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Chuck Todd clarifies his criticism of Journolist

The diehards who are pointing to Journolist as proof of a Vast Left Wing Media Conspiracy were very excited this morning by a Politico article quoting Chuck Todd criticizing the list in fairly harsh terms. Todd ripped J-List as "offensive" and suggested its legacy is "destroying the credibility of journalism."

But I spoke today with Todd, and he told me that the Politico article didn't represent his full thoughts on the matter. Indeed, it's hard to see how anyone on the right could be cheered by what Todd actually thinks.

In particular, Todd clarified that the right's campaign to use Journolist to tar the entire mainstream media is more "disingenuous" than anything J-List did.

Todd stressed to me that he wasn't condoning what J-Listers appeared to do at times, for instance, when some J-Listers suggested message coordination. But he clarified that his primary concern is that the right is successfully using this to carry out its larger program of tarring the mainstream press as liberal.

"I understand what the purpose of the list was," Todd told me. "A minority of folks created a perception problem for the list. And there's clearly a campaign by some conservatives to use this."

The problem, Todd added, is that J-List created a "perception that the right's claim of a so-called liberal media conspiracy is true, which is not the case."

"There are clearly some on the right who are interested in delegitimizing a lot of the mainstream media for either their own gain or for something else," Todd continued. "And they're using this as their gotcha moment." (Full disclosure: I was once a J-List member.)

Relatedly, it's worth noting that the J-List flap does create an interesting dilemma for the likes of Todd. MSNBC, of course, is a primary target for right-wingers screaming about the liberal media. So any ammo the J-List affair gives to conservatives creates more problems for Todd and his network. That said, by hinting that he agrees with the right's take on J-List -- as he seemed to suggest to Politico -- Todd risks further legitimizing conservatives' larger argument, and by extension, their ongoing attack on MSNBC.

But it appears Todd has the balance right here: While a few J-Listers probably did screw up by suggesting coordination and lending the right ammo, the larger story is that the right is using this to their own ends in a fashion that's far more disingenuous than anything that ever happened on the list itself. The real media conspiracy here is on the right. It's a conspiracy to pretend that there's a story here when there isn't one.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 3:06 PM ET
 
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Comments

"The problem, Todd added, is that J-List created a 'perception that the right's claim of a so-called liberal media conspiracy is true, which is not the case.'"

That's simply incorrect. Find me one person--just one--who has changed their minds about their belief in a liberal media, or a biased media, or a "state sponsored" media, or you name it.

There is nothing that has be revealed from the Journolist that should surprise anyone who is prone to see the media as liberal-leaning. It may confirm an already held belief that, in any case, the person was not going to be dissuaded from holding.

I think most of the trolls that are showing up on Ezra's blog acting as if a great secret has been revealed were, previously, entirely convinced there was a daily meeting between all the liberal journalists where they decided how they planned to fool the American public for the day. In a sense, it is being used as a cudgel to attack the press that they believed is biased (and won't admit it) for both their bias, and for refusing to admit it.

That being said, there most certainly is a story here. Private correspondence revealed, or seeing what's going on in the secret rooms of the country club, is always interesting.

"The real media conspiracy here is on the right"

No, you did it.

No, you did!

Uh-un!

Uh-huh!

You are rubber and I am glue . . .

"You're really the one guilty of exactly what you're accusing me of" isn't a compelling argument and smacks of what is, generally, a very weak defense: "Well, yes, I'm guilty, I suppose, but you're even much more guilty than me. So it's like I am completely innocent. But you remain entirely guilty. See?"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | July 28, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

OT (sorry Greg, but this is big!)

Judge Rules Against Portions Of Arizona Immigration Law

A federal judge today blocked several parts of Arizona's new immigration law, putting them on hold as the overall law was scheduled to take effect Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that the portions of the law that most angered its opponents -- including the checking of immigration status during stops for unrelated offenses -- would not be allowed to be enforced. The Associated Press reported that the sections would be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues. White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force one that the Department of Justice would be reacting to the ruling.

Judge Bolton was appointed by President Bill Clinton. She was assigned the seven lawsuits filed against the Arizona measure, which has ignited protests, boycotts and even a scolding from officials in Mexico.

Bolton rules, "There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new [law]. ... By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a 'distinct, unusual and extraordinary' burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/judge-rules-against-portions-of-arizona-immigration-law.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"the larger story is that the right is using this to their own ends in a fashion that's far more disingenuous than anything that ever happened on the list itself"

And isn't it "ironic" that Politico got Todd's story wrong by trying to force it into the right wing narrative?

