Misdefining

I don’t really have much to say about the dustup over the “editorial note” left on Yglesias’s blog. On the one hand, Ezra baiscally said everything I was thinking, so if you’re interested in my opinion, just go read his. On the other hand, if Matt doesn’t think there’s any there there, then far be it from me to care. But I do take a big issue with Andrew Sullivan’s take on the matter:

What happens when someone mistakes a journalist for a member of some dumb-ass Politburo[…]

Jennifer Palmieri clearly misunderstands the nature of her business (or perhaps she understands it too well). I’m glad I still work at the Atlantic.

Let’s get something clear; Matt Yglesias is not a journalist, and Jennifer Palmieri is certainly not in the journalism business. CAP is not a media outlet or, as Ezra says, a blog hosting site, they’re a political think tank. Yes they’re unique in the sense that they maintain a certain amount of messaging apparatus that operates daily, and they’re certainly unique in hosting a personal blog like Matt’s that contains independent material, but they are still a policy think tank and an explicitly political organization. Their president is, after all, running Barack Obama’s transition at the moment. Because of that, CAP is not going to do anything that could cause friction with other aspects of the Democratic establishment including Third Way. If Matt has a problem with that (which he clearly doesn’t seem to) then the answer would be for him to take his blog elsewhere. But there’s absolutely no reason to fault CAP for being political about things when they’re a political organization, and misconstruing what CAPAF does as journalism significantly defines journalism down. Of course, that’s right up Andrew’s alley.

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