June 26, 2010

As Susie already noted, the Washington Post contributor and frequent Countdown guest Dave Weigel resigned over a dust up after his private emails were released by Betsy Rothstein and Tucker Carlson and the right wing unleashed their flying monkeys to attack him. Keith calls out Rothstein and Carlson for releasing the private emails and also hammers the Washington Post for buying into the notion that you cannot fairly cover conservatives without sharing their ideology.

OLBERMANN: But our winners the manager at the Washington Post, a Betsy Rothstein of Fishbowl D.C. and Tucker Carlson of the website Daily Caller. Dave Weigel who's been a frequent guest on this program since he was with the Washington Independent is now no longer affiliated with the Washington Post. Ms. Rothstein posted a series of Weigel's private emails from one of the private listservs run by Ezra Klein that is also a guest on this program often. Mr. Carlson then posted more of the private emails.

None were complimentary to the conservatives that Weigel has covered for his own blog, for the Right Now blog at the Post and for us. Today, Dave resigned from the Post. Rothstein and Carlson define what it is to not understand the concept of private but at the heart of this is the Post.

Ben Smith of Politico quotes Post national editor Kevin Merida's web chat in April. He was asked if the post would be "adding more conservative/Republican voices to better balance what is now your predominately liberal/Democratic leaning coverage?” Merida answered “[W]e recently have added to our staff the well-regarded Dave Weigel, and also mentioned columnists Kathleen Parker and Charlies Krauthammer."

Somebody at the Post and most of the people critical of David Weigel today seem to be under the impression that to cover conservatives you have to be one and you cannot be critical of them, even in a private setting. Nonsense. Weigel was a blogger and he made no bones about it, offered a subjective but thoroughly reported view of the conservative world and on occasions, on this program defended conservatives when he'd thought I'd gone too far in criticizing them.

We asked Dave to join us tonight. He didn't want to. He wanted to take the high road. It's too bad the Washington Post and especially Fishbowl D.C. and the Daily Caller did not. We will keep asking Weigel back because he does a hell of a job, a unique and an invaluable one.

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