot going on," there was something more about Weigel that infuriated the H&R mob. Something about the guy seemed to set off every weasel detector in the room. I remember the piece about the PA journalist--local scribe--who died, maybe last year. The guy outed a bunch of corrupt hacks over the course of a workmanlike career. That's journalism. I suspect Weigel thinks his talent is too big for pedestrian fare.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    True. As a reporter he's as good as anyone in the business. But he's not a particularly great opinion journalist.

    What surprises me is how many enemies he's made. He got busted for making a few cringe-worthy remarks, but if he'd had the goodwill of his colleagues and readers, this would have blown over in an hour, if it even got any notice at all. As scandals go, this wasn't exactly the Nixon tapes. It's more the kind of embarrassing stuff that might get said at a drunken New Year's party. Hardly worthy of the thousands of comments in the blogosphere over the weekend. There seem to be plenty of people ready to hang him on the slightest provocation.

  • ||

    I always wanted to be called "Nature Boy" like Ric Flair. Despite the fact that I've never been much of a wrestling fan.

  • ||

    You never were bothered by the homoerotic undertones of being called "nature boy"? How very confident of you.

  • ||

    Is there something gay about that? I'm not sure I'm seeing it.

  • ||

    I think there is. Can't really explain why. But to me it sounds like the name of a gay porn star.

  • ||

    Wouldn't that be "Unnatural Boy", then?

  • OO=======================D||

    Yes.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "To be the man, you have to beat the man."

  • ||

    WOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • ||

    I'm not sure what's weirder... that this is the second reference to Ric Flair in the past week, or that I was responsible for the first reference. I too never really understood the appeal of wrestling.

  • ||

    Back when we had four channels of TV to choose from, we sometimes would watch wrestling. I never particularly liked it, but it did amuse me at times. Being from Tampa, I knew the kids of a couple of wrestlers. Dusty Rhodes lived in my neighborhood, as well.

  • RATFUCKER||

    "Dirtiest Player In The Game"

  • Sidd Finch||

    "The styling, profiling, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling and dealing son of a gun. WOOOO"

  • ||

    Well, if I can't be Nature Boy, maybe Pro "Superfly" Libertate is still available?

  • Sidd "Superfly" Finch||

    nope

  • ||

    You bastard!

  • ||

    They're going fast.

  • ||

    Pro the Giant?

  • ||

    The Libertaker?
    Stone Cold Pro Libertate?
    Bam Bam Liberblow?

  • Sidd Finch||

    El Guapo. Greatest fighter name ever.

  • ||

    Sounds gay to me.

  • Sudden||

    Or a nature fan, you tophatand monocle-wearing, moustache-twisting, money counting libertarian swine.

  • Shitty Friend||

    Tim, thanks for the comment. We need the straight poop.

  • Gloating||

    makes you look like the small time bitch that you are.

  • ||

    I have no idea what took Dave leftward, or whether he started there, but I have seen some people decide that opposition to Bush required them to be leftists. All a result of the false dichotomy that is constantly trumpeted at us from pretty much every direction. One of us, or one of them! Choose!

  • ||

    The Iraq war split the right in some ways like Vietnam split the left. Interestingly enough, Weigel says he was for the Iraq war in college. So I don't quite know what his bitch was if not the war.

  • ||

    It was pretty early in his tenure here that I decided that he leaned quite a bit leftwards, but he did seem to have an affinity for at least some libertarian values. Beyond those that the left in general accepts, I mean.

  • ||

    The most charitable way to view Weigel is as a very confused young man from a political perspective. My own impression of him is someone whose core beliefs trend left. He doesn't really want to be a dogmatic leftist, and thus he occasionally throws some libertarian strains into his writing, but ultimately he drifts back to the left. It's where his friends like Spencer Ackerman are, and it's where his heart truly lies, but he wants to fight a losing battle against being who he really is.

