Whack a mole

A convincing case can be made that Jonathan Karl is a GOP mole:

Karl came to mainstream journalism via the Collegiate Network, an organization primarily devoted to promoting and supporting right-leaning newspapers on college campuses (Extra!, 9-10/91)—such as the Rutgers paper launched by the infamous James O’Keefe (Political Correction, 1/27/10). The network, founded in 1979, is one of several projects of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which seeks to strengthen conservative ideology on college campuses. William F. Buckley was the ISI’s first president, and the current board chair is American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery. Several leading right-wing pundits came out of Collegiate-affiliated papers, including Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Laura Ingraham (Washington Times, 11/28/04).

These moles have their place (via):

Republicans would be much wiser to pursue a third option: Dig up as much damaging information as they can about the Obama administration and leak it to reporters they know will write tough stories that won’t be traced back to the source. That way, the public won’t see the GOP as being obsessed with attacking the other side and playing gotcha at the expense of the big issues facing the country—the ones voters really care about.

Don’t be surprised if we see other GOP moles — I’m looking at you, Ron Fournier — playing a part in these pointless shenanigans.

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68 replies
  1. 1
    efgoldman says:

    :::sigh:::
    I know I’m an old, but was it that many years ago when ABC would not have tolerated this shit? I can hear Peter Jennings spinning in his grave….

  2. 2
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Holy fuck, what? Who? Struggling to find a reason to give two shakes of a dead rat’s ass about any of these scumbags. They are prostitutes, cowards, and gold-diggers, the lot of them. Versailles has nothing on our Villagers.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    How many moles do they need? Bob Woodward was threatened by the White House, now Jonathan Karl was caught in a big fat lie so who is next.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Republicans would be much wiser to pursue a third option: Dig up as much damaging information as they can about the Obama administration and leak it to reporters they know will write tough stories that won’t be traced back to the source.

    And then there’s the fourth option: Make up shit and pretend it’s real.

    The GOP likes Option 4.

  5. 5
    Liquid says:

    *Sigh* That 1.7 mile wide asteroid will juuust miss us. Maybe next time.

  6. 6

    I remember seeing Karl on This Week (which I rarely watch) and he was making up lies about fiscal cliff earlier this year. That is when I realized that he was a GOP hack. He was subbing for George Stephanopoulos that week. I was taken aback then because I had no idea. So this new revelation does not surprise me much.

  7. 7
    pat says:

    So the purpose of the Fouth Estate is to dig up dirt on the current administration.
    Nice to have that clarified.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    @pat: The purpose of the Fourth Estate according to their actions is to do whatever it takes to keep their cushy jobs.

  9. 9
    aimai says:

    @Baud: Yes. I think the phrase “tough stories” is a bit euphemistic–if they want to say “print lies” I think that is more accurate.

  10. 10
    JWL says:

    They are hardly “pointless shenanigans”.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @pat:

    And the operative word there is “current.” They couldn’t even be persuaded to follow up on the real stories that came out of the Bush administration, much less made up ones.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Chris:

    They couldn’t even be persuaded to follow up on the real stories that came out of the Bush administration,

    And some they followed up on but didn’t release. I’m still agog that teh NYT said the reason they didn’t print the story about warrantless wiretapping in 2004 was that they didn’t want to influence the election.

    Didn’t want to influence the election.

  13. 13
    mouse tolliver says:

    The Collegiate Network is funded by the Scaife family. That would be Richard Mellon Scaife of Clinton era “vast rightwing conspiracy” infamy.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @MikeJ: Yup.. so by not printing it they influenced the election. Yup..

    There is some amazing tornado damage in Oklahoma. Hopefully, our BJ commentators from that area are safe. Soonergrunt, how are you.

  15. 15
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @mouse tolliver: And sugardaddy to the guy who runs News(coughcough)Maxx.

  16. 16
    piratedan says:

    I think we’re going to need to backorder some extra pikes

  17. 17
    Patrick says:

    @MikeJ:

    And some they followed up on but didn’t release. I’m still agog that teh NYT said the reason they didn’t print the story about warrantless wiretapping in 2004 was that they didn’t want to influence the election. Didn’t want to influence the election.

    Think about that for a second. We claim to be a democracy. Yet, one of the most influential newspapers in our country didn’t think it was vital for the people in our democracy to have all relevant information prior to the vote.

