- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 20, 2010

JOURNOLIST LUST

There’s renewed hubbub over the mysterious “JournoList,” displayed in full plumage at the Daily Caller, providing more evidence that the hundreds of journalists and wonks who signed up with the online information and chitchat service were a vast left-wing conspiracy of sorts - a liberal cabal of those seeking to steer the proper White House message.

“As a journalist, even an opinion journalist, the public places trust in you to say what you believe, not what you believe needs to be said to help your side. The JournoList posts raise serious questions about whether a group of liberal journalists ditched their independence at key political moments, especially during the 2008 presidential campaign,” Caller scribe Jonathan Strong tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Strong has written all week about JournoList records that confirm, among other things, that journalists from Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic groused over press treatment of President Obama and in some cases “plotted to fix the damage.”

Getting hold of these records was a big “get.” The membership list and its archives of e-mails were considered a Rosetta Stone by conservatives seeking to crack the liberal code. Mr. Strong is mum about his source, though a computer whiz recently suggested to the Beltway that the much-coveted content was likely just “a hack away.” It was worth serious money at one point.

BigHollywood.com founder Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 to anyone who could produce the JournoList; he formally rescinded his offer Monday after Mr. Strong’s initial expose was published. Collateral damage occurred, however.

The list’s founder, Ezra Klein, has disbanded his creation. And former Washington Post “conservative” blogger David Weigel resigned his post last month after he was outed as a JournoList member by Mr. Strong. He has since joined MSNBC and has little to say about the newest Daily Caller revelations.

“I joined in January 2009 and hadn’t seen these e-mails,” Mr. Weigel tells Beltway.

Mr. Strong’s efforts won the approval of Sarah Palin, who noted Tuesday at her Facebook page, “It’s encouraging for commonsense conservatives who are frustrated with media cover-ups and biases to see truth revealed.”

REGS RAGE

Along with bamboo from Burma, coal from Pakistan and granite from Nigeria, the Department of Labor’s Executive Order 13126 on the Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor, issued Tuesday, also prohibits federal agencies and their contractors from purchasing pornography from Russia.

That particular entry on the 29-item list was characterized by the Moscow Times as a “bizarre message” to Russia from the Obama administration.

Both Russia and the U.S. are “world leaders” in producing child porn, children’s “ombudsman” Pavel Astakhov told the paper.

VIDEOGATE

Sharp eyes are tracking the trajectory of video footage exposed by the aforementioned Andrew Breitbart that showcased racially tinged remarks made by Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod during an NAACP banquet. The story, says Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell is in a holding pattern.

“The liberal media are deliberately spiking the shocking video,” he says. “We’ve waited a full 24 hours to see if any coverage of this expose would surface. So far, nothing but crickets. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning ‘news’ shows all failed to even mention the damning video admission.”

The same networks, Mr. Bozell continues, gave much coverage to NAACP charges that “tea parties” were guilty of racism.

“The thoroughly untrue accusation against the tea parties has been propped up and propelled by the incessant reporting of these same networks,” he says. “The only thing more newsworthy than the charges of racism are the hypocritical charges of racism.”

The video did get play on Fox News and later on CNN. In the aftermath, Ms. Sherrod told CNN that the White House had forced her to resign from her post, noting, “For some reason, the stuff Fox and the ‘tea party’ does is scaring the administration.”

Mr. Breitbart also had much to say.

“This was not about Shirley Sherrod. This was about the NAACP attacking the tea party, and this is showing racism at an NAACP event. I did not ask for Shirley Sherrod to be fired. I did not ask for any repercussions for Shirley Sherrod,” he told CNN. “They were the ones that took the initiative to get rid of her. I think she should have the right to defend herself.”

TRUTHINESS

Approaching practical application, perhaps: functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, used as a lie detector to measure the brain’s devious “deception centers.” Two companies, Cephos and No Lie MRI, are marketing such services to lawyers, government agencies, law enforcement and corporations seeking to get at the, uh, truth - or at least conduct tidy security clearances.

“Truth is a valuable commodity,” Cephos notes.

MORE TRUTHINESS

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run in a marathon, live to see his grandchildren. (Former President Bill Clinton’s “bucket list” of things he wants to do before he dies, revealed Tuesday in a speech before the 18th annual International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

POLL DU JOUR

75 percent of voters overall say the government’s response to the Gulf oil leak will sway their vote in the 2010 midterm elections.

56 percent say offshore oil drilling should be allowed.

82 percent of Republicans agree.

26 percent overall oppose offshore drilling.

45 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent of voters overall approve of deep-water drilling.

68 percent of Republicans agree.

50 percent of Democrats oppose deep-water drilling.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted July 18-19.

Tips, quips, flips and flops to jharper@washingtontimes.com