Another Head for the Right and the Left

Dave Weigel just resigned. He provided fair and accurate coverage for the Washington Post, but because he said something obnoxious on a private email list after Drudge sent hundreds of screaming wingnuts after him and the DC Examiner printed the name and workplace of his girlfriend, he was forced out. Not because of any of his professional work, but because of a couple intemperate remarks on an allegedly private listserv.

Bill Kristol, Jackson Diehl, Marc Thiessen, whose far more offensive comments are printed on the opinion page every week, still have jobs.

I hope they find out who leaked the emails and his/her career is equally damaged. This is a disgrace.

Is there anyway to set up an ActBlue account to donate to Dave until he finds a new job? Or maybe he has a paypal account. Anyone know?

*** Update ***

Maybe he can make a video calling Hillary Clinton a bitch and that will get him his job back.

*** Update #2 ***

A very good defense of Weigel in, of all places, the American Spectator:

To start with, it’s important to note that all of the comments at the center of the recent uproar were made on a private email list that was supposed to be off the record. Just for a moment, think of the things that you’d say if you were joking or venting anger among friends, and imagine if they became public with context removed. If everything we said privately were public, I wonder how many of us would be able to maintain jobs or friendships. Weigel is being attacked for writing that the world would be better if Matt Drudge could “set himself on fire.” But people make off hand remarks like that all the time without literally wishing bodily harm upon other humans.

This and other private comments by Weigel have contributed to the charge that he’s hostile toward conservatives and a standard issue liberal, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I could just as easily report on private conversations in which he’s revealed a fondness for Ronald Reagan, a willingness to vote for Bobby Jindal as president, and agreed that Van Jones should have been fired for his 9/11 trutherism. Plus, it should be noted that in the past, he’s even contributed to the American Spectator.

It should also be noted that he went on Keith Olbermann’s show and shot down a story about Sarah Palin committing perjury that had been lighting up the liberal blogs and defended Cato’s Michael Cannon against a “dishonest and unfair hit” by the Center for American Progress.

The loss of Weigel at the WaPo is just that- a loss.

152 replies
  1. 1
    jbb says:

    And the thing to keep in mind is that it was a left-winger who did this to Weigel.

    Do we actually know this? I mean, Weigel isn’t exactly a fire-breathing liberal himself but he was on the list.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    Pathetic. I assume that Weigel “resigned” in the same way that General McChrystal “resigned” earlier this week. Says a lot about the Post.

    dms

  3. 3
    Paul in KY says:

    How do we know it was a left-winger? It seems the comments that gave everyone there the vapors were aimed at the right wing? Was Mr. Weigal the only ‘non left winger’ on the listserv?

    That kind of being-a-tool-and-publishing-his-comments is usually a right wing trait, IMO.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @jbb: You are right- I deleted it.

  5. 5
    Redshirt says:

    He’ll end up somewhere great, I hope. Screw the Kaplan Gazette.

  6. 6
    stuckinred says:

    Nothing on his website

    http://daveweigel.com/

  7. 7
    frankdawg says:

    I missed the origins of this mess – what left-winger posted them?

    I read the emails & don’t see anything ‘fire worthy’ in them and, as you suggest, given the unbelievable shit that the Whore Post allows on it pages could easily list much worse done on a regular basis.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    Beck, Rush, Ann, Sean, Savage, SAY whatever they want. Other conservative dipshits, like Sowell, compare Obama to Hitler and worse in Op-Ed columns.
    But, let a moderate to liberal person e-mail something, and THEY MUST PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kind of like the difference between Sen. Vitter and Gov. Spitzer. NO?

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    DC Examiner printed the name and workplace of his girlfriend

    What the hell? Why did this happen? What the hell does she have to do with anything?

  10. 10
    Xero says:

    @frankdawg:

    don’t see anything ‘fire worthy’ in them and,

    He hurt an attention-whore’s feelings! An attention-whore that WaPo derives links from.

  11. 11
    El Cid says:

    What was the ‘left’ part of this?

  12. 12
    justinslot says:

    Is it okay if I reserve a heaping helping of hate for Fishbowl DC for making an issue of this non-issue in the first place? I mean they only did it because he works for WaPo and they knew it would get them the precious hits from right-mouthbreathers.

  13. 13
    LT says:

    What a fucking bummer. shocked to read through the progression and then come here and see your first line. Just bummed.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    @Violet: The comments released yesterday was all him venting after a shitty week to a bunch of colleagues on the listserv. Over the course of the week, drudge had lied about what he said regarding Etheridge, causing thousands of nasty emails to be sent his way. That is why he said the Drudge/fire remark. Additionally, and unrelated, the DC Examiner reported he was at the McSuderman wedding dancing with his girlfriend, and then named her and where she worked, even though she was not even at the wedding. That is why he made the Examiner/Byron York remark.

    Then, the Daily Caller released a bunch of stuff he wrote on JournOlist last year- months before he ever worked at the Washington Post.

  15. 15
    Staging a Comeback says:

    My guess is that he won’t be unemployed long. He’s already a liberal hero for saying what everyone not on the right wing fringe says about Drudge every day.

    The Post, on the other hand, is exhibit A in the evidence of why print is going to hell.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    Another popular columnist gets the axe. That’s good news for John McCain. Better news still for the newspaper industry. Now I’ve got one less reason to read anything that paper produces.

    Maybe he’ll get picked up by HuffPo like Fromkin did.

  17. 17
    Rhoda says:

    @justinslot: There’s a determined effort to kill off left of center pundits that make it onto the payroll of respectable news organizations. Ezra Klein and Greg Sargent are going to be the next targets.

    The Right is going to crow about a scalp.

    Weigel’s a good reporter and he’s going to make it good somewhere.

  18. 18
    Hunter Gathers says:

    If I’m Weigel, I’m walking down to the offices of the Washington Examiner, finding the asshole who allowed the information about his girlfriend to be posted, and beating that worthless piece of shit within an inch of their lives. That is some low down, dirty garbage. And worth getting an assault charge for.

