June 27, 2010

I'm not a journalist. I'm an intellectual. Compared to John Cole anyway.

Yesterday, linking to John Cole, I wrote about the Journolist controversy:
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.

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.
Cole imagines that is all about him and, misreading, has an embarrassing hissy fit:
[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.

Cole continues:
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.

120 comments:

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Nice post, but these people despise you. You're not gay and you have the temerity to criticize Barack Obama.

You'll never get the archives.

The archives would be a gushing fountain of actual malice to be used in libel lawsuits against newspapers and reporters all over the country

And so that evidence is being destroyed right now by employees of the Washington Post to prevent that evidence from being seen by juries.

AllenS said...

If you don't support Obama. John Cole is going to hate your guts. Are there really 400 listmembers on Journolist? Nobody seems to want to admit their membership.

cryptical said...

And so that evidence is being destroyed right now by employees of the Washington Post to prevent that evidence from being seen by juries.

There are 400 copies out there, and if what I've seen of some folks email management schemes hold true there is probably more than one complete set of all the postings.

That said, it'd be fascinating to go through the archive and map out the meme control for some past news stories.

Kevin said...

John is just hoping for an invite to the new super-sekrit e-mail list...

Lawler Walken said...

I predict you will have the complete archives within 48 hours. There's always someone somewhere willing to spill the beans.

And thank heavens for that. Otherwise we'd never know the truth about anything really important, like this story about some punk no one's heard of writing for a paper few people read trashing conservatives in emails sent to 400 people that he and others apparently thought would be kept private. Yeah, a bunch of people who make their living writing and talking about stuff for public consumption, that's just who'd I trust to keep a secret.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

There are 400 copies out there, and if what I've seen of some folks email management schemes hold true there is probably more than one complete set of all the postings.

Some of the participants used their work email addresses ... so the contents would probably also be backed up in lots of places. An enterprising IT employee would do well to shop backup copies to various websites willing to pay top dollar for this gold.

Someone, of course, is going to make a fortune ... either by writing an "Anonymouse" book.

More likely several list participants will use the archive contents to blackmail the 400 others on the list to keep them on the team.

Anyone on the list who ever decides they want to switch allegiance will, of course, have their membership leaked so they'll become toxic to legitimate media outlets and they'll have to resort to going to work for Arianna Huffington's website - the outhouse and final posting in the liberal media career arc (i.e. Podunk Post, Capital Post, Washington Post ... then failure and off to the Huffington Post).

lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lucid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

This is how the Left has been operating for years. There was a script and everybody kept to it. In the days of snail mail and phone calls over land lines, it was much easier to keep secret.

This is starting to come out, it seems, because, after years of telling themselves and each other as well as their enemies how smart they were, they're proving to be a bigger bunch of fools than they ever claimed we are.

Ann Althouse said...

As an intellectual, I would like to study that 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.

Be careful of calling yourself an intellectual. I seem to remember George Orwell hated being put in a company above which he was head and shoulders.

As to that last request, I think you're better off asking for a new Daniel Ellsberg.

Flexo said...

The 400-people JournoList, and it's presumed successor, are not private clubs, they are putative competitors colluding in secret to monopolize the exchange of public information and restrain the news trade, including using that secret collusion, monopolization and restraint of trade to promote libels, defamations, misinformation, and disinformation.

Any asserted "privacy" and "off the record" interests are not matters of contract or right, rather, they are purely matters of courtesy and, to the extent that they even exist, "journalistic ethics." To the extent that this secret society was used for unethical ends, which appears to be most of its purpose and usage, the ethical claim of privacy is vitiated. In other words, it is rightly to be considered, both as a matter of morals, ethics, and law, as a public forum.

Moreover, anyone who was the subject of any discussion on said list has the right to full disclosure of what was said and by whom it was said, together with the payment of monetary damages for such defamation.

lucid said...

Journolist was a form of perniciously dishonest and delberate groupthink.

It attempted to enforce discipline among those with access to the public mind and to coordinate storylines among "journalists" who would pretend to the appearance of independence.

Even the membership of the list was kept a secret.

Why?

Because the members of the list knew they were doing something wrong and dishonest and shameful.

They knew that what they wrote would be viewed differently if it were known they were list members.

If the membership were known then the degree of coordination among storylines would become very visible to the public.

If it were not shameful to do what the Journpolisters were doing, then why keep the membership such a closely guraded secret?

Klein's self-serving and self-righteous claim that they were just "informing" each other is especially dishonest and, in fact, disgusting.

Publish the names of Journolist members! Let us know who they are so that the public can evaluate what they wrote and said while on the list.

Jon said...

The idea that it would be "disgusting" for Goldberg to publish J-list e-mails is simply nonsensical, given that Goldberg wasn't a member of J-list. Apparently, Cole and the others denouncing Goldberg on this basis believe that if members of a group make a secrecy pact among themselves, the rest of us who aren't members of the group also have some deep moral obligation to honor their pact. Which is silly.

Flexo said...

In addition, the activities on the list might even be considered to constitute racketeering under RICO.

rhhardin said...

De disgustibus non est disputandum.

Kevin said...

Yes, it would be very interesting sociologically to know who was on the list and what they were saying to each other.

And as New "Hussein" Ham notes, libel suits would become a lot easier, as evidence of malice surfaced from the list.

bagoh20 said...

Just write the book without the archives. Everyone who has ever read lefties' blogs knows what they said. It's not original or insightful. Just think childish insults dressed up in rarely used words that are overused.

Kevin said...

You'd think they'd learn:

Juan Cole, the leftist professor of Middle Eastern Studies, in 2006:

Christopher Hitchens owes me a big apology.

