Not a Good Line to Cross
As blogtopia has dutifully and fully noted—half the impetus to this day for liberal blogging is to offer an alternative to our awful American regressive media—it has been a bad time for our journalistic cousins recently. Merely the faintest whiff of criticism of the Holy Alliance to the 51st State, Israel, sent even the most stodgy of bland careers down in flames, Lara Logan became the new Queen of Suckitude, while the poor ombudsman of the Washington Post, haplessly overdosed on corporate quaaludes, chided his own paper for not being rank American propagandists. Jesus.
Ah, the Washington Post, famed fishwrap of our absurdly warped DC Village media dog’n pony show. They, too, will roll your head down the cube aisle without a second thought if one dares to criticize a Republican or propaganda outlet, but unfortunately a new line was crept over in the Ezra Klein/David Weigel JournoList affair that should be fully noted before time and events march on.
The Washington Post acted like the classic impetuous children they are when they fired Weigel (he dared to criticize Drudge on Klein’s email group), but then an alleged journalist, Andrew Breitbart, offered $100,000 for the entire group archive so another head that had dared to freely speak could be put on a spike.
No, I’m afraid this isn’t searching for the truth to educate readers, it’s just the old sport of American “conservatives” defiling liberalism simply for the fun of it—Fox News exists for it—but this time instead of ideas or policy the hunt was for the career of anyone who had dared to speak ill of Republicans or American propagandists, no matter how innocuously, no matter how far in the past or in what context. A hundred large, too, how could money be more wisely or happily spent?
Life is a creeper, as I’ve said many times, and if rank pigs like Breitbart become part of the “conservative” norm we’re in even more trouble than the journalism hell we’re in now, if you got the goods to end a career just for speaking or emailing ill of The Tribe the chilling effect on American journalism—already totally frostily Coors Light John McCain frozen against liberalism—will be even more severe than it is now. Not a good line to cross, no.
Watching very intently since absolutely nothing has happened, nothing on the possible reward being cashed in, no other career hanging from a tree, nothing. Whether this is because the archive couldn’t be recovered (doubtful), there was nothing in it (likely), or that the appallingly repellent idea was rejected out of hand in the DC media community (hopefully), no one can yet say. We shall see.
Whatever the initial motivations and evolutions of Mr. Klein in creating the basis for all this—which I didn’t approve of—nothing at all merited the terrible nightmare that Mr. Breitbart since commenced on the venture, let alone the event of Mr. Weigel being fired. Mr. Klein’s journalism has been nothing short of his typically exemplary stuff since the sickening imbroglio blew up on him, a credit to his character, but such an ugly evolution could not have been easy and left a bad scar that still aches in many ways, it has too. I’m sorry, Ezra.
As for Mr. Breitbart, well, we was classically lucky and cosseted in the sick American media environment not to be loudly and instantly shunned from American future media employment. Blog and make a media site all you wish, sir, but if you offer $100,000 to end a career based upon any past mail speech in a American we're all striving for you’re never, ever getting an American journalism check again. Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are very hard to emulate and out-do, I know, but at least they don’t usually personalize their agenda, a very dangerous thing to do.
Bill O’Reilly did when he relentlessly called abortion provider Tiller a babykiller, who was then shot and killed by an anti-abortion wingnut.
Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly and Breitbart of course still have their jobs and have not been censored, no matter what they say or do. Given their past transgressions ending the careers of American journalists for reward and sport would be instantly forgiven and allowed too, but after a first tentative step they seem to have paused after crossing that line. We’re watching.