While Radley Balko debates legalizing gambling, I will openly wager dollars to donuts that Dave Weigel will be the only JournoList member to face professional repercussions.
Anyone who believes in the value of a free press should be outraged by today’s Daily Caller. I’m not gullible enough to believe in journalistic objectivity, but there’s a difference between being forthrightly judgmental, and conspiratorially opaque. Pay no attention to the men and women behind the curtain:
Watching [Stephanopoulos question Obama’s connection to the repulsive Jeremiah Wright] 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.”
Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
Just to up the level of “What the Fuck, America?”, over at RealClearPolitics, Richard Cohen has an incoherent post asking “Who is Barack Obama?“, claiming that Obama’s problems with the public are that we just aren’t clear what he’s about. It’s obviously written by a man who hasn’t spent one single second in this century, read either of the President’s memiors, or watched the 2008 election where charisma and “I’m-not-George-Bush” were his two campaign planks. Modern journalism: manipulative duplicity, or water-headed buffoonery.
Two additional notes; First, I find the inclusion and conversation by Columbia Journalism School professors particularly troubling. It indicates that this is an institutional problem with left-leaning journalism that reaches from the trenches to the towers. Secondly, Spencer Ackerman reminds me of Jay-Z’s great line: “you know the type / loud as a motorbike / but wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight”.