"... I haven't had the opportunity to use them, but would be happy to if the need arose. Why anyone would think that a listserv with 400 people is private is beyond me. It's McChrystal-level naivete."
Ha. And somebody must be scared. He's got your email and he knows how to use it.
John Cole paraphrases, scornfully: "I’m not against using my perch at the Atlantic to publish someone’s private emails to viciously destroy their character and career, but what really bothers me is if someone makes a joke privately!"
The Journolisters — including Cole? — must be desperately trying to discipline each other not to leak. And yet the evidence is — if 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.
And there is, it seems, a new, smaller list being formed without the dangerous riffraff. The true insiders are determining what the scope of the inner circle is. And the others, the left-behinds? Well, they're sitting on a pile of hot, nasty words written by the cool kids who just shut the clubhouse door on them.
ADDED: Cole responds to this post and I respond to that here.