Is it original content when you get your talking points from the White House?

Via Legal Insurrection

Hey, remember Journo-list? The Ezra Klein organized brigade of lefty bloggers and “journalists” who coordinated messaging in the 2008 campaign for Obama. Many of whom later were rewarded with perks such as meetings at the White House?

They have received promotions, and now are embedded in the mainstream and well-funded new media.

But Journo-lists don’t change their spots (or is it stripes?).

They are bigger than ever, are more numerous, and still are running interference for Obama, as detailed at National Journal by James Oliphant, Progressive Bloggers Are Doing the White House’s Job:

When Jay Carney was grilled at length by Jonathan Karl of ABC News over an email outlining administration talking points in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attack, it was not, by the reckoning of many observers, the White House press secretary’s finest hour. Carney was alternately defensive and dismissive, arguably fueling a bonfire he was trying to tamp down.

But Carney needn’t have worried. He had plenty of backup.

He had The New Republic‘s Brian Beutler dismissing Benghazi as “nonsense.” He had Slate‘s David Weigel, along with The Washington Post’s Plum Line blog, debunking any claim that the new email was a “smoking gun.” Media Matters for America labeled Benghazi a “hoax.” Salon wrote that the GOP had a “demented Benghazi disease.” Daily Kos featured the headline: “Here’s Why the GOP Is Fired Up About Benghazi—and Here’s Why They’re Wrong.” The Huffington Post offered “Three Reasons Why Reviving Benghazi Is Stupid—for the GOP.”

It’s been a familiar pattern since President Obama took office in 2009: When critics attack, the White House can count on a posse of progressive writers to ride to its rescue. Pick an issue, from the Affordable Care Act to Ukraine to the economy to controversies involving the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi, and you’ll find the same voices again and again, on the Web and on Twitter, giving the president cover while savaging the opposition. And typically doing it with sharper tongues and tighter arguments than the White House itself.

Ron Fornier of National Journal predicted mocking and whining, which is what Journo-lists do best:

The Kool-aid crowd can dish it out. Stand by for mocking & whining, @jamesoliphant, because they can’t take it:

— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) May 9, 2014

We were not disappointed:

Story doesn’t come close to identifying the key distinction, which is between legitimate liberal arguments and partisan water-carrying.

— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) May 9, 2014

The name-calling in place of argument by @ron_fournier underscores the analytic problem in the story

— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) May 9, 2014

Keep reading