One more WeigelGate post

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a thoughtful post about WeigelGate that is marred by this:

It’s always a problem when you have to state your affection for someone you’re blogging about–but I have great affection for Jeff (Golberg). That’s the personal side–the side that makes this a very uncomfortable post. But professionally, I have great respect for him as a reporter.

I have read a lot of Jeff Goldberg articles in the New Yorker and the truth is, when he’s not writing about the Middle East, he’s fine. But he was also the Judy Miller of Iraq-Al Qaeda connections.

It’s disappointing to me that someone who generally shoots as straight as TNC would give Goldberg a pass on this. But that’s the way it is, people reach a certain level of status in the media and can’t keep themselves out of the great Atlantic/National Journal garden party in the sky, no matter how hard they try to avoid it. (To be perfectly frank, this is why I never liked the idea of Journolist in the first place, the idea that all these high-level bloggers/pundits might be coordinating their message somehow, or at least airing their grievances publicly rather than privately, is a bit sickening.)

Perhaps the defining characteristic of our age is how much time political and media elites spend giving each other hand jobs.

Update. I give TNC credit for admitting “[I]n this case, the rage is warranted”.

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115 replies
  1. 1
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Smiles polluted with false charm
    locking onto royal arms
    Society columns now ensured
    Return to mingle with the crowd

  2. 2

    this is why I never liked the idea of Journolist in the first place, the idea that all these high-level bloggers/pundits might be coordinating their message

    LOL, I can see where this might be a first blush consideration. And with the Mighty Wingnut Wurlitzer, I actually expect it.

    But liberals doing coordination of anything does not compute for me. Maybe who gets to ride shotgun for the daily Chinese Fire Drill, but that would be about it.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    To be perfectly frank, this is why I never liked the idea of Journolist in the first place, the idea that all these high-level bloggers/pundits might be coordinating their message somehow, or at least airing their grievances publicly rather than privately, is a bit sickening.

    This is the inherent danger of it, that is becomes a place where members, consciously or unconsciously, develop Group Think or come up with remarkably similar viewpoints after hashing out issues.

    The fact is, it was something of a club and you have to be invited to join. Membership was not only predicated on one’s job, but also on one’s political leanings. And that’s where the problems start.

    If it had been open to anyone on any side of the political spectrum, strictly to discuss the nuts and bolts of journalistic issues, it might have been different. Because there was some kind of litmus test for whether or not a person was left-leaning enough to join, it left the arena of objectivity and became subjective. Which meant it essentially allowed people to join who were “one of us.” That’s just not sustainable on a list that affects people’s jobs.

  4. 4
    Keith G says:

    Don’t blame TNC. He can’t help it. If you believe all that Bell Curve stuff that his other good friend, Sully, likes to push, poor TNC doesn’t have the analytical power to understand what an ass Goldberg is.

  5. 5
    Warren Terra says:

    Yglesias said Goldberg is wonderful in private and often scum in his profession, while Weigel was a great reporter but sometimes crude in private. TNC fell for the former, and defends his institution.

  6. 6

    I quit using the WaPo for anything other than mockery over a year ago and this just reinforces that decision. Apparently they can’t get around to the idea that what they expected Weigel to report on has a large concentration of assholes. All views are equal???

  7. 7

    @Violet: I do see yours and Dougj’s point, but why would something like this be any different that holding a twice weekly poker game and discussing politics and frustrations with people who aren’t insane ie republicans. It might be different if wingnuts could be trusted.

    And I read where when Tucker Carlson called Ezra asking to join Journolist, Ezra offered to start a separate group of writers from the left and right, and Carlson wasn’t interested in that.

    That sounded real fishy to me, and leads me to suspect this was done purposely as a political hit.

  8. 8
    swellsman says:

    It has become a catechism of mine, over the last few years, whenever I see the very rich, or the very powerful, or the very connected, or the very well-known (pundits) being given a pass by their peers for statements or actions that any sane person would recognize as truly beyond the pale: “Once you’re in the Club, you can do anything you want.”

    Newt Gingrich is one of the media’s favorite bloviators, and they still talk about how he might run for president. No one ever mentions that he was brought up on multiple ethics charges by his own party and essentially forced out of the Congress.

    Carly Fiorina was regarded during McCain’s campaign and — now — during her own, as a serious person, with real “business sense” because she once was CEO of Hewlett-Packard. No one ever mentions that she ran that company into the ground, was the subject of a criminal investigation for illegal wiretapping, and was basically fired by the company (but not without receipt of a sweet golden parachute) because of how bad she was at her job.

    Joe Lieberman attacked his fellow Democrats, routinely sided with the Republicans, and then ran against a Democrat for reelection . . . and not a few Democratic senators still supported him in that bid for reelection against their own party’s candidate. (I’m looking at you, Ken Salazar.)

    And Jeff Goldberg can say and write some truly heinous, idiot things . . . but has managed to land sufficiently high professional status that his peers never call him on it.

    America’s ruling class may be many things, but it is certainly not a meritocracy. The people rich enough, lucky enough, or simply fortunate enough to have been born into it, regard themselves as part of a tightly-knit group, and will always, always, always circle the wagons to protect one of their own whenever some member of the unwashed classes is gauche enough to point out that one of them has said or done something truly egregious.

    The one rule that every member of The Club follows: powerful people must never be embarassed, or — worse — held accountable for their actions.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    I don’t have any affection for Goldberg, and I only gain affection for journalists, analysts, and academics through the quality of work and the depth of accuracy and reason and truth in their published efforts.

    I don’t give a shit whether or not people like David Brooks is nice and doesn’t piss on the rug. Not aiming at being a peer, I don’t have to.

