There has been a to-do over the past weeks concerning Journolist, a now-defunct listserv on which many like-minded liberals and center-liberals emailed about politics, policy, and other topics. Journolist members—who would presumably know more than anyone else—note that it was innocuous (that no policies or talking points were actively and regularly coordinated, for example) and mainly served as a helpful resource for journalists and academics, a way for different generations of thinkers to learn from one another, and generally a place that could be characterized by practically any other adjective before you got down the list to “insidious.”

But conservatives (and some others) have disagreed, saying in fact that this was a secret group of like-minded individuals in disparate, powerful institutions coordinating with each other in something very like a conspiracy to drive the course of history toward their preferred, nefarious ends. And, hey, there are a lot of interesting last names among the members of the group. Uh-oh.

Do you see where I am going with this—or, more to the point, do you see where some went with this? Take one confused post, which in one breath condemns Oliver Stone for his clearly anti-Semitic insinuation that Jews control the media, and in the next breath notes that many of the members of Journolist seem to be Jews controlling the media, except obviously these aren’t the same Jews Stone was referring to, because they’re all in the same blame-America-first camp (or something).

In fairness, though, this author is only going by the names, you see:

I don’t know if they’re actually Jewish or not. I don’t know if those who are Jewish actually practice the religion. And of those who practice the religion, I don’t know whether they practice the religion in a way that has traditional religious resonance, or is just the Jewish liberal bow to Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and the Sabbath candles. As to the latter group, assuming it existed on the Journolist, it’s easy to claim religion when you just go through the rituals. It’s a little harder when you try to align your Torah with the Democratic handbook and the Alinsky rules for living.

I could give a list of politically conservative Jews who make the same “liberal” bow to a few Jewish customs, but I don’t do things like that.

Anyway, the punch-line is that the listserv that has arisen in Journolist’s wake is called Cabalist. That title could imply that these Jewish liberals were serious about this whole conspiracy thing. Or it could be a cheeky way for these liberals (many of them indeed Jewish) to mock right-wing paranoid conspiracy-mongering. We report, you decide.

How Journolist and Oliver Stone Serve To Highlight Each Other’s Insanity [Bookworm Room]
Related: The Values of Journolist [TAPPED]