    The uncharitable perspective would view him as a completely dishonest shapeshifter who molds himself to whatever group happens to be employing him at any particular moment. He was an editor of a conservative publication in college. He then writes for Reason and starts pretending to be a libertarian. He moves to the Post, ostensibly as a man of the right (or at least the libertarian right), but to ingratiate himself to his colleagues he begins to treat everyone to the right of Ezra Klein with scorn. He's shallow, insecure and has no solid principles that can resist the urge to conform to whatever group surrounds him at any given time.

    I don't know him, obviously, but from a distance I'd guess one of these two theories is pretty close the mark.

  • shorter radar||

    Locked in the closet...

  • ||

    Dude, I'm short enough, dammit! It ain't easy being 5'6".

  • Banjos Kick Ass||

    Try being 4'11"

  • Esoteric||

    This post deserves to be highlighted.

  • objector||

    Yeah, I think you've got it.

  • Bruce Majors||

    This proves print journalism and journalism in general are a declining industry then. Because when David Brock decided his schizophrenia was a marketable commodity, he cashed in and got his fellow Leftovers to buy him a house in Georgetown as well as one in Rehoboth Beach.

    Maybe he should have claimed that Matt put a pubic hair on his coke can?

  • ||

    Oh, and I forgot to add that his obviously distorted account of his departure from Reason pushes me towards being uncharitable. The idea of Reason as some kind of lockstep partisan factory is so absurd as to be laughable.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I'm a softy and want to feel sorry for him, but he's made that pretty much impossible with this last stunt.

  • ||

    Yep. I actually think he's a pretty good reporter and his slant was pretty tame by WaPo standards. I've enjoyed some of his work, and the underhanded way one of his Journolist pals backdoored him was pretty low. So there's grounds for sympathy.....but then I remember his taunting in the comments recently (his rewarding career and mob of friends, mom reheating the dinner, etc), and add to that his painting of Welch and Reason as conducting a purge of the staff for ideological reasons, and it becomes very hard not to snicker at his plight.

    And honestly, while I'm sure this wasn't a fun experience for him, I'm sure he'll get hired again by a lefty media outlet in no time. I don't think anyone need weep for Dave surviving on food-stamp purchased Top Ramen.

  • objector||

    I'm with you here too. I actually didn't pay a great deal of attention to him when he was at Reason, but he did strike me as a schmuck. To proffer voting for Obama, and being staunchly pro-gay and pro-open borders as reasons for being fired from a magazine that has done cover stories on its pro-open borders position reeks of desperation. I mean, he can't possibly believe himself that his account is for real, can he? Yeah, when it comes down to it, Weigel is an asswipe.

  • objector||

    pro-gay marriage, of course, it what I meant.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Precisely. His lame "apology" in his blog didn't help things, but I could basically let it go as him trying to fit in with the cool kids. But trying to smear the Reason editorial staff as ousting him in some kind of Stalinesque ideological purge, when his real issue was an unwillingness to criticize Hope McChange, really just seals the deal for me.

    Seriously, there was a lot I could overlook - including his little childish outburst in the comments section here (which frankly, was baffling). But his comments about Reason were beyond the pale.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Actually the reason they keep having these big happy hours and debates and lectures you see on this site is because they are slowly implanting new control chips in all the DC area libertarians who show up, developed in the labs at Koch Industries.

  • guy in the back row||

    Hopefully, in about 20 years, when Weigel is up for a Pulitzer, someone will drags this out of his past and fuck him over for it.

    He was a tool while here, and too immature to think it could be his own biases. No, it had to be those "idiot libertarians"

  • ||

    I read your tripe thinking you might publish a real truth oneday. I voted for Obama and I still think he is trying to keep us out of the worst depression in history.

    Think Bush was so great; You should research Bush/Chaney involvement in the Watergate break in. Enlighten your readers. Read "All The President's Men" --one lead went to Kenebunkport-- the only person of any stature there was Bush senior--head of CIA. Woodward and Burnstein brought a president to his knees but they were too afraid of Bush to follow their lead. It is mentioned in their book--only once. Wake up and smell the shit at the base.

