Media Liberals on 'JournoList' Plotted to Bury the Jeremiah Wright Story
The Daily Caller
has another scoop on the leftist JournoList e-mails on Tuesday, recalling
when liberal scribes all wanted the Jeremiah Wright story to be dead
and buried in the spring of 2008. Jonathan Strong explained "Employees
of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post,
the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic
participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in
the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage."
Stephanopoulos asked [at a debate], "Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?"...The tough questioning from ABC left many of them outraged. "George [Stephanopoulos]," fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is "being a disgusting little rat snake."
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama's conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares - and call them racists."
Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: "Listen folks-in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn't about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people."
"Richard Kim got this right above: 'a horrible glimpse of general election press strategy.' He's dead on," Tomasky continued. "We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease."
The most eye-opening quote may come from Chris Hayes, a regular
guest and occasional guest host on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC,
writing about how America is a murderous, torturing giant, and that's
much more outrageous than Wright. In fact, Hayes echoed Wright's
Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to "particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media" who were members of the list.
For followers of the Clinton scandals, it gets incredibly rich when Katha Pollitt confesses:
The Wright controversy, Hayes argued, was not about Wright at all. Instead, "It has everything to do with the attempts of the right to maintain control of the country."
Hayes castigated his fellow liberals for criticizing Wright. "All this hand wringing about just how awful and odious Rev. Wright remarks are just keeps the hustle going."
"Our country disappears people. It tortures people. It has the blood of as many as one million Iraqi civilians - men, women, children, the infirmed - on its hands. You'll forgive me if I just can't quite dredge up the requisite amount of outrage over Barack Obama's pastor," Hayes wrote.
Katha Pollitt - Hayes's colleague at the Nation - didn't disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. "I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita," Pollitt said.
"Part of me doesn't like this s-t either," agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. "But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals."
Ackerman went on:
I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It's not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright's defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger's [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them - Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares - and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.
Ackerman recently moved from The Washington Independent to Wired magazine and its "Danger Room" blog
on national security. "Wired" would be one word for his attempt to
recreate the Sean Connery "Untouchables" morgue speech - which he
meant rhetorically, obviously.
-Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.