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A tale of two -- actually, many more than two -- list serves

What if I told you I ran a secret e-mail list that connected progressive writers with staffers for Democratic politicians so that those staffers could tell the progressives what, exactly, their bosses wanted them writing about that day?

Sadly, I don't run such a list. Never have, either. The rule for Journolist was that no one who worked for the government in any capacity could join or, if they took a job with the government, remain. But it turns out that there is exactly such a list on the right. Dan Riehl, a prominent conservative blogger, revealed its existence today when he quit in a huff because John Boehner's director of new media hurt his feelings.

It was, he said, "a private RNC-related Listserv," and in publishing comments from it, he was "violating the presumed TOS [terms of service] for the private list." Andrew Breitbart, who has now offered $100,000 to get his hands on the Journolist e-mails in which a bunch of journalists argue among themselves, has not, as of press time, put out a bounty for the transcripts of this latest threat to our delicate republic.

I could end this post with an oh-so-profound "chortle chortle chortle." But the broader point here is that there are a lot of list servs around this town and most of them are private and most of them haven't been revealed. Journolist's existence drew notice because it grew to a large size: about 400 people, by the end of it. Paradoxically, that made it both a better target for conspiracy theories ("It has 400 people!") and a completely impossible forum in which to mount a conspiracy ("It has 400 people!"). By the list's end, leaks were understood to be constant, though I didn't anticipate anything resembling the dedicated character assassination conducted against Dave Weigel.

But though there's something wrong with people using e-mail lists to destroy someone else's career, there's nothing wrong with e-mail lists. People like to communicate with others in their profession and others who think in a broadly similar fashion to the way they do. And of course they like the opposite, as well: I'm a member of a bipartisan dinner series and offered to start a bipartisan list serv with Tucker Carlson. And then there are list servs, like the Republican one, where coordination actually happens.

And there always will be. People's demand for communication is pretty consistent. It's their ability to communicate that changes. The RNC used to call and fax conservative writers. Now they have an e-mail list with them. Journalists used to write letters to one another and call each other on the phone. Now they're on e-mail lists. There's been an unfortunate conflation between the idea that something with 400 people can't be impenetrably private -- which is quite true -- and that such things shouldn't be private. That's silly, and if the idea gets codified, it just means we're going to go through endless versions of this story. I hope Breitbart's got a lot of big bills lying around.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 29, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Andrew Breitbart, who has now offered $100,000 to get his hands on e-mails in which a bunch of journalists argue among themselves, has not, as of press time, put out a bounty for the transcripts of this latest threat to our delicate republic."


And I doubt that will we see anything approaching the same hundreds of right wingers that came running down from the hills to express outraged commentary in reply to your two posts about that "secret society," JournoList, on Friday evening.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Is DC so cruel that Tucker has to go from listserv to listserv trying to considered trustworthy and interesting enough to join? Even the Republican don't need another bow tie in the frat?

A listserv exclusively for d@uches shouldn't be impossible for him to found, should it? Maybe there is hope for Tucker. Someone should tweet him in the interim though. Keep us posted.

Posted by: jake3D | June 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

If you have an extra $100,000 in your bank account (after buying off anyone so inclined to accept Breitbart's reward), by all means, look into the GOP listserve. You don't get to tell him who he wants to expose though.

How long until Ezra joins Weigel over at MSNBC?

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Damn. Would you just go ahead and start a conspiracy so we can get over this already? Please? I'll pay you $100,000 of Andrew Breitbart's money. Presuming the conspiracy you start is to steal $100,000 of Andrew Breitbart's money for me. Thanks.

Posted by: slag | June 29, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

And on a related note:


http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/06/28/la_times_blogger_gop_flack/index.html

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 29, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"How long until Ezra joins Weigel over at MSNBC?"

Also, this made me laugh out loud. Is this supposed to be a threat? Ooohh...lost your job at the newspaper and now have to go on the teevee!

Newsflash, genius: these people like being on television.

Posted by: slag | June 29, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

The revelation that there were rules for JournoList is helpful. Is a dated copy of these rules available and would publication of the dated copy help put an end to the controversy?

Other than blind trust, there really isn't a reason for anyone to believe the assertions being made by JournoList advocates. Even Matt Yglesias admits "of course it’s inherently difficult to persuade anyone that secret activities are non-nefarious." (Jun 26th, 2010 at 5:28 pm)

Or is this a turning point -- is this the point at which the Washington Post is willing to say to a private organization with the potential to impact public discourse and public policy "Ok, Cowen and Co., your private communications are private and we won't publish them or even ask you about them. We don't play favorites: if you say something is true, we'll trust you as much as we trusted our own employee and won't pursue the matter at all!"

Posted by: rmgregory | June 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm not threatening, just hoping that the full Journolist gets published.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Can't you get the 400 members to agree to release the Journolist archives and split Breitbart's $100,000? That's $250 each, not to mention the satisfaction of taking his money.

Posted by: maple-walnut | June 29, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

maple-walnut:

I doubt that Paul Krugman, Eric Alterman, Joe Klein (no relation), and Jeff Toobin would agree.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Of course, list-servs and other electronic ways for like-minded people to share ideas are useful. I find so much of the right-wing outrage to be projective (like Huckabee's 'projective disgust'of gay sex, cf. Martha Nussbaum). It's obvious that much of what GOP elected officials, sympathetic broadcast pundits and columnists say on any given day or on a specific issue are coordinated. There's just not a lot of original thinking expressed, and remarkably many echos. By the way, Le Monde daily newspaper in Paris has a right wing watch blog,staffed by two named Le Monde reporters. They don't mince words as they cover right-wing movements and personalities thoroughly (like Weigel did here). Also, they don't pretend to be 'objective' while they do a serious job of covering their beat "Extreme(s) Droite(s)." They are clearly critical of the racism and xenophobia they document, but document and investigate they do. Apparently the management believes that readers will be OK with that, and don't much care if far-right-wingers whine and cry about it.

Posted by: nancycadet | June 29, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@rmgregory : which is more likely to be true, what the participants and listserv owner say about it or what uninformed, mean spirited, ideologically opposed commenters baselessly and recklessly speculate about it? Just askin'

BTW, have you ever tried to coordinate anything of substance on a list with 400 people on it? Unless Ezra or one of the other members is a rhetorical Moses and an organizational superperson, its not going to happen...

Posted by: srw3 | June 29, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"And there always will be. People's demand for communication is pretty consistent. It's their ability to communicate that changes"

It's WHAT they're communicating, these 400 cloisered "journalists" who don't work directly for the government that we are all so intrigued by out here.

Weigel's communicating in a new electronic forum wasn't the news, buddy. WHAT he communicated is what got him in trouble.

