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March 05, 2013

You Can't Stop the JournoList

Bill Keller, whose liberal credentials are embossed on red diapers and set in a frame of wood taken from the phone booth where Walter Duranty was contacted by his Soviet handler, had some criticism for President False God.

Our feckless leaders may be incapable of passing a budget, but, boy, can they pass the buck. The White House spent last week in full campaign hysteria, blitzing online followers with the message that heartless Republicans are prepared to transform America into “Les Misérables” in order to protect “millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, vacation homes, and private jet owners.” Republicans retort that the budget-cutting Doomsday device called sequester was actually invented by the White House.

In fact, the conceptual paternity of sequester was bipartisan.

Well, that won't do. So the Sons of JournoList got together for a heritic barbecue. One approving leftist fan called this a "Marvel Team-Up" of the progressives to clean up cleanse the record on the sequester, and remove Obama's name from the record.

It takes a Marvel team-up of three different reporters, from three different news organizations, to perform this elementary act of real-keeping. Meanwhile, Bill Keller can, in one column, undo the work of Harwood, his New York Times colleague.

Sexton comments:

It's not right to call the attacks on Keller a Marvel team-up because there's nothing remotely novel or unusual about it. These same progressive writers and a few dozen others at TPM, Mother Jones, Salon, Maddow Blog, etc. team up constantly. The progressive gang-tackle of Keller--or before that Bob Woodward or Mitt Romney--is about as surprising as sunrise and even more frequent.

The progressive left's network of writers may span different magazines and papers but they usually function as a team, tweeting, retweeting and linking to amplify one another's voices and attacks. For the most part, this happens with little input from anyone who wasn't formerly part of Klein's Jourolist a few years ago. They agree amongst themselves, citing one another for backup, and it's settled.

When the right does this sort of thing it's chastised as the right-wing echo chamber or a sign of epistemic closure. The latter is just a smart-assed way of saying the right doesn't listen to anyone outside their own bubble. That may be true at times, but the attack on Keller shows the professional left has the same problem. The moment anyone--even someone with Bill Keller's progressive bona fides--challenges the group consensus he is a villain who will be taken down in a web of hyperlinks and rhetorical fireballs.

It's also wrong to call this a Marvel Team-Up because none of them have superpowers, unless being an annoying, smug twat is now enough to get you into the Avengers.*

* Note: Tony Stark also had the armor and the genius thing.

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posted by Ace at 12:05 PM

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