Liberal media manipulates 2008 election and why a Pulitzer Prize is warranted

Jeremiah Wright and the National Press’ ‘Chickens Coming Home to Roost’

By Conservative Generation for Left Coast Rebel

The shroud of secrecy surrounding JournoList has fallen and The Daily Caller has the scoop, but does it matter that the conspiracy is mostly contained to the liberal hacks on the opinion pages?

JournoList is a listserv of liberal, top ranking journalists, bloggers, and academics. The Daily Caller obtained JournoList records and is doing a number of exposes on the content they’ve uncovered. Just how damaging is JournoList? See for yourself:

According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks-in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”

“Richard Kim got this right above: ‘a horrible glimpse of general election press strategy.’ He’s dead on,” Tomasky continued. “We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease.”

(In an interview Monday, Tomasky defended his position, calling the ABC debate an example of shoddy journalism.)

Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?” Schaller proposed coordinating a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos had posed to Obama.

Read the rest at The Daily Caller.

The left will downplay the content of JournoList, just as Mediaite did:

…but the pay off largely isn’t there. What the Daily Caller proves is that many liberal opinion columnists, not necessarily supposedly-unbiased reporters, didn’t like the mainstream media talking about Rev. Jeremiah Wright. That’s not surprising. Also, their attempts to ‘plot to fix the damage’ largely failed (a well-orchestrated response quote regarding an ABC debate came and went mostly unnoticed), as the Wright story bubbled up for a significant part of the campaign, across the entire media.

Hot Air
took to the middle ground:

There is something to keep in mind in this particular story, which is that the people involved in the specific conversations regarding the smear are all opinion journalists, and not people filling roles in objective reporting. The Prospect, the (Washington) Independent, and the Nation are all publications with an explicit point of view, although the Independent offers a little more of a pretense of traditional reporting. That doesn’t relieve them of responsibility for proposing and/or considering an odious smear campaign, but it does make it difficult to tie this to other journalists filling a different role.

Mediaite must be joking and Ed Morrissey need not validate their criticisms. As Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee points out:

Thoughts and opinions only have the value a reader assigns to it. On matters of fact, I try to establish credibility by doing research the reader may not have time to conduct on his own, and in matters of opinion, I try to offer a reasonable level of support for my position. Whether you are a Pulitzer-winning journalist or a Weblog Award nominee, your value comes from your credibility and your ability to substantiate what you say, and your ability to admit and correct mistakes.

Readers expect opinion writers to have a political bias, but conspiring to manipulate an election? That is tarnish on a commentator’s credibility. The expectation of the reader on an opinion page is that the writer expresses their opinion. JournoList shows that liberal writer’s objective is not to provide an informed opinion, but to create clever marketing, wrapped in straw-man arguments, in order to aide a political end. It’s Machiavellian journalism and a bastardization of the profession.

In 2008, David Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize for uncovering a cabal of military analysts supposedly leaking out biased military analysis in the opinion coverage of news networks. David Barstow’s article parallel’s nicely with the JournoList story in that it pertained to how media opinion outlets were manipulated by those with an ulterior motive in supplying their opinions. The only difference is that I doubt the liberals in the media will award The Daily Caller with a Pulitzer Prize, though one is well warranted.

Via Memeorandum


Is William Jacobson ever wrong? For me Professor, I will pretend that I never read it.


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