JournoList: A Disgrace to American Journalism

One of the nastiest episodes in American journalism occurred in the immediate aftermath of John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate during the 2008 election. It was a potential game-changer and, for a moment, it rocked the leftist media back on its heels. Who can ever forget Andrea Mitchell’s gaping-fish-out-of-water reaction to Palin’s electrifying acceptance speech? For one brief, horrible moment, the Marxist Media saw its dream of a People’s Republic dying, shot through the heart by the moose-hunting mom from Nowhere, Alaska. 

Soon enough, though, the counter-attack began… almost as if it was co-ordinated. And you know what? It was! From the Daily Caller:

In the hours after Sen. John McCain announced his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate in the last presidential race, members of an online forum called Journolist struggled to make sense of the pick. Many of them were liberal reporters, and in some cases their comments reflected a journalist’s instinct to figure out the meaning of a story.

But in many other exchanges, the Journolisters clearly had another, more partisan goal in mind: to formulate the most effective talking points in order to defeat Palin and McCain and help elect Barack Obama president. The tone was more campaign headquarters than newsroom.

The burgeoning scandal has exposed the dark heart of the left wing of American journalism: no longer content to simply observe (if indeed they ever were), the Youngish Turks of the JournoList — green, smart-ass reporters and columnists like Ezra Klein and Dave Weigel who never should have been hired by major media outlets like the Washington Post in the first place — have overreached to a breathtaking extent, and in so doing have exposed the entire sham edifice: the MSM as a Potemkin Village of bitter, angry, ugly partisanship.

Caller editor Tucker Carlson gets at the enormity of what Klein et al. have wrought in this summing up, in which he appears to announce the end of the series of excerpts — for now at least:

Anyone on Journolist who claims we quoted him “out of context” can reveal the context himself. Every member of Journolist received new threads from the group every day, most of which are likely still sitting in Gmail accounts all over Washington and New York. So feel free to try to prove your allegations, or else stop making them.

One final note: Editing this series has been something of a depressing experience for me. I’ve been in journalism my entire adult life, and have often defended it against fellow conservatives who claim the news business is fundamentally corrupt. It’s harder to make that defense now. It will be easier when honest (and, yes, liberal) journalists denounce what happened on Journolist as wrong.

Well, no one around here is holding his breath. Despite Ezra Klein’s published vow of silence re his brainchild — “There’s not a lot to be done about it, and I won’t be trying to answer every story, or explain every thread. I actually expect this to be my final public comment on the subject” — the story is still far, far from over.

Stay tuned.


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