That alone perfectly illustrates the fact this whole issue is just another fraudulent right wing conspiracy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps part of the issue here is that the answer you get not only depends on the question, but on who's asking the question.

You obviously got to a different result than Politico did. Perhaps, as a former Journolist member, you elicited a different kind of response from Todd than Politico did.

Or maybe Todd didn't actually say things in the way that Politico reported them.

Will Politico release the tape or full transcript? Will you?

Posted by: benintn | July 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

No No Greg I was criticizing the right not your crowd. Get that out there quick so my liberal friends stop blowing up my phone. -Chucky

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

So why isn't Chuck Todd demanding a clarification from Politico. If he feels his remarks got Breitbarted by them you would think he would be going full throated about how lousy their journalistic standards are. Because, as you know, the whole thing where you take one little thing someone says and blow it out of context is ruining the journalism Todd claims to love.

Posted by: flounder2 | July 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

well, you know Todd, perception is reality in media land.

Posted by: dummypants | July 28, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

liberal-progressive-leftists are soooooooo shamless and pathetic. greg sargent's sorry face should be the mascot for the movement.

Posted by: dummypants | July 28, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

the larger story is that the right is using this to their own ends in a fashion that's far more disingenuous than anything that ever happened on the list itself.

sure Greg, just like the real story about Rev Wright's racism was "hey, lets call someone on the right a racist!!"

you're not fooling anyone

Posted by: windansea | July 28, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to the COMpost to prove everything said about media bias to be true, the media is not to be any partys cheerleader, this is why your monopoly on the news is dying. Your out right hate for the country its constitution its laws its institutions is out there for all to see. You have been judged by the people who matter, and that is the American people, who you also hate.

Posted by: vetterick50 | July 28, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

LMAO. Of course, Mr. Sargent, there isn't a story here. Why would you agree that there is a story WHEN YOU WERE A JOURNALISTA?

Repeat after me:

1. Spike the story. (if that doesn't work)
2. Say the story really isn't a story. (if that doesn't work)
3. Say it is a conspiracy from the conservatives (if that doesn't work)
4. Say they are all racists!
5. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Mr. Sargent, congratulations! You've managed to incorporate steps 2 and 3 in ONE article! Nice job!

Posted by: Woodshedder | July 28, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Greg thinks the conservative media is "the problem" because he doesn't want the public to know anything that would damage the liberal cause.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 28, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

breaking news:

Journalists talk amongst themselves, consult policy experts and academics, write stories.

I would rather hear conservatives talk about how they plan to pay for the occupations of Iraq and Afghistan.

Posted by: srw3 | July 28, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Todd is one of the biggest Obama psycophants on TV these days. He and his network of angy white liberals get constant updates to their talking points through their blackberrys while they're on the air.

Posted by: robtr | July 28, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Is it remotely possible that some on the right actually believe there is a lefty bias in the media? Or, do we all know the bias is to the right and are just "gaming the ref"?

On a side note, how did Barry and the Democrats achieve the largest majority in generations with such an all powerful right wing media in place? It's not like this has cropped up in the last six months? Are we confusing dissent (hillary's highest form of Patriotism) with sedition? Or is there only one way to look at and interpret facts? Do you realize how few people actually look at media let alone "right wing" media?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 28, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

AR MA GEDDON!!!!!

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"I understand what the purpose of the list was," Todd told me. "A minority of folks created a perception problem for the list. And there's clearly a campaign by some conservatives to use this."
____________________________________________

Another amusing reminder for the retarded liberals who deny the pervasive leftwing bias of the news media: Despite being marketed as a journalist, Chuck Todd considers himself a player on the left.

Conservatives all understand this. Liberals lack the intellectual integrity to acknowledge it.

Posted by: hurtubises | July 28, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut - I have a question for you; how is it possible that George Bush was a two term president in the face of such a vast left wing conspiracy?

