July 21, 2010

"Liberal journalists suggest government shut down Fox News" headlines The Daily Caller in a weak effort to exploit the Journolist archive.

Jonathan Strong provides new extracts from the Journolist. I'm struggling to understand exactly what was said and meant, so work through this with me.

Strong begins by stirring up outrage over Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio, writing that if she saw Rush Limbaugh having a heart attack, she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out.” I get it. Liberals hate Limbaugh. And, in casual company, people who aren't too prissy and think they are funny don't mind saying they'd like it if people they hate would drop dead. This has nothing to do with Fox, of course.

Next, Strong has some discussion of whether the town hall meetings in the summer of 2009 reminded people of the early stages of the Nazis rise to power. The material here is, to me, pretty tame. It's actually a pretty cliché question to raise, and Strong presents us with no overt attempts to coordinate news stories about the meetings to push this Nazi comparison. It's standard and not shocking to muse over whether things seem fascist. (Ask Jonah Goldberg.)

Finally, we get to material about Fox News.
The very existence of Fox News, meanwhile, sends Journolisters into paroxysms of rage. 
Okay, you're writing about overreaction, and you use the phrase "paroxysms of rage"?
When Howell Raines charged that the network had a conservative bias, the members of Journolist discussed whether the federal government should shut the channel down. 
I want to see is the actual proposal to shut down Fox News.
“I am genuinely scared” of Fox, wrote Guardian columnist Daniel Davies, because it “shows you that a genuinely shameless and unethical media organisation *cannot* be controlled by any form of peer pressure or self-regulation, and nor can it be successfully cold-shouldered or ostracised. In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework.” Davies, a Brit, frequently argued the United States needed stricter libel laws.
Libel law allows individuals to sue over damage to their reputation. Private lawsuits. That would not be the government taking action against the network, and it's certainly not a proposal to shut down Fox News.
“I agree,” said Michael Scherer of Time Magazine. Roger “Ailes understands that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can’t hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong, if Ailes just uses the criticism to deepen the tribal identity.”
What's the big deal there? Scherer isn't proposing that the government shut down Fox News. He's criticizing Fox News as not following good principles of journalism. It's not even a complaint about the conservative slant.
Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?”
Is there a quote we are not getting? The material in quotes is not a proposal to "yank Fox of the air." It's a question — a question I read as critical of government action against Fox. Clicking some links, I finally figure out the quoted question is from Scherer, not Zasloff.
But Zasloff stuck to his position. 
What position?!
“I think that they are doing that anyway; they leak to whom they want to for political purposes,” he wrote. “If this means that some White House reporters don’t get a press pass for the press secretary’s daily briefing and that this means that they actually have to, you know, do some reporting and analysis instead of repeating press releases, then I’ll take that risk.”
So that's the worst of it? Zasloff thinks the government could or should limit access. That's not shutting down Fox!
Scherer seemed alarmed. “So we would have press briefings in which only media organizations that are deemed by the briefer to be acceptable are invited to attend?”
Zasloff got pushed back.
John Judis, a senior editor at the New Republic, came down on Zasloff’s side, the side of censorship.
Censorship? What censorship?
“Pre-Fox,” he wrote, “I’d say Scherer’s questions made sense as a question of principle. Now it is only tactical.”
"Scherer's questions"? What questions? I see one question from Scherer in the article. I'm interested in this contrast between principle and tactics, but I can't understand what it refers to!

The Daily Caller needs to do a whole lot better with its own journalism if it wants to hit the big time criticizing journalists. This is weak!

***

I go back to the text of the article, and I see that it's been rewritten, without a notation that editing has taken place. The Scherer-Zasloff part that puzzled me so much now reads:
Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

And so a debate ensued. Time’s Scherer, who had seemed to express support for increased regulation of Fox, suddenly appeared to have qualms: “Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?”
Zasloff asked a question. He's a law professor. Yes, it's inflammatory, but so what? He's getting a discussion going, and nobody goes for it. Broadcast licenses do require stations to serve the public interest, so there is a real topic to be discussed, and Zasloff isn't some weird crazy to ask. It's within the realm of law. What's notable is that the Journolist members don't support that kind of action against Fox.

***

My conclusion remains: The Daily Caller's article is weak. And I'm inclined to think the material in the Journolist archive is pretty mild stuff.

163 comments:

g2loq said...

Althouse HAS to be nuanced doesn't she ...

That'll serve you well with that crowd.

All the way to the clitoridectomy table that is.

t-man/wurly/henry buck said...

"The material here is, to me, pretty tame.

I don't view any of this as tame coming from people whose job it is to bring and comment upon the news. That they can be so divorced from reality, and have any role in shaping the news, is pretty scary to me.

Big Mike said...

Zasloff asked a question. He's a law professor. Yes, it's inflammatory, but so what? He's getting a discussion going, and nobody goes for it. Broadcast licenses do require stations to serve the public interest, so there is a real topic to be discussed, and Zasloff isn't some weird crazy to ask. It's within the realm of law.

I hope Meade is gradually making you aware that some things that may technically be within the realm of law to law school professors and other such "weird crazies" are not within the realm of the law that American citizenry will support.

EnigmatiCore said...

"He's a law professor. Yes, it's inflammatory, but so what? He's getting a discussion going, and nobody goes for it. Broadcast licenses do require stations to serve the public interest, so there is a real topic to be discussed, and Zasloff isn't some weird crazy to ask. It's within the realm of law."

It was not a law-discussion list where hypotheticals were amusingly discussed.

It was a list for left-of-center journalists and their sources to discuss stories and how to work their profession.

T J Sawyer said...

Fox News is a cable channel. No broadcast license.

So what kind of a journalist even thinks the FCC has a license to pull?

Hoosier Daddy said...

“I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

Other than you simply don't like their programming format?

traditionalguy said...

Free speech is valuable why? Because we always learn what the speakers are thinking. Journolist was using a threat of thuggish gang slander hits on the enemies of their candidates. Now should Breitbart and conservatives do the same?

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

In other countries -- hi from Canada! -- there are licenses for cable channels. The CRTC can pull a license.

The Drill SGT said...

@ T-man

I was going to say scary as well.

Journalists are supposed to be honest reporters, not presuming to impute motive. These guys feel that everybody that doesn't agree with them is EVIL, and ought to be off the air, rounded up, and left to die.

Fair and balanced they aren't

Is there a list of Journolist members so I know who to avoid?

Matthew said...

Of course we let the law professor off the hook, don't we? They're special people, you know.

Here's the point: by using the same standards the Left itself uses to justify the absolute worse abuses and behavior, Zasloff is guilty as hell, because while he may not have SAID IT *we just know* he was THINKING IT.

We also know that to the averagmouth-breathing Libtard, there is no difference between the *thought* and the *deed*.

ricpic said...

"They want a deficit driven militarist/heterosexist/herrenvolk state," Yeselson [researchor for an organized labor group] wrote.

Ya. And uniforms. We want snazzy Hugo Boss uniforms, too.

shoutingthomas said...

Well, I agree and I disagree.

The incredible rancor against Fox News is inexplicable. a few reasons reasons:

1. Most of the reporting on Fox News is straight news.

2. Fox really does pit a conservative against a liberal every time it covers an opinion debate.

3. By the standards of the real world, as opposed to Madison, WI and New York City, Fox is center/right on balance, just like the rest of the country.

So, why are these lefties so outraged at the mere existence of Fox? They clearly believe that this center/right point of view is evil. In other words, they think that the majority of Americans hold evil, horrifying views.

I watch Bill O'Reilly every night. He's pretty representative of the center/right balance of Fox News. I can't see how the left can portray him as such a right wing devil.

Glen Beck and Sean Hannity are too strident for me. I don't want to get that outraged. So, I seldom watch them and when I do, I watch only for a few minutes.

I do sometimes run the straight news programs in the background while I'm working. I like Fox News better than CNN. CNN might as well be an outlet for the Obama administration and the Diversity program of corporate managers. Fox, at least, presents view of the center/right (and always balances that with the views of the left).

Something is seriously out of whack that these lefties think that, in doing so, Fox is dangerous. It isn't.

SteveR said...

Talking about yanking FNC off the air is not initiating a discussion, serious or otherwise. Its either so out of whack as to be pretty stupid (so how does it rate being there) or it reflects an actual thought about dealing with what is percieved as an actual threat.

Taken one by one these things could be lame/mild but added together and in light of whose doing the talking, any illusion of media impartiality (and moral hign mindedness) has to be gone. Not that I'm surprised.

