Two More Quick Takes

Greg Sargent seems to be at odds with his paper:

A number of readers have asked me for my reaction to the resignation of Dave Weigel, who until today was the author of the blog Right Now, which covered the conservative movement for The Post. And since the liberal blogosphere, which is one of the subjects of my blog, is strongly criticizing the Post over this, I thought I should say something.

To me, the core question is this: Did The Post ask or pressure Weigel to resign?

If so, it would mean the paper was caving to conservative pressure to remove him, for offenses that are arguably less serious than ones committed by other media figures who continue to enjoy employment throughout the industry. For those who haven’t followed the controversy, Weigel was caught disparaging prominent members of the movement he covers in private e-mails.

Here’s the comment that Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti is giving to me and other reporters: “Dave offered his resignation and we accepted it.”

The fact that they accepted it says everything you need to know about the Washington Post. Marc Ambinder:

Weigel is best described as an anti-denialist. He hates stupid people and stupid human tricks and stupid political consultants. He’s developed a natural rapport with conservatives because he says what he thinks. I was a member of the now defunct Journolist group. I’m also a voracious consumer of Dave Weigel’s tweets. And I can tell you that nothing he wrote on the list was more outre than what he Tweeted.

Hating stupid people is probably not a good thing if you work for Fred Hiatt.

BTW- a word of praise where it is due- I think Ambinder has been pumping out some really solid and interesting stuff lately. His pieces have been interesting and at times perceptive, and worth a read. Anyone else noticed this, or am I getting too much sun again this summer?






117 replies
  1. 1
    Dave C says:

    Re: Ambinder. I’ve been thinking the same thing, and then he went and gave effusive praise to Ron Fournier, and I got all confused again.

  2. 2

    Yer Galts are shorter than mine.

    I did appreciate his quick take on the McCrystal meltdown. Before it was known that much of the right, or the ones with any viable brain cells, also thought the general stepped over the line.

  3. 3
    The Other Chuck says:

    Ambinder and Tapper both seem to have come down with a case of journalism. Let’s hope it’s a virulent strain.

  4. 4
    Comrade Mary says:

    I noticed that Ambinder is writing some pretty solid stuff lately. I’m risking a cheap, overly personal and completely boundless comment here, but maybe he’s just happier and more confident since he lost weight and wrote so effectively about it. He’s more willing to stick his neck out now and less likely to fall into Villager habits.

    (Not meaning to intrude on his life, or generalize, or participate in fat-shaming, but it’s the one issue that I’ve noticed happening just before I noticed his tougher writing.)

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    This doesn’t really say anything:

    Here’s the comment that Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti is giving to me and other reporters: “Dave offered his resignation and we accepted it.”

    The real question is whether it was “strongly suggested” that he offer his resignation. And I think we all know the answer.

    dms

  6. 6
    Mark S. says:

    Julian Sanchez, who I guess is subbing for McArdle, also has a good take. I certainly agree with this sentiment:

    [D]oes anyone really want to live in a world where the only people prepared to risk engagement in politics are either so rigidly self-disciplined and boring that they provide no fodder for these outrage kabuki rituals, or such consistent over-the-top blowhards that no particular comment stands out as a focus of outrage?

  7. 7
    JenJen says:

    Reading thru the loathsome Daily Caller “piece” on Weigel, it occurs to me, too, that most of the things he wrote on Journolist he gleefully tweeted as well. Good on Ambinder for pointing this out.

    For example, he openly mocked James O’Keefe on Twitter as soon as news of their bust in Sen. Landrieu’s office broke, yet The Daily Tucker Carlson found his O’Keefe dispatches on Journolist to be among the most offensive.

    But those weren’t even private comments. He may have written them on Journolist, too, but Weigel’s tweets were available to anyone.

    The more I read about this nontroversy, the more needless and stupid it appears.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    Agree about Ambinder. Some of his recent stuff has been really good.

    @Comrade Mary:

    I’m risking a cheap, overly personal and completely boundless comment here, but maybe he’s just happier and more confident since he lost weight and wrote so effectively about it. He’s more willing to stick his neck out now and less likely to fall into Villager habits.

    I’ve also wondered if the two are related. The time of his writing about his weight loss and the time of his work getting particularly good seem to coincide. Could be coincidence. Or not.

    John Cole:

    The fact that they accepted it says everything you need to know about the Washington Post.

    Yep. The WaPo management have balls that resemble eggshells.

  9. 9
    slag says:

    BTW- a word of praise where it is due- I think Ambinder has been pumping out some really solid and interesting stuff lately. His pieces have been interesting and at times perceptive, and worth a read. Anyone else noticed this, or am I getting too much sun again this summer?

    Freakish. I’m in complete agreement with this.

    @Dave C:

    Re: Ambinder. I’ve been thinking the same thing, and then he went and gave effusive praise to Ron Fournier, and I got all confused again.

    This too!

    OK. A disturbing convergence of opinions here. I’m going to have to go hang out at RedState for a while to wash my brain out. This much agreement can’t possibly be a good sign.