  10. 10

    I used the P word and got moderated. Not that P word, the other one.

  11. 11
    JenJen says:

    As fascinating as I find Dave-Gate, and being quite Team Weigel, last night out with friends I tried to describe the brouhaha and was met with a “huh? what are you talking about and you’re boring” look.

    It’s becoming more clear that this is just one of those bloggy things that, years from now, we’ll all love to reference as a nod-and-a-wink. It’s more important than it looks at first glance, but 99.9% of our compatriots so don’t care about this kind of stuff.

    I do, though. So where does Dave land, anyway?

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    @JenJen:

    I’ve had a hard time explaining to my friends why I now begin all sentences with either “There are those who say” or “Also too”.

  13. 13

    @DougJ:

    why I now begin all sentences with either “There are those who say” or “Also too”

    What a slap in the face.

  14. 14

    @Violet:

    Oh please, that’s really understating the level of differing opinions within liberal writers, to say nothing of left-leaning policy experts. You develop groupthink if you want to, not because you don’t let the other end of the spectrum into an email listserv.

  15. 15
    eemom says:

    back in those endless months when Jane Hamsher was trying to torpedo HCR 24/7 using her trademark species of lying demagoguery — which come to think of it, isn’t all that different from the techniques employed by the Iraq war cheerleaders — there were those on this blog who constantly kept telling us how she’s “really a nice person” and “really wants the best for this country.”

    Jussayinzall.

  16. 16
    JenJen says:

    @DougJ: “Also Too” for the win.

    That’s the one line that separates the blog-readers from the non-blog-readers. Also, Wolverines!! Too.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @DougJ: And what do the two of them say when you explain it?

  18. 18

    Also, if you remember the stories about how much effort David Bradley put into getting Goldberg to write for The Atlantic, it wouldn’t take very much effort to figure out why Ta-Nehisi has to pay his dutiful respects.

  19. 19
    jeffreyw says:

    @JenJen: It’s been almost 2 years now, who can tell me what influenced the caption on this pic?

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom:

    back in those endless months when Jane Hamsher was trying to torpedo HCR 24/7 using her trademark species of lying demagoguery

    I can’t speak for everyone. But if I walked the halls of any of the many firms and businessi I work with, peeked my head into an office or boardroom and said, “Jane Hamsher, FDL”, the response rate would be about 99.8% “Huh? Would you like some coffee?”

  21. 21
    OriGuy says:

    @swellsman: I despise Carly, but it was her successor as chairperson, Patricia Dunn, who was charged with wire fraud. Fiorina started the investigation into the boardroom leaks, but the illegalities happened after she left.

  22. 22
    JenJen says:

    @jeffreyw: Oh hell to the yes!! The infamous SNAUSAGES post!!

    We are a strange lot, we. Also.

    (btw, it was a Daily Show bit, no? MR PUDDLES!!)

  23. 23
    JenJen says:

    @jeffreyw: Mr. Puddles! Mr. Puddles! I have snausages!!

    (around 1:57)

    Come to think of it, gosh, I kind of miss October 2008, weirdly.

  24. 24
    frankdawg says:

    It is always hard to whack the people you know, or the ones you are face to face with. Take Colberts interview with O’Liely. Everyone was expecting a well earned smack down. I wasnot because it is incredibly difficult to be that mean to someone in their presence unless you are a sociopath like Bill.

    It happens all the time, someone gets busted for some bad thing & their friends all want to defend the because they are nice guys.

    “Its true Boss Grissom was a murder and a fiend but he had a lovely singing voice.” – The Joker

  25. 25
    Ash Can says:

    OT, but I know that there’s at least one commenter here who lives in/near Racine, WI. I hope she knows that Obama will be there for a town hall meeting on Wednesday.

  26. 26
    jeffreyw says:

    @JenJen: You got it in one!

  27. 27
    QuaintIrene says:

    C’mon, guys. It’s saturday night..
    Just got done with the sketches deadline for one book project.
    Time for a glass of chardonnay, and a few minutes of Danny Stiles Music Museum.
    And some more dog pictures.

  28. 28
    matoko_chan says:

    TNC gives a pass to Pudgy Reese Witherspoon Douthat.
    Sully gives a pass to McMeghan McFailsauce.
    they are all worthless poseurs.
    /spit
    its the Atlantic Mafia.

  29. 29
    jeffreyw says:

    @QuaintIrene:

    And some more dog pictures.

    Since you asked nice and all.

  30. 30
    QuaintIrene says:

    @jeffreyw:
    Okay, that just ’10’ on the Awwwww meter.

  31. 31

    I have to say to begin with that I absolutely adore Dave, he has done an incredible job reporting on the tea baggers and the birfers, he is relentless, and has always been right on top of things. Not only that but he joined Politijab, and while he doesn’t post, he visits quite often to get the latest update on the various court filings that are always posted there via links to Scribd. He also often attributes his “scoops” to PJ, which most of the sorry assed journalists don’t. PJ isn’t a huge community, it is just a gang of very, very smart lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, and sundry other folks who have been hounding the racists since before the election. Dave has used that as a resource and is quite happy to give credit where credit is due. I like him for that.

  32. 32
    IndyLib says:

    @Ash Can:
    I have a feeling you mean me.

    Thanks for the heads up, I plan on dragging my 3 kids up there to stand in line for tickets.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @matoko_chan: But i thout u luffed sully, and propped urself how you were FP’ed there all tha timez.
    relly nao, how r w3 supposed to take thiz critiq?
    lawlz
    ;-)

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @IndyLib: Take along some free Prosecute BP stickers.

