July 27, 2010

"Rush is the man," said Jeffrey Toobin on Journolist.

After Sarah Spitz said she'd immensely enjoy watching Rush Limbaugh die:
Rush cannot be replaced. What people miss about Rush is that he is just astonishingly good as a broadcaster.  He is compelling, funny, entertaining. I haven’t heard Thompson often, but he’s probably pretty lame. Ingraham is ok. I never listen to Hannity on the radio. But Rush is the man.
And for that Jonathan Strong of The Daily Caller counts Toobin as one of the "Heroes of Journolist."

***

On July 20, Rush talked about Journolist, and mentioned Toobin:
Friend sends me a note, "Rush what do you mean? What do you mean here this 'small time, crazy, left-wing bloggers'? Jeffrey Toobin, Eric Alterman, Paul Krugman Joe Klein are crazy left-wing bloggers? They're treated as giants." Let's take 'em individually. Eric Alterman. Do you know who Eric Alterman is? The left may treat him as a giant. I know that they do. He's a kook! He's a far-left fringe kook. But do you know who he is? Do you? Jeffrey Toobin. You might know who he is. He works for the least-watched cable news network in history, CNN. He also worked there when they had viewers. I know he's considered a giant. He's a "legal correspondent." He's considered to be above reproach.

There is no journalism. These people are not journalists. They're propagandists, whether it's Jeffrey Toobin or Eric Alterman or Krugman. Yeah, he's a New York Times columnist; he's a propagandist. He is a giant because he's in the New York Times. But my point is whether it's people you've never heard of on this list writing for blogs you've never heard of or whether it is names you never heard of, it's the entire Washington media -- and it's pervasive. I really do think that the take here is there is no media. This is the big myth. You know, the German historian Carl von Clausewitz once stated "War is diplomacy by another means." Well, journalism is just propaganda now: The government putting out its agenda by another means. There are no reporters. There is no journalism. It's just liberalism....

52 comments:

mesquito said...

Poor Toobin. He probably thought his comments about Limbaugh were off-the-record.

Pogo said...

"Well, journalism is just propaganda now: The government putting out its agenda by another means. There are no reporters. There is no journalism. It's just liberalism...."

Well, I have now quoted Rush Limbaugh twice in less than a month, having never quoted the man before.

But he appears to have seen the light.

Big Mike said...

One wonders, is there a point where alleged journalists understand that they've gone so far with their propaganda that they've sold out the one thing that they have to sell, which is their credibility? When the majority of the people start regarding the NYT and Washington Post the way that citizens of the old Soviet Union regarded Pravda, Izvestia, and TASS, which may be closer than they think, it will be all over for them.

mesquito said...

Doubt it, Big Mike. As Rush says, journalism is the only business where the customer is always wrong.

Original Mike said...

Alterman is a fascist kook. He's the guy who laments that no one is "in charge" of the internet. Not the network; what people write.

Is he really considered to be a "giant" on the left?

HDHouse said...

Is there a big sign somewhere that says "Idiots and Fools - line up here - don't move, don't think, just ditto. love and stuff, El Rushbo"

roesch-voltaire said...

Reihan Salam, the conservative writer has an interesting take on the issue, while condemning the cliquishness of the list, he also realizes that, "JournoList was a marriage of young and old, built on the premise that everyone had something to learn and to teach. It was less a liberal conspiracy than a low-key effort to build a cognitive community." The claim there is no journalism only propaganda ignores the importance of stories such as the risk of NFL head injuries, front page story NYT, or the back page story on train data. For those who write opinion, or give it as does Limbaugh, one needs to constantly check out the claims.

HDHouse said...

Ann,

I know you are just tossing out bait here and it might be fun to watch the goons in the brown shirts on the right come rushing (pun intended) in, but you know it will be taken out of context and there will be a few who think this makes sense where no sense exists.

Henry said...

I mentioned this in the Sullivan thread last night, but I'll mention it again.

In the Sarah Palin thread, two other Journolist members that really shine are Maggie Mahar and Brad DeLong. Mahar really pushes back on the ignorance of her younger peers. DeLong gets credit for staying sane.

I skimmed that thread wondering if the women would be smarter about women's health issues than the men, but it didn't fall out that way. Mahar and DeLong just seem more grown-up than the rest.

I think there's something to be said for life experience.

Jim_J said...

I hate to say it but the Daily Caller series on the Jounolist e-mails is really thin gruel. The writing is terrible and some of the conclusions they draw don't seem to be strongly supported with the quotes they use.

