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Liberals on 'Journolist' Wanted Government to Shut Down Fox News

4 years ago
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Appearing on Fox News' "Hannity" on Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson announced that The Daily Caller would publish more controversial e-mails from the now defunct Journolist -- a listserv where hundreds of liberal journalists and academics would share information.

"We're breaking a story," Carlson told Sean Hannity, "that contains exchanges between members of Journolist, in which some suggest that the federal government shut down Fox."

This, of course, comes on the heels of revelations that Journolisters had attempted to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2008.

Carlson was right about the exchanges involving Fox News, as this quote from the story demonstrates:

Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. "I hate to open this can of worms," he wrote, "but is there any reason why the FCC couldn't simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?"


But while Zasloff did make those comments, it's fair to also point out that they did not go unchallenged:

And so a debate ensued. Time's (Michael) Scherer, who had seemed to express support for increased regulation of Fox, suddenly appeared to have qualms: "Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?"

So what does this mean? Clearly, these quotes demonstrate that Zasloff is a liberal who has no problem with suppressing conservative thought. On the other hand, unlike the participants involved in efforts to kill the Jeremiah Wright story, Zasloff is not a journalist, and appears incapable of bringing about the results he desires.

My guess is that the more controversial revelations to come from this piece won't be about Fox News, but rather about Rush Limbaugh and Tea Party activists.

For example, the column reveals that Sarah Spitz, a producer with Santa Monica, Calif. radio station KCRW, said that if she witnessed Rush Limbaugh having a heart attack, she would "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out."

And Journolisters weren't above comparing conservative Tea Party activists to Nazis:

"You know, at the risk of violating Godwin's law, is anyone starting to see parallels here between the teabaggers and their tactics and the rise of the Brownshirts?" asked Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer. "Esp. Now that it's getting violent? Reminds me of the Beer Hall fracases of the 1920s."
While these comments are, to be sure, ugly and beyond the pale, it is hard to shock an audience repeatedly -- and I wonder if the Daily Caller might be following up on its last story too soon.

My guess is that many conservatives have become inured to attacks on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh -- no matter how repulsive they are. It will be interesting to see if this story makes as big a splash as past columns about Journolist e-mails . . .

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