So... if this listserv is so innocuous, if Weigel's vulgarities and character assessments (and recommendations of how the news messengers can best help push the Democrat message) are so out of the ordinary on this professional newsgathering tool you proclaim to have created, why not show your hand?

Why not let us outsiders peek in at your relevant policy discussions, your way of gaining further education in those specialties out of your intellectual reach?

Or is it that the listserv, like your day today apparently, just got away from you?

Say -- I gotta ask: how many hook-ups, if any, do you suppose came off of membership on this listserv? Was it a way of furthering social -- as well as political and industry -- contacts via trading links and forming camraderie against those "r++++++++g" conservatives?

Posted by: Mary42 | June 29, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Mary42:

If it was so "innocent" why get rid of the evidence?

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"What if I told you I ran a secret e-mail list that connected progressive writers with staffers for Democratic politicians so that those staffers could tell the progressives what, exactly, their bosses wanted them writing about that day?"

Finally, you admit it!

Ezra Klein: Once and Future King of the New World Order. But, seriously:

"But it turns out that there is exactly such a list on the right."

No, not really. Sorry if you think that's what it was, but for the most part the GOP ignores/poo-poohs/doesn't give a rats rear end about new media, including bloggers. Go ask Ace of Spades, one of the top ten conservative bloggers, if you think they do. They have lists to send out press releases and talking points--liberal politicians and organization never send you PR about the sorts of thing they hope you talking about?

Marginally organized efforts and spamming bloggers is not a list where the GOP paymasters order their brethren around. You didn't have such a list, Ezra, and they don't, either.

Not that some people don't try to have such things, but it just doesn't work out. And it certainly doesn't work out with the GOP--there's been no sign that they "get" new media. At all. That will change, but it ain't changed yet.

The Rhiel thing has much more to do with how the old guard GOP doesn't get/resents/takes for granted new media than it represents a secret conspiracy where the GOP overlords give their zombies the talking points to regurgitate for the day.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 29, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Why not instead collect the $100,000 reward yourself and donate to charity or even give it to Obama to further the cause of socialism?

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight, btw, Ezra:

You appear to be veering into the "But, but ... ALL the other kids do it too!!" defense mode.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 29, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the "just trust me" defense, always so effective. I agree show your cards and collect 100,000 from Breitbart. Seems like easy money for giving up emails about about salsa recipes and discussions of boxers vs briefs.

Posted by: Jenga918 | June 29, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Haw Haw Haw, Klein. Your day got away from you. I bet.

Posted by: msoja | June 29, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein has nothing to hide and did not run "a secret e-mail list that connected progressive writers with staffers for Democratic politicians so that those staffers could tell the progressives what, exactly, their bosses wanted them writing about that day" (at least not directly). He destroyed the evidence for some other reason.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

"The rule for Journolist was that no one who worked for the government in any capacity could join"
says you. If it was nothing more insidious than journalists discussing how Peter Orzag scored with a hot Russian while having a love child despite his terrible toupee, that will come out when you make it public.

Posted by: Jenga918 | June 29, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Mary42,

It is therapeutic to get all that anger out but make sure it makes sense to others before it is public.


-------
"It's WHAT they're communicating, these 400 cloisered "journalists" who don't work directly for the government that we are all so intrigued by out here."

WHAT they are communicating is private. Do you believe in privacy or is that not one of the freedoms you care to protect?

They don't work for the government at all!
So you have NO right to know despite your intrigue.
-------------

"Weigel's communicating in a new electronic forum wasn't the news, buddy. WHAT he communicated is what got him in trouble."

The Republicans felt that only a true believer with the right's beliefs ( THE WHAT you refer to) would be allowed to cover them. That is why all this happened. Oh yes and he used the word "hug". My oh MY!

Don't tell me you don't know there are demagogic characters on the right, starting with Beck and the Dark Lord Rush, that are extreme, rude, illogical and feared so much so that they can't be crossed by any sane Republican elected official. They can't be reported on professionally in the WP unless the reporter is a true believer and properly deferential in private too? Is that what the right dreams of? If a blog is to cover the right it must be a propaganda instrument of the right and all communications of that reporter, private included, should be open to the Republican hounds for review and attack if there is any deviation from orthodoxy, such as it is?
This sounds like East Germany C.1960.

------------------------
"So... if this listserv is so innocuous, if Weigel's vulgarities and character assessments (and recommendations of how the news messengers can best help push the Democrat message) are so out of the ordinary on this professional newsgathering tool you proclaim to have created, why not show your hand?"

It is private and we don't eavesdrop as part of purity tests in America. We let the person's work be the proof of their professionalism (except for Fox news which is not expected to be professional by anyone).

What about a private communications escapes you? Yes, even someone reporting on Republicans can, in private, think some are nuts and unsavory. They same thing holds for reporters covering the left. Why not? And they do!

"Why not let us outsiders peek in at your relevant policy discussions, your way of gaining further education in those specialties out of your intellectual reach?"

(SEE ABOVE ON PRIVACY)
---------------------
"Or is it that the listserv, like your day today apparently, just got away from you?

Say -- I gotta ask: how many hook-ups, if any, do you suppose came off of membership on this listserv? Was it a way of furthering social -- as well as political and industry -- contacts via trading links and forming camraderie
against those "r++++++++g" conservatives?"

Not worth a comment and I can say it was not worth your typing and releasing wild to us.

Posted by: mariewilson11 | June 29, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's a clever tee shirt idea for ya Ezra. Maybe you could make some shekels from it: "Damn! Weigel got that shiny new tv show and I got is this tired smelly blog."

Posted by: adamnescot1 | June 29, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

--"They don't work for the government at all!
So you have NO right to know despite your intrigue."--

Well, there's a big difference between "being employed by" and "working for", and it isn't a stretch to say that Klein has been working his rosy red lips off for our increasingly socialist government. So, be precise, or you'll end up engendering as little respect as Klein does.

As to the second item there, you are correct! But there's nothing to stop Breitbart from invoking the magic of the market, is there? And wouldn't it be so ironic if the market helped bring a little bleach to the socialist maggot warren oozing out of Washington?

Posted by: msoja | June 29, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Jesus, conservatives. Get over it. These were private conversations. You don't have a right to the content of every off the record conversation Ezra, or Joe Klein, or Alterman, or any of the rest of them have. And if Ezra sends a funny holiday letter to his 400 closest friends, you don't get to read that either.

If you have some evidence of conspiracy or wrong doing, point to it. If you suspect that all the statements that no government officials were part of the list, then point to some evidence you have which contradicts this statement. Like with birthers, it is not incumbent on the world to disprove every conspiracy your addled mind concocts.

