But journalists have been destroying that backstage for everyone else for decades. Why should they be permitted to keep one, when no one else is?
No doubt publishing these never-intended-for-publication remarks is, at some level, unfair: The list members were just venting to their friends. But, of course, so were lots of other people whose off-the-cuff remarks have been blown up into national stories by journalists over the years. And efforts to covertly shape the news, hurt competitors, and influence elections (JournoList members referred to themselves as the "unofficial Obama campaign") aren't the sort of thing that journalist think deserve privacy the rest of the time when they're done by people who aren't journalists.
August 1, 2010
"[E]very functioning society needs a 'backstage' where people can let their hair down and speak without observing social proprieties."
Writes Glenn Reynolds in an op-ed about the Journolist: