Media

Day Two of JournoListMageddon: Not Very Convincing

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If you thought that the Daily Caller's Day One haul was an inartfully cobbled together and raw material-averse series of listserv conversations–including a long, see-no-evil-enabling tangent about compiling an open letter–that obscured the headline-making point about a respected-in-some-quarters journalistic hothead trying to convince his bretheren to tar Karl Rove or Fred Barnes or any of an apparently bottomless list of Republicans with the super-toxic label of "racist" (that is, when not smashing their faces into plate-glass windows)…then you'll be even less impressed by Day Two.

The headline is pure conservative link bait–"Liberal journalists suggest government shut down Fox News"!–but what follows directly is:

A) National Public Radio producer Sarah Spitz saying she'd "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" if Rush Limbaugh had a heart attack in front of her.

B) Various people in the summer of 2009 referencing fascists and Beer Hall putschers when discussing townhall protesters (in much weaker terms than you could see all over the public discourse back then).

C) A complaint that "blogger Ed Kilgore didn't even bother to grapple with [Victor Davis] Hanson's arguments" about immigration. And then finally,

D) A closing seven-paragraph section that at last brings up the subject of the headline. And not very convincingly, either.

The Daily Caller asserts that "members of Journolist discussed whether the federal government should shut the channel down," but the only quote that rises close to that suggestion is Guardian (UK) columnist Daniel Davies saying "In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework." Time's Michael Scherer says "I agree," but it's not clear with what. UCLA law prof Jonathan Zasloff, the DC claims, "suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air," but his initial quote actually suggest the opposite–"Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?"–and his smoking-gun quote ("I'll take that risk") is untethered from any shutting-down-Fox context. From all I can tell in the last three paragraphs, Zasloff, Scherer, and The New Republic's John Judis are talking not about closing Fox News, but whether or not the White House should tactically choose which news organizations are allowed in its press briefings.

That's it.

At least this time the Daily Caller has produced some raw material (including one unlovely piece by Reason alum Dave Weigel), though there's no reason to suspect we're seeing the entirety of the relevant conversation, let alone the discussion in any kind of sensible order. And it's only there, in an e-mail from the all-influential Zasloff, do we see anything to corroborate the scare-headline. It is this:

I hate to open this can of worms, but is there any reason why the FCC couldn't simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?

None of the other discussion seems to be referencing this can of worms directly.

Right-of-center investigative journalism is going to have to tie up its loose ends a helluva lot tighter than this (and that) if it aims to persuade anyone from outside its camp. The real spade-work on the JournoList trove is not just fishing for a single chunk of Drudge-bait, but tying an off-the-record listserv conversation with a coordinated flurry of on-the-record commentary. Locker-room trash-talk can be fun to spy in on (in a train-wreck kind of way), but if there's a real opinion-journalism scandal underneath any of this it will lie in attempts, concscious or unconscious, to foist political message discipline on disparate and unsuspecting audiences. This ain't that.

UPDATE: Daniel Davies makes an appearance in the comments!

UPDATE II: Dave Weigel points to some apparent discrepancies in the way his contributions were portrayed.

NEXT: Bono and Buttman

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  1. “including one unlovely piece by Reason alum Dave Weigel”

    David Weigel

    1. Who are you voting for in November? I’ve got the luxury of a guilt-free, zero-impact vote in the District of Columbia, which I would cast for Bob Barr if he was on the ballot. Since he’s not, I’m voting for Barack Obama, the only remaining candidate whom I trust not to run the country (further) into the ground with stupid and erratic decisions,…

    1. Wow, he voted for Obama. Burn him at the stake.

      1. Well…burning at the stake, no – but a talk with Dr. Tar and Professor Feathers might be in order.

        1. burn him at the stake ? why not take Spencer Ackerman’s advice and throw him through a plate glass window … figuratively speaking of course

          1. Does anybody else get the impression–from his lame and desperate defenses of the far left Zero-worshiping media’s pathetic attempt to quash this story–that Matt Welch was is also a member of JournoList? Maybe he’s hoping if he can keep this story out of the spotlight long enough, it’ll go away before his own cover gets blown.

    2. In Weigel’s defense, his entire volume of campaign reporting for Reason was stupid and erratic but he couldn’t tell even though commenters told him so.

      1. That’s a defense?

        1. Please… don’t help me.

      2. Blago needed you on his team. Maybe you can work on his appeal.

  2. Falling apart under thoughtful investigation? Who’d a thunk it?

    1. Today’s stuff is extremely weak — no big deal at all. Yesterday’s was toxic. I’ve got no trouble recognizing that. Why do you?

      1. CN you seem like a nice guy – one who has his head on straight and doesn’t drink the kool aid from either side of the red / blue noise machine.

        I have no idea the average age of the participants in JornoList. But after reading their thoughts and posturing (at least so far) I can only conclude that these people are *not to be taken seriously*. Unfortunately, too many of these people, including the silent ones who don’t speak up to squelch this nonsense, are poised to assume power and influence in their profession.

        1. You’d have to assume from this stuff that they’re extremely young/inexperienced. (I’m hoping a sadder-but-wiser Weigel can someday rise above his current woes.) But obviously, some are not.
          As to grasping unprofessional assholes assuming power and influence in the profession of journalism? Same as it ever was.
          (The the best editors are often those who didn’t seek out — and in fact resisted — the job.)
          I don’t think L’affair JournoList can help the participants’ prospects, however. And in that regard, it’s a good thing.

        2. Iowahawk nailed it long ago. It’s like reading a listserv set up for a bunch of 7th graders.

      2. Taking glee in watching Limbaugh die is “nothing”? All Limbaugh did was advocate a strongly differing political opinion. He never raped a child.

        1. You sure about that?

          1. looks as if we have a member from Journolist here

        2. What!? He hasn’t raped a kid yet!?

          Then he can’t be on JournoList. We only allow experienced reporters on JournoList!

  3. Hey everyone, MNG came slithering back when he thinks he has someone at Reason backing him up.

    Here is the Zasloff email

  4. It’s funny to contrast the response to the JournoList posts and the response to Breitbart’s hatchet job on the USDA woman. There’s no evidence that the JournoListers actually did try to kill the Rev. Wright story. All we have are off the record comments in the heat of the moment, but that is enough for some people to say they should be fired even if none of the JournoListers followed through. Then you’ve got the NAACP video that was clearly taken out of context to paint a different scenario of events and people are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to justify why that doesn’t matter. “Oh, she deserved to be fired anyway,” or “Context doesn’t matter, we know the NAACP is racist anyway.” It’s quite funny, and really exposes the conservatives in libertarian clothing.

    1. You are correct, Chris. It’s only partisanship when they do it.

      1. Correct, Team Blue. Anything we say against Team Red, is entirely justified.

        1. I agree. Evidence of collusion to spike the Wright story is not evidence of collusion to spike the Wright story! These right wingers just don’t know how to think logically.

    2. I thought the point, since Breitbart’s stuff was supposed to be about the NAACP, not a government bureaucrat, was the approving noises from the crowd in reaction to the racist comments, since that’s what might tend to implicate NAACP members, rather than whether or not the bureaucrat went on to add more to her narrative.

      1. That was precisely Breitbart’s point, showing the crowd approval to an overtly racist act.

        A larger point was made by the White House reaction, insisting the woman be fired, without further investigation.

    3. You’re clueless.

      A true beltway elite.

      The USDA racist story accomplished exactly what it attempted to, and then some, and your so wrapped up in your own bullshit that you can’t see it.

      1. Shouldn’t you be at Free Republic?

        1. Shouldn’t you be at Daily Kos?

          1. No, I don’t play team red vs. team blue like you guys.

            1. That’s funny. Tell us another one.

              1. Oh, I didn’t realize that because I want evidence of actual wrong doing, and even though I don’t like the USDA or NAACP, I don’t think a hatchet job is OK that must mean I’m a Democrat.

                1. Could it be not what you are saying, but rather the way you say it? Being given rousing approval by The Shit Facktory is usually a tip-off that you sound like a leftist buffoon.

                  “Guilt by association, blah, blah.”

                  1. So you see nothing hypocritical in the reactions of some posters to these two different stories?

                    As far as MNG agree with me, he leans left from what I can tell from lurking here, so of course he’ll agree when I am calling out people on the right. I’d expect someone like John, who I think leans right, to agree with me if I was calling out people on the left. I don’t see any problem with that.

                    1. Nothing you can do about the knee jerk reactions around here Chris. You’re supposed to get enraged by the red meat and start frothing or you’re a leftist hack…

                    2. Face it, MNG. You’re our John of the left. The sooner you confront your demons, the sooner they can be cast out.

                    3. I’m a hack because I don’t buy into every nutty conservative-meme-of-the-day?

                      Interesting.

                    4. Foul demons — COME OUT!!!
                      (Here’s where I slap MNG on the side of the head and he throws down his crutches, weeping with joy.)

                    5. Can’t answer CN? Tucker Carlson got your tongue?

                    6. Me(shouting into MNG’s withered and useless ear): In Jeezus name I command, say-ah “BAYBEE”!
                      MNG: a-e
                      Me: Say-ah “BAYBEE”!
                      MNG ah-ee
                      Me: Say-ah “BAYBEE”!
                      MNG: AY-EE!
                      ME: Hallelujah! He is cured! Praise Jeezus. And Hayek.

                    7. Wait… I’m a hack because I buy into every nutty liberal-meme-of-the-day. And damned proud of it, too.

                    8. Face it, MNG. You’re our John of the left.

                      No. John of the left would be way more libertarian then MNG is.

