An Untethered News Services (UNS) exclusive:
The following video was reportedly smuggled out of a meeting of the highly secretive group known as "Journolist." According to the former member who provided it to UNS on condition of anonymity, it shows a "far too common" ritual used for purposes of initiation and punishment. Untethered cannot vouch for its authenticity, but note the individual administering punishment here does bear a striking resemblance to the group's founder. Warning: the following contains images some will find disturbing.
Our source also provided the lyrics to the group's secret anthem:
Who controls your Google hits?
Who air-brushes Gaga's tits?
We do! We do!
Who knows when you get the clap?
Who thinks you're a bunch of saps?
We do! We do!
Who's behind all those theme bars?
Who makes Jonah Hill a star?
We do! We do!
Who made Black Eyed Peas a hit?
Who deems Olbermann a wit?
We do! We do!
Despite revealing the secretive workings of the group, the former member remains committed to the idea behind it.
"Initially it was supposed to be a safe place," he said, clutching a balled-up tissue dampened by tears, "where we could share our fears and frustrations, in a non-judgmental, text-positive environment of acceptance and understanding. A place for a few hundred of our most vulnerable individuals whose only other options for such expression are in the widely circulated and influential publications they write for. A harrassment-free zone where they could share ideas and speak freely when referring to certain classes, sheltered from the chilling effect of public scrutiny."
He lamented the group's reputed demise:
"Now how will we fashion the template by which to frame the issues of the day for the average American, without being hounded into silence by populist demagogues? In a democracy such as ours, the public square is no place for forming a workable consensus. These aren't bad people; these are the best people. These are the people who relentlessly expose the hidden racism inherent in American society. These are the people who shine a light on the coded bigotry of the Tea Party movement's rhetoric. These are the people who hold public figures accountable for the intolerance they privately express. Who else is going to hold the politicians' feet to the fire when they commit a gaffe? How will they perform these vital functions if they have to answer for every opinion or remark? The beneficial, free-wheeling discourse the Founders envisioned must be protected from public scrutiny, lest it spin out of control or is taken over by the irresponsible."
He took a moment to collect himself before continuing.
"But things started to go wrong right away. Cliques formed, discussions were dominated by some, or bogged down by others who took perverse pleasure in questioning basic assumptions. I didn't sign on for that. People were being let in who shouldn't have been there. One of them was even mis-identified as our Chosen One, with disastrous consequences."
But the severity of discipline in the group was what finally drove him out:
"The paddling just got out of hand. Some of those guys took entirely too much pleasure in it--giving or receiving. I just wasn't into it, and it was getting crazy. It got so you couldn't pick a dime off the floor in there without catching a whack."
Read more of our exclusive interview in this Sunday's magazine.
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