The Left-Wing Conspiracy: More On The Transparency Hypocrites–UPDATED

Turns out talk of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” is another form of Leftist projection. Have you ever heard of Townhouse? This is news to me:

Townhouse is a closed by-invitation-only liberal listserv begun by blogger and Democratic campaign consultant Matt Stoller [hmmm….no mention of Stoller’s participation in Townhouse on his Wiki or bio, -ed.]. Participants agree to keep their information exchanges confidential or risk being banned from the private Townhouse listserv.

Townhouse provides the online equivalent of a political backroom for Democratic Party-aligned advocates, consultants and lobbyists. On this closed listserv selected liberals — including bloggers Glenn Greenwald, Markos Moulitsas and Atrios; film maker Robert Greenwald; leaders of liberal think tanks such as Robert Borosage of Campaign for America’s Future; Wes Boyd, Tom Matzzie and other leaders of MoveOn; and other Democratic campaign and PR consultants — can confidentially discuss and debate their issues, strategies and tactics.

An article on reports “Townhouse began after the disastrous 2004 election, when young Democratic activists began meeting on Sundays for beers at Townhouse Tavern, a subterranean watering hole in Washington’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. … Here was the next generation of would-be D.C. power brokers, kids in their 20s and 30s who planned to mold the political future. At some point, Matt Stoller, the preppy enforcer of liberal blogging, helped organize the group into a formal e-mail list. … Over time, the e-mail list and the Sunday afternoon boozefests grew. … Through it all, Stoller controlled the membership. If you stayed in his graces, and met the group’s qualifications, you got yourself a ticket to both the electronic and the alcoholic conversations. At all times, the whole enterprise was declared off the record, to be spoken of in hushed tones only with others who knew the proverbial secret handshake. … the public introduction of Townhouse now presents the big-name bloggers and online activists with a transparency dilemma. On the one hand, bloggers like to talk of themselves as a democratic, grass-roots movement. (Moulitsas often conflates himself with the entire ‘people-powered movement’ in his blog posts.) On the other hand, the blogosphere boasts an emerging leadership elite, which is increasingly profiting on its insider status in both the Democratic Party and among one another.” [1]

I would suggest going to the link. This is a heavily sourced and linked article.

So first, there’s Townhouse and it turns out that a bunch of intellectuals, thinkers, writers and bloggers are in a super-secret email list called JList, too. Read the following and now imagine a conservative saying this:

But beyond these specific examples, it’s hard to trace JList’s influence in the media, because so few JListers are willing to talk on the record about it.

POLITICO contacted nearly three dozen current JList members for this story. The majority either declined to comment or didn’t respond to interview requests — and then returned to JList to post items on why they wouldn’t be talking to POLITICO about what goes on there.

In an e-mail, Klein said he understands that the JList’s off-the-record rule “makes it seems secretive.” But he insisted that JList discussions have to be off the record in order to “ensure that folks feel safe giving off-the-cuff analysis and instant reactions.”

One byproduct of that secrecy: For all its high-profile membership — which includes Nobel Prize-winning columnist Paul Krugman; Newsweek, POLITICO, Huffington Post, The New Republic, The Nation and The New Yorker; and big-name freelancers and bloggers such as Klein and Matthew Yglesias — JList itself has received almost no attention from the media.

A LexisNexis search for JournoList reveals exactly nothing. Slate’s Mickey Kaus, a nonmember, may be the only professional writer to have referred to it “in print” more than once — albeit dismissively, as the “Klein Klub.”

So, Leftists have a couple places where they work in secret and it never makes it into the media and yet, they’re in the media. They don’t want exposure. They don’t want to share their secrets.

Not that I ever believed the transparency business, but this takes it to a whole new level.


Erick Erickson has more and says:

A while back when I targeted the Washington Post for hiring Greg Sargent, saying they’d never hire a right-wing blogger to do what Sargent was doing, the left, in a rather coordinated attack, punched back pointing out that RedState’s own Ben Domenech had been hired by the Post. The difference then, as now, is that Domenech had been hired specifically for opinion pieces about conservatism and Sargent had been hired as a serious, objective reporter. No right wing blogger would be treated the same.

It’s a pervasive bias in the media. They hang out with the left. They sympathize with the left. My statement on Sargent has since been proven true: his reporting has towed the Obama line, taken the Obama policy presuppositions as his own, and given the benefit of the doubt to the left, but not to the right.

His objectivity is tainted by an affinity for the left.

And a pervasive lack of transparency, I might add again.

Mark Hemingway adds:

I think the real answer here is simply that there are no conservatives on the list because this just confirms — yet again — that mainstream journalists are privately hostile to conservative ideas and are somewhat committed to advancing liberal ones.

But good thing White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is denouncing the Republican “cabal.” They’re probably discussing what to do about that on the JournoList right now.

Cross-posted at

Hawkins’s Note: It’s just another boulder on top of a mountain of evidence that affirms what people who pay attention already know: The Washington Post =’s the Daily Kos =’s the New York Times =’s Firedoglake =’s the Los Angeles Times =’s The Huffington Post =’s The San Francisco Chronicle, etc, etc. The only difference is that the papers pretend to be objective while they promote liberalism while the blogs are more honest about their real motivations.

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