  • Ryback's Cook||

    Winner!

  • ||

    Ah, another newcomer that thinks there's only two teams in town.

    He apparently thinks if you're not fellating Obama, you must be getting sodomized three on one by Bush, Cheney and zombie Nixon.

    If you'd read this blog for any length of time you'd know that people who think Bush was great are mighty rare.

    I'd suggest that you just read for a while and find out what hitandrun is about.

    Oh, and for FSM's sake learn the rules to the Reason Drinking Game. Comments like yours could cause serious liver damage.

  • Brett L||

    Nah. This one is definitely from the padded-wall party.

    Watergate + Bush/Cheney == Crazy.

  • The Gobbler||

    I believe the correct spelling is Colon, George.

  • marlok||

    The incoherence of this post is astonishing. Did you make it out of middle school?

    Also, I should note that while Woodward and Bernstein brought a president to his knees, the current president brings Coline George to his knees.

  • Esoteric||

    There's a bottom line that people are missing here:

    Dave Weigel was ASKED to leave Reason. Asked. To leave.

    Why would they have done that? We can be sure it wasn't because he voted for Obama, or had contempt for the GOP. That made him no different from nearly half on Reason's staff, which basically split down the middle between Barr and Obama.

    It must have been because something in his interactions with Reason's staff made them uncomfortable with his ability to continue working within Reason's basic libertarian mission statement. Which of course required them to go to town on the breathtaking hypocrisy of Obama's awful civil liberties record and disastrous economic policies.

    Weigel must have said, quite openly, that he couldn't bring himself to be part of a magazine that criticized Obama. That sort of truckling deference to the New Power in Town clearly represented a casting of his lot with the Klein brigade.

  • ||

    He says it himself that he "..wasn't fully on board with the magazine's upcoming, wonky focus on picking apart the new administration. "

    Note the syntax there - "picking apart". Not examining, even critically - picking apart.

  • objector||

    "...required them to go to town on the breathtaking hypocrisy of Obama's awful civil liberties record and disastrous economic policies."

    Wait, are you saying that Reason's stance towards Obama is all in the service of defending their decision to send Weigel packing? If so, that's just silly.

  • Esoteric||

    No, I'm just saying it was fairly friggin' predictable that Reason would be in a position of critiquing The Powers That Be no matter what, and that in this case it was Obama.

    In the political world back in November 2008, the Republicans held NO power ANYWHERE and didn't look like they would even be politically RELEVANT for a long time to come. (Remember how we all thought that? I sure do! CW is powerful, pervasive, subtle stuff!) It was obvious that the "look at these stupid Republicans!" and/or "look at these crazy Obama-hatin' birfers!" beat just wasn't going to be all that relevant to Reason's real mission of taking it to TPTB as, say, examining the massive spending and civil liberties promises of the upcoming administration.

    Weigel's reporting skills would have been very helpful to Reaosn; therefore he must have explicitly refused to change his beat to more relevant matters. He just wanted to continue ragging on the GOP Fringe.

  • bubba||

    ding ding ding ding ding

    Weigel's last contributions here were obviously Democrat apologia, but so long as there were stories to write about GOP abuses of power, then he could get by.

    No GOP power, no niche for Weigel's columns at this particular publication.

  • RATFUCKER||

    Nut or troll...?

    I'm leaning towards the former.

  • RATFUCKER||

    re: Coline above

  • ||

    I thinking the former. When you can figure out a way to make a Dave Weigel thread an excuse to give a rant about how George HW Bush (or was she talking about George W Bush and Watergate being some kind of fraternity prank?) being responsible for Watergate, you are definitely bringing the crazy back.

  • Esoteric||

    By the way, can someone get Julian Sanchez on record as to why he has refused to admit he's a member of JournoList? That's another "fake libertarian" right there.

  • ||

    Do we know he is?

  • Esoteric||

    I'm seeing lots of very strong whispers to that variety. He has declined over and over again, as well, to disclaim membership.

