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JournoLism's Bias


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JournoLism's Bias

Posted 07/23/2010 07:06 PM ET
JournoGate: For those who think the growing JournoList scandal is much ado about nothing, think again. It's about secrecy and power among the left-wing media — and leads all the way into the White House.

One of the defenses put forward by those taking part in the JournoList — the secretive online discussion forum for liberal journalists and "experts" — is that it was really just a place to talk and discuss things without a lot of argument from those who don't share their left-leaning views.

But JournoList, formerly run by Washington Post journalist Ezra Klein, was much more than that. It was an attempt to secretly influence public debate in one partisan direction — toward the Democrats — and to bias the news toward both the liberal political agenda and the election of Barack Obama.

In essence, all these left-leaning journalists, an estimated 400 in all, used the JournoList site to refine their messages for maximum effect. It was an exercise in mass propaganda, getting everyone to sing from the same ideological hymnal — which explains the tedious sameness of the mainstream media's 2008 election coverage.

In short, they were fraudulently selling you political opinion and propaganda disguised as fair-minded "news."

The big questions: Did these journalists veer into outright advocacy? Did they collude with the White House before and after the election? Were they a de facto arm of the Democrats?

Sure looks that way. Among those taking part in JournoList was Jared Bernstein, an adviser to the Obama campaign in 2008 who today works as the top economic aide to Vice President Joe Biden.

In 2009, Bernstein appeared often as an unpaid "surrogate" for Obama on CNBC. He says his JournoList participation ended when he took a job with the White House in December 2008.

Well, did it? In February of this year, a group of liberal journalists and bloggers met with Bernstein at the White House. A number of them were JournoListers.

"The basic thrust of the event was to present a case for the efficacy of the Recovery Act as a part of the broader effort to convince the American people that the administration's efforts to restore the economy have been successful," wrote one of the participants, Jonathan Singer, of the meeting.

Got that? The White House was in effect enlisting the left-leaning "mainstream media" in its PR battle to sell Obamanomics to the American public. The media knew it and were willing tools.

And we don't know if this was the only instance, for Bernstein isn't the White House's only JournoList connection. As it turns out, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag also was a participant in the online group.

Nothing wrong with talking to government officials — unless you're doing so with a secret agenda, selling partisan views as objective media coverage to an unsuspecting public.

Contrary to claims now being made, JournoList wasn't an innocent Web tool, a harmless forum for discussion. It was an organized effort by one party and its sympathizers in the liberal press to secretly influence public debate and policy.
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I had wondered how these so-called journalists refined and coordinated their messages so throughly. There's little doubt that they did coordinate; Rush and other have run and commented on the eerie sameness to much of their coverage, down to the level of using the same words and phrases.


This explains at least part of it. This explains how they got/get their "talking points".

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