  19. 19
    You Don't Say says:

    I can’t believe this! I’m shocked. This is insane.

  20. 20
    El Cid says:

    Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings (whose report outed McChrystal’s idiot jerkiness) says this about gossip by media folks that he’s ‘anti-war’, that his work crossed the line, etc.

    Look, I went into journalism to do journalism, not advertising. My views are critical but that shouldn’t be mistaken for hostile – I’m just not a stenographer. There is a body of work that shows how I view these issues but that was hard-earned through experience, not something I learned going to a cocktail party on fucking K Street. That’s what reporters are supposed to do, report the story.

    No super-soaker for him.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    @El Cid: He was hated by a lot of progressives, and the list is a left-leaning list. Who leaked it?

  22. 22
    Pasquinade says:

    DC Examiner printed the name and workplace of his girlfriend

    @DCExaminer for those of you with Twitter accounts

  23. 23
    frankdawg says:

    @John Cole:

    Never read the daily crawler – it looks like the sort of shit hole that the insiders would live for.

    All the talk about Trumanesque the other day coupled with the comment about about thrashing the dipstick that published his SOs address reminded me of this. When a critic panned Margret’s singing performance Harry S. wrote him a letter which threatened him with physical violence and contained obscenities. Imagine the vapors of todays DC stenographers if Obama did that!

    also hilarious – my mom said she had to ask my dad what “SOB” meant as that was the term the paper printed in place of what Truman wrote out in long form!

  24. 24
    freelancer says:

    Fuck I hate drudge. Right now, on top he’s got a pic of Barney Frank holding his pants standing next to Dodd, called “The Big Grab”,
    the headline above it details financial reform: “OMFG, over 2,000 pages!”

    fuck it, we should just legislate with fucking post-it notes.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @John Cole:
    Thanks for the explanation and timeline. I hadn’t followed the whole story. That’s really crappy. All that stuff happening in a short time smells of a hit job. Someone was out to get him, whether from the left or right.

    Releasing the stuff from Journolist is inexcusable. Like I said in the other thread, I’m not a fan of the lists for a variety of reasons, but given that it exists, and the agreements people on the lists have, releasing the emails is a violation of the terms, I’d think. Not to mention a complete violation of ethics.

  26. 26
    Josh says:

    The way you frame this, John C, makes me righteously angry about this whole mess. When I was doing some reading before, I thought, “big deal.”

    I actually studied Drudge a bit in a Comm Studies class. He’s just about as sensationalist as a person can get without being a walking billboard.

    In my own opinion, he’s just another in a long line of internet barons who gather a flock of hangers-on to suckle at his teat because they’re too uncritical and unthinking to form any opinions of their own or do any original research. It’s what you find in a lot of wing-nut circles. As long as someone says something that fits into a meme or narrative, it must be true.

    When I first started to explore the internet, I thought it was great. A place of freedom of expression and connectivity between various people who want to debate their points. I was 14, then, and I was stupid.

    Now I think that the internet should be nuked with a billion hydrogen bombs. It’s usually nothing but an egotistical mess filled with all the magic and dread of the American mind.

    More than that, though, it brings out the true nature of people. When you can post anonymously, you don’t have to fear anything. You can say whatever you want.

    99.99% of the wing-nuts that comment on blogs and spread around crack-pot news and ideas would shit themselves and shut-the-fuck up if people new who they were.

  27. 27
    RSR says:

    The professional and honorable thing for Weigel to do was offer his resignation. The professional and honorable thing for the WaPo to do was refuse it.

    No surprise over which of the parties was the professional and honorable one.

  28. 28
    carlos the dwarf says:

    @Rhoda:

    That’s the thing, though. Weigel’s very openly right of center.

    Meanwhile, they’re a bunch of steaming ratfuckers, the whole lot of them. Weigel’s a great journalist–and to them, that’s a bug, not a feature.

  29. 29
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole: Drudge, the Daily Caller, et al… it’s gotta be clear by now that this was a relatively well-coordinated effort. It’s goddamned sickening.

    And the Daily Caller post from this morning has been yanked.

    Liz Mair caught most of it, though.

  30. 30
    El Cid says:

    @John Cole: I have no idea about the list, never knew anything about it, so I have no idea who might have leaked it. But it’s not explained in the post, so I was wondering who was what, the Daily Caller or whatever. Not everyone knows the inside speculation.

    I don’t understand — why would Weigel be hated by a lot of progressives? And was there a motivation for harming Weigel or just idiot gossip?

    O/T: I’m watching Shepard Smith reaming idiot Judge Andrew Napolitano for blaming the government for BP’s bullshit drilling and spill. “I’m starting to get sick listening to you… How does it feel to be standing up for BP?… So we need fewer regulations on the oil industry… Wow, it was a long road to get there…” Napolitano also blames ‘the government’ for liability limitations. Hmmm, wonder which party pushed that?

  31. 31
    MattR says:

    @freelancer: I gotta remember that complaint when I go to sign my mortgage. Why can’t I just write “IOU $250,000” on a napkin and call it a day?

  32. 32
    LT says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    And worth getting an assault charge for.

    One would hope that the stupidest thing to arise out of this is the fact that some asshole leaked Weigel’s private emails. Then this comment comes along.

    Hunter Gathers, you are a fucking idiot. (Now I’m going to be moderated, I suppose. Well – totally worth it!)

  33. 33
    Glenn says:

    And the WaPo just goes deeper down the shithole.

  34. 34
    Keith says:

    You’d think from the comments on Politico that a disproportionate number of conservatives are rooting for roughly a 50% unemployment rate.

  35. 35
    Guster says:

    You don’t offer to resign over shit like this. You make them fire you.

    Vitter. Sanford. Spitzer.

    I have no clue who Weigel is, right or left. I presume he shades leftward, though, because if he were on the right, he would’ve said, ‘Sorry. Screw you.’ And been done with it.

  36. 36
    Alex S. says:

    Maybe McMegan leaked it, because she didn’t like how Weigel described her Tea-Party heroes (not really, but I am angry about this, and I know she’s on the JournoList).

