Fred Hiatt's Joe Klein Imitation

Joe Klein on FISA circa February 2006:

People like me who favor this program don't yet know enough about it [Bush Domestic Surveillance program] yet," he says, "Those opposed to it know even less- and certainly less than I do." -Joe Klein

WaPo Editorial today:

There is one major area of disagreement between the administration and House Democrats where we think the administration has the better of the argument: the question of whether telecommunications companies that provided information to the government without court orders should be given retroactive immunity from being sued. House Democrats are understandably reluctant to grant that wholesale protection without understanding exactly what conduct they are shielding, and the administration has balked at providing such information. But the telecommunications providers seem to us to have been acting as patriotic corporate citizens in a difficult and uncharted environment.

Fred Hiatt seems to be saying he does not know much about the facts surrounding the telecoms' actions but he knows more about it than the Congress. Which begs the question, how come Fred Hiatt knows more about it than the Congress?

Update [2007-10-14 10:19:28 by Big Tent Democrat]: Glenn Greenwald provides a substantive non-snarky takedown.

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    Trust Bush??? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by john horse on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 09:55:32 AM EST
    What the war in Iraq and Bush's sureveillance program both have in common is that they are both based on trust.  So what has Bush done to deserve our trust?  Anyone who fixes the facts around the policy on something as important as war should not be trusted.  At the very least we should be taking a harder look at any of the facts the Bush administration presents before taking action on any policy they advocate.  Instead their self-professed ignorance of the facts does not prevent Klein and Hiatt from advocating policies that will erode our basic freedoms.  Maybe they have Alberto Gonzales syndrome and they just can't remember or recall Bush's record over the last 7 years.

    That WaPo paragraph (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    is really revealing. Does Hiatt not allow other people to read his editorials before he commits them to print?

    gee, (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 04:41:20 PM EST
    seem to us to have been acting as patriotic corporate citizens in a difficult and uncharted environment.

    must be nice to have the ability to read other people's minds, as so many in the wp and nyt's organization seem to. how, exactly, did they come to this conclusion? beats me, they don't say. we're just supposed to accept it as an article of faith.

    that's what got us into iraq to begin with.

    This infuriates me to a state of apoplexy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ellie on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 04:51:52 PM EST
    telecommunications companies that provided information to the government without court orders ... [...] ... seem to us to have been acting as patriotic corporate citizens in a difficult and uncharted environment. (a whole bunch elided)

    What Hiatt overlooks isn't that the telcoms kinda sorta broke the law once, but that they did it massively, each time they broke their agreed upon Terms of Service with a customer.

    As I mentioned previously here and elsewhere, this makes customers like me potentially liable for communications and works guaranteed to colleagues and clients to be secure (under our existing understanding of secure transmissions) should those electronically conveyed works and communications found to be altered in any way, cracked or illicitly copied.

    And no, when I enter into a contract it's not perceived as rude or a shortcoming on anyone's part to exact explicit terms, including for mutual verifiability, and potential damages and worst case scenarios as a routine part of the bargaining process.

    What freakin' world does Hiatt live in -- scratch that -- what freakin' world do we live in where the editor of a major newspaper can't envision the magnitude of these legal issues, and what he's asking not only of Congress, but of the voters who deserve responsible govt, and the millions of telcom customers who are being denied their promised secure service and guaranteed privacy?

    Seriously, how low have we sunk to accept it as routine when Hiatt's uses his wide forum and level of influence to skid past yet another mountain of outsourced consequences because he's so inured to the rodeo clown fascism of the Bush / Cheney reign, he defaults to waving away serious outcomes with the magical vanishing star-dust required to accept this power drunk Executive run amok? (Of course, he could genuinely be as big a bubblehead as Britney Spears, which would explain a lot.)

    So in the interest of being fair and balanced, I'm including the following as a painful illustration that my comparison of Hiatt's apparent intellectual level to Britney Spears's isn't hyperbole.

    Also, in Spears' defense, I'd like to add that even in the midst of her current downward tailspin, she arguably has a better excuse for incompetence than Hiatt, as her bubbleheadedness is compounded by drugs and possibly other physical and mental ailments.

    Thesis: Hiatt is even more of a credulous imbecile than Britney Spears. Let's go to the tape ...

    CARLSON: Welcome back to a very special and very grave edition of CROSSFIRE. [Just when you thought after-school specials maxed out on stupid back when you were watching them ...]

    [... skipping over Britney & Madonna smooching ...]

    CARLSON: Well, with business out of the way, I went on to ask the pop music diva for her views on matters more pertinent to CROSSFIRE.


    CARLSON: A lot of entertainers have come out against the war in Iraq. Have you?

    SPEARS: Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

    CARLSON: Do you trust this president?

    SPEARS: Yes, I do.

    CARLSON: Excellent. Do you think he's going to win again?

    SPEARS: I don't know. I don't know that.


    CARLSON: She's a Bush supporter, Paul. Can't argue with it.

    BEGALA: She's pro-Bush. It was a brave, courageous interview, Tucker, one of the highlights of your journalistic career.


    BEGALA: You're the envy of teenage boys -- and middle-aged men, I suppose -- everywhere. So congratulations.

    CARLSON: You're making me nervous, Paul.

    (09/03/2003 Crossfire) and here's some residual encrusted fluffernutter pimping this meeting of the minds (CNN-Access 09/03/2003)

    Good Post Ellie (none / 0) (#5)
    by john horse on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 05:55:32 AM EST
    Good point on the terms of service agreement.

    The Britney Spears comparison was amazing.  You can tag the "Honestly, I think we should just trust our president . . ." quote to the end of the Klein and Hiatt quotes and they fit right in.  I guess great minds think alike.