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KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEF: Despicable Media Just Had Its Busiest Day of Carrying Water for Biden Yet. “The Enemy of the People had their hands full covering for Grandpa Gropes on Wednesday once the New York Post story about the Cocaine Kid broke. The speed with which they coordinated their efforts and messaging was proof positive that Journolist still exists, albeit in an altered form.”

THE AP STYLE GUIDE MORPHED INTO THE NEWSPEAK DICTIONARY SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED: ‘Americans aren’t idiots!’ The AP’s use of ‘Democrats’ language’ to explain ‘packing the court’ doesn’t go well.

Sounds like the Journolist is hopping this weekend:



The Journolist never died; it just moved to Slack.

THE JOURNOLIST IS HOPPING: “Liberals suddenly want the riots to stop because they realize it’s hurting their election chances. Conservatives have always wanted the riots to stop even though we know it’s helping our election chances. The former cares about votes, the latter about lives.”

Related: The polling numbers showing violence helping Trump’s numbers.

“WE ARE WITNESSING AN INDUSTRY-WIDE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN:” New York Times compares America’s enduring caste system to India, Nazi Germany.

Related: ‘Y’all have lost your minds’: New York Times gets tossed in the shredder after reminding everybody why Mt. Rushmore is problematic.

They really did; I’m not sure why the Times’ Democratic Party operatives with bylines didn’t get the memo in time:

So will Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest get memory holed ala Song of the South, or simply have a warning before it airs again on TCM about all those racist sculptures in the film’s climax? Best to get a physical copy to be on the safe side. As Sonny Bunch warns: Want to fight corporate censorship? Buy physical media.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Seen on Facebook:

UPDATE (From Ed): Have the talking points gone out Journolist-style, or is this simply socialist groupthink? MSNBC Dubs Mount Rushmore as a ‘Racist’ ‘Symbol of White Supremacy.’

(Updated and bumped.)

TO BE FAIR, MAGGIE HABERMAN IS MORE A JOURNOLIST THAN A JOURNALIST: NYT Journo Becomes Triggered After WH Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany Calls Her out for Spreading Fake News. “And there’s also this revealing bit of information about how Haberman was viewed by Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign team as a ‘very good’ press ally who ‘tees up’ stories on their behalf.”

Plus: “As of this writing, Haberman hasn’t put out another unhinged tweet in regards to McEnany’s remarks, but I wouldn’t put it past her. She’s quite defensive about being accused of taking Trump administration officials out of context. And understandably so – considering that she has quite literally been caught altering their quotes before.”

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING: Leading Democrats should speak out on Sanders.

I wonder how many other members of the old Journolist are scared of a Bernie candidacy?

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Wired/L.A. Times leftist Virginia Heffernan lists all of her favorite “conservative” columnists:

Click to enlarge.

As “Comfortably Smug” tweets in response, “If your definition of conservative means they’re media approved, chances are, they’re actually a Lib.” And presumably, won’t be threatened with being tossed through a plate-glass window, as another future-Wired columnist fantasized about PJM’s Michael  Ledeen in 2008.

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: CNN Beclowns Itself Yet Again.

Yes, I know, CNN beclowns itself hourly, and as such is usually not worth noticing or commenting on, but sometimes they make it so easy that it becomes necessary as a reminder of their colossal ignorance and bias. Anchor Brian Stelter raised his eyebrow this morning that Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has appeared on TV to promote his book. OMG! Will the republic survive this breach of decorum?

Read on for earlier “shocking” examples.

And the hits just keep on coming: Christiane Amanpour asks Ezra Klein to explain how American politics got to be so polarized. “Asking the creator of Journolist without a hint of irony “Why are we so polarized?”

THE JOURNOLIST IS HOPPING: No More Pretense: Journalists, Dems Use Identical Talking Points on Impeachment (Video).

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with Chyrons, and their lockstep phraseology all makes sense.

YOUR JOURNOLIST AT WORK:  The long knives come out for The Hill’s John Solomon.

THE NARRATIVE MUST BE DEFENDED AT ALL COSTS: The long knives come out for The Hill’s John Solomon. “Perhaps it is a coincidence, but as the JournoList scandal taught us, progressive journalists do conspire with each other to drive themes in the media. And we know that Solomon’s hard work has done severe damage to the plotters seeing to undo a presidential election.”

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Trump — or What, Exactly? Let’s compare Trump’s policies and behavior to that of prior presidents — and to his 2020 opponents’.

Not a word comes from Trump’s critics about the need for Social Security or Medicare reform to ensure the long-term viability of each — other than the Democrats’ promises to extend such financially shaky programs to millions of new clients well beyond the current retiring Baby Boomer cohorts who are already taxing the limits of the system.

To counter every signature Trump issue, there is almost no rational alternative advanced. That void helps explain the bizarre, three-year litany of dreaming of impeachment, the emoluments clause, the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, the Mueller special-counsel investigation, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti, Trump’s tax returns, White Supremacy!, Recession! — and Lord knows what next. . . .

Instead of vague socialist bombast and promises, where is the actual detailed socialist version of the Contract with America, so voters can read it, digest it, and then decide whether it is superior or inferior to the status quo since 2017? Let us see two antithetical visions of America’s future, and let the voters decide.

For those who insist that “character matters” more than policy, then, let us compare the Trump behavior in the White House since 2017 with JFK’s, Lyndon Johnson’s, and Bill Clinton’s. Let’s compare his supposed efforts to “obstruct” justice with Obama’s actual record of politicizing federal justice, intelligence, tax, and investigatory agencies.

So far, all that is something that apparently no presidential candidate wishes to do.


Trump’s crime is that, without sanitized surgical gloves, he completely ripped the scab off what we call “journalism” and exposed a festering wound of narcissistic, mostly incompetent, and utterly partisan reportage.

Indeed, we knew what was beneath but dared not touch the scab. We had smelled the fetid pus when journalists rallied around the mythographer Dan Rather, chatted in the JournoList files, and competed to toady up to Hillary Clinton in Wikileaks’ trove of Podesta emails. Dean Baquet’s latest New York Times pep talk about the next “racist!” newspeak to follow the failed Mueller hoax was thus anticlimactic — well aside from the epidemics of #MeToo accusations not usually associated with woke, progressive journalistic professionals.

We know that the New York Times, so eager to accuse Trump and the nation at large of serial racism, is itself fond of publishing anti-Semitic cartoons and hiring those with a paper trail of racism and anti-Semitism as its editors, reporters, or editorial-board members, as we see with Sarah Jeong, Jonathan Weisman, and Tom Wright-Piersanti.

Trump did not destroy CNN or the New York Times as viable news organizations. He had nothing to do the past three years with their suicidal abandonment of ethics, professionalism, and disinterested reporting.


JOURNOLIST* HAS BRAINFART:  Democrats and Media Members Get Dragged for Political Flip-Flopping on Border Crisis.

* Or whatever its 2019 equivalent is called.

JAMES LILEKS REVIEWS THE NEW NETFLIX MOVIE, THE HIGHWAYMEN, a look at the lawmen who put bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde out of business in 1934, three decades before Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway made them radical chic superstars in 1967. In a 2008 interview with Reason magazine to promote his then-new book Nixonland, Rick Perlstein, the leftwing author and former JournoList member, said that he viewed [the movie] Bonnie and Clyde as “the most important text” of the ‘60s era New Left:

Reason: You like to mix cultural history with political history. Bonnie and Clyde is one of the central texts in the book.

Perlstein: My theory is that Bonnie and Clyde was the most important text of the New Left, much more important than anything written by Paul Goodman or C. Wright Mills or Regis Debray. It made an argument about vitality and virtue vs. staidness and morality that was completely new, that resonated with young people in a way that made no sense to old people. Just the idea that the outlaws were the good guys and the bourgeois householders were the bad guys—you cannot underestimate [sic] how strange and fresh that was.

As Lileks writes in response to another leftwing critic who similarly wants to believe that Bonnie and Clyde were cool:

Well, they weren’t. They were sociopathic assholes. Random Wikipedia moment: “Bonnie and Clyde’s next brush with the law arose from their generally suspicious— and conspicuous — behavior, not because they had been identified. The group ran loud, alcohol-fueled card games late into the night in the quiet neighborhood. The men came and went noisily at all hours, and Clyde discharged a Browning Automatic Rifle in the apartment while cleaning it.”

Read the whole thing.

Related: Kevin Costner Rehabilitates a True American Hero in ‘The Highwaymen’ — and the Social Justice Warriors are Furious.


Don Lemon tells Cory Booker ‘nice job’ in ‘hot mic’ moment during CNN town hall.

Don Lemon Says He Texts Jussie Smollett Every Day Following Attack.

Last October, during the Kavanaugh hearings, when the Journolist decided that calling the violent left a mob was not permissible on DNC-MSM airwaves, the Daily Caller noted that “CNN host Don Lemon lost his cool with [right-leaning] network commentator Matt Lewis while discussing the ‘mob behavior’ of liberals versus conservatives Tuesday, telling him to ‘shut up’ while he made his point:”

Lewis tried to respond but Lemon wasn’t having it. “Will you let me finish, Matt, please, before you jump in? I’m making a point. Okay?,” he said. “I’m making a point. I can’t make it if you keep interrupting me.”

“You’re making a point. Are you the moderator or the host or arguing a liberal talking point,” Lewis shot back.

It’s the latter. Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.


THE JOURNOLIST IS HOPPING: ‘The Walls Are Closing In’: Cable Journalists Chant Dems’ New Mantra Five Times a Day.

How many times before Betelgeuse appears?


ANALYSIS: HALF-TRUE. Complaining About the ‘Senate Popular Vote?’ You Suffer From Civic Illiteracy.

As Will Collier pointed out on Twitter the other day, Ezra Klein floated this trial balloon as a mythical “House popular vote,” and it was quickly picked up across the Journolist spectrum. Er, journalist.

These folks aren’t civic illiterates, but they are counting on their readers to be just that — with the apparent goal of further sullying Constitutional rule of law.

IF YOU CAN HEAR THE WHISTLE, YOU’RE THE DOG: NBC’s John Harwood says that President Donald Tump has added to his secret lexicon of racist dog whistles – the new addition is “mob.”

Well, it’s Democratic operative with a byline John Harwood after he was issued his talking points from 2018’s equivalent to the Journolist, so what did you expect? But how would NBC rate “mob” as a dog whistle up against “golf” and “Chicago,” which were spotted by NBC’s Bletchley Park-level racial decoder equipment in 2012?

Earlier: The Left Had No Problem Labeling the Tea Party a ‘Mob.’

(Classical reference in headline.)

THE JOURNOLIST IS HOPPING: Supercut of television reporters telling people to not use the “mob” word cut with video of the mob.

Earlier: The text version of the supercut, featuring print reporters getting vaporish over what Brooke Baldwin of CNN called “the m-word.”

Related: Here Are The People Who Called The Tea Party ‘The M-Word’ — Or Worse.


Republicans have a new name for Democrats: ‘mob.’

—CNN, Sunday.

‘An angry mob’: Republicans work to recast Democratic protests as out-of-control anarchy.

—The Washington Post, yesterday.

Republicans Seize On Stoking Fears Of Left-Leaning Mob To Mobilize Voters.

Talking Points Memo, today.

The GOP’s sneaky attempt to paint the majority as an angry left-wing mob.

The Week, today.

Republicans: Protesters Are an Unruly Mob — Unless They’re Heavily Armed and Support Us.

New York magazine, today. 

WATCH: Brooke Baldwin Clashes With CNN Commentator Matt Lewis for Calling Ted Cruz Restaurant Protesters a ‘Mob.’

Mediaite, today.

Earlier: “Here’s the thing: though there is no question that the GOP, like Democrats, play to the anxieties of its base — this is normal politics — there really were, and are, mobs out to get conservatives.”

Related: As Ace of Spades writes, “I keep saying this but now that the leftist media has expressly endorsed the tactic of nonstop public harassment of public political figures, such as the Democrats’ PR arm the Media, it is only a matter of time before these same threatening, likely-to-lead to violence tactics are visited upon them. When Brooke Baldwin can never eat in public in peace, she’ll start asking Republicans to white knight for her and condemn the tactic.”

Update: “Exit question via Mary Katharine Ham: If Republicans were engaged in the tactics described above, would they be called a ‘mob’ by the media?”

THE NEW JOURNOLIST, BACK IN BUSINESS:  Media Issues Collective Pearl Clutching Editorials Lambasting Trump Attacks On #FreePres.   (Dear journalists, these displays only lose you power.  I know.  Hard to believe, since toddlers get whatever they want by screaming and flinging poo– Oh, wait.  No they don’t.  Not with sane adults around.  Sit up, stop screaming, and don’t even think of digging in your diaper.  We’ve had enough of you.)

JOURNOLIST HAS BRAINFART: Stephen Colbert, NARAL among lefties opposing Trump’s SCOTUS nominee by mocking his first name. “Another example, from Stephen Colbert monologue on Tues. ‘That sounds less like a Supreme Court justice and more like a waiter at a Ruby Tuesday’s. Hey everybody, I’m Brett, I’ll be your Supreme Court justice tonight.’”

As “Comfortably Smug” tweets, “Good to see libs sticking with Hillary’s gameplan of hating the working class.”

Meanwhile, “Under Pressure from Progressive Groups, Brett Favre Changes His Name to ‘Carl.'”


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, THE JOURNOLIST* HAD A MAJOR MALFUNCTION OVER THE WEEKEND: Outraged progressives share images of immigrant children…from 2014.

* Or whatever its 2018 equivalent is called.

JOURNOLIST ADRIFT: Obama Official Outraged Over Heartbreaking Pics of Trump Policy In Actio…Oh Wait, Wrong President.

THE JOURNOLIST HAS A HICCUP: Jon Favreau, Shaun King, Linda Sarsour and other libs just committed the greatest self-own in the history of Twitter.


On the final day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the editor of one of the country’s leading magazines felt it appropriate to compare President Donald Trump’s inauguration to incestuous rape.

In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Virginia Heffernan, a contributing editor for Wired, referred to former President Barack Obama as “our true father” and equated Trump to “a stepfather who was going to rape us”:

Heffernan tweeted, “When Obama left the White House in a helicopter that horrible day, I had the impression our true father was leaving & the nation was stuck with a stepfather who was going to rape us. Now I increasingly believe that the media is the mother who won’t stand up for us & defy him.”

What is it with Wired staffers and presidential-induced melodrama? Back in November of 2008, it was then-Wired contributor Spencer Ackerman who infamously wrote on the Journolist, immediately after Obama won, “Let’s just throw [PJM columnist Michael] Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the fuck up, as with most bullies.”

I’m so old, I can remember, prior to its acquisition in 1998 by Condé Nast, that Wired’s editors were made of sterner stuff, back when the magazine was founded by a libertarian. Speaking of whom, Louis Rossetto takes a much more reasoned view of Trump than today’s Wired editors, telling Reason’s Nick Gillespie:

For most of my life, my tendency has been to try to diminish the power of the state. Part of that is literal power, and part of it is the power that’s in your head. The president has become this figure of immense authority that you’re obliged to respect, who has the ability to project that power all over the planet.

Trump is a refreshing reminder that the guy in the White House is another human being. The power of the state is way too exalted. Bringing that power back to human scale is an important part of what needs to be done to correct the insanity that’s been going on, where you have these large institutions that control all aspects of our lives. Leaching respect out of the state is kind of a good thing.

Not the least of which, a child-like worldview that makes you equate the president to your father or step-father, and the media to his wife.


SHOE, MEET OTHER FOOT: ‘Extremely dangerous to our democracy’: MSNBC’s Joe and Mika shame Sinclair anchors for reciting pro-Trump propaganda.

The “Morning Joe” hosts played a video montage showing anchors warning viewers about a “deep state” conspiracy they claimed was out to destroy President Donald Trump, and one after another told viewers this was “extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

Scarborough and Brzezinski agreed this was indeed “extremely dangerous to our democracy,” and bashed the right-wing broadcast company for “shoving propaganda down local anchor’s throats.”

“The president has no problem calling the media enemies of the state, has no problem constantly lying about them,” Scarborough said. “He has no problem being angry when they call him out on his own lies. What’s so interesting is, as those news anchors from around the country were saying that this weekend, you know, and they were instructed to recite words that legitimize the president’s agenda, it was Donald Trump who was lying.”

The Journolist — or whatever they’re calling it now — keeps the Left marching in near-perfect lockstep, every day, over the complete spectrum of major news outlets, entertainment, and social media. But they totally lose their cool over a clumsy, one-time effort at messaging by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

THE JOURNOLIST LIVES: As Supreme Court positions harden on union case, likely deciding justice is silent.

This WaPo writeup by Robert Barnes repeats a refrain you’ve been seeing all week:

In an hour-long, often caustic oral argument, the justices largely echoed their stances from two years ago, when a shorthanded court split, 4 to 4, on whether it is unconstitutional to require government workers to pay a fee to unions representing them even when they choose not to join.

But the justice likely to break the tie — rookie Neil M. Gorsuch, who in his short time on the court has consistently sided with conservatives — said nothing Monday to hint at his leanings in a similar case.

What Gorsuch decides will have major implications for the future of organized labor, which has become a pillar of Democratic Party politics, and for millions of workers in the nearly half of the states that require payments from nonmembers to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

If union dues only cover the cost of collective bargaining, then where do all those political donations (almost exclusively to Democrats) come from?

And why has almost every infotainment industry story I’ve read on this case include that same bit of legerdemain? Or is to ask the question to answer it?

AND ANOTHER ONE: BuzzFeed has fired its White House correspondent after allegations of inappropriate comments to a colleague.

Adrian Carrasquillo was let go following an internal investigation, a representative told Business Insider on Wednesday.

“We are saddened by these circumstances, but we take these issues extremely seriously,” the representative said. “We’re committed to ensuring that BuzzFeed remains a place where everyone is treated respectfully by his or her peers.”

