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Bloggingheads 07-29-2010 11:58 PM

Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 12:12 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Man, when there's a Bob-Mickey DV, my mood improves about 200%.

nikkibong 07-30-2010 12:18 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
mickey finds a new career

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/297...8:45&out=08:57

TwinSwords 07-30-2010 12:23 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 172484)
Man, when there's a Bob-Mickey DV, my mood improves about 200%.

Heh. I have to agree. This is BhTV Classic.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 12:24 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 172486)
Heh. I have to agree. This is BhTV Classic.

It is when there's a segment on Ann Coulter.

nikkibong 07-30-2010 12:28 AM

and speaking of new careers
 
bob, you really should have been a trial attorney

(not that i don't love your journalism)

nikkibong 07-30-2010 12:35 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
this is an extremely shrewd point by mickey

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/297...1:30&out=12:24

nicely put, mr. kaus.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 12:42 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 172489)
this is an extremely shrewd point by mickey

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/297...1:30&out=12:24

nicely put, mr. kaus.

Yeah, I agree with this. There's always been a degree of ideological backscratching in journalism but it is getting worse, and this list was part of that trend, and that's a shame.

look 07-30-2010 12:55 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
I agree, too. Where's the competition for new angles and scoops?

TwinSwords 07-30-2010 01:10 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 172490)
Yeah, I agree with this. There's always been a degree of ideological backscratching in journalism but it is getting worse, and this list was part of that trend, and that's a shame.

I'm curious: Can you or Nikkibong actually prove what Mickey says in that dingalink is true? Or does it just feel right to you guys? Mickey's assertion is interesting, and it's consistent with the anti-liberal critique he has been making for many, many years (i.e., his entire career). But is there any evidence for it?

He makes two claims in particular: (1) Journolist changed the ecology of journalism from rewarding contrarianism to rewarding conformity, and (2) if you conformed to some unspecified point of view, Ezra would get you a job at the WaPo.

Can you prove either assertion?

I'm curious who, exactly, Mickey thinks was rewarded with a job at the WaPo. Is he talking about Weigel? If so, I'd have to say that doesn't feel right to me. I think Weigel earned his position through hard work and compelling reporting. For 2 or 3 years prior to his WaPo gig, Weigel did a lot of extremely interesting and widely read reporting. Weigel's reporting drove a lot of discussion on both sides of the ideological spectrum. It's pretty insulting to write off his success as the result of conforming to Ezra's POV. But more important, it's a claim I don't think Mickey can prove. Can you or Nikkibong prove it?

Note: Mickey's 2nd claim, that Ezra was giving away WaPo jobs to reward conformity, was not included in Nikkibong's dingalink. The 2nd claim was made in the subsequent 10 seconds.

Don Zeko 07-30-2010 01:13 AM

Re: and speaking of new careers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 172488)
bob, you really should have been a trial attorney

(not that i don't love your journalism)

He has his moments, doesn't he? I felt that Bob easily got the better of Mickey on the Weekly Standard/Ground Zero Mosque question.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 01:24 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Re: the mosque. As a secular, non-practicing member of Muslim Manhattan, I can say that Feisal Rauf is a solid guy. Naive? I'm not sure. He's been very successful with his previous initiatives at reconciliation: both in terms of bringing secular folk like myself back into mosques by reminding them that there are interesting, progressive things to be heard there, and in bringing the mosque into the mainstream of city life. Those successes would lead him to believe that he could do more. That seems mostly a rational reaction to success.

