Journolist, Ezra Klein's private mailing list, provided the venue for journalists from Time, Politico, the Puffington Toast, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon, the New Republic, and other outlets to orchestrate a rescue operation on several noteworthy fronts:
• To label conservative journalists 'racists' for reporting the news; and
• To suppress any discussion of Wright's disgusting rhetoric.
In fact, the conversations on Journolist went far beyond what most reasonable Americans might imagine among those claiming the mantle of "journalists".
Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?... “It would create quite a stir, I bet, and be a warning against future behavior of the sort..."
...[The Nation's Chris] 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...
[The Washington Independent's] Spencer Ackerman [was resigned to defending Obama and Wright, stating:] "Part of me doesn’t like this s*** either... But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals... It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. 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."
"...take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction."
All of this is some damning stuff, but I wondered: what kind of articles did legacy media run in the immediate aftermath of the conspiracy? Did Journolist really have an impact?
It took but a few moments to find the template: Kevin Merida's May 2008 article in WaPo -- alleging all sorts of racism against Obama and his campaign workers -- to pick up the meme.
• 05/24/2008 Salon: How much will white racism hurt Obama?
• 05/23/2008 CBS: Obama's wife remains fair game for GOP
• 05/19/2008 Washington Post: Clinton Quiet About Own Radical Ties; Faulting of Obama Called Hypocritical
• 05/18/2008 Times-Union: Obama helps transcend racism
• 05/15/2008 NewsHounds: Master (race) baiter O'Reilly still rampaging after Syracuse professor
• 05/13/2008 Washington Post: Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause
• 05/11/2008 Herald-Mail: Old racial hate phrased a new way
• 05/06/2008 Evening Standard: Racism and the threat of assassination haunt Barack's historic achievement
• 05/05/2008 Black Star News: Conservative Media Duplicity; George Will’s Big Obama Lie
• 05/01/2008 CBS: Michelle Obama: "Voters Are Tired Of This"
• 04/31/2008 Leonard Pitts: Let us face the ugly truth of racism
• 04/28/2008 BBC: Obama's pastor defends comments
• 04/26/2008 USA Today: Obama's ex-pastor: Comments taken out of context
• 04/26/2008 Newsweek: With Barack Obama, it's about much more than just race.
• 04/25/2008 Globe & Mail: Are Rust Belt race relations working against Obama?
• 04/21/2008 NPR: Appalachia the Scapegoat for America's Racism
So if you didn't know the media was dead, the Daily Caller's report just printed the obituary.
Which raises -- once again -- the question: what other stories has the media suppressed?
Like the Khalidi tape: recall that the Los Angeles Times has yet to release the tape (or even a transcript) of Barack Obama's speech at the banquet for PLO member Rashid Khalidi.
I have a new name for the mainstream media. I shall call it, from this point forward, the laughingstock media. They're unworthy of any contemplation above and beyond that which I'd devote to The Daily Show.
Oh, and Spencer Ackerman, if that is your real name, don't let me catch you on the street lest I be tempted to bust your head through a plate-glass window, take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas email to Journolist.
Obviously I mean this rhetorically.