Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Your American Media at Work

Those new to this topic will need some background:

First, read this account about Newsweek columnist Ezra Klein's Journolist, a private Google Group he created in February 2007 to exchange ideas and communications securely with other journalists on the left.

Next, read this story about the group by Michael Calderone, which appeared on the Politico blog in March 2009.

Bits and pieces of various exchanges from Journolist were leaked on some blogs from time to time (Micky Kaus, and most recently, the flap about the Washington Post's "conservative" journalist/blogger Dave Weigel). These tended to show a certain self-reinforcing camaraderie, a mutual egging-on and patting-on-the-back which gave the group confidence that they were in the right when it came to the attacks on conservative politicians, writers, Tea Party "racists" and other assorted liberal hobgoblins. But nothing really serious emerged before Ezra Klein shut the group down this past June, as a result of the Weigel flap.

Then Andrew Breitbart, who had earlier offered $100,000 in cash to anyone who could produce a video documenting the famous "n-word incident" on the steps of the Capitol, made a stunning announcement after no such video ever turned up:
I’ve had $100,000 burning in my pocket for the last three months and I’d really like to spend it on a worthy cause. So how about this: in the interests of journalistic transparency, and to offer the American public a unique insight in the workings of the Democrat-Media Complex, I’m offering $100,000 for the full “JournoList” archive, source fully protected. Now there’s an offer somebody can’t refuse.
The race was on. But it turns out it was the Daily Caller, a general news site, which came up with the goods. Yesterday, it published a three-page blockbuster of a story with stunning excerpts of Journolist emails exchanged at the time the story about Jeremiah Wright emerged to threaten the success of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. All the "right people" are present and reporting for duty:
The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”

Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

. . .
Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?” Schaller proposed coordinating a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos had posed to Obama.

“It would create quite a stir, I bet, and be a warning against future behavior of the sort,” Schaller wrote.

Tomasky approved. “YES. A thousand times yes,” he exclaimed.

The members began collaborating on their open letter. Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones rejected an early draft, saying, “I’d say too short. In my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the inanity of some of [Gibson's] and [Stephanopoulos’s] questions. And it doesn’t point out their factual inaccuracies … Our friends at Media Matters probably have tons of experience with this sort of thing, if we want their input.”
And it just gets worse from there, going on for two more full pages. Be sure to read the whole mind-bending story, and get the unvarnished truth about the "mainstream media" bias at last.

Andrew Breitbart, fittingly, gets the last word:
American journalism died a long time ago; today Tucker Carlson got around to running the obituary. What The Daily Caller has unearthed proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that most media organizations are either complicit by participation in the treachery that is Journolist, or are guilty of sitting back and watching Alinsky warfare being waged against all that challenged the progressive orthodoxy. The scandal predictably involves journalists posing as professors posing as experts. But dressed down they are nothing but street thugs. They deserve the deepest levels of public consternation. We must demand that they do.

The only way that the media will recover from the horrifying discoveries found in the Journolist is to investigate and investigate until every guilty reporter, professor and institution is laid bare begging America for forgiveness. Will they do it?

If the powers that be don’t comply with this demand, we can always call Jonathan Alter and Eric Alterman racists.*

(H/T: Mrs. P.)


  1. I don't find any of this surprising in the least. As a matter of fact, I have assumed this kind of backroom plotting was the way things really are. That it's exposed, of course, is a good thing for everyone. Both sides engage in this, I'm sure, but the left seems to act as if it needs to be clandestine.

  2. It's amazing what people will say when their professional inhibitions are removed. This is like Walter Cronkite, Howell Raines, Dan Rather, and Helen Thomas--we were reminded constantly that they are the paragon of journalistic integrity, but when no longer constrained by their jobs and free to express their opinions, they turn out to be left-wing cranks and lunatics. That their views could have been suppressed while on the job is risible.

  3. Dear Anglican Curmudgeon,

    You should read this recent blog article by University of San Diego Law School professor Maimon Schwarzchild titled "The One Party Media."

    Excerpts: "What we have is One-Party Media: newspapers, broadcast networks, newsmagazines which represent the views and preoccupations of the Democratic Party and the political left, and consistently denigrate or ignore the views and preoccupations of the political right or centre-right; and which very often systematically ignore any news or information which might reflect badly on the one party, or reflect well on the policies, proposals, or values of the other.

    But the mainline, and still collectively very powerful, media are overwhelmingly a One-Party media. It needs to be said plainly.

  4. The drip continues today with another installment. This one includes a producer for an NPR affiliate fantasizing about standing by idly while watching Rush Limbaugh die of a heart attack. How precious.


  5. Thanks for the link to that article, TU&D. The truth is finally coming out in a way they cannot deny.

    And here is the link to today's installment mentioned by Steven in Falls Church.

    Not to change the subject, but there is a whole lot more to this Shirley Sherrod story than the "media" has let us know. Check out the details of the class action lawsuit and the settlement which she and her husband received -- just before she went to work at the USDA -- at this link. (H/T again to Mrs. P.)

  6. The Constitution protects freedom of the press as a check on government and any institution or faction intent on depriving others of God-given rights. It is a freedom both precious and practical - one betrayed and squandered by these statist boot lickers.