                      MNG = “Blue Team John” Minus libertarianism

                    9. That’s grossly unfair to John.

            2. Too early for me to drink.

              1. Oh, that’s a good one. I can’t believe I missed that before.

              2. It’s Happy Hour somewhere. Bottoms up.

            3. Funny, we all see your blue shirt. And you’re defending the Blue goal constantly.

      2. I love how the word “elite” has become an insult. Yay populism!

        1. It’s an insult whenever the elites become arrogant self serving asswipes that rely on government for their privilege.

          1. Ah ok. Funny, I’d think being an “arrogant self serving asswipe” would be the actual problem, not one’s vaguely defined status as an “elite”.

            1. For us igrunt unwashed country folk the word “elite” encapsulates that and much more.

              1. The fact that you correctly used the word “encapsulates” indicates that you are actually an elite.

                1. But not a Belway one.

        2. Being elitist isn’t something a rational person would wear proudly, Rhayader. And that label applies to both wings of the extremist vulture.

          1. Fuck that. I’m a proud elitist.
            (Oh. You said “rational person.” Never mind.)

          2. Adjective/noun fail. Elite does not connote elitism. Besides, elitism can be a good thing sometimes, like where an group of people with elite skills are necessary (i.e., military).

            1. Thank you Zoltan, you saved me the effort. Elite and elitist are two different things.

              1. Yes, that was the point. Someone may have said elite when they meant elitist.

        3. Blame elitists for being so out of touch and ignorant.

    4. Well, considering the Wright story was effectively squashed, I’d say the evidence is the fact that JournoListers were talking about it.

      1. Correlation and causation all in one neat little electronic package.

        1. You’re right. A professional in a field emphatically says they’re going to do something. Then a bunch of their colleagues, who are also in a position to make it happen, express agreement. And then that thing happens. It’s clearly just a huge coincidence.

      2. Ain’t it funny how this story confirms everything you already knew?

        1. Funny like an episode of COPS.

    5. “It’s quite funny, and really exposes the conservatives in libertarian clothing”

      What it exposed was a whitehouse that insisted she be fired befor the Glen Beck show aired. I heard that they called her four times. The whitehouse could have defended her, but political expedience dictated she be tossed under the bus.

      Obama blows another potential teaching moment.

      1. Gotta love Skiddie. Yesterday he was duped and outraged (and outraged at those who were not outraged), today he says the WH showed its true colors by being outraged…

    6. It’s funny to contrast the response to the JournoList posts and the response to Breitbart’s hatchet job on the USDA woman.

      Someone else missing the point. The Breitbart video wasn’t so much about Sherrod as it was about the NAACP members voicing approval of the second-class treatment of a white person by a black person.

  5. “…if I become the editor of the Larouche World Bodily Fluid News…”

    ProActiv is a bodily fluid?

    1. Does that mean he’s starring in ProActiv Squirters 2?

  6. I’m not entirely sure why Matt is wasting his breath defending the Journolist guys.

    Basically this post boils down to, “Well, OK, the headlines are technically accurate, but this is really no big deal.” And then a bunch of loaded language designed to downplay the material in question in a snarky way.

    1. That you read this as a defense of the Journolist guys says much more about you than it does about me.

      1. Fluffy is not the only one left with that impression.

          1. Shorter Matt Welch – don’t attack one of my tribe!!11!

      2. In Fluffy’s defense at first read i got the same impression. After a second read you actually nailed it. good work to you and to everyone else go back and reread it and give Matt a bigger benefit of the doubt next time.

        Tucker and his crew are not doing the work they should be on this story and Matt pointed it out pretty well.

      3. I kind of got that impression too.

    2. Also, the headline is *not* technically accurate, in that it says “journalists,” and yet the only one even bringing the subject up (as far as we can tell) is an academic.

      1. Locker-room trash-talk can be fun to spy in on (in a train-wreck kind of way), but if there’s a real opinion-journalism scandal underneath any of this it will lie in attempts, concscious or unconscious, to foist political message discipline on disparate and unsuspecting audiences. This ain’t that.

        This statement is ridiculous and that’s why I assert that you are [for some unfathomable reason] deliberately downplaying this.

        I would dispute that it’s even necessary to attempt to find some pattern where a Journolist discussion directly led to a change in coverage.

        If a person is sufficiently opinionated in private, or anonymously, it makes any pretense they have to “objectivity” in their “professional capacity as a journalist” a lie.

        Your opinions are your opinions. You either possess equanimity or you don’t.

        If it turned out that I secretly was Brian Williams or Lester Holt, it would be absolutely absurd for me to say, “Hey, show me where my coverage was impacted by my extremism.” Why would it be absurd? Because if you hang around on political message boards talking about how everybody who disagrees with you is a cunt who should die in a fire, that’s who you really are, and if your professional persona doesn’t reflect that it just means that in addition to being an extremist you’re a really good liar and actor.

        1. “Objectivity” and “equanimity” are total jokes to begin with though. Do you think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t think certain people are cunts?

          1. Downs Syndrome people.

        2. First, these are overwhelmingly opinion journalists, *not* Lester Holts. Second, I am “downplaying” the headline because it’s not supported by the presented facts.

          Yes, there is some limited newsworthiness to the trash-talk itself; I would imagine that Sarah Spitz in particular has some ‘splainin to do to her bosses this morning, given that her job is to assemble the content of political programs. But if, for example, I heard that Fred Barnes or a Fox News producer semi-privately said he wouldn’t lift a finger if Michael Moore died eating a chicken sandwich in his bathtub, I just wouldn’t get that excited about it.

          1. So you admit that Sarah Spitz is biased and that bias affects how she does her job assembling political shows? If so, then doesn’t that end all discussion about whether the MSM sans Fox is biased?

            1. Damn, you got him. Might as well “admit” it Matt.

              As far as Fox is concerned, bias in another direction is not an absence of bias.

              1. I meant biased left. If we are all in agreement that the MSM is biased left and Fox is biased right, then Breitbart has done the world a hell of a service, because that fact has never been a given among leftists.

              2. It would, relative to your point of view. If everyone else leans lest, the lone element which does not will appear to lean farther to the right in relation to everyone else.

                Just putting the science back in political science. Thanks, Ernst Mach.

            2. Not sure I ever claimed that the MSM sans Fox *wasn’t* biased. NPR leans a very obvious direction; Spitz is assuredly part of that (though she has always been in practice very friendly and open toward me & my non-NPR views, booking me on almost a dozen occasions).

              1. You say that. But Liberals certainly don’t say that, or at least they haven’t in the past. There have been any number of threads where the resident Democrats claimed that liberal bias in the media is a myth. Indeed, whole books have been written about it. That to me is the importance of these emails. It is forcing people to admit that the bias exists. And that is a big step. And the bias generally only goes one way. There is no conservative version of the journolist. And whenever a straight reporter lets their hair down and says their views, they are almost always liberal. I can’t think of a single example of a self proclaimed straight reporter caught giving some outrageous political opinion where that opinion wasn’t a liberal one.

                1. Liberals who admit what they are have my respect, even if I’m conservative. That’s why I don’t call the Maddows and Matthews of the world hypocrites. It’s the Matt Lauers that are.

            3. Worse, she doesn’t work for MSNBC or Air America. She works for us. We’re paying her salary.

          2. What if it was David Broder?

            He’s an opinion journalist, right?

            There are opinion journalists and there are opinion journalists. As this magazine has repeatedly reported, one key talking point of mainstream opinion journalism has been that the country is beset by “extremists” who “defile our measured discourse” and whose “hate” of their opponents “threatens violence”. So can we put all the names on this server on the list of haters and extremists who need to be shunned now?

      2. A more accurate title would be … “Journolist Members Act Like Asshats When No One But Their Brethren Are Looking”

      3. I think you miss the point Matt. What is so damning about it is not that just one guy brought it up. It is that it was taken seriously. That suggestion should have been laughed out of the room. But instead the conversation was about whether you could really do it. It is just like the conversation about Ackerman’s suggestion that they “pick someone and call them a racist”. The only objection was that it might not work not that slandering someone was wrong. The same is going on here. One guy suggestions shutting down fox news. And the response is not “hey that violates people’s rights”. Instead it is, “well they might do it to us”. Clearly, if they thought they would get away with it, all of them are a ok with government control of the media.

        I think you make a good point about making a connection between the jounrolist rantings and coverage. At the same time though, that is a pretty high bar. The weight of the evidence is pretty clear that these people are just awful hacks as revealed by these emails. Given that fact, isn’t it incumbent on them to show that they didn’t let their loathsome opinions affect their coverage?

        Look at it this way. If we had a bunch of e-mails from journalists revealing them to be horribly biased towards Mexicans, would you really expect the story to show a clean line between that bias and their coverage of immigration? Or would expect the reporters to prove that their bias didn’t affect their coverage? It would be the latter and you know it. This is no different except that it is not going one of your sacred cows.

        1. So the burden of proof is on the accused now? Awesome.

          1. Yes. This is not a court of law. No one is going to jail. If I am caught saying a bunch of crazy stuff, the burden is on me to explain how that stuff really matters and how it didn’t affect my work.

            That has been the rule for a long time. When Jimmy the Greek was caught on tape talking about how black people were bred to be great athletes, was the burden on his detractors to prove that didn’t affect his coverage of football games or was it on him to explain why someone with such lousy views should remain on TV?

            1. The sad thing about the Greek incident was that he was right. Descendents of African slaves are still subject to the rudimentary breeding practices of their owners. A despicable part of our history, one worthy of highlighting.

              1. The shining fact is “the West” is one of the few societies on earth to end the practice.

          2. Thanks, Chris.

        2. I don’t think the facts as presented support that. It’s not clear to me people are discussing an FCC ban on Fox News as much as they are talking about who the White House allows in its press briefings. Which is tawdry enough, but just not really a big deal.