    Looks like the odds are strongly leaning towards membership, which is something of a major betrayal of trust by Sanchez -- a professed libertarian working at Cato.

    I know I'd want *my* fucking money back if I'd donated to them.

  • ||

    It would be one thing if he freely admitted he was on the list. I don't see anything wrong with him interacting with lefties to get their perspective. But if he won't admit to being on there and won't come public with what he writes on there, then that leads me to believe he has something to hide and is a fake.

  • PR||

    I'd like to know if anyone from the Obama administration was on juiceboxlist.

  • RATFUCKER||

    Klein Klaims Keine

  • RATFUCKER||

    Anyone reading his work, particularly more recent stuff, would know Sanchez is, at best, a "fake libertarian". He doesn't even try to fake it very well.
    Of course if he is a "real libertarian" faking being a "fake libertarian" AND is on "journolist" perhaps he is the one who "outed" Weigel. In which case I owe him a drink! The mind reals at the potential conspiracies! Lol

  • Bruce Majors||

    I don't know that Sanchez isn't, given enough elasticity, a libertarian.

    But he writes civil libertarianish articles for The Nation, which is published by and for Stalinists in sheeps' clothing.

    So what additional info would you have about him by knowing he is one of the 399 on Jounrolist?

    He has lovely taste in outfits by the way (that's not code -- he really does).

  • Sidd Finch||

    He's not even trying to hide the concern troll anymore.

  • cynical||

    I dunno, he always came across as libertarian at Ars Technica while he was there, which was by no means required to fit in, and may have even been harmful in certain respects.

  • ||

    I was occasionally hard on Weigel here when I thought he was being too much of an apologist for Obama, but this is his livelihood and his punishment at this point appears to be well in excess of his crimes.

    Hopefully this will eventually pass and he'll still be able to get some level of work (though I guess paid work for newspapers is an endangered species regardless). He's not Jayson Blair and shouldn't get the same treatment.

  • RATFUCKER||

    Janet Cook
    all he needed was a 5yo "birther"

  • ¢||

    By the way, can someone get Julian Sanchez on record as to why he has refused to admit he's a member of JournoList? That's another "fake libertarian" right there.

    What could he say that wouldn't be bullshit? He's what he is.

    My only unsatisfied curiosity about this whole deal is whether Reason's (and Cato's) seemingly increasing weakness to getting used by TEAM BLUE! assholes is an emergent institutional bug or a quietly added feature. I mean, are they really so bad at fake-libertarian spotting that they always get beaten to the realization by anonymous jerks, by years? I hope not. But I hope so.

    Either way, we're not going to find out, because everyone's "pals." I guess that's the problem.

  • ||

    Reason (and Cato, but less so) find common cause with Team Red and Team Blue from time to time. You can find agonized screeds about it in the archives.

  • ||

    I would like to know why there never is a rightwing mole? Where is the guy who writes a Reason and then goes on to post loving cometary about Ann Colter and call Ezra Klein a rat fucker on NRO. The moles only seem to come from one side.

  • Esoteric||

    I have my theories about which writers on staff secretly lean one way or another. Moynihan, for example, was pretty visibly amused to death when Brown won in exactly the mirror-image way Weigel wasn't.

    Fully justifiable from a kosher libertarian point of view, bust also somewhat telling, methinks.

    In a good way, because hey, right now I'm feeling much the same way: like my father said "son, it's not that I want the Republicans to win so much as I really, really want the Democrats to lose."

  • ||

    Exactly. I've always seen myself the way the South Park guys described themselves - I don't like Republicans, but I really fucking hate Democrats.

  • nj||

    Well, I am in the I don't like democrats, but I really fucking hate republicans camp

    At least dems don't pretend to be the party of small govenment. Their base is also better on war and peace ( though not much better).

    It wouldn't surprise me if Moynihan turned out to be some right-wing mole

  • Esoteric||

    At least dems don't pretend to be the party of small govenment.

