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bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 03:28 PM
Thanks to nikkibong (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166854#post166854), we now know Dave Weigel is leaving the WaPo, according to Ben Smith (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Weigel_resigns.html?showall).

Here is the home page for Right Now (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/), Dave's WaPo blog. As of this moment, nothing from him about this.

Discuss?

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 03:30 PM
Here is Wonkette's initial report (http://wonkette.com/416297/416297) and their first piece of opinionating (http://wonkette.com/416303/slave-bloggers-at-washingtonpostcom-say-farewell-to-dave-weigel).

[Added] If you're reading this appreciably after I posted it, you might check the Wonkette posts tagged "dave weigel" (http://wonkette.com/tag/dave-weigel) for their latest.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 03:39 PM
Dave is tweeting (http://twitter.com/daveweigel) about this. First mention "about three hours ago." (Which would mean about 1:30 pm on Friday 25 June 2010, if you're reading this days after I posted it.)

[Added] You might also search on the hot new hashtag, #teamweigel (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23teamweigel).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 03:48 PM
The right-wing fauxtrage machine claims another scalp (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/on_journolist_and_dave_weigel.html).

(h/t: TavernWench (http://twitter.com/TavernWench/status/17038751424))

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 03:53 PM
... gathered up by B'head Matt Lewis (http://www.mattlewis.org/?p=3353), who I'm sure will have lots more to say on the next TWiB.

Most are negative, but Glenn Reynolds, Tim Carney, and Jennifer Rubin have nice things to say.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 04:02 PM
[Added] You might also search on the hot new hashtag, #teamweigel (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23teamweigel).

And if you do, you might notice a few people (e.g. (http://twitter.com/anamariecox)) have changed their Twitter avatars to this:

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/3286/firefirefire.png

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 04:07 PM
I'm on a bunch of conservative listservs. I won't violate their off-the-record policies by publishing specific comments here, but I will say upfront that there are things I see daily on most of them that, if the comments ever appeared in public, would result in a lot of egg on face and a lot of accusations from both the right and the left directed at folks making the comments that would come close to what Dave is experiencing now. It's worth noting that just as Dave's comments have proved attention-grabbing precisely because they were not publicly aired before now, these people have also tended not to make public comments that correspond with their private ones-- and I think that's one reason why I'm confident as to everyone's ability to keep their personal views from affecting what they write, more often than not (Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck together with a few others being notable exceptions).

Liz Mair (http://lizmair.com/blog.php?Index=620), whose whole post is well worth reading.

(via Ezra's post noted (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166875#post166875) above)

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 04:52 PM
The right-wing fauxtrage machine claims another scalp (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/on_journolist_and_dave_weigel.html).

(h/t: TavernWench (http://twitter.com/TavernWench/status/17038751424))

Ken Layne (http://wonkette.com/416305/416305): "WAPO SHOULD TOTALLY HIRE TUCKER CARLSON"

JoeK
06-25-2010, 05:04 PM
For a liar, Weigel is a pretty good reporter. Happy to hear about his ordeal.

The news of Journolist closing down - pure joy! I almost, for the first time in my life, read something Ezra Klein wrote. But, as usual, my mind started wandering before I got through the first paragraph of his wearisome prose.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:21 PM
Thanks to nikkibong (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166854#post166854), we now know Dave Weigel is leaving the WaPo, according to Ben Smith (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Weigel_resigns.html?showall).

Here is the home page for Right Now (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/), Dave's WaPo blog. As of this moment, nothing from him about this.

Jim Newell's report is a good place to start (http://gawker.com/5572861/washington-post-blogger-resigns-over-private-emails-to-friends), if you're just hearing about this now.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:30 PM
The news of Journolist closing down - pure joy!

On a related note, seen (http://twitter.com/larrydimaio/status/17040510406) on the Twitter:

so Weigel vents in private emails and gets sacked? where's the right-wing outrage over his constitutional rights? #teamweigel (http://twitter.com/search?q=%23teamweigel)

I almost, for the first time in my life, read something Ezra Klein wrote.

Shorter JoKe:

Who you callin' epistemically closured?

Don Zeko
06-25-2010, 05:34 PM
And another scalp for the Right. This, by the way, is one of the reasons the media often produces conservative-leaning news despite being full of left-of-center people. Weigel's reporting of the Conservative movement was perfectly fair, yet he still had people willing to use any kind of ratfuck available to get him canned. Anyway, let me end with a deep thought.

The WaPo fired Dave Weigel, but continues to employ Charles Krauthammer and Michael Gerson.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:34 PM
... points to good posts by Greg Sargent (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/on_david_weigels_resignation_1.html) and Mark Ambinder (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-post-shouldnt-have-fired-dave-weigel/58764/) and concludes (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/two-more-quick-takes/):

Hating stupid people is probably not a good thing if you work for Fred Hiatt.

[Added] Earlier post from JC here (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/another-head-for-the-right-and-the-left/). Big blockquote from Philip Klein at the conservative American Spectator, part of which I'll reproduce here. (Whole thing (http://spectator.org/blog/2010/06/25/defending-dave-weigel) is worth a look.)

This and other private comments by Weigel have contributed to the charge that he's hostile toward conservatives and a standard issue liberal, but I don't think that's accurate. I could just as easily report on private conversations in which he's revealed a fondness for Ronald Reagan, a willingness to vote for Bobby Jindal as president, and agreed that Van Jones should have been fired for his 9/11 trutherism. Plus, it should be noted that in the past, he's even contributed to the American Spectator.

It should also be noted that he went on Keith Olbermann's show and shot down a story about Sarah Palin committing perjury that had been lighting up the liberal blogs and defended Cato's Michael Cannon against a "dishonest and unfair hit" by the Center for American Progress.

[Added2] Even earlier post from JC here (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/blogosphere-update/), which appears to be his first response to hearing the news.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:38 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:40 PM
And another scalp for the Right. This, by the way, is one of the reasons the media often produces conservative-leaning news despite being full of left-of-center people. Weigel's reporting of the Conservative movement was perfectly fair, yet he still had people willing to use any kind of ratfuck available to get him canned. Anyway, let me end with a deep thought.

The WaPo fired Dave Weigel, but continues to employ Charles Krauthammer and Michael Gerson.

And Bill Kristol. Never forget.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:54 PM
Memeorandum links here (http://www.memeorandum.com/100625/p55#a100625p55) and here (http://www.memeorandum.com/100625/p84#a100625p84), for starters.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 05:57 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Or maybe ... Ann Althouse (http://instaputz.blogspot.com/2010/06/fourth-estate-you-deserve.html)? (Don't worry. That's not a link to her house of slime. It's a smart post, too.)

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 06:01 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Matt Yglesias (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/re-dave-weigel/):

It doesn’t surprise me at all to see Jeffrey Goldberg dancing on Weigel’s grave (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/an-unhappy-day-at-the-washington-post/58745/). In some ways, it’s an illustrative contrast. For all the hate that’s been directed at Dave lately, nobody disputes any of his actual reporting. Instead they’re digging around his private emails. All I’ve ever seen Goldberg do in private is be funny and charming. It’s his work that’s dangerous and inaccurate (http://washingtonindependent.com/1923/goldbergs-non-mea-culpa).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 06:16 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Scott Lemieux seems to pick the latter, but not by much (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/06/pompous-hack-with-no-sense-of-shame-of-the-day).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 06:20 PM
Matt Yglesias (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/re-dave-weigel/):

It doesn’t surprise me at all to see Jeffrey Goldberg dancing on Weigel’s grave (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/an-unhappy-day-at-the-washington-post/58745/). In some ways, it’s an illustrative contrast. For all the hate that’s been directed at Dave lately, nobody disputes any of his actual reporting. Instead they’re digging around his private emails. All I’ve ever seen Goldberg do in private is be funny and charming. It’s his work that’s dangerous and inaccurate (http://washingtonindependent.com/1923/goldbergs-non-mea-culpa).

Somewhat along the same lines, here's this thought from Roy Edroso (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010/06/u-were-doin-it-rite.html), who most certainly should know:

The problem with covering conservatives is: There's no way to do it without being offensive -- at least in the bar after work, or its email equivalent. Which is apparently a resignation-accepting offense at the Post.

They've run this country for most of the past thirty years. I don't see why we should continue to treat wingnuts like special needs children who have to be shielded from criticism.

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 06:22 PM
... from Steve Benen (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_06/024450.php).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 06:28 PM
... from Steve Benen (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_06/024450.php).

Another one, from Alex Pareene (http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/06/25/david_weigel_resigns/index.html).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 06:37 PM
From Julian Sanchez (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/weigel-wapo-and-the-tracy-flickization-of-public-life/58748/) (don't let the URL or the page header scare you!).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 10:52 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

KagroX makes a good case for the bow-tied twerp (http://twitter.com/KagroX/status/17044811890).

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 11:11 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

DougJ (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/jeff-golberg-is-a-worthless-sociopathic-sack-of-shit/) votes JG. (Spoiler alert: the URL and post title may give you a slight hint.)

bjkeefe
06-25-2010, 11:48 PM
... from Jill at Feministe (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/06/25/a-sad-day-for-journalism/).

(h/t: @ArtemisWinter (http://twitter.com/ArtemisWinter/status/17057625146))

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 12:01 AM
Via AemJeff over in the "Gossip about the 'heads, part 2" thread: Doughy (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NzZlYWY5YTFiODg1ZWQ3MmRmZWUyNzQ2MjExZTlhYmU=) waffling and flailing, and John J. Miller (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWU4Y2FkMWU5MGQ3YzlmNjBlMjY4MTgxMGM1MTIwZWE=), with a pretty decent piece.

My feeling, however, is that JJM could have stopped after this line:

I was startled to read some of what Dave Weigel had written on that listserv—I had taken him to be a left-of-center libertarian, not a cheerleader for Democrats. That's because I knew him primarily from his work.

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 12:12 AM
Thanks to nikkibong (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166854#post166854), we now know Dave Weigel is leaving the WaPo, according to Ben Smith (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Weigel_resigns.html?showall).

Here is the home page for Right Now (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/), Dave's WaPo blog. As of this moment, nothing from him about this.

Discuss?

nobody is asking for his resignation, even among conservatives. but clearly he has lost his effectiveness in doing his job at WaPo and his credibility among the people he is tasked to cover.

so which leftwinger in Journolist stabbed him in the back?

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 12:18 AM
so who are the journolist suspects who's had beef with weigel?

AemJeff
06-26-2010, 12:24 AM
so who are the journolist suspects who's had beef with weigel?

You assume too much. There didn't have to have been a leak, in the sense of somebody on the list maliciously releasing messages - passwords could have been compromised, thumb keys could have been stolen or lost, somebody could have snooped on a member's laptop. And even if it were that sort of leak, Weigel doesn't necessarily have to have been the explicit target.

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 12:29 AM
Jim Newell's report is a good place to start (http://gawker.com/5572861/washington-post-blogger-resigns-over-private-emails-to-friends), if you're just hearing about this now.

Foster Kamer (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2010/06/the_sad_bullshi.php) has another good overall wrap-up of the events.

(h/t: @BobBrigham (http://twitter.com/BobBrigham/status/17061810117))

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 12:36 AM
nobody is asking for his resignation, even among conservatives.

You don't get out much, do you?

but clearly he has lost his effectiveness in doing his job at WaPo and his credibility among the people he is tasked to cover.

Oh, yeah? Says who? The same butthurt wingnuts who were "not" asking for his resignation? Or the Villagers at the WaPo and elsewhere who have lost all spine when it comes to standing up to the right-wing howlers?

See what what John J. Miller said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166970#post166970) and especially what Yglesias said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166903#post166903), upthread.

so which leftwinger in Journolist stabbed him in the back?

Be interesting to find out, but I don't see any reason to assume it was a "leftwinger" or that the intent was to "stab him in the back."

We just had one witch hunt for no good reason. Let's not start another right away. I mean, we should at least until we find out if she weighs the same as a duck, amirite?

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 12:41 AM
althouse has the best take on weigel-weigel

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/burn-davey-burn-self-immolation-of.html

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 12:50 AM
weigel in his smugger days:

http://reason.com/blog/2010/06/14/hating-the-ideology-not-the-me#comment_1753451

David Weigel|6.14.10 @ 5:01PM|#
Well, I really enjoyed the two and a half years I spent here, and I'm constantly confused as to why mentions of my name lead to a lot of schoolyard insults. I really can't figure out why they do it -- lack of fulfillment seems like a good enough theory. After all, I'm here, and they're where I left them in 2008.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return to my rewarding job and large circle of friends. I don't know how my ego will ever recover...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 01:03 AM
althouse has the best take on weigel-weigel

This does not help your credibility.

Nor does this:

weigel in his smugger days:

http://reason.com/blog/2010/06/14/hating-the-ideology-not-the-me#comment_1753451

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

If all you cared about was getting Weigel out of his WaPo job because he wasn't doing enough flattering coverage of teabaggers and other wingnuts, so be it. But as many others have noted, you're highly unlikely to get anyone in his place at that paper who will do as good a job of honest reporting, day in and day out. You might get another Ben Domenech, if a non-plagiarist version can be found, or you might get an Erick Erickson type, but that is not ultimately going to do your side any good. The only people who will read such a blog will be the already-converted. (And snark bloggers, too, of course.) With Weigel, you probably had your best shot to get even-handed, even sympathetic, coverage of your side's gripes in a mainstream newspaper.

If the NY Times is smart, they'll snap him up, and if that happens, when you get over mainlining schadenfreude, you'll thank me. (Bill Keller* reads all my forum posts, yes.)

==========

* Not that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Keller_%28televangelist%29) one.

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 01:34 AM
don't mess with mickey kaus

http://moelane.com/2010/06/25/rsrh-journolist-gone-profanity-warning/

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 01:40 AM
dave weigel moves to Huffington Post, where he belongs

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/303001.php

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 02:00 AM
dave weigel moves to Huffington Post, where he belongs

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/303001.php

Do you seriously believe this? Do you believe everything you read on the Internet, just because it's written on the Internet? (As long as it's written on a blog that matches your political outlook, I mean?)

It'll take a lot more than an assertion in a post title from Ace O' Spuds to convince me this actually happened. Where's a link to support this, to, say, a post or tweet from Weigel, or an announcement on HuffPo's site?

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 02:03 AM
don't mess with mickey kaus

http://moelane.com/2010/06/25/rsrh-journolist-gone-profanity-warning/

Welp, I guess if you'll read Althouse, you'll also read Moe Lane.

rcocean
06-26-2010, 10:48 AM
and DC insiders (http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2010/06/a-teachable-moment-if-you-want-friends-he-should-get-a-dog.html)

johnmarzan
06-26-2010, 11:40 AM
First McChrystal, then Weigel

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Weigel_and_the_Post.html

graz
06-26-2010, 02:56 PM
Here's a good set of points from sometimes bhtv commenter Freddie on the subject at hand over at Yglesias: (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/the-innovators-dilemma/)
14. Freddie says:
June 26th, 2010 at 10:45 am

It already is tough out there, which is why I really wish you and Klein would both grow up a little and be more honest.

On the merits, I am absolutely 100% with you, Klein and Weigel. I think this has been an absolutely shameful performance by the Post and many commentators on the subject. (Jeff Goldberg really went above and beyond in being a choch.) Yet I read Klein’s post on this whole business– and people tweeting about his “courage”– and I just shake my head. Because there’s just this iron clad refusal by him and others to be honest about one of the central factors of this whole thing, which is the Washington DC overachievement media punch bowl.

Klein has been very well served by his career as a pundit. He deserves it, I think. And I believe you have earned your laurels as well. Let’s be honest: a lot of that success matters not just financially or professionally but also in the mini-Hollywood that the DC area punditocracy has built. There’s a very obvious, though usually inexplicit, hierarchy at work in your world. And like all hierarchies, there’s an upper class and an under class, and the latter is often resentful of the former. Part of that is the usual envy. Part of it is the simple fact that, in any sphere of achievement, there’s not going to be a perfectly fair distribution of reward.

None of that excuses the behavior of whoever leaked those emails, anymore than the petty jealousies and legitimate beefs of the old school establishment media types who are shitting on Weigel excuses their behavior. But come on– did you never see this coming? You had a listserve of some 400 people on it. 400 people, many of whom were and are trying desperately to move up in the world of DC media and pundity, and many of whom, presumably, were not succeeding at that with the speed and success with which they wanted. Then you have the really high achievers within the group, too. Of course you’ll have resentment and jealousy, and in Weigel you had both a guy who had a meteoric rise within that world and someone who was almost uniquely vulnerable, given his position.

Again, that’s no excuse, and I’m not excusing it. But to read Klein talk about all this as though he is completely blind-sided by it, when he has been operating and thriving in that culture for years, is hard to take. That’s what makes this hard, this fake guilelessness, this bogus naivete. You don’t get to the place that Klein has gotten to, or that you’ve gotten to, without playing the game. I don’t begrudge you your career, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t operate within your personal sphere of achievement with brio. But be real. The DC blogger universe is high school and Klein is the captain of the football team, and he knows it, and you know it too.

In his post about all this, Klein talked a bit about this continued tension between openness and inaccessibility for bloggers. But again, as usual, he wrote about it as if it is this academic phenomenon that he is entirely disconnected from, when in fact he has been complicit in creating that tension and exploiting it for years, as you and every other blogger has been. You all can be as open or closed off as you choose, and you are under no obligation to be consistent with it. But there is a reason that people are so put out by the constant “I’m accessible/I’m not” dance that goes on. Me, I’d prefer you just stopped with the pretense of accessibility or “regular guy” posture altogether. You are an influential and powerful media presence, and the pretense that you aren’t does more harm than good at this point.

I wouldn’t wish any of this on anyone, not on Weigel or on Klein. But it was all an inevitable result of this weird, fake position that’s been staked out in the quasi-celebrity of the Internet. You and Klein are brands. Good for both of you. You’ve both been fantastically well rewarded for your efforts. But book deals and TV appearances don’t come without some price, not in an environment that’s as filled with ambition and jealousy as DC. It sucks, but that’s life, and until there’s some acknowledgment of the unreality of a lot of your pose, there’s going to be this vulnerability.

The Journolist was as explicit a status group as I can imagine within the little culture of the DC punditocracy, and a constant reminder to those within it that there are those who are more successful on those terms, and those who are less. What did you think was going to happen?

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 03:47 PM
Here's a good set of points from sometimes bhtv commenter Freddie on the subject at hand over at Yglesias: (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/the-innovators-dilemma/)

That's a valid enough point of view, especially if one likes to take the cynical perspective in coming up with explanations after the fact. I still say, though, that I see nothing wrong with people wanting to have a more private chat space, nor do I have a problem with such a space restricting its membership for some reason (in this instance, in order to cut down on the flame wars). I would not have a problem if, say, all the conservative columnists for the WaPo, WaTi, and WSJ, along with the top rightbloggers and some conservative academics, had an equivalent thing of their own. (I suspect, from what I've read from Ezra and several others, that several such groups already exist, if perhaps not to the size of Journolist.)

Freddie is right that there is going to be some feelings of jealousy, resentment, chips on the shoulder for not being allowed in the club, and success coming at a cost, but that doesn't make the Journolist wrong or the grousers right.

I'll add, though it shouldn't need saying, that the notion that Journolist was a place where the movers and shakers of Teh Left "got their story straight" is nothing but straight-up wingnut paranoia. Anyone with a working grasp on reality knows two things: (1) apart from agreeing on some basic principles (which are what define one as being on "the left"), liberals are never able to march lockstep on anything for more than a few paces; and (2) the rapid evolution to ideologically-affiliated people singing off the same page is brain-dead easy to do in public, although it is more frequent to see this in conservative media than it is elsewhere. (This is less a response to Freddie than it is to a bunch of others (e.g. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166986#post166986), e.g. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166945#post166945)))

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 03:55 PM
and DC insiders (http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2010/06/a-teachable-moment-if-you-want-friends-he-should-get-a-dog.html)

Dan Riehl is entitled to his view, but I think, and far from the first time about him, that it's a warped one. To say that "Weigel undermined the Right at every turn" is (a) factually wrong and (b) evidence that Riehl, like too many other rightbloggers, separates media figures into two camps: those who do nothing but try to advance the conservative agenda and never criticize anyone involved with it, and the enemy.

I'll add that the list of offensive things Riehl has said in his day could be a thread in and of itself. He's so ridiculous so often that the snark bloggers largely don't bother with him anymore -- it's considered little better than nut-picking the Freepers.

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 04:06 PM
First McChrystal, then Weigel

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Weigel_and_the_Post.html

Among the dumb things in that post is this:

The Post appears to have hired Weigel, a liberal blogger, under the false impression that he's a conservative.

1. Weigel is only liberal by comparison to people quite far to the right.

2. I can't tell from Smith's typically weaselly way of putting things who the "false impression" is due to, but I doubt that Ezra pitched him that way, I doubt Dave sold himself that way, and if the Post was that concerned with his ideological leanings, well, see my related post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167013#post167013) about Thought Police. As Weigel's many appearances on Bh.tv show, and as his work at the Washington Independent and the WaPo show, he considered himself a reporter, in the sense of someone who would take the time to understand the people involved in his beat.

It would be one thing if the WaPo was explicitly looking to hire someone to paint the right in a positive light, for "balance" (although balance to what, it's hard to say), but to every indication, that is not the niche Weigel had carved out, nor is it how he presented himself in all the instances I'm aware of.

If you're his potential employer, you judge him by his past work, and if you're his current employer, you stick by him when he's getting a little heat, especially when it's coming from the usual suspects. The WaPo was gutless to accept Dave's resignation. It's just another example of their slide down from their erstwhile perch as one of the nation's premier newspapers, and a big part of the reason for this slide is their loss of spine in standing up to people who spend their every waking hour working the refs.

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 04:14 PM
goldberg blames ezra klein for the weigel debacle

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/an-unhappy-day-at-the-washington-post/58745/

Had you spent a little time in this thread, you would have known that this was already noted (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166898#post166898).

Had you looked into this a little more, you would also have known that Goldberg walked that post back quite a bit -- see "Second Thoughts on Dave Weigel (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/second-thoughts-on-dave-weigel/58767/)" -- albeit in a nauseatingly self-pitying way.

And to repeat what I said elsewhere (http://twitter.com/bjkeefe/status/17065335419), Goldberg would do well to Google diaf (http://www.google.com/search?q=diaf) before he opines any further on that particular matter.

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 05:02 PM
Weigel tweets (http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17096069901):

By far the most heartening reaction to the recent events: http://bit.ly/biOHGF (thx @_ccm (http://twitter.com/_ccm))

which leads to a post titled ...

How far this purging of the Cultural Revoution will go, if even Libetarians are being fired from the MSM?

... from Orly Taitz (http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/?p=11949).

!?!??!!

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 05:15 PM
[...] The WaPo was gutless to accept Dave's resignation. It's just another example of their slide down from their erstwhile perch as one of the nation's premier newspapers, and a big part of the reason for this slide is their loss of spine in standing up to people who spend their every waking hour working the refs.

For more examples of the slide, see all the posts titled "Adult Supervision" over at The DCeiver (http://dceiver.blogspot.com/).

(If you're reading this late, they're all timestamped with the date 26 June 2010.)

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 05:48 PM
From Julian Sanchez (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/weigel-wapo-and-the-tracy-flickization-of-public-life/58748/) (don't let the URL or the page header scare you!).

See also Andrew Sullivan (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/dave-weigel-quits.html) and Conor Friedersdorf (http://www.theatlantic.com/special-report/ideas/archive/2010/06/how-should-journalists-be-judged/58756/). Excerpts from the former ...

All I can say is that I have learned more from Dave Weigel's brilliant, obsessive, accurate and first-hand reporting - yes, old-fashioned, grass-roots reporting - on the conservative movement than I ever have from the pompous dinosaur "journalists" at the WaPo.

and the latter:

I'll defend to death, however, the proposition that the work of a journalist should be the only standard by which he is measured. Mr. Weigel's work is superb: he breaks news, his foremost loyalty is to the facts, and he reliably treats fairly even folks with whom he very much disagrees. The conservatives he covers are the biggest losers here. As Ben Boychuk wrote on Twitter, "I find you insufferable, but indispensable. Sorry you resigned. I'll read you wherever you land, you magnificent bastard." That should be the reaction of someone who finds what Mr. Weigel wrote to be distasteful.

-- Mr. [Jeffrey] Goldberg suggests that this episode might "lead to the re-imposition of some level of standards" at The Washington Post, suggesting that the newspaper's problem is that it employs people like Ezra Klein and Dave Weigel, who've exercised poor judgment in writing intended for a private audience. I submit that seeing these two staffers -- who are intellectually honest and talented, whatever their flaws -- as the problem at The Post is to miss the Mark Theissen for the trees.

