One of the rationales that the Journolisters use to justify their now-defunct secret listserv is that everyone does it, even conservative journalists. But this is simply not true. Most conservative journalists do not belong to secret listservs.
Wall Street Journal editorial page editors Paul Gigot, James Taranto and John Fund don’t. “I don’t know of anything like this,” Gigot said Sunday on Fox News’ Journal Editorial Page Report.
The Washington Examiner’s Bryon York agrees. “Is there a big conservative-J[ournolist] out there?” he asked recently on his Twitter feed. “I don’t know about it.”
York was responding to an article by the Washington Post’s longtime media reporter, Howard Kurtz, who on Friday wrote:
There is no reason to believe that some conservative commentators don’t have similar discussions [or listservs].
But Kurtz has offered absolutely zero evidence to support his accusation and there is every reason to doubt its accuracy, because as Gigot observed:
I always view myself in competition with other media organizations, even conservatives. We want to get the story and beat them. We don’t want to tell them what we’re doing and feed some sort of common line.
Fund agreed. He acknowledged that he subscribes to some listservs to gain knowledge about narrowly tailored technical topics such as election laws. However, he said, he does not participate in any secret conservative listserv designed to direct and coordinate media coverage.
“I don’t believe that competitive journalists would actually get involved in something like this,” Fund said. “That’s why these people look like they’re something other than journalists.”
The fact of the matter is, of course, that the Journolisters are left-wing political activists masquerading as journalists. Yet, during a Twitter debate that I had last week with Journolist coconspirator Matthew Yglesias, he said:
I’ll make all the #journolist emails [that] I have public when all the archives of all conservative lists are made public.
I told Yglesias that I don’t know of any secret conservative listservs; and that although I write for three conservative publications — NewsReal Blog, FrumForum, and the American Spectator — I have never been invited to participate in any such listserv either.
And if I had been so invited, I rather doubt that I would have participated. After all, although a proud card-carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, I value my journalistic independence and intellectual integrity too much to coordinate my writing with some hypothetical conservative politburo or Journolist-serv (which, thankfully, doesn’t exist in the real world).
Yglesias bristled at my comments and grew impatient with my Tweets. “So can I read the archives of conservative listsserves?” he asked. “Or do conservatives not write emails?”
He then continued:
You think there are no conservative email lists? How stupid are you?
…You’re obviously very stupid…
I think you’re the stupidest person I’ve ever had a Twitter-fight with.
I don’t blame Yglesias for getting frustrated. Facts, after all, are stubborn things. And the simple fact is that Journolist has no known conservative counterpart. Yet, this didn’t stop Yglesias from demanding of another Twitter follower that he “join my crusade for disclosure of conservative email lists.”
But what lists?! Unless and until Yglesias can “name names,” he best refrain from making specious and unfounded accusations.
You can follow John Guardiano on Twitter: @JohnRGuardiano