Former head of CBO (and current Obama budget director) Orzag member of JournoList
But, so what? No conflict of interest there. Right Ezra?:
Journolist is meant to serve a very specific purpose that’s actually related to my experience building this blog. The work of this site has always been to illuminate standard political reporting with expert policy commentary. In that, I’ve been helped by the many experts who have adopted the medium as their own: Mark Thoma, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, Matthew Holt, Peter Orszag, Andrew Gelman, Larry Bartels, Dani Rodrik, John Sides, among others. As a journalist, it’s hard to always know who to call or which questions to ask. The joy of those blogs is that I don’t have to guess what experts think is important: They simply explain what they think is important and I can use, or follow-up on, the information.
But as NRO’s Mark Hemingway notes:
And therein lies the problem. Ezra’s trying to say, “What’s the big deal? Lots of people discuss stuff over email, message boards etc.” If explicitly liberal bloggers, activists and policy wonks want to want to get together several times a week and burn black candles and perform obscure magick rituals to converse with FDR from beyond the grave, that’s fine with me. But when supposedly objective journalists or, worse yet, people such as Peter Orzag who until recently was the head of the Congressional Budget Office, participate in their shennanigans and at the very least fail to disclose it, then I have a problem.
I would like to think that journalists whose credibility rests on working for publications that represent themselves as objective news outlets as well as very influential civil-service employees would see the problem in granting exclusive access to people with a specific political agenda. Even the appearance that the news, let alone actual policies that affect all Americans, are being shaped disproportionately by reporters and unelected civil servants in the thrall of ideological crusaders is a problem. To some extent I can’t fault the list’s overtly liberal members for trying to get in even better with the press and policymakers than they already are, but if Klein and others on the list want to sluff off the questions here by saying “what’s the big deal?” â€” well, that’s a problem too.
Well, you’d think so.
But let’s face it: the mainstream press has, in many cases, given up even the appearance of objectivity and have become instead “advocacy” journalists. That their “advocacy” is almost entirely in support of the progressive agenda is just, like, a coincidence.
So what should be a big deal really isn’t all that much of a big deal, at least not to the ideologues involved.
Oh. And also, HOW DARE YOU QUESTION OUR PATRIOTISM!
Luckily, there seems to be a market remedy…
(h/t cj burch)