  35. 35
    Ash Can says:

    @IndyLib: Yes! I’m glad you saw that. I hope you and the kids get in. Good luck.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Fitzwili says:

    @ Warren Terra
    Did you read TNC’s post and follow up comments? I would not describe them as giving a pass to JG. Rather noticeably almost every writer who blogs on the Atlantic has come out on the side of Dave- Ambinder and Fallows in particular.

  38. 38
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    and a good thing, too also too.

  39. 39
    gbear says:

    This guy is my vote for biggest asshole today. He and his crew were just filled with hatred. He was a dick.

    Johnson, 53, is a chain-saw sculptor and lay evangelist who says he was “called” two decades ago to tell homosexuals they are sinning. In the past, he has had a booth at the Pride Festival, which has become one of the country’s largest events for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. More than 200,000 people have attended prior festivals.

    Johnson and his wife, Doris, run the Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving outside Hayward. He began his life in activism as an anti-abortion protester but later decided he had a calling to tell homosexuals he believed the Bible considered them sinners. “Who I am is real simple,” he said. “My wife and I are just a born-again Christian couple who want to share the love of Jesus with the homosexual community.”

    Amy Slusser, the attorney for the festival organizers, said the nonprofit group was “disappointed in the decision.” At a hearing Thursday, Slusser warned the judge that if just anyone were allowed to pass out literature at the festival, “anarchy will ensue.”

    Johnson said he was pleased with the ruling, although he said he hadn’t read it yet and had no plans to. “Obviously, I’m thrilled, and I’m thankful that we live in America and our First Amendment right is still arguably the most cherished right that we have,” he said.

    The Judge has to love reading that the guy can’t even be bothered to read the ruling.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    QuaintIrene says:

    again Christian couple who want to share the love of Jesus with the homosexual community.”

    But of course, if they prefer to give a pass on that ‘love’, I’m sure Johnson will assure us that they’ll burn in Hell.

  42. 42
    Mary says:

    Isn’t Weigel the one who busted Hamsher for working directly with the tea-partiers to defeat HCR and doing their whip count? And then those involved denied it, but Weigel had it on tape, which he then released to fully prove Hamsher a liar? Yup.

  43. 43
    bago says:

    Dave always seemed like one of those reporters who favored the truth over narrative. That’s always a nice trait in a reporter.

  44. 44
    Jim says:

    I think TNC’s netroots analogy dives into the false equivalency pool.

    It’s fair to say Weigel went overboard, especially for someone representing a media outlet, in what he said about Rush and Drudge (although Atrios is totally correct that if Weigel said Markos should light himself on fire, he would still have a job).

    But this idea that you “can’t hold animosity” toward certain conservatives is inane. I would submit that the opposite is true; if you DON’T hold negative views about Drudge and Rush, you are either part of the wingnut welfare crowd or a fucking idiot.

    Wishing harm, tongue in cheek or not, is one thing; comparing a journalist who actively dislikes Russ Feingold to a journalist who actively dislikes Sue Lowden is just crap. It is logical for movement conservatives to cry out with “hey, he’s biased against the tea parties!”, but any journalist that isn’t writing primarily negative things about the tea parties isn’t doing their job.

  45. 45
    N M says:

    Offtopic: This comment is definitely the best I’ve read today, for its quintessential “this is a comment on the Internet” nature:

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6662#comment-661746

  46. 46
    Ash Can says:

    @gbear: I’d say you’re more than ready for some good news on the gay pride front: Blackhawk salary-cap victim Brent Sopel will be spending his day with the Stanley Cup showing it off at tomorrow’s Gay Pride parade here in Chicago. Sopel is a good friend of Brian Burke, whose gay son was killed in a car crash just months after coming out to his family. This is Sopel’s way of honoring the Burke family. Very cool.

  47. 47
    MikeJ says:

    @gbear: As wrong as he is on theological and moral grounds, he has every legal right to be a douchebag. I’m glad the fuckwit gets to spew his idiocy, and fortunately at that location people will recognize it.

  48. 48
    Warren Terra says:

    @Fitzwili
    I didn’t. I’ve given up on the Atlantic; the last issue was mostly unreadable, and their only bloggers who don’t consistently suck are TNC and Fallows (Sully excepted when he’s nearly sane).

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: Well, yeah. Except I don’t drink coffee.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @Warren Terra:

    and their only bloggers who don’t consistently suck are TNC and Fallows (Sully excepted when he’s nearly sane).

    IMPO, it’s down to Fallows.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ash Can: That really is some kinds of cool.
    But sad that it’s noteworthy still. But still cool. And yet a little sad. Yet cool.

  52. 52
    Quiddity says:

    In the Goldberg-written New Yorker essay that DougJ linked to, there is this line:

    There’s nothing new about hypothesis-driven analysis.

    The tone is one of acceptance by Goldberg. And you know what? Hypothesis-driven analysis can get you almost anything you want, like “facts” that justify going to war.

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I do see yours and Dougj’s point, but why would something like this be any different that holding a twice weekly p ok er [edited to get around spam filter] game and discussing politics and frustrations with people who aren’t insane ie republicans. It might be different if wingnuts could be trusted.

    Because it’s not written down, wouldn’t have searchable archives and wouldn’t involve 400 people? Also the reason for getting together would be to play p ok er and not just to discuss something work related.

    @Brien Jackson:

    Oh please, that’s really understating the level of differing opinions within liberal writers, to say nothing of left-leaning policy experts. You develop groupthink if you want to, not because you don’t let the other end of the spectrum into an email listserv.

    I disagree that people develop groupthink because they ‘want to.’ I think you can fall into it without even realizing it, due to the people you hang out with. Religious organizations might be one example of that.