  10. 10
    lamh32 says:

    I can’t stand Tucker Carlson, and I hate to put things out in the atmosphere that may come back to bite me in the butt, but Tucker Carlson, can fall down a long flight of stairs into a bit of boiling acid!

    Anyway, I post pretty often over at Greg’s, and I just told him about Ambinder’s piece.

    just told Greg to watch his back.

    Love Dave Weigel’s latest tweet BTW, you can never go wrong with Jay Z

    “On To The Next One”

  11. 11
    Tom Hilton says:

    Agree about Ambinder–he’s been relatively good for a while now. I think his piece a while back about how completely full of shit the right is was kind of a turning point.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    @lamh32:
    The one who really needs to watch his back is Ezra. Wonder if he shut down JournoList because he thought it was the right thing to do, or if he got pressure from the WaPo or some combination of both?

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    I used to be pretty good friends with Greg Sargent many years ago. When I was 17 he forced me to read In Praise of Folly. My favorite memory of him was the time he pissed off one of our other friends by making him look like a damn fool in an argument. Greg’s response was, “Don’t blame me for your incompetence”, which made the other guy even more pissed.

    I’d love to see him, and Weigel, and Klein write in a forum where they can let it all out. I think I might even pay to read it. Right now, the WaPo is doing a good job of blaming Dave Weigel for their own incompetence.

  14. 14
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @JenJen:

    The more I read about this nontroversy, the more needless contrived and stupid malicious it appears.

    I think that’s a little more accurate. But nowhere near as accurate as this comment from Ezra Klein’s most recent post on the matter:

    You’re next, Ezra.
    __
    Posted by: JakeD2 | June 25, 2010 3:21 PM

  15. 15
    Svensker says:

    Only ONE post since John Went Galt? Sheesh, he’s falling down on the job.

    This whole Weigel thing is beyond dumb. What next? Reporters getting fired because their editors discover they have…..bodily excretions…OMG! It’s like no one ever left junior high.

  16. 16
    lamh32 says:

    @Violet:

    Yeah, Ezra is def on the “shit-list”, but it’s never the obvious ones that get canned, too much attention. Plus if they get Ezra, then Greg is gonna be the only one left.

  17. 17

    @Dave C:

    To be fair, Fournier’s upped his game somewhat recently too.

    I suspect the Beltway is slowly starting to realize that their GOP BFFS aren’t coming back into power any time soon, and that it’s time to pretend to be principled again.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    @lamh32: We need to write an updated version of the Inferno so we can condemn various media wankers to the circle of hell of our choosing. This would be a fun project for anyone with a literary inclination.

  19. 19
    Zandar says:

    Much like Sully, when Ambinder’s on his game, he’s great. When he’s off, he’s Slightly More Refined Nooners.

    The sad part is there are a number of journalists who tend to suffer outbreaks of this herpes-like form of Village stupidity: Charles Blow, Ambinder, Sullivan, Ben Smith out there on one end of the scale, and those in 100% relapse phase like Dean Broder, MoDo, and Nooners.

    It’s like lycanthropy or something.

  20. 20
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Tom Hilton: found the Ambinder piece I was thinking of, and the title says it all: Have conservatives gone mad?

    (Don’t worry, I won’t give away the ending.)

  21. 21
    lamh32 says:

    @beltane:

    seriously, I don’t hate many people, but man I hate Tucker Carlson. I literally have death fantasies about the dude!!

    My most common one is death by bowtie. It fills me with so much glee.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    @lamh32:
    Why would anyone left of Attila the Hun take a job with the WaPo? It’s not like you can change them? But they can sure dick you over.

  23. 23
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Ezra’s been on the WaPo death watch list for…what’s it, over a year now? At some point, I just have to start believing that the dude is invincible.

  24. 24
    eemom says:

    as I said on the other thread, unless someone here is an insider or has a direct source, we don’t actually KNOW what the politics are at the Post, whether Wiegel actually WAS pressured to resign or just said “Fuck it”…..

  25. 25
    Zifnab says:

    @slag:

    I’m going to have to go hang out at RedState for a while to wash my brain out.

    RedState is certainly a good remedy if you find yourself with too much in your brain.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    @lamh32: Death by Bowtie is a good start. It has the advantage of also taking care of George Will.

    And look, folks, this is now officially know as Weigelgate: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsme.....s_threats/

  27. 27
    EconWatcher says:

    Honestly, not sure why talented and apparently stable and normal guys like Weigel and Ezra go into journalism. It seems like a dead end.

  28. 28
    eemom says:

    …..OR if Ezra is on some kind of shit list.

    I mean, isn’t it all about the clicks? Wouldn’t this whole ridiculous episode generate MORE traffic?

  29. 29
    Quicksand says:

    @Violet:

    The one who really needs to watch his back is Ezra. Wonder if he shut down JournoList because he thought it was the right thing to do, or if he got pressure from the WaPo or some combination of both?
    Reply

    He shut it down because it’s broken, simple as that.

  30. 30
    Zifnab says:

    @Sentient Puddle: I’m a little surprised myself. The way WaPo keeps going back to the NRO and the Weekly Standard and the rest of the winger “think” tanks for columnists, it seems like Klein’s spot should have been poached years ago.

