Patterico's Pontifications

6/27/2010

Dave Weigel, Seriously

Filed under: Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:07 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Jim Treacher makes Dave Weigel’s life even more miserable.

H/T Eric Blair.

— DRJ

30 Responses to “Dave Weigel, Seriously”

  1. Jeez.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. Appreciate the hat tip, DRJ.

    Yup, Mr. Weigel sure looks plenty tough, for someone who throws that sophisticated expression for rodential amore about. Heck, it looks like Byron York could slap this tough guy around.

    He has already been whining how people are taking this all too seriously. Mr. Weigel doesn’t get it— he appears to be just as smart as he is classy. His “joking” made himself into the joke.

    Eric Blair (02a138)

  3. Well, the time for speculation is past. At least now we don’t have to wonder about Dave’s maturity or judgment any more.

    elissa (7df0ad)

  4. By the way, Ann Althouse has volunteered to write a book if some heroic Deep Throat will just provide the Journolist archives to start off the research!

    elissa (7df0ad)

  5. Good old Dave speak with forked tongue.

    Dave Surls (544442)

  6. From the comments to Treacher’s post:

    “I bet he was voted “Class Clown” in high school.

    But that was last year, this is now.”

    Well played.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  7. Good on Jim Treacher.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  8. Of all the things for him to be writing about today, he’s now explaining to us that he did not coin the reference of conservatives as ratf***ers, I guess because that he thinks is most important in this kerfuffle…

    No sense of shame or remorse, or that perhaps he should take time to shut up, take stock of the kind of person he’s become, and then begin the hard work of growing up into an adult with integrity and character. It just doesn’t seem like he has a clue.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  9. Good grief…”I guess because that he thinks this is the most important thing about in this kerfuffle.”

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  10. The very existence of something like the “JournoList” is a much bigger scandal than what Weigel said.

    If this was a right-wing listserv, we’d have government demanding to see what they’ve been up to.

    Subotai (16982a)

  11. The WaPo editors should be wondering, “How the &^@”* did a callow, self-parodying narcissist poseur like that get past us for one of the most demanding jobs in journalism?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  12. Bradley, doesn’t that possibly lead back to Ezra Klein’s say so re Weigel…(hence the WaPo ombudsman neglecting to reference that)?

    How much influence did Klein have on the final decision to hire Weigel and did they give so much weight to him that they didn’t give due diligence to the actual vetting of Weigel (although they claimed they did)?

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  13. Um. Bradley, like attracts like. You are a rare exception to this kind of pathology.

    Eric Blair (02a138)

  14. And bringing up the rear with its reliably clueless musings, the New York Times:

    Journalists, like all people, have opinions. Should those privately held opinions preclude them from writing?
    Only a New York Times reporter could be this deliberately dense. The debate is not about journalists having private opinions, but journalists having private opinions that contradict how they present themselves in public.

    That age-old debate was reignited, with a twist, last week when the blogger David Weigel resigned from The Washington Post after he made disparaging comments about conservatives on a private e-mail list called Journolist.
    The twist was that Mr. Weigel was hired three months ago, in part, to have opinions. As a blogger covering the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, he was given more latitude than traditional newspaper reporters to write with a point of view and reach conclusions.

    The lack of clarity about whether Weigel was a supposedly objective reporter or an openly opinionated blogger was an unresolved issue.

    Mr. Weigel has largely declined interview requests, but he told The Daily Caller last week, “I’ve always been of the belief that you could have opinions and could report anyway.” His blog, called “Right Now,” did not present a conservative viewpoint per se; he has described himself as a libertarian and a registered Republican who votes for Democratic presidential candidates.
    Libertarian, my @ss.

    . . . But soon after, a rash of others came online on Friday — including a reference to Rush Limbaugh dying and a claim that conservatives try to “violently, angrily divide America” using the media — his status changed and his blogging stopped. A Post spokesman said “Dave offered his resignation and we accepted it.”
    Weigel didn’t just refer to Limbaugh “dying”. He implied he hoped Limbaugh would die.

    At the very end of the story, at last, a good reason for doubting Weigel’s “libertarian” status:
    Mr. Weigel, who had written for Reason magazine and the Washington Independent, was one of several hundred journalists, commentators and policy watcher who contributed to Journolist, a left-leaning forum operated by Ezra Klein, who is also a blogger for The Post. Journolist messages were generally kept private by the members. Mr. Klein shut down the forum on Friday.

