Free Markets, Free People

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.

Another gem:

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.


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35 Responses to Journolist – conspiracy, colloboration and propaganda on the left

  • Calling this a vast left-wing conspiracy might be a bit a of a stretch.  Calling it a left-wing collaboration, on the other hand, fits pretty nicely.

    • The key thing I’m seeing in this is their willingness to do whatever (shout “racist”, etc.) to win. It would still be bad if they all did that on their own.

      • The difference is that getting several supposedly separate voice saying essentially the same thing gives the claim a false sense of weight.
        And this is why I say the Internet has been a boom to the old media in some respects.  By getting on page with the narratives they seem more credible.
        Take the CBS National Guard Memos about Bush.  Because CBS and essentially Rather was other there pushing the story on their own.  They brought it forward on their own and therefore on the hook for defending it.  As it really should be.  The old media got caught off guard that time.
        Today, there would be the fabrication of a counter story brought forward together at the speed of ‘electrons’.  It wouldn’t have to be accurate or informative.  It would create, in large volume, a counter narrative claiming that yes the documents are valid or could be.  Or simply confuse the issue.

  • Conspiracy is a perfectly apt word…though not in a criminal sense…to apply to this.
    This was an overt, bald-faced conspiracy against the American people.

  • Doesn’t have to be criminal to be a conspiracy.  If people don’t like that word, perhaps they shouldn’t conspire.
    I think a couple of the samples meet the criteria for conspiring.
    ““Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”   – looks like conspiring to me, and not just ‘collaborating’.  Course from the same people who can debate the meaning of the term ‘is’, what would you expect.

    • Correct, looker.  There is such a thing as a civil conspiracy, which entails a meeting of the minds and some act to do a civil wrong to someone or thing.  There is also (here in Texas) aiding, abetting, and furthering in both the civil and criminal law.
      Those are legal constructs, and we all have a concept of “conspiracy” that is just common sense.  We also sort of understand when we’ve been screwed, though we sometimes can’t find the correct anatomical terms…

        After all, that’s a non harmful term then, right?  Collaborating?  Almost as good as, cooperating or commiserating.  I wouldn’t want to make people think of closed meetings where people with a certain amount of power to affect change got together to plot would I?  Interesting the term ‘collaborating’ was used by the French for those who cooperated with….
        I can’t say it without it become proof of Godwin’s Law.

  • I’m bookmarking and memorizing  BOTH of these quotes for future use the next time any leftist opens their yaps.

    Can’t wait to see what other gems are in there.

  • Has there been any definitive list published listing who the members of this were?  Those names need to be checked to see if there any working in places where pressure can be brought to help get them fired (ala Weigel).  

     On top of that, I’m holding every single one of those members to the same standard they want the Tea Party held to, you know, where the Tea Party has to repudiate every single racist sign (even the ones lefty crashers held) or be branded as racists?  Well I want every single one of these pieces of excrement to denounce Ackerman’s racial-smear tactic otherwise it’s very obvious they all enthusiastically support it.  In fact, the members of Journolist need to repudiate anything and everything else unsavory that was written on the listserv as well.

    I look forward to seeing some scalps collected here. Yee Haw.

  • A lesson General George Patten taught us sixty years ago: if you want to effectively confront and defeat your adversary, you had better read and understand their book.

  • Ah, the cute naivite of someone who doesn’t realize that people on both sides of the partisan aisle play these games.  Partisanship can create such blinders!

    • You’re amused that supposed journalists conspired to, among other things, call people racists to suppress news coverage of the background of a candidate for President of the United States?

      You are one sloppy poppy, Scott.

    • What? No rambling screed about Bush? That’s you’re other standard deflection. Back to the oldie I see.


    • Erb, that is so six years-old!
      IOW, that’s so…YOU!

    • Actually Scott, both sides don’t do it. Not to the same extent, anyway. The left has most of the MSM tied up, and on top of that the left has always been about winning–the “higher truth” they think they serve, when they lie for political gain.

      • “Actually Scott, both sides don’t do it. Not to the same extent, anyway.”

        No, they don’t, but that’s not essential to a moral equivalence argument.

        As the Soviets and their useful idiots learned, you can get a lot of mileage by implying equivalence when it doesn’t exist. When something has no convenient measurement, post-modern leftists can just assume that the equivalence exists because they want or need it to exist.

        Now, Erbie doesn’t realize that he’s pulling out the classic leftist moral equivalence argument here. That’s because he’s not bright or astute enough to realize what’s really going on, and so is totally transparent in his moral equivalence arguments. We can all see it, but he can’t.