          Ackerman’s let’s-call-them-racists strategizing, on the other hand, is truly shitty on all sorts of levels.

          1. But what about the overall impression Matt? Can we ever believe anything these people have to say after this?

            1. It’s up to you! My opinion of various people on that list certainly hasn’t improved.

            2. John, I seems to me that Matt is arguing that the email release is not going to convince many people that aren’t already convinced there is a left-bias in most media outlets.

              I think he’s correct, unfortunately.

              1. I think it has by implication. The defense of these e-mails seems to be “reporters are leftwing, tell us something we don’t know”. That is a big admission on people’s part. I can’t tell you the number of times I have argued with liberals who claimed there is nothing biased about the media except the evil Foxnews. These emails have shifted that ground from beneath their feet. Now they are left arguing “of course the media is leftwing”. In the long run, that is a big deal and goes a long ways to destroying what is left of these assholes’ credibility.

              2. I think this will weigh heavily on those who have no strong opinion either way. Leftist bias is now an established fact, not a partisan opinion.

          2. Hey Matt.

            I am concerned that such a prestigious group (including a law professor) apparently had not a single person who knew that the FCC can’t touch Fox News.

            FNC is on cable. FCC has zero jurisdiction there, only over the broadcast spectrum.

            1. Zero jurisdiction for now, lke, but if this administration doesn’t wind up giving the FCC the ungodly power to regulate content on cable and the internet… the next administration WILL do it. Or at least make a more-determined push to do so. Based, of course, on some perceived threat or a gross bastardization of the Commerce Clause… or both.

            2. Jurisdiction? What a racist patriarchal concept! Next you’ll be telling me Social Security is unsconstitutional. Or that the second ammendment isn’t about protecting the national guard.

      4. Nuance lost on teh faithful Matt.

    3. Actually I thought the whole point was that the headline is intentionally misleading and not supported by the source material.

      1. Yes, that is true. Sorry about that.

        I did not realize that Welch was focusing on the fact that the person who made the statement about a direct closure was not a journalist.

        I thought he was saying, “Well, OK, people were talking about ways to punish Fox News, including closing them down, but it’s not that big a deal because nobody actually changed their coverage as a result of this stuff.”

        1. And it is pretty funny that the most over the top dolt in a conversation between (mostly) young journalists is a law professor.

  7. So if the JournoListers are upset by being taken out of context, all they have to do is release the full archive of the listserv.

    1. that asswipe that was fucking with you yesterday has died in a fiery car crash.

  8. And that will happen about the same time scallops fly outta me pants!

    1. Mr. Crabs?

      1. Maybe Plankton has gone straight…..?

        Are we back to the gay thing now!?

    2. Mountain Oysters?

  9. This isn’t about ‘good jounalism’ or even hard facts. Breibart and Carlson are in a long political propaganda campaign. Journalist is only interesting since now the right can look at any story from any of the outlets whose members were on the Jounalist and say, “uh, aren’t their writers fascist coluders on jounalist – can’t trust them.”

    Breibart is also collecting the writings and videos of speeches of every obscure administration appiontee. I’m sure their are plenty of semi-racist and pro-Mao speeches to go around. And he’ll drop them when it is tactically advantageous and most damaging.

    The Whitehouse is getting gun shy. This kind of slow drip of bad (democrat) news days will grind on the left’s base, dispirting them for November, while energizing the right’s base at the same time.

    1. He learned the tactic from you cocksuckers in the leftwing media.

      Its amazing that you people thought that the tactics of smears, out of context quotes and innuendo that have been your stock in trade for decades would never be directed at you.

      I sucks doesn’t it.

      1. I’m not actually a leftwing media cocksucker (though I played one in a highschool play).

        And yes, Breitbart did learn it from the left’s media wing. In one week, he’s gutted the race card and Carlson is, in his ham-handed way, gutting the credibility of a dozen major papers and journals.

        I just find it fascinating – like watching a bunch of ants take apart a beetle.

        1. “And yes, Breitbart did learn it from the left’s media wing. In one week, he’s gutted the race card and Carlson is, in his ham-handed way, gutting the credibility of a dozen major papers and journals.”

          Exactly right, and you’d think that an edgy, alternative publication like Reason would be more interested in that aspect of the story.

          Instead we get whiny “they’re being unfair”.

          It’s almost like Reason and crew are part of the media cabal that’s been in bed with pols and their screwing of the public.

          1. It’s all about hit counts and maintaining the friendships and connections of the cosmopolitan Beltway elite cocktail circuit.

        2. So because they use dirty tricks it’s OK to use dirty tricks, too? Is this some new form of libertarianism where ends justify the means? I thought we were supposed to be above this shit.

          1. So because they use dirty tricks it’s OK to use dirty tricks, too?

            For decades small government advocates brought a spoon to a gun fight and routinely got slaughtered.

            Its high time that the left’s dirty tricks are turned back on them.

            I thought we were supposed to be above this shit.

            And those tactics got us the most socialist administration since WWII, a discarding or civil liberties and two wars.

            What’s that saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

        3. The beetle is a snobbish dickhead and totally deserves it. Go, ants!

      2. WTF you mean “you people”?

    2. He learned the tactic from you cocksuckers in the leftwing media.

      Its amazing that you people thought that the tactics of smears, out of context quotes and innuendo that have been your stock in trade for decades would never be directed at you.

      I sucks doesn’t it.

      1. What really pisses me off though, at the end of the day, is the cabal of cocksucking double posters running our country. It sucks indeed.

        1. Its a racist attempt by Reason to discredit a commenter of color.

          1. I hear ya, man — I was a color commentator for awhile too.

      2. Helluva place to drop a ‘t’.

    3. Breibart and Carlson are in a long political propaganda campaign

      We are all propagandists.

    4. And that’s bad in WHAT possible way? Right now libertarians have to pray for a GOP tidal wave as the only answer to the Obama agenda’s continued destruction of freedom and civil liberties. The risk that it will bring about a conservative one party state is something to be addressed if it happens.

      1. The thought is that a split senate a republican house and democrat president was actually pretty nice in the 90s…at least in relation to the suck of now.

  10. “Locker-room trash talk” is exactly the sort of term I’ve been looking for to describe this stuff. Is there any reporter, for any outlet, for any “side” that doesn’t partake in this sort of conversation privately? Unless there is a clear, coordinated connection between JournoList emails and subsequent reporting, this is all just people acting like people.

    Such a big deal over nothing. There’s enough bullshit going on in the actual reporting; who cares about off-the-record emails between private citizens?

    1. Looks like the journolist talking points memo has been circulated.

      1. Yeah, they planted me here to systemically plant their pernicious and dangerous ideas. I’m not even a real person.

        1. Come on Rhyader, if you don’t think this is the most important thing ever, you are obviously not thinking for yourself.

      2. Yeah, via Cabalist:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/nat…..ist/60159/

  11. Is everything I’ve ever said or written at any time in any context fair game? I mean who among us has not posted something here that, taken out of context, or maybe a little bit of inuendo would sound bad?

    The internet means the end of privacy, replacing “Big Gubmint” with “Big Everybody”. Of course there’s no alternative, other than asking people to use restraint- but we know that is pipe dream.
    Right now political careers in the 2020’s and 2030’s are being seeded for destruction because of things those people are posting on Facebook, etc.

    1. Ok, sorry, that was a poorly done stream of conciousness post. I wish I could erase it.

    2. “Is everything I’ve ever said or written at any time in any context fair game?”

      In some ways yes. Your actions and thoughts are who you are. And if you post a bunch of stuff that reveals you to be a hack for one side or another, then that is what you are. That is all this means. No crime was committed here. But the people writing these emails can never again claim to be fair or unbiased when talking about politics.

      And that is Breitbart’s point. And he is winning it. Before these e-mails leftwing hacks like MNG and Tony were claiming that leftwing bias in the media was a myth. Now they are claiming “of course they are biased everyone knows that”. That is a big paradigm shift.

      1. I agree yet part of me says they got what they deserve while another says that the had an expectation of privacy (did they)and whoever leaked these is a rat.
        Politics is ugly, no matter where you stand.

        1. Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

          In other words, bullshit on the expectation of privacy.

        2. Privacy would be fine, if the “club” wasn’t closed. If liberal and conservatives want to vent in private, that’s fine. But that’s not what Journolist was. It was a secret meeting place of people of like minds so that they could plan and carry out a program to assist a particular political narrative amongst the people at large. That’s un-American.

          1. It was a secret meeting place of people of like minds so that they could plan and carry out a program to assist a particular political narrative amongst the people at large. That’s un-American.

            umm then why do we have a constitutional right in our bill of rights protecting that activity? Or is freedom of assembly meant for sports and such?

      2. That’s not whast I claim at all. In fact, notice WHO they were outraged at: Gibson and Stephanopolous from the “MSM.” It certainly shows that the “MSM” is not some monolithically liberal cabal as the conservatives often claim.

        Of course I DO think that many columnists and magazines are left leaning, that’s hardly been denied. I do claim that many outlets of the MSM make an honest and usually reasonably successful attempt at being fair.

        1. “I do claim that many outlets of the MSM make an honest and usually reasonably successful attempt at being fair.”

          They are all just happened to be populated with stark raving leftists. But they would never let their politics affect their coverage right?

          1. I’ve seen evidence that a high rate of journalists, like every part of the “new class”, lean left.

            But yes I think many of them adhere to a professional code that aims to be objective. Are you such a post-modernist that you find such objectivity unimagineable?

            1. Since their profession is dependent on judgment and opinion, their views and opinions are going to shape those decisions. That isn’t to say there is no objective truth. That is to say rapid partisans cannot be trusted to tell it. There is nothing post modern at all about that view.

              Stop using words you don’t understand.

