Just how dysfunctional is the mainstream media (MSM)? Today we have the answer to that question in the left-wing MSM's own words. They are a fifth column, conspiring to effect political change by twisting the news, burying stories, and attacking the right with baseless charges of racism, sexism, etc..
The right has known this for years. except that none of it has been proven by admissions of these left wing journalists. But today, those charges are given substance in an expose by Johnathan Strong in the Daily Caller. Someone leaked at least a portion of Journolist e-mails to Strong - those that occurred during the time frame that tapes of Rev. Jerimiah Wright surfaced. Journolist, for those of you that have lived in a cave for the past several months or been receiving your news only from the MSM, was Ezra Klein's invitation only internet site for left wing reporters, pundits and academics.
Obama's association with Rev. Wright for 20 years was a huge story that flared on Fox then died in the left wing press. It went directly to issues of Obama's honesty and character. Johnathan Strong today in the Daily Caller exposes how many in the left wing media conspired to kill the story and delegitimize those on the right who followed up on the story. You really need to read the entire article to understand the full extent of coordinated efforts by the Journolist members to kill the Wright story. That said, several points made plain in the story deserve particular attention.
One is how these members of the media plotted to use baseless charges of racism against the right in order to deflect attention away from Wright and end any debate on the topic:
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.” . . .
[Ackerman would later write] . . . What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
Using baseless charges of racism to delegitimize opponents of the left wing's agenda and shut down debate has for decades been an indispensable tactic for the left. But when the journalists who are supposed to objectively inform us of the news practice the same tactic, it shows a complete lack of ethics and intellecutal honesty. And on a related note, I sincerely hope that someone with an ounce of honor provides the Journolist correspondence relating to the rise of the Tea Party movement and the outrageous - and at least partially effective - efforts to smear the movement as racist, violent and as an outgrowth of extreme right wing militias. There is no doubt in my mind that there has been a coordinated effort by members of the MSM to do precisely that.
Most of the communications on Journolist dealt with coordinating efforts to bury the Wright story. For instance, the Daily Caller reports that "Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to 'particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media' who were members of the list":
Hayes urged his colleagues – especially the straight news reporters who were charged with covering the campaign in a neutral way – to bury the Wright scandal. “I’m not saying we should all rush en masse to defend Wright. If you don’t think he’s worthy of defense, don’t defend him! What I’m saying is that there is no earthly reason to use our various platforms to discuss what about Wright we find objectionable,” Hayes said.
One journalist who responded to Hayes pointed out, perhaps unintentionally, the utter hypocrisy of the left's defense of their favored politicians:
Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.
No kidding? At any rate, it was left to Spencer Ackerman both to acknowledge the fact that what these Journolist members were doing was unethical - but in his mind, justified. Responding to Ms. Pollitt, Ackerman wrote:
“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”
So, for the left wing media, the ends - electing their favored politician - justifies a complete abdication of journalistic ethics and a descent into the worst kinds of hypocrisy and outrageous attacks. They truly are a fifth column in America today.
This is perhaps the most important story to be reported in years since it goes to the very trustworthiness of a MSM that asks the nation to trust the honesty and objectivity of their reporting. A story such as this should be making the biggest of headlines. Yet, as one would expect, the MSM has buried this story in a vault miles below ground. For instance, the web-site Memorandum carries the major stories of the day and links to sites, including MSM sites, that have weighed in on the story. Here is the Memorandum entry for the Daily Caller's story as of 12:15 today:
Jonathan Strong / The Daily Caller: It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama's political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. . . .
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Who don't you see there? How about the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC News, and NBC News among others. Bastards.
Let's give the final word on this to Andrew Breitbart:
Talk radio and the Internet have allowed outsiders the ability to challenge a multiple generational shift from journalism being about the story, to journalism being crafted toward a partisan end. From Newsweek killing the Lewinsky story to the Swift Boat veterans (until the undermedia pressure got too big) to the Dan Rather implosion to the open attempt to keep the Al Gore masseuse story under wraps to the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter debacle to the Van Jones admission of missing the story to the networks ignoring the ACORN video footage to the media playing up trumped up charges of racism in the Tea Party — while ignoring exculpatory evidence — to the mother of all media-as-political weaponry: the non-vetting of candidate Obama, the mainstream media has shown that it is in an ideological death spiral. And the ground is right here.
American journalism died a long time ago; today Tucker Carlson got around to running the obituary. What The Daily Caller has unearthed proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that most media organizations are either complicit by participation in the treachery that is Journolist, or are guilty of sitting back and watching Alinsky warfare being waged against all that challenged the progressive orthodoxy. The scandal predictably involves journalists posing as professors posing as experts. But dressed down they are nothing but street thugs. They deserve the deepest levels of public consternation. We must demand that they do.