March 26, 2009

Mickey Kaus leaks a JournoList thread.

We've discussed JournoList here before. (Remember? It seemed to trigger Ezra Klein's bizarre tweet that there were "a lot" of anti-Semitic commenters on my blog.) There are 300 journalists hanging out with each other on the list. Is that a bad thing? Are they coordinating their stories, losing their independence and sharp edge? Well, they aren't so coordinated that they can all keep the list secret, and here's what Mickey got hold of. They seem pretty tedious and unattractive. I don't mind if they keep it private, very private. That said, if there's anything on the JournoList about me — some scurrilous charge of anti-Semitism, perhaps — please pass it on.

ADDED: "The JournoList Sure Has A Lot Of Anti-Semitic Commenters."

69 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Inane drivel. I thought our two to three anti-Semites made for bad reading. After reading through that crap, I say: bring on Cedarford.

There's no worse sin in writing than being trite and uninteresting. Hence, at least to judge from this example, you are going straight to hell, Ezra.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Good grief, Eric Alterman is just as much of a boring, self-important pedant in private as he is in public. Seriously, who did he screw to get his job?

BJM said...

Teh internets rule # 1; do not fuck with Mickey Kaus.

MayBee said...

The whole "X(person) is a Y(socially repugnant type of person)" seems to be a bit of a recurring theme with that crowd.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

JournoList is a rearguard. The ‘elite’ members are afraid to have their back-and-forth in public where someone might see that they float an argument and get shot to pieces.

But with JournoList, when they float a line and get shot to hell, it’s all in private – nobody else saw it - and they are thus free to grope their way to a more supportable argument, and go public with the position looking like they knew it all along on the first try.

In the world where commentary and punditry now passes as news, it’s a purely business decision. It used to be called fact checking in the news business. Now that most news is really opinion, call it opinion product alpha and beta testing – “let’s get all the bugs out before we launch it into the open.”

Which means that the members of JournoList are actually only1/2 to 1/3 as smart as they have been appearing.

fivewheels said...

Mickey's an honest journalist, I guess. Revealing this content cuts completely against his previous thesis that something significant might be going on among these people.

And Alterman, sheesh. Even if you agree with him or he's right on the facts, he just makes you want to scream at him.

Joe M. said...

What ineffective dithering.

Though, to be fair, this doesn't look like the worst that some people were imagining--it really doesn't make them look all that bad, just (as Althouse says) "tedious and unattractive". Which of course raises the question of whether this is a representative conversation or one selected to make the list look good (or better than it would if some of their nastier conversations were released).

But such questions can't really be answered except by a complete release of the List's conversations. And really, after this, who would want to read that?

AJ Lynch said...

What would Ezra Klein write about if he gets single-payer universal hlthcare?

Also, I don't think this limited thread disproves Kaus's concern that stuff was being coordinated among MSM members and political operatives.

Fred4Pres said...

It is times like this I wish Spy Magazine still existed.

John Lynch said...

What's really funny is that journalists sound just like anyone else. It could be an internet forum or blog comment thread pretty much anywhere.

They really aren't any better at this than we are.

Methadras said...

I don't know how I prevailed through reading that bit of utter mind-rot passing as nuance, but if Journolist is being labeled as the evil lefto-journalist cabal, then someone failed in that characterization.

Bill Kilgore said...

It reads like "poker night" for the trumpet section of your local high school band.

I wonder if Kaus got any of their World of Warcraft threads?

Bill Kilgore said...

Can we call it the EkoList?

Charlie said...

One amusing result about all of this is how they view Olbermann as, by and large, "insufferable". Obviously the right does too, so who exactly is his audience?

EDH said...

All I know is that like Mickey Kaus.

A lot.

Even when I disagree with him.

I enjoy his Bloggingheads repartee with Bob Wright. They are like an old time comedy duo.

Or the Odd Couple. You can guess which one is Felix and which one is Oscar.

I particularly like how Mickey's shelves a always disheveled and the way he treats the blog-cam like his bathroom mirror.

rcocean said...