As for the project itself, the cultural centre part of it--if that happens--is a good idea. There really isn't any place like that in New York. I've been involved in the past with organizing a number of qawwali and ghazal concerts [Qawwali is religious music that appeals to a general audience; think of something like the role gospel singing has played in Western pop, or just listen to this. Ghazal is a classical form, that also has secular appeal, and should perhaps be compared to the role now played by classical oratorios; you can listen here.] It's sometimes hard to find a good venue for doing these things, because the audience isn't going to be large enough to merit a Lincoln Center booking, but it's too big a community to just do it in someone's living room or the back of a small neighborhood mosque. So shows end up happening in awkward spaces that aren't suited to concerts anyway, like an empty room at the Pakistani embassy. I used to have a similar problem with getting spaces booked for Indian classical ragas [a bit like being at a jazz jam session, listen here], but now there's an Indo-American Arts Council that manages that. In any case, a 92nd St. Y equivalent for Islamic arts would be useful.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 01:34 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 172492)
I'm curious: Can you or Nikkibong actually prove what Mickey says in that dingalink is true? Or does it just feel right to you guys? Mickey's assertion is interesting, and it's consistent with the anti-liberal critique he has been making for many, many years (i.e., his entire career). But is there any evidence for it?

He makes two claims in particular: (1) Journolist changed the ecology of journalism from rewarding contrarianism to rewarding conformity, and (2) if you conformed to some unspecified point of view, Ezra would get you a job at the WaPo.

Can you prove either assertion?

I'm curious who, exactly, Mickey thinks was rewarded with a job at the WaPo. Is he talking about Weigel? If so, I'd have to say that doesn't feel right to me. I think Weigel earned his position through hard work and compelling reporting. For 2 or 3 years prior to his WaPo gig, Weigel did a lot of extremely interesting and widely read reporting. Weigel's reporting drove a lot of discussion on both sides of the ideological spectrum. It's pretty insulting to write off his success as the result of conforming to Ezra's POV. But more important, it's a claim I don't think Mickey can prove. Can you or Nikkibong prove it?

Note: Mickey's 2nd claim, that Ezra was giving away WaPo jobs to reward conformity, was not included in Nikkibong's dingalink. The 2nd claim was made in the subsequent 10 seconds.

I am not going to out people I've worked for. But there was one publication I intended to write for on my trip that I ended up not working with. And the reason was because, while the publication had a history of rewarding contrarianism, and a professed nonpartisan stance, I was encouraged--in pretty blatant ways--by the current editors to fit my stories into an ideological prototype. In one memorable incident, I was told to go in search of answers to a particular question, involving traveling from the city I was in at the time, for several weeks, and when I came back with answers that (I still believe) were significant, was told that "This is interesting news, but it doesn't really fit with the approach we've taken to this topic." It was not the first time that has happened to me, but it was the most egregious.

I have since recounted my experience with that publication to several other journos at various places and seen nods of agreement. So yes, you are correct that I can't prove Mickey is right, but I can say that his critique jives with my overall experience of the media, and those of others I know.

TwinSwords 07-30-2010 01:47 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 172495)
I am not going to out people I've worked for. But there was one publication I intended to write for on my trip that I ended up not working with. And the reason was because, while the publication had a history of rewarding contrarianism, and a professed nonpartisan stance, I was encouraged--in pretty blatant ways--by the current editors to fit my stories into an ideological prototype. In one memorable incident, I was told to go in search of answers to a particular question, involving traveling from the city I was in at the time, for several weeks, and when I came back with answers that (I still believe) were significant, was told that "This is interesting news, but it doesn't really fit with the approach we've taken to this topic." It was not the first time that has happened to me, but it was the most egregious.

I have since recounted my experience with that publication to several other journos at various places and seen nods of agreement. So yes, you are correct that I can't prove Mickey is right, but I can say that his critique jives with my overall experience of the media, and those of others I know.

Thank you for the response. I wish you could get into more detail, but I understand that you cannot.

uncle ebeneezer 07-30-2010 01:47 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Yeah, I found Mickey's point about as interesting as Bob did (if I had water I would have taken a sip and looked away from the camera in boredom.) Of the more well-known writers on journolist: Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Wiegel, Ackerman, Alterman, Schmitt etc. it seems to me that their ascents in their field to prominent newspapers and publications had all been achieved before journolist was even created. Wiegel may have gotten a recommendation from Ezra at the Post but DUH!! they are personal friends. So the idea that Ezra changed the game somehow and the culture of liberal journalism has morphed in his brief time at the Washington Post just doesn't seem to fit the timeline of my memory.