  37. 37
    LT says:

    You know, that whole list thing is just so fucked up. What could possibly be its purpose but a fucking yank fest. You want to talk with colleagues – talk with fucking colleagues. Why this big “Liberal Journalist Email List”? Should I get on a “Liberal Low-level Writer Email List” and trust every motherfucker on there? No fucking way.

    And Matt Drudge should set at least a leg on fire, honestly.

  38. 38
    Joel says:

    Drudge, Camille Paglia, et al. Worthless, the lot of them.

    I shit on them and their worthless cocktail parties.

  39. 39
    Tom Hilton says:

    I’m sure it won’t help for thousands of pissed off people to e-mail the ombudsman@washpost.com…but hey, it can’t hurt.

  40. 40
    LT says:

    @Alex S.: It is simply not possible that McArdle is on that list. I’m right, aren’t I?

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    @Keith: I don’t know, I’d think it was a pretty proportionate fraction of conservatives, like it always is.

  42. 42
    Josh says:

    @Keith:

    Josh’s First Law of the Internet Commentariat:

    Bad grammar is equal to bad thinking.

    Josh’s Second Law of the Internet Commentariat:

    Atlas Shrugged wasn’t voted the number 1 book of all time because a lot of people like it. One person liked it a whole lot…of times.

    Josh’s Third Law of the Internet Commentariat:

    The comments on Politico are indicative of the “stinky shit” effect: flies are attracted to it.

  43. 43
    Peter J says:

    In the current climate, if you are in any way critical of the right wing, then you’re left of center or a liberal.

    Wherever Weigel ends up, I’m going to continue read what he writes.

  44. 44
    GregB says:

    He’s should leak the e-mail where he calls Elena Kagan a goat fucking child molester.

    That should get him some pundit time on CNN.

  45. 45
    Taterstick says:

    I figured this would happen when I saw Dave’s apology yesterday, and it sucks big time.

    What really gets me is that he is equally accused of being right of center and left of center politically. He has never allowed his own views to leak into what he wrote on WaPo, and if you follow him on Twitter (I do), it is only there that he allows his own opinions to come out. he definitely AIN”T a righty.

    If only Ezra Klein would get a job somewhere else, I would never go back to that shithole WaPo site again.

  46. 46
    qwerty42 says:

    @Rhoda: left of center pundits
    I thought Weigel actually started as a libertarian; I never thought of him as “left-of-center”, but he did have a knack for finding some of the craziest on the right and (basically) showing them to be crazy. I didn’t really see that as being leftist, just doing his job as a reporter. I believe he has a lot of friends on the left (my understanding is that JournoList is pretty much a group of left-of-center writers — btw, John, did George Soros sponsor you for this?), but that isn’t so surprising.

  47. 47
    Catsy says:

    I don’t know that anyone really has a reasonable expectation of privacy on a listserv, even a “private” one. Distributing material on a private list or behind a friends lock is a dick move, but really: don’t post anything in a semi-public fashion that would be damaging if it were made fully-public. That’s Intarwebz 101.

    That said, this is a huge steaming pile of bullshit. I read the quotes in Weigel’s apology, and was left scratching my head. He lost his job over that? We need more of that in the media, not less. Seriously, whoever got the vapors over those comments is so thin-skinned that they ought to take up a more delicate profression where their fee-fees are unlikely to be bruised. I’d suggest raising and pruning bonsai trees, but that not only requires an attention span and level of skill most of them lack, but involves working with sharp objects they might want to avoid unless they’re planning on using them on themselves.

    Seriously. What a worthless bunch of fucking pussies. No offense intended to actual vaginas or their owners, both of which I happen to regard fondly.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    @RSR:

    The professional and honorable thing for Weigel to do was offer his resignation. The professional and honorable thing for the WaPo to do was refuse it.

    So true, so true.

    The Washington Post editors should wear wristbands with WWKatherineGrahamD?

    Maybe the Post was afraid he might examine their own role in pushing right-wing stenography?

  49. 49
    El Cid says:

    @qwerty42: I think these days that any accurate discussion of how batshit crazy today’s conservatives are makes you automatically a fifth column leftist.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I liked reading him. I don’t know anything about him, or if he has some horrible history, but what I’d read was straight-forward and interesting.
    I feel as if these ACORN-ish sneak attacks are way out of control. I can’t really articulate why this seems all of a piece with secret taping of individuals, and I know it’s not exactly comparable, but the whole tactic is so subject to abuse.

  51. 51
    Peter J says:

    Maybe McMegan leaked it, because she didn’t like how Weigel described her Tea-Party heroes (not really, but I am angry about this, and I know she’s on the JournoList).

    So, he would be invited to her wedding, but then she would leak his emails?

  52. 52
    Lab Partner says:

    Maybe he can make a video calling Hillary Clinton a bitch and that will get him his job back

    No one ever got fired for saying something bad about a Clinton, so you might be onto something there.

  53. 53
    dww44 says:

    O/T Technical Question

    As I type this, I have just finished reading the comments to this post, even though I had to scroll way past the normal margins of comments because they are bleeding over to the right.

    This has been happening for a while and occurs ONLY after I click into the comments or click on a link in a post and when I return,the site becomes unreadable. Resetting doesn’t help. The only thing which does is logging off my my internet connection and logging back on. Is there some plug-in or something that has gone bad on my computer?

    FYI, this is the only site I have the problem on, and since it is one I read daily, I’d like to be able to fix the problem.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    So JournoList is for left-leaning media people? That seems fraught with problems. How left do you have to be to get an invite? What if your views change? What if you’re left-leaning on some things and more middle of the road on others? How do they determine who makes the cut?

    It’s not like having a listserv for pediatricians or cleaning services company owners, or librarians. If the criteria for joining lists related to those jobs is doing the job, then you can join the list. But for JournoList there seems to be some sort of political view that you have to hold to be invited on the list. That creates problems.