I belong to a private email discussion group called Gulf2000. It has academics, journalists and policy makers on it. It has a strict rule that messages appearing there will not be forwarded off the list. It is run, edited and moderated by former National Security Council staffer for Carter and Reagan, Gary Sick, now a political scientist at Columbia University. The “no-forwarding” rule is his, and is intended to allow the participants to converse about controversial matters without worrying about being in trouble. Also, in an informal email discussion, ideas evolve, you make mistakes and they get corrected, etc. It is a rough, rough draft.

Hitchens somehow hacked into the site, or joined and lurked, or had a crony pass him things. And he has now made my private email messages the subject of an attack on me in Slate. (I am not linking to the article because it is highly unethical and Slate does not deserve any direct traffic from my site for it.) Moreover, he did not even have the decency to quote the final outcome of the discussions.

Interesting how much behind-the-scenes message coordination is going on....

Interesting how much the Left is in love with Begriffsgleichordnung...

bagoh20 said...

I'm an intellectual.

I am Sparticus!

Sissy Willis said...

A "self-herding device" for social display. Brilliant!

GMay said...

"You would think that would be a matter of honor..."

There is no honor among journalists.

Or Journolists for that matter.

lemondog said...

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.

Hothouse reporting.

How is Journolist not like cloistered nuns singing from the same book of hymns?

Don't journalism classes teach a code of ethics or rules of behavior?

Shouldn't the ultimate obligation be to the public with objectivity and independent thought as the ultimate goal of good reporter?

Step away from a cloister and reassess.

rhhardin said...

I think the rule is that if you have three or more sheep, they herd like one sheep.

Methadras said...

The whole thing is so trite and fabricated. THESE ARE LEFTARDS!!! and what do leftards do? Hate anyone else who isn't one of them. They don't care about the vaunted objectivity of journalism. They only care about promoting their insane, bankrupt, nonsensical leftard ideas that aren't even rooted in reality. Weigel was a case in point. Journolist was simply the hive mind of leftardation.

GMay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GMay said...

"Just think childish insults dressed up in rarely used words that are overused."

Bildungsroman anyone?

And French phrases. Can't forget those. To quote Doc Holliday in 'Tombstone':

"Very cosmopolitan."

Old Dad said...

People are routinely careless and stupid. I doubt any of the JournoLosers joined expecting the emails to remain confidential. They joined expecting the emails to be leaked. The practical purpose of the list was to shape the lefty narrative. The political purpose was to burnish lefty bona fides. Weigel may have gotten a little complacent, a little careless, a little lazy, so he took a chance but he knew the risks. So he lost what looks like a pretty plum job at the Post but look at how quickly the lefty establishment scooped him up--JournoLeftism at work.

As to John Cole, there's no more pathetic lefty parrot in the blogosphere, and his readers are lefty lemmings. He's a parody of a parody, but he doesn't get it.

SMGalbraith said...

Ann is fencing with John Cole not Juan Cole.

Juan Cole is the leftwing Middle East professor at Michigan University.

John Cole is a middle-aged eccentric who used to be a sort of conservative/libertarian but is now a full-throated liberal/leftist. His blog, Balloon Juice, has the greatest collection of foul-mouthed thugs and smear artists known to man.

Lincolntf said...

I'd love for you to get the full archive, Ann. But I beg that if you do, you immediately make it available to everyone. I'd print out a hard copy to supplement my summer reading.
It'd be informative to pick a random date, check the archives of MSM coverage of partisan/big stories for the next couple days, and then go check that against the contemporaneous Journolist e-mails.
Bet we'd have the material for an endless game of "Six Degrees of Mara Liasson".

Big Mike said...

Thanks for answering the question "who is John Cole"?

Now that you've raised the idea I'll bet that someone, somewhere, really will lay hands on the archive and really will write that book. Whether that someone will be you, I don't know, but, yeah, someone will do it.

Big Mike said...

Don't journalism classes teach a code of ethics or rules of behavior?

I am holding in my hand the complete syllabus for J-school ethics courses. It's a single sheet of paper that is blank on both sides.

khematite said...

Mickey Kaus dealt with some of these same issues regarding Journolist just a little over a year ago.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/03/26/journoList-revealed-inside-the-liberal-media-email-cabal.aspx

Kevin said...

"Ann is fencing with John Cole not Juan Cole.

Juan Cole is the leftwing Middle East professor at Michigan University.

John Cole is a middle-aged eccentric who used to be a sort of conservative/libertarian but is now a full-throated liberal/leftist. His blog, Balloon Juice, has the greatest collection of foul-mouthed thugs and smear artists known to man."

I should have made that explicit - it's not the same person. It's just that the last example of a lefty screeching about his "private" e-mails being leaked from a discussion group that I can recall is Juan Cole's.

"I doubt any of the JournoLosers joined expecting the emails to remain confidential. They joined expecting the emails to be leaked."

The problem is, once you've been part of a discussion group for awhile, you tend to let your hair down, and "forget" the fact that everything you type is accumulating in an archive somewhere. Look at the climate scientist e-mails...

kcom said...

Speaking of incurious, it's just amazing how breathtakingly incurious many reporters and press people get when it comes to certain topics.

Obams's relationship to:

Tony Rezko - Who?
Rev. Wright - Obama never heard him say any of those things, and we belive him.
Bill Ayers - "He's just a guy in my neighborhood." Okay, we'll buy that.
ACORN - What does that stand for again?
Plus many other past associations the press couldn't lift a finger to report on. (Bristol Palin, on the other hand...)

Then there's the press's curious lack of interest in the GM and Chrysler bailout shennanigans. Laws, who needs laws in that kind of situation and why should anyone care?

Top Democrats incestuous relationship with the moneysucking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Why would that be interesting?

Senator Dodd's cozy relationship with the financial industry and all the harm it wrought? The national press couldn't be bothered to investigate (although props to some Connecticut press who actually pursued the matter and brought some level of accountability to Senator Dodd).