Posted by: MosBen | June 29, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

And look, the reality is that now we know that not only did a listserv similar to Journolist exist on the Right, but it included government representatives as well. Do we know all the details? No. Is it possible that there are some differences between the content of the two lists? Sure. The point remains that they're roughly analogous, so until I start hearing comparisons to Goebbels directed as Boehner's office (or someone involved in the listserv) as well as see huge sums of money offered for revealing its contents, conservatives can shut up about Journolist.

But even then, they're still wrong. I don't care if conservatives talk to each other about policies. I *do* care about representatives of the government being involved, but the personal, private chats between private citizens are no more my business than a conversation held at a birthday party.

Posted by: MosBen | June 29, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Except, of course, that private citizens at most birthday parties are not plotting how to slant all news coverage on favor of the Democrats.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 29, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

If nobody wants to make some easy money, it will die, simple as that.. I agree there is no "right" of anyone to see anything about an ultra-secret liberal circle jerk about trading recipes and discussing the handsomeness of Ben Bernacke's Beard. But the "trust me it's on the up and up" is weak and people will always be called out when they make such a claim. Don't be shocked that people don't believe it, the only way to disprove it is to make it public, but that is Klein's call or whoever of the 400 wants a quick 100 grand.

Posted by: Jenga918 | June 29, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

--"a listserv similar to Journolist exist on the Right"--

You've really got to quit swallowing Klein at his word. The "RNC-related listserv" which Klein dredged up in some sort of weak equivocation thing, is just a spam/press release operation, not the four hundred way street that Klein's baby was. Dan Rhiel was kicking the thing because it was just an asinine one way propaganda pipe from the RNC. Klein's little gig, on the other hand, was never ending incestuousness. Which explains Weigel's pimples.

And isn't that a great story? Weigel, I mean. Did you hear Olbermann doing laugh track behind Weigel Monday night? The boy just signed on, and there's Keith in the background providing all the necessary barnyard noises for Weigel's "serious" *"journalism"*.

Has Breitbart collected, yet?

I predict Krugman will go for the $100K (to which pile others have added.)

Posted by: msoja | June 29, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

"...private citizens at most birthday parties are not plotting how to slant all news coverage on favor of the Democrats."

Really? Can you prove that? Or have you destroyed all of the secret society birthday party conspiracy evidence for some other reason?

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 29, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree with MosBen. There's nothing nefarious about journolist. Even Bernard Goldberg has characterized liberal media bias as a result of a certain worldview, not the product of some kind of conspiracy. A Goldberg worked the newsroom for years, so he oughta know.

Which is not an argument that liberal bias exists, only that someone who would know, and believes the media is biased, thinks the idea of an organized liberal media conspiracy theory is whacked.

And the idea your entitled to private correspondence because you don't like the ideas and attitudes of those engaged in that correspondence strikes me as profoundly anti-conservative. Will you also make the argument that it was right to record Newt Gingrich's private cell phone calls and feed that to the press?

Right to free association, anyone? Bueller?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 29, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

BTW, there's no real comparison between the RNC's wrong-headed, condescending attempt to propagandize some of their best supporters in new media, and the conversationg going on on the Journolist. The Journolist is the right way to use new media to move an agenda forward. The RNC method mostly involves inserting their own heads up their derriers. So to speak.

Conservatives a little jealous, maybe?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 29, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2,

Stuck here since Right Now closed? You poor thing because Ezra is wonky and you are not at all. You are basically a common troll.

Have you had your long form (not the useless and illegal short one!) checked recently? NO? Wouldn't it be great if you were still confident (and we were too!) of your citizenship when you are attacking the President's. Am I right about that? That would feel real good!

Another opportunity: Lurking here all day you probably don't floss up to modern dental standards.

TIP: Have Dr. Orly do a teeth cleaning at the same time she verifies your birth certificate's authenticity and general and proper length. Why waste any time away from being a full time d@uche here when you can do two things with one stop?

PS
How many consecutive times have you requested your long form? If the state of your sorry birth is still answering your requests you are not committed enough to being an American! Orly would be disappointed in you!

Maybe you are some kind of Nazi or a budding communist or both with a little socialist thrown in. That could create a problematic constitutional citizenship issue for a Republican tool. There is help available:

TIP:Have Orly Taitz, barrister, check the constitutionality of that for you. If it is not 100% constitutional you can always find a second amendment solution and barricade yourself somewhere in Idaho.

TIP:Maybe it can all be done for one fee if you buy a house from Orly Taitz, licensed real estate broker. CA has really nice weather!

Best,
Marie

Posted by: mariewilson11 | June 29, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"how many hook-ups ... ALL the other kids do it too ... boxers vs briefs ... Haw Haw Haw, Klein ... scored with a hot Russian while having a love child despite his terrible toupee ... make some shekels ... tired smelly blog ... rosy red lips ... socialist maggot warren ... slant all news coverage on favor of the Democrats ... ultra-secret liberal circle jerk ... the handsomeness of Ben Bernacke's Beard ... Weigel's pimples"


Who could possibly argue with rich mode of analysis on display here tonight from the right?

Grateful sanity prize goes to Kevin_Willis.

Stay classy, trolls. You really know how to win friends and influence people. Just not in this galaxy.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 29, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Tell your mom, I said what's up.

Posted by: Jenga918 | June 30, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

REVISED list of juvenile inanity:

"how many hook-ups ... ALL the other kids do it too ... boxers vs briefs ... Haw Haw Haw, Klein ... scored with a hot Russian while having a love child despite his terrible toupee ... make some shekels ... tired smelly blog ... rosy red lips ... socialist maggot warren ... slant all news coverage on favor of the Democrats ... ultra-secret liberal circle jerk ... the handsomeness of Ben Bernacke's Beard ... Weigel's pimples ... AND ... Tell your mom, I said what's up."

Any more profound middle-school insight to contribute?

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Patrick_M: Collectivist apologist and schoolmarm.

Were you a JournoList member, Patrick?

Posted by: msoja | June 30, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

"WHAT they are communicating is private. Do you believe in privacy or is that not one of the freedoms you care to protect?

They don't work for the government at all!
So you have NO right to know despite your intrigue."

As a trained journalist, I'm intrigued. So are all the readers who buy the papers and count on journalists to keep the country informed.

You see, when you're all colluding about the message, the public loses. And we're losing out here. Baby, we're losing...

It'd be nice to have a free and independent press, and to be certain they are practicing the profession responsibly. It's a self-regulated one, you see, and there's too many little boys playing their games for themselves, with little understanding of the consequences of a "no checks" policy.

You gotta check one another. It's built into the gatekeeping system, and it all relies on an ethical foundation. Somebody Google Dick Schwarzlose and read a little before you circle the wagons and conclude there's nothing wrong with using dubious methods to shape the message.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"You really know how to win friends and influence people. Just not in this galaxy."


Lol. Since when did "winning friends and influencing people" becomed a required journalistic trait?

