NewsBusters doesn't seem to understand JournoList, journalism, really anything

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

The bias-hunting super sleuths at NewsBusters seem hell bent on cramming in as much stupidity as they can before their five-year anniversary, and Noel Sheppard is doing more than his share of the cramming.

Apparently, according to Sheppard, the JournoList scourge can be found everywhere, even on televised panel discussions:

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday demonstrated how the dissemination of Democrat talking points and marching orders via the JournoList can be even more effectively employed on television.

In a "Hardball" segment about a new Democratic National Committee ad that looks to connect the Republican Party with the "more extreme elements" of the Tea Party, Matthews chatted with Republican strategist Todd Harris and the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress's Jennifer Palmieri about whether the strategy will work.

What was most interesting was how Matthews, almost like a JournoLister, seemed to be drawing from a discussion he had with his panelists on last weekend's syndicated program bearing his name.

Get it? Matthews was being just like a JournoLister because he said something on Hardball that was vaguely similar to something Howard Fineman said a few days ago on The Chris Matthews Show. The big scandal, according to Noel Sheppard, is that Chris Matthews repeated something he heard.

To those of us whose views on the media are not insanely warped, this is what's called opinion journalism, wherein you ask different people for their views on a particular subject. And, anyone who has ever watched more than one episode of Hardball should know that when Matthews hears what he thinks is an interesting point, he's going to repeat it. A lot.

This isn't particularly controversial, and it's also nothing like JournoList, which was a private email listserv, and not a publicly televised discussion. Also, neither JournoList nor Matthews are or were issuing "marching orders" for Democrats.

But for people like Noel Sheppard, whose view of the media seems to be shaped by equal parts paranoia and ignorance, this is a very big deal.

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