Is there any such thing as “off the record”?; Update: Weigel resigns

posted at 12:15 pm on June 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

One of the toughest lessons to learn in business, and in media relations, is that written communications will never be entirely secure or private.  In the corporate world, I had to learn that lesson the hard way — that my e-mails and messages would get forwarded without my knowledge or permission, and that whatever I thought I had said in private could become public at any time.  Over the same period, roughly that of my entire adult life, I have also had to learn the hard way that ill-considered eruptions of anger would also become public eventually, and that angry responses to e-mail and to events around me may prove satisfying in the moment but lead to headaches and regrets in the future, and usually in the near future.

Of course, I didn’t commit my many missteps among colleagues who supposedly understood the concept of “off the record” as a core principle, either, as Dave Weigel believed in his interactions with Journolist, the “secret” liberal listserv conclave.  The participants are supposed to keep the communications private, but someone leaked Weigel’s incendiary entries to the Daily Caller, and they’re not pretty:

Weigel was hired this spring by the Post to cover the conservative movement. Almost from the beginning there have been complaints that his coverage betrays a personal animus toward conservatives.  Emails obtained by the Daily Caller suggest those complaints have merit.

“Honestly, it’s been tough to find fresh angles sometimes–how many times can I report that these [tea party] activists are joyfully signing up with the agenda of discredited right-winger X and discredited  right-wing group Y?” Weigel lamented in one February email.

In other posts, Weigel describes conservatives as using the media to “violently, angrily divide America.” According to Weigel, their motives include “racism” and protecting “white privilege,” and for some of the top conservatives in D.C., a nihilistic thirst for power. …

Republicans? “Ratfucking [Obama] on every bill.” Palin?  Tried to “ratfuck” a moderate Republican in a contentious primary in New York. Limbaugh? Used “ratfucking tactics” in urging Republican activists to vote for Hillary Clinton in open primaries after Obama had all but beat her for the Democratic nomination.

The term “ratfucking,” for those who don’t know, refers to dirty tricks in a political campaign.  It’s hard to understand its usage here, since opposition to bills in Congress hardly amounts to dirty tricks.  Rush’s “Operation Chaos” may have been an attempt to get an outcome Rush desired, but since New York has open primaries, it’s not a dirty trick to vote in the opposite party’s primary.  If New York didn’t like that, they would vote to close their primaries instead.

This seems more like projection:

Right wing “memes” begin in “ WND/FreeRepublic/talk radio swamps,” Weigel wrote, referring to conservative websites World Net Daily and Free Republic. Sometimes, they spread like a virus into liberal sites, a fact that clearly upsets Weigel.

Given the previous coverage of the JournoList last year, that’s a little bit ironic.  The private association of liberal journalists first came to light when Michael Calderone noted that it had influence over news coverage at traditional media outlets:

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.”

For his part, Weigel has apologized in public (and in private) for his remarks in a blog post yesterday:

I’m a member of an off-the-record list-serv called “Journolist,” founded by my colleague Ezra Klein. Last Monday, I was deluged with angry e-mail after posting a story about Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) that was linked by the Drudge Report with a headline intimating that I defended his roughing-up of a young man with a camera; after this, the Washington Examiner posted a gossip item about my dancing at a friend’s wedding. Unwisely, I lashed out to Journolist, which I’ve come to view as a place to talk bluntly to friends.

Below the fold are quotes from me e-mailing the list that day — quotes that I’m told a gossip Web site will post today. I apologize for much of what I wrote, and apologize to readers.

I should note that Dave and I are on friendly terms, and he appeared on my show this week to talk more about the flap over his Etheridge reporting.  That criticism had a little more merit than his JournoList commentary, since it had to do with his actual reporting and not his conversations among friends and colleagues not intended for public consumption.  Most of these comments are fairly laughable and I’m certain routine in parlor discussions on the Left.  What matters, as Dave says, is his reporting, although it’s fair to say that this kind of exposure of his attitudes towards the Right won’t help build credibility for his reporting on conservative politics, which is his beat for the Washington Post.

That’s why I wonder why someone on JournoList decided to leak Weigel’s commentary.  Dave is hardly the most high-profile contributor on JournoList (well, before today), and he seems a strange choice for someone’s animus.  His incendiary comments certainly are sensational, but that’s about the only thing about them that makes them at all pertinent — unless someone on JournoList doesn’t like the fact that the Washington Post is focusing on conservative issues in any way, shape, or form.  While I don’t think Dave has been unduly hostile in his reporting, he’s not exactly been cuddling up to the Right, either, but that may not be enough for someone on JournoList.  Or, conversely, it could be a JournoList member with more sympathy towards conservatives than his colleagues suspect that has objections to Dave’s coverage of the Right.   Either way, it’s hardly a fair way to go about criticizing the work Dave does.