    This mediocre, stilted article has absolutely nothing new; indeed, it has far less than has been reported elsewhere. And it certainly has no new insight. So what was the point?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  15. Bradley, this is how I’ll bet it went down.

    WaPo Editor: Ezra, know any good conservatives we can get to write about the GOP on our blog?

    Klein: Yeah, my friend Dave Weigel is really great.

    WaPo Editor: Is he a conservative?

    Klein: Definitely. He is way far to the right of me on the political spectrum.

    WaPo Editor: Good enough for me.

    JVW (8aff2c)

  16. Dana,
    Bradley, doesn’t that possibly lead back to Ezra Klein’s say so re Weigel…(hence the WaPo ombudsman neglecting to reference that)?

    I’d like the WaPo ombudsman to look into Klein’s role. But I don’t fault him, nor do I think he should be faulted, for not discussing this in his article. That was written on a very tight deadline, and Alexander got the most important facts out. Such as:

    Klein’s blog posts clearly pass through a liberal prism. For that reason, liberals have a comfort level with what he writes, and conservatives know where he’s coming from, even if they disagree. In contrast, Weigel’s blog seemed to confuse many conservatives who contacted me. Was he supposed to be a neutral reporter, some wondered? Others complained that he was a liberal trying to write about conservatives he disdained.

    I really do think Alexander is trying to be fair, and is much more insightful than the leftard poseurs like Raju Narisetti who decided on Weigel.

    Again, I agree that Klein’s role deserves a good public airing. He established a secret left-wing list that folks like Weigel used to get their talking points out. He recommended Weigel to cover the conservative movement.

    This smacks of bad faith, and if Klein were my employee, I’d be royally pissed. But if Klein were my employee, this never would have happened — I’d know better than to take him at his word about who should write about conservatives.

    Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie are two Reasonoids who are not only true libertarians, but free of Weigel’s reflexive hostility to conservatism.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  17. Eric Blair,
    If I’m an exception, it’s thanks to Patterico, Cathy Seipp, Mike K — and you. My part was mainly taking what you all said seriously.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  18. Honestly, I think that Weigel could have held many progressive beliefs and still been a fine reporter of the “conservative movement.”

    I think that his actions, and perhaps more significantly, his actions since being “outed,” reveal that he is temperamentally unsuited to reporting on issues with which he is not in agreement.

    He just seems juvenile and nasty-minded. And again, it isn’t about what he said before as much as his responses. A better response, I think, would have been to write “Yes, I have said many unprofessional things that might make me appear to lack some journalistic principles. On the other hand, please look at my published work, and ask where and when I misrepresented conservatives or treated them unfairly.”

    The whining says it all.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  19. Oh, and Bradley—I appreciate the compliment, but you have always been willing to use what I tell students are the three most important words in learning: I don’t know.

    It’s when you think you know something that you get into trouble. You have always been good about admitting it when you were mistaken, and been unstinting in what you felt were issues of fairness.

    People like Weigel? Not so much. For people who seem to decry the “good old boys/girls” network, they sure seem to be part of one!

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  20. Oh, and it is a big problem other than for immature people like Mr. Weigel.

    http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/16654

    Now, I know that many people here don’t care for Sarah Palin, and snark at her, but darn it: journalists are supposed to report, not attempt to shape the news according to what they want to push.

    I mean, I try to use the paradigm that seems most fair to all: ask youself how you would feel if “the other side” was doing what you think is okay when “your side” does it. If you are okay with both sides doing whatever it is, it is probably “fair.”

    But there is certainly a closed shop mentality in the MSM. And boy do they get angry if anyone questions their “ethos.”

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  21. Eric,
    That of course is the story by Garance Burke, and as I’ve shown, she has a far left-wing activist background. Burke’s the sort of person who’d write an academic study on certain societies of “migrants,” the vast majority of whom are illegal, and not even use the word “illegal” in the paper.

    To the Garance Burkes of the world, promoting the cause of “social justice” is more important than our oppressive racist, sexist homophobic Western “objective” standards of journalism.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  22. I just don’t get the hypocrisy, Bradley. I mean, you ask these people about their own professional ethics, and they will go on and on about how darned fair they are, dislocating their own shoulders by patting themselves on the back. While calling people who disagree with them “stupid” and the like.

