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Ed Driscoll

JournoList: Controversy Proves Collusion

August 2nd, 2010 - 4:01 am

In the Knoxville Sentinel, Glenn Reynolds notes, “Controversy proves collusion among liberal journalists:”

Conservatives have long claimed that the media is biased against them and tries hard to shape stories in ways that help Democrats and hurt Republicans. This has sometimes been dismissed as paranoia – as in my former MSNBC co-blogger Eric Alterman’s book, “What Liberal Media?” – but it turns out to be truer than they imagined.

If this were a Hollywood movie, there would have been clandestine meetings in basements or bars or parking garages. But since it was real life, it was just an e-mail list, called “JournoList,” set up by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. It had over 400 members, including reporters at top publications like the Post, the New York Times, Newsweek, Politico, PBS, Time, etc.

Like most email lists, much of the content was profane or sophomoric – like Alterman’s reference to Bush supporters as “f***ing Nascar retards,” public radio producer Sarah Spitz’s expressed desire to stand by laughing as Rush Limbaugh expired from a heart attack, or blogger Spencer Ackerman’s fantasies about shoving conservative pundits through plate-glass windows. Such explosions might raise doubts about these figures’ objectivity or ability to cover news honestly, but overall they are more embarrassing than incriminating.

But there was worse. Some JournoList members talked about getting the FCC to shut down Fox News, or about denying web traffic to rivals deemed too conservative. And, most troubling, there were concerted efforts to choose a storyline and spread it across the outlets for which they all worked, so as to manipulate the public’s perceptions. When John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, JournoList participants coordinated their attacks.

Well, two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. Four hundred journalists can’t, and the e-mail list’s archives have been leaked, and published extensively in Tucker Carlson’s publication, The Daily Caller.

My interview with Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller from the middle of Saturday’s PJM Political is now available as a separate podcast. To get the scoop on the JournoList from the man who has been spearheading the Daily Caller’s stories, click here.

By the way, a nice bit of karmic justice for Fox News — after the network was absolutely demonized by both the president last year, and his self-described “non-official campaign staff” on the JournoList, Major Garrett, their White House correspondent, has just been awarded a front row seat in the White House briefing room, after a unanimous vote on Sunday by the White House Correspondents Association. As the commenters at Hot Air are speculating, did the revelations about the rampant Fox Derangement Syndrome amongst the JournoLista help seal the deal amongst their fellow White House correspondents?

Related: Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post and CNN mentions “off-the-record e-mails from the liberal group JournoList” in his latest column, as if it’s some sort of private Huffington Post or Daily Kos-style leftwing group blog, ignoring the post, so to speak, in his newspaper’s eye — and possibly his TV network as well.

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