Last month, BuzzFeed News began investigating several of its staffers after their names appeared on a Google spreadsheet titled “S—-y Media Men” that was being passed around media circles. It listed unverified allegations against men in the media and publishing industries. Carrasquillo’s name appeared on a version of the list seen by Business Insider.

The White House correspondent was fired Wednesday after a new complaint came to light that included evidence of inappropriate comments he’d sent to a coworker.

“In responding to a complaint filed last week by an employee, we learned that Adrian violated our Code of Conduct by sending an inappropriate message to a colleague,” a spokesman said. “This followed a reminder about our prohibition against inappropriate communications.”

The existence of the list, which was circulated following revelations of decades-long harassment by the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, was reported by BuzzFeed, with the list including anonymous allegations of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse that the list’s author advised should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

The JournoList lives.


President Trump blasted the left-wing Washington Post’s Dave Weigel after the reporter taunted him with a fake photograph that falsely depicted a mostly empty auditorium at the president’s Friday night rally. After receiving an apology, the president said Weigel “should be fired”… Naturally, the elite media responded — not by admonishing Weigel over his inexcusably inaccurate trolling — but with their favorite claim that Trump is the one man in America who does not have the First Amendment right to criticize the media.

Fake news from a guy on the JournoList who began his career at the Post posing as a fake conservative? Inconceivable!

Related: Spokesman from network who threatens to doxx viewers defends Weigel:

“Gang up” means Weigel could receive mean tweets. They’re really taking this juicebox mafia concept far too literally.

SAVING PRIVATE KAEPERNICK. Or, Dispatches from the Intersection of the JournoList and the Memory Hole:

● Shot: Social media users are tearing into Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren for posting a photoshopped image of Colin Kaepernick that depicts him taking a knee in front of the D-Day landings.

The Hill, today.

● Chaser: Hillary’s Campaign Spokesman [Brian Fallon] Compares D-Day Soldiers To Antifa.

—The Daily Caller, August 16th.

● Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, went a bridge too far, comparing the uber-left group Antifa to the intrepid soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II.

—The Daily Wire, August 16th.

CNN Anchor [Chris Cuomo] Compares Antifa Domestic Terrorists To U.S. Army In WWII., August 16th.

Found via Stephen Miller, who tweets, “journos dunking on [Lahren’s Photoshop] seem to forget different they made the exact same comparison with Antifa.”

TRY THIS HEADLINE WITH ANY OTHER ETHNICITY AND SEE HOW WELL IT PLAYS: Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel looking at white people with ‘new intensity’ after Trump’s election.

If Weigel’s old intensity at the Post was any indication, I’d hate to see him dial the amps up to 11:

In a thread with the subject line, “ACORN Ratf*cker arrested,” Journolisters discussed how James O’Keefe, whose undercover reporting showed officials from activist group ACORN willing to help a fake prostitution ring skirt the law, had been arrested in another, failed operation at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) office.


“Deep breath.”


“He’s either going to get a radio talk show or start a prison ministry. That’s was successful conservative ratfuckers do for their second acts,” Weigel wrote, likely alluding to Nixon aide Charles Colson who converted to Christianity after a stint in prison for obstruction of justice and founded Prison Fellowship.

Republicans? “Ratfucking [Obama] on every bill.” Palin?  Tried to “ratfuck” a moderate Republican in a contentious primary in New York. Limbaugh? Used “ratfucking tactics” in urging Republican activists to vote for Hillary Clinton in open primaries after Obama had all but beat her for the Democratic nomination.

So just to recap, in 2008, voting for Hillary in the primaries was “ratfucking.” In 2016, voting against her was racism.

And note that the ratfucking stuff on the JournoList was written by Weigel back when he was still posing as the token young conservative at the Post. Choose the form of your destructor, indeed.

TO THE JOURNOLIST, ROBIN! The Media’s Cooking Up a #FakeNews Katrina Narrative for Puerto Rico, Despite Trump Actually Sending Lots of Aid.


● Shot: Big Three Elevate Trump/NFL Spat over Dire Puerto Rico Crisis.

● Chaser: The View: Is US ‘Silence’ On Puerto Rico Because They’re ‘Brown People?’

Oh, and just a reminder, as the successor to the Journolist attempts to dust off the Katrina meme again, Puerto Rico’s Governor Praises the Administration’s Relief Efforts So Far.

HOLY JOURNOLIST, BATMAN! Secret Facebook Page Reveals Marvel, DC Comics Writers Conspiring to Harass Comic-Con Conservatives.

DISPATCHES FROM THE JOURNOLIST: Media all uses one word to describe Trump’s DACA action (video).

THE WAPO RUNS A PIECE ABOUT HOW FREE SPEECH IS BAD BECAUSE IT LETS PEOPLE THE AUTHOR DOESN’T LIKE SAY THINGS, and the Ace Of Spades crew is there for a royal Fisking. (It’s actually WeirdDave, not Ace himself as I had originally posted).

Note to Journolist members and other people under 27 who don’t know anything: Fisking, not fisting.

FAKE NEWS: Remembering Journolist and progressive media’s bag of tricks.

A couple weeks ago I came across an old article about Journolist which I found striking. In particular, I was struck by the ways in which some of the debates taking place among left-leaning journalists back in 2008 still seem to encompass the ways the left-wing media operates today.

For those who don’t remember it, Journolist was just a listserv created by Ezra Klein. The list was invitation only and was mostly made up of progressive journalists. In theory, the list was a kind of digital water cooler where like-minded people could talk to others in the field. That may have been all it was much of the time, but when candidate Obama got in trouble in 2008, it also became a place for partisans to discuss a coordinated media strategy.

And the Journolisters are at Big Media outlets today, rising in fake umbrage if you call them partisan.


For those who don’t remember it, Journolist was just a listserv created by Ezra Klein. The list was invitation only and was mostly made up of progressive journalists. In theory, the list was a kind of digital water cooler where like-minded people could talk to others in the field. That may have been all it was much of the time, but when candidate Obama got in trouble in 2008, it also became a place for partisans to discuss a coordinated media strategy.

Author Jonathan Strong wrote this particular piece about the Journolist response to a crisis in the 2008 campaign. Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as you probably remember, was the pastor of the church Obama attended. He was the pastor who married Barack and Michelle and the person who inspired the title of Obama’s book: The Audacity of Hope. Wright was also a far-left crank who regularly denounced America…Obama would eventually denounce Wright and quit the church in June, but in the interim, it seemed possible the issue could seriously damage his campaign. Journolist members discussed various ways to respond to the Rev. Wright story. Michael Tomasky (now at the Daily Beast) wanted members of the list to “kill ABC” and thereby kill the story[.]

Read the whole thing.

Between 2000 and 2017, the Democrats pivoted on a host issues ranging from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, and gay marriage. But few moments have had the full “Oceania has always been/has never been at war with Eastasia” (which Orwell based on how the British left flip-flopped under Stalin’s orders in WWII) feel as the week between Rev. Wright’s racist 2008 NAACP speech, which CNN’s Soledad O’Brien (herself a Wright acolyte) proclaimed “a home run” to anchor John Roberts asking on-air then-candidate Obama if it was OK with him to declare the network “a Wright-free zone.” If CNN is angry that it’s now constantly being called “fake news,” transparently politics-motivated flip-flops such as this are a big reminder of how they brought that well-deserved epithet upon themselves:

UPDATE: From a 2010 Free Republic post, “JournoList: 157 Names Confirmed (With Organizations).”

JOURNOLISTS: They’re wrong about everything.

As I used to say during the previous Administration, you can’t spell “Journolist” without “O.” And I suppose I still could.


You went full Eason Jordan, Margaret. Never go full Eason Jordan.


UPDATE: Hey, is this the new meme on the Journolist? “[CNN’s Chris] Cuomo: ‘Someone Will Get Hurt’ By Trump’s Attacks on Media.”

Everything old is new again at CNN!

ANALYSIS: TRUE. BuzzFeed undermines all journalists with Trump ‘dossier.’ “In crossing one of the few lines left for mainstream news outlets, a demand for some level of verification, BuzzFeed could not have given Trump better ammunition with which to vilify the press as dishonest, biased and all the other claims he makes in trying to inoculate himself against valid criticism.” Yeah, well, being dishonest, biased, etc. will do that. I mean, after Rathergate and Journolist, none of this is a surprise, but they just get lamer and more obvious with each iteration.


When your team includes Brian Williams, Dan Rather, Al Sharpton, Eason Jordan, Jayson Blair, Katie Couric, the JournoList, and a whole squadron of Middle Eastern fauxtographers and the Pallywood propaganda assembly line, it takes a fair amount of chutzpah to accuse the other side of “fake news” – though think of the MSM as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

NOW THEY ASK: Will America Now Have a Pravda? With’s Steve Bannon now in a seat of White House power, Donald Trump will have a weapon no president has ever wielded, Jack Shafer claims at Politico.

And while I’m not at all sure the late Andrew Breitbart would approve of what’s become of his site over the past year, surely he would get a chuckle over the notion that’s now on the level of mandatory consumption, as Pravda was for Soviet citizens.


