Daily Caller discovers Journolist plot to spike Wright story, smear conservatives as racists

posted at 8:45 am on July 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After someone torpedoed Dave Weigel’s Washington Post gig by breaking the code of silence on the Journolist listserv, the race has been on to see who would sell the entire contents of the e-mail messages between the liberal members of the group — and who would get to buy them.  We may never know who sold it, but Tucker Carlson and the Daily Caller wound up with the data, and they found a big story to lead off their exposés.  In the first of a series on Journolist, Daily Caller reporter Jonathan Strong lays out a strategy plotted by Journolist members to kill the Jeremiah Wright story during the 2008 primaries — and to smear Barack Obama’s critics as racists:

It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.

The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”

Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?

One of their efforts was completely public.  Journolist members collaborated on an open letter criticizing ABC’s Charlie Gibson for asking questions about Wright during ABC’s presidential debate between Obama and Hillary Clinton.  The letter eventually appeared in the New York Times, and while it could be argued that a campaign by professional journalists to tell ABC not to ask tough questions about a candidate’s links to radicals is a rather strange idea, it isn’t any different than any other collaboration on an open letter.  The Journolist listserv probably made the process a little more efficient, but the end result was public and obviously the result of a collaboration.

Ackerman’s attempt to rally his colleagues into another strategy entirely — the racist attack — was deliberately political:

And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.

Let’s put this in its proper perspective.  Ackerman wasn’t talking about a strategy to expose real racists, in the media or anywhere else.  The Washington Independent reporter wanted to conduct a campaign against any figure on the Right, including journalists like Fred Barnes, to smear him as a racist for the political purposes of electing a Democrat to the White House.  Notice that Ackerman doesn’t even bother to ask people to look for actual evidence of racism, but just suggests to pick a conservative name out of a hat.  Tellingly, the pushback from members of Journolist had less to do with the outrageous idea of smearing an innocent person of racism to frighten people away from the story than with whether it would work.  Mark Schmitt, now at American Prospect, warned that it “wouldn’t further the argument” for Obama, and Kevin Drum objected because playing racial politics would “probably hurt the Obama brand pretty strongly.”

It certainly puts efforts by the Left to paint the Tea Party as racist in an entirely new light.  It also calls into question the ethics and judgment of anyone who participated in that Ackerman thread.  Finally, this first entry in the Journolist exposés — Tucker Carlson promises more to come — shows that far from being a benign place to have chats among colleagues, Journolist also served as a place for journalists to plot against their political opponents and strategize to twist the news and propose smear campaigns.

Update: But was the campaign effective?  Ed Driscoll put together a video showing the correlation of this effort on Journolist and the declaration by CNN that it would be a “Wright-free zone.” Correlation isn’t causation, but this is a pretty interesting juxtaposition.

Update II: There is something to keep in mind in this particular story, which is that the people involved in the specific conversations regarding the smear are all opinion journalists, and not people filling roles in objective reporting.  The Prospect, the (Washington) Independent, and the Nation are all publications with an explicit point of view, although the Independent offers a little more of a pretense of traditional reporting.  That doesn’t relieve them of responsibility for proposing and/or considering an odious smear campaign, but it does make it difficult to tie this to other journalists filling a different role.

Of course, those journalists in different roles who participated in Journolist, assuming any did, didn’t exactly leap to expose this smear attempt, either.  And we haven’t seen the last of the Daily Caller’s Journolist stories, either.


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I loled pretty hard in my journalism 101 class 2 years ago when the professors and guest lecturers (from TIME, ABC, etc) continually called themselves “watch dogs” of government.

LULZ

blatantblue on July 20, 2010 at 8:49 AM

what a bunch of bastards.

rob verdi on July 20, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Oh oh and I remember:

“Well, you know, the blogs, those bloggers, they don’t have the same set of journalistic, editorial and ethical standards that we in the media do.”

blatantblue on July 20, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Finally, this first entry in the Journolist exposés — Tucker Carlson promises more to come — shows that far from being a benign place to have chats among colleagues, Journolist also served as a place for journalists to plot against their political opponents and strategize to twist the news and propose smear campaigns.

I hope Tucker’s got some stuff on Palin. You know there had to be 10 times as much conspiring going on regarding her than there ever was with Rev. Wright.

Man, did the NAACP, Democrats, and media really step in it last week with this latest Tea Party smear.