Gerald Walpin, Inspector General fired in a blatantly political move to protect a political ally. Where was the press on that one? AWOL, of course.

And what about the one woman wrecking ball that is Jamie Gorelick? Every disaster of the last few years she's been at the heart of and yet there's no curiosity about how that happened and why she's been able to wield the influence she has.

gk1 said...

I wonder if there is some sort of accumulated effect of having so much liberal media hypocracy in such a short amount of time. Obama's media coronation in 2008, his collapse in the polls. Continual flakking by the legacy media for obamacare. Again, another hugely unpopular bill rammed through with the complicity of the MSM. Now the not surprising news lefties are co-ordinating their coverage. You know, after a while I think people are beginning to suspect the media is in cahoots with the democratic party.

Fen said...

I would like to thank the 400 weasels on Journalist for confirming everything I believed about the MSM.

Every one of them should be fired.

Until then, their "profession" has less credibility than Pravda.

From Inwood said...

rhhardin @10:36
De disgustibus non est disputandum.

Wins the thread!

I will steal it for future use!

Fen said...

Don't journalism classes teach a code of ethics or rules of behavior

Bwahahahaha! oh god, make it stop hahahaha!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Every time Althouse issues a trite, over-personalized, emotional nanny-ism, like "Get over yourself", a child in Bangladesh dies.

spunky said...

And every time a child in Bangladesh dies, a leftist thinks how to take advantage of it.

Even for just a snide remark.

virgil xenophon said...

kcom@11:40 has not only targeted the media waterfront, covered the waterfront, but scored a direct hit on said media waterfront.

William said...

Just the existence of such a thing as Journolist plays into every dark, disturbing fear normal people have about the media. The fact that Klein sees no ethical problems with its existence, just the need to further refine and improve the cadre, is troubling.....During the Cold War, Walter Lippmann railed against the horrors of McCarthyism. When it was revealed that his secretary was a member of the Communist Party and a Soviet agent, he took that as yet another example of the excesses of McCarthyism.

jamboree said...

Well, Go Ann.

I hope you get your Deep Throat. Another idea - Get someone to hack into it. Too bad it's not active. Someone will keep the archive - I assure you.

I always thought the idea was not to support the Dem party per se, but to have a private place where their essential natures (and bias) could show without constraint. The benefit to the Dem party was a logical outcome.

I am curious how many of the members would be (in theory) against their parents'/grandparents' membership in country clubs with restricted memberships and the like...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And every time a child in Bangladesh dies, a leftist thinks how to take advantage of it.

Precisely so. By pointing out that Right-Wingers don't have better things to do than ignoring the real ills of the world.

Methadras said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Every time Althouse issues a trite, over-personalized, emotional nanny-ism, like "Get over yourself", a child in Bangladesh dies.


So, why aren't you dead yet? Come on, take one for the team Schtickmo.

Methadras said...

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Precisely so. By pointing out that Right-Wingers don't have better things to do than ignoring the real ills of the world.


Maudlin much?

Freeman Hunt said...

Somebody send Althouse that archive! I want an Althouse book.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Althouse's circus of mouth-breathing hatred isn't my team, Meth-Head. That's your team.

Maudlin much?

Unproductive much?

Oh, that's right! People pay you to worsen rather than improve the quality of life in the world and to project an immoral (and psychotic) contempt for those worse off than you.

traditionalguy said...

We Boomers grew up listening to Walter Cronkite and Chet Huntley speak with a special authority as insiders that tell us information that we needed to know. The latest impersonators of those speaking with that special authority decided that they needed a Claque of shouting repeaters of the slander by misinformation to justify their existence. Godhelp us if the internet gets shut down like the Tyrants of the world are doing to their serfs.

Seven Machos said...

Just a fabulous smashing of one of the lamest members of the Juicebox Mafia, Althouse. Really, it's not fair.

Really, though, I don't understand why this guy resigned if what he did was so defensible. By his own actions he has thus demonstrated a lack of ethics.

And this demonstrates one of the problems of being a modern-day leftist, I think. Here on the right, when we have a moron like Weigel show up, we defenestrate him promptly. Yet we have and will continue to have tools on the left defend him because, as far as I can tell, he is on their side. Strange.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I could be wrong, but I think that when The Washington Post asks for your resignation, you're really not at liberty to have much choice in the matter.

spunky said...

So, not only do you agree with me, you restate it even more strongly. Leftists will take advantage of the death of a child to snidely point out that Right-Wingers don't have better things to do than ignore the real ills of the world. And this is apparently doing something about these real ills?

Thanks for making my point for me.

virgil xenophon said...

This entire "l'affaire Journolist" only confirms the wisdom of Bob Dylan (you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows) and all those on the right who have instintively known for years the conspiratorial "group-think"-like lefist nature of the MSM, multi-million dollar longitudinal content-analysis studies or no. And of course such studies as have been done of that nature have only served to confirm those suspicions. Predictably, the MSM, when confronted with such studies reply: "What? Bias? Nobody here but us chickens!" and, as all the data is consistently against them and supportive of their critic's charges, promptly proceed undeterred to slime their critics by every means possible with all the condescension only those possessed with "The Vision of the Anointed" can muster.

"Jouronolist" revelations are but yet
another in a long line of confirming evidence of leftist journalistic bias and active conspiracy in the advancement of the left's sociocultural political agenda.

Seven Machos said...

Ritmo -- If Weigel really believed in what he was doing, he would have said that he did not choose to resign (if, in fact, he was asked to resign). Isn't this, after all, some argument over some principle?

Is that principle careerism?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And this is apparently doing something about these real ills?

I guess it's not if focusing attention on problems that you're indifferent to bothers you.

You're making my point as much as you believe I'm making yours. You're twisting yourself into a circuitous discussion while somehow kidding yourself into believing that the politics of a listserv discussion is a grave matter.