    Yeah, but I remember well Obama's team trying to put out all sorts of eyewash about how his 'intellectual temperament' and preference for rigorous debate would be so much better for the country and that it made him, why, almost *libertarianish* for a liberal statist Democrat!

    Don't pretend you didn't read/hear those arguments either. They were a vicious bunch of lying crap both then and now. Will Wilkinson & his liberaltarians can go jump off a bridge.

    Neither the GOP nor the Democratic party are all that friendly to pure libertarian ideas, properly understood (witness the rapid repositioning of Rand Paul). But even when the GOP has been lying corrupt weasels, the narrative has at least been "we abandoned small government principles." Whereas when the liberals kick us in the teeth like that they can justifiably say "WTF did you expect? We didn't promise you shit, WE'RE LIBERALS FOR GOD'S SAKE."

  • RATFUCKER||

    Will Wilkinson & his liberaltarians can go jump off a bridge.

    You're being charitable. If you force yourself to watch the "bloggingheads" thing with Wilkinson and Jonah Goldberg Will about breaks down and admits to being a Marxist. He boasts of way outscoring liberals on the "fairness" scale of some moral foundations of political ideology test.

  • nj||

    I remeber that test, a lot of folks on here also scored high on the fairness test.

    I would argue that libertarians and liberals do have indeed have common roots,but different solutions

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. Libertarians want freedoms for everyone, Liberals think only the Right-Thinking Elect should have them.

  • RATFUCKER||

    I remeber that test, a lot of folks on here also scored high on the fairness test.

    Are they still here? Or was that the Obamatarian crew? I scored very low on fairness, as low as possible on authority and shockingly high on group loyalty (higher than conservatives). My excuse is group loyalty is essential to workable anarchy.

  • Esoteric||

    I want a link to this test.

  • RATFUCKER||

    http://www.yourmorals.org/

    I think this is the one

  • ||

    Moynihan, for example, was pretty visibly amused to death when Brown won in exactly the mirror-image way Weigel wasn't.

    Libertarians who are focused on the nasty things governments do in other countries will sometimes have a tendency to downplay the downsides of what our own government does. (This includes Michael Young-- you might view US intervention a little bit differently if you lived in Lebanon and the alternative to it seemed like letting Hezbollah run rampant). At the same time, some libertarians who are intent on focusing on the negative effects of an active US foreign policy downplay the shitty things that foreign governments do to their citizens (not wanting to provide justification to interventionists).

  • marlok||

    Brown's victory was above all a strike against Obamacare, which libertarians like Moynihan opposed, and which liberals like Weigel worshipped.

  • Mike M.||

    At least part of it is that the left just overwhelmingly outnumbers the right in the media, but there is no question that these Saul Alinsky tactics of infiltration and deception are embraced far more by the left, and that the right is more comfortable in its own skin.

    My guess is that both the left and right instinctively understand that the country on the whole naturally tilts more to the right. All you have to do is compare the ratings that Fox News Channel gets compared to MSNBC, and it's pretty clear.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Because Robert Stacy McCain is just too open and honest.

  • Seer||

    I think a problem for many libertarians, is that we do like to debate and talk with liberals and conservatives. The problem is the days of William F. Buckley are gone and there is a decidedly anti-intellectual feeling advanced by the right. That doesn't leave us with much reason to interact with them.

  • Sidd Finch||

    C-

  • The Gobbler||

    Most generous.

  • Brett L||

    A gentleman's pass for that? Very, generous.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I grade on a curve.

  • ||

    Yeah because nothing says intellectual rigger like calling everyone who disagrees with you a "ratfucker". Seriously, where do you people come from?

  • ||

    You have the best typos in the universe. Intellectual rigger indeed.

  • Pink Cosmotarian||

    Rigger?

    Raaaaacist!!

  • ||

    Precisely.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I thought an intellectual rigger was someone who practiced sophistry? I agree that John has the best typos. I can enjoy that sentence with or without substituting "rigor".

  • ||

    Meanings within meanings withing meanings.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I thought it was Brit for a penetrating intellect...