Oops, Freudian slip. What I mean to say is that The Washington Post publishes many talented writers at the tops of their games -- Gene Weingarten, I'd give half of what I own if I could clone you -- but its most egregious flaw is confusing what actually consists of inexcusably poor judgment. To be more specific, by firing Dave Weigel, and continuing to employ columnists like Marc Thiessen, the Post is saying that it is inexcusably poor judgment to utter honestly held, intemperate opinions if they wind up being made public, but it is perfectly acceptable to write an intellectually dishonest, error-filled book (http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2010/03/29/100329crbo_books_mayer) on the subject of your main expertise, and to publish columns of the same quality (http://theamericanscene.com/2010/03/08/why-self-respecting-editors-should-be-embarassed-to-publish-marc-thiessen).

The above by non(-yet?)-B'head James Fallows, whose post is also worth reading (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/on-weigel-v-wapo-todays-inside-the-beltway-journalism-news/58773/).

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 05:59 PM
"Canada’s most remote, reclusive correspondent actually knows Weigel slightly," and he's (t)here to give his take. Colby Cosh: "The Weigel affair: shooting the watchdog (http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/06/26/the-weigel-affair-shooting-the-watchdog/)."

Excerpt:

Weigel’s personal politics—liberal? Left-libertarian?—were not on display while I was there [at Reason mag --bjk]. I’m sure his bosses, Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie, knew of his views at least in a general way, and I’m equally confident that they didn’t really care, because he was doing good reporting for them, as he did for the Post. Ideological media enterprises in Reason‘s category need to have someone with the “right” philosophy holding a golden share and making editorial-line decisions. But with that condition met, they can find tasks for anybody who is prepared to be fair and inquisitive.* For all I know, Reason‘s Radley Balko (http://www.theagitator.com/), who covers paramilitary excesses in policing and incompetence in the U.S. justice system, might be earnestly in favour of eugenics for Uzbeks. Would this somehow alter the (immense) value of his reporting?

Weigel is interested in movement conservatism and well-informed about it, so Reason handed him an oar and got him underway with his career of documenting its weirder fringes. It should not be a fatal problem that he privately loathes movementarian robot Republicans, unless some evidence of persistent inaccuracy can be shown in what the man publishes. And Weigel’s published journalism has held up to counterattacks pretty well everywhere he has worked. It seems somewhat cowardly of the Post to have asked him to step down for reasons completely unrelated to what appears under his byline, especially in the face of what constitutes at least a misdemeanour attack on his privacy.

After all, why can’t there be a critic/observer of Palin-Beck conservatism who hates much of Palin-Beck conservatism? Who, frankly, reports on anything for any length of time without developing some contempt for it? Isn’t it possible to argue that it should be a prerequisite rather than a disqualifier?

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 06:19 PM
[...] The WaPo was gutless to accept Dave's resignation. It's just another example of their slide down from their erstwhile perch as one of the nation's premier newspapers, and a big part of the reason for this slide is their loss of spine in standing up to people who spend their every waking hour working the refs.

For more examples of the slide, see all the posts titled "Adult Supervision" over at The DCeiver (http://dceiver.blogspot.com/).

(If you're reading this late, they're all timestamped with the date 26 June 2010.)

Nicely restated by Scarecrow at FDL (http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/56667):

Ben Smith argues they hired Dave because they mistakenly believed he was a conservative (or wanted to represent him as such), but his bosses came to believe that because he thought some on the right have become insane, he must be a liberal — so they couldn’t keep up the pretense.

This tells you much more about the Washington Post than Weigel. [...]

[...]

The Post just can’t seem to grasp that the only jounalistically honest coverage of the insanity of those who presume to represent today’s conservatives/Republicans is to report their craziness, but the only coverage the crazies would agree is acceptable would have to be as insane as they are. Letting Weigel go won’t solve that problem, and now the Post faces the prospect of becoming even more worthless than it had already become.

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 06:23 PM
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0610/Weigel_and_the_Post.html

Excerpts from a response by Brad DeLong (http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/06/i-think-ben-smith-gets-this-one-wrong-david-weigel-watch.html) (via (http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/56667)):

I Think Ben Smith Gets This One Wrong

[Long blockquote from BS omitted]

I would characterize Dave Weigel not as a conservative and not as a liberal but rather as a reasonable Reason-type libertarian--which, a generation ago, would have made him "conservative" in the sense of being deeply suspicious of the forward march of the big-spending social-insurance regulatory state.

Now Weigel and his sect are [finding], just as the Eisenhower fiscally-responsible Republicans found before, and just as the pragmatic technocrats found before them, that their quarrels with the Democratic activist base are much smaller than their quarrels with the Republican activist base. It's not that Dave Weigel is or has become a liberal. Its that the conservative activist base has gone insane.

And Dave Weigel remains the best reporter covering the conservative movement, wherever he writes.

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 06:34 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Another vote for the latter: M.J. Rosenberg, "Weigelgate: Jeff Goldberg's Jealousy (http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/06/25/weigelgate_jeff_goldbergs_threats/)."

Deserves to be reposted in full:

I understand that the Dave Weigel story is pretty much only relevant here in the "village." I doubt interest in the story even crosses the district line.

Nonetheless, it is significant because of what it says about the establishment media. The Washington Post fired the talented and brilliant blogger/columnist Dave Weigel because someone leaked a private communication he sent to a listserve ridiculing some conservatives. The Post was outraged (they didn't know, they said, the he was no fan of the right). The Post is terrified of the right and seems to think that sucking up to it will preserve its life as a newspaper. (It won't).

But Weigel, who is 29, will land on his feet.

The Post is struggling. I've been reading it daily since 1972 and it is stale, reactionary, and utterly predictable (Israel is good, public school teachers are bad). As for its website, Weigel was the draw.

You can find stories about Weigel's firing all over the web. I just want to comment on the insufferable Jeff Goldberg who joined the conversation about Weigel to bash him, Ezra Klein (who ran the listserve) and bloggers in general.

It's the usual bloviating (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/can-a-listserv-be-off-the-record/58765/) from Goldberg, who does not like these blogger kids who don't share his paranoid views of the Middle East. These kids drive Jeff crazy. So young, so smart, so unchauvinistic. So talented.

But here's the most telling part. In writing about the journolist listserve, Goldberg says: "I've been leaked postings from JournoList before -- wonderfully charming things written about me, as you might have guessed -- and I haven't had the opportunity to use them, but would be happy to if the need arose. "

Happy to if the "need" arose. In other words, Goldberg, with no provocation, is letting the young blogger crowd know, you should not have written "wonderfully charming things about me." You shouldn't have mocked me. I have e-mails. I will use them.

Ezra Klein better watch out. My guess is that Goldberg's whole take on Weigel is just a product of his jealously of the 26 year old Klein who is now a Post columnist, a famous blogger, a television personality, and, did I say 26. Klein better watch his back. Goldberg has e-mails, and he'll use them. (Matt Yglesias and Spencer Ackerman are probably on Goldberg's hit list too).

And Dave Weigel, of course.

Me? I'm not jealous of any of these kids. They are just smarter, more talented and better writers. I deal with it. Jeffrey should too.

[Ed. note: I did not copy over all links in the above, since they've appeared on this site already. See the original, if interested.]

bjkeefe
06-26-2010, 10:32 PM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Another vote for JG, from Ta-Nahesi Coates (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/the-thing-about-dave/58771/), via DougJ (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/26/one-more-weigelgate-post/). Excerpt:

"It makes me crazy when I see these guys referred to as reporters. They're anything but. And they hurt the newspaper when they claim to be reporters."

"Ezra Klein is a talented guy, but he's just an absolute partisan. If this is where journalism has to go, so be it, but I don't want to go there."

I'm assuming Jeff at least partially endorses this view-point, as he puts these quotes out there without much comment. Taking the latter first, the view that Stephen Glass was tolerable, that Jayson Blair was presumably tolerable, that Judy Miller was tolerable, but that Ezra Klein is of sufficient threat to drive someone from journalism entirely is rather astounding. The Washington Post, in particular, is a paper that--for all the good its done--once accepted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Cooke) a Pulitzer for a wholly made-up story, and publishes a magazine whose arguably defining moment was announcing that a 40 year old woman was more likely to "be killed by a terrorist" (http://www.newsweek.com/2006/06/04/marriage-by-the-numbers.html#) than ever be married.

The press corps is toting water-pistols (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-biden-beach-party/57821/), and so armed, merrily carousing with the very people they claim to cover. But Ezra Klein is the scourge of the North.

On the former point, what people need to remember here, is this--whatever your take on Dave's emails, Dave is--quite literally (http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/16/who-wrote-ron-pauls-newsletter)--a reporter. I got the sense reading Jeff's posts that most of the people he talked to had never actually read Dave's work, so much as they saw "fallen high profile blogger," and flush with envy, reached for the can of Schadenfreude. And then the phone. There is something much deeper at work here, something about the decline of privilege. This isn't about the future of journalism. This is about people who don't want to have to compete, or be held accountable for the falsehoods they write.

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 02:37 AM
RT @brianbeutler (http://twitter.com/brianbeutler): Roommate @daveweigel (http://twitter.com/daveweigel)on losing at Rock Band: "This is the worst thing that's happened to me all week!"

(link (http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17129975354))

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 02:51 AM
... to say (http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2010/06/25/ethnography-gone-wild/):

http://static1.firedoglake.com/29/files/2010/06/EvilMonkey-300x270.gif

Hi.

Expecting Dave Weigel to report on teabaggers and not point out that they are bitter low-information lawn-chair-bound racists is like asking Jane Goodall to omit any mention of the fact that her research centers around, you know, monkeys.

Bye.

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 02:55 AM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Another JG vote, from Jay B. (http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2010/06/25/jeffrey-goldberg-shows-a-profound-moral-compass/), guest-blogging for TBogg.

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 04:03 AM
A short post from Felix Salmon (http://www.felixsalmon.com/004989.html), via UOJim (http://twitter.com/UOJim/status/17102252229).

This is money:

The bien-pensant consensus surrounding l'affaire Weigel (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2010/06/the_sad_bullshi.php) is that it's wrong he got kicked out of his position blogging for the Washington Post. And that of course is entirely correct. But even many of the people who are on #teamweigel will quickly add that he demonstrated poor judgment in writing what he wrote, and that this should be a lesson to us all.

I don't think that's true. Our wired and Twittered world is increasingly blurring the distinction between the personal and the professional, and in such a world honesty is a much greater virtue than mealy-mouthed meekness when it comes to expressing the truth as you see it. Especially in a blogger. People have opinions, and it's kinda hilarious to see conservatives try to simultaneously complain that Weigel had erroneously been counted as one of their number while at the same time complaining that he wasn't "objective".

Also, Felix shows his brilliance by agreeing with me (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167013&highlight=ombudsman#post167013) about the WaPo's corporate stooge (one of the many, I mean):

... the absolutely horrendous column by their lame, sad toady of an ombudsman ...

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 04:25 AM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Kevin K. (http://www.rumproast.com/index.php/site/comments/jeffrey_goldberg_makes_a_poopie/)'s response:

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/9966/pottytrainedjeffreygold.jpg

AemJeff
06-27-2010, 11:15 PM
... and he's pretty sensible. (http://www.frumforum.com/thoughts-on-weigel) Though, I disagree with him about "Journolist."


Weigel is a fine reporter. He writes intelligently and insightfully about the conservative world. If somebody is doing his job, he should keep it. Now we learn that Weigel was dismissive and disparaging about some of the people he covered in what he thought was private conversation. OK, unwise of him to trust the confidentiality of a 400-person listserve. But would anybody demand that a reporter covering Wall Street admire all his subjects? Congress? It’s a theoretically interesting question: can you provide fair coverage to people you may inwardly dislike? Weigel answered that question in his work: yes.

bjkeefe
06-27-2010, 11:54 PM
... and he's pretty sensible. (http://www.frumforum.com/thoughts-on-weigel) Though, I disagree with him about "Journolist."

Yep. His first point is good, I agree, and I agree he just doesn't get Journolist and why it is not a horror of horrors. He's also smart about the problems inherent in hiring a Real Conservative™ to cover conservatives. And the meow-hiss vis-à-vis John Hawkins was entertaining.

But this is truly stupid:

First McChrystal, now Weigel.

I expected him to follow that with THIS PROVES BAD THINGS HAPPEN IN THREES. WHO WILL BE THE NEXT TO GO???

Turned out what he did say was even more tedious.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 01:41 AM
... bigger douchebag, Tucker Carlson (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166882#post166882) or Jeffrey Goldberg (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/06/25/potty-training-by-judith-miller-and-sally-quinn/)?

We link, you decide!

Finally, from M. Bouffant (http://mbouffant.blogspot.com/2010/06/daily-callers-treacher-takes-firm-stand.html), a vote for the bow-tied twerp. (Or almost -- it actually goes to another of Tucker's pool boys, Jim Treacle, or whatever his name is.)

johnmarzan
06-28-2010, 02:38 AM
The entire Journolist archive needs to be made public
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/entire-journolist-archive-needs-to-be.html

johnmarzan
06-28-2010, 02:44 AM
Glenn Reynolds: http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/101932/

johnmarzan
06-28-2010, 02:50 AM
The Private and Public Weigel

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/1-i-take-them-seriously-theyre-building.html

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 03:08 AM
The entire Journolist archive needs to be made public
http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/entire-journolist-archive-needs-to-be.html

You and Crazy Annie need to start by publishing all of your private correspondence, right here in this forum, because how else can we be sure you're not conspiring against us? She's been on dozens (hundreds? Feels like it.) of times, and you keep linking to her blog. How do we even know that you're not her sockpuppet? Or her son? Or her husband? Or a suck-up student, trying to drive traffic her way?

See how stupid that sounds?

johnmarzan
06-28-2010, 09:39 AM
How do we even know that you're not her sockpuppet? Or her son? Or her husband? Or a suck-up student, trying to drive traffic her way?

you seem to be all over bhtv forum. are you being paid to do it? is this your "job" now?

johnmarzan
06-28-2010, 09:40 AM
dave weigel comes clean

http://bigjournalism.com/dweigel/2010/06/28/hubris-and-humility-david-weigel-comes-clean-on-washington-post-the-d-c-bubble-the-journolist/

AemJeff
06-28-2010, 10:03 AM
dave weigel comes clean

http://bigjournalism.com/dweigel/2010/06/28/hubris-and-humility-david-weigel-comes-clean-on-washington-post-the-d-c-bubble-the-journolist/


Or, perhaps: Dave Weigel makes explicit what was clear to almost everybody, exclusive of the conservative blogosphere.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 01:01 PM
you seem to be all over bhtv forum. are you being paid to do it? is this your "job" now?

I'm not sure whether you got it, but that is my point, yes.

And in case you didn't, I'll spell it out: it is very hard to know someone's motivations, it's likely that trying to judge them from a few moments of private communication are going give you more than a warped and shallow perspective, and you're sure not going to gain any useful insights by treating as gospel the stream of semi-consciousness emanating from the sources you're relying on, no matter how pleased you are to find they agree with your ideological leanings. You can pretty much only judge a reporter by his or her work, and as I've said before, I have yet to see any of the people who are so eager to burn Weigel and piss all over his carcass point to any objections they had with what appeared under his byline, as opposed to his email address.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 01:10 PM
Or, perhaps: Dave Weigel makes explicit what was clear to almost everybody, exclusive of the conservative blogosphere.

Yes, but it's good to have it out there on the record.

Thanks for the link, John.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 01:17 PM
In addition to the piece Dave posted on BigJo (http://bigjournalism.com/dweigel/2010/06/28/hubris-and-humility-david-weigel-comes-clean-on-washington-post-the-d-c-bubble-the-journolist/), as noted by johnmarzan (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167290#post167290), here are a couple of posts from his personal site, "On Ratfucking (http://daveweigel.com/?p=2355)" and "The Coakley e-mail (http://daveweigel.com/?p=2349)."

AemJeff
06-28-2010, 01:45 PM
Yes, but it's good to have it out there on the record.

Thanks for the link, John.

Agreed. I just don't see any acknowledgment that any of the smears aimed at Weigel have any basis in fact there. "Comes clean" seems, at best, ironic.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 02:01 PM
Agreed. I just don't see any acknowledgment that any of the smears aimed at Weigel have any basis in fact there. "Comes clean" seems, at best, ironic.

Good point.

I'll confess that I disregarded the editorial comment that came along with the link.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 02:10 PM
Interesting take from economist Tyler Cowen (http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/06/the-dave-weigel-episode.html). This bit gets at his thesis:

At a more general level this is a tax on journalists, who now have a greater fear of being fired for past actions. It's also a tax on the moody, the volatile, the web-savvy, the non-mainstream, and a subsidy to in-control smooth talkers and careful writers.

Hat tip to Jim Henley (http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2010/06/26/11327), whose post about "blog-reporter ethos" is also worth reading.

Spoiler alert: Here's his conclusion:

If you were a magazine editor and knew Paul Theroux hated the English because he wrote an entire book about how much the English suck (http://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-Sea-Journey-Around-Britain/product-reviews/0140071814/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_1?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addOneStar), you might still send him to write a big piece on England for your monthly because you expected it to be interesting, and because the ethos of magazine journalism would make it “fair.” If you knew that William Greider hated economic conservatives, or Tom Wolfe hated social liberals, you would still buy factual pieces touching economics from the one and cultural folkways from the other: their very names constitute warning labels; their strong viewpoints sharpen their writing; and because they’re professionals, they’ll put in the work.

What blogging does is enable the magazine-journalism ethos to meet a frequent publication schedule – even more frequent than the newspaper’s traditional daily schedule. That’s probably why magazine journalists like James Fallows (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/on-weigel-v-wapo-todays-inside-the-beltway-journalism-news/58773/) and Marc Ambinder (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/06/the-post-shouldnt-have-fired-dave-weigel/58764/) understand best what the Post didn’t get about Dave Weigel; but it’s also why so many at the Post don’t get Dave Weigel, (and to a lesser extent, Ezra Klein) (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/unhappy-day-at-the-washington-post-contd/58754/). The newspapers aren’t merely confounded by a new thing in journalism. They’re confounded by a new form of the thing they consciously set themselves in opposition to decades ago: the standards of magazine writing. The magazine ethos turns out to be better suited to the internet age than the newspaper ethos, provided you add pet pictures and music videos and push new content hourly rather than monthly. This is newspaper standards losing out to a very old rival as much as to a new one.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 02:39 PM
Adam Serwer (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/adam_serwer_archive?month=06&year=2010&base_name=toilet_training_watch):

Toilet Training Watch

Dave Weigel resigned from Washington Post after saying (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=06&year=2010&base_name=on_weigel) mean things about some Republicans in private, but writing (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=05&year=2010&base_name=ed_whelans_weak_sauce) blog posts comparing Solicitor General Elena Kagan to a prostitute is the kind of thing that gets you invited (http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2010/06/25/kagan-witnesses-announced/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20timeblogs/real_clear_politics%20%28TIME:%20Real%20Clear%20Po litics%29) by Republicans to testify at her Senate confirmation hearing.

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 03:49 PM
http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/1306/weigelandanon.png (http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17269035225)

uncle ebeneezer
06-28-2010, 04:00 PM
Ezra on partisanship/objectivity/transparency (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/partisanship_and_policy.html#more).

bjkeefe
06-28-2010, 04:46 PM
In addition to the piece Dave posted on BigJo (http://bigjournalism.com/dweigel/2010/06/28/hubris-and-humility-david-weigel-comes-clean-on-washington-post-the-d-c-bubble-the-journolist/), as noted by johnmarzan (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167290#post167290), here are a couple of posts from his personal site, "On Ratfucking (http://daveweigel.com/?p=2355)" and "The Coakley e-mail (http://daveweigel.com/?p=2349)."

I was going to gather up some of the comments under Weigel's BigJo piece, but I just didn't have the heart. Roy Edroso (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010_06_27_archive.html#3086109151201608101), however, is made of sterner stuff, and he picks up some of the kinder ones (from the BigGo cross-post).

He then concludes:

But upon reflection, I guess the whole crazy conservative reaction to his case must be galling to Weigel. His career makes (or used to make) conservatism look classy. He worked hard and quoted accurately -- hell, he went out and talked to people worth quoting, which is unusual in itself. He was genuinely even-handed, as opposed to a difference-splitting Borderbot. He made the sometimes obscure tropes of wingerdom comprehensible to general readers.

Any sane conservative would see that the Democratic electoral strategy going forward will be to remind America about the birthers, the Joe Bartons, and the Rand Pauls of the world and make them the face of the conservative movement. It might have seemed useful to have one or two conservatives in the public eye who didn't seem totally insane or malignant. Well, that's all over now. It'll be Obama Iz Hitler (http://www.sadlyno.com/?p=31951) and Debbie Schlussel-Cassy Fiano (http://www.sadlyno.com/?p=31822) catfights all the way to the Convention. We'll see how it works.

TwinSwords
06-28-2010, 05:28 PM
In addition to the piece Dave posted on BigJo (http://bigjournalism.com/dweigel/2010/06/28/hubris-and-humility-david-weigel-comes-clean-on-washington-post-the-d-c-bubble-the-journolist/), as noted by johnmarzan (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167290#post167290), here are a couple of posts from his personal site, "On Ratfucking (http://daveweigel.com/?p=2355)" and "The Coakley e-mail (http://daveweigel.com/?p=2349)."

Thank you for all the links you've been providing on this story. Your posts have been the primary (practically the only) way I've been keeping up on this story since it broke last Friday. I realize it's a lot of work putting all this together, and I know I'm not the only one who appreciates it.

For the record, you contribute enormous value to BhTV.

TwinSwords
06-28-2010, 05:49 PM
Check out this oh-so-typical wingnut raving (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6329595&postID=5763993811321896821) from over at Althouse's House of Crazy.

Commenter Flexo says:

The 400-people JournoList, and it's presumed successor, are not private clubs, they are putative competitors colluding in secret to monopolize the exchange of public information and restrain the news trade, including using that secret collusion, monopolization and restraint of trade to promote libels, defamations, misinformation, and disinformation.

Any asserted "privacy" and "off the record" interests are not matters of contract or right, rather, they are purely matters of courtesy and, to the extent that they even exist, "journalistic ethics." To the extent that this secret society was used for unethical ends, which appears to be most of its purpose and usage, the ethical claim of privacy is vitiated. In other words, it is rightly to be considered, both as a matter of morals, ethics, and law, as a public forum.

Moreover, anyone who was the subject of any discussion on said list has the right to full disclosure of what was said and by whom it was said, together with the payment of monetary damages for such defamation.

In addition, the activities on the list might even be considered to constitute racketeering under RICO.

There's a term to disparage what I just did: nut picking. But nut picking implies that you're choosing the one or two craziest comments from a collection. But the thing about the Republican Party these days is that you pick a nut every time you reach into the bag! The conservative movement has gone completely off the deep end and is now dominated by people who aren't just wrong, but fundamentally out of touch with reality.

johnmarzan
06-29-2010, 03:06 AM
"Well, I'd like to know whether they are defaming me on JournoList."

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/well-id-like-to-know-whether-they-are.html

how about an ezra klein-ann althouse bloggingheads, bob?

Ezra says "Mommy, please save me from this mean lady"!

TwinSwords
06-29-2010, 05:55 AM
Wow, that Althouse post deserves to be more fully quoted. She says:

"Well, I'd like to know whether they are defaming me on JournoList." That's something I blogged back in March 2009. I'd still like to know. Don't I have a right to know what a gang of 400 journalists are saying about me, as they endeavor to shape my reputation, decide that all the good people must avoid linking to me, or whatever it is they do?

Just hilariously psycho.

And of course Althouse knows the answer to her question: No, of course you don't have a right to read other people's private correspondence simply because of your delusional, hysterical and lunatic fears about what they might be saying about you.

Again I marvel at the absolute lunacy that runs rampant in conservative circles.

bjkeefe
06-29-2010, 07:00 AM
how about an ezra klein-ann althouse bloggingheads, bob?

It is not usually considered good practice to reward whining from a spoiled child when it's clear that all she wants is another chance to make herself the center of attention.

I tell you what I would like to imagine: a dump of tens of thousands of emails, Althouse hunting through them for days, then weeks, and finally having to admit to herself that she was never mentioned once.

johnmarzan
06-29-2010, 10:07 PM
It is not usually considered good practice to reward whining from a spoiled child when it's clear that all she wants is another chance to make herself the center of attention.

don't you want to see her cross examine ezra or matt yglesias and make them squirm on camera?

TwinSwords
06-29-2010, 10:12 PM
don't you want to see her cross examine ezra or matt yglesias and make them squirm on camera?

I think the best Ann could hope for would be to make them laugh. And to make everyone who's not a conservative zealot laugh along with them. Ezra's not likely to be as intimidated by Althouse as you are.

TwinSwords
06-29-2010, 10:24 PM
There's always plenty of money (http://bigjournalism.com/abreitbart/2010/06/29/reward-100000-for-full-journolist-archive-source-fully-protected/) to promote and protect ultraconservative interests. If $100,000 isn't enough, they'll raise it to $500,000. The chance to further discredit and destroy an institution -- journalism -- that in theory exists to hold entrenched and powerful interests accountable is too valuable for those interests to pass up.

bjkeefe
06-29-2010, 11:49 PM
don't you want to see her cross examine ezra or matt yglesias and make them squirm on camera?

No. In the same way I didn't like teabaggers ruining town hall meetings with angry mindless shouting, to give you some idea of how utterly stupid your suggestion is.

