Weigel Speaks - And Regrets

Weigel explains himself over at Big Government:

I was cocky, and I got worse. I treated the list like a dive bar, swaggering in and popping off about what was “really” happening out there, and snarking at conservatives. Why did I want these people to like me so much? Why did I assume that I needed to crack wise and rant about people who, usually for no more than five minutes were getting on my nerves? Because I was stupid and arrogant, and needlessly mean. Yes, I’d trash-talk liberals to Republicans sometimes. And I’d tell them which liberals “mattered,” who was a hack, who was coming after them. Did I suggest which strategies might and might not work for liberals, Democrats, and the president? Yes, although I do the same to conservatives in February, for example, I told many of them that Scott Brown’s election hadn’t killed health care reform, and they needed to avoid dancing in the endzone, because I was aware of what liberals were saying about how to come back.

Still, this was hubris. It was the hubris of someone who rose objectively speaking a bit too fast, and someone who misunderstood a few things about his trade.

Elsewhere he defends his use of the term "ratfucking." I find the idea of journalists not being able to vent in any way they like in private to be depressing. The lesson from this episode, alas, will be simply to wall off private beliefs and comments and jokes and vents into a tighter and tighter personal space. A list-serv isn't safe. Are any emails safe? At some point, our hacks may become Elena Kaganized. Can you imagine a worse fate?

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