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Journolisters Collude To Coordinate Mass Media Message To Help Obama

Posted on July 28 2010 3:00 pm

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Honesty and fairness require me to point out that, when a discussion had just been launched on his Journolist between members who wanted to coordinate media narratives to help Barack Obama win the presidential elections, Erza Klein attempted to squelch it.

That’s great of him. Major props to the Washington Post blogger.

With that disclaimer out of the way, The Daily Caller provides more than sufficient evidence by way of the leaked Journolist emails that the message coordination continued nonetheless.

Tucker Carlson’s website now released emails of a discussion started by Luke Mitchell, then a senior editor at Harper’s magazine, which began with him asking the Guardian‘s Michael Tomasky whether “isn’t this something that can be fanned a bit by, say, the Guardian?”

Mitchell asked that of  Tomasky after the latter told Journolisters to get a hold of themselves when they were praising Sarah Palin’s  Republican convention speech. “It’s a very good speech with good lines. But there’s very little substance,” he told them.

Tomasky didn’t think it would work. “The Guardian? You’re kidding right? Remember the Clark County letters?” he wrote, referring to a failed attempt by the Guardian to elect John Kerry in 2004 by asking Britons to write letters to voters in a pivotal Ohio county.

Mitchell replied: “Fair enough! But it seems to me that a concerted effort on the part of the left partisan press could be useful. Why geld ourselves? A lot of the people on this list work for organizations that are far more influential than, say, the Washington Times.

“Open question: Would it be a good use of this list to co-ordinate a message of the week along the lines of the GOP? Or is that too loathsome? It certainly sounds loathsome. But so does losing!”

That is the point where Klein attempted to stop the collusion by writing: “Nope, no message coordination. I’m not even sure that would be legal. This is a discussion list, though, and I want it to retain that character.”

After some back and forth by the members involved in the discussion, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Todd Gitlin perfectly worded the group’s general opinion:

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