Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer is going to have answer about his participation. UCLA law professor Jonathan Zasloff and John Judis of the New Republic come off as censorship pigs while Michael Scherer of Time Magazine seems alarmed that he is in the presence of such people.
On Journolist, there was rarely such thing as an honorable political disagreement between the left and right, though there were many disagreements on the left. In the view of many who’ve posted to the list-serv, conservatives aren’t simply wrong, they are evil. And while journalists are trained never to presume motive, Journolist members tend to assume that the other side is acting out of the darkest and most dishonorable motives.
When the writer Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article about immigration for National Review, for example, blogger Ed Kilgore didn’t even bother to grapple with Hanson’s arguments. Instead Kilgore dismissed Hanson’s piece out of hand as “the kind of Old White Guy cultural reaction that is at the heart of the Tea Party Movement. It’s very close in spirit to the classic 1970s racist tome, The Camp of the Saints, where White Guys struggle to make up their minds whether to go out and murder brown people or just give up.”
The very existence of Fox News, meanwhile, sends Journolisters into paroxysms of rage. When Howell Raines charged that the network had a conservative bias, the members of Journolist discussed whether the federal government should shut the channel down.
“I am genuinely scared” of Fox, wrote Guardian columnist Daniel Davies, because it “shows you that a genuinely shameless and unethical media organisation *cannot* be controlled by any form of peer pressure or self-regulation, and nor can it be successfully cold-shouldered or ostracised. In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework.” Davies, a Brit, frequently argued the United States needed stricter libel laws.
“I agree,” said Michael Scherer of Time Magazine. Roger “Ailes understands that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can’t hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong, if Ailes just uses the criticism to deepen the tribal identity.”
Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”