Did you ever wonder why the Rev. Jeremiah Wright disappeared from the news once it appeared that Barack Obama’s relationship with him posed a serious problem for his campaign? We now know at least part of the answer, courtesy of Journolist: a cabal of left-wing journalists urged one another to suppress the story. This has been all over the news today, but we would be remiss if we didn’t note it. The Daily Caller has the story; the main thrust is the consensus among the liberal journalists represented on Journolist to ignore the Wright story and do their best to deflect attention from it, while attacking the journalists who brought the story forward:
According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
If you ever wondered whether this is a conscious, cynical strategy of the Left, wonder no more. You may also wonder whether liberals ever get tired of the hypocritical poses their ideology forces on them. At least one Journolist member did:
Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.
“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”
So there you have it: it’s ugly, just as ugly as you probably always suspected. Maybe worse. I would add this observation: Journolist members were mostly dedicated left-wingers, and represent only a small fraction of “mainstream” reporters and commentators. But it seems reasonable to believe that what they were willing to say out loud, more or less in public–that the Wright story should be suppressed so that Barack Obama’s Presidential chances would not be damaged–was what a great many liberal reporters, editors and commentators thought to themselves, and acted upon.