Daily Caller has come out with the second part of their big Journolist exposé, and it is even more ridiculous than the first. Yesterday, the big scandal they broke was the fact that liberal journalists and professors talked to each other before signing an open letter condemning a truly awful Democratic presidential primary debate. Today, they're trying to claim that "[l]iberal journalists suggest government shut down Fox News." And, yet again, their sloppily written story doesn't even remotely back up that assertion.
The only evidence the Daily Caller provides of "liberal journalists" suggesting the "government shut down Fox News" is actually an email from a lawyer, not a journalist. In fact, the suggestion actually meets resistance from a journalist cited in the exchange, who seemed absolutely appalled by the notion. The article claims that "Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air," and then offers a quote expressing just the opposite sentiment: "Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?" While the article appears to attribute that quote to Zasloff, setting up an epic battle between Zasloff and himself, the quote actually comes from Time's Michael Scherer. The article goes on to say that "Zasloff stuck to his position," and he and Scherer continued their debate. Then, it reports this:
John Judis, a senior editor at the New Republic, came down on Zasloff's side, the side of censorship. "Pre-Fox," he wrote, "I'd say Scherer's questions made sense as a question of principle. Now it is only tactical."
Yet, if you read Judis's email, I'm not sure it is reasonable to say that he came down on Zasloff's side. It seems that Judis was actually arguing that the White House should "out" Fox News as a partisan network, though without access to the full context of the email chain, it isn't perfectly clear. Here's the email. Judge for yourself whether Judis was "coming down on Zasloff's side":
Pre-Fox, I'd say Scherer's questions made sense as a question of principle.
Now it is only tactical. Fox, like the business/GOP thinktanks that began in the '70s, are taking advantage of an older Progressive era concept of disinterestedness and objectivity to peddle partisan coverage. It may be that it's counter-productive for the White House to out them, but it would not be unprincipled for the O adm to give precedence to the other networks, and to newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post that try to adhere to, rather than exploit, the older standard.
Regardless, that's their big scoop.
It should be noted that the first half of the article had nothing to do with Fox News. Instead, it focused on a few people who saw comparisons between the rise of the tea party and the rise of the Nazis. I guess we're supposed to be outraged by the comparison, and indeed, it is inappropriate. But for the right to get upset at liberals invoking Nazis comparisons, seems a bit disingenuous to say the least. After all, Media Matters has documented countless instances when right-wing media figures have done the same. And, has Glenn Beck ever had a show where he hasn't called some progressive a fascist? I mean, get real.