Glenn Reynolds Hates America

by Michael Bérubé on November 4, 2011

<a href=””>From Open Pajamas Media</a>:

<blockquote>A JOURNOLIST REMINDER: There was this email group, called <a href=””>Journolist</a>, where journalists got together and talked about how to bury stories that hurt Democrats and push stories that hurt Republicans. <a href=””>Here’s a list of the members.</a></blockquote>

No, that was not the purpose of Journolist.  It was an ordinary liberal listserv that included pundits and professors.  Once in 2008, one of its members, angered by the American media’s harping on the Jeremiah Wright nonsense, suggested an aggressive pushback against conservative pundits.  No one took him up on the suggestion.  People complained for a while (on list and off, in public even) that Sean Hannity had fed a stupid debate question to George Stephanopoulos, and then they went back to arguing about social policy and the Red Sox.  The end.

Reynolds’ second update to his disingenuous/delusional post acknowledges that there might in fact be something to the Herman Cain sexual harassment story after all.  Do tell!  Now all Professor Reynolds needs to do is to take down and apologize for his little piece of slander about a liberal listserv that (a) did not actually do anything wrong in the first place and (b) clearly had nothing to do with the Cain story, having disbanded in 2010 when the right-wing press proved by geometric logic that it was unseemly for liberals to use the Internet to converse with each other.

Full disclosure: yes, I myself was a member of Journolist for about two years.  I was invited to join because I signed <a href=””>the open letter about that ABC News debate of April 2008</a> — indeed, the very letter that is repeatedly cited in the wingnutosphere as proof that Journolist was colluding on an open letter!!  How did the writers of the open letter get in touch with me if I was not already a member of Journolist, you ask?  The amazing but true answer is below the fold:

They used the new “electronical” mail … <i>and I replied!</i>  Indeed, one of the drafters of that unethically-composed and stealthily-published open letter reportedly writes <i>for this very blog.</i>*  Wheels within wheels, people.


* That blogger, who shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons (though his initials are similar to those of <a href=”″>this guy</a>), adds that as one of the actual drafters of that letter, he was <a href=””>highly annoyed</a> that he was too obscure to be singled out in the <i>Daily Caller</i>, and then denounced in a Sarah Palin tweet as a symbol of the fundamental corruption of America.**

** Private correspondence, searchable through the <a href=””>seekrit Journolist 2.0 archives for November 2011</a>.***

*** In still more private correspondence, yet another CT blogger adds the following.

Notice to Open Pajamas readers:  We do not recognize you as falling within the norms of intelligible discourse, and request that you do not bother to comment. Any comments you submit here may be deleted, disemvowelled or published with whatever changes we think more clearly brings out your true inner meaning. If you wish your comments to be published without such changes, please direct them to the Open Pajamas Instapundit site.  Thank you!



norbizness 11.04.11 at 1:30 pm

You might as well criticize the lack of decent writing on Full House, or the fact that the Sun produces radiation.

I mean, HOW DOES THIS GUY KEEP HIS JOB?! (Am I the 10 millionth person to have asked that? Do I win something?)


David Moles 11.04.11 at 1:40 pm

Thousands of pathologically centrist Ender’s Game fans convinced that Reynolds and Markos Moulitsas are secretly in league running a long con on the unwashed partisan masses, that’s how.


The Raven 11.04.11 at 1:49 pm


SASQ: Because his bosses like his politics.

Love the snark, BTW.


Michael Bérubé 11.04.11 at 1:50 pm

I know, I know, how can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round? Norbiz, I’ve argued for years that tenure does not protect the incompetent. But damn, Reynolds presents a tough case.


phosphorious 11.04.11 at 2:01 pm

Wait a minute. Electrons? Used to deliver messages? There’s nothing about that in the bible. Sounds sneaky to me.

(There’s a “electrons have liberal spin” joke in there somewhere, but I’m not fluent enough in the relevant physics to make it.)


