Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller has more shocking e-mails from liberal journalists today. He starts with an NPR producer who admits flaming hatred for Rush Limbaugh:
If you were in the presence of a man having a heart attack, how would you respond? As he clutched his chest in desperation and pain, would you call 911? Would you try to save him from dying? Of course you would.
But if that man was Rush Limbaugh, and you were Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio, that isn’t what you’d do at all.
In a post to the list-serv Journolist, an online meeting place for liberal journalists, Spitz wrote that she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” as Limbaugh writhed in torment.
In boasting that she would gleefully watch a man die in front of her eyes, Spitz seemed to shock even herself. “I never knew I had this much hate in me,” she wrote. “But he deserves it.”
So much for the idea that NPR is an oasis of civil discourse in a desert of vituperation. Spitz is a producer for trendy-hot NPR station KCRW and its nationally distributed talk show Left Right & Center (which could be called Three Leftists and Tony Blankley). But Spitz has also done stories for NPR's evening newscast All Things Considered.
Strong found that JournoList liberals also discussed how Fox News isn't a news organization and should be denied access to White House briefings and denied a skybox at the Democratic National Convention. Strong summarized it this way:
The very existence of Fox News, meanwhile, sends Journolisters into paroxysms of rage. When Howell Raines charged that the network had a conservative bias, the members of Journolist discussed whether the federal government should shut the channel down.
“I am genuinely scared” of Fox, wrote Guardian columnist Daniel Davies, because it “shows you that a genuinely shameless and unethical media organisation *cannot* be controlled by any form of peer pressure or self-regulation, and nor can it be successfully cold-shouldered or ostracised. In order to have even a semblance of control, you need a tough legal framework.” Davies, a Brit, frequently argued the United States needed stricter libel laws.
“I agree,” said Michael Scherer of Time Magazine. Roger “Ailes understands that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can’t hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong, if Ailes just uses the criticism to deepen the tribal identity.”
Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at UCLA, suggested that the federal government simply yank Fox off the air. “Do you really want the political parties/white house picking which media operations are news operations and which are a less respectable hybrid of news and political advocacy?”
But Zasloff stuck to his position. “I think that they are doing that anyway; they leak to whom they want to for political purposes,” he wrote. “If this means that some White House reporters don’t get a press pass for the press secretary’s daily briefing and that this means that they actually have to, you know, do some reporting and analysis instead of repeating press releases, then I’ll take that risk.”
Scherer seemed alarmed. “So we would have press briefings in which only media organizations that are deemed by the briefer to be acceptable are invited to attend?”
John Judis, a senior editor at the New Republic, came down on Zasloff’s side, the side of censorship. “Pre-Fox,” he wrote, “I’d say Scherer’s questions made sense as a question of principle. Now it is only tactical.”
It's a little bizarre to see liberal journalists saying Fox offers too much opinion to be recognized at the Obama White House, when the Obama White House puts Ed Schultz in the front row of press conferences and calls on The Huffington Post -- as if it were a news outlet that didn't offer opinions.
UPDATE: Washington Examiner reporter Byron York interviewed Limbaugh about Sarah Spitz:
So I asked Limbaugh: What do you make of the fact that people in positions of influence on the Left don’t just want to see you fail, don’t just want to see you marginalized, but would actually like to witness you dying a painful death?
“Not having wished anyone dead, nor having fantasized about watching someone die, I cannot possibly relate to this,” Limbaugh responded.
I can only surmise. I think most people on the left live in a world where merit is irrelevant. Theirs is a world in which connections, networking, kissing ass and obedient sameness are rewarded. I am the antithesis of all that. I am a legitimate, achieved and accomplished Number One and I’ve made it on my own and without them and without having followed their proscriptions. I think they are also jealous that I just sold my NY condo for a 125 percent profit while their homes are worthlessly underwater.
Funny thing….a number of my friends sent me the Daily Caller piece and the most shocking thing to them in the story was the advocacy of having government shut down Fox News. That the left wants me dead was not a big deal to them because it was nothing new to them. I think that’s hilarious. And about that: how about the LAW professor who thinks the FCC can pull Fox’s license? Fox does not have a license. The FCC does not grant Fox its right to exist. And this guy teaches law.
A few minutes later, Limbaugh emailed an additional thought. “And it is not just that they hate how I became who I am,” he wrote. “They literally hate ME. They hate me because I am the most prominent, effective and unrelenting voice of conservatism and they have not been able to stop me.”