Doughboy on July 20, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Fred Barnes may lean right, but the idea that he is some type of racist is so idiotic and pathetic that it highlights the amorality of the modern left.

rob verdi on July 20, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Couldn’t happen at a better time:)Oh wait…is Newtie and the other’s like T/Lott going to stand in the way?

ohiobabe on July 20, 2010 at 8:53 AM

This strategy reminds me exactly like the technique in the warming debate, call them all deniers and attack!

rob verdi on July 20, 2010 at 8:53 AM

As a recovering mainstream journalist, this JournoList thing is bringing back a lot of bad memories. This kind of stuff was common in my newsroom.

Red Cloud on July 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM

The race card has always been the tip of the liberals’ spear. To have exposed it as an organized plot is what conservatives have always known. For the left the truth is never what the facts support. but has always been what they want it to be, the truth be damned. The left just needs guidance in which lies to present as the truth and the lemmings will march lockstep as they have always done. Most of the vicious attacks by the leftwing hatemongers have always been based on lies.

volsense on July 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Freaking light in the loafers Fifth Columnists sabotaging the USA.

When the time comes they need to be dealt with, like Colonel Kurtz, with extreme prejudice.

there it is on July 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Peggy Noonan hardest hit.

RedRedRice on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

This strategy reminds me exactly like the technique in the warming debate, call them all deniers and attack!

rob verdi on July 20, 2010 at 8:53 AM

It’s all from the Saul Alinsky play book.

Disturb the Universe on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

So how long does Klein keep his job?

Caper29 on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

The MSM stopped being reporters, and started being leftist advocates, long ago.

Rebar on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

That’s why I stopped reading Politico and the HA links to it long ago.

Brat on July 20, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Gees!
Par for the course!

The Rock on July 20, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Busted!

cmsinaz on July 20, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Funny, I went to politico and nary a peep about this….

cmsinaz on July 20, 2010 at 9:00 AM

The MSM stopped being reporters, and started being leftist advocates, long ago.

Rebar on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

True, but they never blatantly admitted it. At worst it was implied or insinuated. Even with something like Memogate, Dan Rather and Mary Mapes could claim they were snookered. We didn’t have any e-mails where they confessed they were intentionally manufacturing the story to destroy Bush’s reelection chances.

Doughboy on July 20, 2010 at 9:00 AM

When I took Broadcast Journalism in 1979, it was from a drunk ex-writer for the CBS News. For my main paper of the course, I researched and found out that Sokely Carmichael, who was being brought to speak at the university by the Black Students Association, was brought to speak by the Iranian Student Association 2 years ago. He begrudgingly gave me the higher grade in his 2 classes. Racism was the tip of the Liberal spear, even back then.

kingsjester on July 20, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Any wonder Obama can vacation at will during crises?

Over and over again.

To the golf course….

He KNOWS the media will not go after him.

artist on July 20, 2010 at 9:02 AM

There will be a reckoning.

SurferDoc on July 20, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I’m not one to believe in political conspiracies, but this Journolist archive is beginning to look like pretty good evidence for a real live 100% genuine political conspiracy.

Aitch748 on July 20, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I used to love to read the paper in the morning but stopped that during the 2008 presidential campaign. I could not stand the news slant, editorials and even letters to the editor which seemed to be chosen to show liberals in a good light and conservatives in a bad light.

Besides, the comic section got smaller and even that was slanted left!

Vince on July 20, 2010 at 9:05 AM

This is criminal.

Our republic is looking more and more like a banana.

artist on July 20, 2010 at 9:05 AM

“Well, you know, the blogs, those bloggers, they don’t have the same set of journalistic, editorial and ethical standards that we in the media do.”

blatantblue on July 20, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Love it. A couple of us (parents) host a small blog on educational issues here in Missouri, Missouri Education Watchdog, and we base what we write on facts. I guess we are more ethical than the MSM. Maybe we don’t use the same adjectives and the snappy sentences, but we strive for the truth.

Oh, and by the way, you’ll never see what we write in the local newspapers or on the Department of Education sites. There are stories after stories leading up to what the Montana parents are dealing with in terms of the sex ed curriculum for kindergartners. They are all there. The media is ignoring the takeover of the schools by the federal government.

manateespirit on July 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I found this bit entirely too predictable.