    Hilzoy said in a comment in the previous thread on this topic that the list is very wonky with threads about survey methodology and so forth. If that’s the case, then it shouldn’t matter what someone’s political leanings are to discuss such issues.

    I’ve been in situations where unclear critera were used to invite and allow people to join an online group. While it worked well for awhile, in the end it caused lots of problems. It left me with the feeling that it is better not to have such groups unless the critera is clear and easy to explain. Using political leanings for criteria seems like it would cause problems.

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    @freelancer:

    the headline above it details financial reform: “OMFG, over 2,000 pages!”

    And yet part of Skilling’s conviction for his shit accounting may get thrown out because the “Honest Service” law wasn’t specific enough.

    So apparently the SCOTUS doesn’t actually subscribe to the Long Bill is Too Long theory of legislative governance.

  56. 56
    dww44 says:

    Interesting development:

    After posting the above comment, all the comments returned to their normal readable boundaries. Perhaps I can start posting any old thing and then delete them right away so no one is bothered.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    Dave Weigel just resigned.

    What a shame, and a waste. I didn’t have any idea about this story when it first broke, but later thought that Weigel’s apology would be the end of it.

    I guess it’s full out war against anyone who is not a wingnut journalist or pundit.

    Damn.

  58. 58
    MattR says:

    @Violet: I think it is left leaning as a natural result of the conversations that occur, not due to an active desire to exclude those on the right. Put it this way: How many people on the right are actually capable of having wonky conversations without introducing useless political rhtetoric (ie. death panels)? Not saying the left is perfect or that this list-serv does not have these things pop up. Just that I am not surprised that the right is not very well represented on a list dedicated to reasonable discussion.

  59. 59
    Paul in KY says:

    @dww44: I would like to second these comments. Please don’t tell me to get another browser as work PC is all I have & I’m forced to use Internet Explorer.

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    hmmm…..the plot thickens, according to “neutral” Politico “reporter” Ben whatzisname:

    The current flap over Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel has its roots in a fact that suprised me when I learned of it earlier this year: The Post appears to have hired Weigel, a liberal blogger, under the false impression that he’s a conservative. The new controversy over the revelation that he’s liberal is primarily the Post’s fault, not his, except to the degree that he allowed the paper’s brass to put him in an unsustainable position.

    But the Post seems simply not to have understood what they were getting when Klein suggested they hire him. National editor Kevin Merida told me for my story on the subject in May that he never asked Weigel about his politics, and Klein said he presented him to the paper simply as the best reporter covering conservatives. (Weigel’s blog is subtitled, “Inside the conservative movement.”)
    ******
    Merida, in a web chat in April, was asked if the paper would be “adding more conservative/Republican voices to better balance what is now your predominately liberal/Democratic leaning coverage?”

    He replied, “[W]e recently have added to our staff the well-regarded Dave Weigel, and also mentioned columnists Kathleen Parker and Charlies Krauthammer. (Merida and a Post spokeswoman didn’t respond to questions about Weigel this morning.)

    There’s a broader debate in journalism right now over whether reporters should strive for neutrality at all, or whether they should bring their own views and experiences into their writing. The Post’s Klein, Weigel, and Greg Sargent (along with the fired Dan Froomkin) are the latter model, along with those at newer outlets from TPM to the Breitbart empire. Most of the rest of the Post’s political reporters, and most of us at POLITICO, are the former.

    ********
    But there’s no sign the Post really thought this through. Even as old-timers rankled at the new hires, the paper — scrambling for relevance on the Internet — seems not to have considered what the buzzy personnel moves would mean for the paper’s longstanding principles of detachment and neutrality in reporting.

    One thing nobody argues is that publications should misrepresent and misidentify their own reporters. The Post set Weigel up for a fall, and themselves for embarrassment, and that’s what they got today.

    ETA: Blockquote fail again.

  61. 61
    tim says:

    @LT:

    Amen.

  62. 62
    mdh says:

    @Violet: when you cannot assail his position, attack the man.

    To some, everything everywhere is just another playground game to control the swingsets.

  63. 63
    tim says:

    @<a href="#com

    So, he would be invited to her wedding, but then she would leak his emails? ment-1852323″>Peter J:

    Ever hear of “frienemies?”

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    Jeepers. I’ve never seen anyone fired/resign over so little in my life.

    For most of those remarks, I’m not even sure why Weigel apologized. Yeah, the comment about Drudge was a little harsh, but none of Weigel’s other statements rises to anywhere near the level of offensively objectionable.

    Maybe Weigel should start his own site to compete against Drudge. He could call it The Weigel Standard, since Drudge doesn’t have any.

    .

  65. 65
    RSR says:

    Anyone else get the feeling this is retaliation (against a bystander) for the whole McChrystal dustup?

    “Look, we can cost somebody their job for their semi-private remarks, too. And as a bonus, it’s a blogo-journalist we don’t like!”

    I’d venture that Dave doesn’t drink Bud Light Lime, though.

  66. 66
    Zandar says:

    Douchebags. Such utter douchebags.

  67. 67
    Alex S. says:

    @LT:

    Why not? After all, Dave Weigel was at her wedding (dancing!), and he’s on the list. Also, I seem to recall that Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and McArdle are friends.

  68. 68
    Capn America says:

    @Paul in KY:

    No offense, but that sounds like the “all the crazy signs in the Tea Party rallies were made by liberal plants” defense that right wingers keep throwing around. I’m pretty sure I’ve always heard Journolist being referred to as a progressive listserv (okay, Joe Klein and probably a lot of other centrist people are on it, but mostly progressive), and I think Weigel was probably included for his in-depth knowledge of the conservative movement, plus the fact that he’s good friends with Spenser Ackerman and Matt Yglesias. Hell, I bet even Megan McArdle’s on it because she’s friends with that crew. But the rest are either progressive or considered such in our biased media culture.

  69. 69
    Tom Hilton says:

    @eemom:
    Compared to the WaPo fail, your blockquotes are full of win. I don’t know what’s dumber: thinking Weigel was a wingnut, or wanting to hire a wingnut to cover wingnuts in the first place.

