The latest story from The Daily Caller on the unfolding Journolist scandal concerns a discussion that took place the day John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. It looks like Palin was right: the mainstream media was out to get her:
“In the hours after Sen. John McCain announced his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate in the last presidential race, members of an online forum called Journolist struggled to make sense of the pick. Many of them were liberal reporters, and in some cases their comments reflected a journalist’s instinct to figure out the meaning of a story.
“But in many other exchanges, the Journolisters clearly had another, more partisan goal in mind: to formulate the most effective talking points in order to defeat Palin and McCain and help elect Barack Obama president. The tone was more campaign headquarters than newsroom.
“The conversation began with a debate over how best to attack Sarah Palin. ‘Honestly, this pick reeks of desperation,’ wrote Michael Cohen of the New America Foundation in the minutes after the news became public. ‘How can anyone logically argue that Sarah Pallin [sic], a one-term governor of Alaska, is qualified to be President of the United States? Train wreck, thy name is Sarah Pallin.'”
The conversation then continued with an examination of what lines of attack to use. In this, some of the Journolist members were somewhat frustrated. Her lack of experience? Obama didn’t have any experience either. Her right-wing views? Maybe, but her image was of a “a brave, above-party, oil-company-bashing, pork-hating maverick ‘outsider’.” What’s more, her recent delivery of a Down Syndrome baby was a little too heart-warming to suit the Journolisters.
The revelation of what Fred Barnes (himself targeted for a smear) is dubbing “The Vast Left Wing Media Conspiracy” is certainly a teachable moment about the state of reporting in the early 21st century. The usual line about liberal media bias is that it stems from shared attitudes which, in turn, is based on similar education and a kind of pack mentality that does not reward bucking the perceived wisdom.
No one had seriously thought that reporters got together somewhere, in this case cyberspace, and actually discussed what the party line would be on a particular story. Even worse, they decided how that party line would affect the political process to their liking.
Chris Matthews, the sometimes frenetic MSNBC talker, opined recently that, should Sarah Palin run for president in 2012, the media would try to destroy her. Now we have proof that the mainstream media tried to destroy Palin when she ran for vice president.
What Sarah Palin thinks of all this has yet to be revealed as of this writing. It is likely to be caustic, funny, and brief, as befits a Twitter post. She now has a good line for an ambush interview, to be borrowed from President Reagan, when someone tries a gotcha question. “There you go again…”
When McCain picked Palin, liberal journalists coordinated the best line of attack, Jonathon Strong, Daily Caller, July 22nd, 2010