I realize that they are trying to attract traffic to their site but it would be much better if they just allowed public access to the entire archive and let people come to their own conclusions.

AllenS said...

Henry said...I think there's something to be said for life experience.

Please explain HDHouse.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

I'm kinda tired myself of hearing conservatives bitch and whine about the media when there's a perfectly good solution to the problem.

If you're a conservative billionaire then why aren't you buying these fucking newspapers and firing these reporters and editors? The way that you end liberal journalism is to fire all the liberals and you can't do that if you don't own the paper. Once word gets around that this kind of shit isn't tolerated any longer you'll notice a sea change in coverage.

Buy the fucking newspaper company. Fire the staff. Threaten the rest of 'em.

I'll gladly come publish your newspaper and tilt it to the right and only hire conservative reporters and editors who will ask the tough questions.

Otherwise ... Quit. Fucking. Bitching.

Look who owns NBC: General Electric.

It's not about liberalism. It's about corporatism. GE is making billions in profits by ensuring that Democrats are borrowing trillions to spend on public works boondoggles.

BP donates millions to Barack and the Democrats because that's how you make sure that US taxpayers are on the hook for the cleanup costs. (BP merely records a loss of $32 billion on its books, and presto ... US taxpayers lose $10 billion in receipts).

ABC News? Owned by Walt Fucking Disney.

Rush is right - but he's missing the point. There is no journalism ... only corporate interests which are currently aligned with the Democrat Party.

CBS News? Owned by a giant Hollywood entertainment company.

They won't do journalism because if they do Barack Obama will take over their fucking companies just like he took over GM and Chrysler and GMAC and JP Morgan and Fannie and Freddie.

Journalists are too scared to do journalism because the United States has become nothing less than a dictatorship.

We can lay back and take our fucking or we can punch the rapist.

Henry said...

Please explain HDHouse.

My point would sound better if it hadn't immediately followed his post. True.

I speak of maturity, not the lean and slippered pantaloon.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

I'm kinda tired myself of hearing conservatives bitch and whine about the media when there's a perfectly good solution to the problem.

If you're a conservative billionaire then why aren't you buying these fucking newspapers and firing these reporters and editors? The way that you end liberal journalism is to fire all the liberals and you can't do that if you don't own the paper. Once word gets around that this kind of shit isn't tolerated any longer you'll notice a sea change in coverage.

Buy the fucking newspaper company. Fire the staff. Threaten the rest of 'em.

I'll gladly come publish your newspaper and tilt it to the right and only hire conservative reporters and editors who will ask the tough questions.

Otherwise ... Quit. Fucking. Bitching.

Look who owns NBC: General Electric.

It's not about liberalism. It's about corporatism. GE is making billions in profits by ensuring that Democrats are borrowing trillions to spend on public works boondoggles.

BP donates millions to Barack and the Democrats because that's how you make sure that US taxpayers are on the hook for the cleanup costs. (BP merely records a loss of $32 billion on its books, and presto ... US taxpayers lose $10 billion in receipts).

ABC News? Owned by Walt Fucking Disney.

Rush is right - but he's missing the point. There is no journalism ... only corporate interests which are currently aligned with the Democrat Party.

CBS News? Owned by a giant Hollywood entertainment company.

They won't do journalism because if they do Barack Obama will take over their fucking companies just like he took over GM and Chrysler and GMAC and JP Morgan and Fannie and Freddie.

Journalists are too scared to do journalism because the United States has become nothing less than a dictatorship.

We can lay back and take our fucking or we can punch the rapist.

MadisonMan said...

An interesting thought exercise: Relate the members of the Journolist to regular althouse posters. Who would be Toobin? Who would be Sarah Spitz?

It would be a challenge to do it, because the points of view are 180 degrees from the POVs of many regular althousians, but on any list, regular members have semi-defined roles.

So Who here is who there? I suppose by default, Althouse = Ezra Klein.

FloridaSteve said...

I think that good, non-ideological journalism mainly occurs on the local level. Someone mentioned the NFL head injury story as an example of good journalism and I agree that it is. But it's also an example of how clinical/neutral a topic must be to write something that doesn't even appear to be slanted in any particular direction. The enemy in the story is head trauma. I can't see many folks coming out in favor of it.

rick said...

HDH said...Is there a big sign somewhere that says "Idiots and Fools - line up here - don't move, don't think, just ditto. love and stuff, El Rushbo"

Actually there are several signs....in front of the NY Times building, NBC building, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post and LA Times to name a few.

Think of the use of the word gravitas a few years back.

