Belated Thoughts on the Dave Weigel Brouhaha:
How could someone so eager to belong on the left offer even-handed coverage of the right?
In the wake of the Dave Weigel contretemps, as the record of his participation on the left-wing Journolist seeps out, one question comes to mind: how can a journalist dispassionately and honestly cover conservative bloggers when he is so eager to ingratiate himself with their left-of-center counterparts.
Even before Weigel was “exposed” this past week as harboring some attitudes common among the “netroots” toward conservatives, I had heard rumor of his animosity toward our ideological confrères. That said, on the few occasions, I had checked out his column on the Washington Post‘s web-site, I found little to complain about. His posts seemed pretty even-handed to me, but then I only caught them three, four, maybe five times.
Yet, even as he called opponents of gay marriage “bigots,” unless I missed something, he seemed entirely unaware of gay blogs on the right side of this blogosphere, including this one.
The real revelation is all this is really nothing new–it’s just the regular misrepresentation of conservatives — and our ideas — in the mainstream media. If Weigel were truly interested in honestly covering conservatives, why would he participate a list whose very purpose is to push left-of-center narratives in the news media while undermining conservative ideas? “The Journolist,” Ann Althouse writes, “was a self-herding device. They wanted to be good cogs in a machine that would generate power for the Democratic Party, didn’t they?”
A number of other bloggers, including importantly Dan Riehl, have looked at the larger meaning of Weigel, the Journolist and the state of media coverage of the most dynamic political movement in America in the past forty years, a movement which has been flourishing for forty years (at least). Dan believes the Post‘s coverage of “the Right was a blatant effort by big Beltway media to marginalize the Right – intentionally, or not.”