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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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18 Responses

  1. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey June 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm |

    Philip Klein of the American Spectator defends Dave Weigel.

    I’ve disagreed with Weigel on a number of occasions, and have called him out when I’ve felt he’s placed an inordinate amount of focus on fringe characters or extreme statements made by conservatives. But I also know that he isn’t some “drive by” journalist. He knows his subject matter well, reads constantly, goes to lots of conservative events, maintains friendships with conservatives, and talks to a lot of conservatives for his articles and quotes them accurately.

    That doesn’t sound like the partisan hack. Tucker Carlson should know partisan hacks since he is one.

  2. ballgame
    ballgame June 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm |

    Good post, Jill.

  3. A Guy In Denver
    A Guy In Denver June 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |

    The Post isn’t letting him go because they disapprove of the awful things he supposedly said, they’re letting him go because he was supposedly able to cover the conservative movement from a place of understanding. Instead he’s just another left-winger, and they have plenty of those already.

  4. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm |

    Oh, of course. The “left-winger clause”.

    Holy eff, Jill. How did you forget about the “left-winger clause”?? Also… we need to talk. You see, we already have a lot of liberal feminist bloggers. A lot. What we really need at Feministe is someone like A Guy From Denver. The voice of a marginalized people!

  5. Terry M.
    Terry M. June 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm |

    I wanted to comment that Weigel is basically the only person I can think of when I try to imagine a future for shoe-leather journalism.

    Also, Jill, I love the comments on your blog. I especially love the guy who says the only way you can report on the conservative movement is to be a member of the conservative movement. Can I get coverage like that? I mean seriously, the guy wrote for a libertarian magazine and makes fun of Democrats all the time. But because he makes fun of vile/crazy Republicans, he can no longer comprehend conservative thought enough to cover it? Awesome.

  6. Beet
    Beet June 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm |

    @PrettyAmiable,

    We’ll trade you some relatively unknown liberal, feminist bloggers for some political rock stars like Sarah Palin. I mean, it’s VERY obvious that there is a bias against liberal women in our society. My old employer had it right: “Too threatening [to the established order]”

    @Jill,

    Reichwing people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck aren’t journalists of course. They’re entertainers. But you’re definitely right that having opinions doesn’t violate any journalistic standard of ethics. It’s honesty.

  7. The Amazing Kim
    The Amazing Kim June 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm |

    Odd world when calling someone racist is a worst offence than actually being racist.

  8. Jesurgislac
    Jesurgislac June 26, 2010 at 4:32 am |

    Odd world when calling someone racist is a worst offence than actually being racist.

    The pain of important people is always worse than the pain of unimportant people.

    As has been explained to me, because being a racist is so awful, it’s very wrong to identify white people saying racist things as racist: it’s hurtful to the white people.

    It’s also wrong and bad and wrong and politically dubious to identify straight people saying homophobic things as homophobic or worse yet as homophobic bigots, because they’re not homophobic as they’re not scared of gay people and they don’t hate gay people, they just think men having sex is disgusting, mixed-sex relationships as superior, and they oppose same-sex marriage, etc: these views are normal, they are not homophobic.

    The strategy is to argue that the views being “stigmatized” as bigoted (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc) are not bigoted, they are normal. Someone who calls them out as bigoted must be hooted and hollered down.

    See the attack on Gordon Brown in the recent British elections, after what he believed to be a private comment about a bigoted woman was made public.

  9. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin June 26, 2010 at 8:54 am |

    A standard of impartiality might be the journalistic ideal, but underneath it, most of us are heavily partisan. I have to say that I myself would find it difficult to cover the conservative movement because I have such distaste for it.

    But in a larger sense, I know there’s a particularly lulling and possibly dangerous sense of false anonymity in the internet, but it has also given me the ability to recognize just how dangerous repression can be. And it’s also let me know that we’re a lot more similar to each other than we often even recognize. If we could ever get to the point where we put our Puritanical programming aside and in so doing really took into account our common humanity, then we’d be getting somewhere. We can’t begin to understand each other so long as we keep our cards clutched tightly to our chests.

  10. Sharon
    Sharon June 26, 2010 at 9:29 am |

    I have less of a problem with Weigel’s opinions than him suggesting ways reporters can cover their subjects to boost Democrat goals and legislation. Seems to me that Weigel was ratfucked for ratfucking.

  11. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm |

    Sharon, are you under the impression that Limbaugh doesn’t do the same thing?

  12. PanoramaIsland
    PanoramaIsland June 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm |

    I’m with you on this.

    I’m also totally okay with ranting crazily about the people you think are causing The Problems In The World and using clearly hyperbolic language like “DIE IN A FIRE!!!111″ and “go jump off a cliff!!!!!11″

    A world in which we are eternally polite and diplomatic to everyone because we might hurt someone’s feelings somewhere is a world in which we are all very repressed and very, very sad.

    Weigel saw hate and bullshit coming from the right, and (whatever your qualms with this word or that, which may well be problematic) he cussed and fumed about it. There’s nothing wrong with that, cussing and fuming included.

  13. Matt
    Matt June 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm |

    Jill, this is incredibly well written and a substantively awesome defense of Weigel.

    I have to say that I’m sad to see him leave the Post. He was one of the writers who persuaded me to become a habitual reader of the Post. I’m sure that he’ll continue to do well.

  14. Sharon
    Sharon June 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm |

    Sharon, are you under the impression that Limbaugh doesn’t do the same thing?

    I’m under the impression that Limbaugh isn’t a journalist, doesn’t hold himself out as a journalist nor is he required by the ethics of the journalistic trade to withhold his opinions on world events. And if you have some examples of him saying he wants this or that liberal to die, I’d like to see them.

    Weigel is human and prone to mistakes. Anyone who writes something on the internet is foolish to think it’s ever private. Moreover, Weigel’s work has been defended repeatedly in the past few days by conservatives who considered it to be thoughtful and as close to objective as conservatives can expect fro MSM types (there’s some debate on that). What Weigel’s nasty, childish, vitriolic behavior shows is (a) the paranoid right has reason to be paranoid and (b) no conservative source will be honest with Weigel again. It’s one thing to think this reporter you talk to dislikes conservatives; it’s another to know it.

    The revelation that Weigel is just another leftwinger who thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us wasn’t really a problem. The problem is that the revelation made it impossible for him to perform the duties of his job properly. He’ll land somewhere else and do quite well, but one hopes he learned something useful, and not that “Republicans are ratfuckers.”

    I’m all for a return to jounalism that doesn’t pretend to be objective. Then I’ll know which sources to reward and which to avoid.

  15. William
    William June 27, 2010 at 1:38 am |

    A standard of impartiality might be the journalistic ideal

    Impartial is not the same as unopinionated. Somehow we’ve come to interpret the ideal of impartiality to be complete neutrality and objectivity as opposed to being a friend to none and a hounder of all.

    The thing that gets me is that Weigel is catching hell for saying in private the kinds of things that great journalists used to (and in many cases still do) say in public. Nothing Weigel said on that listserve was half as venomous as Mencken, Buckley was known to say some fairly foul things in colorful language, and Hitchens still sets himself apart from the rest of the pack by being an absolute (and entertaining) bastard. And thats before we start to talk about people outside the mainstream like Thompson. Hell, some of the stuff printed in Reason is arguably as “bad” as what Weigel was saying on the listserve.

    To me, this looks suspiciously like a hit on a specific journalist who made the wrong people angry and doesn’t have the juice to fend off a backroom attack. Its also very interesting to me that a lot of the comments Weigel made are, well, pretty mild when you consider the broader context of modern journalism. Sure, the big newspapers, newsrooms, and cable channels avoid that kind of passion (at least when it comes to the left and center, the right still gets a pass on pretty much anything so long as they can work in a flag and a grunt about some kind of brown people doing something dangerous) but once you get to any of the alt sources, magazines, or blogs Weigel seems pretty mild.

  16. piny
    piny June 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm |

    Somehow we’ve come to interpret the ideal of impartiality to be complete neutrality and objectivity as opposed to being a friend to none and a hounder of all.

    Except, of course, when it comes to telling your television audience that you think that Dubya was damn sexy in his full-metal codpiece.

    This isn’t a standard that people can be held to, especially not people who are political wonks, and especially not in an era where everyone is talking constantly and nobody is talking privately. So long as nobody can make the case that Wiegel reported in a biased way, there’s no scandal here.

  17. piny
    piny June 27, 2010 at 8:58 pm |

    The revelation that Weigel is just another leftwinger who thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us wasn’t really a problem. The problem is that the revelation made it impossible for him to perform the duties of his job properly. He’ll land somewhere else and do quite well, but one hopes he learned something useful, and not that “Republicans are ratfuckers.”

    What evidence do you have that he cannot perform his job properly?

  18. “We wanted to understand them” [Darleen Click]

    [...] over the L’Affaire Journolist. From the Left’s grrrrrrrl cheerleaders, like Jill’s wide-eyed OMIGOSH, people, it wasn’t as bad as anything Limbaugh or Beck ever said! to [...]

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