Politico: The secret liberal journalist cabal

posted at 10:13 am on March 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Liberals used to accuse Fox News of being part of a right-wing conspiracy to float blog items into the news.  It turns out that they have their own conduit for doing the same thing.  Politico reports, apparently for the first time, on JournoList, a listserv comprising hundreds of news reporters, opinion journalists, and bloggers, that generates a significant amount of content.

Not surprisingly, its members would rather not discuss it:

For the past two years, several hundred left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics have talked stories and compared notes in an off-the-record online meeting space called JournoList.

Proof of a vast liberal media conspiracy?

Not at all, says Ezra Klein, the 24-year-old American Prospect blogging wunderkind who formed JournoList in February 2007. “Basically,” he says, “it’s just a list where journalists and policy wonks can discuss issues freely.”

But some of the journalists who participate in the online discussion say — off the record, of course — that it has been a great help in their work. On the record, The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin acknowledged that a Talk of the Town piece — he won’t say which one — got its start in part via a conversation on JournoList. And JLister Eric Alterman, The Nation writer and CUNY professor, said he’s seen discussions that start on the list seep into the world beyond.

“I’m very lazy about writing when I’m not getting paid,” Alterman said. “So if I take the trouble to write something in any detail on the list, I tend to cannibalize it. It doesn’t surprise me when I see things on the list on people’s blogs.”

I’m less interested in the secrecy than I am in the hypocrisy.  For years, writers on the Right have heard the accusations from our counterparts that Fox News manipulates news by coordinating with bloggers, something that in my entire five-plus years of blogging I have never seen, and I think I’d have been in a position to see it.  Now it seems like those accusations were more like projection.

In the end, though, the work is what matters.  Whether writers correspond with other writers on articles is irrelevant to me.  The same goes for the “news” that activist groups coordinate their work.  Politico’s earlier exposé of journalists coordinating with the White House Chief of Staff is far more shocking and damaging to the journalists and pundits involved.

Michael Calderone gets in this amusing shot, which makes it worth the price of admission:

POLITICO contacted nearly three dozen current JList members for this story. The majority either declined to comment or didn’t respond to interview requests — and then returned to JList to post items on why they wouldn’t be talking to POLITICO about what goes on there.

I assume Michael won’t get a JournoList invitation any time soon.


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Why is everyone surprised, if the left could think for themselves and had original thoughts, they wouldn’t be democrats. They need the consensus to back them up and help them destroy individuals that can think for themselves. They’re like wolves in sheeple’s clothing.

suzy.denim@gmail.com on March 17, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I have never seen an administration that takes every form of criticism as some sort of personal attack. Obama people have very, very thin skin.

SC.Charlie on March 17, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Leftist Projection strikes again. The left wing noise machine lives…how many cabals can these phonies have before we are allowed to say propaganda and marching orders?

Topsecretk9 on March 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM

How do we fight this kind of brainwashing?

I guess this is the danger of self-government, people will come along who are so power hungry they find a way to convince people to vote against their own interests in favor of turning their lives over to “smarter” rulers.

And poof! No more self-government.

I don’t want to live in this country wide prison that Obama is creating for this country. I want to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Not the hogtied, cowards that the Democrats are turning us into.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Whether writers correspond with other writers on articles is irrelevant to me.

And it’s precisely because of this sort of attitude, Ed, that the Left has been able to kick in the teeth of traditional Western culture over the past 40+ years: because no one is taking them seriously.

When you control information, you control the people who are receiving that information. More importantly, you control their actions…and that is what this is all about: coordinating and controlling the information that the American public recieves (i.e. Democrats=good, Republicans=bad) in order to influence and control their actions (i.e. vote Democrat).

A great hero of the Left summed it up:


“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”
- Vladimir Lenin

The chasm between those who value individual freedom and those who value govt-control is growing wider and wider: something is going to have to give and it isn’t going to be pretty when it does.

Dark times are coming for Western Civilization.

rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Yeah, it’s just a laid-back hangout where they can discuss issues freely, far from the prying eyes of anybody who might disagree with them in the slightest. Ezra Klein truly is a staggeringly brilliant thinker.