If I were Althouse, perhaps I'd say "Get over yourself".

Or maybe I would just post videos of little cute bunnies that make my heart burst with all the compassion and interest that I lack for more important things.

Talk about petty. When did you lose all sense of perspective and proportion when it comes to ranking the importance of what's not right in the world?

Freeman Hunt said...

Upon first hearing of Journolist, I assumed that it was only a matter of time before it was leaked entirely. That event seems to be rapidly approaching. Will be both entertaining and informative. Fun!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo -- If Weigel really believed in what he was doing, he would have said that he did not choose to resign (if, in fact, he was asked to resign). Isn't this, after all, some argument over some principle?

Is that principle careerism?


First off, that would be lying - not a very nice trait in a journalist, but oh well.

Second, if the principle is that the WaPo can't tolerate what they obviously considered to be good contrarian perspectives on the right because an opinion expressed by a person writing those opinions said something intemperate in private, perhaps Weigel is making the point that they value image over substance - and would therefore be right to comply.

And third, whatever (or in spite of) the guy's credentials, he was born in the 1980s! Golly, are people getting younger and younger these days. It's expected that someone that young and entrusted with such an esteemed position would have much steam to let off, and blow it in figuring out what venues he could trust to be safe in blowing it off.

Freeman Hunt said...

And I have to agree that a list with 400 members is not private. I have a hard time believing that anyone could possibly think that.

I'm on an email list with about ten real life friends, and while I would never share anything from it, I'd never write anything, even to a list like that, that I wouldn't mind someone else sharing. And those are close friends of many, many years.

How would anyone expect a list of 400 friends, acquaintances, and strangers to stay private?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Scratch that first point - apparently I misinterpreted what you were getting at at first.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, Ritmo Urban Legend. Can we not agree here that Weigel was a complete moron to do what he did?

Seven Machos said...

Woman writes an email to one person about her racist views and it ends up public.

Man -- scratch that, journalist, which is practically like priest or rabbi -- writes in 400-person forum about his grossly anti-conservative views (while covering conservatism for the country's second-most prestigious newspaper.

What's the difference? Other than who you are rooting for?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Obviously the guy made a mistake. The WaPo really had no choice but to fire him. Wishing death upon someone (even if in an unconventional way) is pretty well beyond the pale, and it would look even worse if they retained him to opine on the same segment of the political spectrum that contains the figure upon whom he (off-handedly) wished such horrifying misfortune.

Being a hot-head is a double-edged sword. I doubt you can separate what made him a valuable writer from what made him pop off. And isn't that usually the case?

But regardless, the WaPo has decisions to make and a reputation to protect. I don't blame them in the slightest.

As with every other talented fuck-up in America, he will move on and find something as or even more profitable to do now.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Re: your second comment, though, was it really anti-conservative views he expressed? Or at least anti-conservative views that got him in trouble? I thought it went without saying that he wasn't necessarily, himself, a conservative - and forgive my ignorance on all this if that is the understatement of the year?

I thought it was the violent imagery toward Drudge which he expressed that got him in trouble. And although Drudge is obviously aligned with the conservatives, I wonder if it was possible that the guy's comment reflected on his person and tactics, rather than his alignment with conservatives. Drudge isn't necessarily himself much of a bridge builder.

But regardless, the overall issue of how this all went down is unsurprising. But I'd be reluctant to tie it into a hatred, of job-disqualifying calilber, for conservatives until I had more evidence. We can be safe to assume there was some healthy antagonism going on, though - at the very least.

Revenant said...

Re: your second comment, though, was it really anti-conservative views he expressed? Or at least anti-conservative views that got him in trouble?

Yes.

Blue@9 said...


I thought it was the violent imagery toward Drudge which he expressed that got him in trouble.


Ritmo, the guy was colluding with other JournoList members to push or bury certain stories for the benefit of the Democratic Party agenda. Do you not find that troubling?

He was also in the business of objectively reporting on conservatives when it's apparent that he harbored a deep personal animus against very the people he was covering. I keep reading that he was so fair and objective in his coverage of the Tea Party? Yeah, well what did he leave out? We know for a fact that he thinks the Tea Party are a bunch of racist nutjobs. It's fine for you or I to hold that opinion, but we're not reporting on them for a mainstream newspaper while claiming to present a unbiased view.

spunky said...

When did you lose all sense of perspective and proportion when it comes to ranking the importance of what's not right in the world?

You're the one who admits to trying to take (political) advantage of dying children in Bangladesh and I'm the one who's lost all sense of perspective and proportion.

Blue@9 said...

Can we not agree here that Weigel was a complete moron to do what he did?

No kidding. We just got through the firing of a field commander in the middle of a war, and the nation pretty much reached a consensus that You've got to be retarded to make such comments in the presence of a reporter. Well, Weigel did it in front of 400 journalists.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In spunky's world, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are just a bunch of outrageous opportunists.

Can you please try to get a grip? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

You're not helping the others make the case for distinguishing between tongue in cheek comments and more serious statements.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jamboree said...

@Ritmo

re: the ills of the world. Just a small example, but I have recently had occasion through business to be exposed to the reality of Section 8 housing for the first time.

Those in need weren't being helped - their landlords were. They take a shit apartment in the very, very worst area - an absolute hole that on the free market wouldn't get more than $600 a month - and they charge the government $1200-$1500 for it.

The tenant ends up paying about the same as they would on the free market - maybe $100 less or so. After this begins a cat and mouse game in which the tenant tries to squeeze more people than are allowed into the apartment since this is the only way "the poor" can really benefit to any significant degree. Of course the government has regulations against this however.

Given that the landlord can fairly be expected to charge a bit above free market value because of extra paperwork and risk, they are still pocketing AT LEAST $500 a month straight gravy from the taxpayer.

Many of these landlords, oh lets just call them slumlords, own a tremendous number of these buildings.

That not compassion. That is a rip off with the victim being the taxpayer in aggregate.

Take this and repeat with whatever cause you support.

Most conservative ire that I hear re these programs is directed against those who get the government check/voucher. Most liberals would recoil in horror at this lack of compassion.

But those in need don't really benefit - the landlords do and that's where the righteous urge for reform should be directed - I would hope from both sides instead of getting off on this "we're great, you're evil" childish bullshit.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo, the guy was colluding with other JournoList members to push or bury certain stories for the benefit of the Democratic Party agenda. Do you not find that troubling?

What's the big deal? Assuming, as is received opinion here, that the press is ideologically liberal and has an agenda, then why does this come across as such a threat? And if the conservative response to "liberal media" is Fox News and right-wing talk radio, am I really supposed to believe that balanced, non-partisan, ideologically sterile reporting is what you guys want, let alone assume achievable?

He was also in the business of objectively reporting on conservatives when it's apparent that he harbored a deep personal animus against very the people he was covering. I keep reading that he was so fair and objective in his coverage of the Tea Party? Yeah, well what did he leave out? We know for a fact that he thinks the Tea Party are a bunch of racist nutjobs. It's fine for you or I to hold that opinion, but we're not reporting on them for a mainstream newspaper while claiming to present a unbiased view.

This is where you, and WaPo, have more of a case. Except for the part where it's assumed that biases are avoidable.

In the era of the internet, everybody has an opinion. The issue isn't whether Weigel could have been an ideologically sterile puppet of bland (and un-newsworthy) media deep down in his mind and in his soul, but whether he could be objective in his reporting. Even Machos' link back to WaPo states as much:

"Dave did excellent work for us," Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said. But, he said, "we can't have any tolerance for the perception that people are conflicted or bring a bias to their work. . . .

Note that last line about work. It's not about thought policing. It's about how one's work is affected.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And BTW, when I say,

"Assuming, as is received opinion here, that the press is ideologically liberal and has an agenda, then why does this come across as such a threat?"

I mean that if you repeat that mantra so often as to make us believe it is an inevitable force of nature, how did it become any more "conservative" to root out all trace of liberalism in the press than it would be to seek to rid the planet of hurricanes and tornadoes?

I would assume your supposed distaste for trying to change human nature and the structure of long-standing human institutions would make you a little more amenable to the proposition that idealists who believe in human progress and the triumph of human reason over tradition might tend to gravitate toward the business of reporting on the events of the day that deal with the human condition, and perhaps always will.

I find this business of trying to make the press less "liberal" as silly as I would an attempt to make businessmen less conservative. Just a weird, quota-simulating balancing act that won't work. At least, not in the way you seem to propose.

Seven Machos said...

I made no link.

Seven Machos said...

The problem here, ultimately, is that certain news organs (such as the Washington Post) hold themselves out to be objective. When their reporters show themselves as obviously not objective, the disconnect between what is held out and what is reality is apparently too much for the parties involved to bear.

If said news organs would just be honest about their biases, instead of hiding behind a basically untenable veneer of objectivity, this problem would go away. However, "journalism," such as its practitioners believe themselves to be doing something remotely approaching a dignified profession, is too invested in false beliefs about what it is.

Blue@9 said...

What's the big deal? Assuming, as is received opinion here, that the press is ideologically liberal and has an agenda, then why does this come across as such a threat? And if the conservative response to "liberal media" is Fox News and right-wing talk radio, am I really supposed to believe that balanced, non-partisan, ideologically sterile reporting is what you guys want, let alone assume achievable?

I've long accepted that mainstream journalists in this country lean Left. That's cool. What's not cool is when they get together secretly and decide what is news and what is not news, which stories to bury and which stories to promote, all on behalf of one party. Don't pretend you're observing from the sidelines if you're actually working for one of the teams.

The other reason this is so eye-opening is that mainstream media are constantly whining that amateur bloggers aren't real journalists because journalists have gone to school and adhere to a professional ethical code. Or that journalists are essential to the health of a democracy because they're the ones whom we trust to investigate and report on public matters. Yeah, well, so much for that.

Revenant said...

Well, Weigel did it in front of 400 journalists.

Only one of whom acted like a journalist. Make of that what you will.

Blue@9 said...

Only one of whom acted like a journalist. Make of that what you will.

Yeah, only a .25% hit rate for professionalism and competence. I think that even the Soviets managed to top such dismal numbers.

Hagar said...

These people are not Democrats; they are "progressives," intent on managing the Democrat Party for their own ends.

There is a difference.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Just because the fourth estate is an essential component of democracy doesn't mean it has to be an open, democratic institution.

Further, let's see how Roger Ailes makes decisions on what and how to report the news. I'd be willing to bet that's not an open process either.

And don't kid yourself on how this has anything to do with standards of professionalism. You think physicians never meet behind closed doors to decide the merits of their decisions? Try Googling M & M (or, morbidity and mortality), a vaunted tradition of hospital medicine with a degree of secrecy that would make you wince. It's also recognized as essential to securing the comfort physicians need to candidly discuss how they can improve mortality rates in the future.

Or how about lawyers and judges? Members of a profession no less intrinsic to the needs of society and government. No closed door meetings to decide how to proceed with securing the needs of justice and the rights of others? Give me a break.

We could even take a governmental institution comprised of said professionals. Do you think the FDA doesn't conduct closed-door meetings to deliberate on the health and safety of regulated products and devices?

Or how about something closer to home, but at no less high a level of power when it comes to decisions that affect the lives of the citizenry, and with implications for corruption to which this Journolist piffle pales in comparison? The energy lobby meeting behind closed doors with Dick Cheney and George W. to decide how we were going to go about fueling our homes and our cars? Dick refused to take notes on this that the public widely perceived they had a right to expect and to demand.