            2. Are you such a post-modernist that you find such objectivity unimagineable?

              Personally I’ve never called myself a post-modernist, and pretty much anything is imaginable. How about unrealistic, non-existent, farcical, masturbatory.

              1. I’m working very hard here to defend my side of the ideological spectrum, because it’s the only true way to believe. Everyone else is a fool.

                1. Well according to John I’m even worse than you, so don’t feel to lonely.

            3. Are you saying that not really believing in objectivity, at least in the context of journalism/historicism, means I have to be “post-modernist”? (Serious non -leading question, not trying to be a dick about abything).

    3. I mean who among us has not posted something here that, taken out of context, or maybe a little bit of inuendo would sound bad?

      When Postel claimed that “international bankers” was code for Jews i went on a rampage and called everything code for Jews.

      Those can be taken out of context pretty easily. Plus I once posted my social security number.

      In either case i still feel safe cuz the context is easy to fill in and any organization who thinks my social security number is some sort of secret number is putting their own money at risk…not mine.

  12. That you read this as a defense of the Journolist guys says much more about you than it does about me.

    Jeez. That’s not even “mom’s basement” quality. Mental lethargy and reflexive emotional abusiveness like that could signal a lack of fulfillment. You OK, yo?

    1. Yeah, that was disappointing. One step up from “rubber, glue” type retorts.

  13. I agree there’s not much of a scandal here, and not very new: it’s hardly stunning that most of the news media hold left-of-center views. What is surprising (or at least depressing, if not really so surprising) is that a law professor at a fairly prestigious law school can so casually suggest prohibiting a news channel from broadcasting because he doesn’t like its ideology.

    1. “it’s hardly stunning that most of the news media hold left-of-center views.”

      No it is not. But these e-mails strip the Left’s ability to claim with a straight face the leftwing media bias is just some made up myth.

    2. Hah, come on, you expect too much. Professors are way more out-of-touch with reality than any reporter. I’m surprised he didn’t just call for a public execution of Rupert Murdoch, for mass catharsis.

    3. What is surprising (or at least depressing, if not really so surprising) is that a law professor …

      It doesn’t surprise me a bit. It certainly isn’t the first time the Left has tried to shut down a broadcaster by getting their license revoked or un-renewed. It happened to a right wing talk radio station out in Hawaii forty years ago. Station’s call letters were KTRG and the Leftist powers-that-were managed to get them knocked off the air by keeping their license from being renewed. Seems the local communist front organization didn’t like being referred to as one by some moderator who called himself Old Ironsides, aka Sailor Jerry, aka Norman Collins.

    4. Fairness Doctrine says “hey”.

  14. That a fair number of journalists are egocentric pricks is not exactly breaking news (no pun intended). One of the Reasons (pun intended) Weigel was so intensely disliked here is that he set off every shit weasel detector in the room.

    JournoList doesn’t provide a smoking gun of liberal bias. It demonstrates that supposedly smart journalists are idiots who haven’t learned that everything on the Internet ends up everywhere. Drop a mic into any white collar American workplace where people have the chance to talk shit and you’ll hear the same kind of self-absorbed, dick pulling BS that was written on the listserv. The good news: Traditional journalism is dying.

    1. “One of the Reasons (pun intended) Weigel was so intensely disliked here is that he set off every shit weasel detector in the room.”

      ^^THIS^^

      1. Which makes you wonder who the fuck at reason decided to hire him and what is wrong with his shit weasel detector.

        1. dammit, Ben, stop using my computer.

        2. Am I wrong to infer that the guy defending him the loudest is prolly the guy who hired him?

          1. Nick hired him.

            1. Everbody makes mistakes. Even God (mosquitoes, roaches, SyFy).

  15. My other question Matt is the e-mails are “not very convincing” of what? As Jose astutely points out just above me, these e-mails show that journalists are a bunch of leftist pricks, which is what the right has been saying for years and the left has been denying. They seem like pretty good proof of that.

    1. As Jose astutely points out just above me, these e-mails show that journalists are a bunch of leftist pricks, which is what the right has been saying for years and the left has been denying.

      Ugh, who the fuck cares what the “right” says and what the “left” denies? Do you really find that stuff interesting? I thought we agreed that all these people are idiots a long time ago.

      1. I care because I have spent my entire life listening to liberals lecture me on how reporters are unbiased and leftwing bias is myth. I am happy to see that bullshit proven to be bullshit. If you are not, don’t post on the damn thread.

        1. If you are not, don’t post on the damn thread.

          That doesn’t even make sense.

          People are biased. It’s an inescapable fact. If this JournoList stuff satisfies some need on your part to confirm an obvious aspect of human nature, good for you.

          1. And if you are sad to see Leftys embarrassed in public, don’t look. And what I said makes perfect sense. The whole point of your post was ‘why does anyone care about this I don’t.’ Well if you don’t care about the story, stop paying attention to it instead of concern trolling trying to limit the damage.

            1. Well if you don’t care about the story, stop paying attention to it instead of concern trolling trying to limit the damage.

              Haha. I have no interest in trying to “limit the damage” to anybody — I pay very little attention to mainstream media. And while I don’t find the Journolist itself particularly compelling or important, I find the reaction ridiculous and entertaining. Which makes commenting enjoyable.

              You do seem to have a healthy interest in my lack of interest too, so I humbly submit that my comments have been productive indeed.

              1. “And while I don’t find the Journolist itself particularly compelling or important, I find the reaction ridiculous and entertaining.”

                So entertaining that you feel the need to come in and talk about how one side and one side only has it all wrong. Your worse than MNG. At least he is honest about who he is.

                1. Yeah I’m a surreptitious motherfucker, I know. Way worse than MNG for sure. I can’t believe how many people bought my lies about who I am before you exposed me.

                  1. No. No one bought anything you said. We have always known you were a leftist kiss ass.

                    1. And here I thought I was just another anonymous commenter. Turns out that people have been monitoring and cataloging my activity in an effort to build a case against me.

                      How flattering.

          2. What it does is provide documentable proof in rebuttal to the “there’s no liberal media” meme. That’s pretty significant. We all know OJ Simpson killed his wife. What this is is a videotape of him stabbing her to death.

      2. “Ugh, who the fuck cares what the “right” says and what the “left” denies? Do you really find that stuff interesting? I thought we agreed that all these people are idiots a long time ago.”

        All idiots? Really? Your world must be a mighty small place.

        Anyway, it could be interesting because the same tactics are clearly applicable to libertarian talking points. You may not have noticed, but a fair number of those idiots on the left see libertarians as a particularly radical subculture of right-wing opinion. (This is obviously wrong on many levels, but these are people with the intellectual curiosity of dust mites, so it’s not particularly surprising.) So they’re likely to find libertarian thought just as repugnant, and treat it just as dismissively in their writing.

        1. All idiots? Really? Your world must be a mighty small place.

          Hyperbole is my friend.

          So they’re likely to find libertarian thought just as repugnant, and treat it just as dismissively in their writing.

          Fair enough. But if one of the names on Journolist said something bad about libertarians, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised or bothered. Expecting anything else would seem futile.

      3. If the spectrum(left—right) runs from statism on the ‘left’ to individualism on the ‘right’, then libertarianism falls on the ‘right’ side of that spectrum. Teams Red and Blue fall to the ‘left’ of libertarianism.

        Having proof that the news is coming from the left–rather than from a supposed ‘objective’ view is a big deal. Finding out that journolists(pun intended) collude to present a particular stance across various publications and stations even more so.

    2. Convincing of a meaningful set of suggestions to close down Fox News. It’s certainly convincing in other ways.

      1. OK, that’s fair.

        Look, part of the problem here is spillover from L’Affaire de Weigel.

        Weigel’s strategy, which was obvious to people like John but which I never really picked up on until it was all over, was to write about conservative and libertarian concerns in a way that made it appear that he was addressing them, but in language that ended up downplaying those concerns or apologizing for them as slightly ridiculous.

        So my antennae are now up for articles where current Reason staffers look like they’re doing the same thing.

        You are absolutely right that the headline used here overstates the case for what’s in the discussion. But I think focusing on that instead of pile-driving on what’s actually in the discussion lets the Journolist guys off easy and I don’t think you should do that.

      2. So tell us the truth, Matt. How is the Reason locker room after a tough game?

  16. “UCLA law prof Jonathan Zasloff” – get that, a law professor suggests shutting down a media organization because of what they say, and says it to a listserv full of media people expecting not to be smacked down on First Amendment grounds. MNG, does that not bother you at all?

    How pissed do you think MNG is that Breitbart didn’t get the archive, so he can’t distract us w/ the NAACP thing?

    1. If they had an email from Richard Posner to a bunch of right wing media types suggesting the government shut down the NAACP, I am sure MNG would be totally down with that. And Matt as well.

      This is so funny. Just flip the people and the statements around to the other side and imagine the fuming that would be going on.

      1. “Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed? would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper? the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever.”

      2. Sure John, any other conclusions you’d like to jump to?

        1. You honestly believe that the Left would give the right a pass if this were going the other way? Seriously? Stop insulting people’s intelligence.

          1. Stop obsessing over stupid “left vs right” bullshit. Essentially you’re saying that since “the left” consists of a bunch of whiny bitches insisting on ideological purity, “the right” should behave the same way.

            1. Bullshit. It means they ought to be held to the same standard they hold other people to. If they don’t like the standard, tough shit. And stop being a concern troll. That is all you are doing.

              1. Ahh my bad dude. I’ll go out and bag me some liberals to atone for my sins.

          2. Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying in the last paragraph. I agree people on the left are just as hypocritical.

      3. Actually, John, there have been people on Fox advocating the disbanding of the NAACP, just within the last week. They claim it is no longer relavent.

