Thursday, November 29, 2007

Joe Klein: Still Putting the "Ass" in Embarrassment

Glenn Greenwald alerts us to the fact that even Joe Klein's friends and allies are appalled by his miserable showing on the FISA bill and multiple desultory "corrections".

Lawyer Scott Horton of Harper's, a qualified Joe Klein fan, has also weighed in on this affair, concluding:

I am a compulsive Klein-reader, and I read this [column] when it went up at the Time website. I winced immediately. Not only was the substance of [Klein's] description factually inaccurate in almost every respect, it was the very core of the piece. Moreover, what Time ran was a shameless mouthing of talking points that had been circulating on Capitol Hill by Republican spinmeisters through the prior week. . . .

But when Joe's bad, he's awful. And this was the worst thing I've seen emerge from the Klein pen in quite sometime. And the worst thing about it -- the unforgivable sin, and the one to which all writers-facing-imminent-deadline are vulnerable, is its lack of originality. It's always so tempting to take some pre-packaged product from the partisan PR masters of Washington and print it. And that's just what Joe did, to the great chagrin of his faithful readers. . . .

And disappointing as that discovery was, what followed was even worse. Time's follow-up to the well-deserved criticism has been defensive and its concessions of factual error grudging. And all of this reflects not so much an error on the part of Klein as the Time editors.

This has been an extremely bad week for Joe Klein.

The trouble with Klein is that he's probably perfectly oblivious to the fact that he's had a bad week at all. I mean, so what? Some "partisan far-Left critics" have called him out. It's our fault for not accepting his opinion as the Final Word. He's too busy sipping single-malt scotches with Peter Hoekstra to devote any "time or legal expertise" to finding out if what he's printing up in Time is actually a steaming pile of hooey or not.

I guess we all have our priorities.

At least the Chicago Tribune saw fit to append a real correction to Joe's wholesale recitation of GOP propaganda:

A Time magazine essay by Joe Klein that was excerpted on the editorial page Wednesday incorrectly stated that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would require a court approval of individual foreign surveillance targets. It does not.

Thank you, Chicago Tribune. Was that so hard? Too bad Klein's employers at Time don't care enough about their reputation (or anything else, apparently) to do the same.