The comments made by Spencer Ackerman on Journolist are revolting. First of all, he casually, and seriously, suggests that they pick an innocent journalist from the other side and mount a slander campaign against him based on zero evidence. Furthermore, they want to call their target one of the vilest things you can be called in America – a racist. Evidence was beside the point to these deeply sick individuals. Their willingness to destroy an individual’s life is even more disgusting when you understand the reason – their candidate was coming under fire. So rather than discuss the issue at hand, their instinct was to divert attention by sacrificing the life and reputation of someone from the other side.
This is deeply un-American.
And then there was the graphic language Ackerman used to describe what wanted to do to his fellow journalists from the other side:
What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [head] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear.
Could there be a sicker thought? We live in America, not in Nazi Germany of the 1930’s. He sounds like some sick Gauleiter from one of the concentration camps. But of course, after that he immediately wrote:
Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
That’s the way his brain works? Even rhetorically? The man is in serious need of some psychological help, if you ask me. Even Mel Gibson could give this guy lessons on etiquette and anger management.
The Washington Post has gone bonkers in the last couple of years. Why? Well, they have Journolist’s founder and probably a number of other journolist contributors.
If any large publication stands to suffer from the JournoList controversy, it’s the Washington Post. The paper hired JournoList founder Ezra Klein from the left-wing publication The American Prospect, and Klein continued to run JournoList while at the Post. In June, the paper quickly accepted the resignation of David Weigel, whom it hired from the left-wing publication The Washington Independent, over comments made on JournoList. (Klein announced he was shutting down the list-serv shortly thereafter.) It is not known whether other Post writers, some of whom also came to the paper from left-wing publications, took part in JournoList; I have asked a couple, and they haven’t yet responded.
…But none of those now-published comments came from Post writers. So is there a problem for the paper? Potentially. Since the paper employs JournoList’s founder and proprietor, and since comments on JournoList led to Weigel’s leaving the paper, and since those events raise questions about whether other Post journalists took part in JournoList, and since there are likely more stories to come from the thousands of still-unpublished exchanges on JournoList, it is reasonable to ask what the Post’s management knows, and what it knew in the past, about Post journalists taking part in the list-serv.
It’s reasonable to ask — but the Post isn’t going to answer. On Tuesday afternoon, I sent a list of questions to Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti. Does Post management know who among its employees participated in JournoList? If so, did management know at the time JournoList was active? Has Post management reviewed employees’ writings on JournoList? If not, does it plan to do so? Has Post management specifically reviewed the JournoList writings of founder Ezra Klein? Did the Post know about Klein’s involvement in JournoList when he was hired? (The list-serv’s existence and Klein’s involvement were first reported by Michael Calderone, then with Politico, before Klein went to the Post.) If the Post knew, did it approve of Klein’s involvement in the list? And did Post management order Klein to put an end to JournoList after the David Weigel controversy became news, or did Klein do it on his own?
The once-cautious Washington Post has begun to invest heavily in the liberal blogosphere, transforming its online presence – through a combination of accident and design – into a competitor of the Huffington Post and TalkingPointsMemo as much as the New York Times.
The Post’s foray into the new media world received some unfavorable attention last weekend when its latest hire, Dave Weigel, who covers conservatives, referred to gay marriage foes as “bigots.” But the resulting controversy brought into relief a larger shift: The Post now hosts three of the strongest liberal blogs on the Internet, and draws a disproportionate share of its traffic and buzz from them, a significant change for a traditional newspaper that has struggled to remake itself.
So there you have it.
This week, we learned a couple of interesting things. First the media does conspire to protect Democrats. We knew this all along, but now we have the proof. Second, the charges of racism are not even believed by those issuing them.
What a bunch of lousy journalists we have these days. What utter cranks.