HDHouse said...

it might be useful to this discussion if there was an understanding of the difference between broadcast and cable - particularly troubling was this quote:

"Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

Cable and Broadcast - the difference

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Incidentally, Althouse, you're wrong about the edit -- the Zasloff FCC quote was up from the start -- I read it at midnight, when it went up.

You must have just missed it on your first read-through.

(If not, they must have had it, pulled it, then restored it. Because it was sure as shooting there late last night.)

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Professor, I appreciate your skepticism, and agree with some of your points, but disagree with you completely on the libel issue.

In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework.” Davies, a Brit, frequently argued the United States needed stricter libel laws.
Libel law allows individuals to sue over damage to their reputation. Private lawsuits. That would not be the government taking action against the network, and it's certainly not a proposal to shut down Fox News.


British libel law is not like American law, it is used to infringe on what we would consider to be protected speech and truth is often not a defense. Furthermore, they may be private lawsuits, but they are based on a legal framework (government) and sanctions are imposed by the courts (also government). Since the proponant was a Brit, it seems reasonable to assume that he was advocating for British-style laws, which could and would be used to shut down or severely curtail speakers with whom the government disagrees.

- Lyssa

The Crack Emcee said...

I want to see everything featuring the names John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.

That's when we could all see something weird was going on.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Professor, I also disagree with your interpretation of the question about shutting down Fox.

“Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?”Zasloff asked a question. He's a law professor. Yes, it's inflammatory, but so what? He's getting a discussion going, and nobody goes for it.

I agree that it is notable that no one went for it; that's good news. However, I think that your interpretation that he was merely asking a question is far, far to generous. He is asking that question in such a way that indicates that he wants to see it happen, and shows no awareness that this would be a horrible precedent in violation of everything that this country holds dear. This was not a legal discussion; it was a discussion about the media. I do not think that it was harmless in any way.

- Lyssa

Psota said...

Agreed that the "ban Fox News" part was pretty weak, but...some of the other pull quotes were juvenile. Don't want to quote at length, but check out my favorite from Richard Yeselson, trying to explain the Tea Party crowd: "They want a deficit driven militarist/heterosexist/herrenvolk state,” Yeselson wrote. “This is core of the Bush/Cheney base transmorgrified into an even more explicitly racialized/anti-cosmopolitan constituency. Why? Um, because the president is a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama.

That seems to be what a lot of people on the Left think of their fellow Americans on the Right. F*** you too, boys.

Big Mike said...

Journalists are supposed to be honest reporters, not presuming to impute motive.

Sorry, Sarge, but journalists have never in the history of the United States been "honest reporters." The "honest reporting" meme was something that the mainstream news has pushed since some time around World War II, or maybe earlier, and it's taken most people decades to grasp that journalists aren't honest reporters of the news and never have been. In fact, if Ezra Klein and his merry members of Journolist hadn't gotten so incredibley egregious in recent years, most people would still think that journalists try to be fair and impartial.

But now we know that that they don't try very hard.

Matthew said...

"Journalists are supposed to be honest reporters, not presuming to impute motive."

You must have missed the 60's, and probably have never watched an Oliver Stone or Michael Moore film, huh?

Adam said...

Is there any reason Jews couldn't be required to wear yellow Stars of David at all times?

Chill! I'm just trying to get a conversation going. I mean, as long as it's just conversation you can't infer anything about my actual beliefs, can you? Or does that exemption only apply to the law-prof caste?

I agree that this isn't much in the way of a scandal, but it sure as hell is an informative window into the mentality of the left. Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism seems pretty much on target.

They all sound like the Queen of Hearts.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW, back-in-the-day (around 2005) was when liberals started suggesting I had been "brainwashed by FOX News". But, with touring and traveling, I hadn't seen it. Then, one day in a hotel in New York, I discovered they had it on cable, and I was like, "O.K., let me see this thing" and I was BLOWN AWAY by what the Left was in fear of:

"That's it?" I asked. "They just have an American flag in the banner. What the hell is everybody so afraid of?"

I called a friend in San Francisco, an ad executive. He said to "just watch." "I am watching" I said. He said to watch Bill O'Rielly.

I went out to eat.

Fen said...

This:

It was not a law-discussion list where hypotheticals were amusingly discussed.

It was a list for left-of-center journalists and their sources to discuss stories and how to work their profession.

MadisonMan said...

It was a list for left-of-center journalists and their sources to discuss stories and how to work their profession.

As a member of a couple of email lists myself, let me tell you that, when boredom ensues, all sorts of interesting and wacky things get discussed. In addition, as time evolves, enmity and empathy between contributors develops and that skews how the discussion goes. I wonder if that colored the non-reaction to Spitz's remarks on Limbaugh.

The difficulty is separating the bored-on-a-Tuesday-afternoon chitchat from the serious topics. I would put the Zasloff question in the former. The stuff about Rev. Wright wold be the latter.

Put me down as interested in topics mentioning Edwards and Hunter as well, by the way.

deborah said...

"I want to see everything featuring the names John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.

That's when we could all see something weird was going on."

Oh, my, yes. That will be rich.

And to think Mickey Kaus was correct from the beginning.

c3 said...

Fox news is biased, most evident in the evening. MSNBS is the mirror image of Fox News.

Some of the views expressed in jornolist are similar to comments/attitudes demonstrated on this blog, but from the right side...

THE BIG DIFFERENCE: Jornolist has journalists Standards are MUCH higher. I wonder if anyone who engaged in the discussion regarding Fox declared that they were heading in this direction.

A.W. said...

The article gives me the impression that the guy is just reading a page or two a day, and just telling us the juicy bits. it strikes me as stream of consciousness. As opposed to an organized effort to put the bombshells front and center.

which gives us hope there are more bombshells. We'll just have to see.

Scott said...

"My conclusion remains: The Daily Caller's article is weak."

Well, yeah, they're milking it. The're a commercial enterprise, More ads to eyeballs!

Slightly OT: Is Ezra Klein implying that Gautham Nagesh was the leaker? My take here.

AprilApple said...

Proposal, wish, fantasy - whatever.

If the government shut down Fox News we all know many on the hard left would cheer.

D.D. Driver said...

"He's a law professor!"

And yet he is asking all the **laypeople** what the law says on the FCC yanking licenses.

Kevin said...

Zasloff asked a question. He's a law professor. Yes, it's inflammatory, but so what?

After all, we all know that law professors always get a pass. One wonders what "inflammatory" suggestion by a law professor Ann would find beyond the pale:

- rounding up political opponents?
- using the IRS to go after political opponents?
- using the IRS to go after Fox advertisers?
- firing tenured faculty members who aren't sufficiently liberal?

After all, all we want to do is get a "discussion" going, right? It's all good!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Based on what I've seen so far, I'm inclined to think that Jonathan Chait was right and the Journolist archives are dull stuff, even if they're not the particular sort of dull stuff he wanted us to think they are.

Some might be surprised to learn that when they think they're among friends the chin-stroking elites engage in the exact same sort of collective poo-flinging as the rabble over at DU. But I'm not.

The Drill SGT said...

Matthew said...You must have missed the 60's, and probably have never watched an Oliver Stone or Michael Moore film, huh?

I have never watched either Stone or Moore.

I was however in the center of the 60's at Haight, The Filmore, attending the University of California, and by 1970 at Camp Eagle with the 101st in Vietnam.

"I've looked at life from both sides now..."

- J Mitchell, 1969

Rae said...

I want to see what they said when Sarah Palin's church burned down.

shoutingthomas said...

Fox news is biased, most evident in the evening. MSNBS is the mirror image of Fox News.

You've made some major mistakes here.

Fox News presents straight news coverage throughout the day. I don't see you evidence of bias here.

MSNBC presents completely biased, left slanted news coverage throughout the day.

The evening programs to which you obviously refer, Hannity and Beck, are clearly presented as opinion programs, not as straight news programs.

Van Sustern is center/left and O'Reilly is center/right. Neither is the kind of strident partisan like Hannity and Beck.

O'Reilly regularly employs Alan Colmes, an extreme far leftist, as a commenter. O'Reilly always presents both sides of every argument, and I've seen him tear apart leftists and rightists who were evading questions or promoting factual inaccuracies.

So, I don't agree with your characterizations of MSNBC or Fox News.

Old Dad said...

I agree that the quotes taken one by one are fairly lame; some are stupid and historically illiterate, but I don't think they are tame. They are intended to be inflammatory, but that is consistent with what the writers foolishly considered to be a private lefty forum for taking pot shots at the right.