Hidari 11.04.11 at 2:23 pm

‘Whenever you think that Bush followers cannot get any more depraved in what they advocate, they always prove you wrong. This is what University of Tennessee Law Professor and right-wing blogger Glenn Reynolds said today about claims by the administration that Iran is supplying weapons to Iraqi insurgents (claims which, needless to say, he blindly believes):

This has been obvious for a long time anyway, and I don’t understand why the Bush Administration has been so slow to respond. Nor do I think that high-profile diplomacy is an appropriate response. We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and iranian atomic scientists, supporting the simmering insurgencies within Iran, putting the mullahs’ expat business interests out of business, etc.
Basically, stepping on the Iranians’ toes hard enough to make them reconsider their not-so-covert war against us in Iraq. And we should have been doing this since the summer 2003. But as far as I can tell, we’ve done nothing along these lines.

Just think about how extremist and deranged that is. We are not even at war with Iran. Congress has not declared war or authorized military force against that country. Yet Reynolds thinks that the Bush administration, unilaterally, should send people to murder Iranian scientists and religious leaders — just pick out whichever ones we don’t like and slaughter them*. No charges. No trial. No accountability. Just roving death squads deployed and commanded by our Leader, slaughtering whomever he wants dead.’

*Ah how far back the halcyon days of 2007 now seen! Of course this idea of ‘roving death squads’ is now the official policy of the Obama administration.


Hidari 11.04.11 at 2:24 pm

From ‘This’ to ‘etc’. should have been in blockquotes.


Malaclypse 11.04.11 at 2:30 pm

I know, I know, how can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round?

The tides go in, the tides go out. You can’t explain that…


Marc 11.04.11 at 2:47 pm

Hidari, is there some point in hijacking the discussion into
yet another OBAMA IS WORSE THAN BUSH screed?


Henry 11.04.11 at 2:47 pm

Moles ftw.


JP Stormcrow 11.04.11 at 3:06 pm

Heh. Indeed.


Michael Bérubé 11.04.11 at 3:48 pm

Hidari, is there some point in hijacking the discussion into yet another OBAMA IS WORSE THAN BUSH screed?

The final link in the post will serve nicely as an off-ramp for all such screeds. Don’t let anyone tell you I don’t come prepared!


Rich Puchalsky 11.04.11 at 4:27 pm

Ah yes, Journolist again. I can see why the Right keeps coming back to it.

Can I take all of their BS as stupid and hacktackular and basically not worth addressing? I can? Thank you. In that case, the Journolist fracas was more than just another right-wing smear job. It prefigured the need for movements like OWS in some way, because it demonstrated that nominal left-of-centrists in the system wouldn’t stand up for each other.

It was a Google Group that started with a conversation between Ezra Klein and Joe Klein. I have no idea why libertarian-leaning David Weigel chose to write his bit about some conservatives on Journolist, but when the controversy was ginned up, Ezra Klein bravely deleted the thing, and that was that. No one in the media expended any chits on pushback.

I won’t do that “Obama worse than Bush” thing. But this incident does serve as a model for how Obama would handle attacks on his appointees, doesn’t it? And how all of what passes for the left in the U.S. has behaved up until recently.


J— 11.04.11 at 4:43 pm

Bed goes up, bed goes down.


Michael Bérubé 11.04.11 at 5:07 pm

Rich, I know you’re aware that some of us Journolisters attempted some pushback in real time, because we conversed on that thread too. But here’s to OWS, no matter how tenuous its relation to Journolist.


Rich Puchalsky 11.04.11 at 5:34 pm

Well, I tried to qualify this by writing “No one *in the media* expended any chits on pushback.” Much as you’re the most dangerous professor in America and all, I don’t think that that really qualifies you as having a media platform and contacts to the people who influence public opinion and so on. If there was pushback from those people, I missed it.


mds 11.04.11 at 5:37 pm

There’s a “electrons have liberal spin” joke in there somewhere

Well, I know that mesons have conservative spin, because they’re a bunch of bosons. But I haven’t been able to come up with anything snappy using “fermions,” “leptons,” or the fact that liberals are incapable of scraping bottom to the degree that conservatives are, thanks to the Pauli Exclusion Principle. So perhaps someone else can fill the gap.


Michael Bérubé 11.04.11 at 5:41 pm

Well, I tried to qualify this by writing “No one in the media expended any chits on pushback.”

Oh, true. I suppose I should read all the words. Because I’m certainly “in the system” (your second graf) but not really “in the media.”

