The JournoList Saga Continues

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That Obama had held Wright as an inspiration for his own writing and career, and that Wright seemed to share some mentor relationship with then-candidate Obama, was of no matter. The reaction to Wright’s statement that the U.S. had helped create the AIDs virus ranged from merely ignoring the story, as suggested by Chris Hayes of The Nation, to a more apoplectic response: Spencer Ackerman submitted the idea of a JournoList effort to flag politician Karl Rove or writer Fred Barnes as racist in an effort to deflect heat off Obama.

“If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us,” Ackerman wrote. “Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.”

Such hate was spat regularly at conservatives. Sarah Spitz of National Public Radio declared she would “laugh manically” if she was in the presence of Rush Limbaugh and he was having a heart attack. After her daydream was revealed, she soon offered a public apology.

That such thoughts are common among journalists is no major revelation to anyone with common sense, but the list confirms two major criticisms the Right has had of the beltway media in general.

First, some members of objective outlets and other places regularly coordinate with political activists in maintaining a narrative. Rush Limbaugh often aired audio of a wide-range of network talking heads using the same terms and arguments repeatedly in different cable airings. The most infamous of which was the excoriation of George W. Bush and his lack of “gravitas,” which became the most over-used word in the country during the 2000 presidential election. Before that, CNN executives were regular overnight guests at the Clinton White House. Then-presidential candidate John Kerry was reported to have held a clandestine hotel meeting during his campaign with executives at several mainstream outlets.

The other is the use of race as a weapon. Ackerman showed little regret in using race as a way to slander two innocent people in the name of political advantage. This is also no surprise to those who have followed racial politics over the last 20 years, but such reprehensible actions should surely lead to firings.

Unfortunately, it won’t. National media outlets are decidedly insular and inbred. The fired Weigel found another high-profile job within days. Meanwhile, such corroboration will continue. Jeffery Goldberg at The Atlantic confirmed the existence of a new list called Cabalist, which began soon after the closing of JournoList. This smaller listserve will no doubt be more exclusive and less open to public scrutiny.

Meanwhile, a public that is already disinterested in mainstream news has more reason not to believe what they see, hear, or read.

B.J. Bethel is a journalist living in the Midwest. He has written about sports, government, and film for the last decade.

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  • Lfox328

    I know that this story is accurate, but I cannot help but ask, how could it be true? These are the same people that think revealing state secrets and military secrets is just hunky-dory.

    These folks are the "best and the brightest" that journalism's got?


  • Guest

    The most telling point in all of this is how closely it maps to the actual coverage given the stories discussed on the "List." Ridicule Sara Palin as a method of attacking her credability? Check. Ignore racist rants of canidate Obama's pastor? Check.
    The membership of the"List" really isn't that important. What is important is how strongly the plans and designs for coverage maps to what the "Mainstream" media coverage actually turned out to be. At this point, I no longer believe there is any viability left to the "Mainstream.' That is truly distressing.

  • Cuban Refugee

    It is high time for American truth seekers to run away as fast as they can from the NY Times, the Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, Politico, the Huffington Post, and the rest of the purveyors of statism. Although this sinister cabal has been a well-known secret for many years, now that its nefarious complicity is out in the open it has been shown to be as revolting as a horror movie, and as evil as if the 400 were legions of Lucifer. The damage they have caused our nation is incalculable, and their duplicitous legacy will remain long after they are gone like a trail of slime from repulstive slugs.

  • Spider

    Cuban Ref — well put I couldn't have said it better. I just hope people wake up to this before it is too late.

  • ajnn

    and how will the 'average american' learn that the mainstream media is a corrupt tool of the left ?

    I don't know. do you ?

  • 11Hotel

    The only reason this is not a bigger story is because the MSM will make sure it is not; THAT is a problem.
    How can a republic survive if the alleged free press is championing the side of the commies/progressives/liberals.
    When you really think about it it is GD scary stuff. We will see how bad it gets.
    I would just like to see a guest on This Week to call out the creatures on national TV.

  • DrBukk

    I had thought the treason off Dan Rather would wake up the people, but no. Attempting to influence the outcome of a presidential election by fraud? Move along, nothing to see here.

  • voted against carter

    And the Progresssive Leftwingnut Libratard dumbocrat's wonder WHY NO ONE WATCHES OR READS THIER PAPERS, MAGAZINES, NEWS SHOWS. Dhuuu, OHHHH!!!!!

  • Steve Chavez

    I have a friend who only has the basic channels since cable is unavailable in his mountain area cabin. He only has ABC, NBC, CBS, AND PBS as his news and he is so liberal it's ridiculous. When I ask him about certain stories, he doesn't know anything about them.

    He heard of a poll taken where "40 % of America are liberals and only 20% were conservative." I proved to him that he had it backwards. Just last week I asked him about the Journolist story and he didn't know anything. He came over the next day and I googled it to prove it.

    I then said "What you don't know, won't hurt you and if the MSM didn't report it, it didn't happen." If it did happen they ask where you got that information and if you say Fox, they'll call that slanted even if Fox uses their own speeches, links, and writings.

    You want slanted media? Check out the newspaper at your local newspaper.

  • rob

    This is why piles of human feces like Ackerman need to be made to prove their charges in a court of law. It's time to start sueing these leftwing race-baiters.