Soon Micky will be accused of "anti-semitism"

JournoList destroys those it can not silence.

hdhouse said...

What? All this from the same blogmembership that was all hot and bothered that there was some secret Algonquin Round Table afoot and comparing thoughts?

Oh oh oh...watch out. hide the silver. save the kids. free the livestock.

The rampant paranoia line starts over there -------------->
(he says pointing to the far right)

ps .. I still think Klein meant that there were a "lot of bloggers on Althouse discussion anti-sem...rather than a lot of anti-sem bloggers...

Seven Machos said...

Is that what he meant, HD? Really? Why did he say something else, then?

I guess it's because, like you, he's a sucky writer. And here you are, a bad writer trying to cover another bad writer. Guess you losers have to stick together.

Seven Machos said...

Charlie -- Doesn't it seem clear, though, that they appear to be regular viewers of Olberman's?

Lem said...

"One of the most sensitive groups over the years that don't want cameras often in front of them are journalist."

Said Brian Lamb interviewed on a Politico podcast.

There is probably a lot more peer review going on behind the scenes that we don't know about.

The danger, as I see it, is that politics is inexact. This kind of thing can lead to self censorship, stifle thought, leading to a poorer civil discourse.

Guesst said...

I expected more intellectual dialog, clever and insightful, maybe even a little witty or self-depracating.

Instead, it is nothing more than career-belongers trying to find their places in the pecking order of punditry.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. A bit catty, aren't they?

They really aren't any better at this than we are.

If that thread is representative, I'd say they're worse.

Freeman Hunt said...

I also love Savage as the much talked about conservative villain. Anyone ever heard a conservative refer to Savage? Anyone ever seen him mentioned prominently among conservatives? And yet, to these guys, he seems quite the bugaboo.

JSF said...

When the news of the JounoList first came out, I called Projection because what the Left (and their allies) do, is what they accuse the right of.

Reading the JournoList's emails, I only had one thought come to mind: These people are reporters and they are VERY closed minded. What a great combination!

Next time a Republican is accused of anything, maybe a reporter can research what the Democrats are doing.

Right now, all the reporters are busy being stenographers to the current administration.

AllenS said...

Looks like GossipList.

David said...

Circle jerk. Circle jerks.

Fen said...

I guess it's because, like you, he's a sucky writer. And here you are, a bad writer trying to cover another bad writer. Guess you losers have to stick together.

And isn't that the purpose of JList to begin with? Intellectual lightweights bouncing their drafts off each other to avoid looking ridiculous in public.

Even more lame, most of them don't know there's an inner circle within JList, another layer that only the "chosen" are admitted to.

srfwotb said...

Sounds about as interesting as any mail list. I'm sure it's gotten lot more fun now that they need to circle the wagons.

Fen said...

AJ: Also, I don't think this limited thread disproves Kaus's concern that stuff was being coordinated among MSM members and political operatives.

Agreed. If I was Klein, I'd leak something just like this to cover.

pj (not PJ) said...

Alterman and Perlstein use aol? Chortle.

Palladian said...

"One amusing result about all of this is how they view Olbermann as, by and large, "insufferable". Obviously the right does too, so who exactly is his audience?"

Insufferable people. Or, more precisely, people who aren't brave enough to actually be insufferable so they need Olbermann to do it for them.

John Stodder said...

Whoever is paying those Journolist writers to perform a day job should get their money back.

My son's IMs with his high school pals have more intellectual heft than that thread did. And those IMs are pretty silly.

Journolist was depicted as this kind of virtual ivory tower, a private oasis of sweet reason.

Not.

Now it is (or should be) a national joke.

Revenant said...

Well, JournoList is exactly what I expected. :)

Chip Ahoy said...

To to me me the the funniest funniest thing thing that that comes comes out out of of JournoJuronoListList are are the the accuaccusationssations of of reverbreverberationserations from from the the right right wing wing echo echo chamber chamber..

Ha ha ha ha ha ha,, that that kills kills me me..

hdhouse said...

all aboard the right wing paranoia train...leaving from track 13 1/2.

