I am JournoList

I see where various right-wing trolls, raised in pig-sties, are publishing the names of people on the JournoList website. Obviously, they’ve never heard of privacy, or for that matter decency: the list was conducted under ground rules that made it off the record, so every leak represents a breach of faith.

That said, having been left of Nixon’s enemies list, it seems to me to be my right to be listed in the distinguished company of JournoListers, since I was among the most frequent posters. And no, I’m not going to break the rules myself, but I will say – on oath if someone wants to be bothered – that the fantasy that a listserv constituted some sort of conspiracy to manage the news is complete hokum.

Other than endless discussions about music groups and sports teams I don’t care about, most of what was on JournoList was not collusion, but argument, sometimes heated. Precisely because the list was OTR, people could give their unvarnished opinions. On no reasonable theory is that an offensive activity, or one that deserved to be disrupted by the low-lifes who leaked some of the posts or the meta-low-lifes who published (very selectively, of course) some of those leaks.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

16 thoughts on “I am JournoList”

  1. The right-wingers aren't the one's breaching the faith. Your complaint is with your liberal friends. Journalists, right wing or otherwise, are in the habit of publishing things that other people want kept secret, and generally I'm ok with that.

  2. Compleyent, compleyent I heard on a day… guffaw.

    The ant's a centaur in his dragon-world, markie mark, pull down thy vanity! It is not man-made courage OR made-order OR made-grace, pull down thy vanity, I say: PULL DOWN!

    The green casque has outdone thy elegance.

  3. You guys are going about it all wrong. That a bunch of people who know and like each other are on a mailing list is no big deal. Everybody is on a mailing list. It'd be surprising if you weren't! The mistake Ezra Klein and everybody else is making is getting defensive. What you all ought to do is say, "Yeah, there was a list, and there's going to be another one, and you had better fear us!" Get out of the defensive crouch. You could start by taking credit for HCR passing.

  4. Chris, that's the same advice Connie gave Michael Corleone in GF III: Make them fear you! But who would not fear mark kleiman? he knew himself to sing and build the lofty rhyme! His name shall be immortalized by the bards whose names echo in the halls of time!

  5. What you will probably never be willing to grasp is that for an ideologically exclusive cabal of journalists to get together and coordinate things behind the scenes, to discuss which stories need to be killed for the benefit of the Democratic party, is itself a breach of faith with the customer. As somebody put it, we'd long noticed that journalists tended to agree on the 'narrative', and what stories to push and to spike, but before finding out about Journolist we'd always assumed it was just because you clowns thought alike.

    You're finding out now that you don't have any special dispensation for the sort of behavior you'd run an expose on in any other industry.

  6. Brett, an entire news network decides to spend a week coordinatedly obsessing about the contrived New Black Panther Party "scandal", but you're worried a bunch of advocacy writers argue privately?

  7. Yeah, because I'm much less concerned about one network covering a story others don't cover, than I am about conspiracies to see to it that stories don't get covered. I'd rather have a thousand BS stories carried, than one real story spiked.

  8. Brett

    1) Read Chait on this exact subject: the evidence that anyone proposed squelching a topic is not convincing; that anyone responded approvingly still less; and list members wrote about the topic.

  9. 2) You write like this was a cabal of the "impartial" journalistic elite. In fact, most known members were writers on op-ed pages or for advocacy magazines, bloggers, academics, or think tankers.

  10. And besides: Fox didn't "cover a story others didn't" – it fabricated a smear and then flogged it. They certainly also coordinatedly ignore or deride stories and sources that don't fit the narrative.

  11. Brett: "I’d rather have a thousand BS stories carried…."

    Your wish has been granted by the endless cycle of stupidity on the cable news networks. (All of them: CNN, Fox, CNBC, and MSNBC.)

  12. Brett Bellmore is a hack, folks. (I used to think otherwise.) Don't waste your time.

  13. I'm glad conservative reporters, pundits and noisemakers never discuss the merits of stories with each other, much less how they cover them. If they coordinated like that, they might produce lockstep reverberating coverage and have a real effect on the national debate.

  14. "Raised in pig-sties"

    What the hell happened to your famous civility requirement," Prof. Kleiman, you effin' hypocritic?

  15. "….raised in pig-sties, are publishing the names of people on the JournoList website. Obviously, they’ve never heard of privacy, or for that matter decency: the list was conducted under ground rules that made it off the record, so every leak represents a breach of faith."

    No word on the 'breach of faith' of suggesting that baseless smears of racism was a good tactic to use against conservatives (which pretty much describes the liberal news media's response to the Tea Parties), no word on the collusion to supress the Rev Wright story, no word on the breach of faith of the collective groupthink in how to respond to Palin being added to the ticket (“Keep the ideas coming! Have to go on TV to talk about this in a few min and need all the help I can get”)

    You almost have to wonder if Kleiman ever had any respect at all for the faith readers have in the writers of news stories, that breach has been kicked to the curb. His anger at the exposure of the Ezra's Club for liberals first, journalists second is very telling.

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