AND NOW A WORD FROM AMERICA’S TROLL-IN-CHIEF. Obama: ‘Imagine What My Approval Rating Would Be’ if Media ‘Worked for Me.’

Yes, just imagine itit’s unexpectedly easy if you try.

QUESTIONS NOBODY IS ASKING. “Why Are The Media Objectively Pro-Trump?” asks…Paul Krugman?!

Geez, in the past, starting with Al Gore after the GOP won the 2002 midterms, Democrats usually wait until after they’ve lost an election to start imagining rightwing media bias. What’s gotten into the former Enron advisor and JournoList member employed by the one of the biggest house organs of the Democrat Party?

POWERING THROUGH THE JOURNOLIST: “It must have tested well with focus groups, because the Hillary Clinton campaign had one line it wanted to get out on Monday: Hillary Clinton was trying to power through her illness this weekend. Campaign manager Robby Mook and spokespeople Brian Fallon and Kristina Schake all repeated the talking point ad nauseam in their cable appearances on Monday. The media picked it up as well, with reporters on CNN and MSNBC using the phrase to describe how Hillary Clinton bravely reacted to a pneumonia diagnosis on Friday.”

WASHINGTON POST: Clinton’s impulse to ‘power through’ with pneumonia set off cascade of problems.

Over at CNN this morning, Clinton campaign chief Robby Mook was blaming her staff. Somebody forgot to check the Journolist for today’s pravda.

EVEN WITH JEFF BEZOS AT THE HELM, NOTHING EVER CHANGES AT THE WASHINGTON POST. Wapo: Gas prices are pretty low, so how about that carbon tax, guys?

Shades of the Post calling for higher gas taxes at the trough of the Great Recession, near simultaneously with the New York Times, and NBC’s Tom Brokaw, in a classic case of Journolisting.

NPR JOURNOLIST SUFFERS KINSLEY-GAFFE SYNDROME, ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE CLINTON FOUNDATION: Clinton Global Initiative Moderator Describes Group’s Events As ‘Creepy,’ ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Gross.’

“YOU’RE NOT DONE WITH AL SHARPTON YET,” insists self-admitted JournoList member Ben Smith of BuzzFeed.

Actually, I’ve been done with Sharpton for nearly 30 years now.  But apparently, Comcast and NBC, for whom Sharpton remains a highly paid spokesman isn’t done with him yet, but I guess you can’t fault them for continuing to pay his protection money and leave the two intertwined giant corporations alone.

Related: Heather Mac Donald on Why Milwaukee Burns.

I FOR ONE WELCOME OUR NEW ROBOTIC INK-STAINED OVERLORDS: The Washington Post will use robots to write stories about the Rio Olympics.

Say what you will about Jeff Bezos, but the man sure knows how to use automation to generate maximum efficiency on all of his assembly lines! On the flipside though, from Joseph Pulitzer to Woodward and Bernstein to the juicebox JournoList mafia to robots — the Washington Post isn’t exactly advancing the quality of journalists who’ve walked through their doors during the newspaper’s lifespan.   

(Classical allusion in headline.)

A JOURNOLIST REMINDER: There was this email group, called Journolist, where journalists got together and talked about how to bury stories that hurt Democrats and push stories that hurt Republicans. Here’s a list of the members.

OH, THAT DEATH OF THE GROWN-UP: “Somber cartoon tributes pour in across social media following Nice attack” — actual headline at the Website for NBC’s the Today Show.

And a telling Freudian slip elsewhere in the DNC-MSM: “CNN Chyron Fail: Suggests Muslim Male in France Was ‘Trump Rampage Survivor.’”

Related: On Terrorism and Immigration, America Is Not a Serious Nation:

When the avowedly socialist president of France, recently pilloried in the media for spending $11,000 a month on his haircuts, can immediately say after the horror in Nice that his nation is under attack from Islamic terrorism, but the U.S. president cannot blame anything other than “violent extremism” for the brutal terrorist attacks on our own soil, one sees how deeply unserious a country America has become. And this is true not just among politicians, but in our entire public culture, which has ultimately permitted as dangerous, divisive, and shallow a man as President Obama to occupy the highest office in the land.

That “entire public culture” includes an equally shallow palace guard media who placed him there.

Or as Michelle Malkin noted in her video interview with author/columnist Diana West in 2007, her book The Death of the Grown-Up, West connected the dots regarding “how this perpetual adolescence connects with our perpetual identity crimes and makes us incapable or certainly less able to fight the war against jihad that we’re in right now.” And that was before Footie Pajamas Obamacare Boy, the JuiceVox JournoList mafia, BernieBros, and “somber cartoon tributes” pouring in across social media following terrorist attacks.


MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH: “For News Outlets Squeezed From the Middle, It’s Bend or Bust,” the New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg notes, in a piece built around the recent Buzzfeed stunt of streaming an exploding watermelon live, generating millions of views in what was basically a glorified 1980s-era Late Night with David Letterman segment. Rutenberg goes on to quote a downhearted freelance journalist who responds “the watermelon … is us,” and Politico co-founder Jim VandeHei who portentously adds, “journalists are killing journalism…[by] stubbornly clinging to the old ways.” That’s defined, Rutenberg writes, “as producing 50 competing but nearly identical stories about a presidential candidate’s latest speech, or 700-word updates on the transportation budget negotiations.”

But note the donkey in the room. At the start of his piece, Rutenberg writes:

Earlier this month, a couple of inventive young go-getters at Buzzfeed tied enough rubber bands around the center of a watermelon to make it explode. Nearly a million people watched the giant berry burst on Facebook Live. It racked up more than 10 million views in the days that followed.

Traditional journalists everywhere saw themselves as the seeds, flying out of the frame. How do we compete with that? And if that’s the future of news and information, what’s next for our democracy? President Kardashian?

Dude — if you’re wondering why, as AP recently noted, the vast majority of Americans don’t trust the MSM, it’s because President Kardashian is in the White House right now. And the Times, the Post, and the Politico and Buzzfeed (self-admitted Journolist member Ben Smith joined Buzzfeed as editor-in-chief in 2011) went all-in to both put him there and prop him up in 2012. So yes, journalists are killing journalism by stubbornly clinging to the old ways — the old ways of being Democrat operatives with bylines. They could change, but that would mean reporting White House scandals, instead of trying to whitewash them away. Until then, don’t be surprised if the public has caught on to the game.

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S POSTMODERNISTS: In “The day Trump killed the fact,” the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri displays a rather short — and selective — memory:

It’s Tuesday, March 29, 2016, and facts are dead.

They had a good run.

It used to be that when people said “Who are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?,” they were joking. Not the Donald Trump campaign. It remains stubbornly impervious to reality.

“But we have video footage of this happening,” you can say. “Look, here it is!”

“Ah,” the Trump campaign says, bending eight spoons and then vanishing into a telephone, “but what if the whole world exists only as a figment of our minds?”

The Trump campaign has been an ongoing test of how few things people are willing to Google.

But long before the rise of Donald Trump’s political career, the Washington Post has also had a casual, elastic relationship with capital-T truth. Let’s take a look at couple of their more recent lapses into postmodernism. In 2010, in response to Richard Armitage being ignored in Fair Game, Sean Penn’s film version of Valerie Plame’s memoirs, Post film critic Ann Hornaday sniffed and responded ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

In Washington, watching fact-based political movies has become a sport all its own, with viewers hyper-alert to mistakes, composite characters or real stories hijacked by political agendas. But what audiences often fail to take into account is that a too-literal allegiance to the facts can sometimes obscure a larger truth.

* * * * * * *

Thus, the movies about Washington that get the right stuff right — or get some stuff wrong but in the right way — become their own form of consensus history. “Follow the money,” then, assumes its own totemic truth. Ratified through repeated viewings in theaters, on Netflix and beyond, these films become a mutual exercise in creating a usable past. We watch them to be entertained, surely, and maybe educated. But we keep watching them in order to remember.

Hornaday’s article is titled “Washington-set films may fudge facts, but good ones speak to larger truths.”

That same year, Matt Yglesias, then writing columns for the preBezos Post before joining GE-backed tweeted:


And there’s that whole Watergate thing and the origins of legendary Post mole “Deep Throat,” aka disgruntled FBI agent Mark Felt, and how he was shielded for decades by the Post.

“As a famous Soviet dissident joke put it: ‘In the Soviet Union, the future is known; it’s the past which is always changing,’” Dennis Prager once wrote, and reality has been equally fungible at the Post as well. Having argued in favor of postmodernism for years, and having aggressively defended two presidents in recent memory who lived by that philosophy*, they’ve failed to notice that facts in the MSM in general and the Post specifically died long before Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Perhaps if the Post had defended truth more rigorously when it was abused by administrations that its Democrat operatives with bylines supported, the newspaper would be in a better position to complain when a presidential candidate its staff collectively loathes comes along to make a hash of it.