Also, Althouse has not earned any cred to be a "cross examiner" of journalists. She doesn't know the first thing about anything, except how things make her feeeeeel. The Juice Box Mafia need not answer to the Wine Box Geriatrica.

Most importantly, there is no reason for Ezra to feel as though he has to justify himself here, whether with regard to Journolist or his recommendation of Weigel to the WaPo. (I'm not sure what Matt has to do with any of this, although I can imagine that his friendliness with those two is enough to mark him as ready for the burning stake himself, in the wingnut mind.)

Forget it, john. Althouse is at the absolute nadir of the worthiness curve. I'll assume from here on out that any further mention of her by you is just your imitating her shtick of being annoying to liberals, for tittering's sake.

I'll also point out, and not for the first time, how amusing this episode is: Remember when one mark of a Real Conservative™ was someone who whined about Political Correctness and Liberal Thought Police and whatnot? And now you won't shut up about some guy who cracked a few PG-13 jokes in private.

Not that I didn't already think you all weren't a bunch of hypocrites, but it's always amusing to see it presented in yet another way.

bjkeefe
06-29-2010, 11:54 PM
There's always plenty of money (http://bigjournalism.com/abreitbart/2010/06/29/reward-100000-for-full-journolist-archive-source-fully-protected/) ...

From your link to Althouse's foster son:

... Democrat-Media Complex ...

Hive mind? What hive mind? (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166554&highlight=democratic-media+complex#post166554)

I guess state run media (http://www.google.com/cse?cx=007432832765683203066%3Azj_ist-lct4&ie=UTF-8&q=state+run+media&sa=Search&siteurl=www.google.com%2Fcse%2Fhome%3Fcx%3D0074328 32765683203066%253Azj_ist-lct4) is so last full moon.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 12:00 AM
I remember the last time I was visiting my family and my 5 year old niece started acting up and my sister had to take her aside and explain to her that not everything always has to be about her. A conversation like that is about a half-century overdue for Althouse!

johnmarzan
06-30-2010, 12:14 AM
I think the best Ann could hope for would be to make them laugh. And to make everyone who's not a conservative zealot laugh along with them. Ezra's not likely to be as intimidated by Althouse as you are.

good. then let's set up the bhtv showdown.

AemJeff
06-30-2010, 12:30 AM
good. then let's set up the bhtv showdown.

Yes, let's. How shall we begin?

I doubt that any of the potential participants on your list would agree to it. Althouse lacks the policy chops to take on either of those guys (and she's self-aware enough to realize that that's the case.) And those guys have significant careers as journalists that could be damaged by participating in one of Althouse's clownshows. Why would anybody like that put it out there with Ann after her disgraceful appearance with GFR? They're not idiots.

johnmarzan
06-30-2010, 12:50 AM
Althouse lacks the policy chops to take on either of those guys (and she's self-aware enough to realize that that's the case.)

the topic will be strictly limited to weigel and journolist.

Andrew Breitbart: REWARD: $100,000 for Full ‘JournoList’ Archive; Source Fully Protected
http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/abreitbart/2010/06/29/reward-100000-for-full-journolist-archive-source-fully-protected/

I’ve had $100,000 burning in my pocket for the last three months and I’d really like to spend it on a worthy cause. So how about this: in the interests of journalistic transparency, and to offer the American public a unique insight in the workings of the Democrat-Media Complex, I’m offering $100,000 for the full “JournoList” archive, source fully protected. Now there’s an offer somebody can’t refuse.

liberal media bias

Yes, the mainstream media that came together to play up the false allegations that the “N-Word” was hurled 15 times by Tea Party participants at the Congressional Black Caucus outside the Capitol the day before the “Obamacare” vote, is the same MSM that colluded to make sure the American public accepted the smear, and refused to show the exculpatory videos that disproved the incendiary charges of Tea Party racism.

Ezra Klein’s “JournoList 400” is the epitome of progressive and liberal collusion that conservatives, Tea Partiers, moderates and many independents have long suspected and feared exists at the heart of contemporary American political journalism. Now that collusion has been exposed when one of the weakest links in that cabal, Dave Weigel, was outed. Weigel was, in all likelihood, exposed because – to whoever the rat was who leaked his emails — he wasn’t liberal enough.

When the “N-word” controversy turned out to be an almost certain falsehood, Weigel had the professional courage to come out against 399 of his “JournoList” peers when he wrote:

I think we’ve seen a paradigm shift, and that the March 20 story will be remembered by conservatives as evidence of how the media accepts attacks on conservatives without due diligence.

Weigel also had the courage to issue a correction and a mea culpa when his reporting was used as a weapon by the unscrupulous Max Blumenthal to falsely smear James O’Keefe as a “racist organizer” of a white nationalist conference. Weigel eventually stepped up and set the record straight when he found out he was falsely named as a witness to the story.

Why was he chosen for outing among 400 “JournoList” participants? I can think of few liberal journalists who have been more fair than Weigel. And if I think that, imagine what true partisans on the left feel about his erratic and ideologically unpredictable output?

Weigel’s career at the Washington Post was assassinated for his crimes against conformity. Try as he might, as a left-leaning journalist he didn’t conform enough. When conservatives jumped on his exposure, he cited defending me as a mitigating alibi. Defending me publicly is a hangable offense in them thar liberal hills!

But Dave Weigel is not the story. The “JournoList” is the story: who was on it and which positions of journalistic power and authority do they hold? Now that the nature and the scope of the list has been exposed, I think the public has a right to know who shapes the big media narratives and how.

=========

AemJeff
06-30-2010, 12:52 AM
the topic will be strictly limited to weigel and journolist.

Andrew Breitbart: REWARD: $100,000 for Full ‘JournoList’ Archive; Source Fully Protected
http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/abreitbart/2010/06/29/reward-100000-for-full-journolist-archive-source-fully-protected/

What does yet-another-Breitbart-insult-to-everybody's-intelligence have to do with anything?

johnmarzan
06-30-2010, 01:05 AM
$100,000 is nothing to sneeze at.

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 01:20 AM
... (due to being butthurt -- what else is new?) and here's how (http://twitter.com/UOJim/status/17358008029) I heard about it:

UOJim (http://twitter.com/UOJim) But but! IOKIYAR! RT @mattyglesias (http://twitter.com/mattyglesias): Apparently conservatives have email lists too! http://bit.ly/aIjRKK

Does it get more sinister than this (http://bit.ly/aIjRKK)? (I.e., this (http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2010/06/boehners-new-media-director-insults-blogs-conservative-movement-on-private-listserve.html)?)

Nick Schaper, Director of New Media in House Minority Leader John Boehner's office ... a private RNC-related listserv ... while discussing a recently linked Instapundit item ... the private list I've been on for sometime [sic] ...

I call upon Andrew "johnmarzanalthouse" "Not Very" Breitbart to put up the munnies to get to the bottom of this threat to America and democracy.

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 01:34 AM
(Replying to something posted in another thread, which I'd like to avoid cluttering.)

I'm with Nikkibong here. [...]

Shocking, I tell you. Shocking.

It's fine for reporters to have opinions. We all do. And it's right to put those opinions somewhere other than in your news coverage. That is what blogs and Twitter feeds are good for. But the REASON it's right to do that is because doing so makes you more trustworthy, so readers know where you're coming from. Indeed, a reader who followed Weigel on Twitter and then read his coverage for the Independent and the Post would be even MORE impressed by his fairness if they knew that he was working against his own biases.

However, having SECRET opinions that affect the filter through which you see the news is not okay at all. [...]

I'm already regretting welcoming (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167403#post167403) you back, because this as about as misinformed as anything I've heard on the subject, from anyone who isn't a full metal wingnut.

Anyone who actually read Dave's tweets would know they were exactly the same thing as he said on Journolist, and he or she would also know that what he said on Journolist is exactly the same kind of humor as he showed on his Tweets. You cannot possibly simultaneously defend his tweets, applaud his having opinions, and be fauxtraged about what he said on Journolist. It makes no sense whatsoever.

You sound like just another person pissed off at being so far out of the cool kids' club that you didn't even know there was one, and now you're just piling on because of it.

==========

[Added] Also: private = "SECRET?"

Now I'm regretting something else: excusing you from membership in the hand-tightenable threaded fastener community.

[Added2] And though you're semi-out ... now, to some of us ... I'll just point you to this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167331#post167331), for contemplation.

johnmarzan
06-30-2010, 02:10 AM
I'll Take a Cashier's Check, Mr. Breitbart (via Althouse)

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2010/06/ill-take-a-cashiers-check-mr-breitbart.html

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 02:15 AM
I'll Take a Cashier's Check, Mr. Breitbart (via Althouse)

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2010/06/ill-take-a-cashiers-check-mr-breitbart.html

Wow. Real original. Not. (http://wonkette.com/407092/special-conversation-shows-what-goes-on-inside-secret-leftist-cabal-chatroom)

johnmarzan
06-30-2010, 02:15 AM
mediate thinks no journolister will take the 100K, jon Chait thinks there's nothing to see there

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/06/andrew-breitbart-offers-100000-for-full.html

PreppyMcPrepperson
06-30-2010, 02:57 AM
(Replying to something posted in another thread, which I'd like to avoid cluttering.)

Fair enough. We'll continue here.

Anyone who actually read Dave's tweets would know they were exactly the same thing as he said on Journolist, and he or she would also know that what he said on Journolist is exactly the same kind of humor as he showed on his Tweets. You cannot possibly simultaneously defend his tweets, applaud his having opinions, and be fauxtraged about what he said on Journolist. It makes no sense whatsoever.

I've been thru Dave's Twitter feed. I do think the his JournoList comments are harsher. But that was not the point I was making, at all. I even said, "saying something on the List isn't the issue."

Actually let's walk through what I said before. Firstly, I defended the opinionated nature of his Twitter feed as a kind of transparency I think needs to be part of journalism today. And for those who found that feed, Weigel's opinions would be no surprise. And that's why the people who follow Weigel's feed aren't really upset at him at all right now.

Secondly, I suggested that while Weigel's readers--mostly liberals or at least non-conservatives--would be aware that Weigel was covering conservatism as an outsider, and a critical one at that, some of his sources might not have been. And if you look at where the outrage/surprise over the content of his List comments is coming from it's from sources, i.e. people IN the conservative movement who saw Weigel as a more sympathetic voice. They don't know him, they don't even follow him on Twitter, they just read his fair, unbiased coverage. So the opinion from which he approaches that coverage came as a shock to them. Yes, that reflects poorly on them. But it also means he never disabused them of that notion, and I think the blame for that falls on him.

It's not that being more transparent with his sources would have altered his coverage. His coverage was great. It's that, in my opinion, transparency with both sources and readers is what a good journalist should display, because it increases trust and trust is good for business. This has very little to do with the ethics of being online, for me, and more to do with what has emerged as a best practice in many of the newsrooms I've worked in. Had Weigel been more transparent with them, I don't think the List leak would have had the impact it did on his job.

Thirdly, despite the substance of the List comments not being RADICALLY different from the Twitter commentary, the tone, the language was harsher. It was a difference of degree maybe, not of kind. But, and this was the final point I made, I believe that until something radically changes in the way we protect data on the internet, that difference of degree should be avoided, especially for public figures like journalists.

Finally, I've never claimed anonymity on this site, or elsewhere on the web. The alias is an inside joke with old friends that I'm too lazy to get rid of, but there's no place on the web where I used that name and don't also reveal my real name and profession.

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 04:25 PM
Fair enough. We'll continue here.

Thanks for indulging my obsession for (this sort of) neatness.

I've been thru Dave's Twitter feed. I do think the his JournoList comments are harsher.

"Been thru" doesn't really cut it, IMO. When I spoke of being familiar with Dave as he presents on Twitter, I meant reading his tweets more or less as they were posted; i.e., in reaction to real-time events. Skimming through a few pages (I seriously doubt you've read all 11,000+ of them) of the collected 140-character messages doesn't give the proper sense. To put it another way, if some disturbo from the right were to go through all of them and cherry-pick the harshest, as was done with what he said on Journolist, you'd be singing a different tune, I'd wager.

But that was not the point I was making, at all. I even said, "saying something on the List isn't the issue."

Actually let's walk through what I said before. Firstly, I defended the opinionated nature of his Twitter feed as a kind of transparency I think needs to be part of journalism today. And for those who found that feed, Weigel's opinions would be no surprise. And that's why the people who follow Weigel's feed aren't really upset at him at all right now.

This seems to acknowledge my point above.

Secondly, I suggested that while Weigel's readers--mostly liberals or at least non-conservatives--would be aware that Weigel was covering conservatism as an outsider, and a critical one at that, some of his sources might not have been. And if you look at where the outrage/surprise over the content of his List comments is coming from it's from sources, i.e. people IN the conservative movement who saw Weigel as a more sympathetic voice. They don't know him, they don't even follow him on Twitter, they just read his fair, unbiased coverage. So the opinion from which he approaches that coverage came as a shock to them. Yes, that reflects poorly on them. But it also means he never disabused them of that notion, and I think the blame for that falls on him.

I can concede that some of the people who Dave covered might have been "shocked" to find out a reporter didn't agree with every last one of their views, but I thoroughly disagree with the notion that Dave is to blame for that. There are no other good reporters who operate under a rule, self-imposed, guild-imposed, or source-imposed, that requires them to do some sort of comprehensive full disclosure of their every inner thought. In fact, very often, the way one gets a story, gets a source to open up, gets someone to go on the record, etc., is by presenting a neutral-to-sympathetic ear. It is not so much misleading as it is conveying an attitude of "No matter what I might think, I am genuinely interested in your take and where you're coming from, and since I am a professional, you can judge how fairly I portray you when this story gets published." More importantly, it is for the benefit of the good reporter's readers that the reporter adds context, analysis, differing viewpoints, etc., when putting together the story. I mean, come on. I shouldn't need to tell you this. If anything is Journalism 102, this is.

It's not that being more transparent with his sources would have altered his coverage. His coverage was great.

That, in the end, should be all that he is judged upon.

It's that, in my opinion, transparency with both sources and readers is what a good journalist should display, because it increases trust and trust is good for business. This has very little to do with the ethics of being online, for me, and more to do with what has emerged as a best practice in many of the newsrooms I've worked in. Had Weigel been more transparent with them, I don't think the List leak would have had the impact it did on his job.

I suspect you are really doing some after the fact rationalization here, because for reasons beyond my understanding, you were put off by his speaking colorfully while venting about some irritating individuals. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the near-idiomatic status of DIAF (http://www.google.com/search?q=DIAF)? As an illustration, I will ask you to consider how seriously you take it when someone says, for example, "I could just strangle that guy." Please don't just deny this right away -- think about it. I'm not saying it's the entire basis of your motivations, but I think there is something to it.

Moving on ...

Transparency™ has become a fetish, or at least a mantra. Sorry to have to disagree with you here, but it is not an unqualified good, particularly in a reporter. I doubt very much that carrying your attitude, always, would be healthy for investigative journalism or indeed any kind of critical reporting and commentary. What lies a mere step or two away from what you are saying here is coverage only by fawners and stenographers. It's not much different, in the end, from a group's PR person getting a paycheck from the news outfit in question. This is already a problem; your attitude would just make it worse.

I am not saying there isn't something of worth to a sympathetic reporter covering a group, particularly one that has gotten a lot of superficial, uninformed, or dismissive treatment. I am also not saying that anything goes, that a reporter can and should mislead his or her sources just for the sake of some juicy nugget or click-bait of a post. But somewhere between this extreme and the one you're advocating? That's where the sweet spot is. That's how we get uncomfortable truths brought to light.

Thirdly, despite the substance of the List comments not being RADICALLY different from the Twitter commentary, the tone, the language was harsher. It was a difference of degree maybe, not of kind.

Already addressed, above. And I'll add that you're an unusual person indeed if you have never vented about someone in a private environment in a way different from what you would say in public.

But, and this was the final point I made, I believe that until something radically changes in the way we protect data on the internet, that difference of degree should be avoided, especially for public figures like journalists.

I will agree only in a cynical sense -- that, sadly, someone like Dave Weigel has to be extra cautious, given the reality that in his position, he was going to be under the scrutiny of witch hunters and other people who make it their business to find things to be OUTRAGED!!!1! about, due to their minds being bent into being convinced, a priori, about the existence of a Liberal Conspiracy.

In an abstract sense, I suppose I can agree with the desire for better data protection in online environments. Certainly, this is a worthy goal in other contexts. But really, in this case? Unless someone hacked into Journolist (a possibility that I don't discount), the problem here more likely had little to do with Weigel's remarks being "on the Internet." The problem here was as old as humanity -- there is no such thing as a secret when hundreds of people are involved.

Finally, I've never claimed anonymity on this site, or elsewhere on the web. The alias is an inside joke with old friends that I'm too lazy to get rid of, but there's no place on the web where I used that name and don't also reveal my real name and profession.

All right, look. I am on record as supporting pseudonymous posting, and I am not demanding anything above and beyond of you. But the fact is, no matter where your handle comes from, people who aren't intimately familiar with this board do not know anything about you. Nowhere in your profile do your real name or any of your affiliations appear. Unless a reader of this site watched your Apollo diavlog and/or read the few posts where you have linked to your work published elsewhere, he or she would have no way of knowing anything about where you are coming from.

Again, this is fine. Do what you want. Because I choose to post under my real name and provide a sig link to my other scribblings does not at all mean I insist that everyone else do so, too. You're completely within your rights to participate in a discussion forum without appending a massive disclosure to your posts or your profile. But you can't simultaneously insist on holy standards for another journalist when you aren't even taking the most basic steps to adhere to them yourself.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 06:28 PM
Here is my take on Wiegel/WaPo etc. There's a couple threads about it and some diavlogs referenced but I figured this is the best place to drop my 2 cents rather than spreading them in several locations.

My overall take is that the whole thing is a bunch of bullshit. The Right has been selling the story for decades now that the media is biased and you can't trust anything you read because it's all written by a bunch of lefties who can't resist the urge to use their careers to push their personal politics (I find Jay Rosen's theories of journalist's desires to get a scoop and get professional acclaim etc., to be far more convincing). Of course this is not the case if the journalist happend to be conservative in their personal views. Good conservatives can be objective (just like conservatives can follow the "rule of law" when making judicial decisions etc.) It's a very popular story and one that sadly alot of people both conservative and liberal alike have bought into. But that doesn't make it true.

We have been told that Liberals can't effectively cover the Obama administration because they are to squishy to ask any hard questions and the Kool Aid will trump any professional standards for objectivity. But we ALSO can't trust Liberals to report on the Conservative beat because they will never give conservative perspectives a fair and balanced treatment. Again, the double-standard is trumpeted whenever conservative journalists ask tough questions while covering the Left (apparently their biases don't intrude on their objectivity.) Notice a trend here?

So along comes a guy like Dave Wiegel, who manages to cover the Right rather well. Anyone who reads his stuff or has watched him here at bhtv knows he's not Real Conservative, and that indeed his biggest selling point is that he seems able to cover the Wingnuts in a way that points out their many follies, but yet also approaches them with more patience/respect and even empathy than many left-wing blogger/journalists would. And a big part of his appeall is a certain humor that is always evident in his work.

So now the wingnuts are all greasing their hands for a circle-jerk to their age old fantasy of LIBERAL BIAS!!1!, and pointing to Wiegel as a traitor and evidence of Gotcha journalism etc. Matt Lewis says that anyone who can't "empathize" with their subjects, cannot report on them. But Wiegel did. By all accounts there are no bones with the way he covered the Right. In fact it seems pretty widely held that he did it better than anyone else, regardless of his personal opinions. Even now, the main complaints are not about Wiegel's work, but about his personal statements.

I don't know about you, but I have always believed that reporters from any side of the political can write effectively and objectively (just as a General can serve a Commander he disagrees with, or a doctor can perform a service that goes against their own personal choice.) That's not to say they all do. There are many who don't. But many or most of them do. These are the ones who gain respect in their field and justifiably so. Wiegel is a perfect example. This is what I admire about journalists.

Now as to the details of Wiegels remarks, I think the uproar is utterly ridiculous. I just now told my co-worker that one of our business relations can get E-bola as far as I care. The afore-mentioned person has been annoying me all day. My co-worker laughed. That's the nature of joking. Get over it. As much as I despise them, I have no doubt that Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh etc. say things far worse than Wiegel did in their private lives (even worse than the despicable ones that they publish that is.) That doesn't make them unqualified to be objective reporters. What prevents that is that they choose not to be reporters but to be opinionaters of the lowest kind. Whatever, their choice.

Now if MM or Rush claimed that their work was objective journalism, I think it would be rather easy to show that their personal views not only infect their published/broadcast work, but that is actually the entire foundation of their work. Again, their choice. But they COULD be objective if that was their aim. There is nothing that prevents that sort of professional compartmentalism in a human. And nothing showing that Wiegel was unable to do it. On the contrary, the high regard of his work shows that he did it exceptionally well. His comments were clearly jokes and human moments of expressing frustration. Anyone who talks about him wishing death on Drudge is obviously more interested in parsing words and interpreting them literally rather than taking any time to interpret them as they were intended. Fauxtrage to the max.

I do think some very interesting questions arise from this. I believe that journalists like all other people are entitled to hold whatever views they find work for them personally. I think they have the right to express them and I think they have a right to have a private life that has nothing to do with how their work is judged. I think that private listserves or professional organizations where people hash out ideas off the record, are valuable to ANY area of interest or profession. I think that more than anything, this whole affair illustrates the fact that conservatives (generally) just don't like the idea of journalism (see Jay Rosen and Connor Freiderrdorf's discussion on why there are so few conservative beat reporters) and that this is just the logical extension of their endless battle against the press in general. I also have no doubt that were Wiegel a Real Conservative in the eyes of all the people who are currently crying foul about this, that there would be nary a peep of this discussion and any outrage would be met with cries of Free Speech, and persecutorial claims lamenting how Political Correctness is silencing conservatives. I also find it ironic that so many who whine about how the tyranny of PC won't let a person use derogatory words for blacks or gays or muslims etc., are the first ones to demand that such restrictions be placed on journalists who they don't like.

In the end I agree that the only people who have lost any respect for Dave Wiegel as a result of this situation, are not his peers or anyone who places a real interest in the role of journalism, but mostly partisan whiners who were looking for just the latest reason to reinforce their delusions about the left, the press et al.

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 06:53 PM
Very well said, and I thoroughly agree with just about everything you said.

I would quibble with one point, your closing one:

In the end I agree that the only people who have lost any respect for Dave Wiegel as a result of this situation, are not his peers or anyone who places a real interest in the role of journalism, but mostly partisan whiners who were looking for just the latest reason to reinforce their delusions about the left, the press et al.

I myself lost a little respect for Dave on this, in that I think he should have stood up to the nonsense, and if it was to be the case that the WaPo management felt he had to go, then he should have forced them to fire him or at least Froomkin him.

I can grant the possibility that his better-informed judgment led him to believe that he had taken a blow that he couldn't recover from and continue with his Right Now blog, but that doesn't mean I didn't think a little less of him for making that calculation, or for being so quick to bail. Sometimes one has to stand up for principle, if for no other reason than to make clear what is really going on. This is true even if the outcome would have been effectively the same (Right Now being shut down, and his being dismissed by the WaPo) and even if he might have suffered a bit more in the short term. It's not a deal-breaker in my mind as far as my overall view of him goes, but it's not nothing, either. A real reporter has a thicker skin and takes a little more heat, in my mind.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 07:00 PM
Yes, I meant to include that. His willingness to apologize and hesitance to call out the bull-shit of his detractors, is the only regretful part from his side, imo.

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 12:32 AM
@PMP:

Following up on my previous post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167625#post167625), especially this ...

I can concede that some of the people who Dave covered might have been "shocked" to find out a reporter didn't agree with every last one of their views, but I thoroughly disagree with the notion that Dave is to blame for that. There are no other good reporters who operate under a rule, self-imposed, guild-imposed, or source-imposed, that requires them to do some sort of comprehensive full disclosure of their every inner thought. In fact, very often, the way one gets a story, gets a source to open up, gets someone to go on the record, etc., is by presenting a neutral-to-sympathetic ear. It is not so much misleading as it is conveying an attitude of "No matter what I might think, I am genuinely interested in your take and where you're coming from, and since I am a professional, you can judge how fairly I portray you when this story gets published." More importantly, it is for the benefit of the good reporter's readers that the reporter adds context, analysis, differing viewpoints, etc., when putting together the story. I mean, come on. I shouldn't need to tell you this. If anything is Journalism 102, this is.

... and this ...

Transparency™ has become a fetish, or at least a mantra. Sorry to have to disagree with you here, but it is not an unqualified good, particularly in a reporter. I doubt very much that carrying your attitude, always, would be healthy for investigative journalism or indeed any kind of critical reporting and commentary. What lies a mere step or two away from what you are saying here is coverage only by fawners and stenographers. It's not much different, in the end, from a group's PR person getting a paycheck from the news outfit in question. This is already a problem; your attitude would just make it worse.