    But I think that’s only part of the issue. The real crux of the problem to me is choosing people to participate on a work or job related email listserv on the basis of their political beliefs. That kind of thing is incredibly difficult to do because just how left or right do you have to be to be considered “one of us”? Who decides? On what criteria? What if someone changes their political views? Are they kicked out? Who decides that, when and using what criteria? It’s fraught with pitfalls and given that it affects people’s jobs, it’s just not a good idea.

    But that really only affects people on the listserv. What can affect peons like the rest of us is things like, for example, people on the listserv protecting their own to a certain extent, just like the Atlantic bloggers are being accused of in this thread. At least with the Atlantic bloggers it’s obvious why they might be doing it; they are protecting their own livelihoods. But with unknown people on a secretive listserv, how do we the public know where their loyalties lie? You can’t criticize Person A because over the course of the year you’ve been on JounoList, Person A has been really cool, funny and had great ideas and contributions. So you give Person A a pass for whatever.

    When the members of the Fourth Estate are one of the key ways that we the public have to hold our government and elected officials accountable for their actions, I’d like to think that the members of the Fourth Estate are also being as transparent and accountable as they can be, not hiding behind groups that are only open to those who think the right way.

  54. 54
    gbear says:

    (deleted by gbear)

  55. 55
    Fitzwili says:

    @ Warren Terra
    I think DougJ might have framed this a bit abruptly and thus it didn’t really reflect the fact that TNC was NOT on JG’s side. I actually think that it is fascinating and unexpected that almost all of JG’s fellow bloggers have written posts that say they disagree with his position on DW.

  56. 56
    Warren Terra says:

    @Corner Stone
    Unlike his current or recent peers TNC’s not a likdnik, ur-glibertarian, paranoid narcissist, or would-be theocrat. His blog is not to my taste and I don’t read it, but people I like do.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    just like the Atlantic bloggers are being accused of in this thread.

    ISTM, this is the crux. They all seem to circle round their own, and J~list just extends this envelope.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Warren Terra: It’s not to my taste, nor do I read it either.
    And others can, as they wish ~ obviously.
    But, ISTM he’s kind of bit the big one on this dealio.

  59. 59
    Fitzwili says:

    @ Violet- I agree with you quite a bit about the dangers of unplanned group think or innate wagon circling – however you wrote:
    ” protecting their own to a certain extent, just like the Atlantic bloggers are being accused of in this thread. At least with the Atlantic bloggers it’s obvious why they might be”
    I just wanted to echo the point I made to Warren Terra to you – it seems as if almost all the bloggers at the Atlantic have come squarely down on DG’s side – they have written posts that perhaps too politely but nonetheless clearly stated that they disagree with JG’s position- I find this unusual and unexpected but welcome.

  60. 60
    Warren Terra says:

    @Fitzwili
    Reading it, TNC says JG’s posts are incorrect and says in comments that he understands people are angry (at what, he doesn’t say), but doesn’t criticize JG’s attitude or pattern of behavior.

  61. 61
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone:

    They all seem to circle round their own, and J~list just extends this envelope

    It’s just human nature to do so. But that’s why people who are in the job of reporting the news should strive to be extra skeptical. Even of their friends and colleagues. Just because they ‘know’ someone via their blog, J-list or the cocktail circuit doesn’t mean that person should get a pass when they do something unethical, or write something crappy. Unfortunately, things like the JournoList just reinforce the in-group nature of a lot of DC. It’s like Village, Jr. with a hot, new techy look.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet: Can I say I agree with you.

  63. 63
    Fitzwili says:

    @ Warren Terra Ok – I think I see. You feel he should go farther and be more explicit.

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @Fitzwili:

    I just wanted to echo the point I made to Warren Terra to you – it seems as if almost all the bloggers at the Atlantic have come squarely down on DG’s side – they have written posts that perhaps too politely but nonetheless clearly stated that they disagree with JG’s position- I find this unusual and unexpected but welcome.

    I agree it seems they are not coming down on JG’s side and that it’s refreshing, if done in perhaps a little too polite of a manner. In my post I wasn’t trying to say they were doing one or the other, but just that they were being accused of it in this thread. And that at least it was obvious why they might do such a thing, as they have their own jobs to think about.

  65. 65
    Fitzwili says:

    @ Violet
    I have found it interesting because usually it does not play out this way- as you have noted it’s human nature to protect the group- no matter what unlikely grouping you have found yourself in!

  66. 66

    @Violet: Well, I agree it wasn’t all that bright, and never is to write personal shit into emails and not expect it to never be made public. But I disagree strenuously that reporters shouldn’t be able to speak off the record in person, and speak about their work to their colleagues who have a similar world view. Wingnuts don’t have a worldview these days. that is in the same galaxy as liberals.

    The news isn’t subjective. It is the same news in the raw for everyone, and either we assign a degree of trust but verify what they end up writing for public consumption , or we don’t. And bouncing ideas off of each other as honorable people in an honorable profession is what every profession does, that is how we get to the truth, or closer to it imo. And if they are not honorable, then it doesn’t matter who they talk to, they are going to write dishonorable shit, no matter.

    They are reporters, not monks.

  67. 67
    Michelle says:

    And how much do all of these opinionaters earn for their blog posts?

    I don’t know how much money ads or click throughs make, but it seems to me that the vast majority of people contribute more to this country moving along forward than any of these bloggers.

    I enjoy this blog and read it every day. I think I will stop that.

    I once thought it was a place to get links to interesting websites etc, but now it seems to be a place for people who make a lot more money than I do to argue over what people who make a lot more money than I do say.

    Lobster and those who can afford it — taking in a new pup has no economic impact. I don’t know.

    You all must make a lot more money than I do.

  68. 68
    burnspbesq says:

    @Michelle:

    You all must make a lot more money than I do.

    Just curious: why is that even remotely relevant to anything?

  69. 69
    jeff says:

    @Michelle:

    Huh? You are going to quit reading this blog because John adopted a homeless dog and you some people have more money than other people?

  70. 70
    Michelle says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Arguing over people who make a lot of money by people who make a lot of money is kind of a circle jerk.

    As I said, this blog used to have good links in the comments. Not so much any more. I’m thinking it must be because of the lobster eating crowd. Just look at the recipes that are offered up. Lower income earners can’t buy that and make it.

    This is an upper income blog and nothing more now.

  71. 71
    Warren Terra says:

    @Michelle:
    John Cole’s secret schemes of avarice exposed!

    I mean, wtf? Cole’s reasonably private, but it’s pretty clear that he lives someplace in West Virginia and works in the state university system in some capacity, something to do with computers. Sure, he can afford the occasional nice home-cooked meal with friends and can afford to take a dog in – but he’s a 40-something (or so) year-old guy with a reasonable (and hopefully somewhat secure) job living in a house with 1970s vinyl floors (see picture in succeeding post) without partner or kids. Of the co-bloggers, DougJ has hinted that he might be a junior professor at a state school in upstate New York, Tim F seemed to be a postdoc when last he posted here, and I’m not sure about any of these others. None of these people have got a big-media-contract for their blogging, none have published a bestselling book (at least not that they’ve revealed to their readers here or promoted through the blog). I don’t know how much money the blog makes them for their several thousand posts a year, but I seem to recall the co-bloggers don’t get paid at all, and when it was necessary to hire in some software support this required a fundraiser; the fundraiser worked, which is nice, but if this blog were minting money it would hardly have been necessary.

    Basically, either my snark detector is failing even by the standards of my usual poor abilities in this regard, or you’re completely round the bend.

  72. 72

    @Michelle:
    I don’t know about you, Michelle, but every Congressperson makes a lot more than I do and has to worry about a whole lot less that I do in my life and we talk about them all the time.

    I don’t know about your opinion of what the news media looks like, but Dave Weigel showed signs of being an actual journalist and the Right’s ability to crucify one is important to whatever will pass as news in this country. I do think he was stupid to spout off to a listserve but that really ought not to have mattered unless his reporting was inaccurately biased.

    I really don’t want news from someone so disengaged as to have no opinions of their own, I just want honest factual reporting.

  73. 73

    @Violet:

    Well I can think of plenty of times where I’ve seen people I know were on Journolist criticizing each other, so this seems totally irrelevant to me.

  74. 74
    frankdawg says:

    @Michelle:

    I enjoy this blog and read it every day. I think I will stop that.

    Please do.

  75. 75
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Michelle: Why don’t you offer up a link or two, then? It’s easy to bitch, you know (lord knows I do enough of it) without offering anything positive. And, there are plenty of other blogs out there. Don’t stay if you don’t like this one.

    I still don’t think what Weigel said was even unprofessional. I mean, if Drudge took those kind of pot-shots at me, I would be a whole lot less diplomatic than Weigel was. I’m just sayin’.

    @gbear: Yeah, me, too. And no, I didn’t read it before you deleted it.

  76. 76
    Michelle says:

    @jeff:

    No, jeff. I will quit reading this blog because when I took in a pup it was an economic consideration, and it wasn’t here. (And I have taken in more pups and kittens than the blog owner could imagine). All the applause for doing something economically easy. It is much more difficult to care for stays when you have limited resources.

    This thread is arguing about people who all make quite a bit more money than I do, despite the fact that my work brings in money from international sources. This looks like lots of people just getting hits on their blogs for the sake of getting blog hits. I haven’t found a good link on this blog for a long time.

    And yeah, I think about why people make the money that they do. And for what. I know I earn my living and my employer makes money and a lot of it from my work. Me not so much.

    Most people are like me.

  77. 77
    Yutsano says:

    @Warren Terra: Lord I hope so. I hardly make what would be considered an “upper class income”, yet I manage to keep my expenses low enough that I can afford the occasional food indulgence. And I absolutely love this blog, and I get zero sense of it being somehow “elitist”. I smell a conservatard rat.

  78. 78
    Michelle says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    Mostly because up until tonight, none of my comments were published. I don’t control that. So perhaps you could think a bit before you attack.

    Just a suggestion.

  79. 79
    Church Lady says:

    @Corner Stone: Good one.

  80. 80
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Michelle: I’m not attacking. I’m just saying. You obviously are unhappy here, so why not go where you’ll be happier? You don’t like the tenor of the blog, you don’t have to read it. If reading this blog makes you bitter and self-righteous, then, yeah, I think you should stop reading. I don’t understand the need to announce one’s departure in a snotty way, so pardon my annoyance.

  81. 81

    @Michelle:

    none of my comments were published

    I’d be the last to say WP is great stuff, but you evidently were doing something really quite amiss in your attempts to comment. The standards for banning or blocking someone around here are really quite loose, so don’t think it was about you.

    As for money … what the hell does that matter at all? Either the content addresses something you care about or doesn’t. Cripes, most of the people on here would faint away after two hours of doing what I do for considerably less money than a lot here. I could not tolerate their jobs for a week without becoming homicidal despite monetary returns. Some here make less than I do (ordinarily) for jobs that I’d hate. So fucking what?

    What the hell, you didn’t like my link to pics of my grandson swinging? It wasn’t important, it was just for fun.

    Po po pitiful me isn’t particularly becoming.