* To the point where Newsweek, then-owned by the Washington Post spiked its exclusive by Michael Isikoff on Bill Clinton’s oval office dalliance with Monica Lewinsky at the start of 2008, thus inadvertently fueling the meteoric rise of the Drudge Report, and at the start of 2009, perhaps declaring its own obituary before being offloaded soon after by the Post a $1.00, famously declared “We Are All Socialists Now” on its cover.

Related flashback: Washington Post cartoonist Ann Telnaes depicts children of Hispanic presidential candidate as monkeys.



A HILLARY DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND! Hillary Clinton: I Totally Oppose The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement I Negotiated In 2012, even though “In her 2014 memoir, Hillary Clinton listed the negotiation of TPP as one of her key accomplishments as Sec. of State.”  As Twitchy asks, “Did TPP flip-flopper Hillary even READ her book before sending it to GOP candidates?”

The Washington Free Beacon video supercut rounds up 24 Times Hillary Clinton Championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership While Secretary of State:

Jack Tapper of CNN notes that the number is nearly double: “45 times Secretary Clinton pushed the trade bill she now opposes.”

And don’t get her started on NAFTA, either, which further demonstrates the paradox of Hillary’s campaign. It’s entirely based on the good time nostalgia of the 1990s, even though she has repudiated seemingly every aspect of her husband’s post-Reagan centrism that helped to create it, as part of her increasingly quixotic efforts to lock down her party’s radical socialist base.

Speaking of which, at Hot Air, Allahpundit writes, “the Hillarybot has decided that it’s in her interest to move left to protect herself against Sanders. Bad idea. Because not only will she irritate centrist Dems and Obama-worshipping liberals by crossing him on this, but hardly a single Sanders voter will reconsider her based on this position given how transparently politically calculated it is. As Gabe Malor says, ‘Clinton will get a 5 point bump from this. In the ‘not honest or trustworthy’ polls.’ In fact, if you were searching for a reason to watch next week’s debate, now you’ve got one: It should be high comedy watching Sanders feed Hillary tons of sh*t for her sudden pandering reversal on TPP. Can’t wait.”

Related: Plenty of room on Hillary’s server for a little Journolist-style action as well.

TALKING POINTS. Or maybe Journolistism.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 4.22.24 PM

LIBERAL MEDIA REFUSES TO REPORT TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP’S EVENT… SO TRUMP SHOWS THEM UP WITH VIDEO: And note that Hillary is now starting to publicly humiliate reporters as well, following the Trump model. But since most of them are her non-official campaign staff – to borrow from the phrase used on Ezra Klein’s JournoList in 2008 when the media went all in to elect Obama, they’ll happily go along with the kabuki.

FOX NEWS STAFFERS WARN TRUMP TO BACK OFF OF MEGYN KELLY AFTER FEUD REIGNITES: Funny how, much like Obama in 2008 and 2009, Trump only goes after Fox News, isn’t it? Though to be fair, get back to me when Trump or a national surrogate threatens to through a journalist through a plate glass window.

ROGER SIMON: CARLY RULES THE FOX NEWS NIGHT.“Fiorina decimated MSNBC’s Chris Matthews,” Roger writes with video at link, and was so good “her ghost hung over the second debate.”

I wonder how the Media Matters/JournoList gang and similar Democrat operatives with bylines will coordinate her inevitable Palinization?


AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, IT’S KIND OF A LONG ARTICLE: What Ezra Klein Gets Wrong About How Laws Work. But really, not knowing the difference between a preponderance of the evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt? I’m not saying everyone should know that, but every journalist — or even “journolist” — should. And certainly any who choose to write about legal issues. . . .

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Goodbye, Eric Holder, And Good Riddance.

Related: The injustice of Eric Holder: Average Americans aren’t blind to the Justice Department’s politicization. “Mr. Holder’s combined ‘negative’ rating of 32 percent was higher than that of Mr. Clinton, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sheriff Arpaio and Sen. Rand Paul. In fact, the poll balanced the total positive feelings survey participants had against the total negative feelings to figure out what the participants as a whole thought of each of the politicians in the poll. Mr. Holder, at 17 points, had the highest negative gap of any individual in the survey.”

Also: “The most polarizing man in Barack Obama’s administration — besides the president himself –is calling it quits.”

Meanwhile, predictable loserdom from the Journolist crew: NBC’s Chuck Todd: Self-Professed ‘Activist’ Eric Holder ‘a Very Non-Political Person.’ Really, Chuck? Really?

ED DRISCOLL: Roll Over Alinsky, and Tell Glenn Thrush the News.

John Nolte of Big Journalism coined the phrase “BenSmithing” to describe the tactics of the former Politico turned BuzzFeed scribe and member of the JournoList, that self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, which as its founder Ezra Klein explained, was only open to his fellow leftists. As the Urban Dictionary notes, BenSmithing is “a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.”

Smith’s former colleague Glenn Thrush, still with the Politico, is also quite prepared to do a little BenSmithing to aid his fellow Democrats in higher places: whenever a scandal engulfs them, Thrush affects an attitude of boredom. Hey, no big deal — Evel Knievel totally meant to crash the motorcycle on the landing ramp. All part of the act; happens all the time, you guys.

It’s a curious tone though, for someone who holds himself out as a journalist, and not as a Democrat operative with a byline. Those of us who have the privilege of observing the Hieronymus Bosch meets Koyaanisqatsi landscape of the world of the 21st century and then reporting on the wreckage around us are usually horrified at how dysfunctional the modern world and its political players are and eager to share the details with our readers. But for Thrush, it’s all pretty boring. At least when bad things happen to his fellow leftists.

It’s never news unless you can blame a Republican, and preferably Sarah Palin.

Related, from Mollie Hemingway: “Yeah, I can’t put my finger on why people were talking about Alinsky ever… SAYS A POLITICAL REPORTER. I mean, seriously. I get if you’re a normal person who lives a happy life unencumbered by discussions of politicians. But if you’re a political reporter, how can you cover the manufactured War on Women without knowing from which its tactics spring?”

They know, approve, and don’t want to tell the truth because it would threaten the whole feedlot. Treat them accordingly.

THE GAMERGATE SCANDAL CONTINUES TO UNFOLD: ‘They’re On To Us’: Gaming Journalists Respond to Critics in Newly Revealed GameJournoPros Emails. I’d say it’s basically Journolist for dummies, but that was the original Journolist, too. . . .

Plus: “What will strike many readers as remarkable is how ill-prepared senior editors on the GameJournoPros list were for the controversy that arrived when questions began to be asked openly about their closeness to their subjects and the general standards of ethics in video game journalism.”

EXPOSED: The Secret Mailing List of the Gaming Journalism Elite. It’s basically Journolist for people who didn’t go to Harvard. “The sight of journalists not only engaging in activism on behalf of their reporting subjects but also discouraging other reporters and editors from covering stories of interest to their readers will be disturbing to many in the industry, who have long suspected a persistent bias and unusual levels of co-operation and co-ordination from senior journalists.”

THE DEEP STATE: Secretive Leftwing Network Discovered through Wisconsin Records Law.

A low-profile Google Group used by over 1,000 state and national leftwing leaders and activists has been discovered thanks to Wisconsin’s open records law. A Media Trackers inquiry into the actions of a University of Wisconsin professor turned up records and communications from “Gamechanger Salon,” an online community that provides a forum for leftwing activists and leaders to share tactics, strategies and opinions.

Operating as a closed Google Group, much of what the network does is unavailable for public review. However, a document listing the network’s membership and a policy manual describing the mission and ground rules for the entity were accessible when Media Trackers discovered a non-password protected link in the emails obtained through an open records request of a University of Wisconsin professor. . . .

The group has the self-described goal of creating a “more coordinated” movement for liberals across the country. Among those included on the membership list are:

Damon Silver, Policy Director for the AFL-CIO
Benjamin Joffe-Walk, Chief of Staff at
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK
Elizabeth Rose, Director of Communications at the Economic Policy Institute
Philip Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace until earlier this year
Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL
Raven Brooks, Executive Director of Netroots Nation
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Deirdre Schifeling, National Director Organizing & Electoral Campaigns for Planned Parenthood

The group’s policy manual directs members to abstain from forwarding emails to recipients outside the group. It does warn, however, that with 1,000-plus members, anyone emailing the group should not say anything “you wouldn’t want to be subpoenaed by a Grand Jury or broadcast on Fox News.” . . . In addition to the prominent leaders and activists listed above, Gamechanger Salon also includes members of the leftwing “media” such as: Amanda Terkel, Senior Political Reporter and Politics Managing Editor at The Huffington Post, Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post and MSNBC contributor, Josh Dorner, Communications Director at ThinkProgress, and Angelo Carusone, Executive Vice President at Media Matters.

So, it’s like Brother Of Journolist.

BECOMING? Walter Russell Mead: As Libya Implodes, “Smart Diplomacy” Becoming a Punch Line.

Throw in the resulting civil war in Mali and the scattering of insurgents and weapons to the four winds, and you have a classic exhibition of reckless incompetence—of American arrogance, ignorance, carelessness and moralism combining in a toxic stew to sink a fragile country we never understood.