I am not saying there isn't something of worth to a sympathetic reporter covering a group, particularly one that has gotten a lot of superficial, uninformed, or dismissive treatment. I am also not saying that anything goes, that a reporter can and should mislead his or her sources just for the sake of some juicy nugget or click-bait of a post. But somewhere between this extreme and the one you're advocating? That's where the sweet spot is. That's how we get uncomfortable truths brought to light.

... please also see here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167745#post167745).

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 12:43 AM
Says Hamilton Nolan (http://gawker.com/5574794/politico-writes-years-best-journalism-thing), via Juli Weiner (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/06/striving-toward-a-working-theory-of-politicos-flackss-snacks-feature.html) and Riley Waggaman (http://wonkette.com/416348/matt-taibbi-dumps-lloyd-blankfein-finds-a-new-lady-to-hate).

johnmarzan
07-01-2010, 12:46 AM
http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/102064/

From Glenn Reynolds:

MORE ON ANDREW BREITBART’S OFFER OF $100,000 for the JournoList archives. My thoughts:

(1) If, as Jonathan Chait says, there’s nothing there, why not relieve Breitbart of his bucks?

(2) If you’re worried about your own stuff being released, you don’t really safeguard it by not selling out to Breitbart — you just ensure that if one of the 400 other members does, you won’t get the $100K.

(3) Here’s your chance to be Deep Throat — and maybe to settle some scores along the way . . . .

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 12:48 AM
Says Hamilton Nolan (http://gawker.com/5574794/politico-writes-years-best-journalism-thing), via Juli Weiner (http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/06/striving-toward-a-working-theory-of-politicos-flackss-snacks-feature.html) and Riley Waggaman (http://wonkette.com/416348/matt-taibbi-dumps-lloyd-blankfein-finds-a-new-lady-to-hate).

Journamalism at its finest! (As long as Amie Parnes was completely open with Ben Marsten about her feelings for sun-dried tomatoes, I mean.)

==========

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/245/flashinglightdr4.gif Important Disclosure: I think sun-dried tomatoes are over-rated and that most dishes which include them would do better to use fresh tomatoes.

AemJeff
07-01-2010, 12:50 AM
http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/102064/

From Glenn Reynolds:

MORE ON ANDREW BREITBART’S OFFER OF $100,000 for the JournoList archives. My thoughts:

(1) If, as Jonathan Chait says, there’s nothing there, why not relieve Breitbart of his bucks?

(2) If you’re worried about your own stuff being released, you don’t really safeguard it by not selling out to Breitbart — you just ensure that if one of the 400 other members does, you won’t get the $100K.

(3) Here’s your chance to be Deep Throat — and maybe to settle some scores along the way . . . .

Heh, indeedy. The Ole Perfesser surely has a point. Of course it would be knifing the confidence of 400 people, but what's a little betrayal among friends?

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 12:57 AM
Heh, indeedy. The Ole Perfesser surely has a point. Of course it would be knifing the confidence of 400 people, but what's a little betrayal among friends?

That speaks volumes about Glenn Reynolds's values, doesn't it?

TwinSwords
07-01-2010, 01:14 AM
(1) If, as Jonathan Chait says, there’s nothing there, why not relieve Breitbart of his bucks?

Well, gosh, John, that's an easy one. No matter what is contained in the Journolist archive, the wingnut fauxtrage brigade would have no trouble at all mining it for little nuggets they could spin and misrepresent into major crimes. They have already done so with the few mild remarks made by Weigel. The full archive would provide enough material to keep the wingnuts busy for years.

The Climategate hoax is a perfect example: the emails contained nothing incriminating, and yet the massive wingnut-media complex was able to fundamentally alter public perception of climate science with their dishonest misrepresentations of what the emails contained.

TwinSwords
07-01-2010, 01:15 AM
Andrew Sullivan (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/politics-as-total-war.html):

Politics As Total War

30 JUN 2010 11:10 AM

When Andrew Breitbart offers $100,000 for a private email list-serv archive, essentially all bets are off. Every blogger or writer who has ever offered an opinion is now on warning: your opponents will not just argue against you, they will do all they can to ransack your private life, cull your email in-tray, and use whatever material they have to unleash the moronic hounds of today's right-wing base.

Yes, the Economist was right. This is not about transparency, or hypocrisy. It's about power. And when you are Andrew Breitbart, power is all that matters. There is not a whit of thoughtfulness about this, not an iota of pretense that it might actually advance the conversation about how to deal with, say, a world still perilously close to a second Great Depression, a government that is bankrupt, two wars that have been or are being lost, an energy crisis that is also threatening our planet's ecosystem, and a media increasingly incapable of holding the powerful accountable.

Meanwhile, the GOP leaders, having done all they can to destroy a presidency by obstructing everything and anything he might do or have done to address the crippling problems bequeathed him by his predecessor, are now also waging a scorched earth battle to prevent the working poor from having any real access to affordable health insurance.

This is what the right now is: no solutions, just anger, paranoia, insecurity and partisan hatred.

(Source (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/politics-as-total-war.html))

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-01-2010, 01:44 AM
Hi BJ,

I'm gonna respond to both posts here.

I can concede that some of the people who Dave covered might have been "shocked" to find out a reporter didn't agree with every last one of their views, but I thoroughly disagree with the notion that Dave is to blame for that. There are no other good reporters who operate under a rule, self-imposed, guild-imposed, or source-imposed, that requires them to do some sort of comprehensive full disclosure of their every inner thought. In fact, very often, the way one gets a story, gets a source to open up, gets someone to go on the record, etc., is by presenting a neutral-to-sympathetic ear. It is not so much misleading as it is conveying an attitude of "No matter what I might think, I am genuinely interested in your take and where you're coming from, and since I am a professional, you can judge how fairly I portray you when this story gets published." More importantly, it is for the benefit of the good reporter's readers that the reporter adds context, analysis, differing viewpoints, etc., when putting together the story. I mean, come on. I shouldn't need to tell you this. If anything is Journalism 102, this is.

...Transparency™ has become a fetish, or at least a mantra. Sorry to have to disagree with you here, but it is not an unqualified good, particularly in a reporter. I doubt very much that carrying your attitude, always, would be healthy for investigative journalism or indeed any kind of critical reporting and commentary. What lies a mere step or two away from what you are saying here is coverage only by fawners and stenographers. It's not much different, in the end, from a group's PR person getting a paycheck from the news outfit in question. This is already a problem; your attitude would just make it worse.

I am not saying there isn't something of worth to a sympathetic reporter covering a group, particularly one that has gotten a lot of superficial, uninformed, or dismissive treatment. I am also not saying that anything goes, that a reporter can and should mislead his or her sources just for the sake of some juicy nugget or click-bait of a post. But somewhere between this extreme and the one you're advocating? That's where the sweet spot is. That's how we get uncomfortable truths brought to light.

You are misunderstanding me, because I'm not talking about the kind of fawning over sources that goes on at CNBC. Rather, I'm talking about being upfront about what your reporting is--if you're going to be critical, I think at some point, you say so, TO your sources.

For example, the most aggressive stories I've done were two pieces on antitrust issues and one piece on investments in a key part of Pakistan. In the first two cases, the company knew from my blog that I was a critic of theirs. It made them apprehensive, sure, about working with me on the piece. But what happened was, I told their press team, executives and competition lawyers exactly where I stood. I made clear that I wouldn't be printing anything I couldn't prove and that the blog was a way to show myself, and different from my sourced reporting. I put myself out there. They trusted me. I got a lot of access and ended up with two magazine covers that I'm proud of. They had no factual complaints with my reporting, and I've worked with them as sources since on other stuff.

When it came to the investments, I did the opposite. It had taken months to nail the interviews, and I was in the middle of a warzone, and I panicked. So when the investors spoke to me about their projects in very positive terms, I never once let on that I or the magazine I worked for were critical--deeply hostile to in some ways--their behavior. I didn't lie, but I didn't speak up at any time before the piece went to press. The reporting in the piece is still solid, and a big scoop for me, but I'm not proud of the fact that my sources expected something different and that my ability to keep pushing this beat might suffer for that.

You mention investigative reporting. I DO think the ethics are different there. I don't do it, and I don't speak for them. But I think in beat reporting in the 21st century, as I've learned it, this is part of the deal. Again, this has nothing to do with how my opinions affect the quality of reporting, just with how exposing yourself an be good for a reporter, and protect you against the kind of thing Weigel suffered from this time.

Already addressed, above. And I'll add that you're an unusual person indeed if you have never vented about someone in a private environment in a way different from what you would say in public...

Unless someone hacked into Journolist (a possibility that I don't discount), the problem here more likely had little to do with Weigel's remarks being "on the Internet." The problem here was as old as humanity -- there is no such thing as a secret when hundreds of people are involved.

Verbally, in my own home, I say things in language I might not print, but in a personal email, a text message, anything that can be reproduced, no. And even verbally, what I say is never substantively different from what I write. In other words, there isn't anyone I know professionally or personally who doesn't know just what I think of them. That may make me odd, but that's how I live.

You also asked (in a quote I can't find now) about how I react to what others say, off the cuff, to me, and to be honest, I can't remember the last time a friend of mine said something equivalent to 'I could just KILL him,' or whatever, even though I recognize that most people do say such things. I won't confirm or deny your suggestion, because I honestly can't recall such a conversation. Make of that what you will.

And yes, this is a human problem, exacerbated by the way the 'net makes reproducing communication easy. So I think the 'net simply compounds the need for public figures to be careful. It does not create that need. I don't necessarily think Weigel should have been fired; but I do think the trust he, or anyone else, placed in the safety of JournoList was misguided.

But you can't simultaneously insist on holy standards for another journalist when you aren't even taking the most basic steps to adhere to them yourself.

I grant you this. It's something I'd like to remedy in fact, when I relaunch my blog this coming month and will then be including links to it (and all my info) everywhere I post online. I don't want to be sending people to my blog while it's in a semi-active state. So stay tuned.


... please also see here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167745#post167745).

I can't stand Taibbi, and it's late, so I'm sparing myself.

johnmarzan
07-01-2010, 03:55 AM
Andrew Sullivan (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/politics-as-total-war.html):



(Source (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/politics-as-total-war.html))

Andrew Breitbart: Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Andrew Sullivan

http://bigjournalism.com/abreitbart/2010/06/30/hypocrisy-thy-name-is-andrew-sullivan/

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 04:34 AM
Who knew Daily Intel had someone who could bring the funny? Not me, that's who. But Dan Amira (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/06/andrew_breitbart_willing_to_pa.html) has disabused me of my misapprehension.

And guess what? I got to this link via Jack Stuef (http://wonkette.com/416381/yes-andrew-breitbart-isoffering-100000-for-secret-conspiracy-journolist-e-mails), who is also [strike]making jokes[/strikes] contributing to the cover-up!

Which raises a Very Important Question: how are these members of the Vast Liberal Get Your Story Straight Democrat-Media Complex coordinating their efforts, if Journolist has been shut down???

Answer -- the only possible answer: it has NOT been shut down, and most likely operates out of a secret bunker, in the basement of Joe Biden's secure undisclosed location!

Ann Althouse will have fifteen posts on this later today, and johnmarzan will link to them all, The End.

johnmarzan
07-01-2010, 08:18 AM
a companion piece to brietbart's article.

glenn reynolds: andrew sullivan busted for hypocrisy on privacy issues.

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/102116/

AemJeff
07-01-2010, 09:52 AM
a companion piece to brietbart's article.

glenn reynolds: andrew sullivan busted for hypocrisy on privacy issues.

http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/102116/

Breaking:

Sullivan is a Hypocrite!
Breitbart Still a Bottomfeeder

nikkibong
07-01-2010, 10:33 AM
Andrew Breitbart: Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Andrew Sullivan

http://bigjournalism.com/abreitbart/2010/06/30/hypocrisy-thy-name-is-andrew-sullivan/

Thanks for that. Made for good morning reading.

uncle ebeneezer
07-01-2010, 01:08 PM
I didn't lie, but I didn't speak up at any time before the piece went to press.

Prep, isn't this one of the most important aspects of investigative journalism? Or even just, journalism.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-01-2010, 01:15 PM
Prep, isn't this one of the most important aspects of investigative journalism? Or even just, journalism.

Wait, what do you mean? That not letting on is part of how it's done? I think it was that way, across all journalism. But I think, outside investigative reporting, that is changing, and that managing a beat now is in part about letting your sources know what to expect from you. Not giving them undue sympathy, or letting them see your work or screen their quotes or fawning junk like that, but letting them know if your work is going to be aggressive, just so they aren't blindsided and keep working with you. Because on a beat, you aren't going for the big investigative scoop that, once nailed, you can go to town on. You're looking to keep covering ------ for a while and so you have to manage sources differently. That is, at least, my view and what I saw in the newsrooms I've worked in.

If Weigel did that, and this still happened to him, then yes, he's the victim. But if what I heard from some folks a few days ago is true (see my earlier post), and he sort of let on to his sources something different than what he was delivering, or what was in his opinionated Twitter feed/opinionated List comments, then that would give me pause. It would not justify his treatment, it would simply give me pause about making him a hero.

uncle ebeneezer
07-01-2010, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the response Prep. Makes sense.

I consider Twitter to be a part of Wiegel's work, but not his Journolist e-mails.

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 07:01 PM
Thanks for that. Made for good morning reading.

I was wondering who you were going to side with here, and though I feared I knew the answer, still all I can say is wow.

bjkeefe
07-01-2010, 07:39 PM
You are misunderstanding me, because I'm not talking about the kind of fawning over sources that goes on at CNBC. Rather, I'm talking about being upfront about what your reporting is--if you're going to be critical, I think at some point, you say so, TO your sources.

For example, the most aggressive stories I've done were two pieces on antitrust issues and one piece on investments in a key part of Pakistan. In the first two cases, the company knew from my blog that I was a critic of theirs. It made them apprehensive, sure, about working with me on the piece. But what happened was, I told their press team, executives and competition lawyers exactly where I stood. I made clear that I wouldn't be printing anything I couldn't prove and that the blog was a way to show myself, and different from my sourced reporting. I put myself out there. They trusted me. I got a lot of access and ended up with two magazine covers that I'm proud of. They had no factual complaints with my reporting, and I've worked with them as sources since on other stuff.

When it came to the investments, I did the opposite. It had taken months to nail the interviews, and I was in the middle of a warzone, and I panicked. So when the investors spoke to me about their projects in very positive terms, I never once let on that I or the magazine I worked for were critical--deeply hostile to in some ways--their behavior. I didn't lie, but I didn't speak up at any time before the piece went to press. The reporting in the piece is still solid, and a big scoop for me, but I'm not proud of the fact that my sources expected something different and that my ability to keep pushing this beat might suffer for that.

You mention investigative reporting. I DO think the ethics are different there. I don't do it, and I don't speak for them. But I think in beat reporting in the 21st century, as I've learned it, this is part of the deal. Again, this has nothing to do with how my opinions affect the quality of reporting, just with how exposing yourself an be good for a reporter, and protect you against the kind of thing Weigel suffered from this time.

I take your points here, though I do not wholeheartedly agree with them.

One I do accept without qualification is your point about beat journalism. Sure -- this is a reality of reporting, and (contra your response (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167843#post167843) to Uncle Eb) it has been for as long as I'm aware, from sports to the police beat to politics to science. There will always be that tension between telling unflattering stories about those whom you are covering and maintaining sources. I agree also that at some point, if you sandbag someone whom you're covering -- or at least, if he or she feels that way -- you're going to be hampered if not completely hosed when you've got to meet your next deadline.

I guess the real uneasiness I have here, speaking as a news consumer, an amateur media critic, and an imaginary editor, is your way of putting it -- "working with me ." I am awfully sorry that Taibbi puts you off, because this really rang the cherries for me (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_May2010/122137/83512):

As to this whole "unspoken agreement" business: the reason Lara Logan thinks this is because she's like pretty much every other "reputable" journalist in this country, in that she suffers from a profound confusion about who she's supposed to be working for. I know this from my years covering presidential campaigns, where the same dynamic applies. Hey, assholes: [I]you do not work for the people you're covering! Jesus, is this concept that fucking hard? On the campaign trail, I watch reporters nod solemnly as they hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars candidates X and Y and Z collect from the likes of Citigroup and Raytheon and Archer Daniels Midland, and it blows my mind that they never seem to connect the dots and grasp where all that money is going. The answer, you idiots, is that it's buying advertising! People like George Bush, John McCain, Barack Obama, and General McChrystal for that matter, they can afford to buy their own P.R. — and they do, in ways both honest and dishonest, visible and invisible.

They don't need your help, and you're giving it to them anyway, because you just want to be part of the club so so badly. Disgustingly, that's really what it comes down to. Most of these reporters just want to be inside the ropeline so badly, they want to be able to say they had that beer with Hillary Clinton in a bowling alley in Scranton or whatever, that it colors their whole worldview. God forbid some important person think you're not playing for the right team!

Meanwhile, the people who don't have the resources to find out the truth and get it out in front of the public's eyes, your readers/viewers, you're supposed to be working for them — and they're not getting your help. What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Is it worth all the bloodshed and the hatred? Who are the people running this thing, what is their agenda, and is that agenda the same thing we voted for? By the severely unlikely virtue of a drunken accident we get a tiny glimpse of an answer to some of these vital questions, but instead of cheering this as a great break for our profession, a waytago moment, one so-called reputable journalist after another lines up to protest the leak and attack the reporter for doing his job. God, do you all suck!

"Working with" is, to me, in the abstract at least, only a short step away from "working for." There is a reason access has become such a loaded term when talking about Teh Media.


Verbally, in my own home, I say things in language I might not print, but in a personal email, a text message, anything that can be reproduced, no.

Minor point, perhaps, but this strikes me more as a pragmatic concern than an ethical one. To put it a bit crudely, it sounds more like you're afraid of being caught than you are uneasy about the substance of what you might have said.

And even verbally, what I say is never substantively different from what I write. In other words, there isn't anyone I know professionally or personally who doesn't know just what I think of them. That may make me odd, but that's how I live.

Mmmm ... part of me wants to admire you for this, and part of me wants to be cynical about your thus-far idyllic life. I don't wish it upon you, but I cannot state how low I think the odds are that you will go through the rest of your life, especially as you move up the journalistic ladder to move in more rarefied circles, without being beset by some real assholes, about whom you will have no recourse except to vent to friends or family.

Maybe you're thinking I'm just a sour old fart, but if that is true, then there are a whole bunch of us out here. If you can stay above that, more power to you, but if that's how it turns out, I will never be dissuaded from thinking that either you or your circumstances will be unusual to say the least.

You also asked (in a quote I can't find now) about how I react to what others say, off the cuff, to me, and to be honest, I can't remember the last time a friend of mine said something equivalent to 'I could just KILL him,' or whatever, even though I recognize that most people do say such things. I won't confirm or deny your suggestion, because I honestly can't recall such a conversation. Make of that what you will.

It doesn't have to be that specific expression. You might also think about, say, "He drives me crazy" or "If I never hear from her again, it'll be too soon for me" or any of a thousand expressions of hyperbole I could list. But, again, perhaps you are just a much more ... centered? accepting? charitable? ... person than I am, and than I perceive most people to be.

And yes, this is a human problem, exacerbated by the way the 'net makes reproducing communication easy. So I think the 'net simply compounds the need for public figures to be careful. It does not create that need. I don't necessarily think Weigel should have been fired; but I do think the trust he, or anyone else, placed in the safety of JournoList was misguided.

I don't think this is the important issue. It strikes me as trivially true to say that he made a mistake thinking he could be sure about the privacy of a 400-member listserv. One thing I would say is that I don't think he was wrong if he thought that what he was saying there was no different from the way he tweeted, and (I would bet) talked in the flesh. If I'm right about that, then I expect it did not occur to him to worry overmuch that his words posted to Journolist would be published -- I expect he did not give it much thought one way or the other. Here, the only two things I'll wag my finger at him for are these: he should not have been so blithe about the nature of that portion of the right-wing noise machine who feed on excuses to be OUTRAGED, and he should have been tougher about standing up to them.

I grant you this. It's something I'd like to remedy in fact, when I relaunch my blog this coming month and will then be including links to it (and all my info) everywhere I post online. I don't want to be sending people to my blog while it's in a semi-active state. So stay tuned.

Okay. As I said, it's up to you, and if you chose to continue to post pseudonymously, it would not be something I would hold against you. I only wanted to make the point that you ought not criticize someone else's choice not to fetishize transparency and disclosure at every waking moment.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-01-2010, 11:20 PM
I think we're basically coming to an understanding of the other person's viewpoints here.

I take your points here, though I do not wholeheartedly agree with them.

One I do accept without qualification is your point about beat journalism. Sure -- this is a reality of reporting, and (contra your response (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167843#post167843) to Uncle Eb) it has been for as long as I'm aware, from sports to the police beat to politics to science. There will always be that tension between telling unflattering stories about those whom you are covering and maintaining sources. I agree also that at some point, if you sandbag someone whom you're covering -- or at least, if he or she feels that way -- you're going to be hampered if not completely hosed when you've got to meet your next deadline.

I guess the real uneasiness I have here, speaking as a news consumer, an amateur media critic, and an imaginary editor, is your way of putting it -- "working with me ." I am awfully sorry that Taibbi puts you off, because this really rang the cherries for me (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_May2010/122137/83512):



"Working with" is, to me, in the abstract at least, only a short step away from "working for." There is a reason [I]access has become such a loaded term when talking about Teh Media.

Fair point. "Working with" is perhaps poor phrasing, and I see the danger you outline, but the point is that I think there is a line somewhere between maintaining a beat and fawning/acquiescing and I believe I'm on the right side of it at the moment and try to stay there. So I think we basically have reached whatever conclusion each of us is going to reach on this point.

Re: Taibbi, my issue with him is that buried in his pieces are often great insights, but I find the way he writes to be shrill, and usually can find the substance his arguments articulated elsewhere by better writers. And yes, that IS something I would stand by in public.

Minor point, perhaps, but this strikes me more as a pragmatic concern than an ethical one. To put it a bit crudely, it sounds more like you're afraid of being caught than you are uneasy about the substance of what you might have said.

Mmmm ... part of me wants to admire you for this, and part of me wants to be cynical about your thus-far idyllic life. I don't wish it upon you, but I cannot state how low I think the odds are that you will go through the rest of your life, especially as you move up the journalistic ladder to move in more rarefied circles, without being beset by some real assholes, about whom you will have no recourse except to vent to friends or family.

Maybe you're thinking I'm just a sour old fart, but if that is true, then there are a whole bunch of us out here. If you can stay above that, more power to you, but if that's how it turns out, I will never be dissuaded from thinking that either you or your circumstances will be unusual to say the least.

It doesn't have to be that specific expression. You might also think about, say, "He drives me crazy" or "If I never hear from her again, it'll be too soon for me" or any of a thousand expressions of hyperbole I could list. But, again, perhaps you are just a much more ... centered? accepting? charitable? ... person than I am, and than I perceive most people to be.

Let's compare notes in a few years and see if I've snapped yet. Maybe I'm just a doormat, but for the moment, this works for me.

I don't think this is the important issue. It strikes me as trivially true to say that he made a mistake thinking he could be sure about the privacy of a 400-member listserv. One thing I would say is that I don't think he was wrong if he thought that what he was saying there was no different from the way he tweeted, and (I would bet) talked in the flesh. If I'm right about that, then I expect it did not occur to him to worry overmuch that his words posted to Journolist would be published -- I expect he did not give it much thought one way or the other. Here, the only two things I'll wag my finger at him for are these: he should not have been so blithe about the nature of that portion of the right-wing noise machine who feed on excuses to be OUTRAGED, and he should have been tougher about standing up to them.

I don't think this is THE important issue. Rather, I'm responding to a lot of stuff I read on the blogs (yglesias, sanchez, some guy at daily intel whose name I can't recall) in the 48 hours after this story broke making Weigel into a hero and, well, even if he WAS wronged by the right-wing blogosphere, I think it's not quite right to make foolishness heroic. And I do think putting the kind of trust in JournoList that it's participants did is foolish. I would've wanted him to be more cautious. It's a small point, but it makes me refrain from putting him on a pedestal, which is what I felt some of the people I read were doing.

Okay. As I said, it's up to you, and if you chose to continue to post pseudonymously, it would not be something I would hold against you. I only wanted to make the point that you ought not criticize someone else's choice not to fetishize transparency and disclosure at every waking moment.

No, it's a fair point, and something I intend to correct with a link to my blog and some profile updates, hopefully before the middle of the month, productivity permitting.

TwinSwords
07-01-2010, 11:44 PM
I think we're basically coming to an understanding of the other person's viewpoints here.
Which other person is that?

;-)

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-01-2010, 11:50 PM
Which other person is that?

;-)

Sigh. And I call myself a professional writer.

TwinSwords
07-01-2010, 11:56 PM
Sigh. And I call myself a professional writer.

You're a great writer. No one's perfect 100% of the time. I just thought it was a funny mental image of you and Brendan coming to understand some 3rd person's point of view. :-D

johnmarzan
07-02-2010, 12:42 AM
Eric Boehlert of Media Matters vs Ann Althouse

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/07/over-at-media-matters-eric-boehlert-is.html

bjkeefe
07-02-2010, 01:20 AM
@PMP:

Before I get to reading what you've posted in response, let me just quote a bit from my earlier post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167870#post167870):

"Working with" is, to me, in the abstract at least, only a short step away from "working for." There is a reason access has become such a loaded term when talking about Teh Media.

and then add this:

“In any dispute, their view is not: What is true? But: How can we preserve our access to the political right and not lose pro-torture readers?"

(Andrew Sullivan via email to Michael Calderone (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts3004), via Jason Linkins (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/01/nyt-responds-to-study-abo_n_632724.html).)

You and everyone else who cares about journalism should read both, but to get you started, here's a bit from the first, to give you some context:

“From the early 1930s until the modern story broke in 2004, the newspapers that covered waterboarding almost uniformly called the practice torture or implied it was torture,” the study noted. But the study found that things changed in the years when “war on terror” became part of the American lexicon.

The New York Times defined waterboarding as torture, or effectively implied that it was, 81.5 percent of the time in articles until 2004, the study found. But during 2002-2008 — when the George W. Bush White House made a concerted effort to normalize harsh interrogation methods for use on terror detainees — the Times “called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles." That’s 1.4 percent of the time.

I should point out that the NYT was hardly alone in this quisling behavior, although sadly, the WaPo was not examined.

The study from which Calderone draws his stats is here: (PDF (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/presspol/publications/papers/torture_at_times_hks_students.pdf)).

More commentary: Sully (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/the-legacy-media-and-torture.html), Glenn Greenwald (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/30/media/index.html), Adam Serwer (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/adam_serwer_archive?month=06&year=2010&base_name=when_is_torture_not_torture), and Marcy Wheeler (http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/06/30/waterboarding-is-only-torture-if-john-mccain-says-so/) (who observed the missing WaPo aspect).

If my next responses to you in this thread are a bit surly, now you know why: there is no other way to describe what these papers were doing during the Bush years except to say they were "working with" the people they were covering.

[Added] Happy Independence Day, if I forget to say so in a couple of days.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-02-2010, 01:40 AM
@PMP:

Before I get to reading what you've posted in response, let me just quote a bit from my earlier post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167870#post167870):



and then add this:



(Andrew Sullivan via email to Michael Calderone (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts3004), via Jason Linkins (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/01/nyt-responds-to-study-abo_n_632724.html).)

You and everyone else who cares about journalism should read both, but to get you started, here's a bit from the first, to give you some context:



I should point out that the NYT was hardly alone in this quisling behavior, although sadly, the WaPo was not examined.

The study from which Calderone draws his stats is here: (PDF (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/presspol/publications/papers/torture_at_times_hks_students.pdf)).

More commentary: Sully (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/the-legacy-media-and-torture.html), Glenn Greenwald (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/30/media/index.html), Adam Serwer (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/adam_serwer_archive?month=06&year=2010&base_name=when_is_torture_not_torture), and Marcy Wheeler (http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/06/30/waterboarding-is-only-torture-if-john-mccain-says-so/) (who observed the missing WaPo aspect).

If my next responses to you in this thread are a bit surly, now you know why: there is no other way to describe what these papers were doing during the Bush years except to say they were "working with" the people they were covering.

[Added] Happy Independence Day, if I forget to say so in a couple of days.

I take your point. I am talking about something different and in no way condone the coverage coming out of most of the big papers in the early 2000s. But I'm at a loss for a better phrase for what I mean, because the industry phrase (working with) has become associated with this other, sinister behavior. So feel free to supply me with better language, since I take it, from your last post, that you DO see what I'm referring to, even if you don't agree.

bjkeefe
07-02-2010, 02:01 AM
I take your point. I am talking about something different and in no way condone the coverage coming out of most of the big papers in the early 2000s. But I'm at a loss for a better phrase for what I mean, because the industry phrase (working with) has become associated with this other, sinister behavior. So feel free to supply me with better language, since I take it, from your last post, that you DO see what I'm referring to, even if you don't agree.

Okay. First, let me again apologize for posting that torture sidebar thing before I took the time to read your earlier responses. Could be you've already addressed some of what I was saying earlier, could be I'll be wiping some egg of my face in a few minutes.

Anyway, onward with this tangent.

In place of "working with," how about "reporting on" or "covering?" Or, if you need something that connotes the more immediate, proximate sense of a story you're in the middle of developing and pulling together, how about "interviewing?" Or if that sounds too formal for all occasions, how about "meeting with?" Or how about thinking in terms of the story itself, rather than the people and organizations who are part of the story, and ... well, just say "working on this story about X?"

I'm sorry that when I hear the phrase "working with" from a reporter, I can not escape the vision of some PR person opening up a filing cabinet, shielding you from the contents, and carefully picking out select folders for you to see.

As I understand it from our journalist B'heads, the verb reporting means to them something that encompasses quite a few activities besides just the lay sense of "telling my readers the story I put together." It means, to them, such things as going out and talking to people at, say, a political rally. Getting background. Digging though paperwork and other archived material. Interviewing people for background or for attribution. And so on. The connotation is strongly "independent fact gathering." I don't love reporting in this broad sense for general use, but as a term of jargon (professional shorthand), I think it'll do fine until we can come up with something better.

Do you think this does the job, or is there something else you might mean by "working with" that I haven't thought of?

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-02-2010, 02:12 AM
Okay. First, let me again apologize for posting that torture sidebar thing before I took the time to read your earlier responses. Could be you've already addressed some of what I was saying earlier, could be I'll be wiping some egg of my face in a few minutes.

Anyway, onward with this tangent.

In place of "working with," how about "reporting on" or "covering?" Or, if you need something that connotes the more immediate, proximate sense of a story you're in the middle of developing and pulling together, how about "interviewing?" Or if that sounds too formal for all occasions, how about "meeting with?" Or how about thinking in terms of the story itself, rather than the people and organizations who are part of the story, and ... well, just say "working on this story about X?"

I'm sorry that when I hear the phrase "working with" from a reporter, I can not escape the vision of some PR person opening up a filing cabinet, shielding you from the contents, and carefully picking out select folders for you to see.

As I understand it from our journalist B'heads, the verb reporting means to them something that encompasses quite a few activities besides just the lay sense of "telling my readers the story I put together." It means, to them, such things as going out and talking to people at, say, a political rally. Getting background. Digging though paperwork and other archived material. Interviewing people for background or for attribution. And so on. The connotation is strongly "independent fact gathering." I don't love reporting in this broad sense for general use, but as a term of jargon (professional shorthand), I think it'll do fine until we can come up with something better.

Do you think this does the job, or is there something else you might mean by "working with" that I haven't thought of?

I guess I meant the component of "reporting" [which is a term I do use] that involves the cultivation of sources, to be distinguished from say, using documents, data, etc. In other words, the intangible, interpersonal part of reporting, the part that, if done wrong, CAN become what you call 'working with' or what I call PR hackery,' but if done right, is essential to serious and sustained beat reporting. Maybe there's no term for this.

[Added: 'Interviewing' doesn't quite cover that, because it's a one-off. I'm talking about the long-term thing that beat reporters have to do.]

bjkeefe
07-02-2010, 02:23 AM
Eric Boehlert of Media Matters vs Ann Althouse

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2010/07/over-at-media-matters-eric-boehlert-is.html

Did I call it (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167809&highlight=althouse+johnmarzan#post167809), or what?

All right, let's abandon our better judgment and click this sure to be stupid link.

Hmmm ... well at least we get a bit of comic relief as a reward. If the post title doesn't say it all about Althouse, nothing does:

Over at Media Matters, Eric Boehlert is writing about me.


I note also that Althouse, like you, is impressed by Iowahawk's "brilliant" post, and like you, evidently unaware that it was done well more than a year ago (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167548#post167548).

To the extent that I could stand to read any more of Althouse's self-centered claptrap, I note she is still whining about not being delivered her own personal copy of the entire Journolist archives. Sheesh. Talk about mistaking self-importance for importance.

For those who are not as afraid as johnmarzan is of hearing the other side of the story, here is Eric Boehlert's post that got Annie's knickers in a knot: "Ann Althouse continues to blog about Journolist; appears to have no idea what it was (http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006300020)."

If I tell the rest of you your time would be better spent reading that, I win Understatement of the Year.

bjkeefe
07-02-2010, 03:11 AM
I think we're basically coming to an understanding of the other person's viewpoints here.



Fair point. "Working with" is perhaps poor phrasing, and I see the danger you outline, but the point is that I think there is a line somewhere between maintaining a beat and fawning/acquiescing and I believe I'm on the right side of it at the moment and try to stay there. So I think we basically have reached whatever conclusion each of us is going to reach on this point.

Okay. For the sake of completeness, I'll just point others who might care to a bit more discussion (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=167904#post167904) of the "working with" issue that I have.

Re: Taibbi, my issue with him is that buried in his pieces are often great insights, but I find the way he writes to be shrill, and usually can find the substance his arguments articulated elsewhere by better writers. And yes, that IS something I would stand by in public.

Well, there's no arguing about one's perception of someone else's tone, so if that gets in your way, then so be it. I would hope that you could someday gin up a custom filter for him, because I think he's worth that work.

For the record, I agree with you somewhat, in that I don't think he always needs to be (variously) as potty-mouthed or harsh or overtly exasperated as he can sometimes be, and I do worry that he's cutting himself off from some readers who would otherwise be interested in what he has to say. (Especially in this era, when a non-trivial fraction of the online community seems to think saying AD HOMINEM!!!1! is the same as playing the ace of trumps, as though the inclusion of a single insult somewhere completely negates ten paragraphs of substantive and righteous criticism, as soon as the two magic Latin words are bellowed.) But I'm not going to push on him too much for that. His voice is his voice, it's part of what won him his audience in the first place, and those of us who get information from him can always polish up the nuggets a bit if we want to pass them along to others.

Let's compare notes in a few years and see if I've snapped yet. Maybe I'm just a doormat, but for the moment, this works for me.

Sorry, but I don't understand what this referred to. No matter, probably; just letting you know why I am not responding.

I don't think this is THE important issue. Rather, I'm responding to a lot of stuff I read on the blogs (yglesias, sanchez, some guy at daily intel whose name I can't recall) in the 48 hours after this story broke making Weigel into a hero and, well, even if he WAS wronged by the right-wing blogosphere, I think it's not quite right to make foolishness heroic. And I do think putting the kind of trust in JournoList that it's participants did is foolish. I would've wanted him to be more cautious. It's a small point, but it makes me refrain from putting him on a pedestal, which is what I felt some of the people I read were doing.

Welp, you've got your perspective and you're sticking to it. For the record, I will note (repeat?) the following.

(a) I did not get the sense that people were talking about him as a hero. This is too minor a point for me to demand links and blockquotes, so I'll just leave my objection there.

(b) I do think he was wronged, by the right-wing noise machine, but more importantly by the Villagers (especially Goldblog), and more importantly still, by his employer. (Maybe you mean by "making him into a hero" that there was no shortage of people eager to offer a vehement defense of him, against these wrong-doers?)

(c) I'm not sure how much of a pedestal it is putting him on to say he was good at what he did -- reporting on the Right -- and to the extent that it is a pedestal to say so, it is one he deserves.

(d) I think it is unfair to call him foolish for having an expectation of privacy, and more to the point, for him to have expected that anyone would work that hard to make his idle snark into a mountain of outrage, even if it did get read outside the listserv. I will point out that when people like TwinSwords and me try to call attention to the hysterical and non-stop efforts of the wingnuts to work the refs and to portray themselves as victims of a liberal media conspiracy, we are often shushed by others on this board who think we're exaggerating or cherry-picking.

In the end, saying "I wish Matt Drudge would set himself on fire" or "we should stop linking to Byron York" pale to translucence in comparison to the hate speech and lies Drudge, York, Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, et al, spew forth for public consumption every damned day they get their mitts on a microphone or a Publish button.

The real story here is that for all the sound and fury, no one, but no one, has been able to point to problems with Dave's work, yet they drove him from his job because they found out that in private, on his own time, he wasn't totally enamored of all of their craziness, and then they worked themselves into a frenzy, the Shorter of which is this: "How dare ANYONE report on us who is not One of Us!!!1!" For you to talk at all about what Dave should or should not have done as far as making jokes and venting goes, and where and when he did it, is to miss this much larger point. Effectively, you are not too far from looking to justify after the fact his burning at the stake by a mob of lunatics by pointing out ways in which he failed to be perfect.

No, it's a fair point, and something I intend to correct with a link to my blog and some profile updates, hopefully before the middle of the month, productivity permitting.

As you will. Once more for the record, I don't have a problem with people posting pseudonymously or seeking to have separate spheres of their lives, and I don't think anyone has the right to make this call for others. But that makes me think of Ann Althouse and her gasping desire to get her pudgy paws on stuff that is none of her fucking business, so I probably better end it here.

bjkeefe
07-02-2010, 03:16 AM
I guess I meant the component of "reporting" [which is a term I do use] that involves the cultivation of sources, to be distinguished from say, using documents, data, etc. In other words, the intangible, interpersonal part of reporting, the part that, if done wrong, CAN become what you call 'working with' or what I call PR hackery,' but if done right, is essential to serious and sustained beat reporting. Maybe there's no term for this.

[Added: 'Interviewing' doesn't quite cover that, because it's a one-off. I'm talking about the long-term thing that beat reporters have to do.]

Okay. If I think of some better all-purpose terms, I'll suggest them, but I think you've gotten my point about the unsavory suggestions that "working with" can convey.

[Added] I want to state for others who think I'm straining at a gnat here that I believe specific words matter and that they can truly and profoundly affect the mindset of people who use them as a matter of habit. To see this, one need only consider the various other terms one could choose to speak of what we now call black people, or the equivalent for any other group distinguished by something as trivial as a physical characteristic or ethnic origin or religious belief or sexual orientation ... you get my point, presumably.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-02-2010, 03:21 AM
Okay. If I think of some better all-purpose terms, I'll suggest them, but I think you've gotten my point about the unsavory suggestion that "working with" can convey.

Yes, point taken. And you've got, roughly, what I'm describing. So, you know, all in a good night's work. Off to browse other threads, or maybe sleep.

[Added: McArdle, albeit talking about a different case, articulates the general phenomenon (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/29182?in=24:23&out=25:57) we've been discussing.]

bjkeefe
07-03-2010, 04:31 AM
I think both Drudge and the rePubOLITICO should set themselves on fire (http://gawker.com/5577434/scandal-new-white-house-twitter-account-favorited-some-old-p-diddy-tweets), that's what I think.

bjkeefe
07-04-2010, 05:03 PM
Well, gosh, John, that's an easy one. No matter what is contained in the Journolist archive, the wingnut fauxtrage brigade would have no trouble at all mining it for little nuggets they could spin and misrepresent into major crimes. They have already done so with the few mild remarks made by Weigel. The full archive would provide enough material to keep the wingnuts busy for years.

The Climategate hoax is a perfect example: the emails contained nothing incriminating, and yet the massive wingnut-media complex was able to fundamentally alter public perception of climate science with their dishonest misrepresentations of what the emails contained.

Speaking of Climategate, uninformed people, and spinning out-of-context phrases out of control, I had a 2 July 2010 article from the Philadelphia Inquirer passed along to me by a friend. It can't be anything but good to pass it along, to help hammer home the truth of this situation, however long it's taken, once again, for the truth to get its pants on: "Penn State panel clears climatologist Michael Mann in e-mail case (http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20100702_Penn_State_panel_clears_climatologist_Mic hael_Mann_in_e-mail_case.html)."

Retorts from the usual suspects concerning the Vast Liberal Academic Conspiracy in 5..., 4..., 3...

(previously (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=166948&highlight=climategate#post166948))

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 01:10 AM
... Althouse v. Althouse (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/07/advice-that-should-have-been-taken).

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 01:53 AM
... Althouse v. Althouse (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/07/advice-that-should-have-been-taken).

On a related note, Ann Althouse is a conservative (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/06/more-weigel).

So Weigel was disrespectful to conservatives. What is a conservative? Apparently a conservative is someone who believes that Pat Buchanan's professional Jew-baiting is not anti-Semitism, who admires Newt Gingrich as a shy and retiring statesman, and who is completely unfamiliar with the basic history of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. And a conservative is someone who believes that no one should say anything, even in private, that might hurt his or her conservative feelings.

Yep. Hard as this may be to believe, there actually was something good written on Slate about this affair. (Tom Scocca? Never heard of him. Is he the new Mickey Kaus?) Anyway, "Ratfuckers, Crybabies, and Schoolmarms: The Dave Weigel Affair" should be read in full (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/scocca/archive/2010/06/27/ratfuckers-crybabies-and-schoolmarms-the-david-weigel-affair.aspx).

Don Zeko
07-05-2010, 08:32 PM
(a) I did not get the sense that people were talking about him as a hero. This is too minor a point for me to demand links and blockquotes, so I'll just leave my objection there.

(b) I do think he was wronged, by the right-wing noise machine, but more importantly by the Villagers (especially Goldblog), and more importantly still, by his employer. (Maybe you mean by "making him into a hero" that there was no shortage of people eager to offer a vehement defense of him, against these wrong-doers?)

(c) I'm not sure how much of a pedestal it is putting him on to say he was good at what he did -- reporting on the Right -- and to the extent that it is a pedestal to say so, it is one he deserves.

I think that the language most people use to describe heroes and to describe martyrs tends to be pretty similar, hence the confusion. But the basic point coming from the pro-Weigel blogosphere was that he had been wronged. Compliments directed at Weigel tended to be subservient to that point.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 09:20 PM
I think that the language most people use to describe heroes and to describe martyrs tends to be pretty similar, hence the confusion. But the basic point coming from the pro-Weigel blogosphere was that he had been wronged. Compliments directed at Weigel tended to be subservient to that point.

Argh. This is one of those annoying disagreements where we're talking about fuzzy words. Nonetheless, I shall disagree.

First, I am not buying your assertion that Weigel was widely portrayed as a "martyr" any more than I bought PMP's assertion that he was widely portrayed as a "hero." This seems to me either like hyperbole to claim that the odd blog post here or there was representative of the consensus tone, or it is a further cheapening of terms that, granted, have already been sorely devalued by overuse. I will grant that some people -- me, for example -- saw him as a canonical example of what we've come to in this country, as far as the Wingnut Fauxtrage Machine and the utter spinelessness in the face of it that our So-Called Liberal Media chronically displays.

I will accept that a lot of people said he was "wronged." This does not seem to be a particularly heated thing to say; in fact, I'm hard-pressed to think of a milder way to put it, once you are going to have any opinion on the events at all, and your opinions are something other than Villager schadenfreude or RealConservative™ war whoops.

I don't accept your last sentence, or maybe I don't understand what you're trying to say there. Assuming I've more or less got it, though, I think you're thinking of a blog post that led with "this is a shame" or "the WaPo sucks" and then moved on to talk about why this was a bad decision, with the supporting argument that Weigel has a long track record as a good reporter. And if that's right, I think "subservient" is a poor word choice, because it's too loaded and it sounds belittling. The most important part of this story is that something stupid was allowed to happen; the pertinence of Weigel's chops falls under the heading of "it shouldn't even be necessary to say this, but ..."

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-05-2010, 11:10 PM
Apologies for somehow missing this the other day. Responding to the points where we're still short of an understanding:

Sorry, but I don't understand what this referred to. No matter, probably; just letting you know why I am not responding.

Um, we had an exchange about whether I personally mouth off to friends over email when I'm frustrated. I said I didn't recall doing so, and you said I would either going to change as I aged or if not, I'd be a very strange person. So I was basically saying, 'let's wait and see.'

Welp, you've got your perspective and you're sticking to it. For the record, I will note (repeat?) the following.

(a) I did not get the sense that people were talking about him as a hero. This is too minor a point for me to demand links and blockquotes, so I'll just leave my objection there.

(b) I do think he was wronged, by the right-wing noise machine, but more importantly by the Villagers (especially Goldblog), and more importantly still, by his employer. (Maybe you mean by "making him into a hero" that there was no shortage of people eager to offer a vehement defense of him, against these wrong-doers?)

(c) I'm not sure how much of a pedestal it is putting him on to say he was good at what he did -- reporting on the Right -- and to the extent that it is a pedestal to say so, it is one he deserves.

I think I saw a lot of posts that did something more than this. They put him on the pedestal of being not only a good reporter but a kind of poster child for the blogosphere at large, and for what the ethics of blogging are. And I think that's a bit much. The WaPo is often badly managed, but not everything they do has to become a new front in the old media-new media wars.

(d) I think it is unfair to call him foolish for having an expectation of privacy, and more to the point, for him to have expected that anyone would work that hard to make his idle snark into a mountain of outrage, even if it did get read outside the listserv. I will point out that when people like TwinSwords and me try to call attention to the hysterical and non-stop efforts of the wingnuts to work the refs and to portray themselves as victims of a liberal media conspiracy, we are often shushed by others on this board who think we're exaggerating or cherry-picking.

...Effectively, you are not too far from looking to justify after the fact his burning at the stake by a mob of lunatics by pointing out ways in which he failed to be perfect.

We disagree here, and probably won't come to agreement, about how much one should expect in terms of privacy online and how much one should self-censor to protect against it. I think people should be more cautious in their language than Dave was, so I see his comments as foolish.

Note also, I've said I don't think he should have been fired. But that is not the same as thinking his behavior was okay or well advised. I don't see the issue is such binary terms that to criticize one party is to automatically take the side of the other.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 12:57 AM
Apologies for somehow missing this the other day. Responding to the points where we're still short of an understanding:



Um, we had an exchange about whether I personally mouth off to friends over email when I'm frustrated. I said I didn't recall doing so, and you said I would either going to change as I aged or if not, I'd be a very strange person. So I was basically saying, 'let's wait and see.'

Okay. Thanks for the clarification.

I think I saw a lot of posts that did something more than this.

Again, I don't think it's worth arguing about, but I really have no interest in discussing it if you're just going to make vague generalizations without any examples.

They put him on the pedestal of being not only a good reporter but a kind of poster child for the blogosphere at large, and for what the ethics of blogging are.

I would say that to the extent that I saw ethics discussed, it was much more often reportorial, not blogger, ethics; in particular, the Very Idea that someone would bill himself as being good at covering a group when he didn't share their every last view or admire each and every one of their crazies. I'm not sure why so many fainting couches took so many hits from people apparently encountering for the first time that someone might have a few private thoughts about specific events or people or whatever, and I think that was the irritation many other friends and supporters of Weigel shared. Especially as the two groups doing most of the yelling were (1) aging old-media types who pride themselves on their professional skill of being able to report objectively, and (2) wingnuts who spend every other waking minute gnashing their teeth at how horrible it is that people covering the White House might like Obama.

And I think that's a bit much. The WaPo is often badly managed, but not everything they do has to become a new front in the old media-new media wars.

Tell it to the wingnuts. They won't listen, of course, because they make everything a front in the culture wars, particularly as it has to do with any form of media, down to popcorn movies and lower, but you're scolding the wrong group when you wag your finger at people who are sick of the WaPo knuckling under to the howlers and becoming an ever-crappier paper without the slightest indication that they care about that.

We disagree here, and probably won't come to agreement, about how much one should expect in terms of privacy online and how much one should self-censor to protect against it. I think people should be more cautious in their language than Dave was, so I see his comments as foolish.

Again, this is largely irrelevant, at least to me. You're talking about this in terms of getting caught, as though there was something to be caught about, and I only care about the wild overreaction, and the complete lack of support from his employer, that Weigel was faced with after remarks from off-the-record, off-the-clock conversations got published, by his enemies. without context, and without his consent.

Note also, I've said I don't think he should have been fired. But that is not the same as thinking his behavior was okay or well advised. I don't see the issue is such binary terms that to criticize one party is to automatically take the side of the other.

I don't think it has to be binary, either. But I do think you're way over on the wrong side on most aspects of this I've heard you speak to. Glad to hear you say you don't think he should have been fired, though. I suppose that's something, moot though it now is.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 01:30 AM
Again, I don't think it's worth arguing about, but I really have no interest in discussing it if you're just going to make vague generalizations without any examples.

I would say that to the extent that I saw ethics discussed, it was much more often reportorial, not blogger, ethics; in particular, the Very Idea that someone would bill himself as being good at covering a group when he didn't share their every last view or admire each and every one of their crazies. I'm not sure why so many fainting couches took so many hits from people apparently encountering for the first time that someone might have a few private thoughts about specific events or people or whatever, and I think that was the irritation many other friends and supporters of Weigel shared. Especially as the two groups doing most of the yelling were (1) aging old-media types who pride themselves on their professional skill of being able to report objectively, and (2) wingnuts who spend every other waking minute gnashing their teeth at how horrible it is that people covering the White House might like Obama.

I think your analysis of the coverage is pretty astute, actually. But I think that there's an undertone of 'dumb old media slams blogger' in some (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/re-dave-weigel/) of the (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/weigel-wapo-and-the-tracy-flickization-of-public-life/58748/) posts that is different from simply defending reportorial ethics, because it brings the media form and the format the reporter works in into the picture. I just don't think that was necessary.

