It's not often that we find ourselves disagreeing with NRO's Jim Geraghty, but this is one of those times. Last week on his NRO blog Campaign Spot, Geraghty wrote this about the Journolistas:
I don’t think anybody begrudges liberal activists and journalists their right to free association, either in the physical world or the Internet/e-mail world. But hearing that the Marc Ambinders, Ben Smiths, Mike Allens, and other non-liberal correspondents were on the list is eye-opening and potentially troublesome.Which leads us to ask, what evidence is there that Ambinder, Smith, Allen et al are "non-liberal" in any way, shape or form? These three and others like them may be in the "mainstream" of contemporary journalism, but the journalistic mainstream is liberal. What we have seen from Ambinder, Smith and Allen has been decidedly left of center and condescinding at best toward Sarah Palin. That's what led libertarian journalist Bernard Goldberg to coin the term "lamestream media" and Gov. Palin to adopt it with open arms.
Let’s say you’re one of these guys, and while JournoList existed, you wrote an article arguing something like, “Sarah Palin just completely mishandled this issue.” I find it likely that the JournoList crowd would respond in their chat board, “Great piece by [JournoList Participant X], he really astutely lays out how she screwed up, etc.” Now let’s say he wrote, “Palin just hit it out of the park.” The response on JournoList, I suspect, would be or was quite negative, accusations of stupidity, dishonesty, hackdom, etc. Sure, journalists are always getting feedback and criticism from all quarters. But the mainstream folks on JournoList were hanging around a crowd that pretty clearly was determined to influence the conversation about the presidential race, touting some stories as important and blocking off others as unfit for serious news attention.
Frankly, we're amazed that Jim Geraghty, whom we've always considered to be a very perceptive fellow, doesn't get this. But then again, his employer is not William F. Buckley's National Review anymore.