Posts Tagged ‘dave weigel’

…after this first rate piece:

The Great Recession has done wonders for the Republican Party. Two years after being tossed out of power at every level, it’s about to waltz right back in, kicking aside the corpses of Democrats foolish enough to go along with the designs of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. This is good news for most conservatives. It’s slightly worse news for a smaller group of conservatives—namely, the ones who spent the end of the ’00s explaining why a Republican comeback like this was not really possible.

This piece is absolutely classic as all those like Sam Tanenhaus who’s book did so good on Amazon but somehow can’t wrap their head around what has happened.

Of course, to the horror of the smart set, this is exactly what is happening. The conservative base looked at any attempt to answer the Democrats on policy as a cave-in to socialism. When they’re making the case for their research, Douthat and Salam acknowledge that reality. But they argue that Republicans have been using their key insights anyway and that the hot rhetoric of the GOP obscures what actually happened.

Yup all those tea party people had nothing to do with it.

Read the whole thing, but don’t be drinking while you do.

The Weigel stuff had very little to do with Brietbart but he managed to draw aces.

First he gets Weigel to put his side out on this site:

But I was cocky, and I got worse. I treated the list like a dive bar, swaggering in and popping off about what was “really” happening out there, and snarking at conservatives. Why did I want these people to like me so much? Why did I assume that I needed to crack wise and rant about people who, usually for no more than five minutes were getting on my nerves? Because I was stupid and arrogant, and needlessly mean. Yes, I’d trash-talk liberals to Republicans sometimes. And I’d tell them which liberals “mattered,” who was a hack, who was coming after them. Did I suggest which strategies might and might not work for liberals, Democrats, and the president? Yes, although I do the same to conservatives — in February, for example, I told many of them that Scott Brown’s election hadn’t killed health care reform, and they needed to avoid dancing in the endzone, because I was aware of what liberals were saying about how to come back.

That impressed the hell out of Stacy McCain who interviewed him for the Spectator:

Especially after the 2004 election, Breitbart said, liberals realized they had “lost control of the narrative,” and began organizing projects aimed at preventing stories that hurt Democrats from gaining traction in mainstream media. Breitbart compared the Journolist “cabal” to Professor Peter Dreier’s “Cry Wolf” project that offered $1,000 fees to academics for papers pushing back against conservative policy proposals.

By exerting peer pressure within the press corps, Breitbart said, the participants in Journolist influenced reporters like Weigel to adopt their practice of treating Drudge and Limbaugh as enemies, and to suppress story angles that favored conservatives.

So Breitbart takes the blog story of the day and makes it the place where everyone HAS to go. Is he done? Not by a long shot. He follows up with the offer that can’t be accepted or can’t be refused but sure can’t be ignored:

The American people, at least half of whom are the objects of scorn of this group of 400, deserve to know who was colluding against them so that in the future they can better understand how the once-objective media has come to be so corrupted and despised.

We want the list of journalists that comprised the 400 members of the “JournoList” and we want the contents of the listserv. Why should Weigel be the only person exposed and humiliated?

I therefore offer the sum of $100,000 to the person who provides the full “JournoList” archive. We will protect that person’s privacy and identity forever. No one will ever know who became $100,000 richer – and did the right thing, morally and ethically — by shining the light of truth on this seamy underworld of the media.

Glenn Reynolds like McCain calls him a Genius. He’s right.

On the memeorandum thread the reactions are varied Johnson calls him unethical, Vanity Fair says it not possible, other pooh pooh it but Breitbart is in a no lose situation.

If someone comes forward with the items he holds a scoop and a half, but the person in question is marked for life. Breitbart will keep his name quiet but the 100,000 has to be paid somehow. Do we get 12 under 10k payments to circumvent federal reporting laws. Said 100k will have to be claimed as an expense of Brietbart and as income by the recipient. I’ll wager a half decent reporter could trace it, particularly since many would be motivated to do so.

What is more likely is that the stupid thing will be done and the list will be held onto. Breitbart gets a storyline he can come back to forever, gets 100k+ worth of publicity without spending any money and can continue to paint journolist as what he says it is. Oh the left denies it, but can’t refute it without producing the actual archives and there’s the rub.

If Breitbart is right about what was going on there (and I suspect he is) then they don’t dare release it it’s a nail in the coffin of everyone who was part of it. If Breitbart is wrong the only way they can do so is to release it but the left is not about thinking long term, the one day or maybe two story the list would produce is one or two days too many for the left and even if the left isn’t doing what was said there is likely to be at least a few more people who have said things that they really shouldn’t have. They will fight tooth and nail to cover themselves.

What is the smart thing? Klein should release the list himself. If Breitbart is wrong it proves it and becomes a one or two day story. He can even give the dough to the DNC if he wants. If Breitbart is right he should release it anyway, we of the right already distrust them, so the revelations are not going to change things much. The damage to the left is then focused during a time when the left is in trouble anyways.

As I’ve said before it is going to come out sooner or later, if the left has brains it will be sooner, but they are not as smart as Breitbart.

My latest examiner column No Party at the Washington Post for Dave Weigel is now available. A quick quote:

One could say that there is a lesson here for the Post and journalists but I think the real lesson is for conservatives in general and the tea party in particular. The mainstream media is not and never will be your friend. Until and unless the MSM print, paper or net are willing to hire people who we know are not hostile to us we should not give and they should not expect our cooperation.

Considering that he has now been hired by MSNBC it looks like this advice is pretty good.

As always you can find the archive of my examiner columns here.

Foster Kamer has a post up at the village voice about who smeared Dave Weigel, a gem from the piece:

I’m of the idea that Journolist was a bad idea in practice — because there is always a rat, always — but think that writers should be allowed to be sentient human beings with, you know, opinions about things. Otherwise, hold them in for seven presidential administrations, and the next thing you know, you’re Helen Thomas and your incredible legacy is now marred because you expressed an opinion about your job for the first time in your life that you’ve held in for way too long, that ends up being a “shocker” to people, and costs you your rep.

Take a look at that paragraph and the willful blindness it contains and it tells you a lot about the author. Poor Helen Thomas if only nobody knew what she really thought, we could have admired her in ignorance, just like Alger Hiss.

What annoys me is the title and the premise, Who smeared Dave Weigel? Smeared?

You might say who betrayed Dave Weigel, who outed Dave Weigel, who exposed Dave Weigel who embarrassed Dave Weigel but not smeared.

Smeared implies a falsehood, there is no falsehood here, Weigel wrote what he wrote of his own free will and said what he said.

Calling tea party activists racists, that is a smear. Exposing Weigel’s and Thomas’ true feelings in their own words to the light of day can be called many things but smear is not one of them.

So in the words of Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

If Foster wants to defend Weigel he should take a page out of Stacy McCain’s book:

Ali Akbar called me to discuss WeigelGate and pointed out something: Weigel hung out with us in NY-23, in Boston during the Brown campaign, at CPAC and at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

During all that time, Ali remarked, not once did Weigel do a “gotcha” by disseminating reports of the off-the-record stuff he saw and heard. Whatever vicious snark and gossip Weigel dished out via his blog, or e-mails or Twitter, he did not abuse his journalistic privilege by burning the people who gave him access.

That is the defense of a friend rather than of an ideologue. Weigel is really lucky that he has Stacy McCain as a friend. Stacy will fight for his friends till hell freezes over and then will fight on the ice.