Monday, November 26, 2007

I Hear They Love Him in France

The Joe Klein thing is degenerating into total slapstick.

Glenn Greenwald:

Joe Klein has just posted yet again about his FISA confusion, and it has now moved well beyond farce into an almost pity-inducing realm. If Time has any dignity at all, someone there will intervene and put a stop to this. It's actually difficult to watch.

No, Glenn. No one must intervene. Remember the Prime Directive. Besides, it's so much fun to watch him thrash around.

But what's he gone and done now?
In the last five days alone, Klein has now written five separate times about his FISA debacle, and is further away than ever from having any idea what he's even talking about -- first was the column itself; second was the Swampland post the same day in which he emphatically defended the accuracy of what he wrote in response to my post; third was the post yesterday in which Klein said he "may have made a mistake in [his] column this week about the FISA legislation" -- the understatement of the year; fourth was an Update he added to that post this morning claiming that he did speak to a Democrat but "may have misinterpreted a Democratic source's point" and "if [he] did, a correction will appear in the print magazine next week"; and now, his fifth effort in tonight's post, actually worse than all the others, in which he still professes confusion after "spen[ding] the past few days nosing around in the ongoing dispute about what the House FISA Reform bill actually says."

Damn, that made me dizzy.

But surely, faced with so much furious pushback from bloggers and readers alike, Klein has redoubled his efforts at understanding all that super-complicated-FISA-stuff. He must have holed up for the whole weekend and pledged not to emerge from his home office until he's got it all sorted out, if only to rescue his magazine's credibility from the crapper and to make sure that he never, ever, EVER makes an ass of himself in this way again.


Not exactly.

The result of all this "nosing around": "I've reached no conclusions." And he then unleashes this:

I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right.

Great. Another statement so stupid that it borders on the epigrammatic. It's kind of giving me major deja vu.
"People like me who favor this [NSA wiretapping] program don't yet know enough about it yet. Those opposed to it know even less -- and certainly less than I do." (Joe Klein, 2005)

So, given two years to study, Paul Lukasiak climbing up his ass with a blow-torch, and every opportunity under the sun to remove his head from the sling of his own ignorance, highly paid Serious Journalist Joe Klein has concluded that surveillance law is, like, whoa, complicated, and that he'd rather go back to doing bong hits on the couch and obsessively re-watching "The Last Waltz" on DVD. Boo-yaaaah! Take that, you blogger punks!

It calls to mind something that Hunter S. Thompson said of Richard Nixon:
He is like a hyena that you shoot and gut, then you see a few hours later, loping along in his stinking way, oblivious to the fact that he is not only dead, but gutted as well.
Sigh. Poor, poor Joe Klein. He may not care that he's killing his reputation, then digging it up, violating the cold corpse and re-interring it, but surely you'd think someone at Time would wake up and put a tranquilizer dart in him before he has a chance to make too much of a mess.

Apparently not.