Perhaps the Post should reconsider this idea anyway.  Having an anthropological study of conservatives, such as Dave provides, would work if the Post had a similar anthropological look at liberals from someone on the outside to balance it.  As it stands, however, Post readers get a Conservatives In The Mist approach that seems to predicate itself on the belief that they can’t figure conservatives and conservatism out for themselves.  That’s not a reflection on Dave, but a criticism of the editorial decision to pursue a one-sided strategy of critical analysis at the Post.

Meanwhile, this is yet another lesson that written communications will only be as “off the record” as one’s antagonists want to leave them.

Update: This is unfortunate:

After WaPo conservative-beat blogger Dave Weigel‘s anti-conservative comments surfaced on FishbowlDC and Daily Caller over the past two days, the Washington Post has confirmed that Weigel offered his resignation this morning.

I’m actually surprised and disappointed that the Post didn’t do more to defend Dave in this instance.  The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

What ever happened to reporting FACTS?

Laura in Maryland on June 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Let’s get the pool started. How long till Hotair posts this headline:

“Of course. Dan Weigels gets job at (insert random left wing site here)”

I call 2 days.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 12:47 PM

And, of course, when he gets there, he sounds curiously like Ezra Klein, and no one ever mistakes him for a conservative ever again.

Kensington on June 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

But you like being evil, remember?

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I should note that Dave and I are on friendly terms, and he appeared on my show this week to talk more about the flap over his Etheridge reporting.

That’s the problem. The tentacles of the Corrupt Media Establishment reach into places you’d hardly expect and it, as a poster noted yesterday causes things like this to happen:

Your entry appears little more than weaselly and unnecessary ass coverage (pun intended) on Gore’s behalf, the likes of which I’d expect to read on Huffington (If I read HP, which I don’t). Was that really your intent? Really?

I’ve learned to expect and despise half-stepping from AP. I’ve hoped to read straight truth from others…
BJ Phisch on June 24, 2010 at 3:42 PM

***********

I’m actually surprised and disappointed that the Post didn’t do more to defend Dave in this instance. The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.

Strange, I thought the problem was putting somebody with a hidden agenda against his subject in a position to be publishing under a credible journalistic masthead.

TheBigOldDog on June 25, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Dave is hardly the most high-profile contributor on JournoList (well, before today), and he seems a strange choice for someone’s animus.

Respectfully disagree, Ed. I’ve read enough of Weigel to know that he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “objective”.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2010 at 1:04 PM

.. I am waiting for the day that we see commentary like this leaked by activists journalists that talks about liberals and their leadership with such aggressive animosity.

Baxter Greene on June 25, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Dave Weigel is a first class liberal jackass and the Post thought he would be a good choice to cover conservatives. That’s the story here.

For HA readers, this is the story:

Ed said: While I don’t think Dave has been unduly hostile in his reporting . . .

You’ve got to be joking Ed. Who are you trying to convince here? Yourself or your readers? Your friendship with Weigel is obviously clouding your thinking on this. You lost some credibility over this one.

Captain Kirock on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Kensington on June 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM

That’s exactly what’ll happen.

Proof? Jimbo is already here giving Weigel a hand job. I’d expect our other trolls to join in. They know the score.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

You know, I kinda agree with Ed here. How many of us trash the hell out of libs in our private conversations, and then go on to lead normal professional lives completely objective in our dealings with folks (or as much as possible)? This guy and I won’t vote the same nor look at the world completely the same, but he shouldn’t have resigned. The Wa Post should have stuck by him. And I promise, when I first read what he wrote I about had a melt down, until I realized it was his own personal thing on the side, separate from Wa Post.

jeffthevoter on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Ditto for anyone who makes silly remarks. Palin called the DOJ the “department of law.”

Laugh that junk off. That’s not relevant.

AnninCA on June 25, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Ann, you disappoint me. The AK AG’s office is called the Department of Law. I suspect this was force of habit by the then-Governor. But by all means, traffic in discredited digs.

http://www.law.state.ak.us/

DrSteve on June 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM

She was trying to find articles written in Austrian confirming how stupid Sarah Palin is.

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

So basically we should applaud WaPo for hiring a liberal to write about the conservative, even though they hire liberal Ezra Klein to write about liberals, because Dave Weigel is “a nice guy.”

This is like the blogger version of Capitol Hill GOPers defending reprehensible Dems because they’re really nice personally.

Lame, Ed. Really lame.

It's Vintage, Duh on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM

You’re not far off from what has crossed my mind. Although I generally try to maintain my privacy (not because I won’t own my words, but because I do not gossip or smear and therefore feel entitled to remaining private if I wish), I know if someone wanted to trace who I am, they could. I can’t imagine wanting to, but the Left is populated with loons, so I’m sure they would consider what I say a smoking gun or something. But I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about my words, as Weigel is, because I try to behave myself even in private.

DrMagnolias on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Pathetic pundit navelgazing, all-round.

…Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

rayra on June 25, 2010 at 1:07 PM

What ever happened to reporting FACTS?

Laura in Maryland on June 25, 2010 at 1:01 PM

“Journalists” believe they need to provide “analysis” for the benighted unwashed.

DrMagnolias on June 25, 2010 at 1:07 PM

So basically we should applaud WaPo for hiring a liberal to write about the conservative, even though they hire liberal Ezra Klein to write about liberals, because Dave Weigel is “a nice guy.”

And then people quote Weigel (as if he’s a conservative) to show how nuts conservatives are – and how other conservatives think they are nuts.

And Ed slow claps it. It’s disgraceful.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

jeffthevoter on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Yeah, but he was hired to “cover conservatives.” If he hated conservatives, but wrote a sports column, no problem. Unfortunately, he’s Helen Thomas. He’s been exposed.

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Ed, with respect…I think you’re letting Weigel off the hook a little too easily.

JohnTant on June 25, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Amen. Or the WaPo, they presented Weigel as the conservative version of Ezra Klein, which he very clearly is not. The blog had a tendency to be condescending or dismissive, which comes out in this stuff that was leaked. If they wanted someone that was a true conservative policy wonk there are multiple choices, beginning with Ramesh Ponnuru.

Why not have had him do what he supposedly is, a Libertarian leaning blog, it would have been useful as the Tea Parties are a Libertarian leaning movement. Unfortunately, that seems to have not been his true leanings, either. He appears to be one of those Libertarians that are in it for the pot & libertine social mores, not the economic freedom aspects, as he’s completely dismissive & derisive toward them. He’s no Matt Welch, Nick Gillespie or even Megan McArdle.

lizzie beth on June 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

The experience of David Weigel “fairly” treating conservatives should stand as one big reminder: If you’re Republican/conservative, assume EVERY reporter is going to treat your conversation with him/her as “on the record.”

You won’t have to worry about what some little cretin is going to report, and you’ll develop better messaging as a bonus.

BradSchwartze on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

I must agree with many here that Ed is cutting a friend of his way too much slack. It seems to conflict with his usual objectivity.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Dave Weigel lost his job because he violated one of the basic principles for staying employed = don’t embarrass your employer. He resigned because he knew there was no way the newspaper was going to keep him after his naked contempt for the people he was supposed to be covering was discovered.

Slublog on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Joe McGinniss emailed to say, “Dave can come stay at my party house this summer! BYOB! Bring your own binoculars!”

Mr. Wednesday Night on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

jeffthevoter on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Concern troll is concerned.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM

What evidence do you have that they significantly shaded his articles?
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Have you read his articles? They are just toned down versions of these emails. Stop being obtuse, Jimbo.
lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Don’t.

Argue.

With.

The.

Retard.

It’s perfectly OK to make fun of him. But when you try to “debate” a moonbat, he doesn’t have the faintest idea what you are talking about; all he knows is that a real person is taking him seriously.

Liberals live for that kind of thing. Literally — they have absolutely no other possible source of self-esteem.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Respectfully disagree, Ed. I’ve read enough of Weigel to know that he doesn’t know the meaning of the word “objective”.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2010 at 1:04 PM

This is how people become compromised. You have them on your show. You become friendly with them. Then you lose all objectivity and feel the need to defend them even when they’ve been outed. This is how deep and far reaching the corruption goes and it’s unfortunate. You can’t trust anybody or anything they write completely.

I like Ed and AP, but I’ve conditioned myself to avoid much of the commentary and focus on the story and what you all have to say.

TheBigOldDog on June 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM
You’re not far off from what has crossed my mind. Although I generally try to maintain my privacy (not because I won’t own my words, but because I do not gossip or smear and therefore feel entitled to remaining private if I wish), I know if someone wanted to trace who I am, they could. I can’t imagine wanting to, but the Left is populated with loons, so I’m sure they would consider what I say a smoking gun or something. But I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about my words, as Weigel is, because I try to behave myself even in private.

DrMagnolias on June 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

And Ed slow claps it. It’s disgraceful.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Many years ago a Bible teacher warned that some would excuse the false teachings of certain men because “well, i know the brother, and he’s a good man.”

Good man or not… it doesn’t change the facts.

I suspect Ed’s letting his personal feelings cloud his judgment. “Unfortunately” he resigned? I wonder what Ed would think if WaPo hired me to cover Catholic issues (without revealing my personal views).

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:12 PM

The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.

But WaPo supposedly have him on their payroll to do the balancing.

If Weigel has a bias in his reproting as demonstrated before, then how is it a disappointment at WaPo for you?

Sir Napsalot on June 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Too late. We know who you are, David Frum.

Norwegian on June 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NGVmY2U0MTc1NzBkNGJjNjhlZmZjMzE4ZjQ2ZTQ1YjA=

UPDATE: Early word is that Weigel will be heading to the Huffington Post.