Ackerman did allow there were some Republicans who weren’t racists. “We’ll know who doesn’t deserve this treatment — Ross Douthat, for instance — but the others need to get it.”

rslancer14 on July 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

The response to this seems to be: “Oh, they were just coordinating an open letter against ‘Gotcha politics’”. Yes, really.

strictnein on July 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

From the link: “Our friends at Media Matters probably have tons of experience with this sort of thing, if we want their input.”

JohnJ on July 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Is this the next shoe to drop, the one Breitbart promised yesterday?

AubieJon on July 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM

A previous commenter brought up Trent Lott…
Ed, a Trent Lott thread would be nice for venting. Talk about a sell-out; this is such a good example of how the need for money and power infests both sides of the isle.

So many great Americans doing the job the MSM was created to do. Andrew Breitbart is a hero in my book, as is Glenn Beck and many others who are putting their lives on the line for the good of the people.

Ed Morrissey, you are so very good at this job my friend. Top five in the country, that’s a fact!

Keemo on July 20, 2010 at 9:09 AM

They forgot to shut off the internet.

RBMN on July 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM

The main thing to take from this isn’t so much that the tactic was done by these people — folks writing for The Nation or The Guardian playing the race card with recklesss abandon is about as sure a thing as the sun rising in the east every morning. It’s the co-ordination of message, and the fact that while some of the Journolist members stick to their far left publications (nobody’s going to confuse The Nation for National Review) others like Tomasky float between advocacy journalism publications like The Guardian to supposedly non-partisan news sources like The Washington Post or New York magazine. And that the most rabidly partisan on Journolist are able to use their influence to get other sympathetic news organizations like CNN to go along with their agenda.

jon1979 on July 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM

The response to this seems to be: “Oh, they were just coordinating an open letter against ‘Gotcha politics’”. Yes, really.

strictnein on July 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I don’t know. Do you lead with your hardest punch or do you play rope-a-dope for away? Hope there’s more.

Caper29 on July 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

The MSM stopped being reporters, and started being leftist advocates, long ago.

Rebar on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

They have now taken it beyond being a “leftist advocate”.

This is no longer journalism, is it?

faraway on July 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of these fellow fascists.

rbj on July 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

I hope they’re happy. Thanks to their conspiracy — yes, a real conspiracy — we now have a Marxist in the White House destroying our economy and shredding the constitution.

Nice work, libiots.

Daggett on July 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Conservatives have complained about excessive bias in the media. Now it is exposed as actually worse then we thought. This will require the mother of all cover-ups by the MSM. Anyone trying to expose them will, of course, be tagged as racist.

I’m sure they worked just as hard to get John “reporting for duty” Kerry elected but didn’t have the advantage of using the race card over and over and over.

WisRich on July 20, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Ka-Boom. Every member of this list who took part in the conspiracy should be unemployed. Of course Obama would just hire them immediately afterward.

Every one of them needs to be identified, then permanently shunned. They have zero credibility.

JammieWearingFool on July 20, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Is this the next shoe to drop, the one Breitbart promised yesterday?

AubieJon on July 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I thought Breitbart had more videotape, possbily on the NAACP. I suspect the Dem-NAACP plan was to make the Tea Party look racist so the Dems could go home and hold townhalls. Then when the TP showed up, they could be dismissed with the racist smear. And GOP candidates could be smeard as well.

Wethal on July 20, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Oh, and by the way, you’ll never see what we write in the local newspapers or on the Department of Education sites. There are stories after stories leading up to what the Montana parents are dealing with in terms of the sex ed curriculum for kindergartners. They are all there. The media is ignoring the takeover of the schools by the federal government.

manateespirit on July 20, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Sure seems like the media has become the federal government. I’m not so sure the media is none other than the puppet masters. This is why we must put an end to the media as it currently exists today.

Keemo on July 20, 2010 at 9:13 AM

My mother has a Masters in communications and won awards as the managing editor of a university newspaper in the 1980′s.
She loathes the term ‘journalist’.
Her view is that unless they’re on the editorial page a reporter’s job is just that-to report the facts…not to change the world, make a difference, or put their own spin on the story.
If more ‘journalists’ followed Ma’s advice the Country would be better off.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 20, 2010 at 9:13 AM

If any of the current employers of this list of ‘journalists’ had (or wanted to retain) an ounce of credibility, they’d fire every last named one of them *today*.

Midas on July 20, 2010 at 9:14 AM

As a recovering mainstream journalist, this JournoList thing is bringing back a lot of bad memories. This kind of stuff was common in my newsroom.

