Everyone's been dying to know what goes inside the elite, secretive JournoList, a listserv for smug lefty pundits. Now we know: The same pointless flame wars you'd find on the filthy Main Street/Wasilla internets.
Mickey Kaus obtained a discussion thread and published it over on his blog. Below, you'll find an abridged version, losing the time-wasting/boring digressions on pundits Keith Olbermann and Michael Savage, and preserving the time-wasting/slightly less boring intra-list flames.
Apparently members weren't kidding when they told Politico about the list's "frequent disputes" and "wide disagreement[s]." But when they said this thing helps them do their jobs better? That must have been a joke.
([Bracketed text] below is ours. [[Double bracketed]] is Kaus', usually where he removes the best, most defamatory stuff to avoid libel lawsuits or something. WHATEVER.)
From: [Nation Washington editor] Chris Hayes
Subject: BREAKING: [once-and-future New Republic owner] Marty Peretz is a Crazy-Ass Racist
[ThinkProgress blogger Matthew] Yglesias points out on his Twitter feed that Peretz "has ethnic dislikes beyond arabs"
I know this is a tiresome, but this kind of explicit racism is really,really, really fucked. And it's useful to keep pointing that out money quote:
"Well, I am extremely pessimistic about Mexican-American relations,not because the U.S. had done anything specifically wrong to our southern neighbor but because a (now not quite so) wealthy country has as its a butter a Latin society with all of its characteristic deficiencies: congenital corruption, authoritarian government,anarchic politics, near-tropical work habits, stifling social mores,Catholic dogma with the usual unacknowledged compromises, an anarchic counter-culture and increasingly violent modes of conflict. Then,there is the Mexican diaspora in America, hard-working and patriotic but mired in its untold numbers of illegals, about whom no one can talk with candor."
From: [ThinkProgress blogger] Matt Duss
I anxiously await the explanation of how Peretz's obvious racism is really just an argument about "culture."
From: Clay [?]
under [former New Republic editor] Peter B[einart]. (no idea whether this extends to [his New Republic successor] Frank [Foer], though I imagine so) using the term "illegals" was verboten, for obvious reasons. I guess Marty didn't get the memo. Or, well, you know. [-snip-]
From: [senior New Republic editor] Jonathan Chait
Perhaps, if his work is going to be brought up here 2 or 3 times a week, he should be invited on the list. Or is the point of this to create a forum where certain people can be criticized (or, more precisely, called names) without the criticizer having to fear a response?
I do recall [Nation blogger, prickly liberal commentator and facial lover] Eric Alterman going after [the New Republic's] Eve Fairbanks, and then — when Eve mounted a defense — confessing that he didn't knows he was on the list, and only criticized her because he thought he was speaking behind her back.
[-snip-]There seems to be a junior high quality to this list with regard to TNR, where if you're not on it you get sniped at constantly, but if you are on it you're mostly safe.
From: Eric Alterman
Quit lying about my record, Jonathan Chait.Or at least check the archives before descinding [sic] into Kirchickism.
What I posted about Eve was an article I PUBLISHED. It could hardly have been going behind her back to PUBLISH an article, could it?
What I explained when you last leveled this false accusation ... [[SNIP]] ... was the fact that had I known Eve was on the list, I would not have posted it here, even though it was relevant to the discussion at hand, because a) I had no wish to hurt the feelings of someone I had never met, and b) this is no less important, I respect the value of civility on this list.
As you well know, there are plenty of attacks going on between yourself, Matt, Ezra, Spencer, and myself that do not make it onto this list because we respect the importance of civility here. Or at least we did....
I expect [JournoList administrator and young American Prospect blogger] Ezra [Klein] will want to intervene here, but please do feel free to forward our exchange to Marty. I can only imagine how proud he'd be....
From: Chris Hayes
There's a lot of people on this list routinely criticized who are not on it, Jon. That said, I'm more than happy to call Marty Peretz a racist to his (electronic) face.-c
From: [Government Executive correspondent and sometime New Republic contributor] Alyssa Rosenberg
I'm not about to speak to the question of who should or shouldn't be on this list. But I agree with Jon that the tendency to lapse into name-calling, or making broad assumptions about people who aren't on this list, seems at minimum like it's not the best use of our time, and at worst, unworthy of this very smart, very funny community.
It bothered me when folks where making totally unsubstantiated comments about [[REDACTED!—mk]]'s sex life, and it bothers me when folks make [[REDACTED]] jokes. To be clear, I'm totally open to legitimate commentary on the substance of anyone's argument, and people should get smacked down if they lie, if they get things wrong, etc.
I think analyzing Peretz's writing about Mexicans, or Palestinians, or whoever, is totally fair game. But saying that [[REDACTED]] clearly must not have a girlfriend, or speculating about who [[REDACTED]] gets turned down by sexually are not arguments. We wouldn't take similar statements remotely seriously if they were made by conservatives about anyone on this list.
[If you know what the hell this awesome message is about, do please email us. -RT]
From: Jonathan Chait
[-snip-]I'll concede the point that you published the critique of Eve on your blog. However, trying not to be catty here, not everybody here may read your blog on a daily basis. The exchange was about your decision to repost the critique of Eve here on the list.
You did it, she replied, and then you said you wouldn't have done it if you had known she was on the list. You viewed this as etiquette, I viewed it as something different.
... [[SNIP]] ...
From: [deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under Clinton, UC Berkeley economics professor and blogger] Brad DeLong
Jonathan Chait wrote:
>There seems to be a junior
>high quality to this list with regard to TNR, where if you're not on
> it you get sniped at constantly, but if you are on it you're mostly
I can fix that!!
From: Jonathan Chait
Yes, your [DeLong's] posts have more of a prison quality to them. I find itpreferable, though still well short of ideal.
From: Eric Alterman
Wrong again, Mr. Chait, on both points:I did not publish on my blog but on the front page of the Center for American Progress website where I write a weekly column. Not everybody reads that either, but then again but more people read it than read The New Republic, if I am not mistaken. (See "The State of the News Media: Magazines: Opinion Titles.")