    Maybe he just keeps a stack of compromising photographs somewhere.

  31. 31
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Sentient Puddle:

    Ezra’s been on the WaPo death watch list for…what’s it, over a year now? At some point, I just have to start believing that the dude is invincible.

    Or they just want the knives to be extra sharp when they make their move.

  32. 32
    Kryptik says:

    @eemom:

    But considering how much the paper has bent over backwards to appease the conservative nuts, it’s not a hard guess either. Internal politics are messy, but it’s hard not to believe that the overt politics of the paper weren’t involved either.

    It’s depressing to think too that Marc ‘The Church approves of Torture’ Thiessen, Michael ‘Franken is a Fraud for Wanting to Uphold the Law’ Gerson, George ‘Global Warming is a lie because it was cold out earlier’ Will, and Jackson ‘Not Even Worth The Mocking Nickname’ Diehl remain with the paper.

  33. 33

    @Quicksand:

    He pretty explicitly said he shut it down so it couldn’t be used against anyone else.

  34. 34
    JenJen says:

    @Midnight Marauder: I agree with your edit. :-)

    And yeah, I saw that comment on Ezra’s site earlier, and immediately thought to myself, “yeah, that’s probably true.”

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @eemom:

    as I said on the other thread, unless someone here is an insider or has a direct source, we don’t actually KNOW what the politics are at the Post, whether Wiegel actually WAS pressured to resign or just said “Fuck it”…..

    No one knows except those involved. However, if you look at the recent past, there’s Froomkin and now Weigel. How many people on the other ideological end of the spectrum have “resigned” or been fired from the WaPo? How many people still on their staff have written complete falsehoods that have ended up sending many people to their deaths (like pro-war articles or commentary) and have not written retractions and have not apologized and still have jobs?

    You are correct that we don’t know for sure. But it’s not too hard to make an educated guess when looking at evidence as to what their politics might be.

  36. 36
    jayackroyd says:

    Ambinder has been better lately, yes. Reasoning, and writing, more clearly.

  37. 37
    Tuffy says:

    If only Weigel had called Drudge a “goat-fucking child molester” instead…

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @Quicksand:

    He shut it down because it’s broken, simple as that.

    Probably. But did he get pressure from the WaPo that highlighted just how broken it is? Or did they stay out of it and he made his own decision. Impossible for those not involved to know. I would like to think he did the right thing.

    From his post on it, it sounded like the criteria for choosing who got to be on it and who didn’t was based on something very hard to measure. It was ideological leaning. And long term, that’s impossible to make work. What’s the litmus test? With a criteria for inclusion like he described, eventually something like this was going to happen.

  39. 39
    freelancer says:

    John,

    does Sully’s photo credit go to you? or where did you find it?

    Also, I’d like to know what made you change your mind about Ambinder. I’m very curious. I must know, and I must not go anywhere until you give me your honest opinion.

    /LB troll

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    @Violet: We know the Post’s politics beyond a reasonable doubt, which is enough to condemn them. While it is possible they are secret Marxist sleeper agents who have infiltrated the Washington establishment in order to destroy it from within, we all know this is highly unlikely.

    I have a feeling this incident will be remembered as the beginning of the end for the Washington Post, which will now be regarded as a creative writing project for geriatric conservatives and their youngish pool boys.

  41. 41
    geg6 says:

    Though he backslides into Village stupidity now and again, you are absolutely right about there being a new and improved Ambinder. And I don’t mean his weight loss, though I applaud it. The scales seem to have fallen from his eyes and I appaud that even more.

    As for Weigel, seems pretty obvious to me that this was a coordinated campaign to get him. And I’m even more convinced since unnamed WaPo insiders are now trying to claim that he lied or misled them into thinking he was a conservative. No way that’s true since Dave has stated publically many times that he considers himself a libertarian. Weigel got ratfucked and if I were Sargent or Klein, I’d be watching my back. No doubt, they’re next.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @beltane:

    I have a feeling this incident will be remembered as the beginning of the end for the Washington Post, which will now be regarded as a creative writing project for geriatric conservatives and their youngish pool boys.

    Heh. Yep. Sad for them. Eventually something more worthwhile will take its place.

  43. 43
    Mark S. says:

    Goldberg has second thoughts:

    So maybe I’ve made a mistake myself by blogging too fast and too thoughtlessly on this issue. On the other hand, I was repulsed — really repulsed — by his invitation to Matt Drudge to kill himself. I despise violent keyboard-cowboyism

    Are they second thoughts if you still agree with your first ones? Jeffrey promises he’ll have more on the subject, after he fields a few more calls from shit-talking anonymous sources at the Post.

  44. 44
    bemused says:

    @lamh32:
    I assume you saw the cspan clip where this clueless, snotty little shit said there aren’t enough rich people to pay down the debt so of course, social security/medicare must be cut. Then this son of Swanson food heiress has the audacity to say the life comes with risks. Wtf would this privileged idiot know about life’s risks? I’d like to see him landed in some little town in coal mining country with no money & have to take a miserable job in coal mining to support himself & his family. Ignorant, arrogant moron.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mark S.:

    I despise violent keyboard-cowboyism

    Yeah, but as he unashamedly continues in that blurb, he has absolutely no problem with actual out and out violence* where hundreds of thousands of people die.