Fen said...

Libtard: Ann, I know you are just tossing out bait here

She certainly hooked you. Your panties are in a wad because she's quoting Rush.

and it might be fun to watch the goons in the brown shirts on the right

The only brownshirts these days are SEIU thugs beating up "Uncle Tom's" and MoveOn Goons biting off grandpa's finger.

Florida said...

Let's remember that Rush Limbaugh wants to use his millions to buy an NFL team ... not a newspaper. (He just sold his NY apartment for $25 million.)

Rush should put his money where his mouth fucking is and buy the Cape Girardeau Times (his hometown newspaper) and fire its entire liberal staff en masse.

How you get rid of liberalism in journalism is to roll some fucking heads.

edutcher said...

This has been true for over forty years, but somebody on the national scene has finally said it. The best part is that the Lefties, who cry salty tears about Joe McCarthy, would have blacklisted whomever had said it in a heartbeat.

Praise God, them days is gone forever.

HDHouse said...

Ann,

I know you are just tossing out bait here and it might be fun to watch the goons in the brown shirts on the right come rushing (pun intended) in, but you know it will be taken out of context and there will be a few who think this makes sense where no sense exists.


English translation: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain".

rick said...

Florida said...."Rush should put his money where his mouth fucking is and buy the Cape Girardeau Times (his hometown newspaper) and fire its entire liberal staff en masse."

I would disagree with this. I think Rush has a platform that has enabled him to shout from the rooftops, for all the media world to hear. They (MSM) all react to him. As he puts it, he lives rent-free in their little heads.

PS Welcome back Florida

Richard Dolan said...

So, today's topic is the lameness of journalism, beginning with Leamy's patheticly uninformed interview of Obama and then moving on to Rush's take-down of journo-propagandists.

Most will agree that facts and context matter; one without the other is only half the story. Newspapers and later TV news were the ways in which most people learned about recent events and the context that made them understandable as part of some larger narrative (historical, political, economic, legal, whatever). Even as old media is losing its audience and slowly dying, nothing self-sustaining has come along to replace it as a source of events-cum-context information.

In bashing journalism as "government putting out its agenda by another means," Rush ignores the news-gatherers and just talks about the opinion-writers, whom he dismisses as propagandists offering a skewed context ("news analysis" as it is sometimes called), into which everything is made to fit. But Rush too offers only context-analysis rather than fact-gathering, and like the propagandists he lambasts, fits everything into his overarching view of life.

He wants you to see the "liberalism" propagandists as the decrepit Establishment trying to maintain its control; and himself as the fearless prophetic Voice puncturing their balloons, speaking truth to power, exposing fatuity with wit and sarcasm, standing up for common sense values.

It's quite the entertaining act, and he pulls it off with skill. Just don't take it too seriously.

Florida said...

". I think Rush has a platform that has enabled him to shout from the rooftops, for all the media world to hear."

But that's not enough. Merely having a platform doesn't produce good journalism.

We have to fire the journalists who are captives of the Democrat Party to return journalism to its rightful place in our society.

And the only way to do that is to buy these newspapers and fire the propagandists.

Rush has the money ... the question is why he won't spend it on this worthy cause (rather than buying NFL teams or big apts).

Salamandyr said...

Rush should put his money where his mouth fucking is and buy the Cape Girardeau Times (his hometown newspaper) and fire its entire liberal staff en masse.

Cape's local paper is the Southeast Missourian.

AJ Lynch said...

Florida/ New Ham:

Why would anyone buy these money losing companies?

Hell, just wait til for them to out of business.

Fen said...

Richard: Rush ignores the news-gatherers and just talks about the opinion-writers -

You need to actually read the article:

"So to say that this is just a small-time blogosphere that's involved in collusion is a big mistake. It's no accident Bob Schieffer has no idea about the New Black Panther Party. It's no accident that Charlie Gibson -- what was the story that he had no idea about while he was on vacation? ACORN. It was no accident Charlie Gibson didn't know about the ACORN tapes that Breitbart had uncovered. He didn't know about it. If it's not in TIME Magazine, if it's not on the other two networks or any of the three, if it's not on CNN, not in the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, they don't know about it. They're insulated. They live and exist for each other."


Otherwise, I'm left to believe you're just pushing spin. Its not just about bias on some op-ed page.

Larry J said...

We have to fire the journalists who are captives of the Democrat Party to return journalism to its rightful place in our society.