That was fast! A 2 day over/under was way too optimistic.

JohnTant on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Methinks you overestimate your importance.

kingsjester on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Dave Weigel lost his job because he violated one of the basic principles for staying employed = don’t embarrass your employer. He resigned because he knew there was no way the newspaper was going to keep him after his naked contempt for the people he was supposed to be covering was discovered REVEALED.
Slublog on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Do you seriously think this guy’s bosses didn’t know exactly where he stood from the very beginning?

Liberal media sources pick all of their “moderate conservative” reporters for a REASON. And it’s not so that they can make their Communist bosses look like idiots.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Why is JournoList allowed to exist anyway? In what industry can employees discuss work-related matter with employees from competing firms on a regular basis?

year_of_the_dingo on June 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Exactly. Ed’s defense is unconscionable. The guy has an ethical duty to be nonbiased since he’s not an opinion guy but a journalist. The biggest problem in this country are the media hacks who refuse to fairly report the news; hence running our county into the ditch. And if it’s true he’s heading to huffpo, he was nothing but scum, which is par for wapo.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on June 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I look in the mirror all the time, wondering what she don’t see in me; I’ve been funny, I’ve been cool with the lines; ain’t that the way life’s supposed to be?

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

If only David Brooks and Kathryn Parker would do the same…Frum has already been outed to a degree.

d1carter on June 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Ironic from the guy who can’t wait to start turning health insurance criminals over to the government for prosecution.

It would also be good to let the IRS (or its citizen deputies) enter your houses without probable cause to see if you’re complying with ObamaCare. That will properly come soon enough
Jimbo3 on April 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

;)

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:18 PM

If the Wa Post put a friend of conservatives in to cover conservatives, that’s easily as bad as putting a lib in to cover them, right? And since its impossible for anyone in news to not have an opinion, unless they’re brain dead, then anyone’s about as good as anyone. Imagine Byron York doing the same job, nobody here would be calling for his head if some posts on a listserve got leaked.

jeffthevoter on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

What evidence do you have that they significantly shaded his articles?
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Have you read his articles? They are just toned down versions of these emails. Stop being obtuse, Jimbo.
lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM
Don’t.

Argue.

With.

The.

Retard.

It’s perfectly OK to make fun of him. But when you try to “debate” a moonbat, he doesn’t have the faintest idea what you are talking about; all he knows is that a real person is taking him seriously.

Liberals live for that kind of thing. Literally — they have absolutely no other possible source of self-esteem.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Hey, both of you, I have an idea. Why don’t you actually start linking to objective facts that support your comments instead of spouting out opinions or statements based on your dislike of people? That might actually be productive and move the conversation along, instead of having it detoriate (sic) into personal insults. And if you’re as familar with his columns as you say (I’m not), then it should be easy for you, right? Because I’m otherwise going to think you are just a lazy, dumb bullsh*tter.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I wonder what Ed would think if WaPo hired me to cover Catholic issues (without revealing my personal views).

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:12 PM

You mean WaPo didn’t hire you? Man, they’re missing a bet here.

Mr. D on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I hope that wouldn’t happen, but I think it’s a wise practice to maintain as much control over one’s own identity as possible.

DrMagnolias on June 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

I’m not a Ron Paul fan, but this is what makes the case for me.

You are employed to “cover” conservatism in all it’s forms and you refer to “paultards” then when you’re called on that obvious bias you defend yourself by saying “it’s ok, we’ve been using that term for years”.

Expect to get fired or hand in your resignation quickly when you are exposed.

Jason Coleman on June 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

If the Wa Post put a friend of conservatives in to cover conservatives, that’s easily as bad as putting a lib in to cover them, right?

It’s almost like the putting a liberal in to cover conservatives; and a liberal in to cover liberals. Not that they’d do anything like that. Of course.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM

If only David Brooks and Kathryn Parker would do the same…Frum has already been outed to a degree.

d1carter on June 25, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Wouldn’t be surprised one bit if all of them are on the Journolist.

Norwegian on June 25, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Rush’s “Operation Chaos” may have been an attempt to get an outcome Rush desired, but since New York has open primaries, it’s not a dirty trick to vote in the opposite party’s primary. If New York didn’t like that, they would vote to close their primaries instead.

Ed, New York has closed primaries.

Connie on June 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Far as I’m concerned, the WaPo “conservative” reporter Dave Weigel can bend over and spread ‘em.

GarandFan on June 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Because I’m otherwise going to think you are just a lazy, dumb bullsh*tter.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I don’t play fetch with you people.

If Weigel -weren’t- undermining conservatives with his columns, you wouldn’t be here supporting him right now. Your support of him is all the proof that is necessary. Get me?

Now, I could post links from his “embracing the crazy” column and many others if I felt like it; but I don’t. ;)

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

UPDATE: Early word is that Weigel will be heading to the Huffington Post.