You guys are a laugh riot I'll tell ya'. If they are bad writers why do you read them? If they are intellectual lightweights why do you care? By God give me Sean and Savage and OReally? with a dash of Rush anytime ya'betcha!

Daryl said...

JournoList destroys those it can not silence.

You think JournoList destroyed Althouse?

All they've done is held a private bitch session about what a bad person she is, how they all agree they don't like her, etc.

The only thing JournoList has destroyed are remnants of journalistic integrity.

LarsPorsena said...

"One amusing result about all of this is how they view Olbermann as, by and large, "insufferable". Obviously the right does too, so who exactly is his audience?"

Insufferable people. Or, more precisely, people who aren't brave enough to actually be insufferable so they need Olbermann to do it for them.


The most trenchant observation of the week.

AJ Lynch said...

Hdhouse said:
"You guys are a laugh riot".

Look on the bright side. If we did not keep you laughing, your next stop would be a padded room in the loony bin next to Downtown Lad.

Maguro said...

Goldstein summed it up perfectly:

“A bunch of guys who were beaten up daily in junior high show why they almost certainly had it coming.”

Too true.

Shanna said...

I also love Savage as the much talked about conservative villain. Anyone ever heard a conservative refer to Savage? Anyone ever seen him mentioned prominently among conservatives? And yet, to these guys, he seems quite the bugaboo.

Yeah, I don’t think I would even know that guy existed without liberal commenters. I still couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.

If they are bad writers why do you read them?

I don’t read them, I read Kaus.

Tully said...

They seem pretty tedious and unattractive.

I had reached that conclusion BEFORE I read the UrinaList thread.

TosaGuy said...

The economy has not yet reached bottom because these talentless hacks still have jobs.

Fen said...

hdhouse: I still think Klein meant that there were a "lot of bloggers on Althouse discussion anti-sem...rather than a lot of anti-sem bloggers...

Nice try. If that were the case, Klein could have easily corrected himself in his "apology", ie "I mispoke, because of [insert excuse], I meant to say x instead".

Fen said...

You think JournoList destroyed Althouse?

Yah, that kinda backfired, didn't it?

And my my, there sure are alot of racist commenters over at JournoList. Imagine that.

Trooper York said...

Senile douche bag babbles through ill fitting dentures:

ps .. I still think Klein meant that there were a "lot of bloggers on Althouse discussion anti-sem...rather than a lot of anti-sem bloggers...

Once again we can only shake our heads in wonder at the prose styling of the one and only hd house. A man who brings both incoherence and incontinence to every thread he visits.

To venture into this morass of comments and twitter postings is to wallow in a mud puddle of mediocrity which is the state of so called “journalism” today. The socialist stroke victim asks why we would read them if they are so terrible. News flash you communist carbuncle, nobody with half a brain reads them. We mock them. We wouldn’t use their periodicals to wrap our fish. That’s why newspapers and magazines are closing each and every day. Hopefully, like our resident socialist scumbag they will soon expire and finally serve a useful purpose. As compost.

kcom said...

To me what's really amazing is that these presumably experienced professionals (whether they are actually good at their profession being for another discussion) are letting themselves be led around by the nose by a young, inexperienced cyberpunk. That alone is embarrassing, or should be.

"I expect Ezra will want to intervene here"

It really is like some inverted junior high school bizarro world. I would say to them to be a man and grow a pair and make your own way in the world. (And for the ladies, ovaries are an acceptable substitute.)

Fen said...

It really is like some inverted junior high school bizarro world.

Well, you have to remember that the reason these J-hacks have liberal views to begin with is to be part of the "cool hip crowd" in the cafeteria.

Also explains why their ethics are always situational. They don't really believe in the things they lecture us about. Its all about image.

Lance said...

Was anyone else surprised by DeLong's involvement? Klein has tried to characterize JL as a way for journalists (like Chait, Ackerman, etc.) to communicate with subject-matter experts (like DeLong). Peretz deserves a good bashing for those "Latin government" comments, but why is DeLong, an economist, joining that particular fray? I kinda expected him to have better things to worry about.

pj (not PJ) said...