Posted by: bcinaz | July 28, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but Angle is Palin level stupid:

"Angle: Well, I think that the Supreme Court has really made their decision on this, they found that we have a First Amendment right across the board that was violated by the McCain-Feingold Act. And that’s what they threw out, was those violations. The McCain-Feingold Act is still in place. The DISCLOSE Act is still in place. It’s just that certain provisions within that they found to be definitely violating the First Amendment. If we didn’t have the DISCLOSE Act there would be a lot of different things that people wouldn’t be able to find out. And certainly you can go to FEC.gov and see where Harry Reid is getting most of his money from special interests. "

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Even the media reaction is right out of Alinsky, so further analysis is actually unnecessary. They are quite well trained to carry on the assault on democracy in the event of any bump in the road.

Posted by: Rita2 | July 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

SWEET!

Missouri Tea Partiers Rip Michele Bachmann For Backing Roy Blunt

Tea party groups in Missouri are furious that national tea party icon, Rep. Michele Bachmann, endorsed the strong frontrunner for the Senate nomination Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Bachmann will join Blunt for a fundraiser and to make campaign calls in his St. Louis headquarters Saturday.

Given that Bachmann has emerged as a tea party hero and formed the brand-new Tea Party Caucus in Congress, the groups said "we were shocked" that she is backing Blunt since he voted for the TARP bailout funds and "Cash for Clunkers."

"We believe she has been grossly misled if she understands him to be a Missouri Tea Party candidate," read a statement issued by 38 groups from the Show Me state, claiming to represent more than 8,660 activists. The statement came with a list of the groups, noting they have "NOT" endorsed Blunt.

The Eureka Tea Party said Bachmann is risking the "status" of her caucus by taking sides.

"The Tea Party is not the Republicans to claim. This is the citizen's movement and we will not stand for any politicians to try to use us for their own political gain," wrote MID MO 9/12 Patriots in a statement.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/missouri-tea-partiers-rip-michele-bachmann-for-backing-roy-blunt.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey trolls - explain this to me please:

Every Wednesday morning in (Grover) Norquist's Washington offices, the leaders of more than eighty conservative organizations -- including major right-wing media outlets and top Bush White House aides -- convene to set movement priorities, plan strategy, and adopt talking points. Norquist seems a cross between a Communist Party boss and a Mafia don as he presides over these strategy sessions ...
Conservative media turned out in full force for the weekly strategy meetings convened by right-wing activist Grover Norquist -- Peggy Noonan and John Fund of the Journal, representatives from National Review and the Washington Times, and a researcher for Bob Novak all checked in. The right-wing writers considered themselves part of the conservative movement "team," as Norquist put it ...

The Monday Meeting offers a clue to understanding the conservative movement's success and its continued vitality.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 28, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Or this, explain this one:

Matt Labash, of the neo-conservative Weekly Standard stated the right wing view on journalism accurately a few years ago: "We come with a strong point of view, and people like point-of-view journalism. While all these hand-wringing Freedom Forum types talk about objectivity, the conservative media likes to rap the liberal media on the knuckles for not being objective. We've created this cottage industry in which it pays to be un-objective. It pays to be subjective as much as possible. It's a great way to have your cake and eat it, too: Criticize other people for not being objective but be as subjective as you want. It's a great little racket. I'm glad we found it, actually."

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 28, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

So, Chuck Todd and Shirley Sherrod have the same problem: the right wing is full of liars who push stories that are full of lies.

Rather than be pissed at JournoList, maybe Chuck Todd should be pissed at people like Jake Tapper, who defend Fox News as a "sister" network.

Really, the White House wasn't wrong when they said Fox was "not a news organization."

I don't understand why it's so hard for people to just face simple facts. The right-wing pushes lies. Fox News pushes lies and a political agenda. Breitbart is a proven liar who is feted by the Republican party, and whose stories are pushed by all kinds of right-wing media, including Fox News.

Posted by: theorajones1 | July 28, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

mike, that Angle statement certainly is as incoherent as anything Palin has said. It's almost like she's drawing random words out of a grab bag and reading what is printed.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 28, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

story: media skews lib 90%. media used to pretend to be objective, but now doesnt even try and is found out. lib media says that pointing all this out is actually really bad. lib media blames the real media for doing the bad thing, pointing out lib media's disintegration/deception/lack of decency and ethics. one lib media say oh actually it kinda was bad that we did that. so another lib media immediately silences him, allows him to correct and extend his remarks. so that they are now inline with the doctrinaire groupthink lib media line of the story (see above). chuck todd gets invited to the parties again. war is peace. freedom is slavery. yep, i got it guys. thank. you. for. the daily. news. i. have. been. ass-i-mil-la-ted.

