Ezra Klein, who organized the Journolist and now blogs at The Washington Post, declares that the expose by The Daily Caller has descended from tragedy into farce.
The proof? Klein feels that The Daily Caller is not disclosing enough of the e-mails, which Klein feels would vindicate Klein and others, and prove there was no grand conspiracy.
Klein writes today:
Which brings us to the Daily Caller. There might be some interesting stories to write about a trove of 25,000+ e-mails — though, in reality, most of them would say something like “lots of people have lots of different opinions” — but their approach has been to cherrypick the few snippets that support the most sensational headlines, and then attribute them to “Journolist,” or “journalists,” as opposed to whichever specific person is being quoted.
Releasing all the e-mails is the simple solution, one I proposed on March 26, 2009, when the existence of the Journolist was first revealed and the issue was extreme nastiness directed at Marty Peretz of The New Republic. Given that there were hundreds of participants, the authors had no reasonable expectation of privacy.
At the time, Klein explained the purpose of the Journolist as follows (emphasis mine):
Journolist is meant to serve a very specific purpose that’s actually related to my experience building this blog. The work of this site has always been to illuminate standard political reporting with expert policy commentary. In that, I’ve been helped by the many experts who have adopted the medium as their own: Mark Thoma, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, Matthew Holt, Peter Orszag, Andrew Gelman, Larry Bartels, Dani Rodrik, John Sides, among others. As a journalist, it’s hard to always know who to call or which questions to ask. The joy of those blogs is that I don’t have to guess what experts think is important: They simply explain what they think is important and I can use, or follow-up on, the information.
I responded that based upon the e-mails revealed in March 2009, there was (emphasis added):
“[n]ot much policy exchange here. This is how the liberal journalist elites talk when they think no one is listening. Like Barack Obama in San Francisco.
And Ezra Klein’s explanation is at best misleading, at worst an outright lie. So Ezra, release ALL the e-mails.
Now that Klein again is claiming the e-mails are being taken out of context, and that the purpose of the Journolist was innocent and innocuous, Klein can set the record straight.
But he will not. In his post today Klein wrote:
And as for the obvious question — why don’t I just release all the e-mails? — the answer is that I still believe people have the right to assume privacy when they send e-mails to an off-the-record list. They should be careful about what they write, but that’s a different question.
Too late for that.
Klein accuses The Daily Caller of being shameless publicity hounds who take e-mails out of context to generate website traffic. Prove it.
Update: Mark Tapscott, First came Climategate, now it’s JournoList; Who’s next for an email scandal?