The drop from the Daily Caller today is how the JournoList members responded to McCain's nomination of Sarah Palin and brainstormed the best way to attack her. Joe Klein then took their suggestions and wrote up his column on the subject. Nothing really unethical about a columnist batting around ideas with his ideological soulmates, but it is entertaining to see behind curtain.
Fred Barnes responds to Spencer Ackerman's idea posted on JournoList that liberals pick out some random conservatives, say Fred Barnes or Karl Rove, and just call them racists. Barnes chalks this up to severe media groupthink coupled with this new effort to mold liberal journalists into a team to win victories for their side and destroy the conservative team. The only problem is that there is no parallel conservative team. James Taranto notes that, at least in the emails released by Daily Caller, none of the participants on JournoList objected in principle to the idea of making false accusations of racism. Another Black Conservative responds to the lack of outrage among the Journolist members to the idea of setting forth false accusations of racism.
This is the exact ploy being used against Tea Party activists. I guess they decided to mothball it for later use. What is astounding is that none on the listsev objects to making up racism, they only object to whether or not the strategy will backfire on Obama. Given the racial tensions that already exist in this nation, I find it a particularly evil to add to that tension by making stuff up for political gain.William Jacobson calls for Ezra Klein to release the entire archives to prove Klein's claims that most of the discussion was innocuous.
What should be clear to everyone right now is to be extra careful not to put anything in an email that you wouldn't want to see broadcast across the internet. Neither of these scandals would be anything without the ease of digital communication. Just as I warn my students not to put anything up on Facebook that they would mind a college admissions officer or future employer reading, we should all take similar care in our private emails. In the olden days people would be paranoid about being secretly taped. Now they can worry about an email getting forwarded to someone who will post it for everyone to see. Whoever you are, this is a lesson worth mastering.