Luckily for America’s self-esteem, it was liberal Democrats that produced this particular shambles. If Republicans had done this, the media would be on the administration non-stop, perhaps comparing Samantha Power to Paul Wolfowitz—a well-meaning humanitarian way over her head who wrecked a country out of misguided ideology. There might also be some pointed questions for future presidential candidates who supported this fiasco. But since both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have their fingerprints all over Libya, there isn’t a lot of press hunger for a detailed, unsparing autopsy into this stinking corpse of policy flub.

If Obama were a Republican, the press and the weekly news shows would be ringing with hyperbolic, apocalyptic denunciations of the clueless incumbent who had failed to learn the most basic lessons of Iraq. Indeed, the MSM right now would be howling that Obama was stupider than Bush. Bush, our Journolist friends would now be saying ad nauseam, at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what happens when you overthrow a paranoid, genocidal, economically incompetent Arab tyrant in an artificial post-colonial state. But Obama did—or, the press would nastily say, he would have done if he’d been doing his job instead of hitting the golf course or yakking it up with his glitzy pals at late night bull sessions. The ad hominem attacks would never stop, and all the tangled threads of incompetence and failure would be endlessly and expertly picked at in long New Yorker articles, NYT thumbsuckers, and chin-strokings on all the Sabbath gasbag shows.

Why, the ever-admirable tribunes of a free and unbiased press would be asking non-stop, didn’t this poor excuse for a President learn from what happened in Iraq? When you upend an insane and murderous dictator who has crushed his people for decades under an incompetent and quirky regime, you’d better realize that there is no effective state or civil society under the hard shell of dictatorial rule. Remove the dictator and you get chaos and anarchy. Wasn’t this President paying attention during the last ten years?

Some of the criticism would be exaggerated and unfair; the Monday morning quarterbacks never really understand just how complicated and tragic this poor world really is, not to mention how hard it is to make life and death decisions in real time in the center of the non-stop political firestorm that is Washington today. And the MSM attracts more than its share of deeply inexperienced but entitled, self-regarding blowhards who love to pontificate about how stupid all those poor fools who have actual jobs and responsibilities actually are.

But luckily for Team Obama, the mainstream press would rather die than subject liberal Democrats to the critiques it reserves for the GOP.

This is why, if you want accountable government, you should always vote Republican.

THE PRESS PROTECTS ITS MONOPOLY, WITH HELP FROM THE STATE: Standing Committee of Correspondents: SCOTUSblog Not Deserving of Accreditation.

The journalists in charge of Capitol Hill press credentials for daily publications are standing firm on their decision to deny SCOTUSblog’s application, stating that the publisher fails the “fundamental test of editorial independence,” primarily because he and his law firm argue cases before the high court.

During a brief Monday morning meeting, Standing Committee of Correspondents for the Daily Press Chairwoman Siobhan Hughes, a Capitol Hill reporter for the Wall Street Journal, asked the four fellow journalists on the committee if there was a motion to reconsider the heavily scrutinized April decision.

Sorry, but I don’t see very much independence from the rest of the journolist herd.

JACLYN CASHMAN: Hillary’s secret ‘lunch’ with prez raises questions. “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl officially became an issue in the 2016 presidential race this week when Hillary Clinton backed the president’s reckless swap for the soldier with the Taliban.”

Related: Mediaite: Fmr. Soldier: Military Told Unit to ‘Not Tell the Truth’ About Bergdahl.

Also: Afghanistan: Obama’s War. “Last week, when President Obama made his trip to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he claimed that ‘America’s war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.’ This turned out to be the greatest applause line of his speech. With his assertion, Obama, in effect, declared himself the hero of the Afghan war – the one who put an end to that nightmare. But what Obama failed to mention was that it was his war, and that nothing but unattractive scenarios lie ahead for that war-torn state. . . . Why is Afghanistan, as Bob Woodward correctly termed it, Obama’s war? Del Castillo’s sharp pencil work shows that during the period 2002-2013, $650 billion have been appropriated for the Afghan war effort, and a whopping $487.5 billion of that (or 75%) took place after President Obama took office.” Most of the casualties, too. Including some who were looking for Bergdahl.

UPDATE: More members of Bergdahl’s platoon speak out: Bergdahl Was ‘That One Guy That Wanted To Disappear.’

Also: Chuck Todd: W.H. Caught ‘Flat-Footed’ by Bergdahl Response. Don’t they even read Rolling Stone? Oh, who am I kidding? Nobody reads Rolling Stone. But if they had, Michael Hastings could have filled them in. You know, before he died.

Related: “Wonder how long it is before oppo on outspoken members of Bergdahl’s platoon starts popping up.” How long does it take for Valerie Jarrett to call the NSA? Then launder through Journolisters. . . .

YEAH, THAT’S PRETTY OBVIOUS FROM THE REPORTING: Ezra Klein: ‘There Still Might Be’ a JournoList.

ED DRISCOLL: 25 Years After the Fact, MSM Finally Condemns Al Gore’s Kristallnacht NY Times Op-Ed.

Well, not in so many words. But if you’re going to have a meltdown over Tom Perkins, the co-founder of the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers asking if a “Progressive Kristallnacht [is] Coming?”, then by implication, you’re also condemning the Godwin-violating headline of Al Gore’s 1989 New York Times op-ed, titled “An Ecological Kristallnacht.” Gore’s column posited that such a catastrophe was “an immediate and grave danger” that could only be thwarted if we all “quickly and profoundly change the course of our civilization.” His then-recent history as a pro-life centrist Democrat in the 1980s was immediately forgotten, and his reputation as an environmentalist genius — the Goracle! — was immediately born. Three years later, he would be Bill Clinton’s vice-president. More recently, he signaled that this phase of his career had been concluded and that radical environmentalism itself was now passé, by selling out to big oil.

Read the whole thing, and note the Journolist calls for violence.

JAMES TARANTO: Just the Flacks: Wonkblog sells out.

Ezra Klein is back in line. The Journolist founder, who now runs Wonkblog for the Washington Post, took some flak from other left-liberal journalists last year when he acknowledged that the ObamaCare exchanges had serious technical flaws. But now, as we move into Phase 3 of the ObamaCare failure–the unraveling of its economic assumptions–Klein and his wonkblogger staff are full denial.

One result has been an entertaining and informative set of rebuttals from the heterodox liberal blogger Mickey Kaus. It began with a Dec. 17 post by Wonkblog’s Sarah Kliff with the less-reassuring-than-intended title “Why Obamacare Won’t Spiral Into Fiery, Actuarial Doom.” She quoted a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation that claimed the age distribution of ObamaCare enrollees is not as important as people have been assuming: “Even if young people sign up at half the rate the administration hopes for, it would nudge premiums up only by a few percentage points, their report says.”

In his somewhat belated response (posted just this past Monday), Kaus cited the same study making a point this column has also been stressing: “that if the mix of young vs. old isn’t important”–a not-undisputed “if,” by the way–“the mix of healthy vs. sick might be.” . . .

And how’s that going? There’s no way to know for sure, because, as Kaus notes, “questions about health aren’t being asked of enrollees anymore.” Under ObamaCare, disease is the silent killer.

“If you’re going to call yourself ‘Wonkblog,’ ” Kaus asks, “shouldn’t you at least mention that the statistics you are so obsessively discussing aren’t the important ones?” In response, Wonkblog was silent. Why should they answer rhetorical questions?

In concept, a “wonk” is someone who cares so much about the details of policy, in an obsessive nerd-like fashion, that his/her obsession transcends partisan considerations. Such people are rare, but they do exist. Ezra Klein is not among them, nor has he ever been.

JAMES TARANTO: Does Obama Know? Does Obama Care? America needs an accounting of the health-care debacle.

Last night on Twitter, your humble columnist observed: “There’s only one thing that can save ObamaCare now. AN OBAMA SPEECH.” We were kidding, naturally–alluding to President Obama’s endless series of speeches in 2009 and 2010 in which he tried, unsuccessfully, to sell “health-care reform” to the public, and to subsequent laments like this one from Drew Westen in August 2011: “Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish . . .”

But then it occurred to us that the American people really do deserve a presidential address on ObamaCare. No, not as punishment for re-electing him, or at least not mainly for that purpose. Rather, because 2½ weeks after the launch of the “exchanges” that are supposed to be ObamaCare’s operational centerpiece, it is clear to almost everyone that they are an administrative disaster. In this crisis, there is an opportunity: to recognize an impending economic and humanitarian disaster, and to act in time to avert or at least minimize it.

That requires a willingness to face reality and a capacity for leadership. So far Obama has shown little evidence of either. CNN reports that in an interview with an Iowa TV station Tuesday, the president said: “I am the first to acknowledge that the website that was supposed to do this all in a seamless way has had way more glitches than I think are acceptable.”

Let’s let longtime ObamaCare enthusiast and Journolist founder Ezra Klein answer that: “So far, the Affordable Care Act’s launch has been a failure. Not ‘troubled.’ Not ‘glitchy.’ A failure.” A language note: One suspects the ObamaCare debut will make it impossible for anyone ever again to use the word “glitches” unironically.

It’s a disaster.

