President Obama’s former pastor – Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ.
It’s now fairly obvious that the Daily Caller has in its possession the full archive of JournoList – Ezra Klein‘s defunct internet group for liberal members of the media. The list-serv that cost WaPo’s Dave Weigel his job is again in the headlines after the Caller published more emails from the group – this time for somewhat more troubling reasons and with a larger cast of characters. The list of players in this round includes Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman, Guardian’s Michael Tomasky, Baltimore Sun’s Thomas Schaller, Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones, Slate contributor David Greenberg, columnist Joe Conason, Grist’s David Roberts, and the Nation’s Chris Hayes, Katha Pollitt and Richard Kim.
The latest leaks showcase members plotting to kill stories about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 elections and in some cases, strategically turn the story against Conservatives. One such example is a suggestion made by Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman to simply call Obama’s opposition “racists”:
“If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them – Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares – and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.”
Later, Chris Hayes of the Nation urged MSM members of JournoList to ignore the Rev. Wright issue all together:
“I’m not saying we should all rush en masse to defend Wright. If you don’t think he’s worthy of defense, don’t defend him! What I’m saying is that there is no earthly reason to use our various platforms to discuss what about Wright we find objectionable.”
The response to the Daily Caller’s latest in the JournoList saga has again been overwhelming from both sides of the aisle but my position is that of the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan who said in a post, “I’m glad Journo-list is over. It should never have been begun. I know many of its members are good and decent and fair-minded writers. But socialized groupthink is not the answer to what’s wrong with the media. It’s what’s already wrong with the media.”