Remember my warning about Dave Weigel and ‘digital McCarthyism’?
Yesterday in writing about what happened to Dave Weigel through the outing of his communications on the JournoList listserv of which I was a member, I said that it foretold the coming of a ‘digital McCarthyism‘ in which any of us could become the next Dave Weigel based not on the public output of our journalism, but based on our private sentiments.
I also joked that I’d sell all of my e-mails to the list over my 6 months of membership to nearly anonymous blogger Scott F. at Classless Society for $100.
Turns out I was aiming low. That’s because Andrew Breitbart, the most McCarthy-ish mendicant in the right media of all, is offering $100,000 for the JournoList archives:
We want the list of journalists that comprised the 400 members of the “JournoList” and we want the contents of the listserv. Why should Weigel be the only person exposed and humiliated?
I therefore offer the sum of $100,000 to the person who provides the full “JournoList” archive. We will protect that person’s privacy and identity forever. No one will ever know who became $100,000 richer – and did the right thing, morally and ethically — by shining the light of truth on this seamy underworld of the media.
$100,000 is not a lot to spend on the Holy Grail of media bias when there is a country to save.
Well, this bears an uncanny resemblance to “Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television” which was produced by the right-wing alt media of the 50s. Apparently Breitbart is ignoring his own employee, Michael Walsh at BigJournalism, who wrote that if we continue to treat other journalists as Weigel was treated, “we have arrived at a point where we literally have to watch every word we speak, than we are no better than North Korea or the former East Germany.” Will Comrade Walsh be purged by his Supreme Leader down in the Los Angeles blogger bunker?
The sad thing is that unlike with Senator Joe, there’s no point in turning to Andrew Breitbart, and asking “Have you left no sense of decency?” Because let’s face it, Breitbart long ago answered that question in the negative.
A lot of JournoList members are snarking around about it, but Breitbart and his gang of blacklisters are deadly serious about what they’re after, and after what they did to ACORN, I wouldn’t take this lightly. When Ezra Klein announced the decision to shut down JournoList, I warned the membership that it would only explode the conspiracy theorizing about what went on among the list’s members. Sometimes I hate being right.