Me, I think responses like this one did more to persuade Journolisters to fold than anything published by the winged monkeys in the Daily Caller. Concern troll is very concerned about corruption. Concern is noted.


speranza 11.04.11 at 6:42 pm

There’s a “electrons have liberal spin” joke in there somewhere

I don’t know about liberal, but there’s a whiff of the trademark Democratic Party pre-emptive compromise in the way electrons only manage to take on half-integer values of spin.


Doctor Memory 11.04.11 at 7:11 pm

Glenn Reynolds? Was he the guy who published screeds about how Iraq was going to nerve gas Manhattan in-between 5,000-word paeans to the awesomeness of Japanese animated tentacle porn? And he’s still publishing, you say? Wow, it’s like 2002 never ended in some places.


Jeff R. 11.04.11 at 7:30 pm

Doctor Memory@20: I believe that you’re thinking of Steven Den Beste. Who I don’t believe is still publishing, although I could easily be mistaken.


JP Stormcrow 11.04.11 at 7:31 pm

Doc Memory@7:11 PM.

I suspect you are thinking of Steven Den Beste.


Doctor Memory 11.04.11 at 7:38 pm

God, you people are way too easy to troll. :)

(At the risk of explaining the joke, Den Beste was the anime pornhound, but the “nerve gas manhattan” thing was Lileks.)


geo 11.04.11 at 7:46 pm

MB @18: Sounds right. Sullivan’s smug, above-the-fray centrism (along with his humongous readership) is just what would impress and intimidate Ezra.


Michael Bérubé 11.04.11 at 7:54 pm

Doctor Memory — in ultraprivate correspondence, dsquared suggests that the best cultural analogies for Instapundit may be Hootie and the Blowfish or cargo pants. Which prompted me to suggest that “Cargo Pants Media” might just be the rebranding that makes Open Pajamas relevant again, in an ironic-retro kind of way.


LizardBreath 11.04.11 at 8:21 pm

The blog with a skosh more room?


JP Stormcrow 11.04.11 at 8:27 pm

23: Ah yes, tripped up by the the Importance of Not Being Earnest on the Internet (not to mention wrong) once again.


Michael Bérubé 11.04.11 at 8:59 pm

geo @ 24: and Weigel’s firing didn’t help, either. But in fairness to Ezra, the listserv was huge and leaky, and trying to maintain a 400-plus person chat room was probably an impossible task anyway. On my reading, Ezra’s real (and Obama-esque) mistake was to think that Tucker Carlson was dealing with him in good faith in the first place. As I said at the time.


gmoke 11.04.11 at 9:40 pm

Ask Glenn Reynolds about civil rights for cyborgs and you won’t have to worry about him doing anything else for a couple of months.


bcgister 11.04.11 at 9:53 pm

In reply to Prof. Berube’s post at 25
What are cargo pants without the cargo to fill them? And where is that cargo to come from if not a cargo cult? And, so, in keeping with the subject of discussion, I will take leave from anything resembling logical development and flatly propose that Glenn Reynolds is not akin to Hootie and the Blowfish or cargo pants, both of which are commodities which may be mutated by changing fashions, but, rather, he is more like an immutable way of obtaining those commodities, a cargo cult.
Now, if Prof. Reynolds and Instapundit would just occupy themselves with building imitation airstrips or carving wooden iPads…


mds 11.04.11 at 11:54 pm

What are cargo pants without the cargo to fill them?

By amazing coincidence, I too tend to think of Glenn Reynolds as pants filler.


bcgister 11.05.11 at 12:41 am


While I respect donkeys as exceptionally hardworking animals, I must nonetheless agree that one occupies Glenn Reynold’s pants.
Consequently, I also believe that he would produce more of social value if he would turn his energies towards obtaining the cargo brought from the heavens by the great metal birds. Certainly, I would not begrudge him the time he might take away from blogging to carve and polish an iPhone fetish. All told, I think it would be a more benevolent investment of his, and his readership’s, time..


P O'Neill 11.05.11 at 1:52 am

I hadn’t been near Instapundit effusions in over a year prior to this post and it’s remarkable how little has changed … we’re only a few Indeedys away from Buckhead checking the kerning on the Cain allegations.