    A good example is a friend of mine. A good guy. Considers himself a progressive fellow. Describes himself as a feminist. But he had no problem, at all, posting photoshops of Sarah Palin’s head on a hooker’s body to his FaceBook page. That was funny, you see. And all of his friends seem to think it was just grand to do this, including many women.

    Because she is different than he is, you see, and deserves it.

    Now, if I had photoshopped Helen Thomas’ head onto Gollum’s CGI body, my friend would have thought me a horrible sexist. As would have his female friends, I am sure.

    But for many people, “D” versus “R” trumps everything. Which is why the Left isn’t really “left.” I mean, most of them are pretty silent about, for example, Gitmo still being open. It’s much more about the “D” versus “R”: alphabetism.

    Several of my campus friends are all up in arms about opposition to the mosque to be built near Ground Zero in NYC. I wanted to ask them if they would support a Christian group trying to build a cathedral in sight of Mecca. But that is different, of course.

    As for social justice, have yourself a laugh and look at this major at Obama’s alma mater:

    http://www.oxy.edu/x9582.xml

    The best part? The classes. At over 40K a year. Anyway, the indoctrination is pretty clear, is it not? Sheesh.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  23. Eric, Hypocrites are people living dishonest lives. With biased reporters who advance their agenda while pretending to be objective, their whole life is a lie. They may know of their hypocrisy, or be self-deluded by their own fanaticism. The kindest way to put it is they have huge blind spots, and are expert at spotting the mote in the eye of others.

    Now, if I had photoshopped Helen Thomas’ head onto Gollum’s CGI body, my friend would have thought me a horrible sexist.

    I would have thought you horribly unfair to poor little Sméagol.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  24. You have always been good about admitting it when you were mistaken

    That’s part and parcel of why Bradley will always have my undying respect. After many years of often inane and ridiculously hypocritical e – mail exchanges with so – called “reporters,” he’s one of the few left who actually care to report on issues without bias or cant. Most importantly, he’s also among the few who will actively question his own opinions and assumptions and (horrors!) will recast them if the facts merit.

    Dmac (ab1849)

  25. Well, look at this:

    http://bigjournalism.com/dweigel/2010/06/28/hubris-and-humility-david-weigel-comes-clean-on-washington-post-the-d-c-bubble-the-journolist/

    At least the gentleman is starting to understand the nature of his misstep into you know what…and keep in mind that his Twitter posts after this situation developed had quite a, um, different tenor compared to this odd mea culpa.

    Eric Blair (02a138)

  26. Eric, I’m not sure that he understands. Sure, he understands that he got caught, and lost his job over insulting the very people he was supposed to cover objectively; but anyone who feels the need to explain that he only used the term ratf—er four times to describe conservatives as an example of how persecuted he is, still doesn’t get it.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  27. Eric, I agree with rochf. Weigel is still whining that his “private” emails to his 400 399 closest friends were leaked. He never owns up to his real offense — being a two-face. If Weigel’s publicly expressed opinions had matched his private ones, there would have been little controversy.

    And his account of leaving Reason is another deception, as Matt Welch has had to point out.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (fb9e90)

  28. Considers himself a progressive fellow. Describes himself as a feminist. But he had no problem, at all, posting photoshops of Sarah Palin’s head on a hooker’s body to his FaceBook page.

    I mentioned this previously, but I know a guy in his mid-60s (ie, he’s not a teenager or foolish college kid) who is a big fan of Bill Clinton. I recall his one day mentioning to me excitedly that he would be attending a lecture hosted by Clinton. The kicker, which is both hilarious and pathetic, is this same guy on another occasion sneered at Clarence Thomas for being a person who not only “mistreated” women but also was a “Tom” (ie, “Uncle Tom”). I retorted something like “You mean all black people have to be liberals?!”

    I truly believe there is something defective in the brainwaves of a good number of liberals.

    Mark (411533)

  29. rochf – An acquaintance who works in a different department has a, “Sarah Palin is a stupid c%nt” bumper sticker on her car. She recently complained to me that the right wing is “mean”.

    They really don’t see the contradiction.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  30. I took a break from keeping up for a couple of days and found myself trying to get back in the groove of things.

    So, my belated first reaction to this story was: Who is Dave Weigel and why should I care? Then, I went back and reviewed his articles and realized that I had indeed read his work.

    Then, I thought, who is Dave Weigel, and why should I care?

    Taking a break seems to be a good thing.

    Ag80 (9fbddb)


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