SALON THURSDAY, JUL 29, 2010 15:45 ET In the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Fred Barnes has lately lamented the betrayal of "traditional journalism" by the liberal denizens of Journolist -- the defunct listserv that conservatives have used to revive the debate over "liberal media bias." His widely quoted Journal Op-Ed noted that before Journolist, neither liberal nor conservative journalists were likely to be "part of a team," and went on to add:
"If there's a team, no one has asked me to join. As a conservative, I normally write more favorably about Republicans than Democrats and I routinely treat conservative ideas as superior to liberal ones. But I've never been part of a discussion with conservative writers about how we could most help the Republican or the conservative team."
This assertion of political purity struck me as false, coming from a journalist who has appeared repeatedly as a speaker at Republican Party events across the country -- a breach of the political boundaries of "traditional journalism" that few, if any, of the writers on Journolist, for example, would ever contemplate. Nevertheless, it is true that Barnes has enjoyed greater credibility than other journalists on the partisan right throughout his career. After all, he is a former reporter for such publications as the Washington Star, the Baltimore Sun and the New Republic. He was once a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and served as one of three panelists for the first nationally televised debate between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale in 1984. Now, however, there is further evidence that Barnes not only routinely helped Republicans raise money as a banquet speaker, but accepted tens of thousands of dollars from party organizations as well.. continued: