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Tucker Carlson refusing to publish FULL journolist emails

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Despite numerous requests to publish the full emails of members of the list to provide accurate points of reference for readers of the Daily Caller, Carlson - a FOX news pundit, has said he won't.

 

Isn't that a little unfair, if not intentionally misleading ? - are we back to rhetoric over substance again ???

 

Tucker Carlson: We will not publish full J-List emails

 

 

I just got done exchanging emails with Tucker Carlson, the editor in chief of the Daily Caller, and he confirms to me that the publication will not start publishing the full emails of Journolist members. This would have allowed readers to evaluate the full context and significance of these emails for themselves.

 

Liberal bloggers who have seen snippets of their emails published by the Daily Caller had challenged Carlson to publish full email chains rather than cherry-picked fragments out of context. But the Daily Caller isn't going to, and Carlson tells me he will explain why in an online posting tonight.

 

In case you haven't been following this flap, the Daily Caller has done a series of stories that purport to catch J-List members in all manner of consipracy. There's one alleging that J-List members coordinated the best line of attack on Sarah Palin; another alleging they plotted to close down Fox News; and so on.

 

But as Matthew Yglesias, Ezra Klein and others have been pointing out, these stories are highly misleading and based on very selective publication of J-List emails. And indeed, it's really hard to grasp the justification for not publishing fuller chains, particularly since the Daily Caller apparently views these emails as so newsworthy. Perhaps publishing them would make it tougher to paint J-Listers as a secretive and omnipotent political cabal, rather than just a bunch of geeks and eggheads venting and arguing about politics.

 

 

 

I read two other stories on this - one from Joe Klein from TIME who points out that of the hundreds of emails received each day by members, many were about music and sport.

 

I think this story had no legs and the conservative bloggers have damaged their chances of any credibility twice in one week !

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interesting comments from the list founder about Tucker Carlsons intentions :

 

If this series now rests on Tucker's credibility, then let's talk about something else he doesn't mention: I tried to add him to the list. I tried to give him access to the archives. Voluntarily. Because though I believed it was important for the conversation to be off-the-record, I didn't believe there was anything to hide.

 

The e-mail came on May 25th. Tucker didn't ask that it be off-the-record, so I'm not breaking a confidence by publishing it. Here it is, in full:

Dear Ezra, I keep hearing about how smart the policy conversations on JournoList are, and am starting to feel like I'm missing out by not reading them. Could I join?

 

I realize you and I don't share the same politics, but I can promise you I have no interest in flaming anyone or even debating (I get enough of that). I'm just interested in knowing what smart progressives are saying. It strikes me that's the one thing I'm missing in my daily reading.

 

Please tell me what you think. If it makes you uncomfortable, ask around. I'm pretty sure we know a lot of the same people.

 

All best,

Tucker Carlson.

At the time, I didn't know Carlson was working on a story about Journolist. And I'd long thought that the membership rules that had made sense in the beginning had begun to feed conspiracy theories on the right and cramp conversation inside the list. I wrote him back about 30 minutes later.

We definitely have friends in common, and I'd have no worries about you joining. The problem is I need to have clear rules, as i don't want to be in the position of forcing fine-grained

membership tests based on opaque criteria.

 

Thus far, it's been center to left, just because that was how people wanted it at the beginning in order to feel comfortable talking freely. I've been meaning for some time to ask the list about revisiting that, so I'll take this opportunity and get back to you.

I then wrote this e-mail to Journolist:

As folks know, there are a couple of rules for J List membership. One is that you can't be working for the government. Another is that you're center to left of center, as that was something various people wanted back in the day. I've gotten a couple of recent requests from conservatives who want to be added (and who are people I think this list might benefit from), however, and so it seems worth asking people whether they'd like to see the list opened up. Back in the day, I'd probably have let this lie, but given that Journolist now leaks like a sieve, it seems worth revisiting some of the decisions made when it was meant to be a more protected space.

As I see it, the pro of this is that it could make for more fun conversations. The con of it is that it becomes hard to decide who to add and who to leave off (I don't want to have to make subjective judgments, but I'm also not going to let Michelle Malkin hop onto the list), and it also could create even more possible leaks -- and now, they'd be leaks with more of an agenda, which could be much more destructive to trust on the list.

I want to be very clear about what I was suggesting: Adding someone to the list meant giving them access to the entirety of the archives. That didn't bother me very much. Sure, you could comb through tens of thousands of e-mails and pull intemperate moments and inartful wording out of context to embarrass people, but so long as you weren't there with an eye towards malice, you'd recognize it for what it was: A wonkish, fun, political yelling match. If it had been an international media conspiracy, I'd have never considered opening it up.

