The Journolisters — including Cole? — must be desperately trying to discipline each other not to leak. And yet the evidence is — if [Jeffrey] Goldberg is to be believed — that the leaks have been going on all along. Whenever someone not on the list was talked about, somebody in that 400 may have seen fit to let that person know what was being said. Think of all the reasons you might decide to forward the email. You might know the person being talked about and think they needed to be be alerted about some scurrilous accusations or plans. You might object to what was being said or dislike the person saying it and want to do something about it without drawing attention to yourself.Cole imagines that is all about him and, misreading, has an embarrassing hissy fit:
It's really too late now to get the 400 listmembers into line. Stuff has gone out. People like Goldberg have it and will use it when they decide it's right. You can try, like Cole, to say that using it will be vicious and destructive, but presumably, the email was vicious and destructive, which is probably why it got forwarded! And, anyway, you can't beat that many people into line. In that huge group are some writers who take orders, but there have to be others who are vindictive or careless. Some may be unsuccessful and jealous. Some may believe staunchly that information wants to be free or that a list of 400 is pretty much a public list with no valid restrictions. You can't control them all.
[N]o, Ann, I’m not on and never have been on JournOlist (why would anyone even begin to think I was on that?), and I am not trying to “discipline” or punish list members to not disclose more private emails.Why would anyone even begin to think you were on the Journolist? Because you aren't as famous as you seem to think you are. I just read a post of yours that was linked on Memeorandum as discussing an issue I was interested in. I don't follow your blog. That's why I put my little parenthetical — "including Cole?"— in question form. The subject of that sentence is, you should note, The Journolisters. It's not about you at all, unless you are also on the list. The structure of the sentence indicates that whether you are/were on the list was a side issue to be acknowledged but not pursued. Ever heard the phrase "get over yourself." I don't use it often but: Get over yourself.
You would think that would be a matter of honor [sic] for those who chose to join the list that they would not leak more emails, and if Ann can not figure out why it is disgusting for Goldberg to use emails to try to destroy someone using things written in confidence rather than engage them on the merits of any particular issue, I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it to her. The Goldbergs and Althouses’s [sic] of the world really deserve each other, and that, I guess, is punishment enough.You're so emotional about this that I don't know if you'll be able to grasp this when I try to be as clear as possible... or maybe I shouldn't "waste my time" on you either. You don't seem to have any curiosity about human nature and how social and political systems work. What I was doing was observing and speculating about how people behave. In that light, your behavior continues to be worthy of analysis. You're hot to force everyone to think that disclosing email from a 400-person email list is "disgusting." You'd like to nail it down that only "disgusting" motivations could be involved. I'm interested in exploring the full range of possibilities. I'm not a journalist. I'm an intellectual. Compared to you anyway.
Remember the liberal meme that George Bush was "incurious"? But aren't these liberal journalists incurious? They had this email list that was designed — apparently — to figure out how to structure the various news stories to serve the interests of their party. The Journolist was a self-herding device. They wanted to be good cogs in a machine that would generate power for the Democratic Party, didn't they? For career and social rewards? That's my hypothesis. As an intellectual, I would like to study how that worked. I'll write a book about it if someone will send me the raw material I need — the complete archive of the Journolist. I need a Deep Throat. I promise not to regard you as disgusting.
Let's test Cole and the other performers of outrage about how they feel about illustrious leakers of the past. Deep Throat. Daniel Ellsberg. Please do your "honor"/"privacy" routine in that context.