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Dave Weigel: Portrait of a Conservative (?) As a Young Man

Morgen on June 27, 2010 at 8:52 am

So yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours looking through Dave Weigel’s old blogs. (I actually have more of a life than this statement implies.) There seems to be a widely held presumption that Weigel was some sort of wolf in sheep’s clothing, a conservative-hating liberal posing as a “libertarian” blogger who was hired by the Washington Post to cover the conservative beat. Certainly there is plenty of supporting evidence for this to be found in the emails of Weigel’s published last Friday by the Daily Caller. Wishing death on Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge, or rooting for the passage of ObamaCare, may not be enough to define someone as liberal. But combine these examples with Weigel’s membership in “dear friend” Ezra Klein’s exclusively liberal Journolist, and I think you have a pretty compelling case.

So I went off in search of corroborating evidence, irrefutable proof that Weigel had in fact always been left-leaning in his political affiliation. While I uncovered more material than I expected to find, somewhat to my surprise I found that the opposite may be the case. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that young Dave Weigel (circa 2002-2004) was actually a conservative.

For starters in an early blog he referred to Paul Krugman’s column in the NY Times as a “litany of propaganda, lies, and insults”, and called him “simple-minded” and a “cancer on the Times”. (Of course this didn’t necessarily make him a conservative, it just made him right.)

He also said that Maureen Dowd “still sucks”, called one of her columns “absolute tripe”, and questioned “why is this woman employed?”. (Ditto above.)

More tellingly, while in college he was the Editor in Chief of the Northwestern Chronicle, the school’s conservative weekly, where he cheered Republican electoral victories in 2001 and 2002. He also went after Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, longĀ before most conservatives had even heard of them. And in dozens of other articles at the Chronicle, you’d be hard pressed to find anything which would call into question his sincerity and commitment to the conservative cause.

If all this isn’t enough to convince you, there is thisĀ Bio on one of his earliest web sites where he flat-out says: “I really am a rabid conservative and get a contact high from attacking silly liberals”.

A “rabid conservative”. Rabid like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the other NY Times, Bill Ayers-hating conservatives Weigel has attacked or ridiculed in his more recent work.

So what happened?

Weigel would not be the first ostensibly conservative blogger to have switched teams in the run-up to the 2008 election. But he apparently did not make a big show of it like other more prominent bloggers did. Perhaps it was more of a gradual transition, but whatever the case, it was enough to convince liberal diehard Ezra Klein that he belonged on the Journolist.

As it turns out, Weigel’s earlier work may hold some clues to his metamorphosis. But I’m going to save this for a follow-up post (at the risk that Weigel will disappear his old sites like Klein did the Journolist). But what I’d really like to see is Dave address this issue himself – Dave?

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Category: Blogs & New Media |

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