    *But that’s ok because as he says “(mainly because I’m a supporter of Israel, actually).”

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    This was my take as well. If you discover a tool is being used against you, you ditch the tool.

  47. 47
    beltane says:

    @Mark S.: Wonkette has a good response to that: http://wonkette.com/416303/sla.....ave-weigel

  48. 48
    Mark S. says:

    This is the Daily Caller’s biggest story since Treacher got hit by a car!

    Was there ever any follow up on that one, or does anyone care?

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @Tuffy:

    FTW!

  50. 50
    Fleas correct the era says:

    @Anton Sirius:
    To be fair, Fournier’s upped his game somewhat recently too.

    From awful to mediocre.

  51. 51
    sukabi says:

    more than likely this latest scalp is part of the larger “strategy” that was written about by a K-streeter in an anonymous rolling stone (I think) article this last month… and they’re clearing the field of anyone who might blow their cover…

  52. 52
    Mark S. says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I guess I’m so used to reading shit like that I completely missed the irony.

  53. 53
    El Cid says:

    @Corner Stone: Goldberg doesn’t support hundreds of thousands of people dying, because Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims aren’t people.

  54. 54
    eemom says:

    the beginning of the end for the Washington Post

    actually it was probably the death of Katherine Graham that was the beginning. Anyway, the end can’t come soon enough. And then I can stop subscribing to the goddamn thing just because it’s all we got here except the Moonie Times.

  55. 55
    Zandar says:

    @Mark S.:

    Dave Weigel ran over Treacher on the way to Drudge’s house, apparently.

  56. 56
    freelancer says:

    @Mark S.:

    Only Treacher being a douche earlier today

    Jim Treacher| 6.25.10 @ 12:48PM
    The next time I want to keep something off the record, I won’t write it down and send it to hundreds of people.

    Re: Treacher Wally| 6.25.10 @ 2:26PM
    Jim, hope you’ve recovered from your unfortunate “accident” with a Government SUV.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    Arizona politics is all about protecting the border.

    PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday most illegal immigrants entering Arizona are being used to transport drugs across the border, an assertion that critics painted as exaggerated and racist.
    __
    Brewer said the motivation of “a lot” of the illegal immigrants is to enter the United States to look for work, but that drug rings press them into duty as drug “mules.”…
    __
    …”I believe today, under the circumstances that we’re facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in,” Brewer said.
    __
    “There’s strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel,” she said.

    I have no idea why Latinos now tend to look like they will not vote Republican.

  58. 58
    Mark S. says:

    @Zandar:

    Treacher was just trying to put out a fire.

  59. 59
    beltane says:

    @El Cid: The profile for drug mules entering the US by air is a white woman flying alone. Maybe someone needs to chain Jan Brewer to a toilet with a bottle of Ex Lax so we can be sure she’s not hiding anything.

  60. 60
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Whoever ‘JakeD2’ is, it was noted in that thread that he’s basically made it his mission to get non-wingnut/Villager Posties off the paper.

    It’s a shitter that the confidence of the list was broken, but Ezra should never have kept a central archive for an off-the-record list.

  61. 61
    Alex S. says:

    RE: Ambinder

    Maybe the twinkie defense was actually based on reality.

  62. 62
    kay says:

    @El Cid:

    “There’s strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work.”

    Why can’t she talk? They all sound like Sarah Palin now.

    “Illegal people”. Hmmm. Interesting phrase.

    So much for ‘we’re not stopping them on reasonable suspicion of immigration violations’.

    Nah.

  63. 63
    Alex S. says:

    By the way, this is such a deep insider story that it requires years of observing the Village and the Beltway media – in a way it is beautiful to follow it. Any casual reader wouldn’t know what’s going on and blame it on a conspiracy or something like that.

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    Ambinder:

    Weigel is best described as an anti-denialist. He hates stupid people and stupid human tricks and stupid political consultants.

    Look, I loved Weigel’s WaPo column/blog, think he’s a damn good reporter and that WaPo’s acceptance of his resignation is idiotic.

    That said, the near-hagiography has got to stop. For instance, as a Libertarian, it absolutely cannot be shown that Weigel hates stupid people. If he did, he’d have never written for Reason.

    .

  65. 65
    Peter J says:

    On the other hand, I was repulsed—really repulsed—by his invitation to Matt Drudge to kill himself.

    If A makes a private comment or joke to B,C,D and E suggesting that F should kill himself, how could that be an invitation to F to kill himself?

    That is one shitty justification from Goldberg.

  66. 66
    kay says:

    @El Cid:

    that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in

    No profiling there!

    “The majority”. 51% ? 99% ? What’s the diff? They’re all the same to her. I can’t wait for the mass show trial.
    “Drug traffickers! Line up over there!”
    They can hold it in the parking lot at Lowes.

  67. 67
    frankdawg says:

    Clowns like Ambinder I read in hopes of understanding what the asslickers are saying at the cocktail parties in Georgetown. I would never trust one of these useless scummy, piece of shit stenographers as far as I could throw the Glomar Explorer.