The whole thing seems rather silly when you consider the fact that Bob, Mickey, Kinsley, and many others have told the stories right here on bloggingheads about the old New Republic days and how they have socialized outside of work (and inevitably discussed work/politics etc in the course) for 20+ years. Yeah Mickey, everything has changed and it's all Ezra Klein and the young turks who did it. Go back to sleep.

uncle ebeneezer 07-30-2010 01:54 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
But Preppy, I used to know someone who was in the news business (print) for 40 years or so and he told me many stories that lead me to believe that unfortunately that has always been one of the pitfalls of the industry. It's nothing new, and it wasn't spawned by journolist, the internet or any other recent development.

listener 07-30-2010 02:03 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 172494)
Re: the mosque. As a secular, non-practicing member of Muslim Manhattan, I can say that Feisal Rauf is a solid guy. Naive? I'm not sure. He's been very successful with his previous initiatives at reconciliation: both in terms of bringing secular folk like myself back into mosques by reminding them that there are interesting, progressive things to be heard there, and in bringing the mosque into the mainstream of city life. Those successes would lead him to believe that he could do more. That seems mostly a rational reaction to success.

As for the project itself, the cultural centre part of it--if that happens--is a good idea. There really isn't any place like that in New York. I've been involved in the past with organizing a number of qawwali and ghazal concerts [Qawwali is religious music that appeals to a general audience; think of something like the role gospel singing has played in Western pop, or just listen to this. Ghazal is a classical form, that also has secular appeal, and should perhaps be compared to the role now played by classical oratorios; you can listen here.] It's sometimes hard to find a good venue for doing these things, because the audience isn't going to be large enough to merit a Lincoln Center booking, but it's too big a community to just do it in someone's living room or the back of a small neighborhood mosque. So shows end up happening in awkward spaces that aren't suited to concerts anyway, like an empty room at the Pakistani embassy. I used to have a similar problem with getting spaces booked for Indian classical ragas [a bit like being at a jazz jam session, listen here], but now there's an Indo-American Arts Council that manages that. In any case, a 92nd St. Y equivalent for Islamic arts would be useful.

Thanks for the background from your perspective somewhat on the inside -- I really appreciate it. There are so many accusations flying around. I agree that a 92nd St. Y type place for Islamic arts could be a great thing for NYC.

Also thanks for the great music. Farida Khanum's voice is hauntingly gorgeous. The other two pieces were wonderful too.

Music is the best!

TwinSwords 07-30-2010 02:06 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 172499)
The whole thing seems rather silly when you consider the fact that Bob, Mickey, Kinsley, and many others have told the stories right here on bloggingheads about the old New Republic days and how they have socialized outside of work (and inevitably discussed work/politics etc in the course) for 20+ years. Yeah Mickey, everything has changed and it's all Ezra Klein and the young turks who did it. Go back to sleep.

Good point. And now that you mention it, many of TNR's alumni have also recounted how ideological conformity -- especially with respect to Israel, but also with respect to neoliberalism more broadly -- was a prerequisite for keeping Marty Peretz happy and keeping a job at that publication.

This is the world of opinion journalism. I don't know why people should expect it to be different. Does anyone really expect William Kristol to hire David Corn or Rose Brooks to write for his neoconservative magazine?

The right has been constantly and consistently misrepresenting the members of journolist as members of the mainstream press and pretending that they are somehow obliged to be objective -- even as they laud conservative activists who work in the conservative media and do the exact opposite.

There really are two sets of rules: conservatives can do whatever they want -- even take direct cash payments from conservative think tanks, corporations, interest groups, and the Republican Party, while the left is attacked as unethical for merely having private email conversations with other people who share the same general point of view.

If the media was really monolithically liberal, conservatives would not be the ones developing all the major narratives and pushing them to the center of the public discourse.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 02:09 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 172501)
But Preppy, I used to know someone who was in the news business (print) for 40 years or so and he told me many stories that lead me to believe that unfortunately that has always been one of the pitfalls of the industry. It's nothing new, and it wasn't spawned by journolist, the internet or any other recent development.

