Andrew Breitbart Willing to Pay $100,000 for Mundane Chat Logs

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Conservative Internet mogul Andrew Breitbart has finally found a "worthy cause" for the $100,000 that has been "burning in [his] pocket": He's going to spend it on the complete archives of the now defunct off-the-record liberal-journalist listserv JournoList — which was shuttered after Dave Weigel's e-mails were exposed — if someone is willing to leak it to him. Brietbart guarantees anonymity for the snitch, as well as the satisfaction of knowing that he or she "did the right thing, morally and ethically — by shining the light of truth on this seamy underworld of the media."

So, besides embarrassing more writers with the opinions they expressed in private, and generating a ton of hits for his Big Government website, what secret liberal conspiracies will be revealed to the world if Breitbart gets his hands on the archives?

Let's ask The New Republic's Jonathan Chait, a former member:


Let me disabuse everybody by revealing that Journolist was not created for people to work out some party line. The discussion was private not because the conversations were too explosive to be made public, but because they were too mundane. Conversations consisted of requests for references — does anybody know an expert in such and such — instantaneous reactions to events, joshing around, conversations about sports, and the like....

I'm sorry to spoil the excitement. It was a chat group.

Stop lying, Jonathan Chait! Former JournoList member Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress, please tell us the truth about JournoList's efforts to "collud[e] against" the American people!


I’ve been looking back a bit at what’s archived in my inbox and what you see lately is an effort to organize a happy hour in Dave Weigel honor, many threads about World Cup matches, Wimbledon matches, NBA Finals games, etc., and mostly a lot of what amounts to self-promotion. People sending out links to articles they’ve published or talks they’ve given, sometimes followed by a reply or two. We had a thread in which people speculated as to where Peter Orszag will end up when he leaves the White House.

Now you're talking. Tell us more.


Another common genre of posts was failed efforts to get an interesting discussion going. Someone recently wrote “I find that my own attitudes have hardened a bit regarding intergenerational equity and Medicare cost control issues after watching so many implacable seniors opposing HCR. Others feel the same?” That’s an interesting subject, in my opinion, but only one person replied.

It's like reading the minutes of a secret meeting between the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Elders of Zion, and the people who made Justin Bieber in a Swiss mountain laboratory. Once it's all out in the open, will the world ever be the same?

Reward: $100,000 for Full 'JournoList' Archive, Source Fully Protected [Big Government]