        1. Big difference between “they’re irrelevant, they should just close their doors, and people should give their money to somebody else” and “the government should go shut them down for us”. I’d really like to see you provide an example of the latter.

    2. Why would he need to distract us from anything? Breitbart has nothing to distract anyone from.

    1. That’s why the WAPO published Dana Priest’s big intelligence piece this week. The distraction is working. Two segments on the Washington Journal on Priest and none on JournoList.

      1. What’s sad is that, while the Washington Post has skewed somewhat liberal for as long as I can remember, it was once a truly great newspaper. So to see what has happened at that place over the last few years is really tragic. They have gone completely stark raving nuts and turned into the printed equivalent of MSNBC.

  17. John, Fluffy, et al — I’d love to debate more, but I’m catching a plane later today for a two-week vacation. Sayonara, suckaz!

    1. HAve fun with TSA.

    2. Have fun Matt. I need to come to the next Reason happy hour and continue this.

    3. Enjoy your Cosmotarian getaway. How many servants on this one?

    4. Tell us where you’re going so we can make it an impromptu Reason event, a la the Reason Cruise.

    5. Don’t forget to pack an extra monocle!

    6. Have plenty of cash on hand, good running shoes, and lots of condoms.

      Take pics too.

    7. With Matt Welch gone for the next two weeks consider your bitch asses punked! Be afraid, very afraid, you scurvy whelps!

    8. OK Matt, enjoy. For what its worth, I’m with John & Fluffy. In regards to evidence of actual journalistic coverage, or in this case lack of such, I believe about 40 or so of the journolisters signed an open full page letter in NYT designed to appeal to MSM’s hyper-sensitivity on the race issue so as to remove the Reverend Wright from all outlets but Fox. Here’s some supporting evidence of its success,
      http://pajamasmedia.com/eddris…..was-built/ , at least at CNN.

      1. LLoyd,

        You are right there are dots that can be connected with both of these stories. But Matt did point out that those dots were not connected in the Daily Caller pieces. Where is the leg work the calls to CNN, the context of what effect the JurnoList had on the out side world.

        You and me can connect those dots ourselves but only in our heads. Why aren’t those dots connected in ink in the story?

        Matt is a Journalist and much of his criticism in from that perspective. We as consumers should also be unimpressed. I mean you connected some dots here..elsewhere i wrote about how the Obama administration actually did call Fox news iligetimate and if i remember right did try to limit their access.

        If we can do it as simple commentors on a blog why the fuck isn’t the Daily Caller doing it?

  18. Just to note that I am “Guardian columnist Daniel Davies” (factchecking FAIL – I have only ever written comments for the ‘Comment is Free’ blog and haven’t written any of them for more than a year) and my quotation is completely out of context. The “strong legal framework” I was referring to was … British libel law. I tended to argue on Journolist (unpopularly) that British libel laws were unfairly maligned, and that it was better to have the media subject to a definite system of laws relating to defamation and privacy, than to the informal sanctions that constitued “journalistic ethics” in the USA. You might or might not agree with that, but I certainly wasn’t claiming that Fox ought to be banned, or that there ought to be any political censorship of any media organisation.

    1. Cool. Glad to hear your quotation in context.

    2. Oh, and I don’t have the archives, but I am pretty sure that Michael Scherer was not saying “I agree” to me. Nobody (literally) did agree with me when I used to claim that the British law on defamation (which doesn’t have a public figure exemption) worked better than the American one.

    3. Here is Davies email, which clearly was aimed at Fox, and was intended to use ‘defamation’ as the pretext for going after a political enemy that has him “genuinely scared”. Read it for yourself.

      Davies, want to post the rest of the context if you think it clears you?

    4. And certainly the high quality, fair minded, well documented journalism of the British tabloids is compelling proof for the efficacy of British libel laws.

      1. That was actually the point I was making, in context – think how awful the British tabloids would be if they *weren’t* restrained by British libel laws. The bit after the cut in that email is the bit where I said something like “The Fox era is going to show us what the British tabloids would be like in the American legal system”.

        1. Again MR. Davies, what Fox News stories were you so concerned about? What has Fox News printed that would be liable under British law? And further, is it your contention that they would be the only news organization who would face such jeopardy?

          1. I think I was particularly concerned about the time Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes suggested that there was “foul play” in the Terri Schiavo case, effectively accusing Michael Schiavo of murdering his wife. I can’t be certain that this was what we were talking about that time (as I don’t have the archives), but that was the example I typically dragged out when debating British libel laws. It might have been something more topical, though – I tended to drag out this personal hobbyhorse whenever the rest of Journolist were debating an issue where it was even tangentially relevant.

            No, obviously it isn’t my contention that “they would be the only news organisation who would face such jeopardy”, and to be honest, I’m not very interested in having an argument about anything with someone who makes that sort of assumption.

            1. If Hanity is of that opinion, he has a right to say it. Is it your position that if Hanity believes that the guy killed his wife he should be unable to make that claim? I would say he can. I don’t believe that claim. But he is and ought to be free to make it. And the husband should be free to refute it.

              Now if Hanity made the claim that he had “irrefutable evidence” that the man had killed his wife and in fact didn’t, I would agree with you that that is liable. But I to my knowledge he didn’t do that. He just said he thinks her husband did it. That is an opinion and he is entitled to express it no matter how mistaken it is.

              The fact that you consider that to be liable and think the courts ought to shut such speech down, is frankly rather disturbing.

              1. (FYI, the word is “libel”.)

                1. What’s funny is that John spelled it correctly 30 minutes earlier.

                  His fingers don’t like his brain all that much, or so I’ve heard. (No libel!)

                2. I know the term. Glad to know that pointing out typos is all you have to contribute to the conversation.

                  1. Yeah JW. Seriously man, grow up.

              2. Actually it was Colmes that used the words “foul play”, but whatever. I simply don’t agree with you that television hosts do have the right to go around accusing people of murder, but whatever the rights and wrongs of that debate, I think we are now both (me explicitly, you implicitly) agreeing that the claim that I was advocating some sort of political witchunt isn’t true.

            2. Hannity and Colmes is not a news show.

              1. Good point. Davies wasn’t talking about Obama not giving access to Hannity. He was talking about minimizing access for their news organization. He also doesn’t seem to know that the “progressive era” (1890’s to 1920’s) was an age of yellow journalism, at least in the US.

                1. No I wasn’t. I was planning on having Fox News (and anyone else who wants to accuse people of murder) subject to the normal laws of libel and slander, without a special exemption for public figures. That really ought to have been quite obvious even from the partial excerpt.

                  1. Daniel, why don’t you use the example of how Maxwell managed to use the libel laws to prevent people from finding out how egregiously he looted his newspapers’ pension funds ?

                    I suggest that the the UK libel laws have in fact very little to recommend them except that they empower the wealthy with something illegal to hide. Those without the means to contest lengthy and expensive court cases are thus made fair game for anything.

        2. And of course we could never have British libel laws in this country because we have the 1st Amendment. Journalists of all people are supposed to consider that a good thing. Apparently not so much anymore.

          1. This isn’t true actually – you did actually have libel laws almost exactly similar to the British ones until the 1970s, when the “public figure” doctrine was introduced, in response to a rash of abusive libel lawsuits launched against civil rights organisations by police departments.

            1. The public figure doctrine came about in 1964 in the Sullivan versus NY Times case. And that case stood for the proposition that our 1st Amendment right to criticize public figures protected people from libel by the ordinary standard. Indeed, public officials are immune form libel suits for statements made in their official capacity. The court just extended that privilege to the private citizen. It was an entirely 1st Amendment decision. And a proper one.

            2. I dont think that is true. As I understand it, truth is not an absolute defense in British libel cases, while it is in the US and was well before 1970.

              1. That’s not right. Truth (justification) has always been an absolute defence, and “responsible journalism” (for claims about matters of public interest that were not true, but which could have reasonably been believed true by the person who made them – not necessarily a journalist, despite the name) has been for the last ten years.

                1. Which means they werent “exactly similar” (did you really use that?) until the 70s, as the latter has been a US defense for more than 10 years.

                2. If that were the case, then Tolstoy would have won his libel case against the savage and murderous Addington instead of being silenced and forced into bankruptcy.

        3. …think how awful the British tabloids would be if they *weren’t* restrained by British libel laws.

          It would have been worse right? I swear I’ve heard that attempt at logic somewhere else.

    5. Dave,

      Exactly what has Fox News written that you consider libel? And how was your proposal anything other than using the law and the force of government to shut down an opinion you don’t like?

    6. Fortunately our Senate was smart enough to unanimously ban British libel laws from our shores yesterday.

      1. Which makes this conversation all the more awesome.

        One other bonus is that i have actually found a group of people more repugnant then progressive democrats…progressive brits.

        Hell at least progressive democrats see the value, in the case of libel laws, of a free press. Progressive brits are so lowly they don’t even think that is worth while.

        Barbarous scum.

    7. Dumb question: In what way are the British tabloids more constrained than Fox News. From my limited exposure (mostly through Drudge links), the British tabloids seem like the most sensationalized and reactionary news in the English language. Fox News seems more like the NY Post than The Sun for example.

      1. constrained, restrained, whatever

      2. constrained, restrained, whatever

      3. constrained, restrained, whatever

      4. They’re not constrained by any real concept of “journalistic standards” in the American sense (objectivity, reporting, etc) but they are constrained by the laws on libel. So yes, they are amazingly reactionary and sloppy by the standards of most US media, but on the other hand, if someone came up with an edited video that claimed that a public official was a racist, they would check it out because they would be scared of being sued – British law doesn’t have a “public figure doctrine”.

        1. I assume the issue with things like edited video is the context. So you want people to fear legal action based solely on context of statements, or a lack of context, or being taken out of context? You realize every seat in Congress would be empty after one round of debate and Cspan would be gone for airing it, edited or unedited.