Jim Treacher on March 17, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 11:20 AM

I noticed obvious coordination between the Obama campaign and Politico during the McCain campaign. When an op ed by Jim Demint praising Sarah Palin’s effort cutting wasteful earmark spending was published. within minutes, a Politico bit by Ben Smith ran deliberately distorting the numbers and emphasizing numbers that were inflexible because of the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act.

chunderroad on March 17, 2009 at 12:17 PM

rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 12:06 PM

You are exactly right.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 12:22 PM

chunderroad on March 17, 2009 at 12:17 PM

That’s only an example. I saw such blatant repetition of talking points during the election that this cannot be shrugged off as journalists having beers and talking shop. The American public became angry at this during the Iraq war, and this is the reason you’ve seen TV network ratings dropping and dramatically decreased readership among newspapers.

chunderroad on March 17, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Yeah, it’s just a laid-back hangout where they can discuss issues freely, far from the prying eyes of anybody who might disagree with them in the slightest. Ezra Klein truly is a staggeringly brilliant thinker.

At least it gives me some understanding of who confers the title of “wonk” on these people.

MayBee on March 17, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Leftwing media bias has been around for a long time, but one can definitely see a difference in its scope and intent over the last few years.

I remember being stunned in 2004 (and on) that the left and the media were able to act so well in concert in demonizing Bush.

But the transformation of a failed community organizer and leftwing extremist into the very model of a post partisan leader in 2008 perhaps showed most efficient propaganda operation in modern history.

The fact that the Left and the media really are formally coordinating begins to shed light on how this was accomplished.

This is bad, and bodes ill for the near future.

18-1 on March 17, 2009 at 12:26 PM

chunderroad on March 17, 2009 at 12:17 PM

I recall that also… Watching from a distance; cautiously and closely.

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 12:28 PM

NRO nails it

Further, one of the most valuable currencies in Washington is access to the press. The article notes that many stories have started on or been shaped by JournoList. If you’re a liberal blogger or activist, you can now push your story on the highest echelons of journalism with a quick email. If you’re a mainstream journalist, is it really ethical that you don’t give the opposing view equal access?

I think the real answer here is simply that there are no conservatives on the list because this just confirms — yet again — that mainstream journalists are privately hostile to conservative ideas and are somewhat committed to advancing liberal ones.

But good thing White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is denouncing the Republican “cabal.” They’re probably discussing what to do about that on the JournoList right now.

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

JournoList began life as a list of useful Internet sites for journalists. It’s a pun: journo + list. It was created by me, John Morrish (right), because I believe that the Internet is the most useful tool for reporters and writers since the invention of the telephone

I don’t know but this site doesn’t appear to have anything to do with a left wing jounalistic cabal. Maybe it’s being used for that but my web research doesn’t come up with anything that would indicate that it was created for that purpose.

docdave on March 17, 2009 at 12:32 PM

docdave

What you are getting there is a simple name collision in your search

There is a blog by this name
The site you talk about is a guide for research sources on the web

Then we have the private listserv group that is the basis of this thread

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM

This is bad, and bodes ill for the near future.

18-1 on March 17, 2009 at 12:26 PM

This is very very bad. This is Pravda, American style. This is how freedom is lost.

No wonder the Hillary folks were so angry… the powers that be in the hollow-souled left determined this mindnumbingly stupid idiot was a better bet as President than another Clinton.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Ezra Klein says Peter Orzag was part of it.

MayBee on March 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

This explains how the media got its stories on Palin and Joe the Plumber in record time. And it also confirms why there was no fact checking.

unseen on March 17, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Hmm, so one of Obama’s supporters illegally digs into a private citizen’s government records when said citizen asks Obama a question he didn’t like, and passes it on to pro-Obama journalists, who then circulate the information to their secret mailing list to distribute in concert through most of the major media outlets. And this is A-ok according to the Left…wow.

18-1 on March 17, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I think we’ve stumbled onto the illumin. .@$#@$ . .@$$##%##

P.S. That means they got me.

MirCat on March 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM

While members may talk freely about JList at, say, a Columbia Heights house party, there’s a “Fight Club”-style code of silence when it comes to discussing it for publication.

