Journolist – conspiracy, colloboration and propaganda on the left
Conspiracy may be a loaded word in this case, but it certainly has a hint of it.
If you’re not familiar with Journolist, it’s a email listserv that serves a collection of lefty journalists. Up until recently, what goes on on Journolist has stayed on Journolist.
But among allegations that journalists on "journolist" actively conspired and collaborated in an attempt to dampen criticism of Obama and to change the subject or attack those criticizing him obviously would create interest in seeing proof.
Enter the Daily Caller. The DC has apparently gotten its hands on some of the list’s archives from that time and, unsurprisingly, was able to make rumor into fact.
For instance, the list apparently had a discussion of questions asked of Obama during a debate hosted by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Specifically questions about Rev. Wright. Reaction on the list was swift and, well, you can decide for yourself:
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.
Coordination, collaboration, conspiracy – certainly not illegal, but definitely ethically questionable. But then the left has always seen politics as a war where the right has mostly seen it as a process. And, as the old saying goes, “all’s fair in love and war”, and that apparently includes ethically questionable ethics by leftist journalists.
And then there’s this – something the right has always assumed but was never able to point to factually. Well now you can:
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.”
As most have assumed, calling someone a racist is the way some on the left choose to a) change the subject, b) deflect attention or c) end the debate/criticism. It used to be a powerful charge. Now, as you can see, it has merely become a political tool. What is going on between the NAACP and the Tea Party is a perfect example.
Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.
Principle? Hey she said it – just wave it aside politically when it is your side doing the violation of it, huh Ms. Pollitt. Of course that particular incident was the death of leftist feminism because as Pollitt and her ilk were “waving aside” all of that, real people were noting the hypocrisy and waving the feminists aside as well – permanently.
As more and more comes out from the list archives, I’m sure we’ll find even more of our assumptions about leftist “journalists” confirmed. And that, of course, makes it easier and easier to dismiss what they have to say as having any real heft or importance.
Hey, they did it to themselves. Let them live with it while we wave them away as irrelevant.