The inside-the-beltway media world was turned on its head with leaked e-mails that revealed Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel had some disparaging things to say about prominent conservative figures, including Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Byron York.
This ultimately resulted in Weigel's resignation. However, some of Weigel's antics have been previously raised by his critics, including Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor, who offered remarks to Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander.
Alexander included them in a June 25 post on his blog:
With bloggers such as Weigel, "I think The Post needs to decide what it wants to be online," said Dan Gainor, a vice president at the conservative Media Research Center. "Does it want to be opinion? Or, does it want to be news? The problem here was that it was never clear."
"If it's going to be opinion, it ought to have somebody on the conservative side -- something Dave Weigel never was," he said.
If The Post wants to assign a "good neutral reporter" to cover conservatives, "we'd be thrilled," said Gainor. But quickly added, Weigel "wasn't one. He looked at the conservative movement as if he was visiting a zoo. We're more than that."
Gainor raises valid points. Klein's blog posts clearly pass through a liberal prism. For that reason, liberals have a comfort level with what he writes, and conservatives know where he's coming from, even if they disagree. In contrast, Weigel's blog seemed to confuse many conservatives who contacted me. Was he supposed to be a neutral reporter, some wondered?
Also picking up Gainor's reaction to the Weigel incident was Fox News Channel's June 25 "Special Report." During the "Political Grapevine" segment, "Special Report" host Bret Baier offered viewers Gainor's reaction.
"A Washington Post blogger assigned to cover the conservative beat has resigned after e-mails he wrote surfaced that included disparaging comments about the very conservatives he was supposed to cover," Baier said. "David Weigel's e-mails to JournoList, a listserv for liberal journalists were leaked Thursday. In them he wrote it would be a better world if Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report would quote, "Set himself on fire." Weigel also wished for the death of Rush Limbaugh and accused pundits and Republicans of racism. Weigel did apologize on his blog before calling it quits."
"Ben Smith at the Politico blames the paper for hiring what he calls, quote, ‘A liberal blogger under the false impression that he's a conservative.' Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center goes further calling the incident ‘a disaster for the Post,' writing, quote, ‘the Post brought in someone who tried to tear down conservatives and look at the right as if he were visiting a zoo.'"