No wonder we can't get a straight answer anymore, and the lawmakers are just running roughshod over the press doing whatever they damn well please.

You lose the system of checks and balances, you make poor decisions as a country and you end up paying the costs. (or running out -- like that player Petey Orszag. Who says Character doesn't Count? Change is coming kiddos... Time to put away childish things like your members only listservs)

Subsumed.blogspot.com

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Anarchist "tail gunner joe" msoja,

No, I am not now (nor have I have ever been) a member of JournaList. I am a businessperson, not a writer, so I would not qualify.

I did run the already published "list of juvenile inanity" on this comment thread, but due to the late hour, I am accepting no further submissions. However, this does not mean that you and your compatriots should do anything other than carry on, for the morning amusement of all.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

"Lol. Since when did "winning friends and influencing people" becomed a required journalistic trait?"

Lol. You think the comments here are "journalism?"

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I'll try being nicer, when you try being smarter.

Posted by: Jenga918 | June 30, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Mary42,

"As a trained journalist, I'm intrigued. So are all the readers who buy the papers and count on journalists to keep the country informed."

You get intrigued easily. I'm glad hear you are trained, but not surprised you are not employed as a journalist.
---------

"You see, when you're all colluding about the message, the public loses. And we're losing out here. Baby, we're losing..."

Colluding means acting in an illegal and fraudulent way. There was no evidence of collusion. People joking or thinking together is not collusion except to the paranoid. Your having those feelings do not make it illegal.
-------------
"It'd be nice to have a free and independent press, and to be certain they are practicing the profession responsibly. It's a self-regulated one, you see, and there's too many little boys playing their games for themselves, with little understanding of the consequences of a "no checks" policy."

Free and independent means free and independent only from the government.There are no other required constitutional checks for purity to be done by anyone, even Republicans.

It is a profession that is self policing but the quality of the organization that brands the reporting helps set an expectation for the reader.

The standards vary widely as Fox News demonstrates on a daily basis. I am sure you are quite a trained thorn in their sides. I thank you in advance.

---------------------------
"You gotta check one another. It's built into the gatekeeping system, and it all relies on an ethical foundation. Somebody Google Dick Schwarzlose and read a little before you circle the wagons and conclude there's nothing wrong with using dubious methods to shape the message."

You need to make a coherent argument not just drop a name for us to google or mention random ideas.

The measure I use when I read a journalist is whether I feel the material presented is accurate and complete. Then I evaluate whether context is properly defined. When I read in an area I am informed in I can tell all this right away. I read Dave regularly and am a politics news hound.

I am never left wondering who the reporter joked with, who he likes or who he is friends with. If the treatment in the article is fair and well thought out, I am satisfied and you should be too. If he or she plays games with the reader the reporter is discredited permanently. The career is over or he goes to Fox.

The ethical foundation you talk about is the most complex matter you raise and you raised in passing. I don't feel Dave did anything unethical. I think he was naive in sharing his anger and frustrations to a group of 400. This is particularly true covering the nation's snake pit, Washington (I am of course excepting ALL Republicans since their true support for family values and their intense beliefs in Jesus and their unswerving Patriotism has kept free corruption, ethical issues or moral and legal questions or least that is their story)

Posted by: mariewilson11 | June 30, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

No one employed by the government was allowed to be on the list, Klein says. As a previous poster pointed out, it is entirely possible to be working for the administration and not be employed by it. Even to receive remuneration from it, in the form of access and other such useful goods. The two White HOuse communications directors since the 2008 election have stated how important they consider outreach to liberal bloggers to be.

Posted by: truck1 | June 30, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

"As a previous poster pointed out, it is entirely possible to be working for the administration and not be employed by it. Even to receive remuneration from it, in the form of access and other such useful goods."

Right, which is why it is logical that the JournaList membership excluded government officials, but the RNC-Right Wing Listserv for some reason does not care about the distinction, and in fact is all about having so such separation.

To learn about actual cabals involving the press, consider the case of George W. Bush and the manipuation of journalist Judith Miller by Cheney and Scooter Libby:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Miller_(journalist)

or consider the case of George W. Bush and the planted fake White House journalist/male prostitue Jeff Gannon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Gannon

or consider how the Bush administration paid columnists to spin the news:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_administration_payment_of_columnists

I am sure, truck1 (and company) you howled to the high heavens about the compromise of journalistic ethics when the WH employed a gay prostitute to impersonate a reporter and to pitch softball questions in press conferences? Or to influence the news (in the New York Times) to manipulate public opinion about attacking another country, which cost us over a trillion dollars and thousands of lives?

No wonder this "JournaList" conspiracy theory is already the walking dead of conspiracy theories, and no wonder why such a tiny number of zombie trolls have turned out to parade tonight and wave the flag of futility around the news of the right wing, party-controlled, ListServ message machine.

Nice try, but sound advice: when you find yourself in a deep dark hole, take a pause, look around, and then stop digging.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 4:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm not getting the comparison between Journolist and the listserv that Dan Riehl's complaining about. Pols feed talking points to the media all the live-long day, which is a far cry from the potential implications of 400 journalists feeding them to each other.

I also agree with something that's already been said upthread--if Journolist produced such an innocent, high-minded dialogue among ideologically like-minded professionals, and the posts that caused Dave Weigel to apologize and resign were anomalies, why the need to "destroy the evidence"?

There is an interesting article in today's WSJ which points out that Jeffrey Goldberg, as a non-member of the list, was not bound its privacy rules. That being the case, neither was Tucker Carlson.

Neither is Breitbart, nor is his offer of 100K for the archives equivalent to the media outlets that ante up cash to anecdotal sources or for interviews. In this case there are no sources or interview subjects who will feel obliged to say what they think Breitbart wants them to say. What he wants, and what he's willing to pay for, is documentation of what's already been said, in writing, with date and time stamps.

Posted by: kaygl | June 30, 2010 4:39 AM | Report abuse

"Pols feed talking points to the media all the live-long day, which is a far cry from the potential implications of 400 journalists feeding them to each other."


Oh, yeah. Or, seen another way:


Big Pharma corporations feeding marketing progaganda to supposedly independent researachers all the live-long day, which is a far cry from the potential implications of 400 independent researchers comparing notes on the best methodologies of their still independent research and reporting, and blocking particpation from Pharma in that dialog.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 4:53 AM | Report abuse

"There is an interesting article in today's WSJ which points out that Jeffrey Goldberg, as a non-member of the list, was not bound its privacy rules. That being the case, neither was Tucker Carlson.

Neither is Breitbart, nor is his offer of 100K for the archives equivalent to the media outlets that ante up cash to anecdotal sources or for interviews."

---------------------

Nice theory of absolution via non-member theft, of what are still private member-to-list-only communications.

