Ed Driscoll

'David Weigel Comes Clean'

As a commenter at Hot Air posits in response to Weigel’s mea culpa/cri de coeur at Big Journalism:

Andrew Breitbart gave Weigel the opportunity to confess and repent.

As a result, Weigel made even a bigger fool of himself than he already had.

Almost like Breitbart knew what was going to happen and was more than happy to allow Weigel the chance to twist the knife he already stabbed into himself.

Decide for yourself here.

Meanwhile, Byron York asks, “Why does Washington Post need a reporter to cover conservatives?” Especially when, during the outgoing decade, the paper “did not see fit,” as York writes, “to assign a reporter, or reporters, to focus on the liberal beat full-time, even though what was going on among liberals dwarfed what was going on among conservatives at the same time:”

Just because you’re a liberal, and your fellow reporters and editors are liberals, doesn’t mean you fully understand the liberal world. There might be other ways of seeing it.For example, at the same moment the Times created the conservative beat, in January 2004, there was a movement gaining momentum on the left to create new “progressive” institutions that would reshape Democratic politics. In the space of a few years, the Center for American Politics, much of the liberal blogosphere, Media Matters for America, Air America radio, and a newly-revitalized and redirected MoveOn.org all appeared. At the same time, George Soros and other left-leaning billionaires poured unprecedented — really, really unprecedented — amounts of money into an effort to defeat George W. Bush in the 2004 election. It was a huge, extraordinarily rich, and carefully-directed movement. And after it failed to defeat Bush, it rebooted and recast itself in ways that would help elect a Democratic majority in Congress in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2008.

The Times and Post covered many of these developments — the Times’ Matt Bai wrote a book about some of them — but the papers’ managers did not see fit to assign a reporter, or reporters, to focus on the liberal beat full-time, even though what was going on among liberals dwarfed what was going on among conservatives at the same time. In addition, a significant amount of the coverage was not terribly critical in nature, and much of it failed to grasp the interconnected nature of many of the developments. So even with a huge story happening right in front of their eyes, the papers saw no need to devote even a single reporter specifically to the story. Meanwhile, they looked for journalists to assign to the conservative beat.

There’s little doubt that the most interesting coverage of events on the left and right generally comes from journalists on the other side. Much of the time, the right sees things happening on the left, and connects them, in a way that the left doesn’t see, and the left sees things happening on the right, and connects them, in a way that the right doesn’t see. In opinion journalism, it’s a good thing to have each side examining the other.

The Post doesn’t seem to understand that, even though it has jumped into opinion journalism with both feet. The paper hired a bunch of people from the left-wing blogosphere — Ezra Klein, Greg Sargent, Garance Franke-Ruta, and, for a short time, Weigel — who often write about the right, even though Weigel was the only one specifically assigned to it. But they haven’t hired any conservative to write about the left. It’s the worst kind of one-sidedness.

One-sidedness? Nonsense! The term the Post used for decades was “Mass With Class.” That sounds much more polite — Victorian you might say — doesn’t it?

Related: John Hawkins explains “Why I Denied David Frum’s Website A Spot In The Blogads Conservative Hive.”

Update: Jimmie Bise of the Sundries Shack on WeigelGate: “Do Conservatives Hate Journalism? No, But We Do Hate Journalists, and Rightly So.”

Update: Ed Morrissey quips, “Irony of the weekend: Who would have guessed that JournoList would be closed before Gitmo?”

Update: Conservative’s conservative Dave Weigel lands on his feet, winding up at exactly the cable TV gig you’d expect.