Red Cloud on July 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Ditto.
The only surprising part of this is that it got exposed. Nothing at all surprising about the left-wing plotting.

cartooner on July 20, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Has it ever been disclosed who the Journolist members were — all of them? Ed? Anyone?

DaydreamBeliever on July 20, 2010 at 9:15 AM

The article proves just how much liberals hate conservatives and this country.

Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to “particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media” who were members of the list.

The Wright controversy, Hayes argued, was not about Wright at all. Instead, “It has everything to do with the attempts of the right to maintain control of the country.”

Hayes castigated his fellow liberals for criticizing Wright. “All this hand wringing about just
how awful and odious Rev. Wright remarks are just keeps the hustle going.”

“Our country disappears people. It tortures people. It has the blood of as many as one million Iraqi civilians — men, women, children, the infirmed — on its hands. You’ll forgive me if I just can’t quite dredge up the requisite amount of outrage over Barack Obama’s pastor,” Hayes wrote.

Jaynie59 on July 20, 2010 at 9:16 AM

A previous commenter brought up Trent Lott…
Ed, a Trent Lott thread would be nice for venting.
Keemo on July 20, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Amen to that! When I see Lott’s name I get extremely irritated. I defended this guy numerous times but he is an incredible hypocrite!

Vince on July 20, 2010 at 9:16 AM

True, but they never blatantly admitted it.

Doughboy on July 20, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Leftists never admit that they’re leftists – even 0bama denies being a socialist despite the mountain of evidence.

This “scandal” will wind up a tempest in a teapot, a couple so-called journalists will be scapegoated as bad apples, but the core far left advocacy of the MSM will remain untouched.

Rebar on July 20, 2010 at 9:16 AM

The result? Fox News regularly sweeps.

AnninCA on July 20, 2010 at 9:19 AM

If it was one or two journalists, they could be forced to resign.

With 400-some journalists on the list, what can you do to get them to resign? They control the coverage of themselves.

Daggett on July 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I wonder who is leaking all of this stuff. There has to be one person on the “list” who has a conscience.

Vince on July 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Personally, I’m dying to know what went around on or about Wednesday, September 10, 2008, the time of the Joe Klein’s “Apology Not Accepted.” There was a piling on that was way over the top that it seemed orchestrated.

J_Crater on July 20, 2010 at 9:22 AM

To HA commenters, this is nothing new. But it is a compelling confirmation of what we already knew: Leftists use the race card for effect, without serious regard for veracity.

BRAVO, TUCKER CARLSON!

It certainly puts efforts by the Left to paint the Tea Party as racist in an entirely new light.

Now let’s figure out a way to blast this over the heads of the gatekeeper media and into the living rooms and kitchens of every American family.

Calling all hands. Andrew? Glenn? Rush?

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 9:22 AM

If it was one or two journalists, they could be forced to resign.

With 400-some journalists on the list, what can you do to get them to resign? They control the coverage of themselves.

Daggett on July 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Agreed.

If all of them were fired (ha ha) they would simply be replaced with more of the same ideologues.

How many of their readers/viewers/watchers would care?

What’s next?

VibrioCocci on July 20, 2010 at 9:25 AM

If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us.

It now looks like that should have been game, set, match right there.

And if you have any doubt as to the worthiness of their candidate and the merit of what he would ultimately bring:

Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country?

ontherocks on July 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

It doesn’t matter that this information has surfaced. What’s going to change? Who’s going to investigate it further? Who is going to stalk down that prick, Spencer Ackerman, and demand an explanation, not that one’s really needed, it’s pretty clear. The fact that of all media outlets in America, Tucker Carlson & the Dailer Caller are reporting this says enough. Major networks won’t even think about touching it.

RepubChica on July 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

I wonder who is leaking all of this stuff. There has to be one person on the “list” who has a conscience.

Vince on July 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Breitbart was offering a lot of money for the entire archive. But this is Daily Caller (not that Breitbart might not hand over some stuff to DC so there are multiple sources of anti-lefty stories. Or DC has the Washington readership that Breitbart doesn’t.)

Wethal on July 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

And if the other Journolist didn’t actively subvert the public, they simple ignored the story. These are days when “journalism” died.

d1carter on July 20, 2010 at 9:28 AM

THIS IS THE BIGGEST NEWS STORY IN 50 YEARS

faraway on July 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

It certainly puts efforts by the Left to paint the Tea Party as racist in an entirely new light.