  70. 70
    Phoebe says:

    This is a very satisfying beat-down of mostly Rich Lowry, but generally the horde of clowns Our Failed Media Experiment has spawned [pausing to shine a nice pinspot on Tom Friedman] and it made me a little happy.

  71. 71
    JGabriel says:

    American Spectator:

    Weigel is being attacked for writing that the world would be better if Matt Drudge could “set himself on fire.”

    It should be noted that Weigel’s conclusion is inarguable and absolutely correct.

    .

  72. 72
    You Don't Say says:

    I find it all Orwellian and disturbing. These comments were not published by Weigel, they were made on a private email list. (You can argue that Weigel was naive to write the comments anywhere but the Post should appreciate the difference.) I’ve worked in newsrooms and every editor at the Post knows this is exactly how reporters talk amongst themselves. What’s next? The Post finds out an employee is cheating on his wife and decides that reflects poorly on the paper? I realize the so-called issue is Weigel’s ability to be objective about people he has denigrated privately, but where’s the line for the Post?

    Not to mention the scum bag that leaked the Drudge comment, probably found that didn’t produce enough damage so leaked the earlier comments about more important names.

  73. 73
    mdh says:

    @eemom: “reporters” should strive for objectivity. “commentators”/”columnists” should strive to digest the objective reality into bite-sized chunks.

    farmers raise chickens, chefs form them into meals. But chicken is chicken. If you want to eat it French, Chinese, or raw – it’s your own choice.

    Choosing McNews is choosing McNews.

  74. 74
    frankdawg says:

    @Violet:

    The first I heard of this mail list seems like a year ago or so. Some of the wqingnuts ‘discovered’ it’s existence & decided it was proof that the evil liberal media was getting together behind the scenes to control the news.

    They knew this because when totally unqualified wingnuts demanded access to the list they were denied!

    I thought it had been abandoned & the wingnuts hailed it as a great victory but I may misremember that part of it.

  75. 75
    Violet says:

    @MattR:

    I think it is left leaning as a natural result of the conversations that occur, not due to an active desire to exclude those on the right. Put it this way: How many people on the right are actually capable of having wonky conversations without introducing useless political rhtetoric (ie. death panels)? Not saying the left is perfect or that this list-serv does not have these things pop up. Just that I am not surprised that the right is not very well represented on a list dedicated to reasonable discussion.

    I get where you are coming from. But there are other ways to police that within the list. Strict rules as to what kind of discussions are allowed, if they are enforced, should take care of it. Having moderated online forums before, though, I know that is much easier said than done. Plus people who are friends in RL or “favorites” on the list can get away with more than others. It’s a challenge.

    I think I’m more curious as to how people get invited to join. Who makes the decisions and on what criteria? One person? A group of people? Are the criteria public? Are the members of the list made public? How do people who might benefit from being on the list (and might benefit others already on the list) ask to be invited? Is that possible?

    Normally I wouldn’t have much interest in such a list, but as pundits and the media seem to hold a lot of sway over what happens in and with our government, the knock-on effect is that what those types of people decide is “important” can affect me and other average citizens like me. So any type of sunlight that can be brought to such interactions seems only to the good, imho. While I don’t begrudge people wanting to have more private type venues to discuss the nuts and bolts of their professions, when those professions directly impact the public, there’s a fuzzy gray area that can be a potential problem.

  76. 76

    I hold no brief for Weigel — especially after his pathetic defense of Rand Paul ( you know, BP’s best friend next to Joe Barton?) and his little smearjob here, and his bizarre head-scratching stunt here. But geez Louise, I can’t help but think that if this was Charles Krauthammer we were talking about, he’d still have his job.

    Remember how Paul Krugman was forced to grovel and apologize for a good-faith cite of a Salon story by Jason Leopold that had one not-totally-proved item about Tom White in it? This as serial liar Bill Safire, Krugman’s fellow Times opinion columnist, was allowed to run with arrant nonsense about Mohammed Atta, Prague, and Saddam Hussein. (And don’t get me started on Timeswoman reporter Judy Miller, who was ordering around US commanders on behalf of her buddy Ahmad Chalabi.)

    Bottom line for the GOP/Media Complex: Anyone who writes anything that doesn’t reinforce popular GOP/Media myths had better watch his or her back. But if you do as you’re told, you can just about literally get away with murder.

  77. 77
    Tsulagi says:

    Bill Kristol, Jackson Diehl, Marc Thiessen, whose far more offensive comments are printed on the opinion page every week, still have jobs.

    Don’t forget RSSF Commander EE, famed leader of the 101st ball buying fighting TeaTards, manly tweeted: “SCOTUS Judge Souter is a goat fucking child molester.” Think he’s getting out his crayons to write a resignation note to CNN, or that they’re asking for one? Nah.

    What Weigel failed to recognize is that winger and teatard feelings are a protected class. They’re special, and must be nurtured and lovingly supported. Forget the goddamn gays, insult a winger/teatard’s sensitivities, even privately, it should be an automatic trip to Gitmo. It’s in the Constitution somewhere.

  78. 78
    Napoleon says:

    This stinks – well I will follow Dave where ever he ends up.

  79. 79
    Ash Can says:

    Nothing could possibly deserve the “failed media experiment” tag more than this staggering heap of shit.

    When the Wipe-o signed Weigel to report on the conservative movement, I, in my ignorance, wondered what the point was. I was soon set straight, once I became aware of his insight, objectivity, and just plain common sense. Given the current state of punditry, it’s obviously a profession that can ill afford to lose smarts like his. I hope we hear from him again soon.

  80. 80
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @JGabriel:

    Jeepers. I’ve never seen anyone fired/resign over so little in my life.
    __
    For most of those remarks, I’m not even sure why Weigel apologized.

    My sentiments exactly.

