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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Journolist updates

The Journolist leaks continue this week.

Last month, I failed to notice how former listmember Dave Weigel (forced out of his position at the Washington Post) was criticized for accurately using an inflammatory term with origins in Republican party politics dating to the Watergate-era. I'd say "shame on Jonathan Strong," but that's redundant.

I also originally missed former listmember Scott Winship's interesting speculations about the likely leaker. The post brought several new suspects to mind.

List founder Ezra Klein outed former listmember Gautham Nagesh, who used to work for Tucker Carlson's website that is leaking the emails. Former listmember David Dayen notes that Carlson asked to join Journolist shortly before he started publishing the leaks. Carlson was not asked to join. Nagesh says he is not the leaker -- and confirms that the list was wonkish and not a place for birthing conspiracies.

Klein demonstrates that the latest sensationalist headlines are very misleading and the stories reference individual emails often taken completely out of context. Here's a nice overview of the situation, written by a former listmember, who does not think the tentacles from this story are fully extended. If that's true, Matt Welch of Reason explains that Carlson and Strong have some serious work to do ahead:
The real spade-work on the JournoList trove is not just fishing for a single chunk of Drudge-bait, but tying an off-the-record listserv conversation with a coordinated flurry of on-the-record commentary. Locker-room trash-talk can be fun to spy in on (in a train-wreck kind of way), but if there's a real opinion-journalism scandal underneath any of this it will lie in attempts, concscious or unconscious, to foist political message discipline on disparate and unsuspecting audiences. This ain't that.
Media Matters pursues the fairly obvious conspiracy to make Journolist look like a conspiracy.

BTW, full disclosure, I'm not on Cabalist.

I'd probably like to be.

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