In today's installment of "How did THAT happen" I had the pleasure of joining two of my favorite writers, NRO's Jim Geraghty and Hot Air's Ed Morrissey, for a debate about the ongoing 'journolist' story, of late the topic which prompted Keith Olbermann and Markos Moulitsas to laugh and joke casually and in a non-lame way last night on Countdown. If you didn't catch the video, it sorta sounded like this:
Keith: I'm not on the list are you on the list Kos?
Kos: No I'm not on that silly list. See my smile? This is all so silly.
Keith: It's silly right? Stupid list. I don't need their stupid list.
Kos: It's just a conspiracy theory. Nobody is doing anything. It's silly! I'm smiling, did you notice that? It means I think this is funny.
Keith: No, yes, I totally noticed. Hang on, I'm doing a funny voice.
Kos: Of course the right really does do that.
Keith: Oh they totally do. They collude.
Kos and Keith continue to say the list is innocent and this is all silly. Much smiling occurs. They aren't on the list, but that's fine. Their feelings aren't hurt. They haven't the time for all those pesky emails anyway, what with all the smiling at one another on the schedule.
Don't get me wrong, I was smiling too. There was a lot to be amused by in the segment. For example, Keith Olbermann sneers at "I'm told" as if to say "what sources!" Yes, Keith Olbermann. Complaining about sourcing. Yep.
Then there's Kos, who snidely narrates that what really happens is like-minded people see the same things and have the same interpretation. They arrive, he says, at their conclusions independently. Of course, that's precisely what people mean when they refer to themselves as Limbaugh 'Ditto-heads' but it doesn't stop Olbermann or Kos Kid in Chief from constantly stating that Limbaugh listeners brag about being led about. You follow? When Kos and Keith agree it's a happenstance of enlightenment. When you and Limbaugh agree it's because you're a robot slave. Neat and spooky! Zombiepublicans!! Run for your life!
Also amusing was watching Olbermann and Kos spending five minutes mocking the very idea of such a conspiracy (did you notice they were smiling??? Did you?!?!?) and then say "but anyway, the right really DOES conspire." Cause we're icky, you see.
I think the point is a rather simple one. We have folks telling us that bigwig legit journos are on an email list with left-wing bloggers, trading stories, tips, links, recipes, and Hints from Heloise. If you've never heard of the notion of a liberal bias in the media, raise your hand. That's what I thought. Well if legit news sources are gossiping and sniping on a double plus secret list, something which, by the way, I've yet to see anyone DENY, mightn't one think that's part of the liberal bias?
Jim and Ed and I disagreed a bit about the significance of the story in light of the fact that the vast blogging world spends a lot of their time trading emails and stories behind the scenes, be it by direct email or list. Jim and Ed, and you can watch the debate here, I think are essentially suggesting that the list is what it is and that what it is isn't that big of a thing. As disagreements go I consider this mild. If indeed there is nothing to see here, then there will be nothing to see here.
My position is that we ought to press such a thing. We on the right don't do a lot of investigation. Heck, we don't even do a lot of response. I can't tell you how many times I've written about some or other piece of media malpractice only to have Redstate readers say "why do you even pay attention to those loons?" To that I can't help but tilt my head quizzically to the side and say "ruh?" I pay attention to them because other people pay attention to them. Because the left spreads lies by repetition. Because if you don't call them out they get away with it.
This is that. If the "journolist" is, as is being suggested, a big wet mess of liberal bloggers and supposedly legit mainstream media, that's a story worth telling. It is, at the very least, a question worth highlighting. If George Bush and Rush Limbaugh sneezed in the same tone of voice on any given day the last eight years, you could be sure they'd suggest Limbaugh was pulling Bush's strings. Or Cheney was pulling his strings. Or Rove was. And Bush, as Kos and Olbermann were to quick to agree (with HUGE smiles, by the way. It's funny you see? So they smile. Ahh they do have fun.) was pulling the right-o-sphere's strings. In counterbalance I think it's more than reasonable to inquire as to the journolist.
When the media is already inclined to agree with Kos, it's all the more reason to let the average reader know that Kos has the media's ear any time he'd like. Only not Kos per se; he wasn't invited (but it doesn't bother him. He's so very busy already. What's that? No it's just something in his eye.)
So yes, it's worth highlighting. And investigating. And complaining about. Because you don't win a war by going "oh I see you missed with that shot there, old bean. Listen, I'll stand stiller for you then. After all, you clearly meant to shoot me, and not the tree. That's what really matters here."
I think it's safe to say that both Ed and Jim agreed with one point: It's worth looking into and finding out more. Our side could use a little more investigative blogging. And a lot more fighting back.
You can hear the debate and watch Ed's whole show here. It's excellent as always, despite letting me on.