    It is mind-boggling…

  18. 18
    BGinCHI says:

    Instead of protesting I’m thinking college students should just beat up College Republicans.

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    How do you delete now that it’s not one of the buttons?

    Help me for I am old and sick at heart. No, wait, just tired.

  20. 20
    Yatsuno says:

    @piratedan: And rusty farm implements. I think a few folks might think about getting stabby soon.

  21. 21
    efgoldman says:

    @BGinCHI:

    How do you delete now that it’s not one of the buttons?

    Use the [strike] [/strike] code (in the list below the comment box.)
    You have to type it manually but it works. Like this.

  22. 22

    Moles are not necessary. Cliques are self-perpetuating. Beltway journalists are a small social group that leans very heavily conservative, and that special kind of conservative where they think they’re liberals but the Republicans just happen to be right about everything. They’ve seen the light that only cowboys make us safe and making the poor even more poor is the best way to help the poor. They love talking about Reagan Democrats because that’s who they are. Once you have a group like that, you don’t need a conspiracy or pressure from higher up. They will naturally hire others of the same general mindset. Lazy stenographers who think Republican talking points are the really cool ones will seem like the best candidates for any job.

  23. 23
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: I can hear Peter Jennings spinning in his grave….

    Was he good people? I wasn’t as politically engaged back when he was reading the news.

    As to Fournier, I think he is quite sincere in his belief that he is a-political. He strikes me as quite sincerely stupid. Some people on twitter brought up his kitchen cabinet role to Karl Rove, and he responded “Oh, that old chestnut?” Like the one about him almost being McCain/Palin’s chief flack.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    @Liquid: And it was a dinky 40kg that hit the moon. At least, they’re apparently still trying to help (and we have video evidence of a sort).

  25. 25
    Bonnie says:

    That would explain why he isn’t ratting out his informants.

  26. 26
    scav says:

    @efgoldman: Or do you mean ask for the comment to de deleted. Haven’t a clue — it did seem to disappear, was it used much?

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Beltway journalists are a small social group that leans very heavily conservative, and that special kind of conservative where they think they’re liberals but the Republicans just happen to be right about everything.

    I always say the people you see on TV are basically upper (middle) class, mostly white suburbanites (or yuppies, if we’re still saying that) who think, act and vote like that cohort. They’re pro-gay rights, pro-gun safety, would prefer not to talk about abortion, think it really is time to get Serious about entitlements and as to taxes, well of course one believes in paying one’s fair share, but really if you could see what I pay in estimates, and real estate taxes, and with Mackenzie and Ryan looking at Ivies in a few years… well, a million a year isn’t what it used to be / not-quite self-deprecating humble-brag chuckle. I only disagree about them being Reagan Democrats, that was their parents (Tweety, Russert, MoDo), they’re Rockefeller Republicans without the social awareness

  28. 28
    efgoldman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Was he good people?

    Well, to start with, he was born, raised and educated in Canuckistan, so he had to learn about the US and our politics as an adult; he didn’t have all the grade school rah-rah Pilgrims/John Hancock/1812 Star Spangled/US is always the good guys that we did.
    He was also a foreign correspondent for ten years, which meant he had another ten years of learning his craft outside the US.
    He would be appalled that the guy who pulled this shit worked for his network.

  29. 29
    Narcissus says:

    Really the only thing distinguishing these people from agents in good standing of the Comintern of yesteryear is that they take their money and marching orders from Wall St. instead of Moscow.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    TPM just posted a pretty good takedown of this “apology.”

  31. 31

    I was just reading that story about Karl over here. Jesus. And the AP’s top political correspondent was giving John McCain his favorite donuts on the campaign trail while comparing Obama to Osama bin Laden.

    But … but … but … LIBERAL MEDIA!

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I think in addition to reinforcing their “centrist” self-image (since they’re the ultimate arbiters of what is fair, moderate and rational), there really is a prejudice in the DC media against the “flyover country” Neanderthals – there’s a certain kind of conservative they like. Not nearly as important as their prejudice against liberals and the demographics they represent, but still there. The Republican base senses this and misinterprets it as “the media hates us and is plotting against us because it’s liberal!”

  33. 33

    What’s so rich about all of this is that it’s Jake Tapper who blew the lid off of Jonathan Karl in the first place. Wasn’t Jake Tapper ABC’s Senior White House Correspondent before jumping ship for CNN? One wonders if he and Karl have a history.

