Hugh Hewitt

Given that plagiarism is a hanging offense in the MSM, ought not outright falsification to be seen as just as serious an offense against the suppose code of truth-telling? Didn't MSM once upon a time stand for opposition to Big Lie propoaganda? Ackerman is still with Wired, and as far as I can tell from vacationland (where the internet connection is spotty at best), no MSMer has stepped forward to condemn Ackerman, nor has any JournoList member been asked what they thought about the advocacy of the slander at the time it occured or now that it has come to light.

That is the most interesting of the questions for Journolist members right now --the Ackerman Question: "Did you think it was necessary to oppose the slander of a fellow journalist?" Don't hold your breath waiting for that question to be asked on air on the Sunday shows.

Apparently no one rebuked Ackerman then, at least as far as we can tell from the leaks from the JournoList archive. It would be great news if Time's Joe Klein, for example, had stepped up at the time and posted something like "Spencer, that is outrageous. We both know Barnes and he's been a fine journalist since even before his days at the New Republic. You may not like his politics, but he's a wonderful man and I won't go along with your calling him a racist, and no one else should either. Have you lost your mind?"

Most MSMers can be counted on to strike a sympathetic pose when it comes to stories about the suppression of the press in regimes where it is actually dangerous to do a reporter's job. Campaigns of intimidation against journalists are an old story in the last century and they have continued into this one. Slandering of writers used to be a favorite technique in the old Soviet days and it has made a deadly comeback in Russia in recent years.

How odd, then, to see a message board of left wing jounalists advocating the slander of a journalist --or anyone really-- simply to serve a passing political agenda.

The second set of questions follow quite obviously: If Ackerman would lie about something as serious as the charge of racism, what else wouldn't he lie about? And if his colleagues on JournoList would either abet or at least act as silent accomplices of such a lie, what else have they seen and not objected to, heard, and been silent about?

The JournoList scandal is an enormously important story for American journalism, but so many individuals and MSM outlets are complicit that I doubt very much if it will be much reported on or if any apologies are forthcoming to Barnes. The Washington Post, home to the aforementioned JournoList's owner and operator Ezra Klein, has gone to the mattresses on the story, even though it employs the "reporter" who knows all the answers. Apparently it cares neither for the standards of the news business or for the readership which it could be gathering in. The guild is threatened. Rally around the guild.

The Manhattan-Beltway media elite is once again stripped of its pretense. Just as they all rallied around Dan Rather when he manufactured the news in 2004, now they appear ready to remain silent even in the aftermath of publication of record evidence that many in their number have the "journalistic ethics" of a Pravda lifer in the '60s.

Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.