WATCH: After Trumpeting Journolist Claims, Fox Silent On Groundswell

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

After devoting more than 51 minutes to reports about a listserv where progressive journalists supposedly "coordinated" attacks on Republicans during the week the story broke, Fox News has yet to mention the report that conservative members of the media -- including Fox News contributors -- participate in a listserv whose members meet weekly "to concoct talking points" and "coordinate messaging."


On July 25, Mother Jones' David Corn reported on Groundswell, a coalition of prominent right-wing activists and journalists who use a listserv and regular meetings to coordinate a "two front war" against both progressives and Fox News political analyst and former Bush aide Karl Rove, who the group believes is insufficiently conservative.

In addition to influential conservatives from major right-wing organizations, the group has included Fox News contributors Sandy Rios, John Bolton, and Allen West, Breitbart News Network Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon and reporters Matthew Boyle and Mike Flynn, Washington Examiner Executive Editor Mark Tapscott, and National Review contributor Michael James Barton.

Tapscott told Mother Jones that he left the coalition after one or two meetings, explaining: "The implication of attending is that you're participating in their planning, and, as a journalist, I don't think that's appropriate. Other journalists may think differently."

In 2010, right-wing media outlets, led by the Daily Caller and Breitbart News, devoted substantial attention to Journolist, a listserv of liberal, centrist, and conservative journalists, opinion writers, and academics engaged in running debates about current events. Conservatives claimed, with little evidence, that this was a left-wing cabal devoted to coordinating messages to destroy conservatives. In his report, Corn noted that the right-wing's allegations about Journolist had actually been brought to pass on the right through Groundswell.

Fox News previously devoted substantial attention to Journolist in the week following the Daily Caller's initial July 20, 2010, report on that listserv, with reports on programs including Glenn Beck, Special Report, On The Record, America Live, America's News HQ, The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News Watch, and The Journal Editorial Report. But as of posting time, the network has not so much as mentioned Groundswell.


Media Matters reviewed Fox News transcripts from the Nexis database and our own internal video archive and searched for any mention of "journolist," "journo list," or "journo-list." We recorded the time spent discussing Journolist during teasers, mentions, and full segments between July 20 and 26, 2010, when the conversation about Journolist was sparked by The Daily Caller's release of private messages from the group.

Chart by Albert Kleine. Data collected by Rob Savillo.Video by Coleman Lowndes. 

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Media Structures & Regulations
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