But a handful of JList members agreed to talk for this story — if only to push back against the perception that the group is some sort of secret, left-wing cabal.

Several members volunteered that JList is unlike listservs such as Townhouse, the private, activist-oriented group formed by liberal blogger Matt Stoller.

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Oh no, I’m wrong about the Peter Orzag thing.

MayBee on March 17, 2009 at 12:39 PM

This is very very bad. This is Pravda, American style. This is how freedom is lost.

No wonder the Hillary folks were so angry… the powers that be in the hollow-souled left determined this mindnumbingly stupid idiot was a better bet as President than another Clinton.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Actually, that reminds me of something.

During the primaries, a number of Hillary’s supporters claimed intimidation and voter fraud by Obama’s supporters. The stories never really made it outside of a few pro-Hillary sites and some of the rightwing blogs.

It could be that it was a bunch of nonsense, I certainly have no way of knowing, but contrast that with the media coverage of the presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, or even the more limited coverage of the tricks that Ron Paul’s supporters were using in 2008.

18-1 on March 17, 2009 at 12:43 PM

They could have called it Talking Points Memo if there wasn’t already a lefty blog by that name.

Lay heavy odds that the Center for American Progress and Media Matters have fingers all over this.

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Haven’t read all the posts, but it does makes me wonder if Politico revealed the existence of this JournoList because something negative was going to come out about it soon, from a source unfriendly to it’s existence…or, it simply could be that it’s gotten too big to hide anymore.

Blue Eyed Soul on March 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM

These are the same guys who demand the enforcement of Sunshine Laws.

flyoverland on March 17, 2009 at 12:53 PM

I don’t know but this site doesn’t appear to have anything to do with a left wing jounalistic cabal. Maybe it’s being used for that but my web research doesn’t come up with anything that would indicate that it was created for that purpose.

docdave on March 17, 2009 at 12:32 PM

“Web research”, especially if it includes using the Left-biased search engine known as Google, won’t get you very far, especially with this subject.

Del Dolemonte on March 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Just how many times have we heard the left scream that the right was on some email or fax list getting fed their morning talking points every day.

Now that sounds like a whole lot of projection on their part.

The older townhall listserve has been the nutroots feed for years.

That is why the exact same story appears on all the left blogs withing minutes of each other.

They get the talking points to be put out and the time it can be scheduled for release so they all hit at once.

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Time’s Joe Klein…said in an e-mail that “they’re valuable in the way that candid conversations with colleagues and experts always are.” Defending the off-the-record rule, Klein said that “candor is essential and can only be guaranteed by keeping these conversations private.”

And then Klein — speaking like the JLister he is — said there wasn’t “anything more that I can or want to say about the subject.”

Candor and secrecy are essential to what? If discussing the issues can’t be with candor in the open, then what in tarnation are they doing in the open?

Oh, right. Propaganda. Thanks for finally admitting it, Joe.

Tuning Spork on March 17, 2009 at 1:00 PM

This really does make many many things about the Primaries and then the General make a lot of sense. The Democrats are really self-destructive if they think that something this sinister could really improve the country.

I’m sure there are some who have gone along with this thinking the ends justified the means.

Just possibly they can see what the ends were and realized that a democracy simply cannot run with a media controlled by just one source.

You cannot have a free and just society by silencing opposition. You have to have checks on power. For too long we have not had a free media.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 1:01 PM

“Web research”, especially if it includes using the Left-biased search engine known as Google, won’t get you very far, especially with this subject.

Del Dolemonte on March 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Just got over 300 hits on Google Blog Search so this thing is going a bit viral right now

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Haven’t we been talking recently about Obama’s MO vis-a-vis Bush: Denounce the policy; Make a big show about reversing it; Do exactly the same thing.

I don’t see how this is any different. Complain about Fox News and right-wing bloggers; Crow about how things will be different now that Obama is in the WH; Quietly start collaborating between news organizations and left-wing bloggers.

Kafir on March 17, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Oh, right. Propaganda. Thanks for finally admitting it, Joe.

Tuning Spork on March 17, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Actually anyone who writes or speaks for the left should have the title “Propogandaist” placed before their name from now on.

