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Posted by on Jul 27, 2010 in Media | 0 comments

Dave Weigel Hired By Slate

Fired from The Washington Post, hired by the Washington Post’s Slate unit. Slate is “editorially independent from the newspaper.” Weigel will be a political reporter:

“I’m thrilled to be joining Slate, thrilled to be working with writers I’ve read and respected since logging on to read it meant enduring a symphony of dial-up clicks and hisses,” Weigel told The Upshot.

“This is the magazine that invented the sort of journalism I want to do,” he continued. “And I’m very pleased that I’ll get to continue working the beat I developed at the Post, the Independent and Reason.”

Slate Editor David Plotz told The Upshot that Weigel will launch a blog covering politics, but not exclusively on the conservative movement, Weigel’s area of expertise. Weigel is also expected to write long-form pieces.

“We’re delighted to have him,” Plotz said. “He’s a ball of energy and fearlessness and curiosity.”

Weigel left the WaPo after FishbowlDC and the Daily Caller published anti-conservative derogatory emails he wrote and posted on JournoList. Since his resignation the JournoList story has continued to generate blog heat. Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller has seen its traffic numbers rise with the structured release of JournoList emails.

Joe Conason details the stunning hypocrisy of Journolist’s critics, closing with the American Spectator’s John Tabin “striking dissent” from the right-wing hysterics:

Since 1993, Grover Norquist has held an off-the-record meeting every Wednesday where conservative activists, policy wonks, and government officials exchange ideas about policy and politics. Sometimes journalists attend. Depending on a particular journalist’s ideological and partisan disposition — which can vary quite a lot given the state of our media landscape, which includes both ‘straight news’ reporters (i.e. people who attempt to hide the almost-always-left-of-center opinions that shape their journalistic choices) and opinion journalists with various worldviews and temperaments — journalists may be there to get ideas that will influence how they think about issues, or they may just be there to get perspective on how conservatives are thinking about the issues of the day.

The Wednesday Meeting has periodically been the source of breathless fear-mongering on the left about the all-powerful conservative conspiracy to control media narratives. This is, of course, absurd. Much of the hyperventilating over Journolist is equally absurd, John Guardiano’s included.

Everyone who has reason to be embarrassed by a direct quote in the Daily Caller’s series on Journolist is an openly opinionated commentator. (The one partial exception is Jeffrey Toobin, who presents himself as a middle-of-the-road analyst on CNN, but his weaselly nature has always been pretty obvious.) Everyone who has been shown to have their work influenced by conversations on Journolist is, likewise, a commentator. That Chris Hayes tries to get perspective from other liberals before he goes on TV to opine on a topic, or that Joe Klein incorporates ideas from off-the-record exchanges into his blog posts, is not exactly earthshaking news. Commentators on the right do exactly the same thing — it’s just our emails don’t get leaked because we’re smart enough not to conduct these exchanges on listservs where we let the audience expand to include 400 people. This practice is a double-edged sword — you get the benefit of idea-sharing, but you have to be careful not to get sucked into groupthink. Liberals seem more prone to the latter failing, but that’s more a problem for them than for anyone else, and it’s not much of a scandal.

RELATED: Ezra Klein on When Tucker Carlson asked to join Journolist.