That was fast! A 2 day over/under was way too optimistic.

JohnTant on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 PM

I look forward to the hackish defense of the Huffington Post on Hot Air now!

Please keep telling me how Weigel is a conservative on Huffington now.

What will the over/under be for weekly links to Huffington be on Hot Air be 5?.. 7?

Pathetic.

tetriskid on June 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Congrats on the Huffpo Job Weigel. Now you won’t have to lie anymore.

TheBigOldDog on June 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Isn’t the left wing book “Rules for Radicals” that most Democrats love, the bible of Rat-ucking?
He’s just pissed that Republicans fight back now. He wants to go back to the days of Bob Dole.

Hummer53 on June 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM

I wonder if Weigel ever wrote anywhere that he thinks Cap’n Ed is a good guy.

L.N. Smithee on June 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Folks, what the hell. I just decided to blow this thing out of the water.

http://www.libertarianrepublican.net/2008/09/libertarian-republican-blog-gets-it.html

Here’s the link to the original story where I apologize to Weigel for having presumed he was the author of the nasty posts about McCain and Palin on BC Politics in 2008; the posts that were under his name “Dave Weigel.”

At the time I was absolutely certain the posts were from him. But in the interests of good relations with Reason editors Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie, I apologized and retracted the story.

Knowing what we know now about Weigel, I now fully regret my earlier decision.

I hope some enterprising blog sleuth will follow up on this, and uncover those original posts. Believe me, they are quite alarming, as in Weigel wishes the old guy McCain a fast demise – health wise.

Eric Dondero, Publisher
LibertarianRepublican.net

ericdondero on June 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Stop being obtuse, Jimbo.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Ask him to stop breathing. It’ll be easier.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Didn’t we try that the other day, with little success?

Incidentally, I think everyone here should go off themselves.

(It’s nothing personal, just someone said it to me once, so I figured the appropriate thing to do was accost a bunch of random people who haven’t been bothering me at all.)

RINO in Name Only on June 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Oy vey. Your cordial relationship with Wegal notwithstanding, Ed, his piece on Etheridge should alone have gotten him fired, for covering over assault and skewing the news beyond recognition.

It’s not his potty mouth than matters, it’s his relentless bias. He has no place at all reporting anything. If he wants to write, he should be a commentator, and be honest enough to say that he’s a liberal Dem or worse.

I’m not in the least sorry to see him go; quite happy, actually. Now I hope that he as a person wakes up. And shame on WaPo for choosing a liberal to cover conservatives.

paul1149 on June 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Tommy Christopher = Weigel.

Same thing is going on.

Wake up.

tetriskid on June 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

And liberals would never do that? I undertand your claim, but you say “on this blog” as if to imply that liberals do not have a record of doing this – indeed, a greater record than conservatives.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I wonder if Weigel ever wrote anywhere that he thinks Cap’n Ed is a good guy.
L.N. Smithee on June 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Of course he did — but it was in an “off the record” email.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 1:29 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM

You find yourself considerably more fascinating and/or consequential than the rest of us do.

Mr. D on June 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Why is JournoList allowed to exist anyway? In what industry can employees discuss work-related matter with employees from competing firms on a regular basis?

These “journalists” are not really with competing firms. They all work for the Democratic Party.

Emperor Norton on June 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

I won’t give certain personal details about myself on this blog because I’m convinced there are a few (not many) people here who would love to figure out who I am so they could “out”/harass me.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM
And liberals would never do that? I undertand your claim, but you say “on this blog” as if to imply that liberals do not have a record of doing this – indeed, a greater record than conservatives.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I don’t post regularly anywhere else (except a few legal blogs on a very irregular basis). I’m not making any claims about what happens on other blogs cause I’m personally interested in what happens there.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Appearantly, Ed’s friendship with some scumbag leftist poser is more important than his “friendship” with the Hotair readership.

Norwegian on June 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Ask him to stop breathing. It’ll be easier.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM

You already did that when you told me to drink a Drano milkshake, if you can remember that through your early afternoon (apparent) Leine haze.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Why is JournoList allowed to exist anyway? In what industry can employees discuss work-related matter with employees from competing firms on a regular basis

In all fairness, these types of lists exist in may industries. In the legal industry the State Bar and other organizations have them on different subjects that you can join in order to post questions regarding certain issues.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Ed, with respect…I think you’re letting Weigel off the hook a little too easily.

JohnTant on June 25, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Agreed

jediwebdude on June 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM

It’s telling that the old media can’t even hire a Conservative to cover Conservatives.

RJL on June 25, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Journalists are members of a secret clan of racists and radicals? I’m shocked.

faraway on June 25, 2010 at 1:36 PM

If Weigel -weren’t- undermining conservatives with his columns, you wouldn’t be here supporting him right now. Your support of him is all the proof that is necessary. Get me?