Even if I had the money, I wouldn't buy a newspaper because I think that's a dying media. The "dead tree press" produces a product that's already old by the time it lands on your doorstep. The circulation numbers have been decreasing for years and will likely continue to do so. Papers are dying, and with that, so go the jobs of those left-wing "journalists." Couldn't happen to a better group of people.

HDHouse said...

ahh Fen...

The stuff you cite, particularly relevant to Breitbart was just another put up job like Sherrod and the reason that it didn't get traction is that people in the mainstream figured it out and that it was just a pile of garbage - a fact that somehow escaped your notice.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Building a cognitive community" is what you call "epistemic closure" when you approve of it.

rcocean said...

Rush is completely right. Alterman, Klein, Toobin, and Krugman are complete pygmies. Like the Althouse comment section, Journalism has seen better days and seems to be on decline. The Good news, the NYT, CBS/NBC/ABC/PBS are no longer the only game in town.

rcocean said...

Too Atlhouse doesn't have an "ignore" function, its very boring having to slog through all the Left-wing trolls and their enablers in order to find a decent comment.

edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

ahh Fen...

The stuff you cite, particularly relevant to Breitbart was just another put up job like Sherrod and the reason that it didn't get traction is that people in the mainstream figured it out and that it was just a pile of garbage - a fact that somehow escaped your notice.

If the ACORN tapes got no traction, then there was no reason for them to shut down.

bagoh20 said...

I wouldn't call the pushbacks on Journolist "heros" - the right word is "journalist". The rest of them are something else.

Richard Dolan said...

Fen:

Rush's topic is not story-selection at the NYT or WaPo or any other particular paper. His indictment (and yours) skips lightly over the fact that there is plenty of old fashioned fact-reporting in the NYT, WaPo and the dead-tree media. And it's still where most of the fact-reporting today takes place (that's the main reason why people still talk about it and react to it).

If the point were only that editors sometimes take partisan advantage into account in deciding what politically charged stories to run, or that politically charged stories often come with a partisan slant, that's not much of a point. And, truth be told, it's not just a fault of liberalism or lefties.

Really, is there anyone with a pulse who does not understand that the NYT, WaPo, CBS and Newsweek have a general left-of-center orientation? Or that the WaTimes, NYPost, Fox and the Weekly Standard don't? But that does not mean that all of the fact reporting in the NYT (or Fox), even on politically charged stories, is propaganda. Even less is it true that dead-tree media is just a lefty echo-chamber, even if some of its denizens are clueless about particular stories.

John said...

Original Mike said that Alterman is a "fascist" and the point I took away was that this makes him non-left. (Apologies if I am misreading you, Mike)

Fascism was always a socialist ideology. Mussolini was a died in the wool socialist until the day he died. Different from other strains of socialism perhaps, but socialist nonetheless.

Many people think that fascism (and/or Fascism)are right ideologies.

Those who do, should so some research.

John Henry

LordSomber said...

Back in J-School the News/Journalism majors used to sneer at us lowly Advertising majors.

Who's lower on the totem pole now?

William said...

My life is nothing but barren futility, and last night I read about 10 pages of the journolist comments on Palin's pregnancy. There were some humane responses, but too many of them speculumated that this was an example of Palin's mendacity and utter vileness.....Now there is such a thing as racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, classism, etc., and most decent people make an effort to censor these thoughts when they arise. Human beings really do tend to filigree absurd fantasies about people they regard as the other. The journolisters seem to regard Republicans as The Other, and rejoice in their hatred of them. None of the journolisters that I read thought that there was anything wrong about a lengthy discussion of Palin's womb and its larger meaning to the body politic. They don't seem to have a clue that any of this might be regarded as bigotry and malice.

Bryan C said...

I'm tired of journalists. They can leave now. I want the reporters back.

Original Mike said...

@John Henry:

Eric Alterman. Leftist, facist. The left displays an incredible need to control, which in mind mind equates to facism.

The reference was back to a couple threads on Ann's blog a long time ago in which Alterman's desire to see the internet "controlled" was discussed.

Original Mike said...

Make that "in my mind".

A.W. said...

Sorry, who is Toobin that i should care about his opinion?

The man claimed that only conservatives were upset by the ruling in Kelo. The man is a hack.

AlphaLiberal said...

Joe Conason and others have made a great point.

Grover Norquist has been coordinating issue campaigns, news and opinion pieces with journalists and lobbyists for decades now. They meet on Tuesdays once per month at Norquist's offices.

Why is that not subjected to dozens of Althouse emails? IOKIYAR!

Spare us your phony fluffed up outrage.

