07 December 2007

Clueless Joe

For anyone who hasn’t been following the latest rounds of
Joe Klein’s increasingly desperate War Against Journalism
(or if you just can’t get enough), check out this excellent
by John Cook at Radar.

Klein's reactions on Swampland to his FISA critics
are precious goldmines of self-aggrandizing pretense
that must be savored at length to appreciate their
rich subtleties and overtones. His first response
acknowledged--in an insufferably cloying way--that
although partisan murk clouded the issue, he "may"
have made a mistake, before going on to claim that
if he indeed had made a mistake, "we are talking
about relatively obscure and unimportant technical
details." In other words, Klein sat down to write
a column about obscure and unimportant technical

Klein's next weigh-in on the blog, two days later,
was headlined "FISA: More Than You Want to Know,"
as though his responsibility to assess the veracity
or lack thereof of the claims he made in his columns
involved some kind of burdensome slog through
legislative thickets beyond the comprehension of
mere mortals. Why are you making me do this? This
is hard!
His post artfully shifted the issue from
whether the bill says what he said it says to whether
his Republican sources or Democratic sources were
correct in their interpretations (who knows? This
law stuff is complicated) before actually committing
to pixels the following words, which will live on as
one of the finest specimens of sheer journalistic
hubris ever issued from one of the genre's most
accomplished practitioners: "I have neither the time
nor legal background to figure out who's right."
I don't have time find out if what I write is true,
people! I'm too busy claiming that other things are
true. And even if I did have time, I'm not qualified
to say whether the things I write are true anyway!

Of course, it’s not news that Joe Klein is an incompetant
who can never admit when he is wrong. The real
headline here is that Time continues to employ this hack
while denying its readers a chance to learn the truth from
others who actually do understand what the hell they’re
writing about. Glenn Greenwald covers it all, here.