Journolist, day 7: Setting up the post-debate spin

posted at 8:48 am on July 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

On the seventh day of Journolist, Daily Caller gave to me — the party line on post-debate sensibility.  The latest from Jonathan Strong looks at the access by political operatives of Journolist and their sometimes-naked attempts to push the members into political advocacy.  The strongest evidence comes from a posting by Jeff Hauser, who advocated to Journolist members to skew their opinions on an upcoming debate between Barack Obama and John McCain:

The single biggest thing journolist can do is to lay the analytical framework within the media elite necessary for an actual Obama debate win to be viewed as such by a sufficient proportion of media elites that voters know it was a win.

Of course, this only works if Obama does as we expect (and McCain is a terrible debater, btw).

But even Gore’s uneven Debate 1 performance in 2000 was deemed a win initially by a viewership that was demographically to the right of the electorate (lower minority viewership in 2000 of debates, more male, more GOP, etc…)… but Bush was winning on several media narratives and thus got the benefit from the intense 72 hours of post-debate coverage.

Journolist’s greatest challenge is to make sure an actual win by Obama translates into winning the battle for political impact.

Did other members believe that the mission of Journolist was to make Obama win the “battle for political impact”?  If not, they were very, very quiet about any objections:

In the conversation that followed Hauser’s post, not one Journolister expressed surprise or disapproval. No one rebuked Hauser for telling journalists how to carry water for a politician. Despite the group’s supposedly “very strict” ban on political operatives and explicit partisan coordination, Hauser remained a member of Journolist for almost two more years.

Nor is that the only example in today’s entry in the Journolist series — nor the only political operative attempting to rally Journolist to support Obama through their work.  Obama staffer Jared Bernstein asked Ezra Klein to relay a message to the listserv that scolded members for not being sufficiently loyal and asked them to start doing better:

“Calling all Journos,” Bernstein wrote in a message relayed by Klein. “I thought we got too little love from progressive types re our tax changes targeted at businesses with overseas operations. We’re maybe going for another bite at the apple this Monday,” he wrote. Bernstein invited members of the list to join him on a conference call on the issue a few days later.

That was enough to convince two opinion journalists in the group:

Dean Baker, at the time a blogger at the American Prospect, agreed the policy was dishonest, but defended it anyway. “Sure, some of the things they are saying are not true (the jobs story first and foremost),” he wrote, “but the industry groups have this town blanketed with lobbyists and own a large portion of Congress outright. … There has to be some counterforce to the industry groups and that is the populist rabble. It might not be pretty, but that’s Washington.” …

“I’ve heard that there’s some disappointment in the administration that they haven’t gotten the level of progressive love they feel they deserve for their ambitious proposals to curb abusive corporate tax loopholes,” wrote influential liberal blogger Matt Yglesias the next day. Yglesias went on to attack opponents of the plan, noting “how absurd some of the abuses the administration is trying to curb are.”

At least Yglesias didn’t pass along those thoughts as his own, like Joe Klein did at Time Magazine from the Journolist postings of others.  He may well have legitimately agreed with Bernstein’s assessment (knowing his politics, I’d guess that he did), and he sourced his information properly.  Baker, however, admits that he thinks the policy and the administration’s policy were dishonest, but advocated the regurgitation of them anyway in order to shape the news to help Obama and his administration.

The American Prospect will never be confused with an objective news source; it makes no pretense of objectivity in its support for a radically progressive agenda.  It does, however, make a pretense at honesty and integrity.  If Baker thinks that supporting the Obama administration is a higher purpose than truth, even as he sees it, then that goes directly to the integrity of what the Prospect publishes.


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

And we all wondered if Tucker Carlson was done after nothing came out yesterday…

Sekhmet on July 29, 2010 at 8:54 AM

and McCain is a terrible debater, btw

Can’t argue with that comment.