Tell it to the wingnuts. They won't listen, of course, because they make everything a front in the culture wars, particularly as it has to do with any form of media, down to popcorn movies and lower, but you're scolding the wrong group when you wag your finger at people who are sick of the WaPo knuckling under to the howlers and becoming an ever-crappier paper without the slightest indication that they care about that.

Again: just because the hard right does something worse, does not, in my mind, negate smaller mistakes made elsewhere on the political spectrum. I have a tendency to judge people's actions individually, rather than relative to those they act against or with. So, in this situation, I basically cry 'a pox on everyone,' even if the vehemence of my reaction is not evenly distributed. I've chosen to focus on Weigel's flaws in this thread because, when I joined the thread, there did not seem to be anyone articulating the points I wanted to make about him. Whereas whatever points I may want to make about other players (the hard right has gone off the deep end, the WaPo made the wrong call) had already been voiced.

Again, this is largely irrelevant, at least to me. You're talking about this in terms of getting caught, as though there was something to be caught about, and I only care about the wild overreaction, and the complete lack of support from his employer, that Weigel was faced with after remarks from off-the-record, off-the-clock conversations got published, by his enemies. without context, and without his consent.

See above. I'm trying to make an assessment of Weigel's actions without reference to what happened afterwards. In other words, I pretty much think all the members of J-List who haven't been exposed are also foolish, because (like Osmium said somewhere else on the forum), I think trusting a mechanism like J-List was foolish. That is separate from my assessment of how people (the right-o-sphere or the WaPo) reacted to the leak. You are judging Weigel's action in context, and therefore uninterested in the question I raise, because the reaction was so fierce, which is fine, and perhaps more normal. It's just not how I think. That's why we keep talking past each other.

listener
07-06-2010, 02:03 AM
On a related note, Ann Althouse is a conservative (http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/06/more-weigel).

Funny post. I like the coinage "integritude." It belongs right up there with "truthiness." Have you seen that term used before, or might it be Lemieux's invention?

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 02:31 AM
I think your analysis of the coverage is pretty astute, actually.

Thanks.

But I think that there's an undertone of 'dumb old media slams blogger' in some (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/06/re-dave-weigel/) of the (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/weigel-wapo-and-the-tracy-flickization-of-public-life/58748/) posts that is different from simply defending reportorial ethics, because it brings the media form and the format the reporter works in into the picture. I just don't think that was necessary.

Okay. If you want now to talk specific examples, that's good. I can sort of see what you might be saying here, but I would like you to flesh out your argument a bit more, rather than just pointing to the posts and expecting me to extract the part(s) that might support your claim. If you're up for it.

Or maybe you just mean there's a tone, and it's not really a specific passage or passages. If that is the case, then I will say this about your first example post: I think Matt makes a good guess about the fossils at the WaPo thinking, first, that they were hiring someone to "balance" Ezra Klein, and second, that Hey, lookit us, we're totally on top of this new media thing that the kids all like. A fine piece of work, by us! Two boxes checked! Let's go to Sally Quinn's for cocktails and self-congratulations!

I think that there is an extensive collection of precedents that lend credence to Matt's suspicion regarding the WaPo in particular and old farts at major newspapers in general. I don't think he claims to have anything more than an informed suspicion.

I will stipulate to the strong possibility that Dave may have helped them to think these things, that he would be "balancing librul Ezra" and "bringing the new media kewlness" when he was trying to get them to create this position for him. He certainly seemed to be doing so in his diavlogs here, while he was still at the Washington Independent and giving the vibe that he was looking to move up to the next level -- all that stuff about "I don't go in for 'point and laugh' coverage," etc. On the other hand, I think he was as sincere about this as anyone is when talking about where he or she would like his or her career to go next.

However, if you're going to talk about what was "necessary" for Matt to say, then I am going to go Econ 101 on you for a moment and say "apart from food and water and a very few other things required to sustain life, there are no necessities." I know you don't mean it literally, but you've got to pick a better word. Saying something is "not necessary" is the way parents or schoolteachers talk to children when they're simultaneously trying to get across the concept of The Indoor Voice. (cf. "Paul Krugman is Shrill.")

Moving on from yet another of my myriads of usage pet peeves, I would say that Matt chose in that post to focus on one highly non-trivial aspect of what contributed to the dynamics of the Weigel situation. I think he was making a good, informed guess about it, and I believe that given where he is coming from, it is completely understandable that he would care most along the lines that he did.

You seem to be attracted to a model of reporting that is more old-school than the one Matt is, so I can see to some degree why you think what he had to say about proverbial Old Media would be "unnecessary." However, I think you're wrong if you believe that what should matter most in a complex conflict situation should be the same for all observers.

I'm not going to try to talk about Julian's post under the same assumption (that all you are talking about is tone). It's too rich and too multi-faceted a post for me to want to do that, so I will ask you to be more specific with this one if you want to discuss it further.

Again: just because the hard right does something worse, does not, in my mind, negate smaller mistakes made elsewhere on the political spectrum. I have a tendency to judge people's actions individually, rather than relative to those they act against or with. So, in this situation, I basically cry 'a pox on everyone,' even if the vehemence of my reaction is not evenly distributed. I've chosen to focus on Weigel's flaws in this thread because, when I joined the thread, there did not seem to be anyone articulating the points I wanted to make about him. Whereas whatever points I may want to make about other players (the hard right has gone off the deep end, the WaPo made the wrong call) had already been voiced.

Okay, two things here. First, I like your two wrongs don't make a right attitude as a general principle, but there sometimes gets to be a point in a specific case where the lopsidedness makes this bumper sticker less than adequate. We are talking here about a complaint that the kitten isn't completely burying in the litter box, while we are surrounded by a dozen puppies who aren't housebroken. Proportionality matters.

Second, that's fine if you want to take the opposite side because it seemed like the discussion up till then was weighted to one side of the issue. I would suggest, however, that you do one of two things the next time such a situation presents: (a) Make a clear prefatory statement about your intent, and where you're coming from, so that people like me who are already worked up about the issue will be able (maybe!) to calm down and realize that you're more interested in having a discussion in the abstract, playing the devil's advocate, what have you; or (b) expect to have to deal with some typically human tribalism if you don't want to show your cards up front.

I'm not saying you MUST make this choice. I am saying you could probably spare yourself some harsh words directed at you, or if that doesn't matter to you, then you could spare other readers some wasted words that you might be provoking.

See above. I'm trying to make an assessment of Weigel's actions without reference to what happened afterwards. In other words, I pretty much think all the members of J-List who haven't been exposed are also foolish, because (like Osmium said somewhere else on the forum), I think trusting a mechanism like J-List was foolish. That is separate from my assessment of how people (the right-o-sphere or the WaPo) reacted to the leak. You are judging Weigel's action in context, and therefore uninterested in the question I raise, because the reaction was so fierce, which is fine, and perhaps more normal. It's just not how I think. That's why we keep talking past each other.

Yep. And no matter how many times you restate this point, I am sorry to say that I find it trivial on one hand and borderline offensive on another. It is as though you are saying, "Haha -- stupid Dave Wiegel for setting his PIN to his birthday. That someone stole his ATM card and emptied his bank account is therefore in large part his fault. Also, who can blame people for succumbing to the temptation of easy money? Your sense of ethics be damned -- it is only to be expected, so we can hardly say there was anything deplorable about what they did. Now, I'm not saying I was rooting for Dave to be ripped off ..."

Probably best that we just drop discussion of this aspect altogether.

Glad for everything before that, though.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 02:59 AM
Funny post. I like the coinage "integritude." It belongs right up there with "truthiness." Have you seen that term used before, or might it be Lemieux's invention?

Funny you should mention that. It jumped out at me, too, and I said "NICE!," but then I forgot to look it up when I was vaguely trying to decide if I'd seen it before. If I had to say now, without Googling, I'd say that either I must have seen it somewhere before, or Lemieux was so masterful that he could throw down a brand new snarky neologism and get me to understand exactly what he meant, so much so that it seemed familiar.

Given my view of him, I'd say it's at worst 50/50, and if anything, the latter is more likely.

[Added] Just Googled (http://www.google.com/search?q=integritude), and I see from the first page of results that there is a good chance I saw this before, perhaps on maru the crankpot (http://maruthecrankpot.blogspot.com/2009/10/journamalistic-integritude.html)'s slice of the Web.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 03:18 AM
[Added: McArdle, albeit talking about a different case, articulates the general phenomenon (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/29182?in=24:23&out=25:57) we've been discussing.]

Just saw this addition.

To her credit, yes, she was unusually non-idiotic by her usual standards in talking about the never-ending tension between maintaining sources and access versus publishing a scoop. But not too much credit, maybe: didn't the same thing get said many times elsewhere, earlier, by many other people, including your (not-so-)humble servant?

I'm sorry. I know I've gone 'round the bend on McMegan. I can understand if here, as with Weigel, you are looking to push back against the majority view of this forum. But I cannot see such a desire, if that's what's involved, as worthy of you. [Insert something more original than "stopped clock" line here.]

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 03:19 AM
Okay. If you want now to talk specific examples, that's good. I can sort of see what you might be saying here, but I would like you to flesh out your argument a bit more, rather than just pointing to the posts and expecting me to extract the part(s) that might support your claim. If you're up for it.

Or maybe you just mean there's a tone, and it's not really a specific passage or passages. If that is the case, then I will say this about your first example post: I think Matt makes a good guess about the fossils at the WaPo thinking, first, that they were hiring someone to "balance" Ezra Klein, and second, that Hey, lookit us, we're totally on top of this new media thing that the kids all like. A fine piece of work, by us! Two boxes checked! Let's go to Sally Quinn's for cocktails and self-congratulations!

I think that there is an extensive collection of precedents that lend credence to Matt's suspicion regarding the WaPo in particular and old farts at major newspapers in general. I don't think he claims to have anything more than an informed suspicion.

I will stipulate to the strong possibility that Dave may have helped them to think these things, that he would be "balancing librul Ezra" and "bringing the new media kewlness" when he was trying to get them to create this position for him. He certainly seemed to be doing so in his diavlogs here, while he was still at the Washington Independent and giving the vibe that he was looking to move up to the next level -- all that stuff about "I don't go in for 'point and laugh' coverage," etc. On the other hand, I think he was as sincere about this as anyone is when talking about where he or she would like his or her career to go next.

However, if you're going to talk about what was "necessary" for Matt to say, then I am going to go Econ 101 on you for a moment and say "apart from food and water and a very few other things required to sustain life, there are no necessities." I know you don't mean it literally, but you've got to pick a better word. Saying something is "not necessary" is the way parents or schoolteachers talk to children when they're simultaneously trying to get across the concept of The Indoor Voice. (cf. "Paul Krugman is Shrill.")

Moving on, I would say that Matt chose in that post to focus on one highly non-trivial aspect of what contributed to the dynamics of the Weigel situation. I think he was making a good, informed guess about it, and I believe that given where he is coming from, it is completely understandable that he would care most along the lines that he did.

You seem to be attracted to a model of reporting that is more old-school than the one Matt is, so I can see to some degree why you think what he had to say about proverbial Old Media would be "unnecessary." However, I think you're wrong if you believe that what should matter most in a complex conflict situation should be the same for all observers.

I'm not going to try to talk about Julian's post under the same assumption (that all you are talking about is tone). It's too rich and too multi-faceted a post for me to want to do that, so I will ask you to be more specific with this one if you want to discuss it further.

You are basically correct in your analysis of my analysis of the Matt Yglesias post. I'm a more old-school reporter, and yet I blog. So for me, the whole Old Media-New Media divide has always seemed a bit silly and whenever it's trotted out by either side (and I'd include Jeff Goldberg's silly post on the Weigel affair here), I chafe. Re: Yglesias, it is a tonal thing, but the line that brought it out most was the snark at the end about the Post going out of business before Weigel's career ends. Never mind whether that's likely or not. It just did not, as a sentence, contribute anything constructive to the post. Nor did the post, to my mind, contribute much that was constructive to the overall debate over what happened to Dave. I understand why Yglesias thought it was important, but I didn't.

The Sanchez post was indeed rich, and insightful in places. The one paragraph that I found 'unnecessary' was the passage that tackled the subject of Dave-as-blogger:

Part of the problem lies in the shibboleths of modern journalism--and here I find myself in growing agreement with the position Jay Rosen staked out in our BloggingHeads conversation last week. It seemed to many of us that, in hiring folks like Dave and Ezra Klein, the Post had begun to recognize there was something sterile and counterproductive in a set of professional norms that conflated fairness and objectivity with the sort of personal paucity of opinions that could never be expected of any engaged observer with a functioning brainstem. We all understood that any thinking reporter had to eventually form some conclusions about the topics they covered consistently, and that pretending otherwise was just that--pretense. Dave fused reporting chops on par with the best of the legacy press with an ethos brought from new media, one that effectively said: What if I respect the reader's intelligence and don't pretend to be an empty shell? What if I'm up front about where I'm coming from, on the assumption that being honest about what you think ought to confer more credibility than pretending you don't think at all? His new gig at the Post suggested that they got this--apparently not.

Now my issue with this goes back to something we discussed elsewhere on this thread. I AGREE that reporters should be upfront about biases, instead of feigning objectivity, but that covers how they behave in their public writings, blogs, tweets etc., as well as what they tell their sources, which we discussed earlier. And when I brought that up, we were discussing how sources or readers might see Weigel's emails in light of his work.

Sanchez is discussing a different component of the issue: how the POST's editors should respond to Weigel. And he is attributing their decision to their discomfort with opinionated reporters in general, and that discomfort, in turn, to the medium in which they work. Firstly, the approach to opinion that Sanchez attributes to new media predates the internet: it has been the reporting code of magazine writers for decades. Secondly, it's not clear to me that the POST's decision (erroneous, as I've said) was a reaction against his having opinions rather than a knee jerk response to the embarrassment of the leak and the storm it created. Moreover, this argument that Sanchez makes--which I disagree with for the above reasons--does not add anything essential to the other--fascinating--points in his post. So again, it seemed unnecessary.

Second, that's fine if you want to take the opposite side because it seemed like the discussion up till then was weighted to the one side of the issue. I would suggest, however, that you do one of two things the next time such a situation presents: (a) Make a clear prefatory statement about your intent, and where you're coming from, so that people like me who are already worked up about the issue will be able (maybe!) to calm down and realize that you're more interested in having a discussion in the abstract, playing the devil's advocate, what have you; or (b) expect to have to deal with some typically human tribalism if you don't want to show your cards up front.

Fair point. Will be clearer next time.

Probably best that we just drop discussion of this aspect altogether.

Glad for everything before that, though.

Yep. I see where you stand on the emails, I think you see where I stand. We disagree fundamentally, but we understand each other as best we can. Subject dropped.

And I too am glad for the rest of the exchange.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 05:10 AM
Huh. I think we are approaching the situation someone else identified in another thread -- JimM47, I think -- the vehemence characteristic of small distinctions.

You are basically correct in your analysis of my analysis of the Matt Yglesias post. I'm a more old-school reporter, and yet I blog. So for me, the whole Old Media-New Media divide has always seemed a bit silly and whenever it's trotted out by either side (and I'd include Jeff Goldberg's silly post on the Weigel affair here), I chafe. Re: Yglesias, it is a tonal thing, but the line that brought it out most was the snark at the end about the Post going out of business before Weigel's career ends. Never mind whether that's likely or not. It just did not, as a sentence, contribute anything constructive to the post. Nor did the post, to my mind, contribute much that was constructive to the overall debate over what happened to Dave. I understand why Yglesias thought it was important, but I didn't.

Okay, if you can understand why it was important to Matt, then my words will probably be superfluous, but I saw that closing line as the furthest thing from snark. I saw it as a bold statement -- a prediction he was willing to go on the record as making. Throwing down the [expletive deleted] gauntlet, even. He was pounding his shoe on the table and hollering We will BURY you.

Which proves that Matt Yglesias is just like Khrushchev, and therefore Stalin. Oh, wait. Not the point I wanted to end up at ...

So, okay. Matt (and I, to a somewhat lesser degree) see the style of blended commentary and politics-and-policy reporting from an obvious perspective that he does well, that Think Progress and Media Matters do well, that TPM does well, that Steve Benen does well, as ... if not THE wave of the future, than at least A wave, and a very big one. I think Matt (and I) see the likes of Matt Bai and Adam Nagourney (I know the NYT better than the WaPo as far as political analysis reporting goes) as recognized as close to absurd at this point. I'm not saying those two guys, or lots of other older-school reporters are useless, but I am saying that the only very slight caricature of them, due to Paul Krugman, is dead-on: if the Flat Earth Society did a big splashy presentation at the National Press Club, these guys would write an article headlined, "Shape of Our Planet: Views Differ."

I want to make clear that I think there will always be a place for a form of reporting that prizes objectivity. I want even more to make clear that I think Dave Weigel tried his damnedest to live up to that ideal, when he was wearing his "Right Now" hat. And I want finally to make clear that I believe that at some point, on a given issue, there becomes apparent degrees of how sensible or reasonable various views are, and the truly fine reporter does not shy from making the call. He or she does not just consult the Rolodex for a sound bite from Teh Other Side. He or she reports how he or she came to a conclusion, offers support for it, and moves on. To pick some examples: Birfers are nuts, and probably racists. Anti-17thers are comically self-refuting. Andrew Breitbart is a whore for attention, and has no other core motivations. Glenn Beck is in it for the money and the warm fuzzies of a bellowing crowd, period. And like that.

The Sanchez post was indeed rich, and insightful in places. The one paragraph that I found 'unnecessary' was the passage that tackled the subject of Dave-as-blogger:

[...]

Now my issue with this goes back to something we discussed elsewhere on this thread. I AGREE that reporters should be upfront about biases, instead of feigning objectivity, ...

Let me interrupt to say that I have a bit of a problem with this statement. I am not comfortable with saying a reporter should be required to be "upfront about biases," full stop. I think it is unreasonable to ask this -- it edges dangerously close to thoughtcrime territory, for one thing -- and I think it is well nigh impossible to do, even if I didn't have my previous objection.

Two reasons: First, essentially no one can state completely where he or she is coming from. I am unsure what I think about some things I think about all the time, and I know I have no idea what I think about all things that could conceivably arise were I to be in a position of reporting on something where I was trying to learn about, to keep an open mind, to pass along impressions to my readers, and so forth. Can't do it, and the more detailed you get in trying, the more likely you are to overlook something that will become THE bugaboo for some particular episode.

Which brings me to my second reason for thinking disclosure of all biases is impossible.

If you've spent any time looking at the sort of OUTRAGE that the wingnuts can gin up about the most amazing things, you have to acknowledge, I think, that the old military saw applies well: No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. Here, I am not saying The Right is The Enemy; I am saying that the sliver of the far right who dine out on finding examples of Liberal Bias In The Media are the enemy of normal people just trying to report and analyze the news. (Or consume it, for that matter.) They start with the unshakable assumption that Of Course The Media Is Liberally Biased, and they seine everything through that. No matter how hard you try to be upfront, you will never be able to conceive of the howling that will ensue because, say, you're reporting on environmental issues associated with plastic manufacturing, but you DIDN'T DISCLOSE THAT WHEN YOU WERE ON THE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL SWIM TEAM, YOU WORE BATHING CAPS MADE IN CHINA, NOT TAIWAN, AND WHAT AGENDA ARE YOU REALLY HIDING ANYWAY?

I honestly do not think I am exaggerating. Read Newsbusters for a month and tell me I'm wrong. And they're practically the mainstream, as far as watchdogs of Teh Liebrul Media go. Or, just go skim the last twenty posts from harkin.

To conclude: as far as disclosure goes, I think reporters should work their asses off to reveal potential conflicts of interest. That is something more concrete, probably more limited in scope and therefore achievable, and likely closer to being empirically verifiable or deniable. Trying to be upfront about "biases" just seems Sisyphean to me. Reporters should do their level best to be clear about conflicts of interest, and then everyone else should unclutch the pearls and judge the reporter on his or her work, the end.

Okay, sorry for interrupting. I will re-paste the last few words of the blockquote above, for context. (And I now see that due to the character limit, I will be doing this in the next post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168379#post168379).)

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 05:11 AM
(Continued from here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168378#post168378).)

I AGREE that reporters should be upfront about biases, instead of feigning objectivity, but that covers how they behave in their public writings, blogs, tweets etc., as well as what they tell their sources, which we discussed earlier. And when I brought that up, we were discussing how sources or readers might see Weigel's emails in light of his work.

I do not deny that everything that comes to light is going to inform subjects or readers of a reporter, like it or not. I think it is "fair game," to work an overworked phrase, for complaining people to bring to the table tweets, blog posts, forum comments, and the like. Just as with, in the old days, say, speeches given to some interest group or another, and what was said there. I think that this is part of the cost, in reality, of being a reporter -- you have to decide how much you want to let loose outside your day job, because it could come back and bite you at any time. Sucks, but that's life.

I do not at all agree that reporters are obliged to tell their sources "everything," whatever that might mean, and see above for why I think "everything" is a fool's goal. For another thing, the sources sure aren't being 100% transparent. For still another, no one has that right to demand this extreme. I'd observe, for example, that we all the time hire people to carry lethal weapons and give them de facto extrajudicial authority without knowing the first thing about their political views or what they say when they're with friends.

So, to summarize, I believe a reporter should be judged on his or her past work and on how well he or she reports the current story, and that ought to be about the end of it. (This is distinct from certain kinds of willful misrepresentation, I hope you understand.)

Now, as far as the publishing of Weigel's Journolist blatherings are concerned: the cat was out of the bag, and to some degree, there is no denying (without having to contradict what I wrote above, I mean) that people are going to modify their assessments, given this new information.

However, were I Dave's closest drinking buddy, I would say to him, after the leaked stuff had been published: "Whether you fucked up or you got burned is largely immaterial. What matters now is that you are the target of some agitators trying to work a mob up into the frenzy of a witch hunt, and there are only two relevant questions: Will you stand up to them, and will your bosses?"

See, I don't think Dave's saying "Drudge should set himself on fire" or "I hope he fails" (about Rush) or whatever has anything to do with his ability to do his job. This was more like a revelation that, say, he likes to dress up like the Great Pumpkin and have sex with someone holding a blanket. Or whatever. Most people who learn something like this is aren't soon going to forget it, and a small fraction of people will try to make it into a Huge Deal, but it really has nothing to do with how well he can do his job. Reasonable people -- defined here as the overwhelming majority -- can see this, at least eventually. What should have happened is that those in power to make decisions -- including Dave himself -- should have stuck it out for the time necessary for that realization to dawn.

So ...

Sanchez is discussing a different component of the issue: how the POST's editors should respond to Weigel. And he is attributing their decision to their discomfort with opinionated reporters in general, and that discomfort, in turn, to the medium in which they work. Firstly, the approach to opinion that Sanchez attributes to new media predates the internet: it has been the reporting code of magazine writers for decades. Secondly, it's not clear to me that the POST's decision (erroneous, as I've said) was a reaction against his having opinions rather than a knee jerk response to the embarrassment of the leak and the storm it created. Moreover, this argument that Sanchez makes--which I disagree with for the above reasons--does not add anything essential to the other--fascinating--points in his post. So again, it seemed unnecessary.

... I must once again disagree with your conclusion, even if I pretty much accept what led up to it. The WaPo brass should have stood up for their employee, and they showed by not doing so that they did not have a spine, were looking to get out of having Dave work for them because they'd misunderstood what he was offering and they were after, or both. So, I don't see what Julian said there as unnecessary; in fact, I see it much as I saw Matt's conclusion: this is drawing the line in the sand. This is a defining moment to do with how Julian and Matt see journalism evolving, and whether you like their vision or even whether you believe it's conceivable, I think you have to be able to see that they weren't just being wiseass juice box kiddies.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 05:34 AM
I am by some miracle still awake, and making notes. Crazy me.

Okay, if you can understand why it was important to Matt, then my words will probably be superfluous, but I saw that closing line as the furthest thing from snark. I saw it as a bold statement -- a prediction he was willing to go on the record as making. Throwing down the [expletive deleted] gauntlet, even. He was pounding his shoe on the table and hollering We will BURY you.

I am actually agnostic about whether the WaPo will survive longer than Dave Weigel. I've entered this business with absolutely no clue where it's headed and generally suspicious of anyone, old media or new, who tells me they can see the future. My issue with Matt's post isn't the content of his prediction, but simply that he thought to describe the Weigel affair as an incident within the old media vs. new media wars, when I don't see it as such.

... I must once again disagree with your conclusion, even if I pretty much accept what led up to it. The WaPo brass should have stood up for their employee, and they showed by not doing so that they did not have a spine, were looking to get out of having Dave work for them because they'd misunderstood what he was offering and they were after, or both. So, I don't see what Julian said there as unnecessary; in fact, I see it much as I saw Matt's conclusion: this is drawing the line in the sand. This is a defining moment to do with how Julian and Matt see journalism evolving, and whether you like their vision or even whether you believe it's conceivable, I think you have to be able to see that they weren't just being wiseass juice box kiddies.

