"The only morality [that] they recognize is what will further their cause -- meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie [and] to cheat…"
-- Ronald Reagan, speaking candidly about the Soviet Union during his first press conference as president, Jan. 29, 1981
"Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by changing the subject [and lying]. Pick one of Obama's conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, 'Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.'"
-- The Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong in a stunning investigative exposé of the hidden machinations behind "Journolist," a secret listserve of several hundred liberal journalists, activists and academics, July 20, 2010
We always knew that most liberal journalists were biased. Now we know that many of them are dishonest -- and that, like their leftist forbearers in the Soviet Union, they reserve unto themselves the right to lie and to cheat to further their political ends.
We know this because of the Daily Caller's astonishing report yesterday that a cabal of liberal journalists, activists, and academics acted in concert, and with malice aforethought, to kill and bury stories that were unfavorable to their political masters: Barack Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Indeed, these "journalists" were so blindly and zealously committed to the left-wing political agenda that they advocated smearing their political opponents with wholly unfounded charges of "racism" and "bigotry."
Thus Ackerman's call for his fellow lefty "journalists" to "pick one," any one conservative. After all, "who cares" who it is? Who cares about their innocence? Just pick a prominent conservative and call him a racist. Smear him! Show no mercy! Destroy his reputation and kill his public image! Now!
I must confess that as worldly wise as I like to think that I am, I have been stunned, shocked and appalled by the raw partisanship and animalistic lust for power displayed by this pack of left-wing journalists.
Of course I always new most Washington journalists were leftists. But what I didn't realize were the depths of intellectual dishonesty and dishonor to which many Washington journalists would descend in order to protect leftist pols and smear conservatives.
"Have you no sense of decency?" Mr. Ackerman. "Have you no sense of shame?"
Apparently not. But Ackerman is not alone. As the Daily Caller reports, several hundred journalists, activists and academics secretly conspired on Journolist. What did they know and when did they know it -- and with whom did they conspire and why?
Did anyone pay them for favorable news coverage? Were they promised jobs and privileges for toeing the party line? And whom else were they commanded to punish in the public prints? What other lies did they purposely, and with malice aforethought, disseminate throughout the media?
In short, there are a lot of unanswered questions that still surround the lingering Journolist scandal. Which is why I have urged Journolist co-conspirators Ezra Klein, David Weigel, Jonathan Chait, Michael Tomasky, Matthew Yglesias, and Spencer Ackerman to come clean and to release the Journolist archives in toto.
The public has a right to know what reportorial actions these "journalists" were coordinating, with whom and why.
Sure, there may be no legal right to know, but there is a moral and professional right to know. We're not talking about private love letters, after all. We're talking about coordinated journalistic actions designed to shape and influence what is reported in the public prints.
Moreover, these journalists are very influential; they write for the "big media." Klein, for instance, reports for the Washington Post, Chait for the New Republic; Weigel for MSNBC; Tomasky -- The Guardian; Yglesias -- Think Progress; and Ackermann -- Danger Room. These are the same media outlets that are often in high-dudgeon about the public's "right to know."
Well, turnaround is fair play -- and entirely justified right now. The Left's journalistic empire has destroyed too many innocent people for too long. It's time, then, that these "journalists" be held to account for their misdeeds.
Public exposure, public pressure, and moral suasion ultimately destroyed the "evil empire," and it will destroy the Left's journalistic empire as well. Which is why Journolist insists on covering up its journalistic crimes. But moral suasion can be a powerful and righteous force; and it just might force Klein, Chait, Weigel, Tomasky, Yglesias, and Ackerman to do the right thing -- even though, sadly, they'd quite clearly prefer not to.