The Weigel stuff had very little to do with Brietbart but he managed to draw aces.
First he gets Weigel to put his side out on this site:
But I was cocky, and I got worse. I treated the list like a dive bar, swaggering in and popping off about what was “really” happening out there, and snarking at conservatives. Why did I want these people to like me so much? Why did I assume that I needed to crack wise and rant about people who, usually for no more than five minutes were getting on my nerves? Because I was stupid and arrogant, and needlessly mean. Yes, I’d trash-talk liberals to Republicans sometimes. And I’d tell them which liberals “mattered,” who was a hack, who was coming after them. Did I suggest which strategies might and might not work for liberals, Democrats, and the president? Yes, although I do the same to conservatives — in February, for example, I told many of them that Scott Brown’s election hadn’t killed health care reform, and they needed to avoid dancing in the endzone, because I was aware of what liberals were saying about how to come back.
That impressed the hell out of Stacy McCain who interviewed him for the Spectator:
Especially after the 2004 election, Breitbart said, liberals realized they had “lost control of the narrative,” and began organizing projects aimed at preventing stories that hurt Democrats from gaining traction in mainstream media. Breitbart compared the Journolist “cabal” to Professor Peter Dreier’s “Cry Wolf” project that offered $1,000 fees to academics for papers pushing back against conservative policy proposals.
By exerting peer pressure within the press corps, Breitbart said, the participants in Journolist influenced reporters like Weigel to adopt their practice of treating Drudge and Limbaugh as enemies, and to suppress story angles that favored conservatives.
So Breitbart takes the blog story of the day and makes it the place where everyone HAS to go. Is he done? Not by a long shot. He follows up with the offer that can’t be accepted or can’t be refused but sure can’t be ignored:
The American people, at least half of whom are the objects of scorn of this group of 400, deserve to know who was colluding against them so that in the future they can better understand how the once-objective media has come to be so corrupted and despised.
We want the list of journalists that comprised the 400 members of the “JournoList” and we want the contents of the listserv. Why should Weigel be the only person exposed and humiliated?
I therefore offer the sum of $100,000 to the person who provides the full “JournoList” archive. We will protect that person’s privacy and identity forever. No one will ever know who became $100,000 richer – and did the right thing, morally and ethically — by shining the light of truth on this seamy underworld of the media.
Glenn Reynolds like McCain calls him a Genius. He’s right.
On the memeorandum thread the reactions are varied Johnson calls him unethical, Vanity Fair says it not possible, other pooh pooh it but Breitbart is in a no lose situation.
If someone comes forward with the items he holds a scoop and a half, but the person in question is marked for life. Breitbart will keep his name quiet but the 100,000 has to be paid somehow. Do we get 12 under 10k payments to circumvent federal reporting laws. Said 100k will have to be claimed as an expense of Brietbart and as income by the recipient. I’ll wager a half decent reporter could trace it, particularly since many would be motivated to do so.
What is more likely is that the stupid thing will be done and the list will be held onto. Breitbart gets a storyline he can come back to forever, gets 100k+ worth of publicity without spending any money and can continue to paint journolist as what he says it is. Oh the left denies it, but can’t refute it without producing the actual archives and there’s the rub.
If Breitbart is right about what was going on there (and I suspect he is) then they don’t dare release it it’s a nail in the coffin of everyone who was part of it. If Breitbart is wrong the only way they can do so is to release it but the left is not about thinking long term, the one day or maybe two story the list would produce is one or two days too many for the left and even if the left isn’t doing what was said there is likely to be at least a few more people who have said things that they really shouldn’t have. They will fight tooth and nail to cover themselves.
What is the smart thing? Klein should release the list himself. If Breitbart is wrong it proves it and becomes a one or two day story. He can even give the dough to the DNC if he wants. If Breitbart is right he should release it anyway, we of the right already distrust them, so the revelations are not going to change things much. The damage to the left is then focused during a time when the left is in trouble anyways.
As I’ve said before it is going to come out sooner or later, if the left has brains it will be sooner, but they are not as smart as Breitbart.