Everything the Democrats do is exposed by this. It is Master planned propoganda.

Certainly, one cannot assume anyone is speaking or thinking their own thoughts and opinions on the left.

What we have suspected is now confirmed.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 1:06 PM

When you control information, you control the people who are receiving that information. More importantly, you control their actions…and that is what this is all about
rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Will the First Amendment and the free web survive this administration. Who really has control? Do ‘we the people’ really matter?

nolapol on March 17, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Who really has control?

That is a question that our form of government should protect us against having to ask.

TRANSPARENCY?

NOT HARDLY.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Will the First Amendment and the free web survive this administration. Who really has control? Do ‘we the people’ really matter?

nolapol on March 17, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Yes we do, as they can’t exist without us.

When you control information, you control the people who are receiving that information. More importantly, you control their actions…and that is what this is all about.
rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 12:06 PM

You couldn’t be more right on target with this statement. Like I said earlier, how many people say “they are all saying the same thing, they must be right.” This conversation needs to take place with all citizens across this nation!

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM

A blatant example of this was the massive landing of a fierce army that landed in Alaska within hours of John McCain’s announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate. The same army that refused to investigate the relationship’s between Obama and his numerous radical relationships with people who have a very “out of the mainstream” view of America; some of whom committed crimes against the very nation Obama wanted to lead.

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Yes we do, as they can’t exist without us.
Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM

They Can’t?

nolapol on March 17, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Haven’t read all the posts, but it does makes me wonder if Politico revealed the existence of this JournoList because something negative was going to come out about it soon, from a source unfriendly to it’s existence…or, it simply could be that it’s gotten too big to hide anymore.

Blue Eyed Soul on March 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Politico, although left-biased, are at least motivated to personally succeed. Something its MSM cohorts are lacking. This leaves them open to the truth, and perhaps Barry’s War on Prosperity actually has allowed them some self-examination of their world views….

More likely the NYTimes / WaPo / now Politico relations have taken on a Stalin vs. Trotsky vibe w/ Politico seeing the way to ruling a post-dead tree il-liberal media

phreshone on March 17, 2009 at 1:23 PM

EVERYONE of the JOURNALISTS on this site need to be OUTED- RIGHT NOW- so the public can evaluate their bias MORE CLEARLY.

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Politico has several of their own on the list membership.

My guess is they want to break it down so that everybody isn’t on the same page and there is some way to differentiate their coverage from what might as well be one central press release that all end up just putting their topping and spin on.

CommentGuy on March 17, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Does this surprise anyone? They demonstrate it all the time. When everyone in the MSM uses the same terms in their talking points as the Daily Kos, it ain’t rocket science to figure it out.

Christian Conservative on March 17, 2009 at 1:41 PM

You couldn’t be more right on target with this statement. Like I said earlier, how many people say “they are all saying the same thing, they must be right.” This conversation needs to take place with all citizens across this nation!

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Actually, I see this all the time.

ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/PBS/BBC will all be running the same slanted story and someone will challenge them in a forum with a link from some right wing blog (or FOXN).

The leftist response is then, essentially, ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/PBS/BBC are all professional news orgs and if ALL of them are saying “Bush is Satan” (or whatever the latest leftwing talking point is) responding by quoting some avowedly right wing site is not a good enough response.

18-1 on March 17, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I’ve heard it said before, and it bears repeating:

If you want to know what the Left is up to, pay attention to what they accuse the Right of doing.

Andy in Colorado on March 17, 2009 at 1:45 PM

If you want to know what the Left is up to, pay attention to what they accuse the Right of doing.

Andy in Colorado on March 17, 2009 at 1:45 PM

So, that means Joe Biden is running an assassination ring out of his office. Oh G_d.

myrenovations on March 17, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Just possibly they can see what the ends were and realized that a democracy simply cannot run with a media controlled by just one source.

You cannot have a free and just society by silencing opposition. You have to have checks on power. For too long we have not had a free media.

petunia on March 17, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Murdoch’s Fox and WSJ do this every single day.

Especially when they attack other media organizations a la O’Reilly.

