Whenever you say “Nobody on our side does that,” you’re wrong.


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

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12 Responses

  1. At the risk of repeating myself, Freddie, if Kaus doesn't think conservatives engage in cocooning this is almost certainly a function of not knowing about the form that conservative cocooning habits take. Is there an exact replica of JournoList on the right? Not that I know of, but then I am probably not someone who would be made aware of such a list if it existed. The larger point is that if there were a conservative JournoList, Kaus wouldn't care because he does not consider himself responsible for or interested in the fate of conservatism. If cocooning is harmful to the group that does it, he might even be pleased to encourage more of it on the right, but I won't press that point. I think the idea that conservatives only have their discussions in public fora is strange. There are discussions for public audiences, and discussions appropriate for a smaller group. So long as the people participating in the latter don't wall themselves off from the outside world and from people with opposing ideas, it shouldn't make any difference anyway. Report

  2. Will says:

    In Kaus's defense, an echo chamber on the Right probably helps the liberal cause. Getting his team to avoid a similar pitfall is probably the pragmatic thing to do. Report

  3. E.D. Kain says:

    I don't know that a listserve necessarily qualifies as an echo chamber. Sometimes these sorts of things are just good strategic tools. I don't get the fuss over JournoList at all. Report

  4. Freddie says:

    But I did try to stay away from questions of Kaus's ideology here, and just ask the question, is Kaus being fair to the Journolist members? And is his response ideologically situated, regardless of where he's coming from? Report

  5. Steve Sailer says:

    The point of having an invitation-only closed email list is to let people say and hear in private the insightful things that it would be bad for their careers to say and hear in public.

    Yet, the liberal reporters and pundits on the JournoList closed email list apparently view their list as an opportunity to exchange with each other exactly the same ignorant eye-rolling, the same politically correct inanities that they spout in public, just with more bad language. Report

  6. Tony says:

    To put it in terms of Plato's Republic, I think Kaus is trying to say that Thrasymachus' blush is a good thing for political discourse in general and ought to be repeated as much as possible: in Kaus' interpretation, the JournoList eliminates the dialectic that leads to the accidental expression of Thrasymachus' hidden tyrannical desires (which, according to Bloom, is why he blushes). In other words, influential and persuasive writers who mean to sway both readers and public policy are provided with an institution in which they can keep their true desires and opinions secret from those they intend to sway. I'm not saying that's what's going on, but that seems to be the main thrust of Kaus' argument. Report

  7. greginak says:

    does it really take any effort to see how stupid this entire story was/is?

    i have confess , though, i have been part of phildelphia phillies cacoon/ listserv for many years now which certainly prevents from watching, reading or hearing anything else about baseball.

    somebody tell kaus about facebook and he will have a breathless essay about how liberals only make cyberfriends with other liberals….ohhhhh….scary. OMG and what about twitter, do liberals twitter conservatives….OMG think of the children.

    sorry, this whole issue just shows how shallow and stupid a large percentage of the press is. Report

  8. John Smith says:

    The left is too quick to wield the “racist” epithet. JK Galbraith once pointed out that if you wrapped a 1,000 mile-wide band around the equater, you would not find a single developed country. The reason for this is not because the people are inherently inferior in any way, but because these societies have done the cost-benefit math on whether the hard work is worth it. Anyone else here like to work in humid, 100-degree heat? It’s the climate, not the people. Kaus is right. That not a single one of these douche-bags defended Peretz is shameful. Also, why is okay to compliment a culture but not criticize one? If I said, Mexicans are hard working. No one would feel the need to contradict me. Etc.Report

  9. Dan Miller says:

    John Smith–regarding your point about compliments, I bet that if you said that a lot of people would laugh uncomfortably and change the subject though.Report

  10. Joel says:

    This is high school cliquery 101. Kaus is jealous that he was left out of the cool kids group.Report