NICK KRISTOF RECITES THE JOURNOLIST TALKING POINTS: As journalists, we must be careful to properly blame Republicans for this shutdown.

REVOLVING DOOR: 15 Journalists Have Joined Obama Administration.

Whether the number is 15 or 19, the fact that this many so-called journalists from outlets as influential as CBS, ABC, CNN, Time, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times want to work at the very same administration they are supposed to hold accountable, is not only troubling, it also explains a lot.

Why would anyone enamored enough with an Obama administration they want to go work for, do anything that might make a potential employer uncomfortable — you know, like actually report on ObamaCare and the economy honestly, or dig into Benghazi and the IRS?

The media is left-wing and crusading enough without the potential of a cushy government job being held out as a carrot.

And don’t think the Obama administration isn’t doling out these jobs for a reason. What a wonderful message to send to the world of media: Don’t go too far, don’t burn a bridge, don’t upset us too much and there just might be a lifeline off the sinking MSM ship.

And obviously it is working.

On top of this problem, you have a number of top news network executives related to top Obama officials, many of them at the center of the Benghazi scandal – which also explains a lot.

Journalists, Journolists, whatever.

I DID NOTHING WRONG, BUT I REFUSE TO ANSWER ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT MAY INCRIMINATE ME: Lerner Says ‘I Have Not Done Anything Wrong,’ Refuses to Take Questions.

UPDATE: JournoList’s IRS Angle Begins To Gel. Well, the leaders of Journolist did meet at the White House yesterday.

PHILIP KLEIN: Five reasons why focus on scandals is unlikely to backfire on GOP as in 1998.

Just a couple of days ago the Journolist crowd was trying to maintain that there was no there there in the IRS scandal. That whole taking-the-Fifth thing kind of undercut that line. I wonder what they’ll come up with next?

SPIN: Unpacking The New JournoList spin on the IRS. “That’s funny. Two different articles, one in Mother Jones, one in the WaPo, yet they’re running the exact same explanation as to why the IRS targeted conservative groups filing for tax exemptions. . . . Justify, justify, justify. This one must have a multi-tiered thread in the New Journolist listserv.”

THE TRUTH ABOUT BOB WOODWARD: At NRO, Conrad Black writes, “Forty years after Watergate, the myth is unraveling.”

The myth had certainly gotten inflated over the years — I did a double-take of the seventies-era photo atop Black’s article, just to make sure it actually was Woodward and Bernstein, and not Redford and Hoffman. And Victor Lasky tried 35 years ago to help bring it down to earth. But it’s telling that the people who really began the demolition job on Woodward’s rep this year were his own successors at the Washington Post.  (With Robert Redford piling on earlier this week in an effort to help finish the job.)

MICKEY KAUS: ‘Fight Club Dems’ Gotta Fight! “This seems a good window into the odd, invariably combative thinking of the media’s Obamasphere (which really does seem to track with former members of Ezra Klein’s “Journolist” group–sorry!). It’s odd for several reasons.”

ALSO, MEMBERS OF JOURNOLIST START ATTACKING GEORGE LUCAS AND GENE RODDENBERRY: White House tries to salvage Obama’s sci-fi mistake with Star Wars/Star Trek meme. “A mind meld is a power attributed to Vulcans in the Star Trek series, while the Jedis of Star Wars, of course, can do mind tricks.”

MICKEY KAUS: More On The Fantasy Life of Journolists. “After I posted an item about ‘wonkblogger’ Ezra Klein’s confident embrace of Obama’s $19 billion push for electronic medical records, I received several emails from readers who know more than I do. The two excerpted below suggest I was wrong: The effect of the electronic records crusade hasn’t been disappointing, with cost-savings failing to materialize. It’s much worse than that.”

BYRAN PRESTON: Assault in Lansing: Leftist Blogs Go Into ‘False Flag’ Mode, Mainstream Media Goes Silent. “It’s not tough to figure out how the mainstream media can turn a hot story into a non-story through monolithic silence. Journolist proved beyond any doubt that many mainstream media figures collude with figures in the radical left-wing blogosphere to protect Democrats and their allies. . . . This alternative version the left offered didn’t have to be true. It didn’t even have to appear to be true. There did not have to be a single grain of a fact anywhere near it. It just had to be floated out there and give so-called mainstream journalists enough of an excuse to decide not to cover the real story. Mainstream media journalists know all about editing, for instance, since they go out of their way to edit out the conservative world view in just about every story they write or produce. Many journalists know about false flag operations, because they are living false flag operations.”

TWITTER MEETS THE JOURNOLIST? “Did the competitive nature of Twitter—the rush to be funniest and fastest and most visible—push the Democrats over the edge,” in response to Obama’s first debate meltdown?

CHANGE: Washington Post-owned Newsweek in February of 2009, at the apex of Hopenchange: “We Are All Socialists Now.”

Washington Post today, at the perigee of Hopenchange: “Democrats are in the center of ‘polarized’ U.S.”

If so, why are they so paranoid?

(Besides, I thought Obama was a conservative — head JournoLista Ezra Klein said so himself, in the Washington Post last year. Shouldn’t the Post want a more centrist sort of president such at Mitt Romney to fit their own worldview?)

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES: James Taranto in his Best of the Web column on the Left and the L-Word:

What one probably cannot do, however, is be sure that such techniques damage one’s opponents and only them. It’s not as if Obama, for example, never bends the truth, distorts the facts, fudges the numbers, deceives, deludes, hoodwinks, equivocates or misrepresents. Why do lefties imagine that he has the credibility to throw the L-word at Romney?

Further, why do they imagine that it is in the long-term interest of liberalism to engage in such demagogy? As we’ve seen, and as Henninger notes, it’s illiberal in the classic sense:

It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars was at the center of it. The idea was never to elevate political debate but to debauch it.

Reader Michael Segal traces a thread from a later decade’s America:

My wife remembers an interview with William F. Buckley back in the 1970s, when he predicted that our whole generation that left college after Watergate would shun politics as dirty, and the nation would suffer as a result. Instead, my classmates who were interested in public affairs went into journalism and made it dirty.

Indeed, to coin a phrase. You can see video of James Taranto on the podium at the First Annual Duranty Awards, goofing on Reuters’ coverage of Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga’s “peace” efforts, at the PJ Tatler.


● Frequent Tim Blair commenter Paco of Paco Enterprises, September 8, 2008: “[Y]ou can’t inflate an empty suit and blithely assume that the American people aren’t going to see that the clothes have no emperor. Not. Going. To work.”

● Orrin Judd of the Brothers Judd, October 12, 2009: “People have mistakenly used the ‘Emperor has no clothes’ analogy for the UR. The real point is the clothes have no Emperor.”

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, this past Thursday:

In the hours after the Republican challenger Mitt Romney embarrassed the incumbent in their first meeting, Obama loyalists expressed puzzlement that the incumbent had done badly. But Obama has only himself to blame, because he set himself up for Wednesday’s emperor-has-no-clothes moment. For the past four years, he has worked assiduously to avoid being questioned, maintaining a regal detachment from the media and other sources of dissent and skeptical inquiry.

OK, Milbank has the analogy backwards — Obama’s suits look great; it’s the man inside them that’s vacant (QED, the famous British Spectator illustration from 2009) — but give him points for finally noticing.

On the other hand, as Lisa Fritsch writes today at the American Thinker, had the media noticed more quickly what the rest of us knew in 2008, instead being in permanent Palace Guard/self-admitted Non-Official Obama Campaign mode, Wednesday’s debate blowout might not have happened in the first place.

RELATED: Original Text Explains Obama’s Debate Fail.

THAT OBAMA DAILY CALLER VIDEO: Most interesting as proof of media hypocrisy. “For starters, the hypocrisy meter has now blown a gasket. The media crowd that would consider Mitt Romney’s hair-cutting episode to be front page news and has played pin-the-gaffe-on-Romney for an entire election cycle now sniffs that this video is not only not important, but not even news. The mainstream media clown show continues unabated.”

Meanwhile, reader Tim Ryan writes: “I’m thinking the dismissive journalists are right – the video won’t hurt Obama that much, because everyone knows he’s a crypto lefty . . . but it is another body blow to the MSM, which I think will never recover its reputation lost during the Obama presidency in general and in particular their intentional dereliction of duty for two consecutive elections.”

Related: JournoList flashback: MSM Busted Plotting To Kill Jeremiah Wright Scandal.

Among those who were uncovered to be part of the plan to quell Wright coverage were Richard Kim of the Nation, Michael Tomasky of the Guardian, Thomas Schaller of the Baltimore Sun, Holly Yeager of the Columbia Journalism Review, Slate magazine contributor David Greenberg, columnist Joe Conason, Chris Hayes of the Nation, and Spencer Ackerman — then of the Washington Independent.

Strong reported that Ackerman even once “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.’”

Hey, was Conor Friedersdorf a member of JournoList?