  81. 81
    LT says:

    @eemom: To get spaces between grafs in blockquotes you have to put I believe three underscores in the space line. I have no idea why. Stupidest fucking glitch I ever heard of. Well, not stupidest…

  82. 82
    lol says:

    It’s bizarre – they’re cheering his resignation because he was a liberal plant but they’re also blaming liberals for leaking the e-mail because they wanted to knee-cap the career of a rising conservative star.

  83. 83
    MattR says:

    @eemom: OMG. I did not notice this nugget of hilarity in the midst of all that Politico BS.

    There’s a broader debate in journalism right now over whether reporters should strive for neutrality at all, or whether they should bring their own views and experiences into their writing. The Post’s Klein, Weigel, and Greg Sargent (along with the fired Dan Froomkin) are the latter model, along with those at newer outlets from TPM to the Breitbart empire. Most of the rest of the Post’s political reporters, and most of us at POLITICO, are the former.

  84. 84
    LT says:

    @Alex S.: I thought it was described as a Left-leaning list. Why on Earth would McArdle be on such a list?

  85. 85
    Sentient Puddle says:

    This is why I’m still somewhat skeptical of this story.

  86. 86
    Jules says:

    Wow.
    Complete and utter BS.
    Private emails should be kept PRIVATE and it is never cool to publish the address of someone’s significant other.

  87. 87

    @Joel: I all but stopped reading Salon for a long time because they felt that she was more important than Murray Waas, Mollie Dickenson, or any of the other excellent reporters they used to have. Conason and Glennzilla (despite his odd fondness for Ron Paul) and their food writers were what kept me from totally avoiding Salon.

  88. 88
    licensed to kill time says:

    @LT:

    It’s two underscores in every empty line between paras. If you put three, you’ll get a lonely little underscore hanging out between paragraphs :(

  89. 89
    JenJen says:

    @frankdawg: I seem to recall Mickey Kaus’ freakout about the JournoList the most (AKA “The Secret Liberal Media Email Cabal”).

    Oh, and Mark Hemingway’s response, too:
    http://corner.nationalreview.c.....c5ZDczMGE=

  90. 90
    LT says:

    @licensed to kill time: And that makes perfect fucking sense! Sheesh.

  91. 91
    Peter J says:

    @dww44
    @Paul in KY

    I had the same problem (different browser) and was able to track it down to an external javascript.

    While I would prefer not to block and ads on this site, the solution is to block http://partner.googleadservice.....gle_ads.js .

  92. 92
    Redshirt says:

    The doublestandards that are so strikingly obvious yet equally strikingly never discussed are just…. striking. I mean, the imbalance between what a so called “Conservative” can do, with no consequences, and what a so called “Liberal” can do (nothing), could not be more dramatic.

    How is it allowed to continue?

  93. 93
    BTD says:

    Assuming the WaPo asked for his resignation, this is disgraceful.

    A whole hell of a lot of people need to resign at the WaPo before Weigel.

    Outrageous stuff.

  94. 94
    Leo says:

    Just read Jeffrey Goldberg’s take on this. Apparently it’s not an “unhappy day” at the Washington Post when the paper publishes editorials advocating the bombing of countries whose governments we don’t like–i.e., setting foreigners on fire–but it’s a some kind of tragedy when a “liberal” reporter says the world would be a better place if some conservative asshole would just self-immolate already. Also love that there are people who work at the Post who think the paper still has standards that can be destroyed. God.

  95. 95
    licensed to kill time says:

    @LT:

    Mysterious are the Ways of WP, where sense is not to be found, grasshopper.

  96. 96
    LT says:

    @Sentient Puddle: What makes you skeptical?

    And could someone please tell a person who, unlike Colbert, has not twatted, how you can tell who the fuck is talking on someone’s twitter page? It’s obvious it’s not only the host – but I can’t tell which is which.

  97. 97
    frankdawg says:

    @Phoebe:
    Great job in this!

    But fer gawds sakes don’t read the comments section – it appears the wingnuts have invaded

  98. 98
    JGabriel says:

    Politico via eemom:

    Merida [@ WaPo], in a web chat in April, was asked if the paper would be “adding more conservative/Republican voices to better balance what is now your predominately liberal/Democratic leaning coverage?”

    ?!

    Instead of DougJ mimicking crazy wingnuts, we need more people asking reporters and editors in WaPo chats when they’ll start adding liberal and progressive voices to balance their winger / teabagger / conservative / GOP / corporate leaning coverage.

    Apparently too many WaPo editors think DougJ’s satires are real.

    .

  99. 99
    You Don't Say says:

    @Leo: What an asshole Goldberg is. Love how he equates assholery with liberalism. If the Post had only realized Weigel was a so-called liberal then they would have never hired him, or at least been prepared for the outcome, because liberal = asshole.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    JenJen says:

    John Cole’s new Twitter avatar FTMFW!!

  102. 102
    BW Smith says:

    @eemom: I read that at Politico and I’m calling BS. There is no way WaPo hired Dave Weigel without reading his columns at The Washington Monthly or Reason. His writing at both places proved his Libertarian slant. They’re just covering their asses. Since when do you have to be of the movement to report on the movement?

  103. 103
    The Moar You Know says:

    Weigel is being attacked for writing that the world would be better if Matt Drudge could “set himself on fire.”

    You must be joking. That’s one of the “self-evident truths” that George Washingham and George Jefferson had written into the Constitution after they defeated Hitler in the Ardennes forest during the Awesome American War.

  104. 104
    Peter J says:

    Just read Jeffrey Goldberg’s take on this.

    Goldberg mentions Ezra Klein’s infamous twitter about Tim Russert. I guess the WaPo got all that they need to fire him too. Maybe they are too busy digging up things Sargent wrote?

    “How could we destroy our standards by hiring a guy stupid enough to write about people that way in a public forum?” one of my friends at the Post asked me when we spoke earlier today.

    Unless that’s about Klein’s twitter, can neither of Goldberg and his friend at WaPo understand the difference between a public forum and a private listserv? It’s not even semi-public.