The shots at Ailes and Fox are naive. These kids clearly don't get the game that they are playing. They are ideologues, and some fancy themselves idealists, but they're actually salesman. They are angry because most Americans don't want what they are selling. Their bosses are feeling the heat, and as we all know shit rolls down hill. They think it's the bad guy bogeyman Fox causing their distress, but it's their product--often poorly produced and packaged.

Fox markets to the center of the biggest political market--center right. Ailes has no significant cable competition. As print dies, his business grows.

The silly lefties need to stop fighting for a market that they hate. There may be tasty lefty niches. Go for those.

The juicebox Journolosers are role playing the tragic lefties in Che Guevera stylish tees, as the reactionaries storm the ramparts. It's pathetic.

Triangle Man said...

@lyssa

He is asking that question in such a way that indicates that he wants to see it happen, and shows no awareness that this would be a horrible precedent in violation of everything that this country holds dear.

Interesting that your interpretation is the exact opposite of mine. I read questions of the form "do you really want to..." as advocating against the thing. On the other hand, "don't you really want to..." indicates a desire to do something or advocacy for the thing.

"Do you really want to jump off that cliff?"

"Don't you want to drink that nice cold beer?"

mrs whatsit said...

Ben, Ann was not wrong about the edit; when I followed the link from Insty at around 8 this morning I saw what she did -- that is, the Zasloff quote about pulling Fox's "license" was not there. The quote that was there, attributed then to him, was the one that is now attributed to Scherer about whether it is desirable to have the White House and political parties choosing which news organizations are legit. Like Ann, I noticed the mismatch between what was then described as the Zasloff position and what he was quoted as having written. Also, at 8 a.m. the link attached to the quote then attributed to Zasloff, now to Scherer, did not work -- it went to a 404 error page. Apparently the article first went up in the form you saw it last night, was edited sometime before Ann and I saw it earlier this morning(perhaps mistakenly?) and later in the morning was edited again to return it to the original form or something like it.

spongeworthy said...

Anybody on the Journolist who did not condemn the race-baiting and fascist remarks is a race-baiter and a fascist. Those who suggest falsely accusing somebody--anybody--of racism or shutting down media outlets is a race-baiter and a fascist. They should be publicly condemned, otherwise agreement is implicit.

These are the rules they make for Tea Partiers and I see no reason they shouldn't apply to Journolisters.

caplight said...

First--Wapo puts their reputation and integrity in the hands of a 25 year old "wunderkind". Wunderkind are typically known for their intelligence and talent not their judgment. Ezra Klein brings a wonderful adolescent quality to journalism through JournoList in his immaturity. What else did they expect?

Second--What needs to happen is not so much to eradicate JournoList and its successors but to eradicate the myth of the objective journalist. If casual readers/viewers/listeners (unlike new junkies that hang out here) understood that the power of the MSM to shape story and narrative would be greatly reduced.

Skyler said...

"Journalists" have crowned themselves with the Edward Murrow halo of objectivity and it is entirely fair to point out the hypocrisy of their real bias.

Also, the venom in their bias, while certainly of no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention, is pretty stark.

No one really thinks that they could have succeeded in shutting down Fox news. It's that they were openly musing open it that is so damning. Edward Murrow, in the hagiographic version anyway, would never have participated in such a whacky conversation without denouncing it immediately.

"Journalists," whatever the term may include, have no special status in this country, though they like to have such pretensions. It is entirely fitting to expose their bias and their childishness for the entire country to see so that we can all know of their bias when they create their fiction and pass it off as fact.

Quayle said...

It used to be an axiom that the free market of ideas would produce and confirm the best of them.

I was taught that in the give and take - in the open exchange of point and counterpoint - we'd all be able to see the ideas that stood solid.

But these people have none of that in their souls. They want to monopolize the market, and to skew it for their own purposes.

Which tells us three things, the truth of which is probably a combination of all:

1. They don't trust the strength of their ideas.

2. The don't trust the public to get it right after a full and free exchange.

3. They are not journalists covering the facts of the news; they are political operatives disguised as journalists.

John said...

One thing you would think journalists would have learned in school is the use of proper nouns and capitalization.
In one of the Journolist notes someone talks about "Capital F Fascism" I think the context was that the teaparty was getting into "capital F Fascism"

Unless they mean that they are joining a 1920-40s Italian political party, they mean fascism, not Fascism.

ANd they miss the whole point. Fascism/socialism seems to be what the journalisters are supporting.

Tea Partiers are against socialism. That is really the whole point of the movement, isn't it? They are also against govt control which would also seem to be at odds with fascism/socialism.

They must not have taken English grammar or history in HS. Certainly not in college.

John Henry

AJ Lynch said...

In the next phase of scrutinizing the Journolist archives, I'd be interested in hearing how incurious the Journolisters are about issues and researching background facts, etc.

So far all they seem to be interested in is strategy and helping DEM & liberal pols. And they called GW Bush incurious.

Matthew said...

Excellent, Sarge! Then you must have forgotten these stellar examples of objective journalistic excellence:

* Peter Arnett's stirring "it was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it" travesty, in which he managed to portray the fight againstteh VC as little more than Americans burning Vietnamese peasants out of their homes.

(Arnett would later be famous for his disguting"Operation Tailwind" fiasco, and as Saddam Hussein's semi-official mouthpiece in Gulf War I).

* Seymour Hersch (sp?) receiving the Pulitzer Prize for his reportage of the My Lai massacre; Hersch never set foot in Vietnam to even investigate this story.

* Walter Cronkite's infamous "we might as well give up now" speech at the end of the Evening News that caused Lyndon Johnson to refrain from a second term (not that he would have gotten it, anyway).

And thank you for your service, Sgt!

AprilApple said...

Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”


Why should the FCC pull the permit?

MadisonMan said...

They should be publicly condemned, otherwise agreement is implicit.

I take it you are constantly publicly condemning Cedarford's anti-Semitic rants then.

Or are you anti-Semitic as well?

Matthew said...

"Or are you anti-Semitic as well? "

Hmm..Let's see.

If you aren't seen as being anti-anti-Semitic (by denunciation, the waving of banners, or a pictureof Golda Meir on the mantlepiece), then you can safely be assumed to be anti-Semitic yourself?

That's rather childish, don't you think?

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:
Slight difference here it is a public forum- like being in a park or movie theater. You don't bless or monitor or judge the behavior of everyone you see or hear.

Journolist was a private clique right? Being a member brings some group responsibility for the behavior of others when they are operating within the purview of the clique.

ken in sc said...

Rush has been saying for days that the Obama administration is in the process of creating the tools that the right could use to shut down the left if they ever got power--control of newspapers, talk radio, the internet, take-over of private organizations, and so on. To me, this means Obama does not expect to ever give up power.

AJ Lynch said...

Bottom line is the Journolisters who work in the information business feared certain types of information. There was no broad no concensus condemnation of suggestions to clamp down or eradicate right-leaning news.

I have found that to be typical of liberals - they can't handle facts or the truth when it contradicts their worldview.

Matthew said...

@Ken,

That has nothingto do with Obama, per se. The Left would try to do the same thing if it were Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi or Charles Manon in the White House.

It's all about control of the institutions by the Leftist caste, and the ultimate triumph of their so-called ideas. In this regard, Obama is only important for so long as he can advance the agenda.

When his usefulness is past, they will quickly forget him, and lift him clear out of the stream of history.

Randy said...

I see no reason to pretend that Zasloff is writing as a law professor merely asking questions to stimulate debate rather than a partisan advocating his personal preference.

Doug Wright said...

1. @ricpic: We should use those snazzy looking uniforms first proposed by "Pogo I" some forty years ago. They were really, really sharp, natty looking too. Of course, the swamp was not too appropriate even then.

2. So, while we kind of allow free speech, I guess what's suggested here is that using sharp elbows to edge out the competition is not nice. OTOH, Daily Caller did bring some of the meat in journolist to view; shame on them. It would be nice to have the unedited archives available for full viewing, if that's even possible.

Cheers.

SMGalbraith said...

I agree with Althouse on this set of e-mails. This seems to be more of a group of disgruntled liberals yelling at Fox News. Ho hum. Yes, they look petty and small; but no man is a hero to his private e-mail readers.

Journalists trying to create a narrative or influence coverage of stories for political reasons? Now that's a story.

edutcher said...

American liberalism loved this country and its protections for everyone. It believed in liberty for all and was willing to fight, as in WWII, to see it preserved and expanded. There used to be liberals who were actually strong on defense.

The American Left, evolving for the last 100 years, but particularly the last 50 or so, is all about hate (not original, I know). The almost pathological glee exhibited when one of the enemy is hurt, sick, or in any kind of difficult circumstance is astounding to behold.

They have been raised to hate this country and most of the people in it. Their concern for people is more of the theoretical as opposed to the real. They want not freedom, but control and use Uncle Saul's rules to get it. The irony is their application of terms like fascist is more fitting to their own ends, as we have seen in the last 18 months.

So now we understand what was driving the Journolist crowd. They wanted to 'control' Fox because it didn't tow their line. That in itself, contrary to Ann's assertion, does constitute a problem. It's one thing to compete and disagree with another organization, but wanting to stifle them because of a difference of opinion strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.

Ann Althouse said...

Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?”Is there a quote we are not getting?

***

I go back to the text of the article, and I see that it's been rewritten, without a notation that editing has taken place. The Scherer-Zasloff part that puzzled me so much now reads:
Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”


I think there was something we didn't see and that is why the piece was rewritten (my guess). The second part is far more damning, if accurate. After all, where does this administration get its idea people? From the academic ranks which produce Donald Berwick, Elena Kagan, and, yes, Jonathan Zaslow. The idea that a government agency can determine who reports the news and who doesn't is what Hugo Chavez is implementing right now.

If true, this was a very dangerous group of people.

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

triangle man: Interesting that your interpretation is the exact opposite of mine. I read questions of the form "do you really want to..." as advocating against the thing. On the other hand, "don't you really want to..." indicates a desire to do something or advocacy for the thing.

I might have been unclear. I was referring to Zasloff's question "I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

The "do we really want to do that?" question came from Scherer. Although that was very unclear in the first version that AA cited, it was in the second part of her post. My only problem with that question would be that it should be more forceful, but I am condeming Zasloff, not Scherer.

- Lyssa

spongeworthy said...

I take it you are constantly publicly condemning Cedarford's anti-Semitic rants then.

Or are you anti-Semitic as well?


Nice try, but I'm only here to see that the rules are fairly and evenly applied. The rules don't actually apply to me.

Heaven Forbid!

Mian said...

Journalisters sound like a bunch of Soviet "journalists" during the Stalin period, attempting to solidify their (bolshevik) bona fides whilst decrying the reactionary west.

Fortunately for them, their membership is unlikely to be diminished through executions or removed to hard labor in Yakutz, though "ten years without right of communication" would be a worthy sentence for a lot of them.

Bill Kilgore said...

Your commentary is inaccurate. The statment "nobody goes for it" is wrong.

Zasloff may have only "asked a question"- which is a rather lame defense to be sure- but John Judis responds to that question in the affirmative. Ignoring how pathetic the comments of Mr. Judis are- and how ironic is name is given his position- he clearly "goes for it." As such, your comment is erroneous.

Discussing a government shutdown of news organizations is a really, really bad idea. I'm unclear how anyone could simply walk away from that reality- presumably UCLA law has some acquaintance with the First Amendment, no?

The Drill SGT said...

Matthew said...
Excellent, Sarge! Then you must have forgotten these stellar examples of objective journalistic excellence:


Matt, Nothing tops Wallace on PBS, 1987 at a Military/Journalist Ethics forum.


Indeed, on an edition of the PBS panel series Ethics in America, devoted to war coverage, which was taped at Harvard in late 1987, Mike Wallace proclaimed that if he were traveling with enemy soldiers he would not warn U.S. soldiers of an impending ambush. “Don't you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?", moderator Charles Ogletree Jr. suggested. Without hesitating, Wallace responded: "No, you don't have higher duty...you're a reporter." When Brent Scrowcroft, the then-future National Security Adviser, argued that "you're Americans first, and you're journalists second," Wallace was mystified by the concept, wondering "what in the world is wrong with photographing this attack by [the imaginary] North Kosanese on American soldiers?"

George Connell, a Marine Corps Colonel, reacted with disdain: "I feel utter contempt. Two days later they're both walking off my hilltop, they're two hundred yards away and they get ambushed. And they're lying there wounded. And they're going to expect I'm going to send Marines up there to get them. They're just journalists, they're not Americans." The discussion concluded as Connell fretted: "But I'll do it. And that's what makes me so contemptuous of them. And Marines will die, going to get a couple of journalists."


http://newsbusters.org/node/4479

MayBee said...

I'm always amused when people with tenure fight to get someone else sanctioned for their opinions.

Joan said...

He's getting a discussion going, and nobody goes for it.

How do we know nobody goes for it? We're not seeing the entire archive, just the parts the Daily Caller wants us to see. Obviously, TDC is shaping the story the way they want to shape it, but the fact remains we're not seeing the entire archive, and shouldn't make assumptions about what reactions and responses particular postings elicited.

wv:deader
LOL -- than a doornail, I suppose -- our chances of this story actually getting any wide play and making an impact on the MSM.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's now mild to suggest that the government pull the broadcasting license for doubleplusungood political speech?

Wow.

Bill Kilgore said...

In addition to my previous remarks, this comment by the host, "[w]hat's notable is that the Journolist members don't support that kind of action against Fox" is completely and totally contradicted in the excerpt by Mr. Judis.

If the article has been altered I can imagine that Ms. Althouse's thoughts on the matter may require a similar adjustment, however the current post is factually inaccurate. Period

Paul Zrimsek said...

Is there even any such thing as a broadcasting license for an entire network? I ask because I don't know, but my impression is that licenses are held by the local affiliates who do the actual broadcasting.

HDHouse said...

@paul

no. pls. see my 9:44am post.

Paul Zrimsek said...

How come no Former Law Student post asking how we know there wasn't another camera there that might have cauaght Sherrod saying all sorts of racist things?

Issob Morocco said...

Hi Ann,

I would disagree with your take on the Journolist babble, especially the part below you opined.

"Libel law allows individuals to sue over damage to their reputation. Private lawsuits. That would not be the government taking action against the network, and it's certainly not a proposal to shut down Fox News."

If the Left uses Libel as a weapon to silence critics, and we know the Left is tied closely to this administration, it could very well become a discussion at a Caribou Coffee house on L Street between a Government Appointee getting a Left Activist to find a willing person or group to file a 'private' lawsuit, at the behest of the government to silence their critics. Remember the folks in Florida who recorded the call between the two Republican Congressmen discussing election strategy? Just a couple of grandparents the media voiced who inadvertantly taped this cell phone call.

That this list would use Libel as a suppresive weapon against opposing ideas is not an extreme thought given the Administration's propensity to use surrogates to propagate their line, while appearing to be above the fray.

So for someone to suggest we need a tougher legal framework to deal with the opposition, it goes beyond the individual and back to the government. On this point I posit that you are incorrect. This is big in that it shows the means to which the Left would go to acquire their endgame.

Alex said...

The good news is that Breitbart's credibility is destroyed over the Sherrod affair. Yippee!

I love the smell of charred conservative corpse in the morning!

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Mrs whatsit --

Bet that the law prof threatened to sue, then, and they took the quote down till their lawyer friends told them they could tell him to pound sand.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

"The good news is that Breitbart's credibility is destroyed over the Sherrod affair. Yippee!"

You wish.

I want to see the whole Journolist - but especially the John Edwards stuff, because we know there was a news blackout then, but how?

Adam said...

Alex said,
"I love the smell of charred conservative corpse in the morning!"

GM, AL, fls, et al., I demand that you denounce the violence that pervades the left wing. Otherwise I'll just have to infer that you favor throwing your opponents into ovens.

Roger Sweeny said...

The mention of Edward R. Murrow set me thinking that many of the people who pushed the idea of "unbiased" "impartial" coverage in the '40s and '50s (Murrow, Cronkite, Severeid, etc.) had made their reputations by covering WW II for American media.

That's ironic because WW II coverage was neither. It had a story line you had to conform to. Off the top of my head, I would say the "narrative" included:

1. Winning the War for the Allies is the most important thing in the world.

1a. Because we are better than our opponents are, we may not do some of the things they do--but if it would help win the war, anything we do is morally justified.

2. The Axis are not just wrong but evil.

3. Our Allies are not perfect, but they are way better than anybody we are fighting against.

Which brings up another two thoughts: were they reacting at least somewhat to that experience? is it easy fall into that sort of narrative? Changing the names and toning it down a little, it sure sounds like the way a lot of politically active people view the world.

edutcher said...

Alex said...

The good news is that Breitbart's credibility is destroyed over the Sherrod affair. Yippee!

I love the smell of charred conservative corpse in the morning!