    That he as actually approached actual journalism for a brief period I assume to be an aberration.

    But hey, I could be wrong.

  68. 68
    frankdawg says:

    @Peter J:

    Think how much better the world would be if everyone would invite Goldberg to kill himself & even better if he would do it.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Peter J: Jeffrey Goldberg “repulses” extremely easily. It’s like being worried that someone said “Jeffrey Goldberg is a wanker,” and being all offended that his masturbatory habits were being mischaracterized in a public forum.

  70. 70
    Kryptik says:

    God, reading up on this, and then reading the general comments on both The Atlantic and Ezra’s topic on this makes me believe that any sort of journalistic integrity is dead and gone. Apparently, to cover someone, you can’t be critical of them at all, ever, otherwise you’re a horrible fucking person and not worth writing anything.

    Apparently, only white supremacists should ever cover the KKK or Neo-Nazis.

    Apparently, only folks who want Sharia Law should ever be allowed to cover Radical Islam.

    Apparently, only folks who think Palestinians and other Arabs are animals Israel should treat like dogs should cover the Palestine/Israel issues…oh, wait.

    Christ, how many folks have we had in the MSM that covered the Obama campaign on a regular basis that did very little to hide their contempt for him or Dems? How many times did we have crap written about the anti-war movements that dismissed everyone as stark wackos.

    And Christ, this was a BLOG. Yes, a WaPo hosted and endorsed blog, but good god, he’s not writing articles for the ink-and-paper WaPo. It’s not like he was the chief editor of AP or something blatantly giving a major political figure coffee and doughnuts as a show of gratitude and respect, while said figure’s opponent got called ‘Osama’.

    Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Really, there IS no happy ending for anyone left of Lieberman, is there?

  71. 71
    handy says:

    @El Cid:

    She’s an idiot but a lot of idiot voters respond to this sort of thing. It’s a sad sad sad world.

  72. 72
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @frankdawg: Can we invite him to run himself over with a bulldozer?

  73. 73
    PTirebiter says:

    I agree, I think there’s been a noticeable upgrade in Ambinder’s more recent stuff. Although he started becoming sporadically tolerable to me once the election was over. I suppose that could have just been, a tolerable in comparison bounce when I happened to read skim McMeg.

  74. 74
    IM says:

    Reason? Any comment from reason? He did write for years for them after all. But of they probably have to ask the sponsors first for directions.

    Pretty sure they declare Weigel nonperson and “liberal”.

  75. 75
    Mike Kay says:

    Sad.

    Hate to say, I told you so, but…

    sounds like one of his editors asked him to apologize. remember, wapo doesn’t like to hurt winger fee fees.

    See, you can only pizz on Dems in washington.

    A year ago at this time, Dana Milbank called Hillary Clinton a bitch and he got away with it. No, really.

    Making vile sexist insults of the sitting Secretary of State is okay. but WaPo draws the line at attacking lying wingnut propagandists.

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kryptik: The irony multiplies when you consider the prominent role played by WaPo’s Ceci Connolly in taking down Gore during the 2000 election.

  77. 77
    Jon H says:

    ” I think Ambinder has been pumping out some really solid and interesting stuff lately.”

    Weight loss -> more confidence?

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Dana Milbank called Hillary Clinton a bitch and he got away with it

    Ah, but that’s because Dana Milbank “paid his dues,” unlike that non-potty-trained Dave Weigel. It’s just like the guy with the sign warning about government parasites who had been getting $1 million in crop subsidies from the government. He paid first, you see, not like those bums who just get handouts. When you’re a dues-paying tire-swinging journalist, one of the perks is the right to be a ginormous doucheface.

  79. 79
    Kryptik says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The most goddamn annoying thing is that the very idea around here is that ‘That Liberal Rag Washington Post had to fire Dave Weigel for being a Damned LIberal and hating Conservatives, so That Liberal Rag Washington Post could hold up its Liberal Media standards, or else they’d be Evil Goddamned ‘Merika hating Libruls or something like that’. The whole thought process around the damn thing and the vapors people are having makes no fucking sense.

    But I forget, in their world, like in The Daily Beast, Fred Hiatt is an unabashed and virulent liberal.

  80. 80
    Mike Kay says:

    @Kryptik: I’ve never read the daily beast – what’s it like?

  81. 81
    Kryptik says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Perhaps I should be clearer. The Daily Beast had a piece on the Top 25 most influential liberals/lefties in journalism.

    Fred Hiatt was number 5.

  82. 82
    Will says:

    The Daily Caller’s dump of Weigel’s running Journolist commentary just makes me like him even more. I imagine that wasn’t their intent:

    http://dailycaller.com/2010/06.....democrats/

    “Honestly, it’s been tough to find fresh angles sometimes–how many times can I report that these [tea party] activists are joyfully signing up with the agenda of discredited right-winger X and discredited right-wing group Y?” Weigel lamented in one February email.

    “There’s also the fact that neither the pundits, nor possibly the Republicans, will be punished for their crazy outbursts of racism. Newt Gingrich is an amoral blowhard who resigned in disgrace, and Pat Buchanan is an anti-Semite who was drummed out of the movement by William F. Buckley. Both are now polluting my inbox and TV with their bellowing and minority-bashing. They’re never going to go away or be deprived of their soapboxes,” Weigel wrote.