Posted by: fred1962 | July 28, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn:On a side note, how did Barry and the Democrats achieve the largest majority in generations with such an all powerful right wing media in place?

It took 8 years of total incompetence by bush and the republicans, including stagnant wage growth for all but the top 5%, 2 horribly mismanaged invasions (one we were lied into), the weakest job growth (not even keeping up with population growth) of any 2 term president since the great depression, monumental incompetence dealing with Katrina, the wealth gap between the top 5% and the rest of society at levels not seen since the guilded age, and his crashing of the financial system and economy along with the McCain/palin (we have no clue how to run a campaign much less the country) combination of flip-flopping has-been and not-ready-for-prime-time ticket,to overcome the clear conservative bias in news coverage.

That wasn't so hard, was it?

Posted by: srw3 | July 28, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"TrollMcWingnut - I have a question for you; how is it possible that George Bush was a two term president in the face of such a vast left wing conspiracy?" - dude, thats easy. the elisits liberal media dont realize that everyone is NOT as stupid as they think. see?? they assume we are all morons. and most folks just disregard them (lib MSM) now. as the tools that they are. they only "influence" and "speak to" them selves. its a circle jerk. regular folks are on the outside of the circle laughing at them. so yes, theres a conspiracy. it just doesnt work anymore. yet, they cling to their lost and tattered influence as if its real. to them, it IS real. i mean everyone at their parties reads each other, right? and they give each other awards and everything!

Posted by: fred1962 | July 28, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

cmccauley60 - I remember Jon Stewart doing a mash up of Republican talking heads and politicians during the Bush years. In the mash up there were many (dozens) of Goopers all saying exactly, and I mean exactly, the same thing.

If the GOP is good at anything it is message coordination/party discipline. They truly do share a hive mind. I'm not even sure why Republicans run candidates; they could replace the entire Republican caucus with a machine.

The Dems suck at messaging and discipline. They always have. "I'm not a member of an organized political party; I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers, 1935.

The journ-o-list nontroversy is just more GOP projection. They want to blame the left for the sins of the right. Sadly, many in America's media are so afraid of being labeled "liberal" that they won't "refudiate" this nonsense.

Posted by: nisleib | July 28, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like Fred IS as stupid as the FOX/Rush/Beck group needs him to be.

He don't need no stinkin facts. He laughs at facts. Facts have a liberal bias.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 28, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Right Wing Journalism at its FINEST!

Fox News:

"The administration estimates that eliminating the top-tier tax break would save the government nearly $700 over the next decade."

Get that?

Almost $700!

Haha!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 28, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse


The problem with the MSM is that it is not reporting ALL the news stories and with most of the stories they leave out huge chunks which leaves readers with a subjective view instead of it being an objective news story.

BTW, I know the difference between news reporters and columnists.

I have yet to see the story in WaPo about Obama's secret memo to the UK (which Obama has told Britain not to release, but it was leaked anyway).

Last week with Cameron, Obama said he was surprised and angry at the Lockerbie bomber's release by Scotland.

Not so, Obama, according to the secret memo, stated that if the Lockerbie bomber was to be released he would prefer he be kept in Scotland rather than deported to Libya.

I read it last weekend in The Australian. I happened to be reading The Telegraph and on the margin there was a link to this story.

Same with a story about Obama sending $5 million to Kenya to fund the new Constitution which will allow abortions. The provision was created by US' Planned Parenthood for Kenya's Constitution it was reported.

There may have been US laws violated and I believe some in Congress have requested an investigation on this incident.

Where is it in WaPo?

I have to go outside the US to find out what's REALLY going on in our country.

This is sad when our own US MSM are censoring what they ALLOW us to know.

Posted by: janet8 | July 28, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Barry and the Democrats (and Bush, by extension) spoke in terms that were difficult to spin regardless of who reported (Hopey Changey) but are vague enough to appeal to the majority of the electorate who do not pay attention to the media, allowing the electorate to fill those vague policies However they wanted. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 28, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, this one's for you!

SOMEONE BUY THUNE A CALCULATOR.... Politico reported this week that Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is trying to "build up his policy credentials," in advance of a possible presidential campaign in 2012. With that in mind, the conservative, unaccomplished senator intends to "make a name for himself on budgetary matters."