Guess again.

Breitbart's credibility is still better than CBS News. Brietbart, after all, used an NAACP-edited video.

Black Rock, OTOH, gave us such stellar versions of fake but accurate as "The Uncounted Enemy", which were done intentionally and Wally Crankcase's "the war is lost" speech after Tet. Yet they still exist.

MadisonMan said...

To me, this means Obama does not expect to ever give up power.

Just like Bush was never going to leave office either. And yet, when their terms are up, they leave.

wv: pukingle: A Kenosha baked good that just never really caught on.

The Crack Emcee said...

One other thing:

Is anyone compiling a list of what media outlets were involved here? Those Limbaugh deathwish comments from an NPR employee are pretty shocking,...because they're coming from calm, cool, sedate NPR.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, characterizing the libel law thing as not being about free speech is misleading. The libel laws in Britain are routinely used to squelch free speech. It's bad enough that they're hoping to reform them this year or next.

Summary.

LonewackoDotCom said...

The good thing about Althouse being nuanced is it might drive away some of the 'partier menaces to society who pollute this site.

It's worth noting that my nuanced take on the USDA story was greeted by banana peels from the 'partier contingent. Now my take turns out to have been very justified.

My take on this is that he wasn't just posing a hypothetical. In the context of that list he was making a proposal, as I read it.

And, considering that in Sep. '08 Obama raised a "hypothetical" about Fox and in March '08 Brave New Films continued their attacks on Fox and there have been other efforts to encourage gov't action against them I don't think it was just a "hypothetical".

MadisonMan said...

This is off-topic, but let me say how pleased I am that the WI Supreme Court found the raid of the Malpractice Fund illegal. Even though this will make my friend Dave's job lousy when he gets back from vacation in Italy.

Memo to politicians: If you want to run a program, either raise taxes to fund it, or cut spending elsewhere. Do not borrow money that isn't yours.

Ann Althouse said...

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said... "Incidentally, Althouse, you're wrong about the edit -- the Zasloff FCC quote was up from the start -- I read it at midnight, when it went up. You must have just missed it on your first read-through. (If not, they must have had it, pulled it, then restored it. Because it was sure as shooting there late last night.)"

No. I am not wrong. I read it at about 5:30 am and the incomprehensible part was exactly that. I puzzled over it with Meade at about 6 am, and then when I sat down to blog, I cut and pasted the entire text of the article into my blogging window and read it very carefully cutting down to the quotes as I tried to make sense of it. I am positive that it was changed.

Ann Althouse said...

I was completely given the question that Zasloff had only asked the question that is now properly identified as Scherer's and I thought Strong had misread the question. I puzzled over that for a long time, on three different computers this morning.

LonewackoDotCom said...

P.S. I posted what Daily Caller had as of around 12:45am their time today here.

P.P.S. It's worth noting again (and again and again and again) that my suggestion of possible caution on the USDA story was met by incoherent jeers from the 'partier types.

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
"The idea that a government agency can determine who reports the news and who doesn't is what Hugo Chavez is implementing right now.
If true, this was a very dangerous group of people."

BOOOOO! scare ya' edutcher?

Operative words here, as is the want of most of the utter-fools who post here are "if true". Well its not true so don't worry about it.

it is the freedom to hear from all sides, even the lunatic edge, that makes this country great...simply it is laws like that that permit people like you to post somewhere.

reader_iam said...

Mrs. Whatsit: I too read the piece at midnight, saw the issues this morning, and the restoration. So there was a technical screw-up by some editor, I'd imagine, at some point after the original midnight posting.

GMay said...

The DRILL SGT @ 7/21/10 11:07 AM

Thank you thank you for posting that link!!!

I've been looking for that for a couple of years now. I still remember quite clearly the looks on Wallace and (I think) Jennings' faces after getting fucking HAMMERED by the Colonel. Never have I seen those guys so humbled.
I'm going to go watch it again.

The moderator was probably the best I've ever seen.

Thanks again.

Ann Althouse said...

Lyssa writes: "'Libel law allows individuals to sue over damage to their reputation. Private lawsuits. That would not be the government taking action against the network, and it's certainly not a proposal to shut down Fox News.' British libel law is not like American law, it is used to infringe on what we would consider to be protected speech and truth is often not a defense."

Yes, I know, and perhaps his idea of strengthening libel law has something to do with that. Strong doesn't tell us that though. Strong makes it seem as thought the govt would be pursuing Fox News.

"Furthermore, they may be private lawsuits, but they are based on a legal framework (government) and sanctions are imposed by the courts (also government)."

Yes, lawsuits always involve govt to that extent, but it wouldn't be anything like the govt shutting down Fox News. It would be individuals suing for damages against Fox. It's totally distorted to portray the libel law point as the govt shutting down Fox News. That's why the Daily Caller piece is poorly done.

"Since the proponant was a Brit, it seems reasonable to assume that he was advocating for British-style laws, which could and would be used to shut down or severely curtail speakers with whom the government disagrees."

No, it is not reasonable for Strong to use that quote to mean what he did. It's actually quite awful, and your points only underline that.

Randy said...

While Fox News itself is a cable channel, the Fox Broadcasting Company does own and operate 27 television stations, all subject to FCC regulation.

Freeman Hunt said...

Here we go: Excerpts.

Ann Althouse said...

I meant to write: I was completely given the impression [NOT: the question] that Zasloff had only asked the question that is now properly identified as Scherer's and I thought Strong had misread the question. I puzzled over that for a long time, on three different computers this morning.

Skyler said...

Ann, I also dispute your contention that the article was altered where you say it was. I read it an hour or less after it was posted and I saw the part you say was added later.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would say those excerpts show that Zasloff is not simply asking a question but advocating a position.

Lem said...

The Daily Caller should have e-published the entire archive the same way the Global Warming emails were leaked/published.

Readers may want to browse for themselves to get a flavor of the thinking in the proper context.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Skyler --

It looks pretty clear that when we first read the article last night, the UCLA guy's quote was in, it got pulled sometime overnight, after which Althouse saw it, and then it was restored.

My money's still on the guy sending a cease and desist letter which scared them for a bit, after which they decided to go with it anyway.

Oligonicella said...

"He's a law professor."

It's a job, not an anointment. When not in class, law professors are just people. Some can and some cannot deal with that little reality.

Freeman Hunt said...

He he he. There needs to be another post on this one because there are some priceless quotes:

On Monday night in Manassas, the band warming up the crowd before Obama arrived played “I Need You To Survive.” I think the core lyrics are pretty good statement of principles for progressives, especially going forward from a victory like this one:

It is his will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.

I pray for you, You pray for me.
I love you, I need you to survive.
I won’t harm you with words from my mouth.
I love you, I need you to survive.

It is his will, that every need be supplied.
You are important to me, I need you to survive.


Heh heh heh. Embarrassing.

Randy said...

I'm inclined to think the material in the Journolist archive is pretty mild stuff.

Having now read the third installment, I share your inclination. I'll save my next bag of popcorn for another day, but it is mildly entertaining all the same.

Given that almost all of the participants quoted thus far are well known, if known at all, for being extremely partisan and opinionated, and by-and-large paid for being so, the material revealed up to now contains few surprises.

Jeeves said...

Let's see, you don't think the headline fits the entire article although the largest part of the article (roughly 1/3) is devoted to the discussion of Fox News. It's a tenet of journalism (a profession that does not include you) that provocative titles catch readers and should capture the bulk of the article's message. In any case it is rare to find serious criticism based on a title.

Putting that aside, you struggle to understand what was said and meant in the Journolist messages that were made available to you (and to everyone else -- is that the real issue at stake?). Let's see if we can assist you in your struggles by examining the text.


You asked: "Censorship? What censorship?"

The article clearly refers to Zasloff's email:" One important development would be for the administration to pick up its anti-Fox position, which sort of petered out. For the 2012 Democratic convention, the DNC should simply refuse to give Fox News a skybox, like the rest of the networks."

He then goes on to ask, "is there any reason why the FCC couldn't simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?"

I'm not sure why you think Zasloff's profession is relevant to whether he asked a questions or not! In any case, some questions are too ridiculous to bear the tedium required to answer them.

In any case, having a government agency pull a broadcasting permit would be censorship.


You also stated, ""Scherer's questions"? What questions? I see one question from Scherer in the article. I'm interested in this contrast between principle and tactics, but I can't understand what it refers to!"

Perhaps you could read the material that was provided to you (and to the rest of us).