But not a peep out of your crew when it came to that.

So let's just put all that whining in your last comment into perspective. The only implications for breaches of professional ethics in all of these instances, including the Journolist one, was the last example.

But I guess it's easier (and more fascist) to make arbitrary demands of a rightly unregulated information gathering profession than of the public servants that we actually elect into office.

Please get some perspective. I can even gather some friends behind closed doors to further discuss how we can formulate a strategy for helping you with this.

LoafingOaf said...

Upon first hearing of Journolist, I assumed that it was only a matter of time before it was leaked entirely. That event seems to be rapidly approaching. Will be both entertaining and informative. Fun!

Are you aware that conservative journalists participate in listservs just like Journolist? I guess you might not be awar of it, because the conservative journalists seem to keep their listservs much more on the downlow. But they exist. How come Althouse isn't asking any questions about them?

BTW, I hope the Journolist archives are leaked, too.

spunky said...

But I guess it's easier (and more fascist) to make arbitrary demands...

Ah, the ever-reliable fascist accusation. Must not have been able to figure out how to use racist in this context.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

As I recall the email list was in fact a private Google Groups group with limited membership. Which means Google probably has it all archived for eternity. The easiest way in would probably be to boost a participant's laptop.

I think the participants rather naively expected the emails to stay private; the other major leak uncovered by Mickey Kaus had similar Junior High level invective directed at uncool kids. Weigel, who is probably a junior leaguer on the list, was probably aping the tone of other, higher status members. Ann is right that the sociology would probably be fascinating, even laying aside the message coordination aspect.

Milwaukee said...

Big Mike said...

Don't journalism classes teach a code of ethics or rules of behavior?

I am holding in my hand the complete syllabus for J-school ethics courses. It's a single sheet of paper that is blank on both sides.


What is super cool about that piece of paper is that if you were to photocopy it, it would turn black, because it's special paper, and their ethics are secret. You're not suppose to be sharing that information.

Apparently many progressive journalist are among those who think "they know better than the rest" and are intent on telling a particular story. For our own good. Look at how journalists covered up for Stalin's murdered millions. The Tet offensive was a North Vietnamese failure, until Walter Cronkite declared otherwise. Again and again they refuse to run many an article which portrays the current administration in a bad light. Perhaps it's time to revise that old quote about "When the revolution comes, we'll shoot the lawyers first."

I have started, and deleted, more than one post to an internet blog. I am sure that one day somebody will take too great offense at things I've written, and come looking for me. For these journalist to think they could rant on a 400 bulletin board and expect privacy shows how incredibly stoooopid they are. (I know, should use a "u", but they aren't smart enough to deserve it.)

dbp said...

LoafingOaf said...

Are you aware that conservative journalists participate in listservs just like Journolist?

Are you "aware" of this or just speculating? If you are aware, how about some evidence?

Blue@9 said...

Just because the fourth estate is an essential component of democracy doesn't mean it has to be an open, democratic institution.

Further, let's see how Roger Ailes makes decisions on what and how to report the news. I'd be willing to bet that's not an open process either.


Ailes runs one network. The WaPo is equally non-transparent, and that's fine. But what if Ailes and all the other major media heads met in secret and agreed about what stories to run. The same? Different?

And don't kid yourself on how this has anything to do with standards of professionalism. You think physicians never meet behind closed doors to decide the merits of their decisions?

Does physician collusion lead to anything detrimental to society?

Try Googling M & M (or, morbidity and mortality), a vaunted tradition of hospital medicine with a degree of secrecy that would make you wince. It's also recognized as essential to securing the comfort physicians need to candidly discuss how they can improve mortality rates in the future.

Sounds like a process that is ultimately beneficial to the profession and to society. What is beneficial about journalists conspiring to bury stories that harm one political party?

You're not doing very well with these analogies.

Or how about lawyers and judges? Members of a profession no less intrinsic to the needs of society and government. No closed door meetings to decide how to proceed with securing the needs of justice and the rights of others? Give me a break.

Yeah, it's considered highly unethical and you can get disciplined for meeting secretly with a judge. Or colluding with opposing counsel.

We could even take a governmental institution comprised of said professionals. Do you think the FDA doesn't conduct closed-door meetings to deliberate on the health and safety of regulated products and devices?

Do they secretly collude with certain companies to the detriment of other companies?

The energy lobby meeting behind closed doors with Dick Cheney and George W. to decide how we were going to go about fueling our homes and our cars? Dick refused to take notes on this that the public widely perceived they had a right to expect and to demand.

This is better. And yeah, I agree with you that it was dirty business.

But not a peep out of your crew when it came to that.

I don't have a crew.

Please get some perspective. I can even gather some friends behind closed doors to further discuss how we can formulate a strategy for helping you with this.

What a fucking laugh. You and fellow travelers will whine endlessly about the BS on Faux News. OMG, they tell lies and are a wing of the Evil Republican Party. But Fox News is One Fucking Media Outlet. Any damage they do can and is brought to light and heavily criticized. But fuck, let's just laugh off secret manipulation of news by people across a broad swath of media. Why? Because they're on your team, that's why.

Again, if it were revealed that there was a secret conservative listserv where media figures conspired to bury stories harmful to the Republican Party, would you laugh it off as harmless?


But I guess it's easier (and more fascist) to make arbitrary demands of a rightly unregulated information gathering profession than of the public servants that we actually elect into office.

My god. Do you ever get embarrassed for writing such ridiculous shit? Let me distill down your argument so you understand just how retarded is RitmoWorld:

Media conspiring to benefit the ruling party in government: Not fascist.