I hear this point. I do. But I also look at the output of news product 40 years ago vs. now and I think there was more diversity of views--or at least more reward, more admiration for diversity--in the MSM then than now. I'm not saying JList alone was responsible for that, but it was part of a trend.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 02:11 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by listener (Post 172503)
Thanks for the background from your perspective somewhat on the inside -- I really appreciate it. There are so many accusations flying around. I agree that a 92nd St. Y type place for Islamic arts could be a great thing for NYC.

Also thanks for the great music. Farida Khanum's voice is hauntingly gorgeous. The other two pieces were wonderful too.

Music is the best!

It is indeed. Story from the trip: FK's still singing and I got to hear her in Lahore in February. It was earth-shatteringly brilliant.

Don Zeko 07-30-2010 02:14 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Sometimes I find it frustrating that there is so much excellent music in the world that one can't even become aware of all of it, much less appreciate it properly. Then I go back to listening to my existing Pandora station.

TwinSwords 07-30-2010 02:17 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 172507)
I hear this point. I do. But I also look at the output of news product 40 years ago vs. now and I think there was more diversity of views--or at least more reward, more admiration for diversity--in the MSM then than now. I'm not saying JList alone was responsible for that, but it was part of a trend.

You're talking about the decay (in your opinion) of objective reporting, right? Other than Politico's Mike Allen (who clearly leans to the right), I don't know of anyone on journolist who was doing objective journalism. They were all purveyors of opinion -- a mix of bloggers, policy/think tank types, professors, activists, etc. Why should Lindsay Beyerstein or Matt Yglesias explicit advocates of a liberal point of view be expected to protect the sanctity of objective journalism? What about George Will? Is he destroying journalism too? William Kristol?

I'm really asking here. I understand why the wingnuts are attacking journolist; they'll attack anything that doesn't conform to ultraconservative extremism. But I don't understand why you're attacking journolist. Do you believe promoting a point of view by blogging or writing editorials is inherently wrong? Or is it just wrong when bloggers and editorial writers also talk to people they agree with over email?

In your opinion, what are the most egregious things that happened on journolist?

TwinSwords 07-30-2010 02:38 AM

How to Scam a Wingnut / Loon
 
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-cont...GlennBeck4.jpg

From Glenn Beck's Goldline Scam--Visualized, by Lindsay Beyerstein

Beyerstein was a journolister. You can see why the wingnuts and lunatics want to discredit her.

PreppyMcPrepperson 07-30-2010 02:46 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 172513)
You're talking about the decay (in your opinion) of objective reporting, right? Other than Politico's Mike Allen (who clearly leans to the right), I don't know of anyone on journolist who was doing objective journalism. They were all purveyors of opinion -- a mix of bloggers, policy/think tank types, professors, activists, etc. Why should Lindsay Beyerstein or Matt Yglesias explicit advocates of a liberal point of view be expected to protect the sanctity of objective journalism? What about George Will? Is he destroying journalism too? William Kristol?

I'm really asking here. I understand why the wingnuts are attacking journolist; they'll attack anything that doesn't conform to ultraconservative extremism. But I don't understand why you're attacking journolist. Do you believe promoting a point of view by blogging or writing editorials is inherently wrong? Or is it just wrong when bloggers and editorial writers also talk to people they agree with over email?

In your opinion, what are the most egregious things that happened on journolist?

I know of two news reporters (ie not opinion writers)--Alec MacGillis at the Washington Post, and Ryan Donmoyer at Bloomberg--who were on it, as well as one writer--Holly Yeager--at CJR, a major media trade magazine whose job is to review publications from all persuasions for bias. These are people who should not have formal ties to ideological groups, even if they count them as friends and vote liberal in practice.

It should be noted that two out of those three previously wrote for opinion publications, and that's life in these times when big media won't train young reporters, so TAP and the Standard and their ilk do it. But when they took jobs as news reporters, people like this should have withdrawn from J-List. That's my view.