  82. 82
    Warren Terra says:

    @Michelle:

    This thread is arguing about people who all make quite a bit more money than I do, despite the fact that my work brings in money from international sources.

    How the heck do you know? I mean, from things I’ve read I get the impression that the Atlantic is a pretty sweet gig, money-wise, and the WaPo is as well, but these are the exception. Up until a couple of years ago, Matt Yglesias was renting a rundown house with three or four other young bloggers, and Klein was working for the American Prospect, a perpetually money-losing nonprofit. I don’t know what the Prospect pays, but I’m guessing it’s not much, and Klein (iirc) started off as a Writing Fellow, which is basically an internship with just enough of a salary to live on (an improvement over the unpaid internships at some of its competitors). The late lamented Molly Ivins wrote about ten years ago of The Nation (which has 5-10 times the readership of The American Prospect) that it “still pays in the high two figures” for an article. Other members of Weigel’s and Klein’s social and blogging circle get paid by The Center For independent Media or other nonprofits, and I really do suspect they’re not exactly raking it in. I’m sure life isn’t a constant sorrow for these young people, but I don’t think they’re little miniature Croesuses, either. I certainly managed to imitate a middle-class lifestyle on a graduate student’s stipend, and I knew humanities students who managed the same on their lower stipends. It’s not that hard for a youngish person with a fairly reliable if quite modest income, reliable healthcare, and no other expensive responsibilities like kids or parents. Having Saturday off and spending it cooking with friends is hardly the jetsetting lifestyle espoused by Corby Kummer (to bring some of this back to one of the aspects of The Atlantic that I despise).

  83. 83
    Michelle says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    “I’m not attacking.”

    Really. I think you are.

    And why have I decided to keep reading this evening? Because this blog has changed. And I just want to note it.

    Is it ok that I note that? Do I have your permission?

  84. 84
    Yutsano says:

    @Michelle: Cross. Wood. You. Off. Now.

  85. 85
    Warren Terra says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I’d be the last to say WP is great stuff, but you evidently were doing something really quite amiss in your attempts to comment.

    I’m pretty sure there was a pretty repellent trolling episode using the handle “Michelle” here at one time, which may explain it. Also, this blog has some comment-handling software that automatically puts your post in moderation if you change your pseudonym, or possibly also if you use an existing pseudonym with a different email address. So in either case it’s quite possible that Michelle’s commenting attempts were thoroughly innocuous but that the prior existence of a previous “Michelle” made the comments automatic fodder for the filter.

    But, yeah, on reflection I realize that I’ve been silly to try to even engage with Michelle’s silly complaint about the wealth and entitlement oozing from these threads in a substantive manner. Rumor has it there’s an entire Internet out there, possibly containing as many as dozens of other blog sites. I suggest she find one she does like.

  86. 86
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: You crack my shit up. Really you do. No more answering the troll for me!

    @Chuck Butcher: Yeah, that, too. Anyone who can’t get a single comment posted (and suddenly can post willy-nilly) is doing something wrong.

    @Michelle: Not really, but I have a hunch that you’re gonna do it, anyway. And, this ‘recent’ shift you’re noting has been here all along. So, from now on, you will be talking about pie to me. Aah, you are much more tolerable when you’re talking about pie.

  87. 87
    Michelle says:

    @Warren Terra:

    What? I am speaking from the perspective of someone who just now in my 40’s has gotten to the 40’s as far as salary. When I got out of grad school I didn’t earn much because I was working in eastern Europe.

    All I’m saying is that this worry over people making way more than the average person is worthless.

    There are millions of people who cannot afford another pet (like me, but I go into debt over taking in 4 abandoned pups) nor can they dream of having lobster on a Saturday for any or no reason.

  88. 88
    Michelle says:

    @Chuck Butcher: “The standards for banning or blocking someone around here are really quite loose, so don’t think it was about you.”

    I didn’t say it was. I stated what I know to be true.

    @Warren Terra:

    We’re all the same, just like Vietnamese girls, I suppose.

  89. 89
    Warren Terra says:

    @Michelle:

    According to Wikipedia:

    In 2007, the “real” (adjusted for inflation) median annual household income rose 1.3% to $50,233.00 according to the Census Bureau.[4] The real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round climbed between 2006 and 2007, from $43,460 to $45,113 (about 3.6 time minimum wage in 2006 to 3.7 time minimum wage in 2007). For women, the corresponding increase was from $33,437 to $35,102 (2.8 and 2.9 times minimum wage respectively).

    .
    Making about $40,000 is not atypical; indeed, at least before the crash it was extremely typical, indeed the most common amount (with an impressive amount of gender inequality, of course). In fact, it’s what I happen to make. And, yes, on that level of income, living on my own and cooking nearly all of my own meals really quite cheaply, I would easily able to buy a gargantuan lobster for a dinner with friends, so long as it was an occasional occurrence, or to take in a stray dog (if my landlord permitted dogs, which they don’t, and if I had the time, which I also don’t think I do).

    Now, I’m pretty lucky: I’m fairly young, fairly healthy, and I went to a state school and have no student or other debt. But I am doing as well as half the people in the country, maybe less. If you were only to consider people on the internet, or especially people on the internet and interested in politics, I’d probably drop well down below the 50th percentile.

    Look, if you have a good link, please share it. If you want good links on a particular topic, try mentioning it and see if someone offers a link or two. If you want to tell a story about your circumstances, or about someone else’s circumstances, and you think you can do so effectively, please do so. But portraying the rest of us as a mooing herd of overprivileged toffs because when some of us cook for friends we sometimes splurge – that’s not only wrong, it’s personally insulting.

