Weigel/JournoList: Another reply to Conor Friedersdorf
[Posted by Karl]
I suspect this is the last round, as we are probably past the point of diminishing returns. To briefly recap, I wrote that most people who covered Dave Weigel’s departure from the WaPo over his writings on the now-defunct JournoList missed the point that Weigel used a professional forum to encourage journalists to starve coverage of certain stories or outlets, and to frame coverage of the Massachusetts Senate election in a manner to help Democrats. That post also suggested that the bloggers that spent a decent chunk of this year complaining about “epistemic closure” — including Conor Friedersdorf — defended him without addressing Weigel’s own attempts to encorage epistemic closure via the J-List.
Friedersdorf complained that my post did not fully reflect his opinion of the J-List, and argued that journalists should be judged solely by what appears on the screen or page. I replied, arguing that questions of journalistic ethics routinely involve issues outside what appears on the screen or page. Friedersdorf responded over the weekend. I urge everyone to read the whole thing, as I am going to attempt to both summarize and reply. I would categorize the major disputes this way: