That was the strategy folks like Spencer Ackerman discussed on the JournoList during the Jeremiah Wright scandal in the spring of 2008, according to an article in the Daily Caller. (That’s the formerly secret online group for liberal journalists and their friends that ex-Postie David Weigel belonged to.)
Here’s Ackerman in the Daily Caller article:
“If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.”
Ackerman did make some exceptions: “We’ll know who doesn’t deserve this treatment — Ross Douthat, for instance — but the others need to get it.”
(In that context, it’s worth remembering that Douthat defended Weigel after his conservative-bashing JournoList comments led to his firing.)
Some JournoListers opposed the Ackerman racist smear strategy, not because it was wrong, but because it wouldn’t be effective.
Andrew Breitbart knew of the Daily Caller story. He sent out a cryptic tweet yesterday mentioning Ackerman, who writes about national security for Wired. The implication was that Ackerman would have to leave journalism and start a new career. There’s always Media Matters!
Breitbart’s Big Journalism said more revelations were undoubtedly on the way.
Breitbart’s Big Government had its own scoop, showing video of an Obama appointee to the USDA discussing how she gave a white farmer less help than she could have, for racial reasons. The official, Shirley Sherrod, promptly resigned.