Lee A. Arnold 11.05.11 at 4:24 am

Perhaps one key to the puzzle is that the Instant Professor thinks that Atlas Shrugged is a good book. I just saw “All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace” and “The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom” and I gained a new appreciation of how far the mental disease of blind, individualist rationalism has advanced in western society. I might quibble with some of the inferences but I think that Adam Curtis’ observations are basically correct.


Rich Puchalsky 11.05.11 at 4:40 am

Wikipedia, the one source of all true knowledge, informs me that there was in fact an attempt to try to organize pushback, or at least respond in some joint fashion — some of the people who’d been on Journolist started the amusingly named Cabalist. See this annoying and smug Jeffrey Goldberg post. They evidently debated how to respond, and amazingly enough… well, I certainly don’t know what they decided, but I’d guess that they decided to do nothing, since if they did do anything, it was sufficiently obscure so that wiki never heard of it.


Brad DeLong 11.05.11 at 4:42 pm

Please don’t remind me of the un-toilet trained Jeffrey Goldberg unless you are going to do a real and amusing takedown. Crooked Timber is supposed to be a safe space…


Ed Marshall 11.05.11 at 5:30 pm

No, that is important, yesterday Goldberg was on NPR, and it triggered a wave of fear and nausea that I was trying to decide was appropriate. Now I remember what triggered that reaction and it was completely appropriate.


gocart mozart 11.05.11 at 8:44 pm

“Well, I know that mesons have conservative spin, because they’re a bunch of bosons.”

On a related note, Mitt Romney cab be either a wave or a particle depending on the observer.


gocart mozart 11.05.11 at 8:46 pm

Should be “can” obviously. I blame the lamestream media for the error.


Tom Bach 11.05.11 at 11:28 pm

Totally off topic, but is Prof. Berube the Joe Paterno Professor of something or another and if so any thoughts on the recent child raping scandal?


anon 11.06.11 at 2:08 am

I’m the first PJM fan to comment here, and my comment has accordingly been edited to bring out my true meaning. I know Glenn Reynolds is indefensible, so I’ll just try to divert attention with the latest anti-OWS talking point.


Robert Waldmann 11.06.11 at 6:07 am

@norbizness he has tenure.

@phosphorious refer to noted atheist Issac Asimov’s book almost titled “The left wing of the electron”

Also isn’t Acorn always trying to steal electrons ?

@mds I think you want to say that anti bloggers have gone from talking about “McGoverns with Modems” to talking about Leptons with Laptops (needless to say said anti bloggers are going backwards, they will get to “atheists with apples” some day).


Alex 11.06.11 at 4:24 pm

Surely the comparison with Hootie and the Blowfish is that even at the time, there was absolutely no reason to care about Glenn Reynolds?


Doug 11.06.11 at 5:11 pm

In re: 34, it’s never a bad time to quote John Rogers, “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. ”


dilbert dogbert 11.07.11 at 3:39 am

DeLong! Get your ass back over to your blog and post some new stuff. Stop wasting time on this obscure blog.


Pinko Punko 11.07.11 at 9:13 pm

I think *ssless chaps are more appropriate than the poor maligned cargo pants. I think I heard David Brooks exclaiming about cargo pants wearing Applebee’s salad bar patrons.


NBarnes 11.08.11 at 2:37 am

42: I hadn’t know Asimoz wrote such a thing. I had previously assumed that you meant le Guin’s The Left Wing of Chargeness.


spyder 11.08.11 at 3:50 am

And now for something completely different: the giant larch south of the 40ºN parallel.

I tender this question for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that this blog and its selection of professorial threaders are the best place to begin to answer it. Indeed, someone here holds a chair with a name that is in grave danger of being besmirched by the masses.

What did Joe Paterno know, and when did he know it, and does it really matter?

And now returning to the regularly scheduled snark.


Watson Ladd 11.08.11 at 4:06 am

Lets not forget Venus on the On-shell, or Stranger in a Charmed Land. Besides, who could forget such classics as The *-Algebras My Destination, or the early work of A.E. van Voight in SL2(A)^n.


Brad DeLong 11.08.11 at 6:12 pm

This would not be complete without a reference to Bruce Sterling’s super-cargo-pants:

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