  34. 34

    @Southern Beale: I don’t watch any political shows on TV any more, except may be the snooze hour once in a while. I am much happier.

  35. 35
    kwAwk says:

    ABCnews seems to have been trending rightward for the past 5 to 10 years. Not quite Foxnews rightward but definitely right center.

    Perhaps Karl isn’t a mole but rather a true believer; inclined to seek out right leaning sources.

  36. 36

    @mouse tolliver:

    The Collegiate Network is funded by the Scaife family.

    When will these Republican sugar daddies run out of money? EVER? I have to wonder why they didn’t all go broke during the 2007 crash.

    Don’t answer that. I know, going broke is just for us rubes.

  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Southern Beale: I’d bet fifty bucks that, if this does get some traction, maybe with Hayes or Maddow, or this seems like the kind of story O’Donnell would gleefully bang away on, we’ll see a statement from Jake Tapper supporting his good friend Jon Karl, whom he’s known for somany years and has never been anything but a consumate professional. Their personal relationships always trump facts, especially if one of their own is being criticized by foul-mouthed, vituperative bloggers.

  38. 38

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t either, unless you count The Daily Show and Colbert Report. Occasionally I watch Melissa Harris Perry or Up With Steve but I’m so tired of hearing the same BS narratives.

  39. 39

    @Southern Beale: I don’t get cable in the hamlet that I live. So no MSNBC for me.

  40. 40
    Redshirt says:

    We’re the mole man, and we whack ourselves.

  41. 41
    Heliopause says:

    Probably not a mole, more likely an affirmative action hire.

  42. 42
    jheartney says:

    @Bonnie: The reason he’s not ratting out his informants is because he was in on the con. He either knew or didn’t care that the “quotes” were fabricated; he and his source both figured the White House would not release enough of the raw source to disprove the story.

    Assuming he and his source both knew they were peddling BS, there’s no way he burns the source. The source could burn him back by showing that Karl knew going in that the report was false.

  43. 43

    They are not moles, their shilling for the GOP is obvious to anyone paying attention. Aren’t moles supposed to be hard to detect? MSM is hardly a liberal bastion despite protestations of the GOP to the contrary.

  44. 44

    BTW has anyone else drawn parallels between this and Judy “Queen of all Iraq” Miller? Miller had a “trusted GOP source” inside the Bush Administration who used her to pass on lies about Iraq WMD to the readers of the New York Times. Karl had a “trusted GOP source” in the House who used him to pass on lies about Benghazi.

    Anyone else starting to see a pattern here?

    Rule 1: if you’ve got a “trusted GOP source,” maybe you shouldn’t trust them.

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Rule 1: if you’ve got a “trusted GOP source,” maybe you shouldn’t trust them.

    Rule 1: if you’ve got a “trusted GOP source,” there’s a reason why they trust you. It’s because you’re a Republican.

    See: Woodward.

  46. 46
    Liquid says:

    Asteroids do not concern me Karl. I want that impeachment, not excuses.

  47. 47
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Southern Beale: See also Joe Klein and Pete Hoekstra, and Tim Russert and whoever it was (I suspect Addington, Libby and no doubt Mary Matalin, if not Cheney himself) he was talking about when he told Bill Moyers that no one could question his reporting because he (Medium Russ) was a blue collar guy from Buffalo. I still can’t quite believe he lived up to the cartoon image I have of him like that.

  48. 48
    Karl says:

    @Schroedinger’s – assuming you have bandwidth to watch it, virtually all MSNBC news programming is online within an hour or so of broadcast

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    That way, the public won’t see the GOP as being obsessed with attacking the other side and playing gotcha at the expense of the big issues facing the country—the ones voters really care about.

    But that approach would require the Republicans to actually do something about the big issues facing the country, which is precisely what they’re trying to avoid. The last thing they want is to have to talk about unemployment, medical care, reining in defense spending, or anything else that involves actual governing. Scandal hunting looks good compared to voting a 37th time to repeal Obamacare.

  50. 50
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Narcissus:

    Much of Washington D.C. takes its marching orders from Wall Street too.

    Wall Street is the new Moscow.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Complete with capitalist Internationale.

  52. 52
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Chris:

    I’ve always said that rich capitalists envy the way communists control their populace. Hell, look at the way they have embraced China and the controlled, cheap labor there. If they could have the same thing over here they would would be in heaven.