Scherer asked:

1. Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?

and

2. So we would have press briefings in which only media organizations that are deemed by the briefer to be acceptable are invited to attend?”

Judis responds that it would not be unprincipled for the Obama administration to give precedence to the New York Times and the Washington Post over Fox News because he thinks that they adhere to a standard of disinteredness and objectivity that Fox News does not.

Not only is does he think that it would not be unprincipled but it is tactical because it may be counter-productive for the White House to "out" Fox News.

I hope this helps.

wv:unchanemeadog

bagoh20 said...

I think they were on to something. Shut down all biased media outlets and give peace a chance.

bagoh20 said...

I have circles of friends who have no knowledge of, or interest in, any of this stuff we spar about every day. I'm often envious. We need help.

Adam said...

Ahh, being overjoyed that your candidate won the election isn't cause for embarrassment. But being exposed as complete liars whose claim of fierce moral urgency has been utterly cast aside in the face of hard reality, well, that's embarrassing.

garage mahal said...

The Daily Caller should have e-published the entire archive

There was a reporter that worked for the Daily Caller, that was on the journolist at the same time.

"I joined Journolist after [it was exposed in a Politico article] hoping to get an inside view of the left wing media conspiracy," he told the Huffington Post. "And unfortunately all I found was a wonkish listserv of like-minded people discussing topics that interested them. I found it extremely useful for putting me in contact with sources and exposing me to a side of the blogosphere I wasn't well connected with."

Yet another paranoid, trumped up, juvenile phony pseudo-scandal circling down the toilet. But not to worry, there will be another tomorrow.

c3 said...

ST;
So, I don't agree with your characterizations of MSNBC or Fox News.

I appreciate your opinion.

I should mention that many on the left have stated Barack Obama is a moderate; many on the right declare John McCain is not a conservative. The voting records of each would belie these statements/opinions.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ackerman is really into that throwing people through glass imagery, isn't he?

SPENCER ACKERMAN: Let’s just throw Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the fuck up, as with most bullies.

Same as here.

DADvocate said...

So if I bring up the question, "Should we kill (insert name here)?", then I'm just raising an issue? Just asking a question? And, if I'm a law professor doing it, so much the better.

Zasloff's statement does seem to be blown out of proportion though.

I am dismayed at the hate-filled language from Sarah Spitz, however. She sounds like she could be a sicko.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

"Ackerman is really into that throwing people through glass imagery, isn't he?"

Considering what they claim to stand for, all of the imagery - Rush dying in front of a woman (who was that black female comedian who said something like that in front of Obama?) throwing people through glass - is wild.

Fen said...

Libtard: Yet another paranoid, trumped up, juvenile phony pseudo-scandal circling down the toilet. But not to worry, there will be another tomorrow.

Right. And Sarah Palin is not a threat to the Left...

GMay said...

Freeman Hunt,

Holy crap, the quotes at that link are fucking barf worthy. I knew the leftist media was bad, but holy shit that's fucking bad.

Some other bile producing quotes:

"SPENCER ACKERMAN: Let’s just throw Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the fuck up, as with most bullies."

Damn those violence loving teabaggers!

"ERIC ALTERMAN, AUTHOR, WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA: Fucking Nascar retards…"

Heh, this is a treasure trove that will only enhance my link fu.

Adam said...

@FH & MC, I wonder if all that shattering glass reminded JO-lister Ryan Donmoyer of Kristallnacht.

Nahh. Wrong team.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

The part I find most interesting is that all of these 'listers seem to agree that Fox, because it has a viewpoint with which they disagree, is suspect by virtue of the fact that it has "wandered off the reservation." Everyone on this list believes that Fox is illegitimate because it has a viewpoint they don't like. So, they form this listserve in order to point the rest of the media toward a viewpoint with which they agree. Hence, they despise Fox not because it has a viewpoint, but merely because they dislike it. Have the FTC yank the license? Doesn't take much for them to show their totalitarian tendencies, does it? The really ironic thing is that the list serve was unnecessary. the rest of the media was, and is already pointed exactly where these people want it. I suspect they would miss both the irony and the humor, though.

Chip Ahoy said...

I always did sense malice but now it's explicit and a wee bin dun in my little garden.

Randy said...

According to Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic:

The members of Cabalist, whose conveners are Jon Cohn of The New Republic (a great guy, by the way, but a bit too right-wing for me on matters of health-care reform), Michelle Goldberg (my favorite writer in all Creation), and Steven Teles (don't know him), spent much of yesterday debating whether to respond collectively or individually to the Daily Caller series, or to ignore it. This prompted one participant -- I don't know who this was (thought I'm finding out) -- to note, with unusual self-awareness for this group, that "it's pretty ironic that people seem to have made a collective decision not to write about this story because of the way that doing so might influence the media narrative." In other words, members of Journolist 2.0 were debating whether to collectively respond to a Daily Caller story alleging -- inaccurately, in their minds -- that members of Journolist 1.0 (the same people, of course) made collective decisions about what to write.

LOL! Too funny!

Lyford said...

The Zaslow quote was always there, but there was an editing problem this morning where they didn't close a link tag in the right place, so it wasn't visible unless you looked at the link location or the page source. I presume that it was right when it went up, and that sometime after that, they added the links to the individual emails and in the process, screwed up the quote. When they became aware of it, they fixed the tag. I doubt that there was any editing of the text. It was there last night, it's there now, but there was a while this morning when it was hard to see...

Red A said...

I wonder if the files the DC got were scrubbed. Any way to know that?

Crack Emcee asked a good question: what do they say about Edwards/Rielle

Original Mike said...

"The really ironic thing is that the list serve was unnecessary. the rest of the media was, and is already pointed exactly where these people want it."

That's puzzled me from the beginning. Where was the need for this enterprise which, it didn't take much imagination to realize, could blow up in their face.

sean said...

Either Prof. Zasloff is being very stupid, or our hostess is being rather disingenuous. What is there to prevent the government from yanking Fox's broadcast license? Umm, the First Amendment. So if Prof. Zasloff is asking a serious question to start a discussion, he's pretty stupid. I hope both Profs. Zasloff and Althouse ask smarter questions than that in class.

But I don't read Prof. Zasloff as asking a stupid question. I read him as advocating a course of action. It's very inappropriate for a lawyer, when speaking to those with power and access to power, to advocate illegal governmental action.

Pogo said...

Rush Limbaugh responds to Sarah Spitz, producer the KCRW public radio program “Left, Right and Center,” on NPR, who wrote on JournoList that if she witnessed Limbaugh dying of a heart attack, she would “laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out.”

LIMBAUGH: "And it is not just that they hate how I became who I am. They literally hate ME. They hate me because I am the most prominent, effective and unrelenting voice of conservatism and they have not been able to stop me. These people and their tactics are not new, we’ve seen them before in other countries and other times. They want to destroy contrary and opposition voices and views. They will climb over the law and the people to achieve their aims. Earlier in this administration, the president and his hacks targeted me, his party targeted me and their groups targeted me. They are all the same. They are leftists, disguised as lawyers, judges, scholars, professors, teachers, reporters, anchors, senators, representatives, legislative aids, congressional staff, federal bureaucrats, etc. There is NO Media. We know that now. There is just an incestuous relationship among all these various groups and a revolving door connecting them all."

The Drill SGT said...

GMay said...
The DRILL SGT @ 7/21/10 11:07 AM

Thank you thank you for posting that link!!!


It's an oldy now, but it reflects why the military at all levels feels that the press IS the enemy.

Beldar said...

I agree that this was a conspiracy of dunces.

I don't agree that they were, or are, likely harmless. Nor do I agree that if they turned out to be mostly ineffective, they're not worth the trouble to condemn. They ARE worth the trouble to condemn.

WV (appropriate for a blogger, who only dabbles part-time in such matters, like me): partima

info said...

Take a blind person not to see the message here...'same way obama got elected...

GMay said...

TDS,

I actually saw that the year before I joined the Marines. Never forgot it. It was a real treat seeing it again.

The moderator is just as masterful as I remember him, the Colonel's response just as damning and well-put, and Wallace and Jennings' facial expressions just as sweet.

The Crack Emcee said...

Red A,

"Crack Emcee asked a good question: what do they say about Edwards/Rielle"

It's the most obvious blackout - a whole year by, pretty much, the entire MSM - and could've had implications for Obama and the Democratic Party during the election.

Release the JournoList.

caplight said...

I wonder if Sarah Spitz's hate-filled rant would be enough to keep her from getting a DC gun carry permit? She does seem rather unhinged.

Trooper York said...