Now, I could post links from his “embracing the crazy” column and many others if I felt like it; but I don’t. ;)

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Lorien, I’m not supporting him other than to say I wouldn’t have resigned and am concerned with the precedent. I am saying that I’m not convinced that he let his personal feeling significantly color his reporting and that’s because I haven’t seen any of his columns. I’m asking those of you who claim to be very familar with his writings to show examples.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

1. You need to stop taking arguments on the internet so seriously.

2. You need to learn the meaning of sarcasm.

3. Quit whining.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM

What matters, as Dave says, is his reporting, although it’s fair to say that this kind of exposure of his attitudes towards the Right won’t help build credibility for his reporting on conservative politics, which is his beat for the Washington Post.

He has lost all credibility and has exposed himself as vulgar and a hack for the Hatefilled Left….

CCRWM on June 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Anyone who read any of Wiegel’s liberal knob-gobbling nonsense over at Reason could have seen this coming a mile off. Even the libertarians hated him. Wiegel is a lazy hack and my eyes can’t roll fast enough seeing Ed flack for him.

Lehosh on June 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Why don’t you actually start linking to objective facts that support your comments instead of spouting out opinions or statements based on your dislike of people?
Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

“Personal dislike.” Hehe. Psycho much?

Nah. Just kidding. That really makes perfect sense: Everybody here has an opinion about you that’s based on our in-depth research into your fascinating private life.

And THAT is why we all think that absolutely everything you’ve ever posted has been complete mindless gibberish.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I’m actually surprised and disappointed that the Post didn’t do more to defend Dave in this instance. The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.

Ed are your FREAKING NUTS? It’s people like dave that are the problem. they “pretend” to be conservative and are really liberals and then make it seem like anyone to the right of them wacko’s that eat small child for Sh*Ts and giggles.

and the fact that you see nothing wrong with this type of behaviors shows you are part of the problem.

unseen on June 25, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Lorien, I’m not supporting him other than to say I wouldn’t have resigned and am concerned with the precedent. I am saying that I’m not convinced that he let his personal feeling significantly color his reporting and that’s because I haven’t seen any of his columns. I’m asking those of you who claim to be very familar with his writings to show examples.

As with most liberals, you would never agree that his personal bias affects his reporting. You probably believe the mainstream media is “neutral” or even “leans right” in its reporting.

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Appearantly, Ed’s friendship with some scumbag leftist poser is more important than his “friendship” with the Hotair readership.

[Norwegian on June 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM]

Ace’s post here is good, and my take, at least is there is a tiny bit of room for sympathy for Weigel, (IMO, not necessarily Ace’s) in that he was sold to the WaPo misleadingly as a conservative.

Maybe that sympathy is only because of what I think is the bigger fraud here is Ezra Klein. This scandal ought to read: Klein ratf**ks his employer, Weigel resigns.

Dusty on June 25, 2010 at 1:43 PM

The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.

Agreed, but the Post shouldn’t have hired a liberal like Weigel to report on conservatives anyway. Klein is about as far-Left of Left as one can get and he covers their Liberal beat. If the WaPo was going to be fair (ha, ha, I know) then they should have gotten someone along the lines of Tucker Carlson to report on conservatives.

WarEagle01 on June 25, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Monkeytoe on June 25, 2010 at 1:40 PM

No, this is the part where Jimbo pretends to be ignorant about a subject he’s been posting about for a while. It’s the usual pattern. Make a claim, defend it, have it debunked, feign ignorance, change topic – Jimbo’s methodology.

Jimbo, of course has read (or is at least familiar with) weigel’s recent works. Probably Eckeridge’s “hug” (as Weigel called the assault), at the very least.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Why is JournoList allowed to exist anyway? In what industry can employees discuss work-related matter with employees from competing firms on a regular basis?

These “journalists” are not really with competing firms. They all work for the Democratic Party.
Emperor Norton on June 25, 2010 at 1:30 PM

These people aren’t checking facts; they are trying to get their stories straight. There is a very big difference.

Journalists learned a very long time ago that reality is at most tangentially related to their job – and often not even that. As long as a critical mass in the media all say the same thing, they can never be “wrong” in a subjective sense.

It is absolutely no coincidence that more than 95% of all journalists are liberal. You have to understand: all that crap about centralized control and wealth redistribution is the symptom, not the underlying cause of the disease.

Collectivism begins and ends with collective THOUGHT. Everything else flows from that.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 1:49 PM

This guy is clearly just another liberal prat, but one with the “very special” job of reporting on those strange creatures known as “conservatives”.

holdfast on June 25, 2010 at 1:52 PM

jeffthevoter on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

It’s fine either way… just don’t pretend you hired a conservative to cover conservatives when he is not a conservative.

mankai on June 25, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Ugh, disgusted by this post. You know what Weigel did is an a-holeish thing, there’s no excuse.

