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The Self-Immolation of Dave Weigel?

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Posted on June 25 2010 5:17 pm
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I don’t know what the financial aspects of such a deal would be, but from an employee point of view, if the rumors wind up being true, and Weigel goes from the liberalWashington Post to the liberal Huffington Post, that seems more like a lateral transfer than self-immolation. But as Ann Althouse writes:

Consider poor, conflicted David Weigel. Hired by the Washington Post, he had the trappings of prestige and therefore he deserved the admiration of the cool young journalists of Washington, D.C. But his assignment was to cover the conservative movement, and that threatened to make him toxic, a man to be shunned. He needed a way to wriggle — to wiggle-Weigel — into the good graces of the cool kids. He had to show that he was covering conservatives, but he was not one of them.

He could try to do that subtly, and without deviating from the good-faith performance of his assigned task, perhaps by writing in a neutral, questioning style about what was going on with the righties these days and carefully raising doubts, undermining foundations, and strategically inserting a knife blade now and then. But would they get it? Didn’t he need something a little more emphatic… and a little hipper?

So David started letting his need for lefty approval express itself on the email list, the Journolist, where the cool kids were being intimate and snarky. But those other kids were not tasked with covering conservatives. While they might have been embarrassed if the mean things they wrote in the email were ever leaked, they didn’t have careers founded on their suitability for covering conservatives. The risk poor Dave took was of an entirely different nature. Why, Dave, why? Why did you risk the plum job?

Stacy McCain adds:

News organizations don’t hire conservatives. Therefore, conservatives don’t seek careers in journalism and instead become lawyers or accountants or stock brokers or whatever.

Ergo, none of the people making decisions in MSM newsrooms are conservatives. Where set A = “employees of news organizations” and set B = “conservatives,” we see that as the closer set AB approaches to zero, the more likely journalists are to view conservatives as The Other, and vice-versa.

If you think such a situation is a good thing, then you’re obviously congratulating yourself about Dave Weigel’s downfall, and you don’t want to hear the explanation of my disagreement.

I think the key phrase there is “News organizations don’t hire conservatives.” And from what Weigel has been quoted writing on the Journ-O-List, he’s not one himself, or has a rather unique definition of small government, laissezfaire conservatism.

Read the Rest at Pajamas

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