That said, EVEN opinion journalism--as I was taught it--is supposed to be more rigorous and more free-of-formal-messaging than what we're getting now. The most egregious exchange to my mind is one that the DC posted of the day of the election in which Spencer Ackerman praised Adam Serwer for being so pitch-perfect in his post that the Obama team could have written it. It did not appear to me, from the exchange, that it was meant sarcastically. Even if it's one liberal blogger to another, the kinds of journalists I admire resist that kind of ideological work; they don't praise it.

johnatthebar 07-30-2010 05:06 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Part of it is that Bob is so clearly in such a good mood when he's talking to Mickey. The variation in Bob's comfort level (where 1=Andrew Sullivan, 3=Mike Kinsley, 9=Joel and 10=Mickey) is one of the great joys of Bloggingheads completionism.

Mannish Boy 07-30-2010 06:21 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Joint second-best duo on BHTV.

Mannish Boy 07-30-2010 07:18 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Mickey was right on Iraq vis-a-vis Afghanistan. The ISAF is losing not because they don't have enough troops or money (or because of sophisticated IEDs), but because of deep seated political, cultural and geostrategic issues. MOre billions in reconstruction money would have further fuelled the hypercorruption of Afghan society, and an extra few brigades would have just stirred up more local resentment. You can blame Iraq for a lot of bad stuff, but not how badly Afghanistan has gone.

ledocs 07-30-2010 09:28 AM

Re: How to Scam a Wingnut / Loon
 
That's a great chart (the one about Beck and French gold coins), but even greater would be a discussion of the value of bullion and things like kruggerrands, also necessarily greatly exaggerated by "the market," in my humble opinion. The simple reason is that, in a crisis, what can you really do with a kruggerrand? Is someone who has what you need, say oil or wheat or water, going to trade those things for kruggerrands? It's not impossible, but it doesn't seem that likely to me, the trader for gold has to believe that the crazy world we inhabit is going to return to "normal" soon, where "normal" means a world in which an important subset of rich people, whose property interests are protected by police forces, courts, and armies, also happen to believe in the inherent value of gold. All this return to normality would prove is that rich people are just as crazy as the rest of us, but I, at least, already knew that.

The other possibility is that governments revert to gold in a crisis and pay you in commodities for the gold you are holding. But why would governments do that? The government would do this only if the people who had already proved that they believed in the inherent value of gold by buying it also controlled the government.

The entire precious metals market is a big scam. Its very existence demonstrates to me that the defenders of unregulated markets are wrong in very important ways.

MikeDrew 07-30-2010 10:19 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Beard +1

look 07-30-2010 10:31 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Beard -1

look 07-30-2010 10:39 AM

A Mickey-Reihan DV
 
would be great.

stephanie 07-30-2010 11:36 AM

Re: and speaking of new careers
 
I'm also delighted by a Bob & Mickey pairing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 172493)
He has his moments, doesn't he? I felt that Bob easily got the better of Mickey on the Weekly Standard/Ground Zero Mosque question.

It kind of seemed that Mickey wasn't even trying very hard, but just being contrarian re the Weekly Standard piece. His defense was basically that the facts/investigation reported could be defended as newsworthy if the news was "even after a search this is all we were able to come up with," which -- as Bob pointed out -- wasn't the article.

DenvilleSteve 07-30-2010 11:52 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeDrew (Post 172531)
Beard +1

initially, I saw Frank Gaffney.

messwithtexas 07-30-2010 11:55 AM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 172489)
this is an extremely shrewd point by mickey

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/297...1:30&out=12:24

nicely put, mr. kaus.

I think it's worth pointing out that Matt Yglesias, a former member of journolist, said on bhtv just yesterday that contrarian threads got the most attention on Journolist.

stephanie 07-30-2010 12:04 PM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 172492)
I'm curious: Can you or Nikkibong actually prove what Mickey says in that dingalink is true? Or does it just feel right to you guys? Mickey's assertion is interesting, and it's consistent with the anti-liberal critique he has been making for many, many years (i.e., his entire career). But is there any evidence for it?

