The existence of a group like Journolist, who can shape the news to the degree that they can is an indication of just how uncompetitive the news media has become. The Daily Caller first broke the story with emails taken directly from the list citing a concerted effort by reporters at several influential media outlets to spike the story of Jeremiah Wright lest it detract from the Obama campaign. The story continued yesterday and today. Go read some of what they have to say.
Then contemplate what would happen to a secretive group of businessmen who did the same thing. The businessmen would be accused of colluding with each other to fix the market. They would be brought up on anti-trust charges. How is what these "journalists" did any different? These guys sought to fix the election so that their chosen candidate would win. They sought to spike stories that hurt Obama, and publicize stories that would hurt his opponents. One wonders what other stories they have colluded to spike. The facts about global warming? The facts concerning gun control?
In a truly competitive media market, a reader would have a variety of voices. One editor might be a rabid Progressive. Another though would carry the torch for conservative values. One might believe in global warming, while another would highlight the conflicting evidence. A reader could then view these various news pieces and decide for himself. The arrogant part is that these "journalists" felt the need to decide in advance for us. The average reader was viewed as just too stupid to figure it out on his own. They had to get together in secret and decide what will be the news.
But what is it about having a degree from journalism school that makes a person expert on all things political, cultural, and religious? What makes these people think that they can decide for everyone else? It is because journalists presumptively believe they are part of the "ruling class" as outlined in Angelo Codevilla's excellent essay at the American Spectator entitled
America's Ruling Class-And the Perils of Revolution. The sad part is that they are actually expendable. Only so long as the serve master will they be tolerated.
Update: For another take on the Journolist scandal, see Jonah Goldberg's piece over at the
National Review Online. To tell the truth, I think Goldberg minimizes what Journolist attempted to do. He also glosses over the "by any means necessary" attitude reflected in these guys candid writings.