I’m mentioned in Jonathan Strong’s latest exposé on how liberal pundits have liberal views on politics, with today’s edition dedicated to revealing that liberals don’t like Sarah Palin. Since Strong writes about one of my emails, you might wonder why he didn’t reach out to me for comment. The answer is that Strong actually did reach out to me for comment, and I offered to comment, but then he simply dropped the thread of our dialogue. So in the spirit of reprinting people’s emails, here goes.
On July 21 at 8:41 AM Eastern, I sent him an email with the subject line “Another day, another lack of primary source documentation”:
I wrote you about this yesterday, but I continue to be curious as to why it is that you’re writing this series of stories based on misleading descriptions of excerpts of JournoList emails where you don’t post the full text of the emails online anywhere.
Then at 4:07 PM Eastern, Strong finally replied:
I was hoping to chat with you for a few minutes this afternoon regarding Journolist. If you could call me at 202-506-2027, I would appreciate it.
So at 4:18 PM Eastern, I wrote back:
I’m on a flight to Las Vegas right now, so it’s not a good time to talk, but I can answer emails.
Then he replied at 4:30 PM:
The day McCain picked Palin, you started a new thread with the subject, “The line on Palin”.
The post said, “John McCain picked someone to help him politically, Barack Obama picked someone to help him govern.”
This thread came in the midst of many threads that discussed which attacks would work best politically on Palin.
What did you mean with the words, “The line on Palin”? Like, the best line to use? Your line? A line you found insightful?
And at 5:02 PM, I responded:
Before I answer, I’d be curious as to whether with this next story you plan to publish the full texts of the emails you’re reporting on or is this going to be another set of misleading paraphrases?
Sent from my iPad
Strong didn’t reply. Which is too bad, since I think his story could have been enhanced by me answering his question. And I really don’t know what harm it would have done him to tell me in advance that this would be another article that’s curiously lacking in primary source documentation. Both Strong’s lack of interest in releasing his full primary sources and his lack of interest in getting commentary from me speak, I think, to the nature of his operation.
As for my email, I think all one has to understand is that during the 2008 campaign season my blog, as a publication, was operating under various restrictions related to our 501(c)4 tax status, to our then-current understanding of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (since modified by the Citizens United decision), and by CAP/AF internal policies. Consequently, I had some opinions relevant to the campaign that were not fit for publication on the blog and that I voiced in other venues, including emails to people. One such opinion was that the selection of Sarah Palin was an irresponsible and politically motivated act. I thought—and continue to think—that the line Strong quoted is a reasonably pithy formulation of the point. I also think the basic idea is and was extremely widespread, and while I’d be happy to take credit for persuading progressive America writ large to run with the idea, it’s actually quite obvious. Palin, as it turns out, was ultimately something like the most politically damaging VP pick of all time so obviously McCain’s political gambit didn’t work out. Still, an irresponsible political gambit is what it was.
A technical glitch temporarily caused this post to be deleted from the blog. It was just an accident, don’t read anything into it. Let me also note that the controversy in comments over the phone number is much ado about nothing, that number is the publicly listed phone number of The Daily Caller not Strong’s home phone or anything.