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

Here is a conservative, John Tabin, over at American Spectator who calls "bullshit" ion the Journolist theatrics:

Since 1993, Grover Norquist has held an off-the-record meeting every Wednesday where conservative activists, policy wonks, and government officials exchange ideas about policy and politics. Sometimes journalists attend. Depending on a particular journalist's ideological and partisan disposition -- which can vary quite a lot given the state of our media landscape, which includes both 'straight news' reporters (i.e. people who attempt to hide the almost-always-left-of-center opinions that shape their journalistic choices) and opinion journalists with various worldviews and temperaments -- journalists may be there to get ideas that will influence how they think about issues, or they may just be there to get perspective on how conservatives are thinking about the issues of the day.

The Wednesday Meeting has periodically been the source of breathless fear-mongering on the left about the all-powerful conservative conspiracy to control media narratives. This is, of course, absurd. Much of the hyperventilating over Journolist is equally absurd, John Guardiano's included.


And, yes, my bad. The Norquist meetings are on Wednesdays.

That Chris Hayes tries to get perspective from other liberals before he goes on TV to opine on a topic, or that Joe Klein incorporates ideas from off-the-record exchanges into his blog posts, is not exactly earthshaking news. Commentators on the right do exactly the same thing -- it's just our emails don't get leaked because we're smart enough not to conduct these exchanges on listservs where we let the audience expand to include 400 people

Hey, Ann! Are you famous yet? that's what it's all about, isn't it? VANITY?

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

Blogger sucks.

AllenS said...

Somebody is all wee-weed up.

AllenS said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Blogger sucks.

And on that, we can agree.

AllenS said...

Some un-wee-weeing just occurred.

Bruce Hayden said...

Rush's topic is not story-selection at the NYT or WaPo or any other particular paper. His indictment (and yours) skips lightly over the fact that there is plenty of old fashioned fact-reporting in the NYT, WaPo and the dead-tree media. And it's still where most of the fact-reporting today takes place (that's the main reason why people still talk about it and react to it).

One problem there is that there is less and less of that sort of reporting at even the flagship papers like the NYT and WaPo. As circulation and viewership have dropped, reporting staff have been axed, probably even more quickly. And now at times, even these papers seem to be "reporting" by essentially just reprinting DNC and Obama White House propaganda and talking points.

I will also disagree that story selection is unimportant. There seems to be a large percentage of the news market that takes their lead from a very select group of "news" outlets, notably again the NYT, WaPo, and the alphabet broadcast news. If they don't report a story, it doesn't make it into the lower tier papers and TV, and if they do report it, it does.

This was one of the problems with the Jurnalist people is that they were, to a surprising degree given their apparent youth, doing a good job at controlling the news stories that people were reading and seeing nationally. If they didn't like the effect that some story might have on the public perception of Obama or the Democrats, they killed it, and if at all possible, replaced it with one of their own, often apparently of their own invention.

So, a lot of people are now cynical about the "news" they get. Was it reported because it would help the Obama Administration and the Democrats? Did it really happen, or was it invented (apparently like the Palin baby story or the racist claims about the Tea Party)? And, as importantly, what is not being reported that should be?

If the point were only that editors sometimes take partisan advantage into account in deciding what politically charged stories to run, or that politically charged stories often come with a partisan slant, that's not much of a point. And, truth be told, it's not just a fault of liberalism or lefties.

I would agree to some extent with the later, but would ask whether you would agree with your point if the left were seeing intentional misreporting for political gain by most of the major TV stations and newspapers?

Let me also suggest that these "news" outlets allowing themselves to be used for such nakedly partisan advantage are, I believe, making a huge strategic business blunder. It has gotten to the point that citing a NYT article these days in many fora, including this one, is likely to show you to be a partisan hack, than be useful in proving a point. That newspaper, and many other such outlets, seem bound and determined to squander a century or so (in their case) of goodwill and reputation in trade for short term political gain.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Blogger sucks."

It definitely has its problems. My last post got an error message that it was too long. The first couple of times this happened to me, I was a bit put out. And more than once, I was able to capture it, cut it up, and repost my comment.

But then I noticed that Blogger actually posts my over-long comments. It just tells me they are too long afterwords. Poor design all the way around.

HDHouse said...

Bruce Hayden said...
"Let me also suggest that these "news" outlets allowing themselves to be used for such nakedly partisan advantage are, I believe, making a huge strategic business blunder."

I'm pretty sure you'll get to reach Roger Ailes on this matter but I don't think it is going to change his mind. It is sad isn't it.