Gawker Posts Part of the JournoList Archive, Misses the Entire Point of JournoList's Existence

Gawker benefits from hacker Guccifer, and posts what appears to be a partial archive from the JournoList group. JournoList was that group of leftist media operatives who operated in concert in 2009 through about 2010. Gawker, to which I won’t link but the post isn’t difficult to find, describes JournoList as follows:


The existence of Journolist— either a boring listserv among friends and colleagues, or a secret backchannel in which the true feelings of the liberal media elite came to light, depending on who you talked to— was quite a little media sensation, several years ago. Select embarrassing excerpts from Journolist were leaked at the time, forcing public apologies, but never the full list. (The general uproar, however, cost David Weigel a job at the Washington Post.)

Let’s take those descriptions apart.

JournoList was much more than a “secret backchannel in which the true feelings of the liberal media came to light.” JournoList, founded by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, was a means by which many ostensibly neutral members of the mainstream media coordinated their stories in order to protect one Barack Obama from the scrutiny that was due him as a candidate for the presidency. More than 150 so-called journalists colluded among themselves to, among other things, kill off the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy on behalf of the Obama campaign. Wright was Obama’s pastor in Chicago for 20 years, leading a church founded on racist ideology. Obama claimed in 2008 to have never hard any of Wright’s many racist and anti-American sermons, despite using a line from one of those sermons as the title for one of his autobiographies. Spencer Ackerman, then with the now defunct Soros-funded Washington Independent and now with Wired, suggested JournoListers fabricate a narrative accusing conservatives of being racist to help kill the Wright story. He took glee in posing as a mancho man, threatening real harm to our own Michael Ledeen.


SPENCER ACKERMAN: Let’s just throw 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.

JournoListers also ripped Gov. Sarah Palin after her elevation to the GOP ticket, presaging personal attacks on her that continue to this day.

So-called media critic Howard Kurtz rode in at the height of the JournoList scandal to minimize the group’s collusion and importance.

As for the “general uproar” costing Dave Weigel a job at the Washington Post, well, that’s simply not what happened. Weigel got his job at the Post by posing as an “inside the conservative movement” blogger. But he consistently ripped conservatives and the movement to JournoList. He hoped Rush Limbaugh would die from heart problems in one JournoList posting. He beat up on Matt Drudge. He mocked the Tea Party in disparaging terms. The JournoList leaks made it clear that he had gotten the Post job under false pretenses. The Post had no choice but to let him go (officially, he resigned). Slate hired him up quickly, and readers can make up their own minds as to what that says about Slate, along with Wired’s hiring Ackerman.


The bottom line is that JournoList was and remains proof that many in the mainstream media craft and coordinate their stories to push the Democratic party line. The JournoList problem has not only not gone away since the group supposedly disbanded, its founder, Ezra Klein, retains his position at the Post and in late 2011 became a briefer to the Democratic National Committee. Well, publicly, anyway.


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