 

The idea was voted down. People worried about opening the archives to individuals who could help their careers by ripping e-mails out of context, misrepresenting the nature of the ongoing conversation, and bringing the world an exclusive look into The Great Journolist Conspiracy, as opposed to the daily life of Journolist, which even Carlson describes as "actually pretty banal."

 

Apologetically, I went back to Tucker and delivered the bad news. But I still liked the idea of a broader e-mail list, and I offered to partner with him to start one. "There was interest," I told him, "in creating a separate e-mail forum with a more bipartisan flavor (such that Journolist could keep its character, but something else could provide the service we're talking about), and if that's something you want to do, I'd be glad to work on it with you."

 

He asked again if he could join Journolist, maybe on a read-only basis. He never responded to the idea of creating a bipartisan list. I was disappointed, but didn't think much of it.

 

My mistake, obviously. But if this series rests on Tucker's credibility, that's a soft foundation indeed. At every turn, he's known about evidence that substantially complicates his picture of an international media conspiracy.

 

He knows I tried to let him in, odd behavior for someone with so much to hide and so much to lose. He knows I let one of his reporters remain a member. He knows I banned -- and enforced the ban -- on the sort of coordinated letter that served as example one of the list's conspiracy

 

 

 

unless he can prove those emails never existed, I think Tucker Carlson is done as a 'journalist"

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All this stuff is petty but why not let Carlson explain why he won't post the full emails as he said he would before coming to any conclusions on credibility. What gets me is that neither side is interested in talking about items of substance, it's simply about who is lying and spinning more than the other.

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View Postinteresting comments from the list founder about Tucker Carlsons intentions :

 

unless he can prove those emails never existed, I think Tucker Carlson is done as a 'journalist"

 

 

Interesting stuff. Although I've never looked to journalists as models of integrity.

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View PostInteresting stuff. Although I've never looked to journalists as models of integrity.

 

Yep. Hasn't changed much in 150+ years. From Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman:

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.

and this:

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.

and if you ever wondered about his sensibilities about the Presidency:

If forced to choose between the penitentiary and the White House for four years, I would say the penitentiary, thank you.

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View PostAll this stuff is petty but why not let Carlson explain why he won't post the full emails as he said he would before coming to any conclusions on credibility. What gets me is that neither side is interested in talking about items of substance, it's simply about who is lying and spinning more than the other.

 

Gseries, if you're interested in substantive policy coverage, you really ought to check out Ezra Klein's (the founder of Journolist) blog over at the Washington Post. He's center-left, but he's doing some of the best policy coverage out there right now. His daily "Wonkbook" is a must-read

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View PostAll this stuff is petty but why not let Carlson explain why he won't post the full emails as he said he would before coming to any conclusions on credibility. What gets me is that neither side is interested in talking about items of substance, it's simply about who is lying and spinning more than the other.

 

He has explained that very well. It's all on his his web page.

 

 

If the journalists who have been offended want all the emails published they can do it themselves. What's stopping them?

 

 

I have a hunch that what's stopping them is that most of the messages are light on content and heavy on boring. Carlson isn't going to bore his readers to death or they'll start doing the same thing you do, which is not read his page.

 

 

I can't understand why you think Carlson might be "done". Has he broken any laws or has he used standard investigative techniques to get the story? Those techniques ain't always pretty but legit journalism must use them from time to time. Carlson showed that the "journalists" who subscribed to jornolist were doing anything but good investigative journalism and were instead relying on each other to create stories that would not exist otherwise.

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i think if anything the Daily Caller piece will reveal that the Journolist mailing list are as catty and mindless as just about any other online message boards.

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My goodness, when a group sits aroung talking like nobody is listening, only to find out someone is, they get devious.

 

This JournoList group talking about how to bring the right to their knees, shows they are willing to tell lies to do it?

 

Are the JournoList folks so nervous because they have been caught with their pants down?

 

If there is nothing in this JournoList stuff, the JournoList folks should put the whole context out for all to read. That is, if they aren't hiding something.

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View Posti think if anything the Daily Caller piece will reveal that the Journolist mailing list are as catty and mindless as just about any other online message boards.

 

Imagine this forum without our stellar mods.

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No doubt that publishing the entire archives from Journolist would show lots of catty and mindless drivel. The problem is that it was generated by folks who have the power to influence voters and it was not all petty and catty chatter.

 

Some of it was calculated, vicious and contemptuous attempts at slander for political purposes by folks who have a duty to rise above such hack partisanship.

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View PostNo doubt that publishing the entire archives from Journolist would show lots of catty and mindless drivel. The problem is that it was generated by folks who have the power to influence voters and it was not all petty and catty chatter.

 

Some of it was calculated, vicious and contemptuous attempts at slander for political purposes by folks who have a duty to rise above such hack partisanship.

 

 

 

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Just another example that members of the media report (or bury) stories to support their political positions. I'm sure these type of strategy sessions happen daily throughout the media industry.

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