Again, I don't doubt that Julian is serious here, nor do I disagree with the contention that the WaPo behaved idiotically. But I don't see how their status as a legacy outfit EXPLAINS their idiocy, and therefore arguments like this strike me as turning the Weigel affair into a proxy for a separate set of issues. To me they're just 'stupid editors,' not 'stupid print editors.'

As for the issues about appropriate disclosure and such, I thought we'd handled those in our earlier exchange. But I will clarify: in my view, you don't have to say everything, because that's impossible, but you should make sure that your readers, your editors AND your sources know in general where you are coming from. I think the place we disagree is on how to handle disclosure to sources, but we've already been through that.

listener
07-06-2010, 09:23 AM
Funny you should mention that. It jumped out at me, too, and I said "NICE!," but then I forgot to look it up when I was vaguely trying to decide if I'd seen it before. If I had to say now, without Googling, I'd say that either I must have seen it somewhere before, or Lemieux was so masterful that he could throw down a brand new snarky neologism and get me to understand exactly what he meant, so much so that it seemed familiar.

Given my view of him, I'd say it's at worst 50/50, and if anything, the latter is more likely.

[Added] Just Googled (http://www.google.com/search?q=integritude), and I see from the first page of results that there is a good chance I saw this before, perhaps on maru the crankpot (http://maruthecrankpot.blogspot.com/2009/10/journamalistic-integritude.html)'s slice of the Web.

Thanks for doing the research!

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 03:05 PM
Thanks for doing the research!

Heh. Delighted.

JoeK
07-06-2010, 03:22 PM
Here (http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/district-of-corruption/how-to-make-it-as-a-paleo-in-washington/) you can read one of the more interesting articles on Dave Weigel affair. It’s written by Richard Spencer, the charismatic founder of Alternative Right. He used to know Weigel.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 04:21 PM
I am by some miracle still awake, and making notes. Crazy me.

And by implication, crazy me, too? (But I think that has already been established.)

I am actually agnostic about whether the WaPo will survive longer than Dave Weigel.

Agree it's hard to say. I would not bet against Matt's prediction, though. I'd also say that the only way I'd bet on the WaPo's long-term survival is if I saw at least one of three things happen: they get bought by someone who doesn't care about making money, they make some rather significant changes in attitude about understanding and adapting to new demands and tastes among news consumers, or they weather the next few years, and get lucky, in that consumer tastes change again, so that there is a resurgence in demand for what they're currently selling.

Or maybe a fourth -- they just keep sliding down the slope that they're on, and eventually stop kidding themselves that they're anything but an organ for the political establishment and hawkish/conservative views. Maybe they even merge with the Washington Times.

As I see it, without something changing, they going to continue to get their lunches eaten on at least three fronts: The Politico is better than them at being a tip/breaking news/gossip/insider sheet, as far as Beltway people are concerned; the NYT is better than them at being a mainstream news source/"paper of record;" and high quality opinion journalism is so readily available in so many places that their stable of brand-name op-ed writers appeals only to old people who like the comfort of familiar things -- they don't bring in new readers, I strongly suspect. (Except snarkers, who rely on Krauthammer, Cohen, and Broder for easy lulz.) Given the indisputable fragmentation of the news biz already going on, they have to find something to be best at to be able to last, it seems to me, and I don't think one needs a crystal ball to make that judgment.

I've entered this business with absolutely no clue where it's headed and generally suspicious of anyone, old media or new, who tells me they can see the future.

That seems healthy. Of course you would not want to close off any paths for yourself. I also think it's likely that, say, taking a job at the WaPo, even if it's only for a year or three, could do nothing but help your career. But at some point, a zealous insistence that no one can possibly have the slightest idea where the WaPo or the news media in general are going seems equally foolish. Some people are smart about these things (Matt may not be among them, although I'd say he at least knows more than I do), and there's also the phenomenon that once enough people start making the same prediction, it's hard for it not to become self-fulfilling. I would say the WaPo's rep is starting to look tattered among people who grew up with newspapers, and worse, my impression is that most people significantly younger than me spend very little time even thinking about the WaPo. I think that looking at all the good and very good newspapers that have been struggling lately, if indeed not folding altogether, plus listening to the never-ending tales of woe from older professional writers (just on this site alone, come to that), and not taking any sort of informed warning from these would be ... ostrich-like at the very least.

Of course I do not think we will get to a point where the entire news biz shrivels up. But I do think the safe bet is to plan for rather significant changes -- the old institutions and traditions are going to have to evolve in some ways or they'll be in a position of fighting it out with each other for an ever-shrinking audience. I don't like this in a lot of ways -- in my ideal world, every city would have at least two thriving newspapers, and every town at least one, and there would be much more respect for Gray Lady type of work, not to mention serious investigative and watchdog journalism -- but I have come to accept that there is a big difference between what I would like and what really is.

My issue with Matt's post isn't the content of his prediction, but simply that he thought to describe the Weigel affair as an incident within the old media vs. new media wars, when I don't see it as such.

Well, there's no right answer to that. Any time anyone takes an event and sees it as part of a larger context, there is likely something made-up about that.

Nonetheless, I would say that there are a couple of larger struggles going on for which the Weigel Unpleasantness at least serves as a useful symbol. I do share Matt's general view about the OM v. NM thing -- clearly, WaPo management still does not really get blogging, and they clearly are not yet comfortable with solid reporting coming from an admitted perspective, despite the success of their Ezra Klein hire. And the same goes for a lot of the old guard at the journalist level -- Goldblog was not alone, though he was particularly egregious.

The second battle -- and you know this is my personal bugaboo -- is the one that's been going on since at least the Nixon years, in which an active chunk of the right spends an incredible amount of time, energy, and money pushing the notion that we have a Biased Liberal Media Dominating (Ruining) Our Country. It seems to me that a bifurcation is happening in response, and will have to continue to happen: some outfits will spine up and stop cowering in face of the wingnut whinging, others will say, "All right, since you've decided we're irrevocably Liberal, we're going to embrace that label and stop trying to appeal to the entire political spectrum of news consumers."

I would say, also, that I suspect you are strongly inclined to deny anything that smacks of these "wars," especially the first, just because of what you want to do for your work. Not saying you're therefore necessarily wrong about how Matt and much of the leftosphere sees the Weigel thing, but I do think it is a tendency to remind yourself of from time to time.

Again, I don't doubt that Julian is serious here, nor do I disagree with the contention that the WaPo behaved idiotically. But I don't see how their status as a legacy outfit EXPLAINS their idiocy, and therefore arguments like this strike me as turning the Weigel affair into a proxy for a separate set of issues. To me they're just 'stupid editors,' not 'stupid print editors.'

I accept your closing distinction, and I agree, pretty much, with your dispute about the WaPo's being a legacy outfit sufficing to explain their bad behavior. But who and what they are and where they're coming from had some effect on forming the decision-making process they demonstrated, I think.

As for the issues about appropriate disclosure and such, I thought we'd handled those in our earlier exchange. But I will clarify: in my view, you don't have to say everything, because that's impossible, but you should make sure that your readers, your editors AND your sources know in general where you are coming from. I think the place we disagree is on how to handle disclosure to sources, but we've already been through that.

I can probably let it go at that.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 04:54 PM
And by implication, crazy me, too? (But I think that has already been established.)

Aren't you in another time zone? Because it was nearly 6 am when I was writing you.

Agree it's hard to say. I would not bet against Matt's prediction, though. I'd also say that the only way I'd bet on the WaPo's long-term survival is if I saw at least one of three things happen: they get bought by someone who doesn't care about making money, they make some rather significant changes in attitude about understanding and adapting to new demands and tastes among news consumers, or they weather the next few years, and get lucky, in that consumer tastes change again, so that there is a resurgence in demand for what they're currently selling.

Or maybe a fourth -- they just keep sliding down the slope that they're on, and eventually stop kidding themselves that they're anything but an organ for the political establishment and hawkish/conservative views. Maybe they even merge with the Washington Times.

As I see it, without something changing, they going to continue to get their lunches eaten on at least three fronts: The Politico is better than them at being a tip/breaking news/gossip/insider sheet, as far as Beltway people are concerned; the NYT is better than them at being a mainstream news source/"paper of record;" and high quality opinion journalism is so readily available in so many places that their stable of brand-name op-ed writers appeals only to old people who like the comfort of familiar things -- they don't bring in new readers, I strongly suspect. (Except snarkers, who rely on Krauthammer, Cohen, and Broder for easy lulz.) Given the indisputable fragmentation of the news biz already going on, they have to find something to be best at to be able to last, it seems to me, and I don't think one needs a crystal ball to make that judgment.

I think there's merit to all of this. One way the WaPo could be successful is to best the NYT at big picture political analysis, something that the blogs don't always excel at, because their time horizon is shorter. The Times (or at least, the Times magazine) is good at those, but not as good as they are at other things (international coverage, mostly), so there is room for someone else to exercise an advantage in national political coverage. I also think the theory that these publications will eventually go nonprofit (or at into a hybrid Guardian-style model) seems very plausible.

That seems healthy. Of course you would not want to close off any paths for yourself. I also think it's likely that, say, taking a job at the WaPo, even if it's only for a year or three, could do nothing but help your career. But at some point, a zealous insistence that no one can possibly have the slightest idea where the WaPo or the news media in general are going seems equally foolish. Some people are smart about these things (Matt may not be among them, although I'd say he at least knows more than I do), and there's also the phenomenon that once enough people start making the same prediction, it's hard for it not to become self-fulfilling. I would say the WaPo's rep is starting to look tattered among people who grew up with newspapers, and worse, my impression is that most people significantly younger than me spend very little time even thinking about the WaPo. I think that looking at all the good and very good newspapers that have been struggling lately, if indeed not folding altogether, plus listening to the never-ending tales of woe from older professional writers (just on this site alone, come to that), and not taking any sort of informed warning from these would be ... ostrich-like at the very least.

Of course I do not think we will get to a point where the entire news biz shrivels up. But I do think the safe bet is to plan for rather significant changes -- the old institutions and traditions are going to have to evolve in some ways or they'll be in a position of fighting it out with each other for an ever-shrinking audience. I don't like this in a lot of ways -- in my ideal world, every city would have at least two thriving newspapers, and every town at least one, and there would be much more respect for Gray Lady type of work, not to mention serious investigative and watchdog journalism -- but I have come to accept that there is a big difference between what I would like and what really is.

True. If I'm going to abandon my zealous neutrality (and at some point, I will, to be sure), Matt Yglesias' predictions aren't likely to influence me. I spend much more time following bloggers who cover media specifically for that sort of thing. And so far, they seem to be predicting about 8 outcomes at once, so I'm holding out.

Well, there's no right answer to that. Any time anyone takes an event and sees it as part of a larger context, there is likely something made-up about that.

Nonetheless, I would say that there are a couple of larger struggles going on for which the Weigel Unpleasantness at least serves as a useful symbol. I do share Matt's general view about the OM v. NM thing -- clearly, WaPo management still does not really get blogging, and they clearly are not yet comfortable with solid reporting coming from an admitted perspective, despite the success of their Ezra Klein hire. And the same goes for a lot of the old guard at the journalist level -- Goldblog was not alone, though he was particularly egregious.

The second battle -- and you know this is my personal bugaboo -- is the one that's been going on since at least the Nixon years, in which an active chunk of the right spends an incredible amount of time, energy, and money pushing the notion that we have a Biased Liberal Media Dominating (Ruining) Our Country. It seems to me that a bifurcation is happening in response, and will have to continue to happen: some outfits will spine up and stop cowering in face of the wingnut whinging, others will say, "All right, since you've decided we're irrevocably Liberal, we're going to embrace that label and stop trying to appeal to the entire political spectrum of news consumers."

I would say, also, that I suspect you are strongly inclined to deny anything that smacks of these "wars," especially the first, just because of what you want to do for your work. Not saying you're therefore necessarily wrong about how Matt and much of the leftosphere sees the Weigel thing, but I do think it is a tendency to remind yourself of from time to time.

I think you're probably right about my natural inclinations. But I also do have a general suspicion for using these wars as filters for all news that predates my time as a professional reporter. So yeah, I get why lefty bloggers filter news thru these two lenses. I just wish they didn't.

I can probably let it go at that.

So can I.

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 05:19 PM
Here (http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/district-of-corruption/how-to-make-it-as-a-paleo-in-washington/) you can read one of the more interesting articles on Dave Weigel affair. It’s written by Richard Spencer, the charismatic founder of Alternative Right. He used to know Weigel.

Seriously? That was an odd swipe at Weigel with a lot weirdly dumb broadsides ("the Left-libertarian Reason magazine"), unsourced argumentative innuendo ("Weigel seemed to have discovered that the Hard Right offered few employment options -- whereas the liberal establishment offered many") all leavened with a swirl of assertions that seem to have no real point, except to smear Weigel while simulataneously damning him with faint praise. ("I don’t think his harsh opinions of Rush and the movement much affected his craft. As journalists who reported extensively on the Marcus Epstein Saga go, Weigel was by far the most “fair and balanced.” He is, in fact, one of the few reporters in Washington to take conservatives seriously, and not just treat them as deluded or pathological. What’s telling here is that Weigel was actually filing reports on the misconduct of Marcus Epstein -- and feeding liberal fantasies about a crazed racist in a position of power in the conservative movement.")

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2010, 05:28 PM
And yet, as in so many other posts from both sides of the political aisle, the takeaway is STILL that Wiegel covered the right (did his job) as well and as fairly as anyone. Nobody seems to argue that point, which is why the whole thing seems like such fauxtrageous bullshit to me.

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2010, 06:18 PM
Alterman on Weigel/Journolist (http://www.thenation.com/article/36896/conspiracy-so-immense):

But the Post, like so much of the journalistic establishment these days, is extremely wary of this new species of the opinionated blogger and almost comically eager to placate conservatives when they "work the refs." Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander lamented that "Weigel lost his job. But the bigger loss is The Post's standing among conservatives." Raju Narisetti, Weigel's editor, explained in Alexander's post on the topic, "I don't think you need to be a conservative to cover the conservative movement. But you do need to be impartial...in your views." Narisetti went on to suggest that in the future, the paper quiz potential reporters: "In private...have you expressed any opinions that would make it difficult for you to do your job?"

This is pernicious Orwellian nonsense. The Post tolerates—nay, embraces—all kinds of opinions among its reporters. Was it OK to believe that George Bush would never lie to the country about Iraq, torture or pretty much everything else? How about the fact that a presidential blowjob was somehow sufficiently consequential to throw almost all of the paper's rules on sourcing and verification out the window? Weigel's coverage of conservatives was accurate and intelligent, which is more than can be said of the Post's reporting of either of the above. His private musings are none of their business.

Following the takedown of Weigel, Klein made the unavoidable decision to remove this particular weapon of professional destruction from the arsenal of unprincipled employers and dissolved the list; yet another victory for the culturally toxic combination of conservative conspiracy-mongering and mainstream media cowardice.

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 09:59 PM
Weigel v. Frum diavlog coming.

http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17912712717

Just wrapped BloggingHeads with @DavidFrum. Everyone who's criticized us will realize he/she was wrong. #notreally

@rcocean's head's gonna explode.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 10:13 PM
Weigel v. Frum diavlog coming.

http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17912712717


@rcocean's head's gonna explode.

This could be good, but it could also be sort of unsurprising. They were both put out of work, in part, by protests from the same right wing forces, and Frum has posted that he's firmly on Weigel's side in the whole affair. This DV will likely be red meat to some on this forum (bj, Twin, others who abhor the right wing media machine) and bait to others (right of center commenters), but it's not likely to move the needle of opinion. I don't want Weigel to come on with someone who is on the hard right and an opponent of his either, necessarily. Rather, I'd like it if Weigel came on to discuss the affair with someone who did not have any axes to grind in Washington and did not know him at all. Say, one of the academics on the site?

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 10:26 PM
This could be good, but it could also be sort of unsurprising. They were both put out of work, in part, by protests from the same right wing forces, and Frum has posted that he's firmly on Weigel's side in the whole affair. This DV will likely be red meat to some on this forum (bj, Twin, others who abhor the right wing media machine) and bait to others (right of center commenters), but it's not likely to move the needle of opinion. I don't want Weigel to come on with someone who is on the hard right and an opponent of his either, necessarily. Rather, I'd like it if Weigel came on to discuss the affair with someone who did not have any axes to grind in Washington and did not know him at all. Say, one of the academics on the site?

I think it's a great match-up.

The bottom line for me is that they're both good at the format and even if they're each right-of-center, they almost certainly differ in interesting ways. And, they're both gadflies who mean well toward the Republican party, despite the deep wallow of hubris and stupidity that currently enfeebles that party (and which is the source of much of the animus they currently face.)

I'm curious, Prep - can you find anything not to abhor in the right wing media machine, as it currently exists? (I mean the machine itself - not some isolated outpost of sanity lost in the jungle.)

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 10:39 PM
I think it's a great match-up.

The bottom line for me is that they're both good at the format and even if they're each right-of-center, they almost certainly differ in interesting ways. And, they're both gadflies who mean well toward the Republican party, despite the deep wallow of hubris and stupidity that currently enfeebles that party (and which is the source of much of the animus they currently face.)

I'm curious, Prep - can you find anything not to abhor in the right wing media machine, as it currently exists? (I mean the machine itself - not some isolated outpost of sanity lost in the jungle.)

Hmm...I suppose at a crude cynical level, one can admire their effectiveness. But if I'm honest with myself, no, I can't. I just don't abhor them so virulently, or rather, my abhorrence of the right wing media machine ranks fairly low on my overall scale of emotions when I discuss political news. It's just not my number one priority.

Anyway, I like both Frum and Weigel and I'm sure it will be a good DV. But I would have preferred a different DV only because the aspects of the whole Weigel affair I am interested in may not be the ones that rise to the fore in this particular diavlog.

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 10:57 PM
... my abhorrence of the right wing media machine ranks fairly low on my overall scale of emotions when I discuss political news. It's just not my number one priority.

...
I can understand that. I blame a lot of what I have despised in American politics over the last decade and a half on the rise of AM talk, FoxNews, and the Rightosphere. (Not because they're right-wing; I think there's a deep strain of intellectual dishonesty running through these media, and that they represent a rushed race to the bottom.) So, pragmatically, I think, I rank them pretty high on my overall scale of emotions.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 10:59 PM
Aren't you in another time zone? Because it was nearly 6 am when I was writing you.

Given the temperature where I'm at now, in the middle of the night, I think it is safe to say we are all Arizonans now.

I think there's merit to all of this. One way the WaPo could be successful is to best the NYT at big picture political analysis, something that the blogs don't always excel at, because their time horizon is shorter.

I've long thought that about lots of newspapers -- stop trying to beat the blogs at quickness to the punch, stop trying to beat the gossip rags at fluff, and concentrate on the hard stuff that takes actual smart, experienced people. Accept a smaller market share in return for more loyal customers, who, by the way, are likely to be more appealing to advertisers. But so far, most of them seem to think cutting costs for the next fiscal quarter is the smart thing to do, and this tends to work directly opposite to what I'd like to see.

The Times (or at least, the Times magazine) is good at those, but not as good as they are at other things (international coverage, mostly), so there is room for someone else to exercise an advantage in national political coverage.

Agreed. I also wonder why Time and Newsweek haven't figured this out, too -- move toward the real think pieces and stop worrying about the "always-on" aspect of teevee and the Internet.

I also think the theory that these publications will eventually go nonprofit (or at into a hybrid Guardian-style model) seems very plausible.

Could be, and I also think of NPR here, but I wonder how many outfits can be carried under that model. Seems to me that you'd have to worry about chasing a limited pool of donors.

True. If I'm going to abandon my zealous neutrality (and at some point, I will, to be sure), Matt Yglesias' predictions aren't likely to influence me.

Why are you racist against moonfaced Cuban Jews?

;^)

I spend much more time following bloggers who cover media specifically for that sort of thing. And so far, they seem to be predicting about 8 outcomes at once, so I'm holding out.

Heh, no doubt. And then the one who happens to be closest to having guessed right will get to be a guru for the next three years. (Can you say Dow 36,000?)

I think you're probably right about my natural inclinations. But I also do have a general suspicion for using these wars as filters for all news that predates my time as a professional reporter.

Again, I don't think you're wrong to be skeptical. Certainly people can try to make too many things fit through their chosen lenses. But you can err too much in the other direction, too. Being kneejerk skeptical is still being kneejerk. Or, to put it another way, just as some paranoids actually do have enemies, some people who spend a lot of time thinking about OM v. NM, or Culture War X, or whatever may have some useful insights and awareness, in large part because they're paying so much attention.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 11:13 PM
Alterman on Weigel/Journolist (http://www.thenation.com/article/36896/conspiracy-so-immense):

He's the man, isn't he? Thanks for the link. I urge everyone to read the whole thing. (Especially PMP -- with attention paid to the closing paragraph. See? It is not just Matt and Julian and me who think there are larger aspects to this Weigel thing. It is a mistake to say that we are only or even mostly filtering it through our preselected lenses.)

Also, LOL @:

Occasionally sensible conservative David Frum ...

and, responding to the above's hysteria:

Dude, if only I had known... Where, I ask you, is the fun in being part of a Genuinely Sinister Enterprise if all you think you're doing is deleting e-mails about Medicare repayment schemes?

And, more seriously (emph. added):

As a collective we held people's feet to the fire, encouraged excellence, bemoaned administration wimpiness and took numerous opportunities to remind New Republic editors and authors that they work for a reactionary racist lunatic.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-06-2010, 11:30 PM
(Especially PMP -- with attention paid to the closing paragraph. See? It is not just Matt and Julian and me who think there are larger aspects to this Weigel thing. It is a mistake to say that we are only or even mostly filtering it through our preselected lenses.)

Overall, it's a solid post. He argues first that the content of J-List was not especially sinister, which I would wager is true. I still think the whole enterprise was silly (not sinister, just silly), because--as Alterman concedes later in the piece--its ability stay secret was always a bit shaky.

As for the stuff about the Post's idiocy in caving to pressure and reacting to embarrassment in firing him, I agree that it was 'cowardice,' as you already know. It's just the relevance of the Post's status as a dead tree publication in explaining that cowardice that I question.

And, no, I never said that it was just you or Matt or Julian articulating this view. Indeed, we got into that chat BECAUSE I felt it was a widespread view on the blogosphere, and yet, in the face of this widespread application, I still did not find it to be an especially relevant lens. So this post doesn't really change my view.

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 11:31 PM
Here (http://www.alternativeright.com/main/blogs/district-of-corruption/how-to-make-it-as-a-paleo-in-washington/) you can read one of the more interesting articles on Dave Weigel affair. It’s written by Richard Spencer, the charismatic founder of Alternative Right. He used to know Weigel.

Thanks for the link.

Jeff (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168455#post168455) has said some things I would have said. Here's what I'll add.

Weigel’s attacks on Rush and Drudge were personal: he wrote, clearly in jest, that he wished they’d both die.

Kudos to him for the part I bolded. (Although it's kind of sad to think that this acknowledgment of mundane reality has been so rare among those opining from the right that I feel compelled to note it.)

They say that Washington, DC, is Hollywood for the ugly. This strange fascination with Weigel really hammers that maxim home. When I lived there, I quickly discovered two important things about the small, incestuous band of local journalists and activists residing in the beige high-rise hell of Arlington, VA: First, they are all quite proud of the fact that they’ve located themselves near the center of world power; Second, they are uniquely interested in discussing -- indeed, reporting on -- the minutia of one another’s boring personal lives.

And yet, here is our Richard Spencer, wallowing in the very thing he has just condemned as "beige" and "boring" and by strong implication, not worth the attention of any Serious Person.

... a violent left-wing group ... [from context, clearly not Journolist. I think. --bjk]

Who? And how were they violent? So, an accusation without naming a name. Sooooo ... classy.

And on the same note, our Mr. Spencer touches on the whole Marcus Epstein episode in a way that could only be called a whitewash if it weren't so short. Just to set one thing straight for the record: in addition to being charged with a hate crime -- something our Mr. Spencer is ready to melt down about -- he was also charged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Epstein) with simple assault, because, it was reported (http://washingtonindependent.com/45214/tancredo-buchanan-bruised-by-racist-karate-chop) (oddly enough, by someone named Wave Deigel or something like that), he "struck her in the head with an open hand." (Read that whole thing for some other delights from Epstein's earlier Life Among Teh Negroes.)

Jeff already noted this bit ...

At any rate, at some point afterwards, Weigel seemed to have discovered that the Hard Right offered few employment options ...

... but I can't resist the temptation to cackle about how much we're supposed to worship Teh Freh Market, except when we're not.

And then there's this ...

The “thoughtful” conservatives and libertarians who were able to sustain contacts with liberals -- Weigel and Bruce Bartlett being excellent examples -- were the ones who transitioned from not just criticizing the Patriot Act but backing Obama, fretting about racism, and even mouthing Keynesian nonsense.

... and this ...

Weigel is still a contributing editor at Reason, a self-described “magazine of free minds and free markets.” One wonders: if Weigel isn’t against Obamacare, then what kind of “libertarian” is he exactly?

... about which I was going to make some snide comment at the unbelievable extent which some people on the right place ideological purity and a requirement to be pigeonholed above all other things, but then I saw the next (and final) sentence:

Maybe in frequenting the Taft Club, he was undercover all along … gathering material for future appearances on Olbermann.