  • ||

    My guess is that there's a semi-complete archive of JournoList postings out there somewhere. It will make for interesting reading when it finally comes to light.

  • Charlie Sheen||

    Why is everyone emailing me that the Washington Post screwed me over?

  • cynical||

    You really let yourself go.

  • Colin||

    +1

  • Mike DeSoto||

    According to Weigel:

    After the 2008 election, I drove up from Atlanta to D.C. and was greeted by my editor, Matt Welch, with surprising news. It would be better, he said, if I worked somewhere else. I’d voted for the Obama-Biden ticket (having joked, semi-seriously, that I was honor-bound to vote for a ticket with a fellow Delawarean on it) and wasn’t fully on board with the magazine’s upcoming, wonky focus on picking apart the new administration.

    So, (1) he voted for Obama and (2) he did not want to write anything critical of the Obama administration.

    Sounds like just the man for the WaPo to hire to cover "the right"!

    On a separate issue - how does Reason end up with so many lefties in it?

  • Mike DeSoto||

    My only unsatisfied curiosity about this whole deal is whether Reason's (and Cato's) seemingly increasing weakness to getting used by TEAM BLUE! assholes is an emergent institutional bug or a quietly added feature. I mean, are they really so bad at fake-libertarian spotting that they always get beaten to the realization by anonymous jerks, by years? I hope not. But I hope so.

    Yes. It's time for Reason to come out a little more clearly against the left.

  • ||

    It is impossible for us--the great unwashed--to know exactly why Weigel was asked to leave. Maybe he was one of those bastards who always left a half cup of coffee in the urn and never made a fresh pot. Maybe he was tapping an intern. Maybe he wrote the stuff he wanted to write rather than the stuff his editors wanted (my guess). It is impressive, though, because the Reason staff strikes me as pretty fucktard friendly.

  • ||

    The smart money's on him stealing the Jacket's lunch out of the office fridge.

  • Sidd Finch||

    that explains KMW

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Doubt it, radar. He would not have survived.

  • ||

    Weigel didn't get caught having opinions. He got caught being a disingenuous weasel.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Yeah - but he's getting a lot more recognition as a weasel than he ever got as a journalist. Who knows? He could end up getting himself his own talk show out of the deal.

  • The Gobbler||

    I'd love to see his gay ass on Survivor: South Pole Winter-over

  • Bruce Majors||

    NOT GAY!

    We have Barney, Haggard, Charlie Crist, Jerry Brown, Barbara Mikulski, Donna Brazile, and that Education Czar moron.

    Must you curse us with all your cast offs!

  • Esoteric||

    From the new POLITICO article:

    “I have never said I was a conservative covering these guys,” Wiegel told POLITICO. “What I said to a lot of people is, I like the conservative movement.”

    NO, NO DECEPTION THERE WHATSOEVER.

  • PR||

    how did Weigel feel about threaded comments?

  • RATFUCKER||

    If he's agin 'em that's points in his favor

  • ||

    Something I wonder about concerning Wiegel's departure from Reason, which hasn't been mentioned already, is the issue of Glenn Reynolds.

    Several years back-- I think around 2004-- Reynolds was criticized a lot by different Reason staffers, mainly on his support of the Iraq War. Which was totally understandable and correct for them to do. But Wiegel seemed to have a particular animosity to Reynolds, with some posts that were almost personal attacks. This is all from memory, but it was sure my impression. When he referred to him as 'the Instaputz' it caused me to raise an eyebrow, since that was a perjorative straight out of the Democratic Underground crowd. Seemed out of place at Reason.

    To his credit, during this time Reynolds seemed to react pretty graciously, at least publicly. He's always linked to Reason articles. Nowadays he seems to have a very good relationship with Reason and they frequently link to Instapundit and Instavision (and both sides benefit from the pageviews).

    I'm certainly not suggesting any deep dark conspiracy where somehow Glenn Reynolds got Wiegel fired. But I could see this as contributing to some low marks in the 'works and plays well with others' section of his report card.