And if Breitbart offers $100k for the opportunity to obtain your private email, kaygl, and then to publish cherry-picked excerpts surrounded by his own narrative, that's ok too, of course.

Tucker and Andrew and Toilet, er Fish, BowlDC, are not bound by any agreement between you and your Internet Service Provider, so nothing a third party might do with your private email is defamatory, invasive of privacy, or simply morally wrong?

Brave New World is here, boys and girls.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Patrick M--

I'm not sure what you mean by "methodologies" as they might pertain to Journolist. Do you mean the members mostly compared general notes on writing styles, interview techniques, etc.?

If that's the case, you help make my point. Dave Weigel's posts don't seem very clinical at all, so if his postings were an anomaly to the culture of the group, then why poof the archives? Postings on writing and reporting wouldn't represent a threat to any of the other 399 members.

Also, you seem personally upset. If you were a member of the list and posted things you are now worried about, I feel badly for you, because in a group of 400, there's likely to be at least one person who needs the money and for that reason Breitbart will probably be able to obtain the archives.

You and others who may be worried should probably start to prepare yourselves for any fallout instead of continuing to argue, justify, blame, etc.

Posted by: kaygl | June 30, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Patrick M--just saw your second post to me.

It's been a "Brave New World" from the get-go, and we are all susceptible to invasions of our privacy. That's why I'm so surprised that writers would commit to written comments that could compromise their jobs and professional reputations.

Posted by: kaygl | June 30, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

kaygl,

"why poof the archives?"

No "poofing" has occurred, since it is all merely private email communication.

Because a ListServ is simply a way to organize and distribute ordinary ~private~ email among a group, Ezra may never had a had a formal archive, but (whether he did or not) since it is just email, there are likely members who have kept it all in email in-boxes, so certainly archives do exist that Tucker Carlson and his mole(s) are already plundering. Big deal.

Guess what? If there was anything bigger than Mr. Weigel blowing off steam you likely would have already seen it. That's why Breibart is offering money for the rest, (unlike you) he understands that there is almost certainly nothing left to buy and so his money is safe. Wake up.

Sorry for the rubes who await the great previously unrevealed rosetta stone of liberal successes thanks to coordination of media messaging ... you won't find it in JouraList, but you can always pretend that one day you will.

"Also, you seem personally upset. If you were a member of the list and posted things you are now worried about, I feel badly for you..."

As I explained to the previous Tail Gunner Joe...NO, I was never a member (but I am flattered to think anyone might think I belonged in such distinguished company).

That's funny, that anyone who does not think it was a 400 member secret society MUST BE one of the 400!!!

I merely enjoy seeing how the trolls rush to these non-stories, like moths to a flame. Such a huge rush on Friday, such a tiny group of stalwart wing nuts now. Next week: nobody.

But cheers to the very few moths who showed up tonight and danced 'round the insane flame.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Marie,

We have different ideas of the way American journalism is practiced, and of the standards and practices of the trade.

You are correct -- I no longer work at newspapers or in the journalistic field, now that I am an attorney.

You really ought to talk to some practicing journalists though, and study the subject a bit. This ain't the norm -- having the blog named after the person, rather than the news subject being covered.

Journalists -- news reporters -- don't insert themselves into the news cycle, or take it upon themselves to shape policy or arrange clandestine source/writer meetings for colleauges to "learn".

(and advise on which news messages are "selling" and which need to be tapered in order to produce some preferred outcome -- like the dubious passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act.)

You see, when your boy is trying to sell it, readers question whether it was properly evaluated -- Do The Numbers Add Up? -- and that "check" on our elected is eliminated, then short-timer Peter Orszag's word is taken as gospel, to plug the preferred result.

Who pays? The American public, who bears the costs of cleaning up after the boys' mistakes because promises don't turn out as planned, and the journalistic "checks" have been removed from the system.

Except that one Breitbart is dangling, that is. Not good for the trade this new way of doing business. Doesn't take an ethical genius to see it either, just somebody with clear eyes and an honest intellect.

TIME OUT: Can we all just thank our lucky stars Ezra chose celebrity journalism, and not science to shill his wares? The open-to-all-investigation scientific method that makes honest observations in seeking the truth of the matter, this is not.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Patrick,
I don't think comments are journalism.

But I -- unlike so many who were admitted to that list apparently -- don't think the American people are fools.

If you can't handle some honest questions about cultivating news sources and keeping an open minded mindset about the subjects being covered, chances are you can't properly do your job. You know, for all those taking money in the journalistic field -- Old and New Media.

Ethics haven't changed so much as you are pretending...

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

"It's been a "Brave New World" from the get-go, and we are all susceptible to invasions of our privacy. That's why I'm so surprised that writers would commit to written comments that could compromise their jobs and professional reputations."

Yes, so the effect of plundering private communications is to make us all less candid in our our communications, even in private.

yay .... not.

If this brief story has meaning at all, it is primarily that nobody has any reasonable expectation of privacy in any setting in 2010 America. A man was fired for expressing ideas to others privately, and "conservatives" cheer.

The episode may have certain other meanings too. Elements within the right wing sabotaged a libertarian reporter who was generally considered very fair, but who privately did not suffer fools gladly. So there remains a real question whether Tucker Carlson has done the conservative movement any service at all.

In any case I only care because I admire rigorous consistency in philopsophy, and I have detected many false notes from the right about this story.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Michael Gerson today:

Many of the entrepreneurs of the new media, on left and right, are talented, vivid and entertaining. Many are also squandering important things they do not value. They are making politics an unpleasant chore, practiced mainly by the vicious and angry, and are feeding dangerous resentments in a volatile time.

Eventually, all edginess becomes old. Obscenity reaches the limits of language. People read yesterday's hot blogger, watch yesterday's cable star, roll their eyes and say, "Not again." And maybe then the Grown-Up Party will prove more enduring and interesting after all.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Who are YOU btw, Patrick?

You neglected to give us your reasons for whole heartedly defending Weigel and Klein's actions, and you are not even listening in good faith to those who try to explain the industry criticism.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

"A man was fired for expressing ideas to others privately, and "conservatives" cheer"

For the record?
A man was fired because he showed contempt for the subject of his beat so strong that it made it clear he could not perform his job properly, and indeed, he apparently saw his role in shaping the news as bigger (as in advising how best to push the Dem message) than his role in honestly covering the conservatives in this country.

Btw, does the conservative beat reporter have to work out of Washington DC? Isn't there more play in the conservative movement right now OUT of DC's cloistered circles?

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Mary42,

Quoting another person's unsubstantiated opinion is not probative of anything at all, but as a "trained" lawyer, I know that you already understand that, so your last comment is disappointing and confusing.

For clarity about your own personal representations, these questions remain on the table:

Tell us about your resume as a working journalist.

Tell us where you have received a law degree and where you have been admitted to practice law.

And confirm "I'm for real -- that's even my name" ... it says "Mary42" on your birth certifcate?

"Junior "journalists" ... blah blah blah ... so now that you are flashing your superior credentials to lecture childish Ezra.

Please let's see the actual resume you have as a working journalist and as a practicing lawyer. Certainly you are proud of your career in both fields and therefore will not hesitate to point us to your illustrious accomplishments?

In case not...why not...?

Your admiring fans await eagerly...

Let's see the resume, Mary42.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Look, my only knowledge of the Republican listserv is the link Ezra posted. If people are relying on other information beyond that which indicates that it was just a talking point distribution service, I'd be happy to read said information and amend my remarks.

Based on Ezra's link, however, there's nothing to suggest that the listserv was a talking points distribution channel. The comments Riehl objected to came "during a discussion" about whether the RNC "gets" new media. The guy from Boehner's office was a member of the listserv but had evidently never posted. That doesn't indicate to me that this was a one-way street of talking points, but again, feel free to point me to another story if you're relying on it.

I'm also puzzled how commenters here seem to think that nothing they'd ever have a problem with was ever said at a birthday party or at a bar after work. You don't think Rahm's bbqs don't have some level of political discussion? That when members of the White House Press Corps go out for drinks that somebody says something mean about the people they cover? That no journalist has ever suggested to another journalist that they not cover a particular person or story because it would give that person or story free publicity which they didn't deserve?

People have been having informal conversations about their work and their personal views since the dawn of time. And those same people have been sorting themselves into different groups to have such discussions (center to left, as in Journolist, or people interested in the military, etc.) just as long. That you're interested in what was said does not make it your business to know what was said any more than you have a right to know what Rahm said to some other pol at his party.

Posted by: MosBen | June 30, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

@Mary42 -

"I don't think comments are journalism."

Then how does this comment of yours make any sense? (to refresh your memory "counselor" ... numerous trolls on the thread said gross things, which I quote, which include):

"circle jerk" etc.

To which I say to all trolls: "Stay classy, trolls. You really know how to win friends and influence people. Just not in this galaxy."

and you reply:

"Lol. Since when did "winning friends and influencing people" becomed a required journalistic trait?"


This makes sense, how?


We'll take these one at a time, counselor. Answer this one, Mary42, Esq., and then we'll progress to your various other points.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Patrick_M:

She asked you first. Also keep in mind that at least one element within the left wing sabotaged your precious libertarian blogger too.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 30, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

MosBen:

As White House Chief of Staff, Rahm is legally protected by Executive Privilege. So such protection exists for Journolist.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 30, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I am who I say I am, Patrick.

Why are you so reluctant to accept the idea of honest commenters coming from a place of substance?

If you want to know more, do a little digging. But why bother? The news isn't about ME. (Just like it shouldn't have been about Weigel or Klein either.)

It's about the dishonest brand of journalism being practiced in the Capitol against conservatives. How 'bout that Kos who bit on faulty poll numbers. Guess what? Conservatives ain't so dumb as your trumped up polls, and young beat journalists think.

Be a little more skeptical, and break that hive mindset. Yes You Can!

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

"Who are YOU btw, Patrick?"

A person on the Internet, Mary42. I am a business person and (unlike you) I have not claimed credentials, expertise, and/or experience in the fields of journalism and law, but since you claim special accomplishment in these fields of endeavor, I trust you will share your professional resume for all to see.

"You neglected to give us your reasons for whole heartedly defending Weigel and Klein's actions, and you are not even listening in good faith to those who try to explain the industry criticism."

I hope an extinguisher is nearby, because your pants are on fire. I wasted much of the wee hours of Friday night and Saturday morning explaining that I didn't think that Dave Weigel's private emails were anyone else's business, and that nobody's work should suffer because of the content of stolen private communication, that the Washington Post's reputation was harmed by the firing, and that right-wingers were dumb for eating their own assets.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Mary42:

Good. Don't post your resume or answer any more of his questions to you until he answers your previously-asked question to him "Who are YOU btw, Patrick?" I've posted the link to my actual Bar number, complete with my full name and address, to prove I was an attorney too and they still don't answer our questions.

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 30, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"Btw, does the conservative beat reporter have to work out of Washington DC? Isn't there more play in the conservative movement right now OUT of DC's cloistered circles?"

Surely, unless of course you want to cover conservatives who actually have any power in the government, the think tanks and policy centers, etc.

Otherwise you could just roam around and talk to people in trailer parks. Yeah, that would be good. Movement conservatism, literally from the ground up. Yeah. Hey Mary, you should do that!!!

Mary loves that word "cloistered," BTW.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Jake, but I have no intention.

I'm secure in my credentials. If you read upthread, I wasn't bragging about my accomplishments, merely referenced them -- where I had learned and by whom.

Only when Patrick openly challenged my credibility did I further inform him of my credentials and superior journalism/legal training than the Ez. (He beats me in the ambition department obviously, but then you couldn't pay me enough to be where he's sitting right now. Making news, not reporting it, and so underhandedly too ... no thank you.)

I thinking Patrick is one of the numerous trolls that these new celebrity Online Journists (like Klein, Sullivan, Goldberg, etc.) employ to "push back" on honest commenters when they get to close to probing the truth, and actual facts.

As Patrick demonstrates, these new breed of journalists DO NOT LIKE TO BE QUESTIONED. You attack the people you're covering, those who disagree, point out errors etc.

The only question is: Is the American public buying it? Industry numbers -- and remember, Klein still feeds at the Old Media trough -- say no. The Post is gambling on this new no-holds-barred brand of celebrity journalim with the "Ezra Klein" blog .

But like with Alan Greenspan, I suspect eventually the record will catch up to him and not so many folks -- at the Post or elsewhere -- will see him as some young economic wunderkin, a young Krugman.

Nope, but he will have a fine career as a liberal spokesman a'la Sullivan, Maddow, etc. Or else, I can see him as an administrative policymaker shilling for the Dems, which is a bit like what is going down in the Capitol now, just under wraps, it seems.

OK, ask me for my resume again. And belittle what I've written. Yes You Can! (in fact, it's probably what you are best at...)

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

"Otherwise you could just roam around and talk to people in trailer parks. Yeah, that would be good. Movement conservatism, literally from the ground up. Yeah. Hey Mary, you should do that!!!"

Nothing wrong with making an honest living, Patrick.

Though I bet that's looked down upon in your circles, eh?

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"I am who I say I am, Patrick.

Why are you so reluctant to accept the idea of honest commenters coming from a place of substance?"

You claim to be an attorney and a journalist and you claim special status to comment and admonish Ezra Klein as a result of your lofty credentials.