    Of Matt Drudge, Weigel remarked, “It’s really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree.”

    “One extra, obvious point–Beck’s campaign against Jones was transparently racial . . . he treated his very white, very angry audience to video after video of Jones giving scorching speeches. At one point Beck just eschewed subtlety and played videos of Jones alongside videos of Jeremiah Wright while he remained on the screen mugging like Harpo Marx,” Weigel said.

    The Huffington Post, Weigel pointed out, ran “a picture of Sarah Palin, linking to a poll that suggests 45 percent of Americans believe her death panel lie. But as long as the top liberal-leaning news site talks about it every single hour of every day, I’m sure that number will go down.”

    In a thread with the subject line, “ACORN Ratf*cker arrested,” Journolisters discussed how James O’Keefe, whose undercover reporting showed officials from activist group ACORN willing to help a fake prostitution ring skirt the law, had been arrested in another, failed operation at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) office.

    Weigel’s response: “HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.”

    “Deep breath.”

    “HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHA.”

  83. 83
    D-Chance. says:

    Even if the Plum Liner is still employed there, perhaps the first official act of the blogosphere should be a blanket boycott of WaPo? Meaning absolutely ZERO links and ZERO references to it? Silence, and total apathy and disregard are the best tools of revenge. Controversy leads to web hits, and web hits = revenue. Make them disappear by making them invisible in the blogospheric world.

  84. 84
    Vico says:

    @Peter J: Looks as though Goldblog is not familiar with the “die in a fire” meme. Either that, or he’s just being disingenuous to make a weak point.

  85. 85
    Felix Holt says:

    What’s eating Marc Ambinder?

  86. 86
    freelancer says:

    Okay, I just read the stupidest thing I’ve seen all month in a thread over at Ezra’s:

    Btw, what was Weigel doing on that center/left list anyway, as a libertarian? And since he possibly was the most right wing member, and is good friends with right wing bloggers, shouldn’t you at least think of the possibility that it was he himself who let rightwing lurkers in? I mean, who else would have allowed effing Tucker Carlson read the archives?

    Yeah, Weigel leaked his own emails calling Rush Limbaugh, Drudge, and the entire puke funnel industrial complex ratfuckers and retards to Tucker Carlson. Because he’s not a liberal.

    Wow.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @freelancer: I thought the suggestion was that Weigel was friends with someone further to his right, who then turned on him and outed him. Not that Weigel did it himself.

  88. 88
    jnfr says:

    @dmsilev:

    This post by the WaPo ombudsman makes it pretty clear that the WaPo itself demanded he begone.

  89. 89

    @FlipYrWhig: That’s what the scuttlebutt is per David Dayen:

    Conservatives who didn’t like someone actually paying attention to their words who wasn’t controllable put out a hit on Weigel, found private emails, leaked them, and succeeded in their mission. That’s dangerous for virtually everyone who works in media. I am on lots and lots of private listservs. I make my bacon off of intemperate comments, so I don’t know how they could be mined for anything else. And email basically isn’t locked down, you always run the risk of the world finding out about it. But I would be supremely pissed off if this happened to me. It’s vindictive and cruel. And it should be roundly condemned. A lot of work and attention went into basically neutralizing Dave Weigel for the sin of reporting on the conservative movement.

  90. 90
    maus says:

    @Mike Kay: It used to be a slightly more trashy and much more conservative HuffPo, now I believe it’s a much less trashy and more centrist HuffPo.

    I don’t think that’s really a sign that it’s changed much, but that HuffPo has become a stinking, rotting pile of trash.

    @jnfr: from the ombudsman-

    But his departure also raises questions about whether The Post has adequately defined the role of bloggers like Weigel. Are they neutral reporters or ideologues?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHHAHAHAHAH

  91. 91
    maus says:

    @Kryptik:

    Apparently, to cover someone, you can’t be critical of them at all, ever, otherwise you’re a horrible fucking person and not worth writing anything. Apparently, only white supremacists should ever cover the KKK or Neo-Nazis.

    Yeah, but he’s a conservative covering conservatives.

  92. 92
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Phoenix Woman: Amanda Marcotte thinks it was a “hater” acting for reasons of jealousy rather than ideology.

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @maus:

    he’s a conservative covering conservatives

    I thought his niche was more like the Skeptical Libertarian Rationalist covering the batshit crazy fringe people.

  94. 94

    @FlipYrWhig: I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case, actually. He made some enemies at the Windy, from what I’ve heard — all of it fourth- or fifth-hand, and most of it only half-remembered by me.

  95. 95
    Kryptik says:

    @maus:

    You miss the takeaway here.

    No matter what your actual leanings are, you cannot cover anyone unless you unquestioningly share your subject’s beliefs.

    Oh, and that no one who criticizes conservatives could ever really be a conservative themselves. On that note, from the Ombudsman’s blog, first comment:

    This is the WRONG lesson to take away. You are never going to get standing amongst conservatives unless you turn the paper into the moonie times or the NY Post. You know, lies, distortions and editorials that liken Obama to Hitler. (…) What you are calling for is the death of news. You tell the truth and shed light on what matters, you don’t try to cater to an ideological audience. But if you think the WaPo should be like the NYPost then I pity you.

