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How the Sausage Is Made

July 22, 2010

The Daily Caller has published its third piece revealing exchanges from the Journolist forum. This time they focus on the liberal club’s reaction to the announcement that McCain had picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. The French Cowboy agrees with Ed Morrissey that (much) worse has been said against Mme Palin in public than what is quoted in the article. But, as the DC highlights, the conversation took place on the very day of the announcement. So it seems that the Journolisters just weren’t sure yet how to ‘solve the problem that is Sarah’, to paraphrase noted leftwing opinion journal Newsweek, and that, on the first day, they considered what to throw; and it didn’t take long until even the kitchen sink was thrown at her.

That left-wingers, and especially those who earn their money saying stuff after they’ve earned a university degree, hate Sarah Palin, is no news. That they wanted to destroy her isn’t exactly a secret either. Though the French Cowboy finds it amusing that at least one of the Journolisters expresses acute awareness that their beloved Obama is at least as vulnerable to the “lack of experience” attack as Palin. (Jonathan Stein from Mother Jones imagines the exchange: “Q: Sen. McCain, given Gov. Palin’s paltry experience, how is she qualified to be commander in chief? […] A: Well, she has [as] much experience as the Democratic nominee.”)

More remarkable, I find, is the explicit acknowledgement of Obama’s “non-official campaign” having to do the dirty work (in this case smearing Sarah Palin) that Obama’s official campaign mustn’t engage in. No doubt, the Journolisters were part of this “non-official campaign” (if they didn’t consider themselves identical to it) as this is exactly how their frantic exchanges on what to do about Palin read.

Thus, The Nation‘s Chris Hayes asks his comrades for more ideas on how to attack Palin, minutes before a TV appearance for which he “need[s] all the help [he] can get”. In the last paragraph it is reported that Joe Klein of Time plainly wrote that he had taken the input from the Journolist to write a post on Sarah Palin on the Time‘s Swampland blog to which he linked.

The Journolist leaks show a degree of team work — to use a nice term — between liberal journalists that makes you wonder why we need the number of magazines and newspapers that we have. Why not instead just lump them into one news outlet and call it “The Only Acceptable Opinion Magazine”? Since all the “opinion” pieces and even the purportedly neutral news items are the result of inofficial consultations between the authors as to what to write in order to achieve their common goal, the fake diversity seems so inefficient. But maybe that is like asking why Luxottica bothers with labeling their sunglasses Oakley, Prada and Ray-Ban. Nobody likes a monopoly, and it’s the particular art of being a liberal to speak of diversity while desiring uniformity.

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