No it doesn’t. Not if you already know that the left will do anything (lie, smear, intimidate, destroy) to advance their selfish, power-mad agenda. They don’t “care” about anything… other than silencing and cowing those with whom they “disagree”.

LibTired on July 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Another point, is all this campaign advocacy reported to the FEC ? Seems to me, they should have had to run a disclaimer stating who paid for these political ads; for that is all they are. Or, ‘ I’m Barack Obama and, I approved this message’.

Jeff2161 on July 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I wonder who is leaking all of this stuff. There has to be one person on the “list” who has a conscience.

Vince on July 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Or one who just needs the money.

Daggett on July 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

You know all those folks at MS-NBC who suddenly turned on Obama (at least once or twice, to our surprise)?

I’m wondering if they’re on the list, and they’re only “turning on Obama” as credibility damage control, in anticipation of the day they get exposed.

Daggett on July 20, 2010 at 9:32 AM

I posted much of this on my local newspapers on-line comments section so they can’t pull a Bob Schieffer and pretend they didn’t know about it.

NYconservative on July 20, 2010 at 9:33 AM

So is the Journolist the reason Rush can always put together a montage of 8-10 people saying the exact same thing on the same day withing hours or even minutes of each other?

MobileVideoEngineer on July 20, 2010 at 9:34 AM

They went “all in” with the race card and now because they’ve stuck their necks out so far, it’s become even easier to chop off the head. That’s the vulnerability of pushing a fake cause. There’s no way out once you’re out on that limb. WTG, Breitbart, Carlson, et al. Proof that the pen, er, video, is mightier than the sword!

hoosiermama on July 20, 2010 at 9:34 AM

As a recovering mainstream journalist, this JournoList thing is bringing back a lot of bad memories. This kind of stuff was common in my newsroom.

Red Cloud on July 20, 2010 at 8:55 AM

As a working journalist, this is what my newsroom sounds like on any given day.

Good Lt on July 20, 2010 at 9:35 AM

MobileVideoEngineer on July 20, 2010 at 9:34 AM

That, and the DNC talking points memo.

Rebar on July 20, 2010 at 9:35 AM

There is something to keep in mind in this particular story, which is that the people involved in the specific conversations regarding the smear are all opinion journalists, and not people filling roles in objective reporting.

But these “opinion journalists” all write with the readers under the impression that they are giving their own individual opinion, not the opinion of some defined group. It is a lie of the lowest, slimiest order.

Sorry Ed, this is a tremendously sorry “but there’s another side to this story” excuse, especially when you consider exactly what these “opinion journalists” conspired to opine.

There is no other side. There is a Journalism scam going on in this country. As conservatives and other observant people have suspected for decades. And just like the Global Warming scam (and the Evolution scam, for that matter), it goes deeper and further than the tinfoiliest conspiracy theorist would ever safely surmise.

LibTired on July 20, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Congratulations to the Daily Caller, this is a huge get.

Cindy Munford on July 20, 2010 at 9:37 AM

THIS IS THE BIGGEST NEWS STORY IN 50 YEARS

faraway on July 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

We’ll leave it to the cables.

/charlie gibson

LibTired on July 20, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I know if I had to name someone to top my list of hard hitters to go after, Fred Barnes would definately be right up there. He is, after all, such a firebrand and controversial figure.

di butler on July 20, 2010 at 9:38 AM

So is the Journolist the reason Rush can always put together a montage of 8-10 people saying the exact same thing on the same day withing hours or even minutes of each other?

Nah – he’s been doing that bit for years before Journolist and high-school-aged ‘policy analyst’ Ezra Klein started up this clusterfark at the Post.

I have to agree, though, that Rush’s montages of media bobble heads repeating the day’s script between ALL the networks (I think of the “towel-snapping” montage, which was classic) is about as instructional an exercise in showing how media groupthink (perhaps collusion, but not always) puts memes and ideas into the collective consciousness that bear little or no semblance to objective reality.

Good Lt on July 20, 2010 at 9:38 AM

DailyCaller has to do this right. Release a story like this once a week for as long as you have stories (probably a lot if they got the full contents of journolist). Like the ACORN story, as the pressure builds, certain outlets will buckle and cover it.. even if its only to spin it. The more play this gets in the media, the better it is for the country. Main stream America must know that their media is stinking corrupt.

tflst5 on July 20, 2010 at 9:38 AM

OT bombshell

Sherrod and her husband, Charles, were part of a multi-million dollar settlement against the USDA based on civil rights claims from the 1980s. The case wouldn’t be settled until May 12, 2009. She was appointed to her USDA job two months later.

faraway on July 20, 2010 at 9:39 AM

So is the Journolist the reason Rush can always put together a montage of 8-10 people saying the exact same thing on the same day withing hours or even minutes of each other?

