Blogosphere, please join me in celebrating the birth of Cabalist, the wittily-named successor to Ezra Klein's infamous Journolist, the listserv of liberal bloggers, pundits and academics that inadvertently brought down (very temporarily) the ex-Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel, and which is now the subject of an endless and embarrassing (for certain former Journolist participants) investigation by The Daily Caller, which has discovered e-mail chains suggesting that certain Journolist members were secretly devising partisan campaigns to advance Democratic Party interests. (Message to normal Goldblog readers: This post will consist mainly of inside-journalism double-meta-navel-gazing; we will return to our regular programming shortly. You may stop reading now.)
Shortly after the Weigel scandal, Klein, the Washington Post's left-wing policy blogger, shut down Journolist, which was meant to be off-the-record, though why anyone thought a listserv with 400 members, many of whom were professional scribblers, would stay off the record is beyond me. But the idea behind Journolist -- a forum in which like-minded opinion-makers could share information and ideas (much of the content of Journolist that I have seen consisted of eye-glazing wonkery) but also, on occasion, plot campaigns against Journolist's ideological foes -- would not die. Hence, the birth of the heretofore secret Cabalist, which unlike Journolist, has only 173 members, rather than 400, but which in other ways resembles Journolist (such as in the propensity of Cabalist members to leak ostensibly private information to non-Cabalist members, including to yours truly). The 173 members are mainly veterans of Journolist, and don't ask me what happened to the other 227; perhaps they were purged after being judged splitters in secret on-line show trials.