  90. 90
    Violet says:

    @Brien Jackson:
    I don’t know who is on JournoList, so I can’t say as to whether I’ve seen them criticizing each other, in public or otherwise. Only after this Weigel controversy happened did a few people I read acknowledge they were on JournoList. Prior to that, the only one I was aware of was Ezra Klein, who started it.

    What I don’t know, and perhaps you do or don’t, is what those people discuss on the list and how that shapes any decisions they make about what to say about other bloggers and writers. The fact that I and a lot of people can’t know because we’re not on the list is part of the problem. Structurally it leaves a lot of questions and potentially raises problems and, to me, it isn’t a good idea for people to participate in it.

  91. 91
    Warren Terra says:

    @Michelle:

    We’re all the same, just like Vietnamese girls, I suppose.

    I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to mean, or how it’s responsive to something I said. It links to the comment in which I suggested that your problems may have arisen from using the commenting handle “Michelle”, which may have been used previously by someone else, so I don’t think your reply to me was meant to imply that I was making any sort of racist or sexist comment. But frankly I’m mystified. Maybe it’s some sort of cliche I’ve never before encountered?

  92. 92
    Allison W. says:

    With all due respect Michelle, this is not a blog on lifestyle or cooking or money. And this latest Dave W. problem isn’t even about how much money he makes or blogger salaries. So I really don’t get your argument. It’s like shouting “I like Pie!” while you’re in the middle of a debate.

  93. 93
    Warren Terra says:

    @Violet:

    Structurally it leaves a lot of questions and potentially raises problems and, to me, it isn’t a good idea for people to participate in it.

    If they hung out in the evening and talked there, would that also bother you? Because they do, you know. Policy writers and activists have done so forever. Indeed, a few years ago you’d regularly see blog posts or even newspaper articles about Yglesias’ so-called “flophouse”, where he lived together with Spencer Ackerman and a couple of other bloggers, and where other bloggers would come by for beer, pizza, and C-SPAN. JournoList has been described as being a way for them to widen that social circle to include people who weren’t in DC or who weren’t available to come hang out with them for other reasons. I’m not saying it might not have had its ugly side – but I hardly think its ugly side was a novelty.

  94. 94
    Michelle says:

    @Warren Terra:

    If you were me, or someone like me, you wouldn’t. You are young and hope to make more. I never did. I thought what I could make would make it for me.

    Don’t you see that quoting stats don’t mean anything? I make a decent living. I can’t afford lobster. I eat what I can grow in the garden and share with neighbors who are less well off than I am.

    This is the way most people live. Some live in a world where growing your own is not possible.

    Do this one thing for me, Warren, say thank you to the poor soul who cleans the restrooms where you work. And stand out and say thank you to the guy who picks up your trash. Both of those people make very little money.

  95. 95
    Michelle says:

    I’m sorry I can’t address all of you immediately, my internet access is not like yours.

  96. 96
    Michelle says:

    @Allison W.:
    Say what? There is a formerly S&M person feeding recipes every night. You must be mistaking this blog for another one.

  97. 97
    Violet says:

    @Warren Terra:
    Not as much, no, unless such hanging out opportunities were captured on video and made available to others, but only those others who met some political litmus test.

    I get that people in the same field will meet and hang out, share ideas, discuss issues in their field and so forth. People do that in every field, although there’s probably more of it in fields where people get paid for their opinions because those fields naturally attract people who like to toss ideas back and forth.

    People in the same field that choose to hang out in person are usually people who get along in person, and veer a little more into “friend” territory. I’m not saying that’s always the case, but I imagine that the people that Yglesias had over to the flop house for beer and pizza would be more along the lines of friends than just people who met some political litmus test.

    The problem when you expand it to an online format is that you have to have some kind of litmus test, and that’s a thorny problem. What’s the critera? Someone’s word that so-and-so is “a good guy”? Do they have to fill out a questionnaire? Have published x number of articles that meet pre-approved standards? It’s complicated and honestly, you can’t truly know who you are talking to if the group is as large as 400 people.

    As Weigel himself said:

    Unwisely, I lashed out to Journolist, which I’ve come to view as a place to talk bluntly to friends.

    There’s no way that 400 people can be as good friends as your flophouse beer and pizza friends are. The integrity of the list should have been kept, and whoever leaked the emails is wrong and if they are ever discovered should be outed and shunned. But to me, that statement is telling about the level of intimacy on the list.

    He considered them “friends” and friends don’t tell on other friends, turn them in, and so forth. Sure, they should, and maybe the better bloggers, reporters, writers among them do. But the danger that they won’t is there. And things like JournoList just increase the sense of intimacy and connectedness and, imho, increase the likelihood that they won’t be as vigilant.

  98. 98
    Michelle says:

    Seriously, Allison thinks this is a serious political blog?

    Allison, you got the short end of the DNC stick. No need to troll here. I saw you doing it with that video and then it got front paged and you think ‘win’ but honey, it’s like honey here. nothing new. nothing about looking out for working people here — unless you make enough to eat lobster.

    You should ask you taskers why you have to troll friendlies.

  99. 99
    Michelle says:

    Chuck here’s one way to block comments — claim they are duplicates. Funny how many times people apologize for same.

    Perhaps you are Warntera will withhold judgment next time.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michelle: Is your other name Mako?

  101. 101
    Crusty Dem says:

    @Michelle:

    I think the answers to your problems can be found here.

  102. 102
    Phoebe says:

    @DougJ: Whereas I can’t stop myself from asking, “In what sense, Charlie?”

    @Jim:

    I think TNC’s netroots analogy dives into the false equivalency pool.