        As I’ve said before, I think it’s because he’s a clear case of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is the technical term for that conclusion that incompetent people are unable to assess their own incompetence. It’s particularly rampant in academia – Dunning cites a study in which 94% of college professors ranked their own work as above average relative to their peers.

        • “Now, Erbie doesn’t realize that he’s pulling out the classic leftist moral equivalence argument here.”

          I wouldn’t bet on that. The most disturbing fact about Scott is that he knows pretty much what he is doing. After all, he does it over and over again, tweeking both method and message for maximum mendacity. My standard bottom line on the psychology behind this is that Scott is a passive aggressive narcissist with mild psychopathy. It’s the mild psychopathy that allows him such, ah, flexibility with the truth and his everpresent indulgence in irritating dishonesty.

          That’s why I think you or anyone would perceive him as stupid, because his level of mendacity implies stupid. And there is so much there that is genuinely stupid, usually complemented with gross ignorance. But, all that aside, he knows what he is doing. He is consciously working the mendacity, and that’s the ugliest fact about his character.

    • No, we lament it when ‘our’ side does it, you on the other hand, condone it when your side does it because the other side does it too.  Significant difference you never quite seem to grasp.   Most of us grew past the  “But Johnny did it too phase” as an excuse for misdeeds.  Liberals by contrast, it’s the stout shield grasped firmly in your left hand.

    • Ka-Ching!!!  30 more pieces of silver grease your palms.  You should be so proud!

    • OK, Erp.  Where are you documents, showing “conservative” journos have engaged in anything LIKE this….????
      Put.  Them.  UP.

    • So, Scott – if somebody started a whisper campaign that you were in the habit of selling grades in return for sex (hypothetically speaking, of course), would that be okay?  Make sure your answer isn’t an example of “cute naivite (sic)”.

    • And of course you will show us the damning evidence of such an equivalent conservative conspiracy instead of just making assertions and accusations. You know, engaging in the reasoned and logical discussion you bclaim you want.


      • It’s in one of those quantum realities…that powers the sun or something…

    • So you’re saying that a lot of reporters for ostensibly objective media outlets are actually highly partisan. Nice of you to admit that finally.

      Even if the rest of your trollish comment is totally unsupported. Like everything else you dump on us.

  • “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

    InstaPundit & PajamasMedia asks …

    Is this quote from Spencer Ackerman evidence of actual malice? Could it be invoked in a future libel case against Ackerman or his employer to show a habit of recklessness?

  • Tucker Carlson broke the news tonight on Hannity that the far left members of Journolist targeted FOX News and wanted it shut down by the government.
    Carlson told Sean Hannity that the Daily Caller will break the story tomorrow:

    >>>> Does the right do that too Scott? 

  • “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public”
    1 a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement <accused of conspiring to overthrow the government> b :scheme2 : to act in harmony toward a common end <circumstances conspired to defeat his efforts>
    So, it is a conspiracy according to definition 2, and maybe 1, too.
    Keep in mind, if we had a similar list of emails of bankers from different companies discussing how to avoid prosecution and to play the PR, the MSM would be up in arms.

  • This sort of thing has been going on on the left for many decades but now they are caught.  I think this is exactly like the Global Warming emails. The kind of conspiracy to make shit up for political or monetary gain can no longer be hidden in the days of mass electronic media.

    I am not sure if any secrets can be kept anymore.  Now you can still suppress the truth if you own a near media monopoly, but that is becoming more and more a thing of the past also.

  • This is much ado about nothing.  I mean, so what if a few columnists (NOT journalists; huge difference) got together to muse about how to counter vicious rightwing propaganda?  I’m sure none of it got through their layers of editors and fact-checkers.  Anyway, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists” sounds like just a rhetorical flourish or a botched joke that was taken out context.  Nothing to get excited over.  And did you know that Lee Atwater had a racist policy for the GOP back in the ’80s?

    / sarc

    Seriously, is anybody surprised about this?  It’s been obvious for years that MiniTru is basically a mouthpiece for the left, a chorus of different voices all singing the same song.  Rush often plays montages of MiniTru reports in which the same words and phrases are used by reporters / anchors from several different organizations.  That sort of thing doesn’t happen so often by accident.

    Sad thing is that, aside from blogs, who will report about this?  MiniTru certainly isn’t going to do an expose on themselves.

  • I find it really interesting that Erb has been reduced or has reduced himself to a troll. He comes in, drops some bomb, and then never responds to the comments. It wasn’t that long ago when he used to at least make an attempt at a discussion with the commentators.

    • He never really engaged in a discussion, it’s just that his declarations and accusations were so long-winded it seemed like it. More of an oration than a discussion. Like a political hack at a press conference, talking much but never addressing the question.