A Vast Right-Wing Digg Conspiracy Expose Shows JournoList Scandal to Be a Lot of Conservative Hot Air
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A look at the emails the Daily Caller finds so offensive reveals them to be profoundly innocuous. Former Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel reveals in a set of private emails to his friends that he is not a doctrinaire conservative. Privately expressing his opinions proved to be a sin grave enough to prompt Dave Weigel's firing from the Post.
But the fact that liberals talk to each other is not evidence of a conspiracy. Nor is it evidence of media corruption when writers from the Nation , Mother Jones and the American Prospect , turn out to be—gasp!—liberals.
In conservative circles, however, there's a concerted effort to brand anybody associated with JournoList as some kind of wild radical hellbent on banning all conservative discourse. There's even been a (thus far unsuccessful) effort to expand the phony conspiracy theme beyond JournoList, funded by right-wing con artist Andrew Breitbart. Liberals have hijacked the media! They're crushing rational discourse with secretive left-wing plots! A grand progressive conspiracy threatens democracy itself! Obama's socialist propagandists are rewriting the Chicago Tribune !
They may be a bunch of losers with nothing better to do than sit around voting against articles from The Nation, but the Digg Patriots are still a bona fide group of conspirators. The JournoList camp, by contrast, are not. But the truth isn't stopping some crazy (or simply disingenuous) right-wingers from drumming up smear campaigns against responsible progressive journalists who had the audacity to talk to each other. And in the case of Weigel -- an excellent reporter (and probably one of the least progressive members of JournoList) -- they succeeded in forcing him to find a new job.
To sum up. Digg Patriots: Get a life. Tucker Carlson: Stop being a dick.
Zach Carter is AlterNet's economics editor. He is a fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writes a weekly blog on the economy for the Media Consortium and is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine.