'Weigolist' Revealed–and We're Not Invited

Dave Weigel of Slate, who was a central figure in the “JournOlist” controversy in 2010, has been running another listserv, described as “Weigolist” in an article by Ana Marie Cox at the UK Guardian on June 22.

Cox, casually outing Weigel’s new listserv in an article about government intrusions into privacy, wrote:

Indeed, Journolist’s only casualty was Dave Weigel’s gig at the Washington Post; and then, almost immediately after departing, he founded a new listserv, one dedicated to promoting his writing. Ironically, Weigel’s listserv morphed quickly into something Journolist wasn’t: a forum in which writers of all political shades and depths talk to each other. Full disclosure: I’m on the list, but I mostly lurk.

To Cox, conversations among journalists are a necessary weapon against “groupthink,” which she describes as “the biggest threat to freedom of the press.” What she means is that by exchanging ideas, journalists can work together to resist conventional wisdom and the orthodoxies of those in power. Yet Cox does not seem to realize that such coordination among journalists also often creates its own form of media groupthink. 

Weigel, reached by email, confirmed the existence of the listserv. 

“I send around my articles once a week or so, and encourage other people to send theirs if they think they’d be fun to discuss,” he said. 

When asked if the list is used to coordinate coverage, he said no–“just to encourage people to read/link a story, as one would do on Twitter.” 

Asked if he had invited anyone from Breitbart News to join, he said: “Not right now.”