Dave Weigel Writes Navel-Gazing Retrospective on Ezra Klein, JournoList

Dave Weigel Writes Navel-Gazing Retrospective on Ezra Klein, JournoList

Slate’s Dave Weigel has posted a sort of retrospective of his “friend” Ezra Klein and the whole JournoList scandal, again.

It has been three and a half years since the liberal narrative machine JournoList was outed, but former member Weigel still seems a bit obsessed with explaining it.

With the list’s head man Ezra Klein gearing up to start a new Internet-based adventure, Weigel turned to his Facebook page to talk JournoList once again, essentially taking back his 2010 apology. Weigel took the occasion of a puff piece in New York magazine about Klein and his new venture to wax un-apologetic over the whole JournoList episode.

JournoList, of course, was populated by a large number of Obama-supporting journalists, bloggers, writers, and activists who used the message board as a way to talk over stories, air angles on stories, and share resources.

“One thing there could have been more of,” Weigel wrote on his Facebook page, “a look at what JournoList actually was. In the idiotsphere, JournoList is seen as a dark conspiracy by liberals to control the media, silence conservatives, and elect Barack Obama.”

Far from a coordinated spin machine, Weigel said, the list served a different purpose entirely: “The occasional weird ad hominem argument aside, JournoList was largely a way for academics and journalists to talk to each other.”

Weigel then said that the list was probably a precursor to what Klein is doing now. “But you can draw a straight line,” Weigel wrote, “from the JournoList idea to Ezra hiring a bunch of reporters to write competition-beating policy coverage, based (in part) on interviews with the right experts and academics and think-tankers.”

Weigel also claimed that back in 2010 there was a notion that Klein “CONTROLLED THE MEDIA” (his caps). No one was really saying that, though. What they were saying about JournoList is that the journalists there, with Klein in the lead, were trying to use their platforms as writers to spin the news in Obama’s favor–while presenting themselves publicly as non-partisan.

In any case, it now appears that Weigel is a bit less apologetic over the whole episode than he was in 2010 when he apologized to readers, saying, “I apologize for much of what I wrote, and apologize to readers.”


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