Couldn't keep the wingnut paranoia from leaking out, or, couldn't resist the temptation to leave his sympathetic readers with that dark thought, could he? In either case, he's now down 10 in the rep hole, as far as I'm concerned.

I will give you points on your own claim, though, Joe: it was pretty interesting. But then, so are guys who walk around with one hand tucked in their vests, talking about how this time, they've got the invasion of Moscow nailed.

nikkibong
07-06-2010, 11:34 PM
I'm finding it irritating that many former journolisters act like we are paranoid lunatics for being slightly suspicious of the whole enterprise. I've seen such sentiments expressed by Chait (whom I usually love), Yglesias, Alterman, Klein, and others. Their attitude seems to be "why are you people so worked up over this? You fools! All it was was a way to trade information on sources and the like. Chill out."

I'm sure they are generally being truthful. Yet -- how were the non-journolistiers supposed to be aware of the supposed non-importance of the things discussed on the list? How can they fault people for speculating about a group that was purposefully designed to be secretive, off-the-record- and exclusive regarding who it allowed on board?

nikkibong
07-06-2010, 11:37 PM
Weigel v. Frum diavlog coming.



Oh, lord.

'Martyrs Edition,' I'm sure. Or, "'Sensible' Conservative Saturday?'"

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 11:41 PM
This could be good, but it could also be sort of unsurprising. They were both put out of work, in part, by protests from the same right wing forces, and Frum has posted that he's firmly on Weigel's side in the whole affair.

I don't think you're right about the part I bolded. See the Alterman link from uncle eb (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168468#post168468), a Frum-part of which I briefly noted here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168510#post168510).

bjkeefe
07-06-2010, 11:49 PM
Oh, lord.

'Martyrs Edition,' I'm sure. Or, "'Sensible' Conservative Saturday?'"

You probably make fun of recovering drug addicts, too.

H8er.

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 11:54 PM
Oh, lord.

'Martyrs Edition,' I'm sure. Or, "'Sensible' Conservative Saturday?'"

As opposed to what (or whom), exactly? Are you implying these guys are potty-trained milquetoasts with nothing to offer? Smart, contrarian conservatives who think Rush and Drudge are assholes. What's not to love?

nikkibong
07-06-2010, 11:57 PM
As opposed to what (or whom), exactly? Are you implying these guys are potty-trained milquetoasts with nothing to offer? Smart, contrarian conservatives who think Rush and Drudge are assholes. What's not to love?

Jesus, people, I was just having a laugh. (Apparently I was the only one.) Frum is a perfectly respectable 'head, and a fine thinker. I just hope it doesn't become a pity fest...Weigel and Frum lamenting, "I coulda been a contenduh."

AemJeff
07-06-2010, 11:58 PM
Jesus, people, I was just having a laugh. (Apparently I was the only one.) Frum is a perfectly respectable 'head, and a fine thinker. I just hope it doesn't become a pity fest...Weigel and Frum lamenting, "I coulda been a contenduh."

Moar smilies plz.

nikkibong
07-07-2010, 12:00 AM
Moar smilies plz.

weigel, brando-like...

"i coulda been a wapo blogguh..."

:)

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 12:07 AM
Overall, it's a solid post. He argues first that the content of J-List was not especially sinister, which I would wager is true. I still think the whole enterprise was silly (not sinister, just silly), because--as Alterman concedes later in the piece--its ability stay secret was always a bit shaky.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

First, differentiate between secret and private. Note carefully that Alterman only uses the first word (1) to be sarcastic about wingnut hysteria, and (2) in the very narrow sense that it was a mistake for Weigel to think (if Dave did) that something posted to a 400-member private list would be a secret.

Second, I beg you, I beg you, I beg you: do not fall into the rut that so many old fart reporters have fallen into: overusing verbs like concedes and admits. This is pejorative and misleading, due to the connotation of such words. Reserve words like this for times when you actually have to wring an acknowledgment from someone who'd really rather not have opened his or her mouth. Read Elmore Leonard on preferring says* -- he goes a bit overboard in insisting no other words should be used, but his larger point is dead on. If there was ever an easy place to be neutral and objective in the best sense, this is it.

As for the stuff about the Post's idiocy in caving to pressure and reacting to embarrassment in firing him, I agree that it was 'cowardice,' as you already know. It's just the relevance of the Post's status as a dead tree publication in explaining that cowardice that I question.

Okay. I think it pertains, if not suffices as the entire explanation, and you don't. We've beat on this one enough, though, I think.

And, no, I never said that it was just you or Matt or Julian articulating this view. Indeed, we got into that chat BECAUSE I felt it was a widespread view on the blogosphere, and yet, in the face of this widespread application, I still did not find it to be an especially relevant lens. So this post doesn't really change my view.

Okay.

For the record: I didn't mean to imply there were only three such people. I was just using specific names to jazz up the sentence.

==========

* [Added] Start here (http://www.elmoreleonard.com/index.php?/nonfiction/excerpt/easy_on_the_adverbs_exclamation_points_and_especia lly_hooptedoodle_aka_the/), maybe, and see also here (http://www.google.com/search?q=elmore+leonard+dialog+says).

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 12:16 AM
I'm finding it irritating that many former journolisters act like we are paranoid lunatics for being slightly suspicious of the whole enterprise. I've seen such sentiments expressed by Chait (whom I usually love), Yglesias, Alterman, Klein, and others. Their attitude seems to be "why are you people so worked up over this? You fools! All it was was a way to trade information on sources and the like. Chill out."

Sorry it irritates you, but I think you are (were) wrong to be suspicious about people having a private listserv. In the first place, there are many, many such listservs, all at least the equal of Journolist in inviting a selected set of viewpoints and personnel. Second, humans have been having private conversations since we learned how to talk, and probably long before that. I mean, fer pete's sake: you and I have exchanged PMs and emails, rather than post our every bit of communication here on this forum. Should you and I now be required to publish all of those, just because someone can imagine that we were speculating about Bob Wright and his strange taste in kitchen appliances?

I'm sure they are generally being truthful. Yet -- how were the non-journolistiers supposed to be aware of the supposed non-importance of the things discussed on the list? How can they fault people for speculating about a group that was purposefully designed to be secretive, off-the-record- and exclusive regarding who it allowed on board?

They can fault people like you because there is no evidence, none, that anything sinister was going on. It takes only being not a paranoid loon to recognize the comedy associated with the idea of getting 400 liberals and centrists to sing off the same page, let alone the thought that they could then direct the other umpty kazillion of us.

This is a clear case where you should prefer the simplest explanation until you have some solid reason to think otherwise: it was a group of people who wanted a private place to exchange notes, bounce ideas off of each other, make jokes, and go off on tangents about trivial matters.

[Added] And see also what I said (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168527#post168527) to PMP about confusing private and secret.

[Added2] To my earlier point about the hilarity of thinking such a group would even be capable of conspiring, this from Alterman (http://www.thenation.com/article/36896/conspiracy-so-immense) (via uncle eb (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168468#post168468)) says it all:

In fact, nobody on the list ever cleared anything with anybody. Many of us could barely stand one another. People argued over everything, not always civilly. Not long ago, I received an e-mail from another member reading: "I'm starting to understand what conservatives don't like about liberals!" I took issue only with the word "starting."

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-07-2010, 12:28 AM
Whoa, whoa, whoa.

First, differentiate between secret and private. Note carefully that Alterman only uses the first word (1) to be sarcastic about wingnut hysteria, and (2) in the very narrow sense that it was a mistake for Weigel to think (if Dave did) that something posted to a 400-member private list would be a secret.

Even if the word is 'private' and Alterman is making the point as a narrow one, it still stands that it is a point (one of few) on which I agree with him. So the substance of my earlier comment remains.

Second, I beg you, I beg you, I beg you: do not fall into the rut that so many old fart reporters have fallen into: overusing verbs like concedes and admits. This is pejorative and misleading, due to the connotation of such words. Reserve words like this for times when you actually have to wring an acknowledgment from someone who'd really rather not have opened his or her mouth. Read Elmore Leonard on preferring says* -- he goes a bit overboard in insisting no other words should be used, but his larger point is dead on. If there was ever an easy place to be neutral and objective in the best sense, this is it.

Fair point. I think something stronger than 'says' is needed, because this statement that Weigel erred in trusting the List's privacy comes after an overall defense of the J-List project. So somewhere between 'concedes' and 'says' is an appropriate verb for this.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 12:31 AM
Jesus, people, I was just having a laugh. (Apparently I was the only one.)

That's how I understood it, and that's why I didn't feel a winkie was necessary in my response (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=168521#post168521) in the same vein.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 12:50 AM
As for the stuff about the Post's idiocy in caving to pressure and reacting to embarrassment in firing him, I agree that it was 'cowardice,' as you already know. It's just the relevance of the Post's status as a dead tree publication in explaining that cowardice that I question.
Okay. I think it pertains, if not suffices as the entire explanation, and you don't. We've beat on this one enough, though, I think.

Or ... maybe I don't.

Let me assert up front that I don't think the "dead-tree" aspect is what was being pointed to as an explanation by those who were seeing this as part of the Old Media v. New Media battle. Rather, I think the consensus view was more along the lines that it was the WaPo as the organization it is -- with a Web presence and a wish to grow that aspect, mind you -- an organization that has a sad recent history of being excessively in defense of the Establishment and the Villager point of view, and of being overly susceptible to pressure from the right (as it came from the Bushies, and as it continues to come from the Republican Congressional caucus and the conservative punditocracy and blogosphere, just to name two failings.

To put it another way, if you acknowledge "the Post's idiocy in caving to pressure and reacting to embarrassment in firing [Weigel]," to what underlying aspects do you attribute this idiocy and reaction?

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 12:53 AM
Even if the word is 'private' and Alterman is making the point as a narrow one, it still stands that it is a point (one of few) on which I agree with him. So the substance of my earlier comment remains.

Don't at all agree.

Fair point. I think something stronger than 'says' is needed, because this statement that Weigel erred in trusting the List's privacy comes after an overall defense of the J-List project. So somewhere between 'concedes' and 'says' is an appropriate verb for this.

Really don't agree. We are talking here about how you characterized what Alterman said. He did not "concede" anything. He just said what he said.

I'd add that it was a point so obvious it barely needed saying, so it really is the opposite of the connotation of conceding something.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-07-2010, 12:59 AM
To put it another way, if you acknowledge "the Post's idiocy in caving to pressure and reacting to embarrassment in firing [Weigel]," to what underlying aspects do you attribute this idiocy and reaction?

I am glad you put it this way, because we really were going in circles before. I attribute it to bad management, just the imprudence and recklessness of individuals, not linked to the structure of the WaPo as a particular kind of organization.

To put it another way, I would only begin to see this as a structural problem relating to the type of organization the WaPo is if I saw many equivalent incidents take place at other similarly-structured organizations.

[Added: What I mean by this is that while the qualities you cite (namely a desire to please and protect DC's powerful) may be characteristics of the individuals involved in firing Weigel, I see those as flaws of them as individuals. Not as characteristics of Old Media as seen in these individuals. Like I said before, just 'dumb editors.' Not 'dumb Old Media editors.']

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-07-2010, 01:02 AM
I'd add that it was a point so obvious it barely needed saying, so it really is the opposite of the connotation of conceding something.

I think our real disagreement is still on this point. Whether this point of it being a mistake is significant enough to merit stating relative to other aspects of this event. You say 'no.' I say 'yes.' No amount of discussing this (and I'm sure this is about round 3 or 4 of this) is likely to change that. So I'd prefer to drop it, because I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not going to agree. And I am sorry I brought us back to this again.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 01:23 AM
I think our real disagreement is still on this point. Whether this point of it being a mistake is significant enough to merit stating relative to other aspects of this event. You say 'no.' I say 'yes.' No amount of discussing this (and I'm sure this is about round 3 or 4 of this) is likely to change that. So I'd prefer to drop it, because I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not going to agree. And I am sorry I brought us back to this again.

For the record, I thought my objection to your use of concedes was separate. Evidently, you don't see it that way.

But okay: consider it (them) dropped, henceforth.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 01:27 AM
I am glad you put it this way, because we really were going in circles before. I attribute it to bad management, just the imprudence and recklessness of individuals, not linked to the structure of the WaPo as a particular kind of organization.

To put it another way, I would only begin to see this as a structural problem relating to the type of organization the WaPo is if I saw many equivalent incidents take place at other similarly-structured organizations.

[Added: What I mean by this is that while the qualities you cite (namely a desire to please and protect DC's powerful) may be characteristics of the individuals involved in firing Weigel, I see those as flaws of them as individuals. Not as characteristics of Old Media as seen in these individuals. Like I said before, just 'dumb editors.' Not 'dumb Old Media editors.']

Thanks for the clarification. I can see that as a legitimate way to understand the Weigel matter. And I'd even augment it by observing, for example, that the NYT seems a lot better on many of the issues raised by this mess -- better understanding of blogging, less immediate knuckling under to pressure from the usual suspects, and perhaps most importantly for these two organizations as distinct from the blogosphere, etc.: an ombudsman who isn't nearly so much of a company stooge.

In partial defense of those who do see this as symptomatic or characteristic of the bad aspects of Old Media, I do think it's fair to say the WaPo isn't unique in the shortcomings pointed out. The LA Times has been pretty bad for years on these scores, even the NYT does not have a clean sheet, and I'll probably think of some other examples later on. But you are right that a full and righteous lashing of the WaPo could be done without touching on the OM/NM aspect.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-07-2010, 01:29 AM
For the record, I thought my objection to your use of concedes was separate. Evidently, you don't see it that way.

But okay: consider it (them) dropped, henceforth.

Nah, I take your point that it was poor word choice. But what kind of word choice would be better depends somewhat on how you see the line in Alterman's post I was describing and since we don't see it the same way, this seems unlikely to be a fruitful path.

PreppyMcPrepperson
07-07-2010, 01:33 AM
Thanks for the clarification. I can see that as a legitimate way to understand the Weigel matter. And I'd even augment it by observing, for example, that the NYT seems a lot better on many of the issues raised by this mess -- better understanding of blogging, less immediate knuckling under to pressure from the usual suspects, and perhaps most importantly for these two organizations as distinct from the blogosphere, etc.: an ombudsman who isn't nearly so much of a company stooge.

In partial defense of those who do see this as symptomatic or characteristic of the bad aspects of Old Media, I do think it's fair to say the WaPo isn't unique in the shortcomings pointed out. The LA Times has been pretty bad for years on these scores, even the NYT does not have a clean sheet, and I'll probably think of some other examples later on. But you are right that a full and righteous lashing of the WaPo could be done without touching on the OM/NM aspect.

I'm sure you will. But on the Weigel matter specifically, I'm glad you at least now get what I mean, even if we disagree. An interesting back-and-forth, but I must say I'm now ready to leave it and move on to other subjects. No offense to you intended.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 01:35 AM
I'm sure you will. But on the Weigel matter specifically, I'm glad you at least now get what I mean, even if we disagree. An interesting back-and-forth, but I must say I'm now ready to leave it and move on to other subjects. No offense to you intended.

None taken. Thanks for having the patience to get to a point where we could have a useful exchange.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 03:56 AM
David Carr simply does not care for the way The Washington Post has conducted itself with regard to Dave Weigel. That he works for The New York Times has nothing to do with his harsh tone. (Probably!)

Kidding aside, it's a good piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/business/media/05carr.html?pagewanted=all). Here's how it starts, plus some excerpts that caught my eye (because they say things I believe, obvs.):

Outspoken Is Great, Till It’s Not

Wanted: Political blogger covering the conservative movement. Must be provocative and write with a strong point of view although not in a way that would reveal bias or offend any of your potential subjects. Social media a plus until it’s not. Must be completely transparent, unless that proves embarrassing to the newspaper. Send sanitized résumé, innocuous clips and nonpartisan references to The Washington Post.

In the media business, we talk a lot about transparency. Nobody was more transparent than Dave Weigel, the “Right Now” blogger for The Washington Post who left last week after some nasty offhand comments he made about conservatives in a private e-mail list some time ago came to light.

His job, part of a broader experiment at The Post, was to combine reporting and opinion in search of deeper understanding of the conservative movement. His Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/daveweigel) gave a steady, and sometimes spicy, accounting of exactly what was running through his head. His writing on the newspaper’s blog, which contained real immersive reporting and significant inquiry, was also clear about what he believed to be true.

That’s part of what The Washington Post was seeking when it hired Mr. Weigel, a former writer from The Washington Independent and Reason magazine, to blog about the conservative moment. Like many mainstream media outlets, it wanted some of the crackle that is coming from the perimeter of insurgent media.

But part of working the edge is that every once in a while, you go flying off, which Mr. Weigel did rather spectacularly last weekend when a news site, The Daily Caller, published some of his contributions to JournoList, an invitation-only e-mail list composed of 400 politically interested journalists.

[...]

The Post’s managing editor, Raju Narisetti, said in an earlier interview with the ombudsman that one need not be a conservative to cover conservatives. “But you do need to be impartial,” he said, adding, “It may be in our interests to ask potential reporters: ‘In private ... have you expressed any opinions that would make it difficult for you to do your job?’ ” (The ellipses are The Post’s, not mine.)

Confused? Me too. How was Mr. Weigel “conflicted” or less than “transparent”? And if you dumped every reporter who ever sent a snide message or talked smack in private, there would be nothing but crickets chirping in newsrooms all over America.

[...]

But The Post’s precipitous action suggests that the editors had no idea of what they were buying in the first place. He probably could have survived if he had slammed Rachel Maddow or had some fun at Al Franken’s expense, but his willingness to train his guns inside the conservative movement was a bit much, especially in the eyes of The Post’s ombudsman, Andrew Alexander.

“Weigel’s exit, and the events that prompted it, have further damaged The Post among conservatives who believe it is not properly attuned to their ideology or activities,” he wrote. “Ironically, Weigel was hired to address precisely those concerns.” Loosely translated, it means someone whom they thought they hired to build bridges was blowing them up instead.

“The Post did not know what they were getting,” said Ana Marie Cox, the Washington correspondent for GQ and a blogger who has had her own battles with mainstream media employers. “They thought they were getting a conservative and he doesn’t really fit the label, but they got a reporter and thinker instead. Not one person has pointed to anything in his reporting that came up wrong or bad.”

Mr. Weigel was the victim of a “not invented here” reflex that many legacy media companies still possess. He was not, as they say, “one of us,” but one of “them,” brought in to sprinkle new-media pixie dust on a mainstream newspaper that was hemmed in by political and journalistic convention.

A little thought experiment: What if a reporter made a wildly inappropriate video suggesting that the secretary of state, who happens to be a woman, should drink Mad Bitch beer? Surely that reporter would be forced to apologize to Hillary Rodham Clinton before walking the plank. Yet when this happened, Dana Milbank, the longtime Washington Post star who made the video, remained a prized political writer at the paper. (The “Mouthpiece Theater” video segments, mercifully, have been canceled.)

There are a few lessons to be learned from the whole mess. First, as mainstream media tries to co-opt and deploy some of the tools (and voices) of the insurgency, the intersection is going to be tricky for some time to come.

[WaPo ombudsman Andrew] Alexander pointed out as much in a column on Sunday, writing, “Internal guidelines say reporters should not ‘offer personal opinions on a blog in a way that would not be acceptable in the newspaper.’ ” But they also are encouraged to blog with attitude and “voice,” which seems incompatible with neutrality. Good luck threading that needle every time you write a post.

Second, as Gen. Stanley McChrystal could also tell you, nothing you do or say is private any more. Right now, there is a standing offer of $100,000 from Andrew Breitbart, an owner of a number of conservative blogs, for the archives of JournoList, which he hopes to use to prove once and for all that there is a vast liberal conspiracy to manufacture consent in coverage.

That Mr. Breitbart is willing to pay $100,000 for admission to a wonky dinner party most of us would pay to avoid tells you the high value Washington puts on information that can maim an opponent.

[...]

Read the whole thing (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/business/media/05carr.html?pagewanted=all). And do not miss the closing two paragraphs.

(h/t: Riley Waggaman (http://wonkette.com/416478/episcopal-fundamentalists-declare-jihad-on-us-senate), linking to Matt Yglesias (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/07/a-hypothetical/))

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 04:07 AM
Weigel v. Frum diavlog coming.

http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17912712717

Just wrapped BloggingHeads with @DavidFrum. Everyone who's criticized us will realize he/she was wrong. #notreally

@rcocean's head's gonna explode.

BUT! You missed the earlier tweet, which suggests a cover-up/get-your-stories-straight conspiracy so vast (http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17899071607) ...

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/2330/weigeltechprobs.png

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 04:22 AM
That Mr. Breitbart is willing to pay $100,000 for admission to a wonky dinner party most of us would pay to avoid tells you the high value Washington puts on information that can maim an opponent.

And on a closely related note (via (http://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/17875731708)), ConWebWatch notices something in Politico (http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2033944/is-the-mrc-trying-to-destroy-weigel/): a concerted effort by the wingnut whinefest "Media Research Center" to freeze Dave Weigel out of access to conservative events, while he was still at the WaPo.

See also here (http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2036118/mrcs-poor-doesnt-mention-whos-making-weigel-feel-embattled/), for a follow-up.

Don't be dubious about the URLs -- I know this guy's work a bit, and it's good stuff, even if he has his site on Tripod.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 09:49 AM
Tell it to the wingnuts. They won't listen, of course, because they make everything a front in the culture wars, ...

And here is a truly comical example (http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/whiskey_fire/2010/07/the-ezra-pound-joke-is-at-the-end-of-the-post-and-gosh-is-it-worth-it.html).

For reference (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/06/wonder-woman-has-new-look.html):

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/06/30/arts/wonder/wonder-popup-v2.jpg

bjkeefe
07-08-2010, 07:13 AM
Tell it to the wingnuts. They won't listen, of course, because they make everything a front in the culture wars, ...

And here is a truly comical example (http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/whiskey_fire/2010/07/the-ezra-pound-joke-is-at-the-end-of-the-post-and-gosh-is-it-worth-it.html).

And here is another: "Shoot-out At The Fantasy Factory. (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010/07/shoot-out-at-fantasy-factory.html)"

I'll grant in this case the possibility that it's not just the usual jowl-quivering outrage about the godless America-hating liberals of Hollywood who are ruining everything great (American) about the movies, by convincing the impressionable to hate The Troops. It's easy to see Declaration Entertainment (http://declarationentertainment.com/) as right out of the Palin-Beck playbook, How to Rile Up The Wingnuts and Make Big Dollars.

This may be, however, Central To My Point™.

==========

(Sadly, yes (http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Asadlyno.com+%22Central+To+My+Point %22).)

bjkeefe
07-09-2010, 10:42 AM
And Charles Johnson has sympathy for that.

Therefore, Sarah Palin is a uniter, not a divider (http://trueslant.com/charlesjohnson/2010/07/08/dave-weigel-has-new-sympathy-for-sarah-palin/).

bjkeefe
07-10-2010, 08:51 PM
Good piece from Glenzilla (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/07/09/transparency/index.html) (via some WATB (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/07/09/transparency-2/)) about Transparency™ as it is glorified in name and shat all over in practice by Dave Weigel's former employer, the Washington Post.

Whatfur
07-10-2010, 09:29 PM
More to the point. (http://bigjournalism.com/mwalsh/2010/07/09/forget-dave-weigel-the-real-issues-are-the-journolist-msm-groupthink-news-and-advocacy-masquerading-as-journalism/)

bjkeefe
07-10-2010, 09:55 PM
More to the point. (http://bigjournalism.com/mwalsh/2010/07/09/forget-dave-weigel-the-real-issues-are-the-journolist-msm-groupthink-news-and-advocacy-masquerading-as-journalism/)

The only point here is how illustrative it is that you keep linking to Breitbart's world of wingnuttery.

Whatfur
07-10-2010, 10:00 PM
The only point here is how illustrative it is that you keep linking to Breitbart's world of wingnuttery.

As opposed to your world at the peanutpackery?

bjkeefe
07-10-2010, 10:07 PM
As opposed to your world at the peanutpackery?

Yes. The sites I read are so far above what you read in terms of intellect, intellectual honesty, and distaste for preaching to their readers phobias that even to compare them to what you read and link to is itself a mark of your delusional state.

Whatfur
07-10-2010, 10:28 PM
fapfapfapfapfap.

So you got nuttin?

bjkeefe
07-10-2010, 10:55 PM
So you got nuttin?

Compared to you, TSOF, I have everything.

Whether I want to waste any of it on you is another matter entirely, and, as it happens, I don't. You have done your level best to make sure I, and just about everyone else here, views you as not deserving of respect or consideration.

Whatfur
07-11-2010, 12:01 AM
Compared to you, TSOF, I have everything.

Whether I want to waste any of it on you is another matter entirely, and, as it happens, I don't. You have done your level best to make sure I, and just about everyone else here, views you as not deserving of respect or consideration.

And you are a legend of good taste and goodwill.

bjkeefe
07-11-2010, 12:03 AM
And you are a legend of good taste and goodwill.

Thx.