I'm not a journalist (although I was on a college newspaper, and my experience and observations based on that forms part of my reaction), but I thought both Salam's defense and Mickey's reaction to it (and admiration for the Kinsley model in which contrarianism was valued, according to him) were interesting. Mainly because Salam's careerist idea is how the conservative media/movement seems to have run in lots of ways.

"Conservatives" seeking career advantage have a well developed set of institutions which are dedicated to helping those who seek to further the movement. In journalist this includes explicitly movement publications, as well as networks. In law, this includes the Federalist Society and all of those various networks. There is a benefit from being part of the group, and that in many of the relevant places (elite colleges, the media, lots of law schools) the conservatives feel outside of the mainstream probably reinforces the strength of these networks, while it relates to the fact that people of liberal views tend on average not to think of themselves in that way.

That the majority of journalists are liberal hasn't made them the counterpart of the movement conservatives, and that's why there's something of a disconnect whenever the liberalism of the media gets discussed. If JournoList is in some way an effort to become more like the conservative model, I can see why that would bother people committed to a different set of values. Note: I mainly don't think it was, and don't think that was Ezra's intent in particular. However, I do think there's a risk with email lists that there's some reinforcing of opinion and rewarding agreement, at least on matters in which there's a clear majority of opinion. There was a good article, maybe in '04 or '05, that Jon Chait wrote in the New Republic that addressed related conflicts in connection with the rise of the Netroots (notable that Chait, who was a member of JournoList, seemed more sympathetic to the traditional model, which I think undercuts Mickey's argument). In any case, I'm not convinced that JournoList was much of a step in that direction, contrary to Salam's defense. However, I would agree with Mickey that if it were, it would be a bad thing.

In fact, I think I generally agree with Mickey's theoretical position on why JournoList is not something I'd recommend and would prefer not exist, due to the reinforcing effect mentioned above. However, I also think it's not very important and unlikely to have greater effects than the social relationships and personal discussions which already exist. (Remember, the power of DC cocktail parties alone has apparently tempted Douthat, Frum, and many others away from Real Conservatism.)

Quote:

(2) if you conformed to some unspecified point of view, Ezra would get you a job at the WaPo.
I didn't think he was actually serious about this (or referring to any specific person), just taking the potential effect (and Salam's defense) to a conclusion for rhetorical purposes. That's related to how I tend to interpret Mickey, though, and could be wrong.

DenvilleSteve 07-30-2010 12:06 PM

don't attack Iran
 
Sure, if Iran gets nukes it means half the world will be destroyed after all the other powers in the region also get nukes and then use them against each other. But that is the problem of the Asians, Arabs and Europeans. And the damage that will be done is on their side of the globe.

The portion of the US that supported the Iraq war did its part for world peace by taking out Saddam and helping the Iraqis setup their democracy. Now that Saddam is gone, Iran has no need for nukes.

The rest of the world can stand on the shoulders of the giants who served in the US military and take out those who remain to threaten world peace. Or they can die when the sidelines are blown up. I wish them well.

harkin 07-30-2010 12:10 PM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

You're talking about the decay (in your opinion) of objective reporting, right? Other than Politico's Mike Allen (who clearly leans to the right), I don't know of anyone on journolist who was doing objective journalism. They were all purveyors of opinion -- a mix of bloggers, policy/think tank types, professors, activists, etc. Why should Lindsay Beyerstein or Matt Yglesias explicit advocates of a liberal point of view be expected to protect the sanctity of objective journalism? What about George Will? Is he destroying journalism too? William Kristol?
I'm really asking here. I understand why the wingnuts are attacking journolist; they'll attack anything that doesn't conform to ultraconservative extremism. But I don't understand why you're attacking journolist. Do you believe promoting a point of view by blogging or writing editorials is inherently wrong? Or is it just wrong when bloggers and editorial writers also talk to people they agree with over email?
This is a perfect three-part illustration of the dodge used by defenders of the groupthink and secret collective message advancement known as Journolist.

First, TS mirrors the us-against them inbred mood fostered by this ever-more-narrow groupthink by declaring that the very same thing, when done by the left is being performed by 'explicit advocates', and yet when done by the right is practicing 'ultra conservative extremism' (TS could almost apply for a membership if Klein hadn't bailed upon exposure, the use of both 'ultra' and 'extreme' to describe one's ideological foes would fit right in to the junior-high style of attack common to Journolist').