  105. 105

    In pleasanter news, Balloon Juice is favorably name-checked here in this story on how, in the Real America, most people think about as much of Sarah Palin as they do of George W. Bush — which is to say, not much at all. (Funny how you’d never know this from watching network TV, which assumes for the most part that we all just wuuuuv the Quitta.)

  106. 106
    John Bird says:

    But fuck Matt Drudge, though, Matt Drudge is scum.

    While we’re mentioning personal blogger stuff, if you somehow missed Media Matters guru David Brock’s “Blinded By the Right”, it’s got his account of Drudge’s poor attempt at a gay sexcapade with the author back when they were both trying to take down Clinton.

    The book itself is the keystone to understanding presidential politics in the 1990s.

  107. 107
    eemom says:

    @MattR:

    yeah, I thought that was a great touch.

    What a self important little twit. “Lookit me! I’m a Big Boy Objective Reporter just like my big brudders at the Real Newspaper! I know how to do a Opinion too — fer reals! Wanna see?”

  108. 108
    You Don't Say says:

    @BW Smith: It’s all about appearances. Why else fire him when every reporter at the Post undoubtedly has said the same or worse about the beat/people they cover?

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Alex S. says:

    @LT:

    Well, why then is Dave Weigel on such a list? Just because Ezra Klein founded it, it doesn’t have to be a left-leaning list.

  111. 111
    slag says:

    @JGabriel:

    For most of those remarks, I’m not even sure why Weigel apologized.

    Agreed.

    And as for the Drudge comment, it made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of this:

    Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire!

    Which also made me laugh out loud.

  112. 112

    @John Bird: Got it on my bookshelf.

    The key thing that tells you that everything in that book is true is the fact that none of its attackers dared go after it on a factual level. They even tried to avoid to so much as mention the juiciest stories that he told. Instead, it was always the “was he lying then or is he lying now?” shtick. They just kept saying “liar liar liar” over and over; they never once tried something like “David Brock is lying because he said X and I have this to prove it never happened”.

  113. 113
    catclub says:

    @Paul in KY:

    It sounds like the ‘you don’t have a cookie from posting’
    problem, that has occurred before on BJ.

    Once you posted, the problem went away?

  114. 114
    me says:

    @Phoenix Woman: Did Chrysler hire the Python (Monty) Pictures ad agency?

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub: Trying a test post to fix the problem.

    ETA: Did.Not.Work.

  116. 116
    Peter J says:

    And why doesn’t any “journalists” get fired for tire-swinging with their tongues up some politician’s ass? Wouldn’t that be as much of a problem as what Weigel got canned for?

  117. 117
    NobodySpecial says:

    @LT: You have to remember that McGargle, Yglesias, Klein, and a bunch of others are all buddy buddy and socialize together and got each other jobs. I find it unsurprising that these modern Masters of the Destiny of Journalmalism are all on there, and a bunch of their other friends besides.

    Any of whom could have leaked it and any of whom could have reason to leak it, which is why I’m glad Cole took down his original speculation until we find out exactly who leaked it.

  118. 118
    licensed to kill time says:

    @JenJen:

    John Cole’s new Twitter avatar FTMFW!!

    OMG, I hope John doesn’t have to fire himself for that insult to Drudge!

  119. 119
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Please don’t tell me to get another browser as work PC is all I have & I’m forced to use Internet Explorer

    I would never do that. “Get another browser” is about the most useless comment a person can make in your situation.

    Get another job, where they’ll let you use a real browser.

  120. 120
    Sheila says:

    If the Christian hell existed (which, of course, it does not), Matt Drudge has already set himself on fire, or at least insured he will be doing so in the future.

  121. 121
    fucen tarmal says:

    @John Cole:

    um retribution for his relationship with olbermann, if i was building a list of persons of interest i would start there.

  122. 122
    The Oracle says:

    Remember Dan Froomkin? He was at Washington Post on-line, he was a truth-teller during the infamous and torturous Bush/Cheney years, he got fired.

    Journalists like Dave Weigel and Dan Froomkin get purged, while wingnut “journalists” continue spouting their inanities and insanities, often outright lying and deceiving, daily creating a toxic news spill that spreads across our nation.

  123. 123
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    I don’t think he should have been fired for his private communications, but:

    > private conversations in which he’s revealed a
    > fondness for Ronald Reagan, a willingness to vote
    > for Bobby Jindal as president, and agreed that
    > Van Jones should have been fired for his
    > 9/11 trutherism

    He has no business communicating anything to the public, as his insane and assaholic points of view attest.

  124. 124
    Glenn says:

    @JenJen: That avatar truly is brilliant.

  125. 125
    bemused says:

    This really sucks.

  126. 126
    Sly says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    It’s not that Weigel said something bad about some random conservative pol. It’s that he said something bad about Matt Drudge, whose fanboys have all the virtue of dung beetles tunneling through a mound of elephant shit. They’re a mere notch above the stalkers who serve at the pleasure of Michelle Malkin.

    My only complaint about Weigel is that he didn’t suggest that Drudge’s entire readership throw themselves on the pyre with him.

  127. 127
    CharlieBuxalter says:

    Phoenix Woman: Do you realize you have used that Krugman/Leopold cite for about five years now. That’s a decade old. Get some fresh material. Jeez.

  128. 128
    b-psycho says:

    It’s hilarious how Weigel, who was actually too conservative for Reason at times, is now seen as a flaming librul. It couldn’t be just that he thinks the teabaggers are fucking idiots (like any sane person, left, right, center, whatever, does)?

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Cid:

    Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings

    And to me one of the more interesting parts of that interview was:

    {re: Kandahar offensive} I think it’s in trouble, in serious trouble. The fighting is really, really heavy and they’ve postponed the heaviest fighting till the fall. But it’s going to be nasty. This June has been the deadliest month of the war. You have this problem where we told our Afghan partners, if you don’t want it , then we don’t have to do it, and they said no and we said, well, we’re doing it anyway. Now we’re in situation where we are eventually going to do it and we don’t have the popular support of the locals.