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 1:55 PM

If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed,
if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.-Mark Twain

That goes for NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.

Christian Conservative on March 17, 2009 at 2:07 PM

That goes for NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX , etc.

Christian Conservative on March 17, 2009 at 2:07 PM

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 2:14 PM

EVERYONE of the JOURNALISTS on this site need to be OUTED- RIGHT NOW- so the public can evaluate their bias MORE CLEARLY.

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Again – We need the media Full-Disclosure act of 2009. Just like stock pundits political pundits should have the same obligation of full disclosure to the public.

nolapol on March 17, 2009 at 2:15 PM

I’ve heard it said before, and it bears repeating:

If you want to know what the Left is up to, pay attention to what they accuse the Right of doing.

Andy in Colorado on March 17, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Exactly. Every single accusation they sling at us is actually, bizarrely, a veiled confession.

Cylor on March 17, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Surely some enterprising young (real) journalist could win a Pulitzer or something for OUTING THIS WHOLE ‘cabal’???

Get busy, somebody!

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 2:28 PM

EVERYONE of the JOURNALISTS on this site need to be OUTED- RIGHT NOW- so the public can evaluate their bias MORE CLEARLY.

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Agreed. And every historian that sends them information needs to be outed so that their work can be evaluated for its accuracy.

journeyintothewhirlwind on March 17, 2009 at 2:29 PM

To git us started- Here’s the list of “JournoList-tards” that signed the protese letter to ABC re: the handling of Obama during the debate:

Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent
Eric Alterman, City University of New York
Dean Baker, The American Prospect Online
Steven Benen, The Carpetbagger Report
Julie Bergman Sender, Balcony Films
Ari Berman, The Nation
Brian Beutler, The Media Consortium
Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber, The Pennsylvania State University
Joel Bleifuss, In These Times
Sam Boyd, The American Prospect
Lakshmi Chaudry, In These Times
Joe Conason, Journalist and Author
Brad DeLong, Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal and UC Berkeley
Kevin Drum, The Washington Monthly
Henry Farrell, Crooked Timber, George Washington University
James Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University, TPM Cafe
Merrill Goozner (formerly Chicago Tribune)
Ilan Goldenberg, The National Security Network
Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films
Christopher Hayes, The Nation
Don Hazen, Alternet
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
Ed Kilgore, The Democratic Strategist
Richard Kim, The Nation
Ezra Klein, The American Prospect
Mark Kleiman, UCLA/The Reality Based Community
Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed
Ari Melber, The Nation
Rick Perlstein, Campaign for America’s Future
Katha Pollitt, The Nation
David Roberts, Grist
Thomas Schaller, Columnist, The Baltimore Sun
Mark Schmitt, The New America Foundation
Adele Stan, The Media Consortium
Jonathan Stein, Mother Jones Magazine
Mark Thoma, The Economist’s View
Michael Tomasky, The Guardian
Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks
Tracy Van Slyke, The Media Consortium
Kai Wright, The Root

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Always look for a way to use this link as an illustration. Funny but true.

Christian Conservative on March 17, 2009 at 3:07 PM

They Can’t?

nolapol on March 17, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Slaves must do the work so that the elite can have their paradise…

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 3:27 PM

My own brothers also showed me a video of the secret societies, on both sides of the isle..

At first i dismissed it..

But now as i see more of this obvious liberal crap
and rich republicans crap too

I reallyh wonder..

are all of these people out to DESTROY
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

Are all Liberals, hollywood elites, rich republicans, liberal congressmen, liberal laywers, and obama
all TRAITORS?

I am beginning to think so.,.

The only ones i think i trust now..
Are either
poor pastors
or the homelsss on the street

hell we should shoot all of the liberals
and take the homeless and make then run the country..
hell they couldnt do much worse..

jcila on March 17, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Controlling the message is a very powerful tool; call it what you like, it remains very effective. How many people have you heard through the years say “it must be true, they are saying it on every channel.”

Freedom of the Press has/had a very defined purpose. This was not the designed purpose, which is the real story.

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 11:00 AM

IMO Politico is struggling to maintain relevance by appearing short-term to be more analytical, less knee-jerk leftists.

Back to your comment about the designed purpose of the press.

