The fact that there has been a group, JournoList, who some are accusing of having their own “agenda” in reporting the coverage of then-candidate, now-President Barack Obama, is not at all surprising. According to The Wall Street Journal, “From 2007 until last month, some 300 liberal journalists and policy wonks exchanged ideas and commentary on a secret, off-the-record Internet email group called JournoList.”
It’s been fairly well-known that Barack Obama is the mainstream media news’ darling, and that coverage from networks — from CBS to MSNBC and everywhere (sans Fox) in between — has basically given Obama a pass on everything he’s done; everything which has happened, the economy, the war, healthcare, the BP Oil spill, his response to it; and any attacks he’s suffered. Revelations about there being some big media conspiracy in favor of coverage of the President may be little more than calling a hydrant red; there are some important things we can take from this.
JournoList: The Story:
Again, from The Wall Street Journal, JournoList was something of a pro-Obama discussion board that was private, but has since been leaked. While like-minded reporters talking among themselves is nothing really newsworthy (look to the Right and I’m sure you’d hear Rush, Hannity, and Levin on the radio at ABC in New York having no disguise over their opinions of what is “the news”), there were some troubling things which came of this report. The Journal reports:
“Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent, now at Wired, urged fellow journalists to kill the story of Mr. Obama’s ties to the controversial Revered Jeremiah Wright by going after some of his critics. ‘Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.'” It’s always troubling when anyone pulls the race card against an ethnicity; it’s even more troubling when people with direct policy disputes or individual problems with individual people — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Hindu, whatever — want to go out and presumptuously pull the race card in defense of someone of color.
JournoList: The Backlash:
The public already has pretty clearly defined opinions of their media and where they get their information from. If you’re watching Beck, Hannity, and O’Reilly, then you’re coming at your news from one side; if you’re watching Matthews, Olbermann, and ABC, CBS, NBC anchors, you’ve got your information coming at you from another slant. The news is no longer black and white; there are far too many degrees and variances which color everyone’s world.
JournoList: Online Content:
As a dutiful worker for an online news website, I obviously have my own opinions about things. I also don’t cover “All the news that’s fit to print;” I have far too little time or resources to get to that level of comprehensive coverage. I write about Obama when he does something good or bad; the same with George W. Bush when he was president; the same with future leaders as they come down the line. I can’t say I’m all that surprised that something like JournoList exists. My biggest shock may be that there haven’t been more groups or organizations like these found out about sooner.