He's off to a rough start.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) -- the fifth highest ranking Republican in the Senate -- has a new plan for lowering deficits, and as you might expect from GOP leadership, it involves zero tax hikes. It does however, involve math and, if his appearance on Fox News last night is any indication, Thune finds math rather difficult. There's really no other way to explain his utter failure to remember the law of diminishing returns when he talked about the benefits of his deficit reduction plan.

Appearing on Fox News, Thune and host Greta Van Susteren discussed the bill's call for the creation of a Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with reducing the deficit 10 percent year over year.

"It would be required to find 10% in savings -- 10% of the deficit in savings every budget cycle," Thune said.

"So in 10 years we wouldn't have a deficit?" van Sustern asked.

"Theoretically, yes," Thune replied.

Mathematically, no.

Let's say the government starts with a $1 trillion budget deficit. If Thune's committee reduces it by 10%, it would be a $900 billion deficit a year later. The next year, it cuts another 10%. Would that bring it down to $800 billion? No, it'd be $810 billion ($900 billion - 10% = $810 billion). A year later it would be $729 billion, followed by $656 billion, and so on.

Thune thinks this approach would eliminate the deficit in 10 years, but he forgot to do the math, so he's off by an entire decade. It's understandable for van Sustern to mess this up -- she's a Fox News personality -- but this is the senator's own plan, intended to give him credibility in advance of a national campaign.

Someone couldn't let him borrow a calculator?

(this is from Benen)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

journolist fostered groupthink among those who are paid to be independent and distrustful of those in power. that's the problem.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | July 28, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

janet8: "BTW, I know the difference between news reporters and columnists."

Yeah, sure you do. You proved the other day that you don't know the difference between investigative journalists and conspiracy theorists.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Janet, this one's for you. From no liberal, this is from http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/07/026855.php -

Today the State Department did release the full text of LeBaron's letter. In my opinion, it answers the questions we asked yesterday and reflects credit on the State Department and the Obama administration. The relevant portions are as follows:

-- Nevertheless, if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the U.S. position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose.

-- If a decision were made by Scotland to grant conditional release, two conditions would be very important to the United States and would partially mitigate the concerns of the American victims' families. First, any such release should only come after the results of independent and comprehensive medical exams clearly establishing that Megrahi's life expectancy is less than three months. The results of these exams should be made available to the United States and the families of the victims of Pan Am 103. The justification of releasing Megrahi on compassionate grounds would be more severely undercut the longer he is free before his actual death.

-- Second, the United States would strongly oppose any release that would permit Megrahi to travel outside of Scotland. We believe that the welcoming reception that Megrahi might receive if he is permitted to travel abroad would be extremely inappropriate given Megrahi's conviction for a heinous crime that continues to have a deep and profound impact on so many. As such, compassionate release or bail should be conditioned on Megrahi remaining in Scotland.

-- Again, while we are not able to endorse the early release of Megrahi under any scenario, we believe that granting compassionate release or bail under the conditions described (i.e. release with a life expectancy or less than three months and with Megrahi remaining in Scotland under supervision) would mitigate a number of the strong concerns that we have expressed with respect to Megrahi's release.

There you have it: an entirely appropriate expression of concern on behalf of the American people that Megrahi be demonstrably near death--something that turned out not to be true--and under no circumstances be turned into a jihadist hero back in Libya--something that did happen, but not as a result of American policy.

So, unless some contrary information comes to light, I consider this a non-controversy in which the State Department and the Obama administration acted honorably and appropriately.

My guess is FOX didn't report this, right Janet?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 28, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

journolist fostered groupthink among those who are paid to be independent and distrustful of those in power. that's the problem.

Posted by: NoVAHockey


What does Faux Noise foster? (Oh, my bad, they are paid to be the media arm of the GOBP!)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

All, new Harry Reid ad:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/harry_reids_goal_localize_loca.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 28, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

I thought you journ-O-listers had all decided to NO LONGER talk about it?

Posted by: clawrence12 | July 28, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

man, the trolls are here with their talkingpoints.

all the regular trolls must be so proud of their ideological fellows here.

notice that no one has responded to the fact that rightwingers do this. but of course, it's okay for them to do it. it's only when people they do not agree with talk about their opinions that it becomes wrong.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Janet says, "Same with a story about Obama sending $5 million to Kenya to fund the new Constitution which will allow abortions. The provision was created by US' Planned Parenthood for Kenya's Constitution it was reported."

That is a nonstory. According to the story pushed by Free Republic (that actually, according to their link, started with the "Christian Newswire" (the link doesn't lead to an actual story on "Christian Newswire", it just links to their home page)) the actual story is thus:

New evidence reveals that the Obama administration has given up to $10 million to groups in Kenya that are campaigning for a "Yes" vote on a new constitution that would legalize abortion.

This isn't a story to anybody but wingnuts. A) 10 Million dollars is not material B) This comes from rightwing BS sites like Free Republic C) There is no backup to the story D) USAID made the grant and USAID is an independent organization that, per their website: USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Our Work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting: economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and,democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.

If that is the best you have you need to watch more Glen Beck. He'll update you on all the really juicy nonsensical Republican conspiracies.

Posted by: nisleib | July 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

You missed these, Janet:

I was talking about this earlier today while recording a BHTV episode with Ross Douthat, but I think it’s genuinely too bad that so much of the right-wing’s energy is dedicated to idiotic made-up stuff. There’s presumably some insidious goings-on inside anything as enormous as the United States government and people need to look into that, and the ideological adversaries of the incumbent administration are logical candidates. Instead we’ve got:

— Andrew Breitbart discovers Dixiecrats: “Tea Party demand: Will the Democratic Party condemn its racist KKK roots on national TV?”

— Jim Lindgren exposes the totalitarian implications of Michelle Obama’s birthday email about her husband.

— The Weekly Standard exposes . . . something unclear about John Podesta’s not-at-all secret support for UFO disclosure.

— Newt Gingrich battles a made-up looming sharia takeover of Minnesota.

That’s just stuff I came across today, none of it written by Andy McCarthy or Jonah Goldberg!

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/07/loopy-hits/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | July 28, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

This is just a sorry attempt at distraction. Its the old "nothing to see here, move right along".

it won't work this time. The revelations were just too damning. sure Mr Sargent et al wish to minimize their interaction, who could blame them? but that, IMHO, wasnt't the bombshell.

the bombshell was the blithe acceptance of some very ugly ideas. the entire "pick an opponent and call him racist" discussion simply confirmed what many had long suspected. When this was coupled with Mary Frances Berry's unfortunate bout with the truth one of the left's favorite weapons was struck from their hands.

spencer ackerman has no decency. And those who engage in damage control, which is what Mr Sargent is doing here, lack decency as well.

the left's tactic was laid bare for all to see. What we're now learning is that the left has no shame.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 28, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28 says, "the bombshell was the blithe acceptance of some very ugly ideas. the entire "pick an opponent and call him racist"

So it upsets you that some on the left want to use the tactics of Atwater and Rove?

Ackerman is a hack and a fool, he is hardly a big name in the media, or even left leaning blog world. I could see making a big deal out of this if it resulted in some sort of action, but it didn't.

Ironically the right has actively been coirdinating its messaging for years and years. It isn't even a secret, see cmccauley60 post from above.

I get why some on the left might want to use the tactics of the right, but they should fight that impulse. We are on the left are better than those on the right. We are smarter and we are allowed to have differing opinions on matters of political import. The right doesn't allow that, which is why they keep booting the few intelligent people that remain with them (Frum, Sullivan, etc.)

Posted by: nisleib | July 28, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

My complete lack of respect for Chuck Todd is likely well known by now on this forum...so I'll keep it short.

Chuck should stop spending all his time trying to impress his fellow gatekeepers by regurgitating the beltway CW (which is what his comments to politico are, don't kid yourself Greg), and go back to digging through polls and actually revealing useful information.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 28, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

What a joke of an article. 400 members of the media (including several employed by the post) team up and work to squash certain stories that would only hurt democrats and their subsequent writings prove this. You say there is nothing there. 90% of the MSM vote Democrat in every blind poll taken in newsrooms....I have an idea. Why dont you just insist they release the participants and the threads and see what shakes out. DIDNT THINK SO.

Posted by: j751 | July 28, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

blahgblogwordpresscom, please provide even ONE NAME of someone comparable with Time magazine's Joe Klein that you allege is part of the right-wing conspiracy. Hillary was dead-wrong!

Posted by: clawrence12 | July 28, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@j751: 400 members of the media

Can't even get the simplest facts straight. There were professors, public policy experts, advocates, and journalists on the list, so it is impossible for all 400 to be part of the media.

Again, journalists talk amongst themselves, consult experts and academics, and write stories. danger!!! danger!!!!

