Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The political metamorphoses of Dave Weigel

Dave Weigel, the former blogger/reporter for the Washington Post on matters conservative, has put out a long mea culpa, on Big Government, of all places. But it's a little hard to see exactly what he's saying, other than "okay, ya got me", plus some confessional stuff about hubris. There may be a kind of personal-political-change story there as well, but in his case it doesn't appear to run very deep -- it seems he began as a sort of campus conservative, but of the lite variety, meaning more style than substance:
I was more interested in covering politics than in advocating for a political stance (outside of columns I wrote for my paper and later the daily campus paper). I cared more about finding out stories first than about advocating positions — those stories would get me the jobs I wanted, not the opinions I had. And I knew that I didn’t want to be pigeonholed.
Little wonder that when he got the invite to join the cool kids, as they seemed to him, on Journolist, he didn't think twice:
I was dazzled by the sudden, immediate access I had to more than a hundred journalists and academics, mostly on the left, some without an ideology I could discern.
So Weigel's political transformation has been from campus conservative lite to something like a political chameleon, willing and happy to blend in with whatever crowd he's amongst at the moment, "trash talk" the crowd's enemies, and change color at the next cocktail party. It's a sad little arc, characteristic, I've no doubt, of many in the "journalist" tribe, and goes a fair way toward explaining the herd instincts of so much of the so-called main-stream media. They're "mostly on the left" simply because most of them have never thought any further.

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