Weigel vs. WikiLeaks

Matt Barganier, July 27, 2010

On his Twitter feed Monday, Dave Weigel, journalist, posted the following (emphasis mine):

The WikiLeaks Afghan dump is depressing. Very tired of our effort there being subjected to this kind of crap.

When Glenn Greenwald pressed Weigel to clarify what “kind of crap” he meant, Weigel answered:

I mean the disclosing in a way that hurts us. It’s not like we’ve been prevented from knowing things are going poorly.

This caused a minor stir among Weigel’s Twitter followers, with one responding:

You prefer being lied to? You really *have* crossed over to the dark side…

To which Weigel replied:

I support the war and agree to disagree with a lot of people on this.

Greenwald continued to prod Weigel for clarification, but Weigel ignored the questions, huffing, “I don’t ‘debate’ on Twitter. If it’s important I take it to email. This is a wretched medium for debate.” Meanwhile, some members of #teamweigel began tweeting their disapproval, distaste, and even shock.

I can’t imagine why.

Dave Weigel supported the invasion of Iraq, and he continued to ridicule and slander war opponents until the precise moment that it was no longer professionally advantageous for him to do so. He is a shape-shifting seeker of the Inner Ring who has already been called a liar twice by his former bosses. Here’s Matt Welch of Reason on Weigel’s suggestion that he was let go from that magazine for being too mavericky (a recurrent form of self-gratification for Weigel):

To the extent that this gives the impression that Dave’s job was in any way tied to him voting for Obama, I need to shout from the rooftops that this is emphatically not the case. If it were, Ronald Bailey would no longer be our Science Correspondent and Tim Cavanaugh would not be our back-of-the-book columnist. …

There were multiple factors at play in the Weigel/Reason separation, none of them having to do with voting records, and many (though not all) pointing to what Dave alludes to in his post: What he wanted to write about, and what we needed him to write about, were two different things. …

Another clarification, especially for people unfamiliar with Reason: There is, to put it mildly, zero professional sanction at this magazine for being “a little less favorable to Republicans,” or being “pro-gay marriage and pro-open borders.”

And here’s Nick Gillespie:

In his public mea culpa (which like all examples of the genre is long on mea and short on culpa), former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel suggested his long journey upwards began with his being fired from Reason magazine.

Full disclosure: I was editor in chief of Reason from 2000 to 2008 and hired Dave, who was eventually let go by my successor, Matt Welch. Dave suggests that the separation came about because he had strayed too far off what we sometime call the “libtard” reservation. …

As Matt Welch has written, Dave certainly didn’t earn any supervisory ire by voting for Obama-Biden or even for being from Delaware (though this latter condition has never been a clear plus for anyone except maybe George Thorogood and Cesar Romney). Similarly, the implication that Reason would be bothered by a staffer’s attacks on Republicans or support for gay marriage and open borders makes about as much sense and holds as much value as fiat currency.

Actually, while Maverick Dave was with Reason, he made some pathetically strenuous efforts to ingratiate himself with the herd (another recurrent theme in Weigel’s career). In Reason‘s 2008 presidential election survey, Weigel gave the following answer to the final question:

5. Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? Lyndon Baines Johnson. While his children watch.

Leaving aside the warped question and the demented reply – Weigel and his pal Spencer Ackerman seem to have studied rhetoric at the Mel Gibson Finishing School – do you think for a minute that Weigel would say such a thing (or anything negative at all) about the father of Medicare and Medicaid in his new gig as an MSNBC commentator? More recently, in an odd act of self-defense, Weigel actually admitted that he wrote things he didn’t believe on Journolist in order to “suck up to the liberals.” And that was for a tiny, exclusive audience that was supposedly organized to allow “extremely smart people” to say what they really thought! What ulterior considerations inform Weigel’s reporting and analysis for us dumb yokels drooling over our Hungry-Man dinners in front of the tube?

Anyway, now Weigel’s “supporting” “our” war in Afghanistan, the It War of the militant center that employs him, and people are surprised? Please.

P.S. I’ll go ahead and write the rebuttal for Dave and his clique. Yes, I’m a loser nobody who blogs for the objectively pro-fascist Antiwar.com. I only wrote this because I envy Dave’s sweet job at the Washington Post (oops!), his large circle of friends, and the cool, emotionally mature professionalism he demonstrated in Boogiegate. Did I leave out anything? Oh, right. Yada yada yada anti-Semite. (Hey, you said it, Adolf!) When you get through with me, maybe you can respond to Welch and Gillespie.

P.P.S. For more on the Weigel-Journolist fiasco, if you’re not sick to death of it already, I strongly recommend two posts by Arthur Silber: 1, 2.