Meanwhile, Nick Gillespie comments:

Whatever else you can say about Barack Obama before he beat John McCain four years ago, his actual presidency has been far, far worse than could have been predicted. Was his boyhood mentor “Frank” a secret communist? Did Bill Ayers write his books? Did young Barry harbor a soft spot for Franz Fanon and smoke dope like a Cheech & Chong extra? Did he get into Columbia despite being an adult illiterate raised in Kenya by Rosicrucians? Let’s play along and say yes to all this and more.

So freaking what? Compare any and all of that to the grim landscape that Obama has presided over like a dime-store Ozymandias. The guy got just about everything he wanted – expanded auto bailout, mega-stimulus, health-care reform, troop surge in Afghanistan, a free pass to deport immigrants and raid legal-under-state-law pot dispensaries. And it hasn’t worked. The best that the Obama administration can do to defend its objectively awful record – don’t forget the inability to muscle a goddamn budget through the Democratic Senate or deliver a deficit under $1 trillion – is to say that it would have been even worse if McCain had been elected. That sort of counterfactual – and the insistence that it’s alway George W. Bush’s fault – is the last resort of a scoundrel. That was the essence of Clint Eastwood’s bizarre but memorable appearance at the Republican National Convention: Obama hasn’t gotten the job done. If anything, he’s made things worse.

That’s certainly true. But then the media didn’t just tell us he was post-racial. They also told us he was smart and competent. Equally true, I’d say.

UPDATE: More Hypocrisy: Obama Voted Against Katrina Waiver.

Obama was one of a small minority in the Senate who voted against the bill that waived the Stafford Act that made assistance funds available to the New Orleans Katrina victims without their having to match them with a 10% contribution.

That’s the same Stafford Act he lied about in his 2007 Hampton speech, the waiver that had actually occurred several weeks before he made the speech, the waiver that he voted against.

See this for a list of those who voted for and against. You’ll note that Obama’s “nay” vote was one of only 14 cast against the act, almost all of them liberal Democrats. No doubt he would say he knew the act would pass and so he felt okay voting against it in order to protest the Iraq war funds that were also part of the bill. But there’s something profoundly distasteful and almost grotesque about him voting against the waiver, knowing the bill had passed despite his vote, and then lying to the audience to make them angry that the waiver hadn’t happened.

Also typical.

MORE: Important Poll- Hilary vs Obama: Whose Fake Black Accent is Better?

MORE STILL: Thoughts from James Taranto:

That the 2007 video is getting wide attention only now does tell us something unflattering–albeit again something hardly novel–about the media. The speech got some coverage at the time–the Chicago Sun Times’s Lynn Sweet published an “as prepared” transcript that left out some inflammatory improvisational bites–but it might have been worth a closer look, if not in 2007 then the following year, when Obama was clearly a serious presidential contender and his association with Wright was blowing up in his face. But journalists in 2008 largely did not take the sort of adversarial approach toward Obama that they are taking today with Romney. Yet while that is a good reason to mistrust the media, it is not a particularly strong argument against voting for Obama.

One other observation is worth making about the difference between 2007, when Obama gave the new old speech, and today: The then-senator’s implicit premise, that America still regarded blacks as something less than full citizens, is manifestly false today in a way that it was not then. America has disproved it precisely by electing a black president.

The left, predictably enough, has responded to the video with shrieks of racism. This is partly reflexive and partly defensive–i.e., an effort to make absolutely certain that the video doesn’t hurt Obama. But suppose Obama gave a speech today like the one he gave in 2007. Could anyone seriously argue that he would not deserve to be held to account for divisive racial demagoguery? There’s a reason why the 2012 video announcing “African Americans for Obama” was so (you’ll pardon the expression) vanilla.

For decades racial appeals have been understood to be evil when directed at whites but acceptable when directed to blacks. That double standard was justifiable when white supremacy was a reality, then a recent memory. It becomes less so with every passing year, and especially with milestones like the election of a black president. The left’s overwrought reaction to the new old Obama video probably doesn’t say much about the state of the 2012 campaign, but it does portend difficulty in maintaining a worldview in which paranoia about racism plays a central role.


THE NAMES CHANGE, THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME: This just in to Patrick B. Pexton, the Washington Post’s ombudsman: His paper’s “news columnists almost to a person write from left of center:”

One aspect of The Post that particularly irks conservatives is the columnists who appear in print and online in news positions (as opposed to those on the editorial and op-ed pages and the online Opinions section). With the exception of Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza, who cover politics in a nonpartisan way, the news columnists almost to a person write from left of center.

Ezra Klein* of Wonkblog comes out of the Democratic left, fills in for Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz on MSNBC and sometimes appears in the printed Post on the front page.

Steven Pearlstein, who covers business and also appears occasionally on the front page; Walter Pincus on national security; Lisa Miller of the On Faith blog; Melinda Henneberger of She the People; Valerie Strauss, the education blogger; plus the three main local columnists — Robert McCartney, Petula Dvorak and Courtland Milloy — all generally write from a progressive perspective, readers say. (So does Dana Milbank, who works for the Opinions section but writes a column that appears on Page A2 twice a week.)

Is it any wonder that if you’re a conservative looking for unbiased news — and they do; they don’t want only Sean Hannity’s interpretation of the news — that you might feel unwelcome, or dissed or slighted, by the printed Post or the online version? And might you distrust the news when it’s wrapped in so much liberal commentary?

Why yes, you might, particularly since the paper has been aware of this issue for some time, and has chosen to do nothing about it. While not naming names, the late Deborah Howell, Pexton’s forerunner as the Post’s ombud, made the same observation four years ago, immediately after the 2008 election was over, and it was obvious how deeply her paper’s writers had been in the Obama tank:

But some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt are valid. Journalism naturally draws liberals; we like to change the world. I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

And as Brent Baker of Newsbusters spotted at the time, “As for Howell’s presumption [that] ‘most Post journalists voted for Obama,’ that’s a safe bet given how 96 percent of the staff at Post-owned Slate reported they planned to back Obama.”

Doesn’t look like much has changed at the Post in the last four years, except for its continually eroding subscriber base and level of trust.

Much more on the topic from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

* “At Washington Post, mum’s the word on JournoList,” Byron York noted in 2010 at the Washington Examiner.

UPDATE: Moe Lane diagrams the inevitably short unhappy lifespan of a conservative working for a liberal newspaper, and concludes, “I… would heartily recommend that conservatives avoid news careers.”

UNEXPECTEDLY! As this latest example highlights, with Bloomberg News, always expect the unexpectedly.

Meanwhile, from lefty blogger and JournoList member Greg Sargent at the Washington Post, another “unexpectedly” today, this time involving “An unexpectedly ideological presidential election.”


UPDATE: For those who’d prefer a swanky Continental version of the same theme, Bloomberg is happy to oblige as well today: “Euro-Area Economic Confidence Unexpectedly Fell in September.”

GOOD NEWS FOR OBAMA: Crowd for speech in Wisconsin “largest yet of Obama’s reelection campaign,” according to AP.

Bad news? It’s a fake, according to Joel Pollack of Big Journalism:

Tom Blumer of NewsBusters caught the AP in the lie, building on an article at Breitbart News that showed that both Politico and the Wall Street Journal had reported turnout for Obama at the Sep. 21 event as 18,000–at an arena that only held 5,000 people.

Though the arena was nearly full–and local media reported that more were outside the arena–there is no evidence whatsoever that the 13,000 people needed to make up the difference actually showed up. No images of that crowd have yet been produced.

“So where did the official-sounding number come from? The Obama campaign, according to Politico,” Pollack adds.

Why it’s as-if the media were simply unpaid stenographers, and self-admitted non-official campaign staffers for the president’s reelection bid or something.

PAUL RAHE: The Unofficial Campaign’s Latest Disinformation Offensive.

In support of the administration’s attempt to deflect attention from the defects of its policy, our Department of Justice, which is by now little more than an arm of the President’s re-election campaign, has responded by having its subordinates track down and identify the film-maker, release his name and that of at least one of his associates to the press, and haul him in after midnight to check whether he has violated the terms of probation imposed on him two years ago in a bank fraud case. And, of course, the mainstream press – which constitutes this year, as it did four years ago, what one Journolist member in 2008 accurately termed Barack Obama’s “unofficial campaign” – has loyally fallen in line, reporting that the video “sparked” the disturbance in Benghazi and intimating thereby that the attack was a spontaneous outburst.

All of this is meant to obscure the obvious – that the attack was planned well in advance. To begin with, it is not fortuitous that it took place – months after the video was posted – on 11 September. Nor can it have been the case that the perpetrators simply picked up in a fit of righteous anger the rocket launchers in their closets. Equipment of this sort is rarely ready to hand. Moreover, if the attackers bagged an American ambassador, it was surely because they had advance warning of his visit, and this means in turn that they had excellent intelligence of the sort that presupposes the cooperation of someone inside the consulate or the inside the embassy in Tripoli. . . . For the most part, the press’s contribution to the administration’s disinformation campaign is deliberate and calculated. But one must not underestimate the role played by stupidity.

Read the whole thing. And as a reminder that it wasn’t about that dumb video: Al-Qaeda Says Attack On U.S. Consulate In Benghazi “Revenge” For Recent Drone Killing Of Abu Yahya Al-Libi.