JournoList member complains about AT article

James H. Fetzer and J.R. Dunn
So now we have a JournoLista, Harold Pollack, insisting that I "mischaracterized" one of his statements taken from the listserve in making my case against the current legacy media in "JournoList and the Leftist Mentality". Evidently, the problem arises from a misquotation by The Daily Caller, in which case his argument is with Tucker Carlson, and not with me. (If his contention is true -- though I have seen nothing to demonstrate the fact -- then I have just as much of a complaint with the Caller as he does.)

While Pollack says that he had the Caller correct the original posting, there was certainly some delay -- I didn't see it until several days after the quotation first appeared. He insists on overlooking this delay in making the correction -- his fault -- and the original error -- the Caller's fault -- in an effort to drop the whole thing in my lap. This is confusion at best.

But there's another point: throughout his complaint, Pollack misrepresents what I wrote in the piece to such an extent that I have strong doubts that he actually read it. He writes of "Dunn's crude liberals-are-evil thesis." Actually no -- Dunn says, as anyone who finished the thing is well aware, that liberals are dumb.

Second, here's Pollack's wrap-up: "Dunn asserts: 'Media leftists, and their co-conspirators in the academy and the think-tanks, manipulate and distort the news reaching the American public....' Hey pal, look in the mirror."

There's only one way that this can be taken: that, like the members of the JournoList listserve, I conspired with third parties to distort and manipulate information reaching the public -- In this case the "right-wing blogosphere" (little insults of this type are scattered throughout). Now, I don't consult with anybody (save my editor) concerning what I write, never have, and my opinions are my own. If Pollack has evidence to the contrary, I urge him to produce it.

Third -- not aimed at me personally, but worth mentioning nonetheless:

"Factually, politically, and morally, it never made much sense to chase rumors that Governor Palin was covering for her teen daughter's pregnancy.


Almost every liberal activist and Obama supporter agreed with me. Few of us cared to traffic in rumors about Sarah Palin. We had better things to do."

Few liberal activists trafficking in rumors about Palin? At the top of his own blog, Pollack has the statement: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." He should add his own immortal words: "Hey pal, look in the mirror."

Pollack seems to believe that he deserves some amount of slack on these matters because he lives an exemplary personal life. While I'm sure that's the case, it's also irrelevant. Professional and political questions are decided using quite different criteria. Distortion, accusations of conspiracy, personal invective... Pollack's complaint is clear evidence that he's continuing on the same course he and his colleagues embarked upon in JournoList.

[Editor's note: Yesterday, I asked Professor Pollack to provide us transcripts of JournoList so we could verify his claims. He has only provided us with Daily Caller pages.]
So now we have a JournoLista, Harold Pollack, insisting that I "mischaracterized" one of his statements taken from the listserve in making my case against the current legacy media in "JournoList and the Leftist Mentality". Evidently, the problem arises from a misquotation by The Daily Caller, in which case his argument is with Tucker Carlson, and not with me. (If his contention is true -- though I have seen nothing to demonstrate the fact -- then I have just as much of a complaint with the Caller as he does.)

While Pollack says that he had the Caller correct the original posting, there was certainly some delay -- I didn't see it until several days after the quotation first appeared. He insists on overlooking this delay in making the correction -- his fault -- and the original error -- the Caller's fault -- in an effort to drop the whole thing in my lap. This is confusion at best.

But there's another point: throughout his complaint, Pollack misrepresents what I wrote in the piece to such an extent that I have strong doubts that he actually read it. He writes of "Dunn's crude liberals-are-evil thesis." Actually no -- Dunn says, as anyone who finished the thing is well aware, that liberals are dumb.

Second, here's Pollack's wrap-up: "Dunn asserts: 'Media leftists, and their co-conspirators in the academy and the think-tanks, manipulate and distort the news reaching the American public....' Hey pal, look in the mirror."

There's only one way that this can be taken: that, like the members of the JournoList listserve, I conspired with third parties to distort and manipulate information reaching the public -- In this case the "right-wing blogosphere" (little insults of this type are scattered throughout). Now, I don't consult with anybody (save my editor) concerning what I write, never have, and my opinions are my own. If Pollack has evidence to the contrary, I urge him to produce it.

Third -- not aimed at me personally, but worth mentioning nonetheless:

"Factually, politically, and morally, it never made much sense to chase rumors that Governor Palin was covering for her teen daughter's pregnancy.


Almost every liberal activist and Obama supporter agreed with me. Few of us cared to traffic in rumors about Sarah Palin. We had better things to do."

Few liberal activists trafficking in rumors about Palin? At the top of his own blog, Pollack has the statement: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." He should add his own immortal words: "Hey pal, look in the mirror."

Pollack seems to believe that he deserves some amount of slack on these matters because he lives an exemplary personal life. While I'm sure that's the case, it's also irrelevant. Professional and political questions are decided using quite different criteria. Distortion, accusations of conspiracy, personal invective... Pollack's complaint is clear evidence that he's continuing on the same course he and his colleagues embarked upon in JournoList.

[Editor's note: Yesterday, I asked Professor Pollack to provide us transcripts of JournoList so we could verify his claims. He has only provided us with Daily Caller pages.]