    This, oh god, this. No matter what WaPo does to try and appease the wingers, they will be That Liberal Rag Washington Post, forever and ever. The fact that they refuse to learn this lesson makes me realize there’s no hope for them ever.

  96. 96

    @maus: He wasn’t conservative enough, that’s the problem. See also: Crist, Charlie.

  97. 97

    @Kryptik: Hell, with Fred Hiatt at the helm, they’re looking for any excuse to go full metal wingnut. Dan Froomkin was one of the last good people they had, and they forced him out because he did his job.

  98. 98
    maus says:

    @Kryptik: @Phoenix Woman: Yeah, i know, i know. He meets them in the most abstract of agreements.

    So, has anyone complained to CNN yet about how Erick Erikson’s not Conservative enough to represent them on CNN, and how it’s just like CNN to hire a liberal-leaner?

  99. 99
    Kryptik says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    And even then, judging from the fact that Fred Hiatt, despite driving the WaPo editorial board into the rightward ditch, and then some, was still listed as Daily Beast’s #5 most influential liberal in journalism tells me that Full Metal Wingnut would still not be enough.

    Because it’s the WaPo, and thus part of the Librul Media, even when they’ve become a near monolithic right-wing echo chamber.

  100. 100
    Mark S. says:

    @jnfr:

    From the ombudsman:

    “I don’t think you need to be a conservative to cover the conservative movement,” Narisetti told me late today. “But you do need to be impartial… in your views.”

    No, dipshit, you need to be impartial in your reporting.

    “It may be in our interests to ask potential reporters: ‘In private… have you expressed any opinions that would make it difficult for you to do your job.”

    It would be better if they just didn’t have opinions at all. Or brains, for that matter.

  101. 101
    Mike Kay says:

    @maus:

    “slightly more trashy…” than HuffPo

    That’s saying alot.

    Odd how Arianna condones her site’s porno outlook..

  102. 102
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mark S.: Great, now all job interviews at WaPo can be as hollow and facile as Supreme Court confirmation hearings. “As a reporter, I believe my role is like that of an umpire…” ZZZzzzzz.

    Actually, IMHO you don’t have to be “impartial” at all. You have to be truthful. “Impartial” is what leads to the haplessness expressed in the Krugman crack about “Shape of the Earth: Views Differ.”

  103. 103

    Hi, freelancer! Is this off the record?

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    @Kryptik: This morning on C-Span’s Washington Journal a lying ultra-right drone from the Moonie Times was disagreeing with a caller that he was ‘far right’, because he had disagreed with David Duke.

    So, in order to be a far right winger, you literally have to be an Aryan white supremacist. Presumably, anything too much lefter than a guy who’s a hair left of David Duke is soshullist.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @freelancer:

    Am I supposed to know who Jim Treacher is, or is this one of those inside-blogging jokes I’m not getting?

  106. 106
    Phoebe says:

    @FlipYrWhig: daaaaaaamn!

  107. 107
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I’m risking a cheap, overly personal and completely boundless comment here, but maybe he’s just happier and more confident since he lost weight and wrote so effectively about it. He’s more willing to stick his neck out now and less likely to fall into Villager habits.
    __
    (Not meaning to intrude on his life, or generalize, or participate in fat-shaming, but it’s the one issue that I’ve noticed happening just before I noticed his tougher writing.)

    I read that article too, and what struck me was how much Ambinder had internalized fat-shaming — he talked about ‘being embarrassed to force people to look at (his) disgusting, bloated self’. He was as convinced as the skinniest anorexic that he could be “perfect” (happier, more confident, a more honest writer) if only he could rise above his burdensome flesh. And, by gods, it worked (however briefly)… Ambinder lost half his body weight and suddenly everything was just so.much.better. Now he could look people in the eye, and contradict lying liars, and generally stand up for himself, not to mention truth, justice, and the American way!

    But really, that’s not because shedding the weight somehow made Ambinder a “better” person — it’s because shedding the “shame” made him a more confident person. I know from experience, it’s really, really tough not to internalize fat-shaming… to believe that not meeting the standards makes you less worthy than those who do. As the classic reference said, Fat Is A Feminist Issue… but it’s not just a feminist issue.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anne Laurie: And I don’t want to drag it in on this, but Steve Gilliard.
    The dude was a rage-ing posting genius. But incredibly shy in real life, by his own admission.
    I always got the sense that he felt he couldn’t hold his own face to face, not because he he wasn’t mentally there, but because he was held back physically.
    I didn’t know him, and I honestly put forth I could be wrong, but I get a lot of his shyness was due to this issue.
    Dude rocked it online, and I always saved his website for my lunch break when I was younger.

  109. 109
    russell says:

    FWIW here’s my take. Emphasis on FWIW.

    Weigel got screwed, but the moral of that story is that “private” and “on the internet” are concepts that don’t coexist in our universe.

