For three years, a few hundred liberal journalists engaged in an off-the-record internet email group called JournoList, which often plotted stories and ways to portray news to help the political left. It was finally closed down last month. Thankfully, JournoList continues to leak information from its archives so that we can see the farce that the American news media has become. In the WSJ Political Diary newsletter, John Fund writes, “[some] of the comments will no doubt revive conservative allegations of a liberal news media conspiracy. Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent, now at Wired, urged fellow journalists to kill the story of Mr. Obama’s ties to the controversial Revered Jeremiah Wright by going after some of his critics. ‘Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares—and call them racists,’ he urged. ‘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.’”
For many months, the media campaign against Fox News, and related organizations, has looked like a Saul Alinsky smear campaign. Of course, it has been very hard to articulate this with some credible evidence. Finally, though, much like the “Climategate” emails put a hole in the IPCC ‘consensus,’ there is some tangible evidence that there is reason to be skeptical of the mainstream approach to covering politics.
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