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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Red Herring in The Atlantic's Revenue Stream

The problem with Bradley's salons, like the problems with WaPo's similar, now-cancelled events, is that they create two big conflicts: 1) The need to avoid pissing off the corporations who fund (and then some***) the salons in the hope of getting access to influential journalists and administration bigshots; and, even more corrupting, 2) the need to suck up to the administration bigshots to get them to show up at the salons where they can be accessed by corporations who are paying for them. ...

The media behind your back. It's where the media elite gather with Democrats in office to create the narrative. Note the names well, especially including the gynaecologically inclined Andrew Sullivan who has an obsession about Sarah Palin's uterus.

...the catered gatherings also sound rather cozy, like some secret-handshake gathering of an entrenched elite. Are the top-level officials, strategists and foreign leaders there for serious questioning or risk-free spin sessions? And what exactly is the journalistic benefit if the visitors are protected by a shield of anonymity?

The guests "have either been frank with us or provided a reasonable facsimile of frankness," says Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg. "Would I like for them to be able to go on the record? Of course. But I do think you lose something because then it becomes just another press conference."

Among those in regular attendance are David Brooks and Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Gene Robinson and Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, NBC's David Gregory, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, PBS's Gwen Ifill, the New Yorker's Jane Mayer, Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum, former Time managing editor Walter Isaacson and staffers from Bradley's Atlantic and National Journal, including Ron Brownstein, Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Rauch.

People not part of these secret meetings are wont to say that there is a sort of a group think, not a gathering, not a conspiracy. Now it turns out that the conspiracy theorists were right after all.

Conspiracies don't have to be hatched in basement seedy dank cellars; they can be hatched ...

As white-jacketed waiters poured red and white wine and served a three-course salmon and risotto dinner


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