What does it take to be a ‘hero’ of JournoList? 

The Daily Caller has published still more excerpts from the left-wing journalism chat room JournoList.  This time the theme is “Heroes of JournoList.”  The phrase refers to lefty journalists who on at least one occasion overcame their ideology to defy the conventional wisdom of JournoList’s 400 participants.

And what qualifies as heroism on JournoList?  The following:

Asserting that Gen. David Petraeus did not betray his country, as a notorious 2007 MoveOn.org ad asserted.  Apparently the JournoList discussion of the ad focused on whether it was effective or whether it was counterproductive from the Left’s perspective. It took the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky to note that “no one has yet plainly called the ad objectionable on the merits…”  For that entirely reasonable observation, Tomasky wins an honorable mention among the Heroes of JournoList.

Asserting that Maj. Nidal Hisan murdered 13 people in an act of Islamist terrorism.  Apparently the JournoList community was not impressed by the number of facts pointing to an Islamist motivation in the Ft. Hood massacre; some wanted to avoid fostering the impression that such terrorists are in the United States.  It took the New Yorker’s James Surowiecki to observe that he found it “bizarre that anyone would argue that an accurate description of what happened is somehow pointless…Describing Hasan as a violent Islamist terrorist is much closer to the truth than describing him as a disturbed individual.”  For that, Surowiecki is a Hero of JournoList.

Recognizing the fact that Obamacare involved government giveaways to the pharmaceutical industry.  When the Huffington Post ran a story to that effect, it was criticized on JournoList — bad for the cause.  Dan Froomkin stepped up to defend it, saying, “I’m awfully sorry this makes Obama look bad.  Not my problem.”  Of course, Froomkin was the Huffington Post editor who handled the story.  Still, standing up for his own organization’s work earns Froomkin a place among the Heroes of JournoList.

There are a few others.  JournoList founder Ezra Klein wins the Daily Caller’s plaudits for being generally agreeable, and the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin wins for saying favorable things about Rush Limbaugh.  But what is remarkable about the Heroes of JournoList is how small their acts of “heroism” were.  Yes, they stepped up to disagree with others on the list-serv, but was commonsense independence of thought so rare on JournoList that their statements qualify as heroic?

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