what the Journolist kerfuffle suggests



Freddie deBoer used to blog at lhote.blogspot.com, and may again someday. Now he blogs here.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar rusty says:

    Partly, I think that this is a reflection of the conservative tendency to always see themselves as the minority, or as underdogs.

    This is a charitable way of putting it. More accurate would be that they enjoy victimhood, as amply documented in Kevin Baker’s seminal Harper’s piece… “Stabbed in the Back!”…


  2. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    First of all, conservatives need to stop fighting public radio and public television. These sorts of institutions are necessary and vital parts of our commonwealth. I foresee a public newspaper service in our future as well, and I’m sure it will be top notch. The “liberal” bent of these institutions should be countered by quality, thoughtful, and reasonable conservatives staking out careers in journalism and attempting to get jobs in these institutions. Of course, since there are standards of reasonableness and professionalism at NPR etc. they will have to step away from the Fox style of, er, “journalism” in favor of the real deal.

    Essentially, conservatives should take Tucker Carlson’s advice and build up good journalism institutions that do exactly what the NYT’s does: report, accurately, on the news. Too many conservatives want everything to be about the “message” rather than the facts. Build a great paper and then worry about the op/ed section. Oh, and leave the op/ed section in the op/ed section – don’t let it overflow into the reporting.

    Faux outrage only goes so far and I think people will tire of the incessant whining of the conservative movement against these gargantuan “liberal institutions” like the NYT’s.Report

  3. Avatar Fr33d0m says:

    “So why such consternation from many on the right about Journolist when similar listservs exist for conservatives?”

    Please! It is a part of their larger media strategy–just like the attacks on Limbaugh are a part of our larger media strategy.

    Establishing J-list as a secret cabal of lefty journalists is a larger part of how they discredit any journalist who speaks ill of the Right.

    They have worked tirelessly to erect the liberal media myth and the left has been methodically chipping away at it–with Bush’s inept help. They know that the myth is–for the first time in its history–threatened and they are trying to reinforce it. They also know the truth doesn’t benefit them here, so why expect them to be saps and stick to the truth all of the sudden?

    They will succeed in reinforcing it with this canard as far as I can tell since the left is going to assume the public knows of and will think of the repugnicon version. Olberman’s response was too clever by half and everyone else I’ve seen talking about it seem to be wringing their hands over it.Report

  4. Antiques Road Show! Talk about intellectual rigor!Report

  5. Avatar Richard Lee Dechert says:

    Freddie’s commentary unfortunately repeats a “conservative” canard that only non-profit public TV (and radio) stations receive government subsidies, when in fact the annual direct and indirect federal, state and in some cases local-government subsidies that commercial TV and radio stations receive are far greater. Moreover, the U.S. ranks last among major Western nations in annual per-capita support for public broadcasting. He also perpetuates the simplistic notion that our multi-faceted print, broadcast and Internet media can be neatly divided into “liberal” and “conservative” camps. Our complex society doesn’t work that way and there’s no such thing as an unbiased media producer or consumer. We all have our biases. Media producers who best serve the public interest are those who appreciate and reflect the ideological, cultural, racial and socio-economic diversity of our society and provide the most accurate and timely information. As a person who’s been involved in media and public affairs for over fifty years, it’s my judgment that non-profit public media do a better overall job of serving the public interest than commercial private media. A tragic example of that is the comprehensive, well-designed 2003 University of Maryland study which shows that among major U.S. print and broadcast media, people who primarily relied on Fox News were most likely to believe and support Bush’s bogus reasons for invading Iraq, while those who primarily relied on public TV and radio were least likely to believe his reasons and support the invasion. Six years, tens of thousands of Iraqi and American casualities, millions of Iraqi refugees, and hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars later, we clearly know who did a better job of serving the public interest on that fateful issue–and that includes the supposedly “liberal” New York Times whose reporters collaborated with corrupt Iraqi exiles in publishing bogus stories that Saddam still possessed “weapons of mass destruction.”Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    You and your damn conservative propaganda, Freddie.Report

  7. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    It is so much simpler than that.
    Conservatives resent the branding that they are not as smart. That is what the whole IQ-baiting, anti-intellectual, anti-elite, anti-academia schitck is about. That is why the attempt to force IDT into highschools.
    Here’s the meme….we are just as smart as you snobby elitists…we are smart in a different way, the way that really counts…godsmart!
    We have both commonsense and godsense!

    But conservatives are not as as, on the aggregate.
    Like 99% of the top scientists are agnostic or atheists.
    Being very smart automatically makes one an elite.Report

  8. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Conservatives are as smart, not as as.

  9. Avatar matoko_chan says:

    Jeez……conservatives are NOT AS SMART on the aggregate.
    I’m going to bed.Report

  10. I’ve got an acquaintance who believes that, for news organizations, striving towards objectivity is a sure path to self-deception. He would like to see everyone move towards a more explicitly partisan press. From his perspective, the problem is less that newspapers have biases and more that they claim objectivity. From his perspective, it’s a virtue that FOX News is aware of (and constantly winks at) its biases. It’s an interesting way to resolve the objectivity problem, although I’m not so ready to say that objectivity isn’t a worthy goal. (Perhaps accurate representation of the other arguments is a more realistic goal than speaking from a neutral point between them?)

    So from this perspective, what conservatives are saying is not “you’re supposed to be better than this,” but “you claim to be better than this, but you’re not.”

    I have friends who went to Liberty, and one who went to Patrick Henry. I also knew some folks from College of the Atlantic, which might be thought of as on the “other side.” I get the impression that, at schools as small as Patrick Henry and CoA, what’s hardest to dissent from is what’s most important to the school. Thus, at Patrick Henry, you could probably get away with being to the left of the school on the less religiously-charged political issues—but dissenting on theology could be a nightmare. Likewise, if you think environmentalism is bunk, why would you even go to CoA? The bigger the school, I’d imagine, the less of a problem this would turn out to be.

    For the record, I think Journolist is getting so much attention because we’re bloggers and we love to talk about ourselves.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My “problem” with JournoList, if you want to call it that, has little if anything to do with the rights of folks to talk together off the record.

    My “problem”, if you want to call it that, has to do with the response to it having been “discovered”. The responses to the fact that tons of people are talking about it strike me as odd.

    I’ll make a comparison, I guess. On Reason’s Hit and Run blog, there was a commenter who, regularly enough for it to be noticable, talked about High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS. He eventually got mocked regularly, in threads in which he commented (but did not bring up HFCS), for being the HFCS guy. I thought that these jokes were quite funny.

    Then I started seeing HFCS defense commercials on the television. Lovers in the park discussing the HFCS content of popcicles and how it was no big deal.

    The defenses of JournoList remind me of those pro-HFCS commercials.Report