Secondly, this comparison is used to introduce the straw man that opinion and advocacy are what people find objectionable to the whole Journolist secret media message club. The actual (and obvious) problem is that these junior Pulitzers were colluding on message and that they were exhibiting the hate, amateurism and bile that they so often try to project onto the people they disagree with. Where were the adults? When Ackerman advocated racist smears against conservatives or Sarah Spitz desired to watch Limbaugh's eyes bugging out as he suffered a coronary, the objections (if any) seemed to be based on method and results and nothing to do with integrity, ethics or standards.

It can't be said enough, while Ezra Klein felt that the only place that liberal journalists/bloggers could hold an 'open and honest' discussion was in secret with only the like-minded, conservatives were holding theirs in the light of day and welcoming diverse and contrary opinions. To even have to consider which is a better medium for fomenting truth is to truly have your head in the sand.

Thirdly - the meme by Journolist defenders is that this is an invasion of 'private emails', dodging entirely the fact that some 400 liberal journalist/bloggers were posting ideas and recommendations to get on-message to their brethren of liberalism/socialism. To cast this as just innocent emails when it was in fact a secret bulletin board to advance the groupthink unto (mostly) mainstream news and opinion sources for a gullible public is as dishonest and despicable as the actions of the members themselves.


They got caught, they don't like it; it's rather fun to watch the mental gyrations and contortions used to defend them and in some incredible cases, even blame the messenger.

Whatfur 07-30-2010 12:20 PM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve (Post 172538)
initially, I saw Frank Gaffney.

Ha!

uncle ebeneezer 07-30-2010 12:22 PM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

But I also look at the output of news product 40 years ago vs. now and I think there was more diversity of views--or at least more reward, more admiration for diversity--in the MSM then than now.
Prep, do you have any evidence to back this up? (I don't mean that as accusation, I would honestly like to see numbers one way or another.)

This just strikes me as good-old-days nostalgia mixed with the unfortunate fact that the MSM as it is has shrunken violently as it struggles to hang on in a new media landscape. The trimming of foreign bureaus, local coverage, science etc. and the need to compete with sensationalist media juggernauts like FOX (that make no real attempt at anything more than party-line trumpeting) seems far more likely to be the cause of any loss in diversity of views (if it's really true.)

Either way it doesn't bother me too much because while diversity in MSM may have decreased, don't you think that it has been more than balanced off by the extreme increase in diversity of views via online reporting, commentary etc.? You know, the place where most people read their news nowadays.

stephanie 07-30-2010 12:26 PM

Re: Picking Up the Gauntlet (Robert Wright & Mickey Kaus)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 172505)
There really are two sets of rules: conservatives can do whatever they want -- even take direct cash payments from conservative think tanks, corporations, interest groups, and the Republican Party, while the left is attacked as unethical for merely having private email conversations with other people who share the same general point of view.

I think that, with regard to the Right's effort to use the current story, this is true, and irritating. However, it seems to me that the problem, such as it is, stems from the fact that liberals (and mainstream journalists generally) typically do not see themselves as part of a movement (let alone part of a movement first and journalists second). They do not want to have their coverage and even opinion pieces dictated by political (let alone partisan political) objectives, and they don't want to say that's the right or best way for journalism to work. In other words, they don't want to say that Fox is great, and it's hypocritical for you to attack them and not Fox, they see a distinction between what they are doing and what Fox is doing and want to maintain that distinction and the values that lead to it.

Thus, to the extent that JournoList either lessens that a little (and again I agree that it probably does very little, given the other numerous ways that ideas get reinforced) or lessens the appearance of it, it seems fair to criticize it and consistent with the way that journalism has tended to work that journalists would be part of doing that. Doesn't make many of the conservatives involved in ginning up the stories any less hypocritical (and dishonest in the coverage), but does mean that what the conservatives do shouldn't necessarily have any effect on how others feel about it.


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