Journolist debates making its coordination with Obama explicit

Jonathan Strong
The Daily Caller
7/26/2010

Sarah Palin’s speech to the 2008 Republican convention impressed more than a few doubters, including even some members of Journolist, an online community for liberal journalists.

“This speech is gangbusters,” wrote Ari Melber of the Nation. “Her tone is pitch perfect.” Adele Stan of the Media Consortium agreed: “Palin is golden.”

The exuberance appeared to unnerve the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky. “People get a hold of yourselves!” Tomasky wrote to his fellow Journolisters. “It’s a very good speech with good lines. But there’s very little substance.”

Rebecca Traister of Salon wrote to say she was grateful for Tomasky’s message discipline. (“This is a reassuring sentiment, since at the moment, I feel like we’re in End Times.”) But the rest of the country apparently didn’t agree. Polls a few days later showed Obama’s lead in the race had narrowed to virtually nothing.

Palin’s speech had been remarkably effective. This troubled members of Journolist. On Sept. 8, 2008, five days after Palin’s national debut, some members of the group discussed producing coordinated propaganda designed to wound Palin and boost Obama.

At an appearance in Colorado immediately following the convention, Palin had remarked that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive for the taxpayers,” a point that seems commonplace now, but that at the time struck some as controversial.

Ryan Avent, then blogging for the Economist, now an editor there, complained that Obama’s supporters were missing a chance to attack. “If we were the GOP, we’d be taking this opportunity to shout long and loud how unprepared Palin is — ‘She doesn’t even know what Fannie and Freddie are . . . in the middle of a housing crisis!’ . . . . That’s the difference in the game as played by us and by them.”

Michael Tomasky responded: “So why aren’t Dems doing that? Just wundrin’.”…

The article continues at The Daily Caller.

H/T Weasel Zippers

Update: Read also Journey into the Media’s Heart of Darkness on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page.

How ironic that on a day when we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Daily Caller released 15 pages of JournoListers’ email exchanges about a dark and demented conspiracy regarding my son, Trig.

It’s tough to fittingly describe these numerous members of the mainstream media who actively engaged in the debate about this conspiracy back when I was first introduced as John McCain’s running mate, and it’s impossible to legitimize any “prominent” media publication that continues to traffic in this bizarre narrative today. It wasn’t just a few fringe characters in that JournoList discussion. It included writers for major newspapers, magazines, and online news publications. Those participating in this immature exchange in attempts to plant seeds of doubt and falsely accuse even included a famous historian.

This JournoList exchange exposes the warped nature of today’s media, thus explaining why many of us are forced, in fairness to the public, to utilize other mediums to communicate until the mainstream media wakes up and begins respecting the public’s intelligence and desire for truth in reporting. There is a sickness and darkness in today’s liberal media. With revelations like the JournoList exchanges, may the light keep shining to expose the problem…

Update 2: At Althouse, “Any delusions that Journo-List was not, in part, a collusory venture…”

“… to shape the media narrative in ways to benefit Obama, above and beyond ferreting out the truth about any and all candidates, must now be abandoned. Ezra Klein has already been caught in a bald-faced lie about his discretion in picking members; and the notion that this was simply a water-cooler collection of journalistic thoughts is also belied by the emails now published by the Daily Caller.”

Sullivan seethes.

This is your liberal media, ladies and gentlemen: totally partisan, interested in the truth only if it advances their agenda, and devoid of any balls whatsoever.

Devoid of any balls. Sullivan, by contrast, had the balls to question Sarah Palin’s uterus.

Update 3: At New Zeal, “Obama File 108 Pro Obama ‘JournoLista’ Outed – New ‘Can of Worms’ Opened”:

…Another close tie to the Obama Administration comes through Kuttner’s membership of the board of the Economic Policy Institute.

The Washington based “think tank” is led by “DSAer” Larry Mishel and boasts several D.S.A affiliates on its board, including Barry BluestoneTeresa Ghilarducci (a Demos fellow), Julianne Malveaux and Bruce Raynor. New Party founder Larry Cohen and Campaign for America’s Future founders Thomas BuffenbargerJeff FauxRay Marshall,Gerald McEnteeRobert ReichAndy Stern (also Progressives for Obama) and Richard Trumka also serve.

Two E.P.I board members have joined the Obama administration, William Spriggs as a Senior Adviser in the Department of Labor and Rebecca Blank as Under Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Department of Commerce…

…Were the “Journolistas” really just a “chat group”, or were they a conduit of information to and from the Obama Administration?

Did some of their members actually have some influence on policy and/or appointments within the Obama Administration?

Was JournoList, actually an intelligence and influence brokering network for the Obama campaign and Administration?

Somebody needs to ask Robert Kuttner and other “Journolistas” some serious questions.

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