          1. I assume the issue with things like edited video is the context

            Not really the “context” – since we both know which video we’re talking about here, the issue with that video is that it presented someone as saying the diametric opposite of what they actually said.

            1. And that was cleared up public within 24 hours of the video being released. Not only was it cleared up, but the White House itself is addressing the issue. Yet you seem to think that the court needs to be involved, even if the issue is solved outside the courts and any damage done was done due to a lack of due diligence.

              This pattern has played out a lot in the ever decreasing time frame of the news cycle. Each time the information is vetted in the public eye by more people than any court could bring to bear, yet you seem to think a court or statutory rule will make this situation more efficient or stop it from happening. Which I find odd, since I haven’t seen a single law stop a crime, and haven’t ever seen a government agency act within a news cycle time frame with any positive effect.

              1. I don’t agree that it has been “addressed”. The lady in question is still out of a job. Even if she is reinstated, where does she go to get her reputation back? Even if she gets her reputation back, who is going to compensate her for the horrible experience she’s been put through.

                This is a property rights issue. Someone’s reputation is their property (for a lot of people, their reputation is the single most valuable thing they have). They have the right not to have that property damaged by other people’s falsehoods. That’s the state of the existing law in the rest of the world, and in America for that dwindling class of people who can’t be involuntarily kicked through the “limited purpose public figure” loophole.

                1. Someone’s reputation is their property

                  I like how Davies thinks he owns what other people think of him. How do you exchange good’s and services with the value of other peoples opinions of you? Do you yank out the neural cells that make up the matrix of that good will among the holders your reputation and slap it on the cashiers counter?

                  And what if for no apparent reason someone decides they no longer like you…do you get a refund?

                  That’s the state of the existing law in the rest of the world,

                  Yes we have been working at liberal democracy for a lot longer then you and your little island of neanderthals…evolve a little more and then we can talk.

                2. The woman has had a government job for over 2 decades. I don’t think most people are going to feel sorry for her with 10% unemployment going on now.

                  1. No, she had a government job for just under twelve months (http://www.federationsoutherncoop.com/press/pr2009/sept2409.htm). She had worked at a non-profit for the two decades before that.

                3. You’re presuposing her reputation is solely tarnished by this. I’m going to bet she has a record a mile long and it’s all Progressive and chalked full of quotey goodness.

        2. Again, I don’t see any evidence of this in practice. The British tabloids will jump on a story of some random footballer or member of the royal family cheating on his wife or creating a drunken ruckus with what seems to be little evidence. They run stories that are flimsy enough that the mainstream news never touch them. (To be fair, US tabloids do the same, right beside the “Jesus is Coming Back in a UFO Next Wednesday” stories.)

          All that being said, even the “public figure test” wouldn’t have protected Sean Hannity, if he had slandered Michael Schiavo. Michael Schiavo wasn’t a public figure in any way except being the husband of Terry Schiavo. It’s just that a couple of opinionated idiots expressing their opinion about the guilt of someone isn’t libel. (Actually it can be, but the accuser would have to show that they either got facts wrong or misrepresented those facts. If they give the facts correctly and then a malignant opinion, that doesn’t meet the “fact test” for libel.)

          *-I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure all of that is right.

          1. Michael Schiavo wasn’t a public figure in any way except being the husband of Terry Schiavo

            unfortunately, yes he was – this is what I find so crazy about the US law. Not only that, but a different woman in a different case, who was accused (it has to be noted, not completely without reason) by a newspaper of having murdered her husband in a vaguely similar case was found to be a LPPF by a US court simply because the Terri Schiavo case was in the news. The public figure doctrine is, IMO, totally out of control.

            1. So I read up on the case that you referred to (Thomas v. Patton, et al). It’s from a Florida State District Court, and was upheld on appeal by a Florida District Appeals court. It has a distinctly different interpretation of limited purpose public figure than has been used in the past. It has no bearing outside of Florida, and probably no bearing outside of North Florida. I don’t see how that makes it out of control.

        3. As has been stated repeatedly, the point was not the speaker(Sherrod) but the audience.

          The fact that you, the President, the head of the USDA and your journolist friends in the MSM don’t understand that doesn’t change the article that the video was initially presented in.

    8. So you don’t want to stop Fox News from saying things you don’t like via regulatory shennanigans. You’d prefer it be accomplished by creative re-interpretation of the first ammendment?

      Would you like to re-interpret our second ammendment for us too? It’d be an extra nice touch if you manage to get some actual red coats for the guys who go around and round up all the evil guns.

      I’m actually impressed you came here and dropped a comment. I appreciate it. And I’m trying to not be total dick. But your argument demonstrates a comic misunderstanding of the audience here.

      1. I have no opinions on the second amendment, and am unlikely to develop any unless there is a reasonable prospect of it affecting me.

        I also don’t care about whether Fox News (or anyone else for that matter) says things I don’t like, since I am always saying things they don’t like. But I do think that they shouldn’t be allowed to libel people and get away with it. Thinking back, I have a vague memory that as well as the Michael Schiavo fiasco, I had a problem with their tendency to accuse people of anti-Semitism and/or support for terrorism, which is also a really serious accusation that shouldn’t be thrown around without evidence.

        1. Ok. My point on the second ammendment thing wasn’t to attribute any particular view to you on the matter. Is was to try to jar you into seeing you point of view …. from .. from my point of view. If you were to actually advocate having redcoats go around and confiscate our guns, I would actually laugh, in a good natured way, before I could even begin to take you seriously. Kinda like you were the “Senior British Correspondent” on the Daily Show. I mean, thats gotta be a joke right? Well, I find the notion of allowing british (and specifically british) style libel lawsuits to go on here to be only slightly less ridiculous.

          And since “we” are anti-war and anti-federal reserve we get called anti-semitic all the time. And since are against the welfare state we get called racist all the time, and yes, it does suck. But still, if the options are (a) euro-weenie libel laws or (b) american shit-flinging competitions, then I say let the fecal matter fly.

          1. Without wanting to be too serious here (I’m a really funny guy! Honestly! But, when people are distorting your comments and publishing them on news websites, you need to be very careful about what you say!), it’s not really a question of us exporting our libel laws to you, is it?

            See, I’m British, and the way that internet law works is that if a website with a material British readership libels me, I can sue them. But if an American website libels me, and manages to convince an American court that I am a “limited purpose public figure” (and the absurdity of the US law is that, despite having not written anything for public media for over a year, it’s quite likely that I would be found to be such), then it is almost impossible for me (a British citizen) to use the British courts to protect my reputation against libels published in Britain.

            In other words, the prevailing point of view on Journolist was that Americans ought to be allowed to libel anyone in the world, and to then use the protections brought into the American legal code in 1964 to protect civil rights activists from abusive lawsuits by American officials (the “limited purpose public figure” doctrine is not part of libel law anywhere else in the world). I am not a big fan of this attempt to export US libel law to the UK, even if you did save our asses in the Second World War (also; thanks for the chewing gum and nylons).

            1. I’ll take the risk of libel over the risk of limited speech any day. As has been pointed out here British tabloids seem to be just as bad with respect to libel as US tabloids and publications. It almost seems like your argument hinges on not the act of libel, but on the source.

              I don’t want my laws exported to your soil, I also don’t want your laws exported to my soil. If your government finds a US article libel why not advocate your own Great Firewall?

              1. “I don’t want my laws exported to your soil, I also don’t want your laws exported to my soil. If your government finds a US article libel why not advocate your own Great Firewall?”

                Ahhh, the joys of the NuLabour CCTV state can be ours, me boyos!

            2. Ok. At least we have reduced our disagreement down to the definition of what it means to export a libel law.

              I say it revolves around where the speech originated from, so that if the speech originates in the USA, then tough crap if you don’t like it ….. and you say …. well … see the above post. (In an effort to avoid acciddently putting any words in your mouth).

              And I was never going to bring up WWII. I prefer to keep my jingoistic nationalism fresh and current. So I was just going to suggest that if we are too rude on the internet for you, ya’ll could always invent your own internet and stop using ours.

              1. ya’ll could always invent your own internet and stop using ours

                You are making baby Sir Tim Berners-Lee cry.

            3. Just think, if we had your laws the liberal media would not have anything to say about Sarah Palin.

              1. Well yes, specifically they would not have been allowed to spread absolutely scandalous and clearly defamatory rumours about her daughter’s pregnancy, something which I would also have considered a clear gain.

        2. So, I guess you also went on journolist at length about the Duke rape case, yes? When the Duke Lacrosse team was tried and found guilty of gang-rape by the MSM? Will those emails be leaked anytime soon? Because you’re so concerned with libel…..

        3. I had a problem with their tendency to accuse people of anti-Semitism and/or support for terrorism, which is also a really serious accusation that shouldn’t be thrown around without evidence.
          reply to this

          You had people on that JurnoList thing you were on accusing people of being racists…in fact accusing people of being racists even without any evidence to support it…can we expect repudiations of them and their comments in the future?

          When do we get your stories on JurnoList and the people there who at least conspired to commit what you think should be illegal?

          1. You had people on that JurnoList thing you were on accusing people of being racists

            I never saw anything resembling this during the whole period I was on the list. Do you think it’s possible that “The Daily Caller” might have oversold its case?

        4. @Davies: “I had a problem with their tendency to accuse people of anti-Semitism and/or support for terrorism, which is also a really serious accusation that shouldn’t be thrown around without evidence.”

          How is that different from what Spencer Ackerman was doing on the JournoList, when he advocating picking a right-wing bigfoot at random and knowingly manufacturing false charges of racism for partisan political advantage? Is a charge of racism becoming less serious than a charge of anti-Semitism or supporting terrorism, in the eyes of the Left?

          Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall seeing even the mildest criticism of this point of view from you in the JournoList archives, much less a call for a change in settled libel law to allow the unfairly smeared target of his abuse to hammer him in court.

          1. I wasn’t on the list until about half way through 2009. Maybe you missed that, too.

    9. Don’t worry Daniel, someone will give you an award equally as nice as the one Dan Rather got after leaving CBS.

      Truthieness counts for something.

    10. The idea that British style stricter libel laws would not cause defacto political censorship is complete stupidity.

      So yes you did claim “that there ought to be any political censorship of any media organisation.”

      Although I can accept the fact that as an idiot you naively thought the two were not related.

      1. “The idea that British style stricter libel laws would not cause defacto political censorship is complete stupidity.”

        Especially since the motivation would be to enforce said laws on only one side of the political divide.

      2. “The idea that British style stricter libel laws would not cause defacto political censorship is complete stupidity.”

        Especially since the motivation would be to enforce said laws on only one side of the political divide.

      3. Guess what? We can test whether “British style stricter libel laws” cause “defacto political censorship”! There’s this country called “Britain” (and another one called “Australia”, and another called “Canada”) where they have British-style libel laws. They don’t have de facto political censorship!

        (actually, Canada does have some pretty absurd PC laws on incitement to racial hatred, but these aren’t anything to do with the libel laws!)

  19. “Liberal journalists suggest government shut down Fox News”!

    They’ve been doing that for at least ten years.

  20. Meh. Today’s stuff is very weak tea. Yesterday’s was toxic.

  21. Journalists and other media people have extraordinary influence on political discourse and public opinion. When you have that much power discussing on something like Journolist how events can be shaped to their shared ideological liking, there is no way it’s not going to come across as sinister. “Colluding in the shadows” is a phrase you could easily see any of those journalists on that list use in their reporting to describe a similar occurance on the other side of the political coin.

    My point? For many of them, they were using the list to work in concert for their common goal, which was not to report facts but to shape stories. That’s the context. It shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    1. “Media people.” Ugh. I meant to replace that with something less stupid before posting.

      (The rest of the comment, however, I had no intention of replacing with anything less stupid.)

      1. People of Media”?

    2. To the extent the media influence people to act in private life, who cares? Buy a damn Sham-Wow, if you have the money. The problem is when the government takes me money to give you a Sham-Wow. The less the power of the government, the less media influence really matters. This is why many journalists are leftists or authoritarian right wingers. They just don’t want to write about the world. They want to run it. Actually, so do I… but I’m smart enough to know I’d do a lousy job.

      1. The Shamwow guy beats up hookers, so I can’t trust that product.

        1. You present that as a flaw.

          1. You gettin’ this, camera guy?

            1. He can’t do that all day.

  22. I think Matt’s got this pinned down pretty well. There’s a tiny nugget of unethical behavior wrapped in a thick, chewy layer of gossip, and everyone wants to concentrate on the gossip.

    1. Their gossip proves many of the JournoList folks are flaming douchbags that I (were I an editor) wouldn’t let within 10 blocks of my newsroom, but that’s beside the point.

      1. Did you really need proof?

        1. “Proof is the bottom line for everyone.” — Paul Simon (the singer/songwriter, not the bowtie-wearing politician.)

          1. “plurality should not be posited without necessity”- Fr. William

  23. This is not a court of law. No one is going to jail. If I am caught saying a bunch of crazy stuff, the burden is on me to explain how that stuff really matters and how it didn’t affect my work.

    Basically, if you’re charged w/ a crime, the burden of proof is on the govt. However, if your fingerprints are found at the scene and you had motive, but you claim you had an alibi, it would benefit you to produce an alibi witness if you want anyone to believe you. At some point there’s enough evidence against you that you might want to start mustering some of your own.

  24. One other thing for people to consider. Has there been a greater force for big government over the last 70 years than the major media? The major media portrays any small government advocate as a nut and a kook. And it portrays any advocate of a government solution to a problem as a pure heart crusader for good. It shamelessly rewards any Republican or conservative who turns on the other side. Entire careers have been made by people claiming to be small government activist but yet spend their time tearing apart other conservatives so that the media can say “see even on of your own thinks you are a nut”.

    Give that fact, I can’t see how anyone who is a libertarian could consider the death of the MSM to be anything but a good. And these e-mails go at least some ways to achieving that end but helping to destroy its credibility. They are nothing but good news.

    1. This is absolutely true. The major media have been a crusader for big government for most of the last century. And how do you think their biased slanted coverage affects voters and elections? How much of a benefit do they end up giving to the big government side in any election? 1%? 5%? 10%?

      What was Barack Obama’s margin of victory in 2008?

      The major media work hard against liberty for everyone except themselves. They need to be exposed as the liars and party-line hacks that they are.

    2. For decades there has been an utterly predictable template that the MSM use for feature stories:

      1) Introduce some kind of problem. Dress it up all scary.

      2) Provide supposedly heart-tugging anecdotes about people beset by the problem.

      3) Show how the government white knight rides in with his government program/solution as the incompetent saps in point 2 above cheer.

      Standard MSM government advocacy.

    3. “‘The major media portrays any small government advocate as a nut and a kook.’

      More like heartless, uncaring and greedy.”

      False dilemma, they do both.

      “Give that fact, I can’t see how anyone who is a libertarian could consider the death of the MSM to be anything but a good. And these e-mails go at least some ways to achieving that end but helping to destroy its credibility. They are nothing but good news.”

      It’s good to see the statist thugs get a kick in the teeth. I wonder if our “friend” from Perfidious Albion would like to see the other wonderful innovations that New Labour has wrought brought here to the Colonies, much to the joy of the shade of Mr. E.A. Blair of Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

  25. After the White House tried to make a move to bar FOX is anyone really surprised that the media personalities in general were not for the idea of getting rid of FOX? If the idea was floating around the White House and eventually acted upon in some form, it’s probably safe to say that the rest of the left insiders or hangers-on (which comprises a large portion of media) would be talking about the same thing.

    There is thin evidence for a specific argument. But the sentiment is there in more than one conversation so anything said on the subject or remotely about the subject will be viewed as having the same sentiment, and I’m not really convinced that aside from a few minute arguments that most of those in this group weren’t at some point advocating and hoping for FOX to be treated differently from other stations.

  26. “The major media portrays any small government advocate as a nut and a kook.”

    More like heartless, uncaring and greedy.

  27. Whoa, Matt! Getting all “reasonable” on me, are you? What a nasty trick!

    1. You really need a “drink!” this early, Vanneman?

  28. So, what has replaced Journolist?

    1. Your mom.

      1. Thanks for reminding me about my sainted and recently deceased mother, you heartless bastard.

        1. You can have mine. She’s evil, but makes great fried chicken.

          1. What? And end up with a defective pancreas like you? No thanks. I like me sugar.

            She’s coming for your liver next.

  29. You are right dude, not very convincing at all are they?

    Lou
    http://www.privacy-tools.be.tc

      1. At least the spambot agrees with Matt.

    1. People actually reply to the spambot on Salon!

      1. We reply here so the bot feels loved. But lately the bot has been slipping and showing its conservoliberal statist agenda.

      2. One day it will become self aware and kill us all.

  30. I should start a libertarian version of Journolist. How about it Jamie Kelly and Jennifer? Want to help me bring down the beast? We start by taking one of them — Geithner or Bernanke, or maybe Malia or Sasha, who cares — and calling them communists.
    (But for the love of god, lay off the colloidal silver. We’re too easy to spot with blue skin!)

  31. I think Breitbart is doing a fine job of levelling the playing field by

    (a) discrediting beloved lefty/statist tropes (the race card, the objective media); and

    (b) using lefty/statist tactics against them (building up a nice storehouse of “but . . . but . . . but” quotes for future use).

    And spare me the chin-pulling about how those tactics are underhanded. All conflicts descend to the level set by the worst participant, and I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

    1. Yes, protests about underhanded tricks from the Department of Underhanded Tricks rings a bit hollow.

      Long ago I learned that, in politics, whatever duplicitous words and tactics you use against a opponent today, will be used against you by your opponent at a later time when least convenient for you.

      1. Hm, now who’s meme is “everybody does it!”

        1. It’s still you.

          I wasn’t commenting on the correctness or otherwise of using dirty tricks, just color me apathetic about protests of such.

          I’d much rather live in a world where politics was a nominal concern and we just went about our lives without much bother over who was trying to screw us worse today than the last guy.

        2. Everybody’s?

        3. MNG|7.21.10 @ 10:48AM|#

          Hm, now who’s meme is “everybody does it!”

          Congratulations MNG…now you have Brigtbart as a peer. You two make a lovely couple.

      2. Even if the Left had not been engaged in the lowest forms of lying, mud-slinging, and Alinskyite dirty tricks for a hundred years, I would advocate resisting them by any underhanded means necessary, because their ideas are so wrong and destructive.

    2. Breitbart’s genius is that he knows just how the other side is going to react, and he uses that to maneuver them into making fools of themselves. Underhanded? Maybe so, but it works mainly because he anticipates the underhanded tricks they will employ in defense when he exposes them.

      1. You and I need to have a talk Mr. Fatty Bolger.

  32. “I think Breitbart is doing a fine job of careless reporting.”

    FTFY

  33. Tempest in a tiny little toy teapot.

      1. Can you hear me now?

  34. constrained, restained, whatever

  35. Just a bunch of journalists coordinating false smears of racism to protect their candidate of choice. It just so happens that they all agree that they should protect their candidate if he takes legal action against his politicial opposition. What’s the big deal about that? It’d only be a big deal if Rpeublicans did it, but Democrats are pure of heart, so there’s no reason to worry about their methods.