MobileVideoEngineer on July 20, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Yes, this. He’s been doing it for several years, hoping that people would recognize it for what it clearly was: not coincidental. I think he hoped to shame the MSM into becoming objective (if they had consciences…). Until now, there’s been no proof. I think this story could be huge. Hopeful.

hoosiermama on July 20, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Every one of them needs to be identified, then permanently shunned. They have zero credibility.

JammieWearingFool on July 20, 2010 at 9:12 AM

That and a good old fashioned a$$ kicking would work for me.

BigWyo on July 20, 2010 at 9:39 AM

this newsgate is a lot like climategate.

moonbatkiller on July 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM

everyone here has to do their part as well. Send this to coworkers, friends, family, neighbors.. spread it because you know damn well our friends in the news won’t.

tflst5 on July 20, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Looks like this is a collaborative effort between Andrew Breibart and Daily Caller, Andrew Breibart hinted at more to come on this one.

Illinidiva on July 20, 2010 at 9:45 AM

AB appears to have teamed up with Tucker and the gang at the DC to rollout this stuff for maximum damage. AB is really onto something with his strategy. He really is changing the game with journalism and using shock n’ awe tactics and turning up the pain where he wants it through multiple channels—twitter, TV, big govt, big journo and the tapered rollout of the story. I’ve got to hand it to these guys, it is edge-of-your-seat journalism.

ted c on July 20, 2010 at 9:46 AM

It’s the anticipation of “things to come” that’s the kicker…AB and the gang (Okeefe and Giles) did it with the ACORN story and leveraged the ACORN supporters for maximum effect and was able to turn Congress into defunding ACORN. Let’s see where this goes. I anticipate some firings.

ted c on July 20, 2010 at 9:47 AM

In the first of a series on Journolist, Daily Caller reporter Jonathan Strong lays out a strategy plotted by Journolist members to kill the Jeremiah Wright story during the 2008 primaries — and to smear Barack Obama’s critics as racists:

Do you think that Strong will win a Pulitzer for this story????????

ted c on July 20, 2010 at 9:50 AM

There will be a reckoning.

SurferDoc on July 20, 2010

Really…when? The left still controls the agenda. They decide what stories are stories. They control the horizontal and the vertical. The new media is still just a fart in the wind.
It may sound impressive that 20 million people listen to Rush, but that’s still only about 6% of the population. My fear is that we are quickly running out of time for the population to get aware. They know the economy sucks and we are laughed at by the rest of the world, but they are still too ready to believe it’s Bush’s fault. The cracks in the dam just aren’t big enough and I don’t know if they will be by 2012. I truly believe an Obama reelection is the end of the Republic. Obama believes that too and his goal is clearly in mind and he’s proceeding full speed ahead.

Extrafishy on July 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Update II: There is something to keep in mind in this particular story, which is that the people involved in the specific conversations regarding the smear are all opinion journalists, and not people filling roles in objective reporting.

Thanks for the liberal perspective, but it doesn’t work.

Liberals consider Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and every other conservative pundit to be examples of right wing media bias. They consider the entire Fox News Channel of being an arm of the Republican party.

Liberals also consider Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, and anyone who agrees with them to be legitimate “journalists”. Anyone. A liberal will link to a left wing blog as proof of their position. Any group of people who consider Katie Couric to be a bastion of jouralism don’t give a rats ass about what’s “opinion”. They don’t know the difference between news and opinion beyond the rule that anything they agree with is news and anything they don’t is opinion.

Jaynie59 on July 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Headlines today pushing “racism”:

ABCNews.com – “HATEFUL NATION: Arizona Ignites Firestorm of Anti-Hispanic Sentiment”

CBSnews.com – “Tea Party Racism Rift Reveals Fissures”

CNN.com – “USDA worker: Video misconstrued”

faraway on July 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Rebar on July 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM

The final turn to the dark side occurred in 1963 when the Journalism schools began teaching that journalists should not just report the facts but must also interpret the facts so that Americans would understand the story.

chemman on July 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM

It’s all well and good to point out that they are opinion writers but one of the participants is now an economic adviser to V.P. Biteme and another is a journalist professor.

Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.

No one would be against any politician that united the country. These people think such horrible stuff about our country that I am amazed they can live here.

Cindy Munford on July 20, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country?

The indiscriminate use of the term “racist”. There you have it folks—-there it is right thar…Nevermind the facts, nevermind the truth, nevermind the history and the baggage that comes with that term, or the destruction…..just use it because the end justifies the means. That is utterly despicable.

ted c on July 20, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Five “W’s” and an “H”. Anything more is merely opinionated BS.

OldEnglish on July 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM

The second update is most appropriate. I love, LOVE, Newsbusters & have been getting MRC e-mails since they became available, but my one pet peeve w/them is that they seem to think covering Eleanor Clift’s commmentary (or Bonnie Erbie, or Juan Williams, etc.) belongs, when the site/group can simply continue to give us the bias in the NON OPINION media and do just fine.

Thus, the bigger story here isn’t collusion among supposed non-partisan news folks, but that, as we all know, left-wing opinion is neither independent nor creative: they’re told what to say and they work together for “the cause”. These folks are working together on a narrative.

Something we’ve known about the left all along. See: “gravitas” or back when Hillary was the queen of political females how criticizing her meant you were “afraid of a strong woman”.

The next independent thought from the likes of Hayes, Ezra Klein, Yglesias, and their ilk will be their first.

rjwest21 on July 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM

rjwest21 on July 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Sorry, but I think you miss the point when NB posts about pundits. The point is that they say such stupid things. And that is a reflection of media bias. I can’t believe, sometimes, that I live in a world that allows Joy Behar to make a living doing what she does. But she is very well paid to spew what she spews.

Jaynie59 on July 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM

It certainly puts efforts by the Left to paint the Tea Party as racist in an entirely new light.

I guess some of us are slower than others. This has been obvious from the outset.

The Media Establishment is Corrupt to its very core. All this does is confirm what we already knew.

TheBigOldDog on July 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Daily Caller reporter Jonathan Strong lays out a strategy plotted by Journolist members to kill the Jeremiah Wright story during the 2008 primaries — and to smear Barack Obama’s critics as racists:

..So now the smears,lies,and deliberate collusion of the liberal media to push their agenda and spin for their democratic allies is exposed for everyone to see.

We always knew this was going on and were repeatedly berated and ridiculed by these activists as “crazy right wingers” and “conspiracy nuts”.

…and what a pathetic catch 22 with the responsibility
of getting the truth out about this massive breach of the publics trust resting with the very people that are guilty of carrying it out.

The exposure of the liberal press cutting and pasting information to fit their narrative only verifies what most of the general public already knew…..the MSM sucks.

Baxter Greene on July 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Yes, but there were non-opinion journalists like Karen Tumulty on Journolist. Although it doesn’t say she participated in this conversation, she started attacking the Fannie Mae ads as racist when McCain tried to use Fannie Mae connections against Obama.

So the idea had sunk in.

MayBee on July 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Headlines today pushing “racism”:

ABCNews.com – “HATEFUL NATION: Arizona Ignites Firestorm of Anti-Hispanic Sentiment”

CBSnews.com – “Tea Party Racism Rift Reveals Fissures”

CNN.com – “USDA worker: Video misconstrued”

faraway on July 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Awesome find. Truly awesome. Almost awe-inspiring.

LibTired on July 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM

It now looks like that should have been game, set, match right there.

ontherocks on July 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Yes, I think so too. Letting the Left brush Wright under the carpet during the campaign was a fatal mistake. Wright is the key to understanding Øbama. No one in his church for 20 years could be the mainstream center-left person Øbama represented himself to be.

petefrt on July 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM

While I would argue that all MSM journalists are opinion journalists the TV viewer has no idea that these are opinion writers when they appear on these political debate programs on networks and cable. Their “opinions” are accepted as convention wisdom to the casual or non-serious viewer which probably makes up more of the total viewers than the political junkies. That is how they shape the agenda.

crazywater on July 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM

I hope they’re happy. Thanks to their conspiracy — yes, a real conspiracy — we now have a Marxist in the White House destroying our economy and shredding the constitution.

Nice work, libiots.

Daggett on July 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

I suspect they are quite happy. There is no evidence to suggest they love this country, certainly not as we do.

DrMagnolias on July 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM

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