June 27, 2010

ANN ALTHOUSE: “Remember the liberal meme that George Bush was ‘incurious’? But aren’t these liberal journalists incurious? They had this email list that was designed — apparently — to figure out how to structure the various news stories to serve the interests of their party. The Journolist was a self-herding device. They wanted to be good cogs in a machine that would generate power for the Democratic Party, didn’t they? For career and social rewards? That’s my hypothesis. As an intellectual, I would like to study how that worked. I’ll write a book about it if someone will send me the raw material I need — the complete archive of the Journolist. I need a Deep Throat.” I’ve got your man right here.

UPDATE: A journalist reader emails:

That Ann Althouse post you quoted is more right than she knows. A friend who was on the List and works at a major newspaper told me recently, and I quote verbatim: “Journolist was basically a jobs program for liberals in DC.” This person said that it was used to link up the older, more established set with the younger up-and-comers, all to better staff newspapers, magazines, and institutions with liberals. And it is worth adding that this was said by a very liberal person who was not speaking the least bit apologetically.

Seems like it might violate some institutions’ affirmative action policies, then. . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: Oh, here’s a blog post on the employment-discrimination angle. If they’re colluding to make their product uniform, is it an antitrust violation, too?

MORE: Ted Frank isn’t convinced on the antidiscrimination argument. I’m not sure about the legality here — though I think Ted’s thinking like a defense lawyer, not a plaintiff’s lawyer — but I was referencing internal HR policies. My institution, for example, makes us log all hiring-related email contacts.

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