Posted by: srw3 | July 28, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Since we don't KNOW how many total members there were (2007-2010), it's quite possible that 400 were "media" (before they moved into VP Biden's staff, of course.

Posted by: clawrence12 | July 28, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

So far, we've only been able to positively ID 137 journ-O-listers:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2559245/posts

Posted by: clawrence12 | July 28, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

One of those members, Jeff Toobin LIED when he claimed about journ-O-list: “No one’s pushing an agenda”.

Posted by: clawrence12 | July 28, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I am a political junkie -- and I just do not give a damn about this issue. It is media people playing inside baseball. Let it go and stop spending valuable space and attention on this issue.

Posted by: skocpol | July 28, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent:

When you are in a hole, quit digging.

Since you have not noticed, I would like to point out that you are in a hole, and if you keep digging the walls may fall down around you.

It can be suffocating.

Posted by: letscheck | July 29, 2010 4:50 AM | Report abuse

journolist fostered groupthink among those who are paid to be independent and distrustful of those in power. that's the problem.

Posted by: NoVAHockey


What does Faux Noise foster? (Oh, my bad, they are paid to be the media arm of the GOBP!)

Thanks for making my point. You can't critisize Fox and then defend the j-listers -- they're doing the same thing. They're equally at fault and both examples of the problems with journalism.

what's GOBP? or just a typo?

Posted by: NoVAHockey | July 29, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

LOL @ Greg Sargent.

Posted by: mwmillertime | July 29, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

You are defending the indefensible.

Collusion (Free Dictionary)

“A secret agreement between two or more parties for a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purpose”

JournoList fits that “deceitful purpose”

Judge for yourselves and don’t chatter away unless you have read chunks of the postings.

I've read the 15 pages of the JournoList postings related to Palin's child Trig and the possibility that Trig was the child of her daughter.

Go to the Daily Caller complete report at:

http://tinyurl.com/294j3rz

Yes, some did want to stay away from this for moral reasons, but many who did not want to capitalize on it did so for "political" reasons.

I was disgusted after reading the postings and to find out how cruel and mean spirited the "journalists" were.

It was clear that the listers were developing coherent and unified "talking points" to take down Palin and, hence, McCain.

Kathleen Geier [Talking Points Memo]

Aug 30, 2008, 5:20pm
“When I first heard this story, I thought it was preposterous. (And btw, a scenario similar to this lurid tale occurred last season on Desperate Housewives). And maybe I really am losing it, driven over the edge at last by my hatred of all things Republican, but at this point I’m starting to believe it.”

Brad DeLong [Berkeley economics professor … it figures!]

Aug 30, 2008, 8:12pm
“Which is why I think the balance of probabilities is that it is her kid–unless Trig has not Down but fetal alcohol syndrome, in which the balance shifts back the other way.”

The evidence shows that JournoList is a collusion of Liberal/Progressive journalists, activists and professors discussing and developing ways to take down Palin, McCain, and Conservatives by any means possible.

Posted by: jgfox39 | July 29, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Why is this unethical NUT still employed at the Washington Post?

Does the Post have no shame and integrity at ALL?

Whatsa matter, Mr. Sargent, couldn't decide on any random conservative to scream "racist" at today? No handy conservative to smash thru a plate glass window and photo for your Christmas cards?

Facts are that until the Washington Post fires you bunch of unethical nutjobs, they have no integrity at all and you can STHU.

Take that back to your snuggle buddies at CABALIST.

Posted by: LogicalSC | July 30, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The second funniest thing is watching the stupidest people in America, leftists, trying to protect these unethical nutjobs.

They are too stupid to know that it is they whom are the ones who are being lied to by these nuts and they wonder why everyone of their leftist "messiah's" turn out to be such disasters and criminals.

I mean after all, Joe Klein and Greg Sargeant, Chuck Todd, Ezra Klein assured us that Barack Hussein was the "smartiest man evah" and that he did not belong to a racist organization. HOW COME HE IS SUCH A FREAKING DISASTER then, we were assured he was magical?

Think any of you idiots might have chosen some else without these liars covering up that little Barack had failed at every single thing he ever attempted in his life, from investment analysis to community organizing? It would certainly have help you in expecting and understanding the disaster you are witnessing? Think you might have been spared the shame of voting for a leftist David Duke if these liars had not whitewashed the truth about Barry's racist "faith" into which he baptised his children?

You people are the pigeons and rubes, fools.

Posted by: LogicalSC | July 30, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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