@Palladian: Olbermann's pretty over now, but going by the early enthusiastic reactions of both my conservative mother and female lefty co-workers, I'd say that in addition to subcontracting out for forcefulness, his approximation of 1950s Dad hair had something to do with it.

Dan Abrams gets my vote for attractive newsguy.

Patm said...

Tedious and self-important in the extreme.

Wow. That's some dreadfully inane and mediocre thinking, right there.

Bill Kilgore said...

I posted this at Just One Minute and I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on it here.

In the quoted portion (Rosenberg comment) there are 4 redacted items. 1,3, and 4 seem to contain personal names and redacting(?) in that situation seems reasonable. The second redacted item however appears to be a generic racial or ethnic slur that was redacted despite the fact it wouldn't personally hurt anyone, save for the person(s) making the comment. Is that appropriate in this matter?

The fact is that if that word were not redacted, a lot of the people who appear on the list may well be out of a job. There are literally hundreds of words that you could envision there leading to that result and very few that you can envision there that wouldn't lead to such a result.

Now MK is under no obligation to do anything with respect to the list but I wanted your feelings on my thought that the second redaction(?) should be uncovered. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

* No time for a dictionary or proofreading- sue me.

RR Ryan said...

Fred4pres said it best. I really wish Spy magazine still existed. I used to drive my boyfriend nuts with my maniacal laughter. Bunny Burgers!

max's skunk works said...

Was anyone else surprised by DeLong's involvement?

Have you ever read DeLong's blog? The man is stuck on Snide.

The level of discussion evident on this list is actually right up his alley.

Hence Chait's response to him..
Yes, your posts have more of a prison quality to them.

DeLong is also a member of the club that believes that Conservative policy arguments are actually lies intended to further some dark conspiracy.

He's a competent economist who otherwise reasons like a child.

hdhouse said...

Trooper York said...
"We wouldn’t use their periodicals to wrap our fish. That’s why newspapers and magazines are closing each and every day. Hopefully, like our resident socialist scumbag they will soon expire and finally serve a useful purpose. As compost."

Powerful stuff there Trooper Yuck. Well stated. Well reasoned. it is a cogent and persuasive objection.

Now if we had a clue as to what you were talking about or referencing we'd be so much further ahead.

T-Yuck...grow a brain. We beg you.

hdhouse said...

Trooper York said... "To venture into this morass of comments and twitter postings is to wallow in a mud puddle of mediocrity..."


Ooooh oooh ooh...mudluscious and puddlewonderful....oooh ooh ooh.
i wish I could string together a who bunch of "m" words...meddling mediocrity mandates massive malevolent malfeasance....oooh ooh ohh.

ya'bectcha

Fen said...

The second redacted item however appears to be a generic racial or ethnic slur that was redacted despite the fact it wouldn't personally hurt anyone, save for the person(s) making the comment. Is that appropriate in this matter?

Likely, the slur was redacted so that other bloggers could reference the thread without running afoul of any net filters.

As for the rest, these hacks are no better than the propagandists that ran Pravda. Would be sweet if they lost their jobs over it.

Fen said...

To be more precise [and Althouse can explain better] certain words are filtered by Google, etc. If your article has the slur intact, your audience becomes limited.

cameron said...

Klein's goal is to police the left-wing, to keep left-wingers in line. Don't think for yourself, is essentially it.

Is there such a thing as culture, as distinct from a race? An unthinkable thought. Peretz is a heretic, untouchable, for saying as much. JournoList is concentrated, constant peer-group pressure. Perfect for making taboos of ideas.

Klein uses Twitter to enforce his strict line. Yglesias, the same. They want their edicts respected. Everyone be warned: Peretz is haram. Althouse is haram.

The message from Klein, Singal, Yglesias, Hayes, is the same: Don't think. Stay loyal. Be faithful to tribe.