A favorite meme has been the one that goes like this:

Illegals are only taking jobs that Americans won’t do.

The statement should read: Illegals accept slave wages to do jobs that Americans won’t.

Truth is that decades ago many businesses began paying less than a welfare check or unemployment offers to an American citizen, especially jobs in landscaping, construction, food processing, hospitality.

The icing on the cake for employers hiring illegals – higher profits. Its no wonder the US Chamber of Commerce supports open borders and slave wages.

Effective disinformation must contain a kernel of truth.

The bendover boys and girls under Soros’ tutelage at MoveOn, DailyKos, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, et al despise us and everything this country stands for so much so that they will bendover doing Masters bidding till hell freezes.

After all, they dont want to be ostracized from the really good parties do they?

Its not like theres anything important at stake, only our way of life and the constitution.

kooziegirl on March 17, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Illegals are only taking jobs that Americans won’t do.

Unaltered, is truth

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 4:28 PM

I’ve said it for years: the biggest — maybe, fatal — mistake that the Center-Right has made over the past 40+ years is in allowing the Left to gain absolute control over the institutions that provide Americans with socio-political information: namely, the education system, the news media, and the entertainment industry.

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
– Vladimir Lenin

This is why they’ve sought – and won – control over the education system: to instill utopian, collectivist nonsense in impressionable young people in order to steer the development of their “locus of control” (i.e. their views about how much control individual human beings have over their lives) towards one that is amenable to Leftist ideology (i.e. external forces dominate).

“The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.”
– Vladimir Lenin

This is why they’ve sought – and won – control over the news media: to gain control over the information that reaches the public and to control the way in which the public perceives that information. By doing so, they’re able to prevent the young people I discussed earlier from having their faith in Leftist ideology shattered by brutal reality. Thus, when trillions and trillions are spent on education over 40+ years; only to see scores decline, decade by decade; the fault isn’t with the Leftist “feelings”-based education model…the fault lies with greedy, racist Republicans who got in the way of more spending.

And when trillions and trillions are wasted on welfare for 40+ years; only to see black families – who in the early 60s scored highest in marriage rates – decimated; the fault isn’t in Leftists’ blind faith in wealth redistribution… the fault lies with greedy, racist Republicans who got in the way of more spending.

And when large businesses and whites abandon the cities in the 70s and 80s; only to see these urban areas collapse into decay and despair; the fault isn’t with black, Democrat-dominated govts coming to power and raising personal, property and business tax rates through the stratosphere… the fault lies with greedy, racist white people who didn’t want to be around blacks.

The national media now has two primary objectives: lambaste the Lefts’ political enemies (i.e. Republicans/conservatives) whilst covering for their political fellow-travelers (i.e. Democrats).

Thus, when George Bush makes Cs at Yale, he’s an idiot – when it comes to light that John Kerry had even lower grades…well, he was too busy being socially-conscious.

When questions arise about the long-standing, personal connections a Democrat presidential nominee has to a hodge-podge of radicals and terrorists who have all stated their hatred for US society, that’s fear-mongering and “distraction from the issues” – when govt officials are participating in media smear campaigns against private citizens (e.g. Joe the Plumber, Rush)…well, that’s what they get for entering the public domain.

RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
– Saul Alinsky

And this is why they’ve sought – and won – control over the entertainment industry: in order 1) to portray anything that is even remotely traditional/conservative as being bigoted and reactionary and 2) to paint anyone who is even remotely traditional/conservative as being – not only bigoted and reactionary – but as dishonest and ignorant.

Look at The Daily Show and Real Time with Bill Maher. While the surface presentation is “witty political insight”, the real function of these shows is anything but comical. Their real function is two-fold:

1) make anyone advocating traditional/conservative views sound stupid and worthy of derision

…and…

2) thereby, make traditional/conservative ideas sound stupid and worthy of derision

Here’s a typical Real Time with Bill Maher script. One conservative panelist vs. three Leftist panelists and an audience filled with Leftists. It always starts out civil enough, but eventually, the conservative says something that elicits boos from the crowd.

That’s the signal! From that point on, the three Leftists take turns taking shots at the conservative: one panelist hits him with a red herring; “Frankly, I’m surprised that you have the gaul to talk about George Bush’s compassion in Africa when he’s killed a million people in Iraq”; big applause from Leftist audience…while the conservative responds to that attack, the other Leftist panelist strikes with a straw man; “Why do you conservatives want children to starve?”; bigger applause from Leftist audience…then Maher throws in one of his “witticisms”; “Come on…regardless of the war crimes and starving children, even you have to admit Bush looks like a monkey!”

“Ha, ha, ha!!! Ho, ho, ho!!! Those stupid conservatives…with their stupid ideas! Why even bother?”

This goes on for an hour…week after week…month after month…year after year.

The goal here is the complete vilification of anything that doesn’t tow the Leftist line.

Tick, tock…

rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 4:38 PM

THIS was read into the congressional record in 1963! From a pamphlet outlining Goals of the Communist Party in America


I’d say it was VERY effective!

Here’s just a few highlights:

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 4:49 PM

It’s not a conspiracy, just a conversation…

Yeah right… a conversation about what they will teach, write, and broadcast and how it all fits together, hosted on a private invitaion-only network, with all conversations kept secret.

NO, THAT’S NOTHING AT ALL LIKE A CONSPIRACY.

Woody on March 17, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Yeah right… a conversation about what they will teach, write, and broadcast and how it all fits together, hosted on a private invitaion-only network, with all conversations kept secret.

Just like some folks at Yale.

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Woody on March 17, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Or like the blog Debt is Slavery as linked by angryed.

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 5:31 PM

Just like some folks at Yale.

Who’s on the Skull & Bones mailing list? (Remember: The fact that you can’t prove such a thing exists only confirms the conspiracy!)

Jim Treacher on March 17, 2009 at 5:35 PM

ExTex on March 17, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Good stuff; thanks for that.

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 5:43 PM

During the campaign, comparing the WaPo front page with the DNC talking points of the day is enough of a giveaway.

ddrintn on March 17, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Ed wrote:

I’m less interested in the secrecy than I am in the hypocrisy. For years, writers on the Right have heard the accusations from our counterparts that Fox News manipulates news by coordinating with bloggers… Now it seems like those accusations were more like projection.

Ed, haven’t you learned yet that nearly every such accusation by the left is similarly projection?

I’m completely serious. The sequence goes like this, repeatedly:

1) Liberal imagines criminal conservative conspiracy;

2) Liberals grasps what damage is being done by this conspiracy;

3) Liberal communicates with other liberals concerning how they will be inundated by Republican criminality if they don’t do something;

4) Liberals construct a real conspiracy like the conservative conspiracy they imagined.

This is why, for example, as soon as Newt Gingrich managed to have Jim Wright thrown out of the House for ethics complaints, Democrats in the House proceeded to file dozens of ethics complaints against Gingrich. None of them had merit, but they imagined Newt was simply engaging in partisanship, so they engaged in partisanship on steroids.

This is also why, after Republicans exposed Clinton’s felonious behavior in the White House, Democrats spent the next 8 years INVENTING allegedly criminal activities in the Bush administration (which had to have been the most ethically clean Presidential administration in my lifetime); they imagined the allegations against Clinton were simply partisanship, so they jacked up the partisanship against the Bush administration.

This is not an isolated instance, Ed. This is a repeated pattern in the dementia we call liberalism.

philwynk on March 17, 2009 at 6:28 PM

I’m less interested in the secrecy than I am in the hypocrisy. For years, writers on the Right have heard the accusations from our counterparts that Fox News manipulates news by coordinating with bloggers…

Provable, not projection. Who got kicked off from Fox?

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Provable, not projection. Who got kicked off from Fox?

sethstorm on March 17, 2009 at 6:30 PM

prove it

Jamson64 on March 17, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Several hundred “journalists” meet to discuss news that several dozen people read, so what?

NoDonkey on March 17, 2009 at 7:18 PM

It has been ever thus since the days of the first pamphleteers.

