Posted by | June 25, 2010 16:33 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Sinfonian

The double standard by which America’s conservative-dominated mainstream media operate has claimed another victim. Washington Post reporter and blogger Dave Weigel resigned today under considerable fire for off-the-record comments he made on Monday in emails to a listserv for liberal journalists.

FishbowlDC reported yesterday afternoon on Weigel’s emails to JournoList, including the statement that apparently caused the greatest furor: “This would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire.”  Shortly after the story broke — indeed, a few minutes before FishbowlDC even posted their coverage — Weigel publicly apologized on “Right Now,” his WaPo blog, for his personal attacks against Drudge and Byron York of The Examiner, and that was that.

Only it wasn’t.  By lunchtime today, Weigel had resigned, presumably because of the outrage over his comments (and presumably under pressure from The Powers That Be at WaPo), and another voice of reason in the mainstream media was silenced (at least for now).

It would be child’s play to point out the innumerable right-wing commentators who have made scathing remarks in public and not only kept their jobs, but received kudos throughout the wingnutosphere (and, in some cases, promotions or more desirable job offers) … but let’s just recall a few of them:

You get the idea.  It doesn’t take more than a Google search or two to come up with literally dozens of shocking remarks by conservatives who, in nearly every case, not only keep their jobs (and their platforms for spewing such hateful nonsense), but who also often garner kudos from the sycophantic hordes who hang on their every putrid word.  Yet when a liberal columnist/commentator makes the same mistake, he’s out the door faster than you can say “Don’t tease the panther.”

I’m not defending Weigel’s inappropriate slams on Drudge and York (nor, I believe, would he), and  although his statements were meant to be private, everyone — especially a writer for a national publication — has to know that emails to listservs do not carry with them the same guarantees of privacy that, say, verbal communication or even one-to-one emails might.  But when right-wing media mavens regularly earn praise, glory, and riches for their despicable rhetorical attacks, the instant canning of a liberal commentator for comparatively minor remarks ought to raise more than a few eyebrows.

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