BuckeyeSam on July 29, 2010 at 8:55 AM

http://bigjournalism.com/jjmnolte/2010/07/28/journolist-shame-of-a-nation-politico-roger-simon-have-some-splaining-to-do/

Another good and revealing piece…
The media was infiltrated by Progressive’s several decades ago. The special privileges given to journalists are now out dated due to corruption we are all now witnessing to a degree that can not be argued. Once again, the corruption is all about the Democrat Party, which is in fact nothing other than the largest organized crime ring every assembled.

I don’t have the answers, but I sure hope somebody does.. The special privileges given to journalists needs to be revised and or canned all together. There is no honor left in that business; pure corruption.

Keemo on July 29, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Is there anything more tedious then an MSM Meme that everyone (including those spouting it) sees through?

rob verdi on July 29, 2010 at 8:56 AM

And we all wondered if Tucker Carlson was done after nothing came out yesterday…

Sekhmet on July 29, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Nah. Tucker’s pretty savvy. I think he wanted the dust to blow over on the AZ ruling before continuing. DC took a siesta!

BuckeyeSam on July 29, 2010 at 8:58 AM

OMT: No need to post a piece sponsored by the Politico ever again now that we know they are on the Journolist. Why spread their lies for them.

Keemo on July 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

I’ll never forget this journalistic orgasm from Ezra Klein in January 2008.

flipflop on July 29, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I want to see what they said AFTER the Palin / Biden debate.

She won that damn debate. Biden, on the other hand – deflected some of her points with outright lies and factual inaccuracies – and the MSM gave him points for them. I’d like to see if there was a Journolist conspiracy to spin that debate in Biden’s direction – because I think there was.

I mean seriously – I remember seeing Palin tell the audience that Obama and Biden opposed “clean coal” in the U.S. and wanted to kill the coal industry – and Biden shaking his head and protesting that wasn’t true.

But the thing is – Biden was on video just days before telling a reporter that “clean coal” was only for CHINA (no more plants in the US) and Obama was on record saying that Cap and Trade would pretty much put coal out of business.

The MSM never called Biden on that.

And that’s one of many points. In fact, any time Palin made a legitimate point – Biden brushed it off as not being true – when they ALL were true.

This was so much of a coverup – I know Journolist had to have talked about it.

HondaV65 on July 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

The single biggest thing journolist can do is to lay the analytical framework within the media elite necessary for an actual Obama debate win to be viewed as such by a sufficient proportion of media elites that voters know it was a win.

This goes with the narrative that Chris Matthews was pushing after the election on MSNBC’s Scarborough that it was “his job to see that Obama’s Presidency was a success”.

Example after example after example of activism and working to push a predetermined agenda by supposed “journalist” coming not from “right wing nuts”….but from their very own correspondence.

……no credibility what-so-ever.

Baxter Greene on July 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Remember,after all the Liberal brainwashing in the schools
and Universities,thats the current crop that is being unlea
shed,no different than the Elena Kagans of the judicial sy
tems!!

The Perfect Political Progressive Storm is here!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Relax people this is WAS NOT a journalist site. This was nothing but a Social networking group of like minded people sharing their feelings. We regret that the name was so poorly named. We should have used a more apt name, something to show the Social nature. We should have named it the SociaList.

/s (Stolen from someone else)

barnone on July 29, 2010 at 9:09 AM

This goes with the narrative that Chris Matthews was pushing after the election on MSNBC’s Scarborough that it was “his job to see that Obama’s Presidency was a success”.

Example after example after example of activism and working to push a predetermined agenda by supposed “journalist” coming not from “right wing nuts”….but from their very own correspondence.

……no credibility what-so-ever.

Baxter Greene on July 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Baxter Greene: Helluva good point,and what about these
Journalists that are spikeing stories on
Terrorism,and National Security!!!!!!!!!

If,this was WW Two,the fireing squads would
be running round the clock,taking care of
Journalist Traitors!!:)

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:10 AM

OMT: No need to post a piece sponsored by the Politico ever again now that we know they are on the Journolist. Why spread their lies for them.