OldEnglish on March 17, 2009 at 7:29 PM

I am tired of hearing that illegals take jobs americans won’t do…yeh that usually happens when big brother pays the bills and one does not have to work

Jamson64 on March 17, 2009 at 7:31 PM

sethstorm -

While you may think you’re the epitome of wit, you’re actually doing nothing more than demonstrating that oh-so common trait of the Left — namely, employing fallacious arguments. In your case, Tu Quoque (“You, Too!”) appears to be favored.

I will give you credit for this, though: at least you’re a little more original than the typical Leftist, who spews out ad hominem, red herring, and straw man arguments like bad chili.

rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 7:47 PM

I will give you credit for this, though: at least you’re a little more original than the typical Leftist, who spews out ad hominem, red herring, and straw man arguments like bad chili.

rvastar on March 17, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Pardon!?

OldEnglish on March 17, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Just like we have Anti-Trust laws for Industry we need Anti-Brain-Trust laws for “journalism”

VinceP1974 on March 17, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Not credible but laughable.

They do their own thinking.

getalife on March 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM

A blatant example of this was the massive landing of a fierce army that landed in Alaska within hours of John McCain’s announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate. The same army that refused to investigate the relationship’s between Obama and his numerous radical relationships with people who have a very “out of the mainstream” view of America; some of whom committed crimes against the very nation Obama wanted to lead.

Keemo on March 17, 2009 at 1:21 PM

What are the odds these guys were responsible for the public exposure of Joe the plumber’s personal info?

Sugarbuzz on March 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM

Not credible but laughable.

They do their own thinking.

getalife on March 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM

They do their own groupthink? That’s the point. And yep, it’s quite credible and laughable too.

ddrintn on March 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM

What are the odds these guys were responsible for the public exposure of Joe the plumber’s personal info?

Sugarbuzz on March 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM

I don’t know if it’s conspiracy so much as just being the groupthinking lib herd.

ddrintn on March 17, 2009 at 10:09 PM

Check out the JournoList web site.

It looks less threatening than this thread would indicate.

Besides, I used to run an email list that liberals would have considered a threatening bunch of right-wing theocrats, even though we were all just a bunch of loveable fuzz balls.

Right_of_Attila on March 17, 2009 at 10:48 PM

“Check out the JournoList web site.”

Someone already mentioned that the two things are not the same.

The website is not what the politico article is referring to.

DWB on March 17, 2009 at 11:11 PM

Shhhh! Markos gave up our conspiracy secrets on Countdown!

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/3/17/709864/-Shhhh!-Markos-gave-up-our-conspiracy-secrets-on-Countdown!

Beckers.

getalife on March 17, 2009 at 11:41 PM

Wow! Politico’s stock is definitely rising. I have been very impressed with them over the past few weeks.

DFCtomm on March 18, 2009 at 12:30 AM

Ezra Klein truly is a staggeringly brilliant thinker.

Jim Treacher on March 17, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Heh, more like a lazy and inseparable O-coitus dweller…

Entelechy on March 18, 2009 at 1:41 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the accusation that the Bush Administration coordinated with bloggers, not Fox News?
Tom_Shipley

Uhm No.

That claim was that FNC was getting, through their X- military commentators, the “secretly” getting point of view of the Pentagon.

However that claim fell apart do to the X- military commentators, when asked about something to do with the military would say “My friends/Source at the Pentagon says”

Whatever.

DSchoen on March 18, 2009 at 3:43 AM

Rushbo has been in the White House along with Hanitty and company. How biased was that? Take a good look in the mirror rightwing hacks.

athensboy on March 18, 2009 at 7:23 AM

Rushbo has been in the White House along with Hanitty and company. How biased was that? Take a good look in the mirror rightwing hacks.

Do they present themselves to the American public as objective, unbiased commentators, Lefty?

Next fallacious argument please.

rvastar on March 18, 2009 at 2:04 PM

So now we know where the Howard Dean talking points were being disseminated throughout the Bush era.

jediwebdude on March 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Wow, the leftists are spinning this one like Dremel tools.

Oh, and the lying, always the lying.

SICK OF IT

Merovign on March 18, 2009 at 9:00 PM

A corrupt mind is such a terrible thing to waste. /S

byteshredder on July 25, 2010 at 6:20 PM

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