Criticizing the collusion and calling for transparency: Fascist

Apparently in RitmoWorld, Goebbels and his lackeys weren't the issue, it was the people criticizing him who were the real fascists. Simply amazing.

oj4t said...

Can you imagine the outcry if instead of Liberal Reporters, that Journolist was comprised of Corporate Executives? If Walmart, Halliburton, and the Banks had a "secret" list where they "shared" ideas.

Can you imagine the anti discrimination employment lawsuits? The cries of "Good Old Boy" network? The never ending attempts to expose this network of collusion?

But these are the "Good Guys". They just chat to "vent" frustrations and "bounce" ideas off each other. They don't "coordinate" the news.

Wow...what a load of crap. I'd love to hear what the legal angle is regarding the corporations and their liability for knowingly participating in this discriminatory "Good Old Boys" network.

http://www.theheartofaservant.com/2010/06/journolist-augusta-national-and-antidiscrimination-policies.html

Keep up the great work,

Freeman Hunt said...

Are you aware that conservative journalists participate in listservs just like Journolist? I guess you might not be awar of it, because the conservative journalists seem to keep their listservs much more on the downlow. But they exist. How come Althouse isn't asking any questions about them?

Examples? Citations? Evidence of some kind?

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder how many of the 400 never really read their Journolist emails, (I know that I completely ignore 95%+ of the emails I get from the listservs I'm on.) and are now combing back through since they've heard the emails might be of interest.

Blue@9 said...

Are you aware that conservative journalists participate in listservs just like Journolist? I guess you might not be awar of it, because the conservative journalists seem to keep their listservs much more on the downlow. But they exist. How come Althouse isn't asking any questions about them?

If they exist and they're being used to manipulate the news, I sure as hell want to know about it.

Again, the listserv itself is no problem in my book. If they want to get together to bitch about their jobs or talk about stories, fine. It's when they collude to push a political agenda that I get upset.

somefeller said...

Examples? Citations? Evidence of some kind?

Here is one blog posting that talks about conservative listservs. Here is another. And the comments on the first one include a comment about being on conservative listservs by a conservative journalist/blogger. If you think only people on the left have listservs where ideas are bounced and discussed, you're sadly naive.

Freeman Hunt said...

Nice comment elsewhere.

Eric said...

Just because the fourth estate is an essential component of democracy doesn't mean it has to be an open, democratic institution.

The particular "fourth estate" we have at the moment is not essential for democracy. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are you aware that conservative journalists participate in listservs just like Journolist? I guess you might not be awar of it, because the conservative journalists seem to keep their listservs much more on the downlow. But they exist. How come Althouse isn't asking any questions about them?"

Why have I *never* received a single email from conservatives attempting to embrace me in an enterprise of presenting things in a way that would be helpful to conservatives?

Freeman Hunt said...

I realize that "conservatives have listservs." That's not the issue. Is there a sizable conservative only, private listserv made up of journalists, policy wonks, and bloggers for hashing out political issues? If so, there shouldn't be.

Blue@9 said...

Why have I *never* received a single email from conservatives attempting to embrace me in an enterprise of presenting things in a way that would be helpful to conservatives?

Didn't you vote for Obama? Duh!

pst314 said...

"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"

Funny, Cole had no problem with those who betrayed their trust to leak materials damaging to the Bush administration and to the prosecution of the war. Curious, that.

LoafingOaf said...

Freeman Hunt replied to this: "Are you aware that conservative journalists participate in listservs just like Journolist? I guess you might not be awar of it, because the conservative journalists seem to keep their listservs much more on the downlow. But they exist. How come Althouse isn't asking any questions about them?"

By asking this:

Examples? Citations? Evidence of some kind?

On the conserative site Big Journalism I saw this confession from conservative blogger Jeff Dunetz:

"I am a member of two conservative blogger/journalist lists similar to the liberal one that got Wiegel in trouble. Among the members of each list there is a strict understanding of “omerta,” what’s said on the list stays on the list. So there is some compassion for Weigel because someone broke his trust."

So, there are at least two listserv's very similar to JournoList. I guess it's a big secret?

somefeller said...

Is there a sizable conservative only, private listserv made up of journalists, policy wonks, and bloggers for hashing out political issues?

Based on the examples I cited, the one mentioned by Loafing Oaf, and, well, simple common sense and knowledge about how the world really works, the answer appears to be yes. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Blue@9 said...

Awesome. Is there any hint that they're using it to collude on controlling media narratives? If so, I'd love to see those listservs uncovered and their archives disclosed as well.

LoafingOaf said...

Althouse: Why have I *never* received a single email from conservatives attempting to embrace me in an enterprise of presenting things in a way that would be helpful to conservatives?

But they do exist. A blogger over at Big Journalism said so yesterday (see my comment to Freeman Hunt, who probably thought I was talking out of my ass again).

There are at least two conservative listservs similar to JournaList for conservative bloggers and journalists! And they have a mafia-style code of secrecy!

Wiki: Omertà[1] is a popular attitude and code of honor, common in areas of southern Italy, such as Sicily, Calabria, and Campania, where criminal organizations like the Mafia, 'Ndrangheta, and Camorra are strong. A common definition is the "code of silence".

Since they have this mafia-style attitude and code of silence on the conservative listservs, they probably only reach out to bloggers and journalists they know they can trust not to betray them? My guess is the two (or more) conservative listservs are like what the new, renamed JournaList listserv, with stricter membership requiremennts, will be like.

LoafingOaf said...

Ah, I see commenter somefeller found more evidence that these top secret conservative listservs exist.

I wish the blogosphere were more innocent, with bloggers just wanting to post their honest opinions and whatnot, and not coordinating as propagandists.

Blue@9 said...

Since they have this mafia-style attitude and code of silence on the conservative listservs, they probably only reach out to bloggers and journalists they know they can trust not to betray them?