When I read an article about something that I know anything about I always find that the reporter has it wrong. Dates. Names. History. Every single time.

We have been interviewed several times for various publications and they always get something wrong. Often a lot wrong. Every single time. They post photos that are not even from our store when they are writing about us. They produce pap that is always ludicrously inaccurate.

Journalists are without exception venal, lazy, self-satisfied douche bags that deserve the scorn and opprobrium normally heaped upon pedophiles and cannibals. That includes both conservatives and liberals for that matter.

The machinations of the Journolist cabal and the twisting spin they are spewing to justify their corrupt practices should be no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.

The only thing worst than a journalist is a lawyer.

The Crack Emcee said...

Trooper,

"We have been interviewed several times for various publications and they always get something wrong. Often a lot wrong. Every single time."

Yep. I've been interviewed a lot and, with one exception, they always, always, always get something wrong. Sometimes a lot, but always something.

Skyler said...

When I read an article about something that I know anything about I always find that the reporter has it wrong.

That's been my experience, too.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

It is now to the point that I had them a fact sheet and they still screw it up. And it is always simple stuff like how long we are in business or our address or something really hard to check like that.

They are without exception useless drones and hapless idiots.

I think all journalists should wear a giant scarlet J on their clothes and when they pass all and sundry should cry "UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN, BEWARE THE CORRuPT AND UNCLEAN IN OUR MIDST!"

But that might be slightly over the top.

Trooper York said...

If you want to learn how journalism works, watch the last season of the great HBO series "The Wire."

It shows a reporter making stuff up like quotes from people at the ballpark and calls from a serial killer. One editor asks for sources and collaboration but he is always overruled. The reported keeps his job during layoffs and gets more power and bylines. Simply by making shit up. That's what they do. They lie. They dissemble. They twist the facts to match the narrative. Now we know they do it at the direction of their fellow travelers to a degree that is laughable. They are corrupt and illegitimate. They make shit up. Don't believe them. Don't buy their papers or magizines. Don't support their evil machinations. Let them go the way of the dodo bird and the dinosaur.

The only thing worst than a journalist is a lawyer.

Trooper York said...

Have them put your fish in a Ziploc bag.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe journalism should be a college minor rather than a major. Maybe journalism would be better if the journalists had degrees in the things they were covering. Just an idea.

Freeman Hunt said...

Not that I care whether or not a journalist has any college degree at all as long as he's good.

Trooper York said...

Journalists would be so much better if they had the integrity of used car salesman, the sensitivity of slaughterhouse workers and the people skills of morticians.

If they would only aspire to that level of achievement they will have truly improved their profession.

HDHouse said...

Matthew said...
"Journalists are supposed to be honest reporters, not presuming to impute motive. You must have missed the 60's, and probably have never watched an Oliver Stone or Michael Moore film, huh?"

60s? you mean VietNam? Ohbrother.
ohhh and Matthew, Stone and Moore make movies (films)...they aren't reporters....you must be confused.
It's ok. Let it slide.

The Drill SGT said...

Trooper York said...We have been interviewed several times for various publications and they always get something wrong. Often a lot wrong. Every single time.

ROFLMAO

and your reporter lives in NYC, is writing about a store in NYC and presumably wears clothes.

How do you think folks in the military feel when a reporter wants to interact with them. Other than McChrystal, I don't know anybody that doesn't recognize that the press is not your friend.

period. NOT.YOUR.FRIEND

and that is on a good day.

- ex-baby killer

Original Mike said...

"And it is always simple stuff like how long we are in business or our address or something really hard to check like that."

Your address just doesn't fit the narrative, Trooper. They're just adjusting it, to make it more, you know, truthy.

Trooper York said...

Time Out New York wanted to put us in an issue about plus sized stores. They made three mistakes in the copy and used a photo of a totally different store. This was after they had to reshoot because the original photographer had her computer crash and lost all the pictures. Now I don't let them photograph because they are just wasting our time. I give them the JPEG's to use. With the fact sheet.

We are supposed to be in again in the next two weeks. Let's see how that goes.

Franklin said...

The JournoList leaks are damning stuff. No use pretending they aren't, because they just flat out are.

Collusion, fraud, libel, and corruption are only part of the thing - the most striking aspect is how unintelligent the JournoListers appear to be. The fact that these 95-105 IQ-ers are writing for the top publications in the country is mind boggling.

Skyler said...

How do you think folks in the military feel when a reporter wants to interact with them. Other than McChrystal, I don't know anybody that doesn't recognize that the press is not your friend.

I met a few in Iraq who were quite good.

This lady in particular was well thought of with 3d Battalion, 25th Marines. Towards the bottom of this page she spent a lot of ink on one of my finest Sergeants, Sgt Francis and I think she did quite well. I don't know what she's doing now, but I wish her well.

The Drill SGT said...

Franklin said...
The JournoList leaks are damning stuff. No use pretending they aren't, because they just flat out are.


Instantpundit posted a blog entry from somebody else that makes a great point.

What these Journolist subscribers were doing was not only plotting to shift public opinion, they were plotting to use their employer's news outlets to do it. Violating their fiduciary responsiblities. ultimately destroying the value of the WaPo, NYT, etc. Their editors ought to fire them, unless the editors were on the list also, in which case the BoD ought to fire them, etc....

Skyler said...

In fact, I'm going to expand a bit on what I just posted. When I was in Iraq we knew that there were some (or many) reporters that were no good, but it was important to remember that the question of the results of the war were never going to be determined militarily. The center of effort was always in the United States as the will of the American people, not some dusty town in Iraq. The military result was never a question.

Democracies are notoriously fickle, and this is why we should fight wars to the utmost and get the result before our nation's attention span loses focus. As such, the most important part of the military effort is to keep the narrative in the minds of the people back home as to why we're fighting and what we're doing to win. Americans will accept any losses or set backs so long as they think we are on an eventual path to victory. Once they lose that confidence, they will turn.

So, the issue was to be sure that reporters were treated well and got good stories that were truthful and conveyed what we were accomplishing. Any military officer who insults a reporter or keeps them from seeing anything except the most sensitive matters is making the biggest mistake if he wants to have a good end to the war.

That doesn't mean you should be bad mouthing the president to Rolling Stones, though. Letting them tell a story about the war is not the same as creating a scandal for them to report about.

And I dare say that none of the sissies and moral cowards that expressed such loathsome opinions on journolist were the type to go to the kinds of places where my battalion was fighting.

AC245 said...

Looks like the transparently dishonest Chait defense that the original rubes hung their hats on has reached its expiration date:

"Let me disabuse everybody by revealing that Journolist was not created for people to work out some party line. The discussion was private not because the conversations were too explosive to be made public, but because they were too mundane."

JAL said...

Scuze me for not reading all the comments, but does anyone else remember when POTUS was pushing the idea that Fox News was not a news station? (And he was ignoring them in the press conferences back when he gave those.)

I do. I guess I shall have to google and bing and find it.

It sounds to me looking at some of the things discussed on JournoList that maybe some of those cheery faces smiling at Obama in that white bread newsroom photo op might have slipped him the memo.

Or was it vice versa?

JAL said...

The Fox discussion was apparently occurring in March of this year (2010). But Zasloff refences the administration's "anti-Fox position" which had "sort of petered out."

Remember? In October 2009 Obama said Fox News was really talk radio."

HuffPo noticed Obama was not happy with the failure of Fox to fawn ....

On another topic, one thing that struck me was how casually the lefty journos promoted and seemingly accepted that the Tea Parties had turned violent. (Throwing Godwin's Rule in was oh-so-cool.)

Help me out here guys. Do you think he was referring to Ken Gladney getting assaulted? (hahahahahah) Or just that the crowds ceased to be good little boys and girls with their pablum catching bibs on?

contesa said...

The arrogance of these left wing nutjob journalists is laughable. I wonder if they've heard of the first ammendment? No one can shut down free speech and Fox News is the ONLY news channel or organization that actually covers both sides of the story, unlike the liberal partisan CBS, NBC, MSNBC. The scary people are the ones in this article who think the government could even attempt to do such a thing...THEY CAN'T! The people run this country and they would not, let me say that again, they would NOT let Fox be shut down. The government doesn't license Fox News channel, so their out. If the government tried to do one more outrageous, outlandish, power grab, not only the Tea baggers, but the rest of conservative Americans (who make up the vast majority of this country) would most likely go straight to Washington, pick up the liberal kooks, along with Obama and his thug cronies and hurl them out the door. Trust me, the military would NOT come to the rescue of Obama, this I know for a fact. The military would be more than happy to kick the leftist kooks out the door for good.