Keemo on July 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

The boys have to post the lies and half-truths that are spread by the propaganda wing of the DNC. It lets us stay sharp when talking to morons who buy into the spew. A well rounded supply of lies is important to have when debating the foolish.

thomasaur on July 29, 2010 at 9:11 AM

She won that damn debate. Biden, on the other hand – deflected some of her points with outright lies and factual inaccuracies – and the MSM gave him points for them. I’d like to see if there was a Journolist conspiracy to spin that debate in Biden’s direction – because I think there was.

HondaV65 on July 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

He!!…Palin was not even supposed to have broken even with the “smartest man in the democratic party”.

Remember Biden claiming that Hezbollah had been eradicated from Lebanon…….what an idiot.

I believe Biden had over 13 misstatements and outright lies in that debate.

Palin not only held her own…she did not let the Obama supporting mediator back her into a corner.

Palin won that debate hands down.

Baxter Greene on July 29, 2010 at 9:11 AM

OMT: No need to post a piece sponsored by the Politico ever again now that we know they are on the Journolist. Why spread their lies for them.

Keemo on July 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Keemo: Might sound like Crazy Talk,but it sounds like the
Left are trying to divide the country!

And,good point,JournalistReadCott!!:)

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Fortunately, in 2008, the DOTUS he was running against the WORST REPUBLICAN NOMINEE since Hoover in 1932.

Visualize this…….how would JournoList spin this (Bushs’ fault?).

October 22, 2010
SCOTUS rules 5-4 that the states CANNOT protect their own borders that the Fed Gov has that responsibility. Effectively, you’ll then have a FedGov that won’t and you’ll have OPEN BORDERS. That ruling is the green light for MILLIONS ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER TO FLOOD THE U.S.

The U.S. effectively becomes a nation with no borders, a FORMER NATION (and the North American Union comes to be by default as we can’t deport the millions of illegals, and we must integrate with Canada and Mexico).

JOURNOLIST SPIN………………NAFTA & BUSH’S FAULT, OBAMA (the DOTUS) escapes blame.

PappyD61 on July 29, 2010 at 9:13 AM

If,this was WW Two,the fireing squads would
be running round the clock,taking care of
Journalist Traitors!!:)

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Dead on Canopfor…….

…….just watching these activists sit on their hands while one of their liberal anti-war supporters at Wikileaks exposes hundreds of innocent Aghans that put their lives on the line to support the coalition shows how corrupt “journalism” has gotten.

Apparently typos by Palin are much more serious than exposing intelligence operatives to the most brutal people on Earth.

Baxter Greene on July 29, 2010 at 9:15 AM

She won that damn debate. Biden,

HondaV65 on July 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

HondaV65:Yup,I remember watching the debates,and the Gibson
and Perky Couric Hit jobs,the MSM,came out touting
that SarahCuda got creamed!

Another grand distortion by the msm!:)

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Obama staffer Jared Bernstein asked Ezra Klein to relay a message to the listserv that scolded members for not being sufficiently loyal and asked them to start doing better

Ministry of propaganda.

antisocial on July 29, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Dead on Canopfor…….

Baxter Greene on July 29, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Baxter Greene: Ya,I wish Loose Lips would sink Obama’s
ship,er,regime,er,Administration!!:)

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Fortunately, in 2008, the DOTUS he was running against the WORST REPUBLICAN NOMINEE since Hoover in 1932.

Visualize this…….how would JournoList spin this (Bushs’ fault?).

PappyD61 on July 29, 2010 at 9:13 AM

PappyD61: Piff,it was recorded on the tv and internet,er
telegram back in 32′!!!haha:)

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:24 AM

I’m much more interested in their comments before and after the Couric interview.

txmomof6 on July 29, 2010 at 9:24 AM

wait…wait…WAIT! Where’s the “no big deal”…everybody does it narrative today????

winston on July 29, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Thinking people always knew it was the wolf in Grandma’s clothing. Her skirts have been lifted; the truth revealed, to amazing ennui within the “profession.”

publiuspen on July 29, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Cross-reference the 2008 stories,of the “Angry McCain”,
the alledged “N” word at a Palin/McCain Rally,the double
cross McCain campaign worker that was accusing a A/A of
carving a “B” on her face,the vandalism at Obama’s cam
paign offices in regards to a “Racist Theme”,

all,manufactured!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:30 AM

I want to see what they said AFTER the Palin / Biden debate.