You claim that sunshine is the best disinfectant for private JournaList emails, but you won't even substantiate your own claims of professional expertise. Apparently you are lying, or else you prize far more personal privacy than you allow to your fellow journalists.

So I assume that you are a fraud. Who wouldn't?

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Let it rest awhile, eh Patrick?

Next thing, you'll be demanding I prove the maternity of Sarah Palin's baby.

New Journalism and all.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@MosBen: "That doesn't indicate to me that this was a one-way street of talking points"

It wasn't (it doesn't appear), functionally. But it was practically, because the GOP does not, indeed, "get" new media, and what should have been a strategic back and forth (between politicians and pundits and advocates and whatnot, who aren't journalists), instead was an environment where the GOP spammed (and took for granted, and condescended to, their greatest allies).

For the record, the problem with the GOP list is not that it was some kind of conspiracy (it wasn't) but that it represents an "series of tubes" understanding of new media. Which isn't a problem for the left, who should be gratified that the power structure of the GOP is so dense.

That being said, the conspiracy theories about Journolist are foolish, and suggesting that people don't have a right to associate and communicate things privately, even among a large group of people, because they are journalists . . . it's just silly.

I also don't think much of Ezra ending the list--I think that's a bad decision that sends all the wrong messages--but I'll leave that for another day.

The revelation of "secret" emails meant to target one person--because you can't tell me David Weigel was the only person to have said something controversial or profane--is really kind of pathetic. That Tucker Carlson goes along with this one person image assassination campaign, and then the Washington Post does, too--that's bad news, all around. In my opinion.

This isn't whistle blowing, or investigative journalism. At best, it's a mild-violation of privacy in the service of some kind of personal vendetta.

At least Brietbart wants the whole Journolist archive. The Weigel leaks were done by someone targeting one guy, and WaPo and Tucker Carlson abetted that effort in the name of . . . something.

Also, there's that freedom of association thing. From Wikipedia:

"While the United States Constitution's First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others."

And there's more where that came from. And a practicing attorney should at least be passingly familiar with the whole "freedom of association" thing.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 30, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Mary42:

I don't assume that you are a fraud. See what I told you about Patrick refusing to answer YOUR previously-asked question?

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 30, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"Nothing wrong with making an honest living, Patrick.

Though I bet that's looked down upon in your circles, eh?"

Mary42, I have earned every nickel I have ever had through my own labor and ingenuity, and the business I have grown over a lifetime has been to the benefit of many wonderful employees, a fact which makes me very proud.

The problem is that your comments are unresponsive and make no sense, and so they lack any credibility.

I pointed out that a political reporter would logically be "based" in the District, where our nation's political power is centered.

You countered with the above quoted non-sequitur, which only confirms that you are not ready for journalism, just like your non-existent resume, counselor.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Jake,
Sorry for the confusion. Only the first line was directly written to you.

That last throwaway line was meant for the Trolls who try to issue shift and make the story about someone else, when they can't counter the facts.

Funny thing, most people I know who've worked their way up and have honestly made every dime they've spent ... they're not so contemptuous of the "Little People".

They don't need to misrepresent their beliefs -- via false polls, or poor coverage of their concerns -- to make them out to be uncivilized or stupid. What was Weigel's word -- buffoons?

If conservative beliefs and business practices really are so bad for the country, why not report honestly and let the facts speak for themselves? Why do you need to spin the news about them at all?

Playing your game Patrick: Show us your tax returns and open up your records. Are you REALLY an independent businessman who has earned his way up?? Your comments here leave me with no choice to doubt your sincerity. Show us the records, sir!

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

"Let it rest awhile, eh Patrick?

Next thing, you'll be demanding I prove the maternity of Sarah Palin's baby.

New Journalism and all."

Although you have expressed a weird interest again and again in the subject of mating, I have no interest in discussing Sarah Palin's procreation (or anyone else's personal life) with you. So let us get away from your odd fixations and back to the policy topic.

I look forward to your substantiation of the representations you have publicly made at this blog about your own special credentials in journalism and law.

Frankly, "counselor," I can't understand why as an officer of the court, and as a journalist) you would guard those basic credentials as secret, rather than as a source of pride, while demanding that 400 other strangers divulge all of their private communications.

If you have been misrepresenting yourself, just let us know, and this line of inquiry will then end immediately.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"I pointed out that a political reporter would logically be "based" in the District, where our nation's political power is centered."

The nation's political power resides in her citizens, who are scattered across the nation.

The denizens of DC -- and the 400 on the private listserv -- no more understand conservatives than they do America.

Weigel's coverage demonstrates this, as do the acceptance of the false polls about the Birthers, Tea Partiers, etc. If you want to report on America, get about. (Hopefully we all can drive in this day and age.)

If you want to report on conservative, cloistering yourself on a 400 person liberal-only listserv doesn't cut it. Though if your eyes and ears are closed, and you come in with an attitude of contempt, please boys: stay in Washington.

No need to waste the gasoline if you're bound and determined to get it wrong.

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

"If you have been misrepresenting yourself, just let us know, and this line of inquiry will then end immediately."

I've given you enough clues: go, satisfy this obsession with my credentials.

Again, I am who I say I am. Nothing to hide here... get digging boy!

If you really earned every dime you ever spent, surely you're not immune to a little hard work, not like you'll even break a sweat investigating credentials, right?

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

"Show us your tax returns and open up your records. Are you REALLY an independent businessman who has earned his way up?? Your comments here leave me with no choice to doubt your sincerity. Show us the records, sir!"

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | June 30, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

JakeD2,

You are a nice little cheeleader here, but I think Mary42 just might be an adult who can think and speak for herself.

By contrast, I don't see that you have had an original thoughts at all to contribute to this thread.

Mary's the journalist, Mary's the attorney. She has the superior education and life experience to Ezra Klein. She can present a formidable argument on her own behalf.

That's what she says, but for some reason, she won't back up word of it. She's either a complete fake, or she has something to hide.

Or she's honest, in which case she would point us to an online professional reference in Martindale Hubbell, or a state bar directory, plus her journalistic bylines....

(yawn...)

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

**High 5 Jake**

;-)

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

If you really think certain people are trolls, then do the rest of us a favor and observe this advice: do not feed the trolls.

If you do feed them, then you either don't really think other commenters are trolls, but are merely trying to insult or dismiss them by calling them trolls, or you are a troll yourself. Or possibly a lawn gnome.

More seriously, isn't the debate straying a bit far afield of the original topic this morning? Or is there something useful happening here and I'm just too dense to get it?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | June 30, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Mary42 + SockPuppet JakeD2 -

Thanks for confirming that you have no credibility, Your representations of superior expertise are thin air, and as a result your arguments about the ethics of actual grown-up real world working journalists like Ezra Klein are worth nothing.

You are free to unbuckle your seat belts and move about your alternate reality again.