    1. This latest thing just throws more gasoline on the Team Red/Team Blue catfight… and the more the merrier, I say.

      Some fistfights on the House floor, live on C-SPAN, would be a nice touch.

      Point is, the more the extremists duke it out in the public sphere, the more disenchanted the public – hopefully – will become with Rs and Ds. We should encourage more of this childish behavior between the far-left and the far-right, as it will hasten the eventual demise of the two-party duopoly.

  36. this is my handle, this is my spout.

    1. Tip me over and poor me out!

      How delightful!

  37. Come on man, who doesn’t engage in the occasional wacky good-natured locker room banter about using government to crush and silence your political opponents, while laughing maniacally as they die slow painful deaths?
    Besides, Dave Weigel is fun at parties!

    1. Besides, Dave Weigel is fun at parties!
      So is my buddy Dan, who gets naked after about his 12th beer. And he generally only says stupid shit when he’s drunk.

  38. Weigel admits to using gmail for his JournoList, so we know he has the entirety archived, at least since he joined.

    1. The same thing crossed my mind.

          1. Chances of a Google employee leaking anything embarrassing to a liberal: zero.

            1. If it were Robert Bennet’s records, it would be a whole different story.

  39. Right-of-center investigative journalism is going to have to tie up its loose ends a helluva lot tighter than this (and that) if it aims to persuade anyone from outside its camp.

    I wasn’t aware that the media was at all interested in convincing anyone but those on their own side in the correctness of their view. Do you really think that Olbermann is at all interested in convincing conservatives he is right? Do you think Rush cares at all what liberals think about what he says? The media has turned from a group of watchdogs in to cheerleaders.

  40. Jesus, now Reason is inserting corrections by the Weigster?

    Why is Reason still defending this weasel?

    1. Because the frothing lemurs do not need defending.

    2. Page hits and ego, as if there were a difference in this case.

      I always liked Weigel’s reporting — he has a great writing style — but the “hug” incident has forced me to reconsider. Welch et al. are doing the same kind of minimizing here, and it’s equally pathetic. What’s worse is that it can only be for one of a couple reasons — either they actually think that way or they are more interested in page hits than they are in accuracy.

      1. We had an excellent substitute for the Weigel style. But they either quit or got in trouble for sock puppeting.

        1. MNG looks like he is still here.

      2. You have company. The few people I know who even knew of Weigle’s existence took as long as you did to see the light.

  41. I don’t care so much about what opinion journalists think about, well, anything. Opinion writers are not, by definition, journalists.

    My biggest concern is the increasing lack of skepticism shown by actual reporters towards the subjects they interview and report on.

    Too often a “news article” consists of a few paragraphs pointing out that this or that advocacy group issued a statement or study, or that a politician of some sort said something. This, by itself, barely qualifies as news.

    The first instinct of a reporter should be that ANY such statement or study is, at best, self-serving and just as likely an outright lie. They should then dig around for more information and present the reader/viewer with as many facts and differing viewpoints as possible.

    I don’t want journalists seeking to “make a difference” or advocating for any given position. I want them digging up the dirt. Bloggers shouldn’t be scooping professional reporters, and yet they do so frequently.

  42. Thanks Mr. Welch for reminding me why I don’t subscribe to Reason mag.

  43. I find the fact this blog is called “Reason” as oxymoronic as liberals calling themselves “Progressives”.

    There is nothing reasonable or progressive about the left’s socialist/marxist agenda. It’s been tried to death and every time resulted in only suffering.

    1. Thank you, the bar is now open.

  44. So Matt, the fact that the media is completely in the tank for the Democrat party is of little concern to you? The fact they are willing to distort their reporting so they can get their preferred candidates into office is a trivial matter? I can’t think of anything more un-American than that. You have made a fool of yourself for downplaying it.

  45. I’m just trying to imagine Matt Welch’s indifferent yawn if Ailes, Hume, and Limbaugh exchanged memos discussing how Reason and the NYT could be shut down on national security grounds.

    …I’m not having a lot of success with that.

    1. Reason never seems to get the national security damaging scoops that the NYT, LAT and WashPost get. Reason’s people are on FOX all the time. No chance they would be included in that memo.

  46. I’m sure this has been pointed out already but I couldn’t make it through all the comments. Today, Breibart showed that two of the commentators are actually White House correspondents. So the people cheering for Obama to save America are also the people who are supposed to be asking (cough) tough questions? You don’t see a problem there?

    I think Breibart may have screwed up a bit yesterday but he obviously has more journolist to show and tell – this time, Mr. Welch got snowed, I think.

  47. Yeah, seeing in print what we knew all along and can see every day and there’s no story? Your industry proved in 2008 there is no level they won’t stoop to.

    Until the various media outlets identify, publicize and limit their players on JournoList then there’s no point in believing what they write. If they’re going to harbor those kids then they must support what they say and how they operate. It’s working so well now isn’t it Matt?

  48. Only an idealogue like you would see the obvious liberal media agenda in black and white and not be convinced.

    Like the rest of MSM, you are useless tripe.

  49. I guess because Reason was duped by one of their own (Weigel) Welch feels the need to circle the wagons. I wonder what Welch thinks of Fox News, being that they are giving Nick Gillespie and other Libertarians air time that no other media outlet would.

    If there is no media bias, why did Stossel feel oppressed at ABC? Why aren’t Libertarians featured on other news outlets? Welch would rather huddle with the libs but in fact they crap all over him and his small government notions. He is doing their bidding every day by criticizing the very people who are actually taking Libertarian ideas seriously. Do you think Andrew Napolitano would ever be given the opportunity to host a show on CNN, ABC, CBS or NBC?

    1. One theory is a matter of perception. Matt Welch knew all of this and knew the leftist bent and simply acclimated to it and does not see it as news.

      From his perspective it is like “what is the big deal, this is how the biz i have been in for most of my professional life works.” he simply does not understand how it looks to us from the out side.

      Anyway it is a theory.

    2. The only problem with Weigel circling the wagon, there is only one in that wagon train.

  50. “So Matt, the fact that the media is completely in the tank for the Democrat party is of little concern to you?”

    I guess he needs further beatings to figure things out.

    He must not have understood when two of the Big Three anchormen had no clue about quite large stories that got zero play in the MSM, and a third who tried to destroy GWBush with phony bullshit.

    No, that stuff apparently did not happen, and if it did, it proved nothing! Of course!

    And this crap is more proof of nothing!

  51. Hey Matt,

    You need to understand that most people already knew what was in the Journolist archives. Not because they were hackers, but because they already know what kind of left/libs hacks work for the MSM.

    The Journolist story merely confirms that the MSM is chock full of left wing nuts who are willing to do ANYTHING and SAY ANYTHING to promote their agenda.

    So when left/libs complain that there were no revelations in the Journolist story they were correct.

    We already knew how skewed the MSM is!

    My only question for the hacks in the MSM is WHO do you guys think you’re fooling?

  52. From all I can tell in the last three paragraphs, Zasloff, Scherer, and The New Republic’s John Judis are talking not about closing Fox News, but whether or not the White House should tactically choose which news organizations are allowed in its press briefings.

    That’s it.

    Umm the thing about that is the Obama administration did make the claim that Fox news was not a legitimate news organization and if i remember right did try to restrict their access.

    How is this not a big deal?

  53. Much ado about nothing? During the presidential election, the Democrats successfully avoided Fox News, and any tough questions, because of people like you allowing that to happen.

    The debate where ABC was criticized, was the last debate where Barack Obama was asked any tough questions.

    THere is much more than collusion going on, journalism is AWOL these days.

  54. It’ snot a big deal, because it’s time to help the slugs cover their slime trails.

    There’s nothing to see here, move along. It’s no big deal, yan, these aren’t the droids or leftists you’re looking for, Palin, Bush, Levi, Palin, Palin…back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  55. The real spade-work on the JournoList trove is not just fishing for a single chunk of Drudge-bait, but tying an off-the-record listserv conversation with a coordinated flurry of on-the-record commentary.

    I actually missed this in the first read.

    Matt is totally right on this. We have all seen this happen. When suddenly all the leftist commentators suddenly are all saying the same thing using the exact same verbiage as if reading from the same memo.

    Tucker needs to find that suckers origin in Jurnolist and then he really has the lefties in a bind.

    Anyway the lesson here is give Matt the benefit of the doubt…and read everything he writes. I like a lot of others here simply read the part about this not being a big deal then saw red afterward.

  56. Matt,

    So you basically undercut the punchline of the most recent DC story, i.e. “I’ll take that risk” by suggesting that this comment may be unconnected to the conversation.

    Two points: 1) Couldn’t you make that sort of claim to ignore a quote in any news story that summarizes facts. You haven’t really made an argument for disbelieving their characterization of the material you just sort of imply that we should. Why?
    2) What could that line possibly be referring to other than what the Caller claims? If you’re casting doubt on their credibility you should at least have some plausible alternative theory. Even Johnny Cochran had that.

  57. Sorry, but these journolist thugs really bother me. Knowing that Alec McGillis, the NEWS reporter from the WaPo, is part of this cabal and was allowed – and remains allowed – to skew news coverage everyday to paint dems in a positive light is disgusting. I suppose this explains the way the WaPo covered the VA governor’s race.

  58. In reference to the USDA woman, if you go to 33:42 in the video, you will see she describes a video where she used her power to stop a black farmers grandsons from selling the land, only allowing them to have 62 acres of 515, in which they were going to sell to a white guy and she really does have a contemptuous view of the white guy buying the land and she acts like hes spoiled because he wants the land with the creek.

  59. Disappointing. You seem not to get the point of how mixing straight journalism with opinion is such a problem.

    Disappointing, but not surprising. There aren’t many real journalists left.

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