Apologetic California on June 25, 2010 at 1:54 PM

No, this is the part where Jimbo pretends to be ignorant about a subject he’s been posting about for a while. It’s the usual pattern. Make a claim, defend it, have it debunked, feign ignorance, change topic – Jimbo’s methodology.

Jimbo, of course has read (or is at least familiar with) weigel’s recent works. Probably Eckeridge’s “hug” (as Weigel called the assault), at the very least.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM

–Uum, no I’m not. I haven’t read (to my knowledge) anything he’s written.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Stop being obtuse, Jimbo.
lorien1973

Pfffft….may as well tell the sky to stop being blue.

xblade on June 25, 2010 at 2:00 PM

ED,
I don’t follow your logic or argument on this one.
It’s like saying “Allah hates “right wingers” and thinks we are a bunch of dumb tea baggers, but it’s perfectly ok for him to write on a Right/conservative blog because he’s a swell guy who writes well.”
We have Major Problems if thats ok!!

Indian Outlaw on June 25, 2010 at 2:00 PM

The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.

Exactly. The editor could have throttled his rhetoric and directed him to tone down the vitriol. But that such a toning down never happened would say that his product was in line with the paper’s agenda (every paper on the planet produces a product consistent with the publisher’s agenda).

So what is really going on here is that WaPo got someone who wrote the kind of stuff WaPo wanted out there, then when the guy is exposed for what he is, WaPo leaves him hanging out there in the breeze to take the fall.

Oh, well. It is sort of like a baseball team that hires a spitballer KNOWING he is a spitballer and hiring specifically for that reason, and then trying to distance themselves from the pitcher when he gets caught throwing a spitball.

crosspatch on June 25, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Not surprised by this. He has no more usefulness to Wapo. The key part of being a shill….nobody knows you’re a shill. They can assume and guess all they want but you don’t confirm it. Dumb.

Rocks on June 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM

This.

mimritty on June 25, 2010 at 2:02 PM

If the Wa Post put a friend of conservatives in to cover conservatives, that’s easily as bad as putting a lib in to cover them, right? And since its impossible for anyone in news to not have an opinion, unless they’re brain dead, then anyone’s about as good as anyone. Imagine Byron York doing the same job, nobody here would be calling for his head if some posts on a listserve got leaked.

jeffthevoter on June 25, 2010 at 1:19 PM

The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach, and not any of the reporting that Weigel has done.

Agreed, but the Post shouldn’t have hired a liberal like Weigel to report on conservatives anyway. Klein is about as far-Left of Left as one can get and he covers their Liberal beat. If the WaPo was going to be fair (ha, ha, I know) then they should have gotten someone along the lines of Tucker Carlson to report on conservatives.

WarEagle01 on June 25, 2010 at 1:44 PM

The problem, as I see it, isn’t that Weigel is a liberal (which he obviously is) reporting on conservatives. The problem is that his reporting presented him as a liberal reporting on conservatives. The ideal reporter will leave his bias out of what he’s writing about, and if someone is good at doing that, there is absolutely no reason he can’t be liberal and report on conservatives or be conservative and report on liberals. I’m not saying it’s not hard, but it’s possible. But practically every one of Weigel’s columns dripped with condescension, only half a step removed from the crap he was posting on JournoList. He wasn’t trying to report on conservatives at all—he was trying to mock them, to undermine their message. In other words, he was being a despicably bad reporter. And that, in a nutshell, is why he needed to be dispensed with.

WesternActor on June 25, 2010 at 2:03 PM

A newspaper simply can’t have a reporter covering people that – if discovered – he holds in such contempt? That reporter’s credibility is shot.

Whether it’s Weigel or any reporter.

Forget about the specifics – e.g., whether Weigel was being disingenuous about his own politics – and look at the larger question of his terrible lack of professionalism.

He had to go.

SteveMG on June 25, 2010 at 2:04 PM

I am a recovering Dem registered D for 23 yrs and I am more conservative than Weigel

I find it HILARIOUS that a bunch of kids run our media and what is presented to the American people.

It is even better that so called conservatives like this kid Weigel and the ‘older’ crowd Kathleen Parker and her iterations, suck up to lefty outfits like Journolist to try to bask in the reflected glow of those they apparently worship, the other kids like Ezra Klein and elders Snuggleupagus and Carville.

GIVE ME A BREAK

All these people are tainted, instead of closing national newsdesks and consolidating in D.C. to mirror each other in their little bubble they should CLOSE DC branches and open branches in America outside the bubble, after all Journolist will tell them what to say is happening in DC anyway why waste the overhead

ginaswo on June 25, 2010 at 2:05 PM

a good and a nice post, Mr Morrissey.

sad that it’s been received by the commenters here as it has.

audiculous on June 25, 2010 at 2:05 PM

The DC website seems to be down due to high traffic, but Ace has posted some of the scathing remarks by Weigel.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh famously said he hoped President Obama would “fail” in January, 2009. Almost a year later, when Limbaugh was rushed to the hospital with chest pains, Washington Post reporter David Weigel had a wish of his own. “I hope he fails,” Weigel cracked to fellow liberal reporters on the “Journolist” email list-serv.
“Too soon?” he wondered.

THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^

In other posts, Weigel describes conservatives as using the media to “violently, angrily divide America.” According to Weigel, their motives include “racism” and protecting “white privilege,” and for some of the top conservatives in D.C., a nihilistic thirst for power.
“There’s also the fact that neither the pundits, nor possibly the Republicans, will be punished for their crazy outbursts of racism.

THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^

Of Matt Drudge, Weigel remarked, “It’s really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree.”

THIS^^^^^^^^^

All you need to know.
Ed, face it Dave was a FINO (friend in name only) & was probably just using you… sometimes reality bites.

redridinghood on June 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM

All you need to know.
Ed, face it Dave was a FINO (friend in name only) & was probably just using you… sometimes reality bites.

redridinghood on June 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Those were his remarks on the blog/bulletin board, right? I still want to see evidence of how his biases affected his articles. And I’m starting to come to the conclusion that his biases may not have so obviously affected his articles, because a few of the notorious blowhards have been unable to come up with exampls.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Those were his remarks on the blog/bulletin board, right? I still want to see evidence of how his biases affected his articles. And I’m starting to come to the conclusion that his biases may not have so obviously affected his articles, because a few of the notorious blowhards have been unable to come up with exampls.

Jimbo3 on June 25, 2010 at 2:12 PM

WTF? Are you insane?

redridinghood on June 25, 2010 at 2:16 PM

The real problem, as I note above, is the lack of balance in the paper’s approach

Which is editorial policy and not going to be changed. Nor is even challenging it permitted. So of course Weigel had to go, lest attention be drawn to WaPo’s policy.

LarryD on June 25, 2010 at 2:17 PM

All you need to know.
Ed, face it Dave was a FINO (friend in name only) & was probably just using you… sometimes reality bites.

redridinghood on June 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM

I guess some folk are nuts enough that they can’t recognize that people can be friends and disagree about politics.

what a bunch of goobers comment here.

audiculous on June 25, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Weigel is quoted as hoping Limbaugh died of a heart attack and that Drudge, an “amoral shut-in” sets fire to himself.

And you think that Weigel has the credibility to cover those people fairly?

No, he’s got to go. Whether he said it about Limbaugh or Olbermann or Drudge or Rachel Maddow. You simply can’t have that type of unprofessional behavior working for you.

Without credibility, a journalist and a news organization don’t have anything.

SteveMG on June 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Boooooo! Ed!?!?!

Joe Caps on June 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM

I can remember a time, long before the coming of such luminaries as Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Joe Klein, Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, and yes, even Dave Weigel, when the words “ethical” and “journalism” went pretty much hand-in-hand.

These days? Forget it!

pilamaye on June 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Ed, I have to say over the past several days I’ve been mildly irritated by your posts. It seems as though you might be pandering to the polite, I-want-to-get-invited-to-DC-parties conservatives.

dagny on June 25, 2010 at 2:22 PM

ED, I don’t follow your logic or argument on this one. It’s like saying “Allah hates “right wingers” and thinks we are a bunch of dumb tea baggers, but it’s perfectly ok for him to write on a Right/conservative blog because he’s a swell guy who writes well.”
Indian Outlaw on June 25, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Yes; of course it is. You are following the logic perfectly.

Most people don’t think of Web blogs as being part of the “media.” But they are. And the people involved in all phases of the media tend to be professional narcissists. That’s not a gigantic coincidence; it is simply the nature of the beast. The vast majority of people involved in any form of mass-marketed public expression are ALWAYS going to be liberals.

And they will, of course, always judge the people they associate with on their own curve. If someone like Dave Weigel – or Allahpundit for that matter – walked into my engineering firm, we would probably all stop and stare at the freak. Rush Limbaugh is, by media standards, “a right-wing nutcase.” But his professed stance on political issues is right around the middle of American private citizens.

From my understanding, Ed Morrissey seems to be a relatively normal guy who (at least at some point in his life) may have held something like a real job. But after several years working in the entertainment industry, anyone’s standards of what constitutes “normal” are going to get wildly skewed. There is really no way around that.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Everyone should have a place to vent about bosses, co-workers and customers, it shouldn’t be a website or Twitter or anywhere readable. Go for drinks with a trusted friend, get a dog (or cat) or talk to spouse/significant other. Mr. Weigel’s disdain for his assignment was obvious to many but I think the extent couldn’t be covered up for long.

Cindy Munford on June 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Wiegel is a nutjob, and his bias came through in his “reporting” on that lame blog. Good riddance. I’m sure they’ll find another nutjob to replace him.

therightwinger on June 25, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4