Bye.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis

"If you really think certain people are trolls, then do the rest of us a favor and observe this advice: do not feed the trolls."

DNFTT is always sage advice, but at times we all fall prey to giving particular trolls a good shaking. Mary42 briefly tried to behave like someone substantive; I gave her the shake test, and found (as expected) a hollow troll.

I shall provide no further nutrition, because the trollish nature of the beast has now been established beyond any reasonable doubt.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the graceful concession, Patrick. Only wish you might have excused yourself further upthread, before all your personal animosity and accusations kicked in. Let me know what you find out about my professional background, eh?

Have a nice day, and ... (echoing you again here) Stay Classy !

Posted by: Mary42 | June 30, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Wow.

1. Admit to nothing.

2.Accuse the other side of much worse, regardless of evidence.

3. Refuse to reveal any information that will ACTUALLY clear the whole situation up.

Ezra - You finally finished your Alinsky book didn't you? Good for you! I'm so proud.

You guys could almost meet the requirements to by a climatologist for the UN!

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | June 30, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

"Thank you for the graceful concession, Patrick."

Yeah, clearly you are off your meds and are a fantastic attorney.

"Let me know what you find out about my professional background, eh?"

Done. You have none and are a pathological liar. Care to refute?


""Have a nice day, and ... (echoing you again here) Stay Classy !"


Enjoy your (echoing you again here) "hook-up" with the echo-shadow of your own monumental iq:

**High 5 Jake**

;-)

--------------

oops, just threw up in my mouth.

May you both find complete happiness together, discussing the fine points of constitutional law and 1990 journalism.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

All this back and forth, accusations and counter accusations is for nothing since truth does not seem to matter anymore. Apperance is all that is important.
This is the sign of decadence and the mortal sign of the descent of this society into the hell of irrelevance.
In an effort to mix images from the relevant past:
"Hannibal ante portes" and you keep playing the violin.

Posted by: layosh | June 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

FastEddieO007,

Haven't seen you for awhile. Welcome back.


"1. Admit to nothing.

2.Accuse the other side of much worse, regardless of evidence.

3. Refuse to reveal any information that will ACTUALLY clear the whole situation up"


Yes your message exactly describes the tactics of the right wing.

Take your meds,

See you later -

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Patrick M - That was impressive....in your email you accomplished every thing you just accused me of....

Why don't you sign up to be a UN Climatologist too!?

Posted by: FastEddieO007 | June 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Patrick M, you are hyperventilating. Calm down.

Posted by: truck1 | June 30, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

marie42,

"Journalists -- news reporters -- don't insert themselves into the news cycle, or take it upon themselves to shape policy or arrange clandestine source/writer meetings for colleagues to "learn".

(and advise on which news messages are "selling" and which need to be tapered in order to produce some preferred outcome -- like the dubious passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act.)

You see, when your boy is trying to sell it, readers question whether it was properly evaluated -- Do The Numbers Add Up? -- and that "check" on our elected is eliminated, then short-timer Peter Orszag's word is taken as gospel, to plug the preferred result."
-------
WTF

You have been away from the news for a very long time - from the very beginning of news I guess. Journalists by what they choose to cover and how in depth they go, both shape and effect the news. If they are accurate or inaccurate they shape the news.

Yes. How nefarious to even you, the barrister or staff to a barrister, that journos might meet online to exchange notes, express opinions or learn from each other. I guess you want them fully cloistered in a temple to avoid the world and keep their message pure. Are you kidding?

I'm not surprised you picked Law as your area since Law can be a natural place for folks with a professionally slippery grasp of ethics and besides it allows, even encourages, fervently arguing plausible scenarios for the guilty.

In this case your argument is not even plausible.

An instant mob was assembled with a terrible hurt though(the word hug) and it learns from stolen private communications that journalists have opinions, joke among themselves and discuss their work. A huge grievance develops ( much bigger than the word hug ) and force a funny and promising print journalist into the real riches of journalism, TV.

I guess there is no justice for the mob nor for you one of the tools in this sad public courtroom scene.

A made for TV movie plot for Fox news? I think not, but it should make for a great teaching lesson for the kids on how America is not free enough and taxed too much and what that big government? Thank god for second amendment solutions! Right?

And don't get you started on Health Care reform (since you brought it up) taking away from private hands which sick person should be dropped from their health care policy or just not insured at all. How is ANYONE going to make an honest profit in the US anymore? Tell the kids while they are still young.

Posted by: mariewilson11 | June 30, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Why don't you sign up to be a UN Climatologist too!?"

"Patrick M, you are hyperventilating. Calm down."

I do not hyperventilate. I am not interested in becoming a "Climatologist" at the UN, or anywhere else. Thanks for the concern and the suggestion.

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The FACT that this secret society of libs colluded to spin what should be impartial reporting of facts into Democratic Party propaganda is the greatest scandal to ever hit the US. This is FAR WORSE than Watergate or plagerism, and every "journalist" who participated in this backroom coup should be fired at once.

If Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Murdoch, Scarborough, and other journalists discussed how they were going to spin the news in favor of the GOP nobody on the left would be sitting still.

Posted by: Truthmonger1 | June 30, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"The FACT that this secret society of libs colluded to spin what should be impartial reporting of facts into Democratic Party propaganda is the greatest scandal to ever hit the US. This is FAR WORSE than Watergate or plagerism, and every "journalist" who participated in this backroom coup should be fired at once."

The FACT of the "secret society" (email list) is FAR WORSE than the great "plagerism" scandal (when was that plagerism scandal that rocked the nation again?) and Watergate? It is truly "the greatest scandal to ever hit the US"?!? Gall durn it! Thanks for the warning! Otherwise I wudda never knowed it!!!


"If Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Murdoch, Scarborough, and other journalists discussed how they were going to spin the news in favor of the GOP nobody on the left would be sitting still."

Right. Can you imagine if pro-GOP commentators ever seemed to be using coordinated talking points, like...say...about a week ago?

http://mediamatters.org/research/201006170001

Could not never happen in the US. It would be the GREATEST SCANDAL EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Patrick_M | June 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kevin, for being consistently sane. I do disagree about the conservative listserv, though. Again, based only on that link it doesn't sound to me like it was a forum where the RNC, Boehner's office, or anyone else just spammed everyone with talking points. Again, I'm just going of that link, so I'm happy to change my mind if there's other info out there on it. Still, just from that link it looks like there were at least some substantive conversations going on between list members. But I do agree that in general the Republican Party doesn't "get" the webs or new media very well.

Also, you're right about Patrick_M. I know that I personally have a hard time completely ignoring the trolls, but when you get to the point we're at here, man, you've just got to let some stuff go. You can't argue with conspiracy crazies, no matter what political stripe they've got.

Posted by: MosBen | June 30, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

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