They must be morons to make such assumptions. Remember what Ben Franklin said: Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

Shit, we're talking about high-profile self-aggrandizing egotists. What would it take for someone like that to jump ship? Personal animus or a big enough payoff.

Freeman Hunt said...

You're not bursting my bubble. I just wanted evidence of the assertion.

No journalist, left or right, has any business being on some list to hammer out narrative. I think it's plainly unethical, and anyone who does that should be called out on it.

Ralph L said...

Why have I *never* received a single email from conservatives attempting to embrace me
Vee planted a mole, Frau Meade.

LoafingOaf said...

At one of the links commenter somefeller provides, there's this:

I’m on a bunch of conservative listservs. I won’t violate their off-the-record policies by publishing specific comments here, but I will say upfront that there are things I see daily on most of them that, if the comments ever appeared in public, would result in a lot of egg on face….

Link

Is Althouse still reading comments in this thread? Was she aware of these conservative listservs? Apparently the conservative listservs are much more on the downlow and have a much more hardcore mafia-style code of secrecy.

LoafingOaf said...

See that? It is a DAILY occurrence on the top secret conservative listservs that someone posts something that, if someone leaked it out, would cause a lot of embarrassment.

Just what is going on on all these listservs, left and right?

LoafingOaf said...

Freeman Hunt: No journalist, left or right, has any business being on some list to hammer out narrative. I think it's plainly unethical, and anyone who does that should be called out on it.

I agree.

Vader said...

On January 1, 1801, a Sicilian priest and amateur astronomer discovered a small object in the gap between Mars and Jupiter. It looked like a star, but really wasn't one, so it was dubbed an "asteroid."

I am of the opinion that creatures who superficially resemble journalists, but are really hacks, ought to be "journaloids."

dave in boca said...

Remember the liberal meme that George Bush was "incurious"? But aren't these liberal journalists incurious?

Actually, they are a cabal, just as Hofstadter said about right-wingers in the middle of the last century. They have been fighting the better angels of America's nature by portraying them as demons, and now have become demons themselves in the process.

The funny part of the whole ridiculous charade is that WaPo top brass thought they were buying a ready-made Deep Throat combine when they hired Ezra Klein, the wunderkind originator of Journolist, who is now paying for his temerity.

And Mickey Kaus is doing cartwheels in LA as he sees the New Republic's latest generation soil themselves in public..... Jeffrey Goldberg also......

I post on Balloon Juice just to answer Cole's sicko twisted jibes in his own dialect, the guttersnipe drawl of a former ink-stained wretch, which I am.

AST said...

Gee, I wish I were an intellectual. At least I think so.

But I'm glad I'm not a journalist. I don't think I could stand the pressure.

Sirkowski said...

You drink too much, Ann.

Kirk Parker said...

"Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are just a bunch of outrageous opportunists."

You only now are getting around to noticing this?

RW said...

An interesting item is that Mr. Cole, what with all the necessary [sic] inclusions (he also has the tendency to use apostrophe-s at the end of a proper plural, such as "the Clinton's", when it should simply be "the Clintons"), is a communications teacher/professor/whatever at WVU.

Says something about the rigid criteria for said institution, eh?

That said, be happy that you didn't get revision of Andrew Sullivan's writings, which is par for the course for any random Cole entry.

salvage said...

Once again Ann you and your fans show just how deeply stupid you really are.

Ann Althouse said...

"You drink too much, Ann."

How much are you saying I drink? Warning: Defamation is an actionable tort.

salvage said...

I believe it's "too much" what, are you too drunk to understand?

OH NOES! NOW SHE'S GONNA SUE ME!!!

You really don't get how silly you are do you?

Ydiot said...

Ann, I'd love to see this book written -- it's an important topic that deserves just this sort of serious treatment. You'll do it well.

May I ask a small, small favor, right out here in public for all to see? I run a small blog for the purpose of satirizing Matt Yglesias's blog (www.ydiot.net). I've also made leak entreaties of the Journolist community, as any Yglesian Journolist items would considerably aid my work.

If your search proves successful, send me one? Of course, I plan to extend the same courtesy to you.

Cheers,

The Ydiot

Seven Machos said...

Savage -- Which hothouse did you come from with that ridiculous meme? Or did you come up with a new name, to protect your identity?

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

Wow, Blues@9 you actually managed to shut Ritmo up... he was trying very very hard to flak for his leftist media heroes, but hey, this is what happens when partisan hacks like Ritmo spout their opinions.

The one thing that Journolisters bought to the fore is how close minded modern day liberalism always has been and always will be. An echo chamber that keeps telling itself of its righteousness and worthiness to be the overlords of dumb Americans...

As badly as Ritmo tries to deflect the attention to Fox News, he only ends up screaming "you guys do it toooo!!"....so much for supposed journalistic ethics.

But this was the howler of this comment thread so far..

Just because the fourth estate is an essential component of democracy doesn't mean it has to be an open, democratic institution.

What kind of a fool comes up with such self contradictory "logic" ?

According to lefties like Ritmo, the fourth estate is supposedly an ESSENTIAL component of democracy.... but it does not have to be transparent in how its members function even though it is supposed to shed transparency into how the Government works !!

So, how do we know that journalists are doing their job in good faith instead of conniving with the powers to be and indulging in massive group think so that the status quo of lefties in power is maintained and entrenched?

How is this journalism ? How is this trash supposedly an "essential" part of democracy? Where is the difference between Pravda and Ezra Klein ? Both of them prosituted themselves at the seat of power all the while claiming to do the "work of the people"..

And this is the kind of stuff that Ritmo so lamely tries to defend.
And people wonder why the MSM has lost its credibility.

Lazarus Long said...

" The Journolist was a self-herding device."

Sort of like some Frankenstein cross breed between a sheep and a Border Collie, they ran around in self-enforcing circles.

But always to the left.