    The whole episode seems, to me, to be a whole lot of inside baseball – pundits talking about pundits talking about pundits. I really wish people who want to wear the “professional political commentator” hat would talk about freaking issues of public interest and not about what pundit’s girlfriend was dancing at what other pundit’s wedding, or which pundit said a mean thing about what other pundit.

    Jeez, Louise.

    These people do not wear well as celebrities.

    Wanna shut Drudge up? Don’t read him.
    Wanna kick the WaPo in the nuts? Don’t read them.

    And hell yeah, do I ever miss Gilliard.

  110. 110
    Phoebe says:

    @Will: That was exactly my take, and thank you for the link. The idea that he can’t have private thoughts — or express them in private — about the stuff he reports on is ridiculous. But I also like the private thoughts!

  111. 111
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Corner Stone: I miss Steve Gilliard, too. Can you imagine the new orifices he’d have torn on people like Goldberg? (For all the good it would have done, alas.)

  112. 112
    Kryptik says:

    @russell:

    Wanna shut Drudge up? Don’t read him. Wanna kick the WaPo in the nuts? Don’t read them.

    This does not work. Like the free market approach to bad businesses, this just does not work. For the points you make about internet rendering ‘private’ discussion inapt, you have to realize too that the solutions against Drudge, Wapo, etc. is not like dealing with an internet troll.

    Internet trolls seek attention, because they seek validation for their idiocy and outrageousness, and giving them any sort of recognition gives them that validation, even if it’s negative attention. Drudge, WaPo, Fox, et. al, they already have that validation. They already have people who not only give them that attention, but positively so. They agree, and nod like bobbleheads. Fed up folks turning their back and ‘protesting with their wallet’ so to speak doesn’t work, if you’re not part of the audience they want in the first place. Just walking away gives them free reign to make a further echochamber.

    The only way to combat them at this point is shaming them, and preferably with facts and reality. And while that is a sketchy prospect at best, considering how easy it is to obfuscate the truth with lies and bullshit, it’s preferable to either walking away (either out of defeat, or trying to treat them like a typical internet troll), or stooping to their level of bullshit.

    And while this kerfluffle is minor, it’s still important in how telling it is. The ideological rigidity of the right, the willingness for a major news outlet to essentially bend over for the right by kicking Wiegel while keeping on serial liars and bullshit artists like Gerson and Thiessen, and the general double standards the current state of journalism has. I’m not sure I want outlets like the WaPo to be covering the important stuff, considering how hard they spin the smaller stuff.

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anne Laurie: Steve made some blanket statements that I didn’t agree with. As par the course for everything, right?
    But I always wanted to read his take. Dude went for it, and I always luffed that.
    luffed?
    Oh shit, Lolspeak has infected me. I’m done for.

  114. 114
    Church Lady says:

    My lousy 2 cents: Weigel was hired by the Post to cover Conservatives and the Conservative movement. To do so, he has to have access to them, which he had. I read most of the stuff linkded at Memeorandum, and most (not all) Conservatives seemed to think highly of him and felt like his reporting had been fair.

    Then, someone on Journolist (presumably someone on the left) leaked some of his listserv emails to not one, but at least two different reporters, who then ran with it.

    Given the nature of the leaked emails (which were less than flattering to Conservatives and Conservative thought), I would imagine that his access to the people he reports on would become extemely compromised. Most likely compromised enough that he could no longer effectively do the job he was hired to do. The Post didn’t even have to fire him, as he had already made the offer to resign.

    If you want a villain for this sorry saga, look for the snake (one of his supposed “friends”) on what was a private listserv, not to the Post or even the few seemingly celebrating Weigel’s downfall.

  115. 115
    Geeno says:

    @beltane: That’s easy, depending on the reporter Eighth Circle: Fraud — Pit 2: the Flatters, Pit 8: the Evil Counselors, Pit 9: the Sowers of Discord

  116. 116
    Geeno says:

    @Geeno: Gaaah – EPU’d. My bad for keeping a relatively normal schedule.

  117. 117
    russell says:

    the solutions against Drudge, Wapo, etc. is not like dealing with an internet troll.

    That’s a good point. Allow me to come at this a different way.

    Some folks are venal, mendacious scumbags who will screw you to the wall if it’s in their interest to do so. Certain areas of human activity, notably politics, public media, and anything to do with large sums of money tend to attract those people.

    So if you’re going to play in any of those sandboxes, you basically just need to assume that if you present any vulnerability, somebody is going to f**k you over.

    There was really nothing at all unusual or wrong about Weigel’s statements. He most likely doesn’t really want Drudge to go set himself on fire, he was just pissed off, frustrated, and annoyed with the BS that Drudge sent his way.

    Unfortunately, he vented that frustration in a public venue. It shouldn’t have been public, because he should have been able to assume that the other folks on the list wouldn’t screw him over. But, unfortunately, it only takes one bad apple.

    It’s true, you won’t make Drudge, or the WaPo, or any of the other fountains of bullshit go away simply by not reading them. You do, however, save yourself the trouble and annoyance of reading their crap.

    So, I recommend ignoring them.

    It would be lovely if shaming them would make them shape up, but I think that’s a dog that does not hunt.

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