  • GILMORE||

    Man, the people commenting over at Bigjournalism.com are freaking cruel... I mean, some people are here too, but we've been doing it for years :) ...I mean, people here kind of had good reason.

    But the vituperation over there is pretty stunning. I'm surprised anyone even cares that much. The reason I never cared greatly for his writing is that 1) I never liked his music references (found most of them lame), 2) found his political bean-counting boring and flavorless and 3) was sick of the nonstop RonPaulRonPaulRonPaul posts.

    That said, I think the creeps who outed him from Journolist are a bunch of scum. So the guy made a few remarks... big whoop. As many have pointed out, his blog over at the WaPo was never particularly critical or inflammatory. 'Workmanlike', one person said, I think. Given the hyperbolic tendencies of most internet comments, his quoted listserve posts are frankly pretty un-exciting and harmless, as far as I can see.

    I suppose the only thing I see as being regrettable is claiming Reason canned him for political beliefs. I think he left because the readership here just *wasnt that into him*... And there's nothing wrong with that.

    I hope he finds a new job with an organization less hypersensitive to people's ideological infidelities.

  • Bruce Majors||

    The BigJournalism posts are indeed crueler than the ones here, since they go beyond speculating about his sex life to discussing his dermatological issues. Of course, he wrote that piece and they are replying to him, and there is a big headshot of him there.

    Really might as well have passed out darts.

  • Colin||

    Weigel just got an MSNBC gig:

    http://www.mediaite.com/online.....ntributor/

    Maybe he outed himself in order to get a better paying job.

  • Mike M.||

    Wow, I called it just a couple of days ago, but I never thought it would happen this fast.

    The good news for him is he can finally stop living a lie and pretending to be something he isn't, and the good news for us is we can all get on with our lives.

  • ||

    ahaha....the punchlines write themselves. "No, really, I'm no lefty! Just because I'm guest hosting for Rachel Maddow means nothing!"

    Bravo, Dave, at least you're starting to be true to yourself. Polonius would be proud.

  • Oh no not this again||

    Weigel wouldn't have begun picking Obama apart the day after he was inaugerated, nor given us copious posts about the Tea Bagging libertarians. That was you Matt, and Tim, and the science guy. SO it really makes sense you would give him the boot. He wouldn't haven gone along with the continuing dumbing down that has gone on since Reason was denying the economic crisis.

    I've noticed a lot of names are gone, and more people like John swoop in to take their place. Problem? Maybe, but enjoy the fact that this magazine is almost indiscernible from Free Republic. Compare the posts, and enjoy as you become more and more like your allies. I'm sorry the fictional socialists in your head scare you, but I"m not sticking around as this place enables hate and racism. Enjoy

    Peace

  • SIV||

    Reason was denying the economic crisis.

    Guilty they were, it was painful. I remember joe was one of the few who got it. The staffers were clueless.

    a lot of names are gone

    Good riddance. It is one thing not to be a "pure" libertarian, another to celebrate statism and decry actual minarchists with the same knee-jerk pejoratives populat at kos,DU,TPM et al.

    I"m not sticking around as this place enables hate and racism.

    If only...we've heard this before...don't let the door hit ya...

    Everybody check out my tumblr blog Chicks In Their Underwear

  • Bruce Majors||

    Off to round up black kids and bus them to those brick boxes where you gas away their futures and their creativity no doubt.

  • GILMORE||

    ""That was you Matt, and Tim, and the science guy""

    lol

    Ron "Science Guy" Bailey.

    ""He wouldn't haven gone along with the continuing dumbing down that has gone on since Reason was denying the economic crisis."

    Denying??

    You clearly have never actually read this magazine. Hate and Racism too... Wow. Thats new. Can someone count the DRINK i this for me, please?

    Also, lets come up with a list of Racist Reason Articles. That might be fun. ... nothing really comes to mind. Maybe the pieces noting that some African economists think Western aid programs have done more bad than good? I dont know.

  • SIV||

    He's right about the economy/finance stuff.

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