    I agree, in that how can you cover the tea parties and not have some contempt, objectively, as a rational person [See: Christiane Amanpour talking about the ridiculousness of covering genocide “evenhandedly”], BUT, I also think that nobody, not the tea people, not TNC, should be able to demand that a reporter who is covering him/them not have private contempt. Private is private, and if it doesn’t come out in the public writing, it’s nobody’s business. And if it is found out, it’s still nobody’s business.

    I wish he hadn’t apologized to Drudge, is all.

  103. 103
    Phoebe says:

    And I don’t know what Michelle’s beef is, other than she’s jealous because she can’t afford lobster, so John shouldn’t post a picture of this lobster. Or his second dog. And who cares about Dave Weigel when he can afford lobster? The Dave Weigel story is interesting to me not because I’m worried Dave will go to the poorhouse, but because it’s an indicator of how in thrall to the wingnuts the Washington Post is, and what a butthurt drama queen Jeff Goldberg is. It’s about vanity and ugly petty human nature, which is fascinating to some of us. It’s not always all about money.

    I have been unable to afford anything beyond rice and beans at certain points in life, but I didn’t begrudge other people good food, and I was able to appreciate human tragicomedies even if all involved could afford lobster.

  104. 104
    Anne Laurie says:

    @JenJen:

    As fascinating as I find Dave-Gate, and being quite Team Weigel, last night out with friends I tried to describe the brouhaha and was met with a “huh? what are you talking about and you’re boring” look.
    __
    It’s becoming more clear that this is just one of those bloggy things that, years from now, we’ll all love to reference as a nod-and-a-wink. It’s more important than it looks at first glance, but 99.9% of our compatriots so don’t care about this kind of stuff.

    Hell, it took me 15 minutes today to walk through the whole Weigel back-story with the Spousal Unit, who does follow politics and does read political blogs, including this one. He just doesn’t… dwell on the minutiae of who-dissed-whom-in-response-to-the-latest-blowback-from-last-year’s-toobzwide-argument-over-the-previous-election details.

    I’ve decided different people use the “minutiae” portion of their brain for different topics… and to different degrees of effectiveness. Lots of people enjoy playing poker, but only some of them count cards effectively. Other people take great pride in their skill at memorizing sports statistics. Political junkies like you & me have a burning need to understand why Althouse would support Jeffrey Goldberg for defending Tucker Carlson’s (or somebody’s) hacking Ezra’s listserv to destroy Dave Weigel. Most of our peers care exactly as much about such details as I do about the RBI record of Cleveland’s latest trade to San Diego. I’m glad those RBIs are keeping somebody interested, and I’m even gladder that it’s not me.

  105. 105
    Anne Laurie says:

    @jeffreyw: John Stewart, imitating John McCain at the last debate: “Mr. Puddles, where are you? I have Snausages!”

    My people refer to Irish Alzheimers, when you forget everything but your grudges. Of course, it would be easier to forgive if my (ideological) enemies didn’t keep re-offending. I might even have forgiven Richard Nixon by now, if Tricky hadn’t been responsible for giving Darth Cheney and his CREEPster associates their start in politics. And I might have forgiven Poppy Bush for stealing the presidency from Mike Dukakis, if Poppy & his minion Lee Atwater’s minion Karl Rove hadn’t been responsible for the C-Plus Augustus…

  106. 106
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @Michelle:

    Elitists! The whole lot of you!

    I say this, of course, as a graduate student making in the low 20s renting in San Francisco, who occasionally cooks fancy meals for friends. Of course, I’m single, but I do pay about $1000 a month for an apartment.

    Really, don’t be an idiot. Don’t assume that because other people do/have things that “seem” extravagant that they are hideously wealthy. I think it’s the rare person that doesn’t have any extravagant niceties in their life. Everyone’s priorities are different. I have friends who life off of ramen and mcdonalds with the same salary; they choose to spend their money on other things.

  107. 107
    Mojotron says:

    talk about a double-standard; Weigel’s private remarks get out and he gets “resigned”, John Stossel’s response in a public interview to the question ” what do you have hanging above your sofa?” was “Barney Frank in effigy”, and he never had to apologize and he’s still at both ABC and FOX churning out swill like “More Guns, Safer Schools?”.

    not to mention his favorite food in Manhattan is wings and he drives from the upper west side to Chelsea Piers.

  108. 108
    Capn America says:

    @Michelle:

    Hey Michelle,
    I for one am horrified that you took in 4 abandoned pups when there are starving children in Africa. I wish those Africans had the economic resources you do to engage in such luxuries as adopting pets. Maybe we’ll commend you for taking in those pets if you also put some of your huge income (which puts you at the 95th percentile worldwide) towards caring for kids in Africa.
    /Michellelogic>

  109. 109

    @Violet:

    Chait and Yglesias have both admitted to being on it, and it certainly hasn’t stopped them from having very public disputes about foreign policy and Israel.

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    There is a formerly S&M person feeding recipes every night

    I tried all night to think of a joke for this but failed. It has been bothering the absolute shit out of me.

  111. 111
    Violet says:

    @Brien Jackson:
    When I said that the list might influence people so that they wouldn’t criticize their fellow listers, I didn’t mean that it was all or nothing. Certainly there are some people who will be immune to such a thing. There may well be others who are not. Unless we know all who are on the list and their levels of involvement and can read the list emails ourselves, it would be hard to judge.

  112. 112
    xian says:

    this michelle person sounds insane.

  113. 113
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Marillion lyrics? Not something I would have expected…

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @xian: I think it’s a spoof by the same person who parachutes in as Mako once in a while.
    It’s pretty blatant.

  115. 115
    matoko_chan says:

    here’s an entry for the BJ lexicon.
    conservatives– so dumb even their smart people are retards.

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