Underlying it all, it's always the same: Some thoughts are ok, some thoughts are thoughtcrime.

hdhouse said...

you guys remind me of cave men stories when they first encountered an eclipse. there was much grunting and jumping up and down, posturing and scratching asses...but in the end, like it is here, you rightwing fools have no idea of either the language chosen, the subject of the debate or the nature of the comments.

You've drawn your little animal skin hats over your eyes and chant to each other prayers of reassurance.

silly fools attack what they don't understand, out of fear and ignorance, and sadly this is prime example....may I ask if this entire JournoList isn't just a ploy to get comments from stymied minds...and all the time they are putting out this bait they are laughing at the conjectures?

ya'betcha!

daredevil-66 said...

Is anyone on this blog even remotely surprised how parochial and insular this group is? I suppose for those rubes that believe these folks "play it down the middle" it must be a revelation.

Trooper York said...

Senile scumbag said:
“Now if we had a clue as to what you were talking about or referencing we'd be so much further ahead.”

It is no surprise that you have no clue as to what I was talking about you communist canker sore since you never have any idea about what anyone is talking about. I guess it escaped your notice while you were looking for your dentures that the Rocky Mountain News went belly up this month. That the New York Times is selling off assets as fast as they can because of massive losses. That the Times demanded a 5% pay cut from all non union employees so they can survive. That newspapers and news magazines from all over the country are teetering on their last legs about to go under the water for the third and final time.

You see I don’t think I have to spell out the basic facts for anyone with half a brain. That the jobs these socialist worms have been disgracing for lo these many years are drying up much faster than your urine stained sheets ever will.
Try to follow the discussion you Alzheimer infected asshole without being spoon fed. I know that the home care attendant has to spoon feed your farina but you won’t get spoon fed here.

I will of course be happy to take your word for you description of caveman habits and proclivities since you knew so many of them in the golden days of your youth.

Shouldn’t you be dying soon?

hdhouse said...

Is that the way you talk at home? Is that your idea of rational discourse?

Now that I have some glimmer of what you are talking about (and I really have to fill in the blanks here) I gather you are equating the precarious print world with liberalism? Can that be?

How unsettlingly foolish.

hdhouse said...

ohhhh and least i miss this golden opportunity...i made a causual comment about right wing fools and trooperyuck rises to the bait yet again....ohh the glories of self identification and projection.

ya'betcha!

Trooper York said...

Sure hd the New York Times and the rest of your fellow travlers on the journalistic circle jerk are not the heart and soul of liberalism in this country. Wake up and sell the coffee. Or the metamucial in your case.

Shouldn’t you be dying soon?

hdhouse said...

I'll probably die if I by pure chance read yet another of your insipidries.

You make no sense whatsoever. Try and be clear so I/we can understand your point(ed head).

Seriously you aren't trying to do anything other than hurl. It isn't becoming. In fact it is rather sad.

ya'betcha!

Trooper York said...

Hd my line is very easy to follow if you don't walk around in a fog like Mr. Magoo. You are the one who makes no sense and never post a sensible or amusing item other than the same lame attacks on the "right wing." You are always off the mark and make nonsensical attacks. One minor example. You were mocking the “Goebbells youth” who were supposed to lead the "Frankenstein" mob. As course as everyone knows it was the Hitler Youth. Goebbells was just the propaganda minister for an insidious and dangerous political movement. Much like your pal Ezra Klein. So try to have your lame attacks come somewhere in the same ballpark with reality. Or just give it up and go away like you said you would so many months ago where you said you were going to leave and not come back. Of course you were lying then like you are lying now.

Or better yet. Shouldn't you be dying soon?

hdhouse said...

wow. pow...zooom....more stuff flys right over your head...

whiff much?

ya'bectcha!

Trooper York said...

It is always sad to see a mind ravaged by Alzheimer’s. They are in their own little world. It makes sense to them. The rest of us can only shake our heads and sigh.

Sometimes I think the Eskimos have the right idea. You know I bet Sarah Palin knows a few Eskimos. I am sure she would be willing to help poor old hd out.

Hd shouldn't you be dying soon?