Reporter Yashar Ali Shares Story of NBC Managing Editor Bullying Him on Behalf of the DNC
For those of you not on Twitter (good for you), Yashar Ali is one of the good ones. He's left-leaning, sure, but he's fair-minded. He's a reporter for both New York Magazine and Huffington Post, and today he dropped a tweet thread which is indicative of a larger problem: media often carries the water for the DNC. We joke on this website how media reads memos faxed to them by the DNC, but the joke comes from grains of truth. As this tweet thread seems to support:
1. Yesterday, I received a call from @DafnaLinzer who serves as managing editor of NBC/MSNBC politics. Dafna's cond… https://t.co/ZlPNbvOl6Z— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879860.0
First of all, it's ballsy of Yashar to just tag Dafna right out in the open like this. Kudos. Gives her a chance to respond (she hasn't so far) while being completely transparent. See, not ever reporter is a dingus.
2. Dafna, who oversees the political coverage for NBC and MSNBC, was calling to bully me into delaying the publicat… https://t.co/gCRtIL0XbT— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879860.0
When Yashar says innocuous scoop, he's not exaggerating. The scoop was the first presidential primary debate dates for the seventeen thousand already declared candidates, up to and including a few dead cats. Basically, a source told Yashar what was on the DNC calendar for the end of June. That's it. That's the scoop. If you're also shrugging your shoulders wondering what the big deal is about a couple of dates, that's kind of the point. Because Dafna bullied Yashar about releasing those dates. Bullied on behalf of the DNC.
I encourage to read the entire tweet thread on Twitter. For brevity, I'm going to summarize and jump ahead a little. I take solace I knowing if I get a detail wrong, Yashar has a towel he can smother me with.
6. So I won't share most of what was said but can tell you it's pretty run-of-the mill stuff. I asked the DNC if my… https://t.co/W7nzUSHUSW— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879860.0
Yashar told the DNC he couldn't wait, as the story would likely leak and he'd lose the story. That's when Dafna picked up her phone and dialed away.
10. After exchanging pleasantries, Dafna told me that she received a call from the DNC and was told I had a story.… https://t.co/tiOKrrrndC— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879861.0
12. I realized that @DafnaLinzer, the head of all political coverage for NBC News and MSNBC wasn't calling to advoc… https://t.co/jBK5XKsz1m— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879861.0
"It's not a big deal, let them make a few phone calls."
I love this. It's like when people say "It's not that much money, it's only a [sum] bucks, just pay it." To which I reply: "If it's not that much, then you pay it." It's always "not a big deal" if the ball isn't in your court. But when it is, suddenly it matters. So if the debate dates weren't a "big deal" according to Dafna, why was it so important to the DNC to coordinate how the information came out, and why was Dafna being a total be-yotch to a reporter about not dropping the "scoop" on his timeline? If it's not a "big deal"?
14. I would lose a scoop. Dafna reminded me she was a nat sec reporter at WAPO for ten years and they would hold st… https://t.co/gM8DXLNK4q— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879861.0
I want to note here that Yashar is confirming what many of us on the right say, that political wings strong arm the news media, or else the news media simply carries the political message happily. Yashar is also saying that's not how it works. But in this case... yes, it's exactly how it's going down, or how Dafna assumes it should go down.
17. I was so surprised me that she was talking this way with a total stranger. The head of the political division w… https://t.co/R24G5cpXPG— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879862.0
Now it's my opinion time. I'm not speaking for Yashar here. Again, I think he's one of the good eggs. The reason Dafna was frustrated with Yashar's reluctance to follow her commands is probably that other reporters follow the DNC's commands, no questions asked. It's likely some reporters or networks when given a direct order from the DNC, not only oblige it immediately but ask if they can also shine the DNC's boots while they're at it.
24. There are plenty of times reporters will introduce people in politics to other reporters or TV people. I have d… https://t.co/5ee0qA9QTe— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@Yashar Ali 🐘) 1553879862.0
Yes, this post about Yashar's tweetstorm is about how media colludes with political parties. Guilty as charged. Because based on Dafna's behavior, it seems like she felt she could get away with it. People usually think they can get away with it if they have a history of getting away with it. Which is just my opinion. Okay? Okay.
To be fair, Yashar was stunned that it happened to him, and conferred with ten other reporter friends for their opinions on Dafna's actions. They all encouraged Yashar to speak up. So not everyone who works in media is a snake like Acosta or Stelter. Many are fair people.
I also contend most of the people who work in Hollywood are fair, good people. It's always the bad eggs who ruin it for everyone else. It doesn't take very many unethical people to taint an otherwise decent organization.
So, in my opinion, what we have here is a taste of what goes down in the media probably more often than is being admitted. Maybe not by even a majority of reporters. Perhaps just a few. Again, this is conjecture. The problem is it did happen, more importantly, and more frighteningly, it happened over a couple of dates on a calendar. It was, in the big picture, inconsequential.
It wasn't like an investigation into a president's supposed dealings with Russia...