This was so much of a coverup – I know Journolist had to have talked about it.

HondaV65 on July 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Patience grasshopper. You must be like the Vulture soaring in the wind. Waiting, waiting for the death throes to stop. You will feast soon!

Vince on July 29, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Oops,forgot to add in,cross-reference the 2008 stories
to the Journolist authors of said stories!!

canopfor on July 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

In 2k the left learned a valuable lesson, they decided they’d never lose another election on account of, they didn’t cheat enough.

If you think a liberal has won an election fair and square, you’re either naive or blind or both.

Speakup on July 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

And we all wondered if Tucker Carlson was done after nothing came out yesterday

That’s because he got tired a day earlier than God, and rested on the sixth day instead.

The Monster on July 29, 2010 at 9:35 AM

I wish we’d start referring to these people in more accurate terms. Propagandists is what they are.

darwin on July 29, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Heroes of Journolist: Dan Froomkin, James Surowiecki, Jeffrey Toobin, Michael Tomasky — and founder Ezra Klein

OOPS!

Dusty on July 29, 2010 at 9:45 AM

it’s a good thing there are ‘fair minded’ journolisters out there still……
/f chuck todd

ted c on July 29, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Jeff Hauser, the blockhead who argued for multiplying any debate win by Øbummer through “winning the battle for political impact” is this guy:

Journolist founder Ezra Klein, a staffer at the Washington Post, says he “tried to be very strict” in making sure no active political operatives joined Journolist. “It’s possible I missed someone,” he explained in an email.

In fact, he did. Jeff Hauser wrote scores of posts on Journolist during the time he was managing the New Jersey congressional campaign of Democrat Dennis Shulman. Hauser didn’t do much to hide his affiliation. Indeed, his posts on Journolist were signed, “Campaign Manager, Shulman for Congress ,” followed by the campaign’s web address. After the election, Hauser took positions at a 527 group and a political action committee. He never left Journolist.

.
This whole episodic revelation should tell us what to expect from the liberal press for election cycles into the future or until they have a “come to Jesus” epiphany when the economy craters again and advertising funds dry up so they can’t get paid any longer.
.
Ezra Klein is obviously either as incompetent as Øbummer in chasing details or he is a liar. Which is it, Klein? Incompetent or Liar?

ExpressoBold on July 29, 2010 at 10:07 AM

The single biggest thing journolist can do is to lay the analytical framework within the media elite….

The task before us is enormous. They are the elite and they know it and they continue to pump ideological poison into public discourse.
As the best of us understands, we need to expose and confront, not to silence.

Randy

williars on July 29, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Leftists = Liars.

WannabeAnglican on July 29, 2010 at 10:30 AM

But even Gore’s uneven Debate 1 performance in 2000 was deemed a win initially by a viewership that was demographically to the right of the electorate (lower minority viewership in 2000 of debates, more male, more GOP, etc…)… but Bush was winning on several media narratives and thus got the benefit from the intense 72 hours of post-debate coverage.

In the words of Archie Bunker, “Geez, this guy is shoveling with both hands!”

Del Dolemonte on July 29, 2010 at 10:33 AM

It appears to me that these revelations are being treated with the same seriousness of the East Anglia emails. It doesn’t fit their template so it must be ignored and downplayed.

Cindy Munford on July 29, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Heroes!

joshlbetts on July 29, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Makes me wonder if Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol were “lurkers” on the JournoList. They were spouting the same pap on one of the post debate interviews. To them it was all about form and points that night. McCain clearly won while Obama was mired in his lies.
McCain was not the greatest candidate in the world, but for the most part was truthful. Obama has never been truthful.

BetseyRoss on July 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM


Another good and revealing piece…

Keemo on July 29, 2010 at 8:55 AM

That it is, thank you for passing it long.

From your link which suggests that Politico definitely has some ‘splainin to do today in light of the past attempts there to conceal the fact that some of their highest profile writers were actively participating in the documented collusion among their fellow JournoListers to advance phony propaganda calculated to benefit Barack Obama & the democratic party rather than relay factual, objective truth to their own readers:

Three Politico employees were members of JournoList, and yet in March of 2009, Politico published an article [by Michael Calderone] where JournoList members claimed nothing improper was going on there — which we now know wasn’t even close to the truth.

There’s only two explanations: Either [Ben]Smith, [Mike]Allen and [Lisa]Lerer weren’t JournoList members when this corrupt activity was taking place, or they were, and not only did they not disclose the improper activity but they allowed their employer to print a misleading story.

What did Politico know and when did it know it?

leilani on July 29, 2010 at 11:25 AM

should be: ‘passing it along’. Sheesh.

leilani on July 29, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Patience grasshopper. You must be like the Vulture soaring in the wind. Waiting, waiting for the death throes to stop. You will feast soon!

I am reminded of a “Far Side” cartoon showing two vultures sitting on a dead tree branch. One is saying to the other:

“To hell with it.. let’s kill something!”

drunyan8315 on July 29, 2010 at 11:49 AM

a pretense at honesty and integrity

That’s all the MFM has today. A pretense. And the ‘elite’ still scratch their collective asses wondering why readership and revenue are DOWN. Just like Barry’s poll numbers.

GarandFan on July 29, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Anybody heard Mike Allen’s take on Jlist? I haven’t seen his defense of this cabal that has now been driven farther underground.

d1carter on July 29, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Katha Pollit (responding to the half-joking call for separating the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ states — someone didn’t want to give up all the good Southern music): “now there are lots of black people in the north, so we can still have all that great music”

And they call conservatives racist….

Katha, maybe one of them singing black folks can teach you to dance, too.

notropis on July 29, 2010 at 12:19 PM

McCain didn’t need any liberal spin to lose the debates. He was pretty much the stereotype of a clueless old man. Even Fred Thompson could have scored some points against Obama by reading some old Law and Order scripts.

Speedwagon82 on July 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM

For debates in 2012, we have to insist on acceptably neutral questioners, and if we don’t get that simply pass on debates. No debates is a better situation than the ones we have run by the democratics.

We have to learn to manage the media as well as the democratics do.

slickwillie2001 on July 29, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Don’t worry – Sherlock Holmes is on the case…

http://www.theagedp.com/?p=1097

callingallcomets on July 29, 2010 at 1:18 PM

IDK…does anyone else wonder what it’s gonna take for Americans to wake up to this? With everything that’s going on. Journolist, the Arizona ruling, everything. The Dems–the whole progressive machine–is imploding, and still, most folks I talk to on a day to day basis have no idea about any of this.

**sigh**

If we don’t change things around in November….I don’t mean to get all GB here, but really. America will deserve what we get for our complacency.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 29, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Obama staffer Jared Bernstein asked Ezra Klein to relay a message to the listserv that scolded members for not being sufficiently loyal and asked them to start doing better:
“Calling all Journos,” Bernstein wrote in a message relayed by Klein. “I thought we got too little love from progressive types re our tax changes targeted at businesses with overseas operations. We’re maybe going for another bite at the apple this Monday,” he wrote. Bernstein invited members of the list to join him on a conference call on the issue a few days later.

More examples of Klein’s “integrity,” Ed?

cs89 on July 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM

This story sure has been quiet in the state run media. Do any of the liberal eltie media outlets have anything to say about this?

d1carter on July 29, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Red Journalism.

Maquis on July 29, 2010 at 4:47 PM