27 Responses to “Weigel vs. WikiLeaks”

  1. Actions of brave whistle blowers is making it very hard for regime media in Canada to keep putting the positive spin and play cheerleaders to disaster and quagmire Canadian troops find themselves in.
    Top levels of Canadian Forces are caught laying about the way Canadian soldiers died and former top General keeps lying and claims the documents are "incorrect" cause they are first to come out.
    According to him documents have to be re-published to 3-4 times before they can be deemed reliable.
    They should train propaganda creators and teach them to doctor documents to their liking the first time.
    That way they can avoid being caught lying.

  2. Journ-0-Lisps, given the widespread presence of speech defects among Leftovers, from EJ Dionne and Barney Frank, to Porkpie Gibb's permanent sinus infection, and the phlegmy castrati of NPR

  3. I think the people at Reason are against gay marriage; no matter how drunk you get them you can't get them into bed.

  4. We seem to have a lot of Dave Weigels anymore in America. The list is tremendous: Obama, Bush, Palin, Hillary, any Congressperson under 60 and not Kucininch, all of the newscasters on FOX, CNN, etc, Elena Kagin, etc. etc. What do all of these people have in common – they are all totally immoral, self-promoting careerists. They are all suckups, brilliant but shallow and absolutely unlikely to sacrifice themselves for any cause not useful to their self promotion. What they know best is the direction of the prevailing wind.
    For such careerists, nothing outranks their own advancement. They accept ridiculous honors like Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. They are never embarrassed to receive an honor they don’t deserve. I can imagine Obama still thinking “This will look good on my resume”.

  5. Only in America a mediocre person gets promoted!While outstanding person ,Helen Thomas,gets demoted.

  6. if an anti-war position deserves to be respected on the merits, than so too does a pro-war position om the merits. Let's leave Dave Wiegel's personality out of it. It neither substaniates nor dertacts from his opinion on the war and/or wikileaks etc.

  7. I laid out his history of pro-war advocacy with links. You can skip over the rest, if you like, and look for the merits in his position.

  8. Of related interest: Here's how lefty Mother Jones is spinning the WikiLeaks document dump:
    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/07/wikileaks-afg

    No big deal. Nothing to see here. The readers' comments are good.

  9. Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-ea

  10. Dave’s got another job: http://www.salon.com/news/washington_post/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2010/07/27/weigel_joins_slate

  11. Oh, Christ, can they stop calling him a "libertarian"? Whatever you think of libertarians, I don't think Weigel even calls himself one. He's a perfect fit at Slate, though, alongside Hitchens, Applebaum, Weisberg, and Spitzer.

  12. It's a manipulation…it's using the truth to destroy truth..The truth is we don't have any damn business being involved in any of these damn countries..but this "leak" pushes the opposite agenda…OOH…watch out, Iran is arming the Taliban ( supposedly ) giving the neo-crazies another reason to murder millions of Persians..OOOH look at this. Pakistan is helping them too ( which is actually what America would love for them to do overtly ) giving us a reason to push the war into Pakistn…Assuange sd he's "annoyed" by 9-11 truth ( it started out as an OBL job but was hijacked-literally-by Mossad and the worst elements in the CIA ) that makes him NG.

  13. Weigel was a perfect fit over at Reason too. I'm betting that the reason (pun intended) that Welch fired him is that he was proving himself to be even more of an unprincipled, intellectually bankrupt, pseudo-libertarian statist than the rest of the crowd at that rag. Welch just couldn't stand the competition.

    BTW, I wonder if Reason has lost its last subscriber yet? I can't imagine that there's much of a market for a "beltway libertarian" publication these days, especially one that charges a subscription fee.

  14. [...] which is what happened in official Washington after Vietnam). Luckily Antiwar.com Matt Bargainer does a good job of putting Weigel in his proper context of Cosmo social [...]

  15. I cancelled my subscription when Reason published this by soon-to-be warblogger Welch:
    http://reason.com/archives/2002/03/01/the-politic

  16. I am simply proud of Julian Assange and the WikiLeak. You make a world of difference in a dishonest world we live in. Way to go.

  17. [...] got a few backs up with Weigel having to come back and defend himself. Matt Barganier from Antiwar has more on this.The next controversial conversation was not an article but a video interview that [...]

  18. What we need here, is a little bit of expressionism, in writing (so to speak). All this energy needs to be translated into something. Why talk about some schmuck who writes what you don't like? Headgames don't make the headlines, so why live in fear of this oppressive energy/ I'm sure you can think of something that will go beyond the talk is cheap syndrome. Look at Prez Obama, he has asked for all this to be taken away, down and drown…he is proactive. The Afghan stuff also kinda old hat in that it's like looking over the shoulder of the tough guy at school and jerking off while he beats up some worm.
    In addition, has anyone actively traded with Afghanistan…I mean, like real business. Before this all started..for their goods, not some UN supplier of liquor for the major heads. Ah, dealing with them…is akin to tribal skirmishes. Just that way….hey, but then again, it would be good for some people to try that. I mean, really have contact with real people and not live like a M$ programmer in an office full of make believe. That makes the strange, stranger….QED

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