    Until then, all they can do is work as hard as they can to demoralize us into submission.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    As I said in a previous thread, Cook’s advice is kind of rich, given that the GOP “Benghazi!’ email escapade seems to have given a number of corporate media hacks third degree burns, which they showed around to the whole country.

    And as a commenter above said, its gotten all smeared with ‘Make shit up.”

    If there were a real opposition party, or even enough serious Democrats who could get themselves heard, there is plenty of scandalous stuff going on in this administration. Big banksters and civil liberties and privacy policies are examples. But the problem is, that unless the GOP can make a purely partisan attack out of those, the GOP likes those policies just fine.

    What a mess.

  54. 54
    Shortstop says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: perfectly put.
    @Chris: perspicacious.

  55. 55
    jayackroyd says:

    If you haven’t read the Powell Memo, you should. Powell lays out this strategy, complete with think tanks and middle school textbooks, media members and college professors.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Yep, always thought post-Maoist China was their ultimate utopia.

  57. 57
    BobS says:

    @Karl: The Real News Network is a better online option than MSNBC.

  58. 58
    Sloegin says:

    Holy cow! William F. Buckley ran the ISI? It all makes sense now.

  59. 59
    Cacti says:

    “Mole” would mean that Karl had fooled ABC about his basic allegiances and that he was covertly working for the GOP.

    Karl’s pretty obviously in the tank for the Repukes.

  60. 60
    Dead Ernest says:

    @scav:
    An interesting query Scav.
    I wonder; how would one know?

  61. 61
    scav says:

    @Dead Ernest: Theoretically speaking, and as a pure conjecture born from entirely too much whoviantrekwars exposure (of course) someone with keys to the FYWP drive could read comments (and here it gets totally parallel universe wack-job) make them too.

  62. 62
    Dead Ernest says:

    @scav:
    An entertaining reply Scav.
    I enjoyed that. Thanks ;-)

  63. 63
    AxelFoley says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    They are not moles, their shilling for the GOP is obvious to anyone paying attention. Aren’t moles supposed to be hard to detect? MSM is hardly a liberal bastion despite protestations of the GOP to the contrary.

    This. I don’t know how anyone could be surprised by any of this.

  64. 64
    Radio One says:

    I’m more shocked that the right-wing hasn’t really influenced college academia more in the past 30 or 40 years, given their influence with the national media.

  65. 65
    Steeplejack says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    LOL! Well put.

  66. 66
    LosGatosCA says:

    @Radio One:

    Here are a few serious points of discrepancy between wing nuts and academia, which the RWWN think are way, way too liberal:

    1. Math
    2. Science
    3. Logic

    But in fairness, the rich donor class is definitely to the right of center and they do influence university policy, direction, and programs they fund or attack. Ex. UVA president. Also see macroeconomics as (not) taught at most schools.

    Luckily, most of the pressure is well placed on such derivative activities as the football and basketball teams and the athletic department generally, so they are easily distracted from effing up the school’s main mission.

  67. 67
    sherparick says:

    One of the codes of the Village is that Villagers do not openly criticize other Villagers, although indirect hit jobs, like Tapper’s on Karl, are allowed if you really hate someone. Even MSNBC shies away from going after individuals for their lies, distortions, and bias, as Bob Somerby constantly documents, probably to both his and our ad nauseam. The era when the Ivy League took over big media, starting in the 1980s to the present, has seen a steady shift to blending entertainment with news, of being “socially liberal” (gay rights and for a long time pro-choice, but that seems changed since this class has come to realize that rolling back Roe and Griswold cases will not affect their ability access to contraception or a quick air flight to the U.K. for an abortion). With so much funding for news shows coming from fossil fuel industry, interest in the environment shriveled up and on economic issues, as the debt debates of the last 5 years indicates, they are militantly conservative and reactionary.

  68. 68
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Southern Beale: Basically impossible. If you have ten billion dollars, you can expect to be able to spend at least 300 million per year, every year, without touching the principal.

    Heck, if you were willing to spend down the principle, you could cash out, put your ten billion into the form of stacks of 100 dollar bills, and still spend 200 million per year for the next fifty years. As long as you start as an old codger, you’re set for life, until your panicked heirs throw you infront of a train.

    That’s a LOT of ad buys.

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