I can't wait until November when the majority of Americans can give the pink slips to the nuts in Washington who are in power now in the House and Senate and hopefully there will be enough in the House to bring on an impeachment proceeding for Obama. All there needs to be is 1/3 of the House in agreement to do so and he could be OUT!!!!

John Stodder said...

Violating their fiduciary responsiblities. ultimately destroying the value of the WaPo, NYT, etc. Their editors ought to fire them, unless the editors were on the list also, in which case the BoD ought to fire them, etc....

This is literally my only problem with Journolist. I don't care if you're a seasoned veteran reporter or a puffed up policy wonk, if you work for a news organization, the only person who should shape your coverage is your editor. A reporter, especially a young one like most of the Juicebox Mafia are, are very susceptible to manipulation and peer pressure. Editors should be able to overcome all that, but if the reporter is participating in a surreptitious chat with his or her competitors AND sources, all on the same chat-line, the editor's role inevitably is undermined.

The fact that they are leftists and self-important shits does not surprise me and shouldn't surprise anybody else. Most of them were self-avowed leftists. To the extent that coverage of Journolist catches these scribes in the act of being themselves, it's kind of a non-story. But when Spencer Ackerman, that lovely piece of work, starts telling his colleagues that he wants them to divert attention from Rev. Wright by accusing a prominent Republican of racism, knowing there is no evidence for the charge ("Who cares!"), that's known as "reckless disregard for the truth," also known as libel. It's also a supposedly independent journalist trying to concoct what amounts to a PR campaign. Either of those things are firing offenses.

John Stodder said...

Maybe journalism should be a college minor rather than a major. Maybe journalism would be better if the journalists had degrees in the things they were covering. Just an idea.

Every day I love Freeman Hunt more. There's something very attractive about common sense.

The biggest problem journalism has today is lack of subject matter expertise. As the news becomes more niche-focused to survive, the failings of reporters to educate themselves the subject they're supposed to be experts on becomes more apparent. There is a huge demand for business journalism, for example, except most business reporters are only lightly acquainted with the workings of business at any level, so the business beat ends up being sort of an economic beat focused on government, plus some rewritten press releases from savvy flacks.

John Stodder said...

Maybe journalism should be a college minor rather than a major. Maybe journalism would be better if the journalists had degrees in the things they were covering. Just an idea.

Every day I love Freeman Hunt more. There's something very attractive about common sense.

The biggest problem journalism has today is lack of subject matter expertise. As the news becomes more niche-focused to survive, the failings of reporters to educate themselves the subject they're supposed to be experts on becomes more apparent. There is a huge demand for business journalism, for example, except most business reporters are only lightly acquainted with the workings of business at any level, so the business beat ends up being sort of an economic beat focused on government, plus some rewritten press releases from savvy flacks.

contesa said...

Alex said...
The good news is that Breitbart's credibility is destroyed over the Sherrod affair. Yippee!

I love the smell of charred conservative corpse in the morning!

7/21/10 11:39 AM
---------------
I don't know whose flesh your smelling being charred, but Brightbart is far from being discredited. The Black Panthers are the ones being talked about and how they were happy with the racist tone of that woman. She was vindicated in the end, but they had no idea she was trying to get to a point about we shouldn't be racist. They were cheering before she even finished. You liberal kooks are demented. Even the poor woman who was targeted by the White House is not blaming Brightbart, she is blaming the Obama administration. So I really don't know where your getting your silly "facts" from.

HDHouse said...

contesa said...
"... and Fox News is the ONLY news channel or organization that actually covers both sides of the story..."

and what two sides are those contesa? the uber-recht and the view from the bunker? you are kidding aren't you? please say you are..please...

Fen said...

Stupid Libtard. Yesterday, FOX was covering Sherrod's side of the story while you were still putting together your talking points from HuffPo

Matthew said...

HD, I am well-aware that Stone and Moore are...ahem...film makers. The point was that the media AS A WHOLE is made up of left-leaning adolescents who lie, distort, cheat and steal as a matter of course. In fact,they're often rewarded for it.

But hey, it beats actually WORKING for a living, doesn't it?

c3 said...

from the excerpts:

Fucking Nascar retards…

Lovely.... a fine southern strategy.

so many of you still seem tied down to your old ideological moorings. on the early evidence obama is not similarly tied down on any level, whether diplomatically or economically (or politically: note his big-tent approach to joe lieberman). a post-ideological presidency — what a novelty, and what a relief! but this new obamian world view

Yeaaahh riiiiiiightttt. Novelty indeed. Not a whiff of ideology.


I just wonder how folks (regardless of political bent) will take Klein seriously. (And this IS NOT helping Wiegel's rehabilitation much)

narciso said...

I'm struck how no one makes the connection with Axelrod and Dunn's
(the Mao devotee from Alaska) attempt for the rest of the media
to shun Foz, and lets not forget
Mark Lloyd's riff on the Fairness
Doctrine redux, context is important

Rod said...

Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”

The way I read it he's proposing that this be done. I give him no slack for being a law professor because he's not speaking to a group of legal professionals.

Isn't a legal professor supposed to know something about the Constitution, such as the meaning of the First Amendment? And know something about the law, such as the fact that the FCC doesn't license cable channels?

In any case, that the idea of stripping political opponents of their rights of speech should come up among a group of left wingers is not surprising. Those people are constantly trying to find ways to do that. But it's disturbing to see it come up among a group of journos, for whom the First Amendment is their life's blood.

1jpb said...

Thanks to Althouse for sussing this out.

I listened to most of Hannity's radio show today. For a fair bit of the show he covered this journalist stuff. He made it sound like the Journalist folks folks were nonstop calling for the gov to shut down Fox.

I had no idea that the anti-Fox efforts were so weak. I expect Hannity to be a manipulative hack, but he does tend use very carefully parsed language which mislead w/o being an outright lie. Today was not one of those days.

On the other hand, he was interviewing one of the Daily Caller writers, and I think he may have been carefully repeating the headline and then immediately asking the Daily Caller writer for big names who were on Journalist. As a listener I assumed that these were the folks associated w/ the plot to have the gov kill Fox. But, Hannity didn't explicitly say this. And, he was just repeating the headline and crediting it to the Daily Caller so he wasn't even claiming that the headline was true.

That guy is sneaky.

narciso said...

How many times is it considered acceptable to consider suppressing
journalism you don't deign to cover,
Dunn, Axelrod, Lloyd, the FTC chair
all want to suppress any non government approved media, including
blogs, in order to resurrect the dinosaur media. They have been lying
about climate change, the war, the
'success of the economic program'

jamboree said...

Well, I can't fault Spitz for his comments over Limbaugh (who I'm not big on) because I've said very similar about Hugh Hefner. If he were writhing in pain I'd not be able to find my cell but would shower him with his Gods of inflatable plastic bags and cash and see if they called 911 for him.

I'm having champagne on the day when that nasty old, veiny, variegated witch is finally off this planet while I'm still on it. What joy.

The SP Sula Review said...

With all due respect, the context of this conversation was not a legal one. Zasloff was seriously putting forth that the government be allowed to shut down media outlets and reporters that don't bend to their political will. It was a deliberate suggestion to violate the First Amendment. And that was clearly confirmed by the hesitation of some of the other posters who responded to the professor. That's not to say that everyone involved in the discussion disagreed with him. Judis supported Zasloff's suggestion. And it's equally clear the others ONLY questioned him because they know the pendulum swings both ways.

This was an assault on the First Amendment by those who are supposed to be protecting it. Because you can't see that, doesn't somehow make them less guilty of it. Perhaps you should ask the journalists in Russia how harmless this sort of "discussion" really is. Unfortunately, many of them dead.

blackbelt_jones said...

A lot of the comments sidestep the true issue with Fox News. It's not that they have a cultish point of view. It's that they have no journalistic standards whatsoever, and engage in openly deceptive and misleading propaganda tactics. Those outside the Cult know all about this. Those within the Cult will never ever see it, because that's what a Cult is.

For those outside the cult, this was probably the turning point. Can you imagine the uproar if something like this happened on PBS?

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-november-10-2009/sean-hannity-uses-glenn-beck-s-protest-footage

I have no idea whether, as a cable outlet, Fox News has a licence that can be denied or revoked, but even if it does, I don't think that's politcally workable, and maybe not even desirable. The free marketplace of ideas is working as its supposed to. Slowly, Fox News's credibility outside the Cult is melting away to nothing, and eventually, the Cult itself will start to get wise.