    June is/was the most deadly month in a 9 year war and the nasty shit isn’t even happening til Fall. And no one there wants us to execute our strategy.
    This is swell.

  130. 130

    @CharlieBuxalter: English translation of your comment: “Charles has nothing and freely admits it, which is why I’m going to try the Chewbacca Defense.”

  131. 131
    Nicole says:

    According to Salon, some person named Betsy Rothstein posted the email excerpts to Drudge. She writes for Mediabistro’s FishbowlDC. So there’s where to send the complaints. ;)

  132. 132

    @me: Kinda makes one wonder, doesn’t it?

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    He has no business communicating anything to the public, as his insane and assaholic points of view attest.

    I’m not familiar with his work and if the TAS piece is a “very good defense” of Weigel, then I know why.

  134. 134
    TomG says:

    Just read Ezra Klein, and he’s decided to end Journolist. Check his 3:10 posting on his blog today –

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/

  135. 135
    john b says:

    @TomG:

    came here to post the same

  136. 136
    someguy says:

    He provided fair and accurate coverage for the Washington Post

    Bullshit.

    He was house apologist for the wingnutz. Never mind what he said privately, he was responsible for airbrushing the tea partiers and the Palinites and southern christian racist faction of the Republican Party and whoever else.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because libertards hate conservatives, that they agree with you. They don’t. I suspect that’s the reason behind the outing of his emails – somebody on Journolist has a better read on his politics than most of the concern trolls here. As for this:

    There’s a broader debate in journalism right now over whether reporters should strive for neutrality at all, or whether they should bring their own views and experiences into their writing.

    That loosely translates to: “should reporters constantly fluff wingnuts to keep them appeased the way a keeper throws red meat to the lions, or should they tell the truth?”

  137. 137
    TomG says:

    House apologist for the wingnutz? Perhaps. But Sully, who I still read, refers to him as a “sane libertarian”, and he used to write for Reason a few years ago.
    I don’t know his writing enough to judge myself, but I don’t think he’s completely in their fold.

  138. 138
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Josh:

    Any other aging USENET refugees here?

    Here’s how Matt Drudge got his start: As a USENET spammer/would-be entertainment reporter. The website came after he moved to Florida, and with the infamous Clinton scoop– an internet fixture was born.

    It’s still curious to think that had he had more success in Hollywood, politicos and media types might not have ever known (or at least cared) who Matt Drudge was.

  139. 139
    hamletta says:

    Haven’t read the thread (at work), but that sucks.

  140. 140

    […] Leave a Comment  Jeffrey Goldberg on the firing of Dave Wiegel for what are, self evidently, bullshit reasons: The sad truth is that the Washington Post, in its general desperation for page views, now hires […]

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    @TomG:

    House apologist for the wingnutz? Perhaps. But Sully, who I still read, refers to him as a “sane libertarian”, and he used to write for Reason a few years ago.

    This..umm…it’s not really helping Weigel grow any in my personal estimation. But YMMV.

  142. 142
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @TomG: Damn damn damn.

    Double damn on Dave resigning. Fuck this shit. No, really. As I said in the below thread, Dave was making a joke as to how Drudge could be more mature by setting himself on fire. I read the rest of the quotes, and WTF? There was nothing there for which he had to apologize.

    Whatever. It’s clear that anyone perceived as The Enemy of the right must be purged.

  143. 143
    KevinNYC says:

    I just found this blurg for an upcoming book. I bet Rolling Stone keeps him on though

    “A hilarious, brilliantly crafted, full-on verbal assault on America’s pundit class. Brown shows us just how lazy, stupid, and corrupt almost of all our nation’s most beloved columnists have become. I’m now fully convinced that this entire generation of over-published bullshit artists deserve to be tasered in the face, one at a time, preferably on live television.”
    – Michael Hastings, author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story

  144. 144
    KevinNYC says:

    “A hilarious, brilliantly crafted, full-on verbal assault on America’s pundit class. Brown shows us just how lazy, stupid, and corrupt almost of all our nation’s most beloved columnists have become. I’m now fully convinced that this entire generation of over-published bullshit artists deserve to be tasered in the face, one at a time, preferably on live television.”
    – Michael Hastings, author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story

  145. 145
    bystander says:

    I’m with Greenwald on this. It’s not like leaks from JList haven’t happened before. And, expecting privacy/confidentiality from a list of hundreds of disparate people, with disparate points of view – even if they’re supposed to be all from the so-called Left – is expecting a lot. It’s safe to say, no matter how low your profile, in a group as large as the JList group is, there is at least one person gunning for you. I view that as a universal BIG T truth/

    That said, we can note that Joe Klein still has his job.

  146. 146
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @bystander:

    even if they’re supposed to be all from the so-called Left

    Is it a list “from the so-called Left” or a list of people roughly Ezra Klein’s age who were the first wave of general-interest bloggers?

  147. 147
    maus says:

    @Nicole:

    According to Salon, some person named Betsy Rothstein posted the email excerpts to Drudge. She writes for Mediabistro’s FishbowlDC. So there’s where to send the complaints. ;)

    Why would sending the complaints her way get anything done? If she leaked them, she’s getting off on all the attention/drama of it all. This is all working as intended.

  148. 148
    Nicole says:

    @maus: Assuming she gets paid (which she may not; I don’t know anything about the site she writes for), complaints to the advertisers on the site could get her to “offer her resignation.”

    But as I’ve never actually gone to the site I don’t know that I’d want to give them the visitor hit.

  149. 149
    Paul in KY says:

    @Capn America: I am sure that most members on the listserv were ‘left leaning’, since it was Ezra’s. Not all though.

  150. 150
    Paul in KY says:

    @Peter J: Appreciate your help. Will try that.

  151. 151
    Paul in KY says:

    @catclub: Once I post, it seems to revert to ‘the good way’. But sometimes when I move from page to page, it starts doing it again. I will say it isn’t doing it as much in past couple weeks as it was say 2 months ago.

  152. 152
    Paul in KY says:

    @Joey Maloney: Best advice yet! ;-)

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