The Trial Of Joe Klein

JOE KLEIN: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether I am a bad journalist who has no idea what I am talking about, or took a few liberties with the facts and merely regurgitated what Bush Administration officials told me - I did.

But you can't hold me responsible for the sick, twisted, false columns I wrote. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole Beltway Establishment? And if the whole Beltway Establishment is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our military institutions in general? I put it to you, Glenn - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to me, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to Glenn Greenwald badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen! [Leads the Villagers out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner]

Source - Joke Line.

Speaking for me only

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    Joe Klein plays the Fox News version (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 08:47:15 AM EST
    of the soldier card in order to justify doing his job lazily (oh yeah, invoking combat soldiers when you can't even break a sweat yourself is priceless), without integrity, and without standards. How pathetic is that?  And he is such a coward being called out that he IS finally breaking a sweat conjuring up how American he is.  How did this animation of a journalist get a gig for Time Mag?

    It is the old (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:10:47 AM EST
    "Serious Liberal" argument being deployed yet again.

    The basic version goes like this: "Sure, I was wrong, but at least I thought long and hard about all the difficult issues involved, instead of being a knee-jerk ideologue like yourself!"

    Advanced version: "What do you mean I was wrong? You're the one who wishes Saddam Hussein was still in power!"

    I was initially outraged by Klein's post, because I think Glenn is a treasure, but BTD is right. At this stage in the game, mockery is the only truly appropriate response.


    Outraged? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:18:01 AM EST
    Why?  I thought that was a pathetic WATB attack worthy of Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh.

    It will take brain damage to make me forget the priceless Greenwald/Klein/FISA story!  Every time Klein starts wailing again about Greenwald, that story makes the rounds again.  Joe Klein is his own worst enemy.


    Perhaps (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:31:08 AM EST
    I am stuck in the 2002 mindset where such ridiculous attacks were quite capable of having real effects on people.

    I also have a bit of a patriotism reflex that says you don't make accusations of that type without good reason.


    It is McCarthyism to be sure (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:34:07 AM EST
    Rereading Klein's (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:22:56 AM EST
    over the top defense of his ego, I am firmly convinced that Klein really IS his own worst enemy.  A list-serve is not "private".  It's still publishing, just to a small audience.

    No fan of Klein here (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:34:20 AM EST
    however, FWIW, the listserv in question is a journalists' listserv and the upfront rules supposedly agreed to by all who join specify that posts not be made public beyond the group.

    Obviously unenforceable and even Joe Klein should understand you post at your own risk, but still not kosher to violate confidentiality rules you've agreed to when you join.  I assume that was not Glenn himself since he's pretty scrupulous about getting permission to post private communications, but somebody who is a member sent him those posts.


    Only brought to Glenn's (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:45:39 AM EST
    attention because Klein was being such a pompous [fill in the blank] about it.

    Honestly, I think that I'd be much more interested in what else was discussed.  What do a few hundred journos talk about amongst themselves?  And how are we affected?  


    Sure (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:50:52 AM EST
    Also not kosher to divulge government secrets to reporters.

    Happens all the time. that is why it ill behooves a reporter to get all uppity about these breaches of confidence. It is their bread and butter.

    Hopefully, lessons will be learned.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:56:01 AM EST
    Just think we should be clear it wasn't a "public" listserve.

    As Glenn points out, that makes Klein's posts about him even worse, in some ways, because his smearing was intended to be kept within Ezra's little club.


    No such thing as a non-public listserve (none / 0) (#36)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:09:33 PM EST
    I get annoyed at laws that make it illegal for citizens to listen to radio/cell transmissions.  Back in analog cell days, it was trivial (almost hard not to) to pick up cell transmissions.

    Making it illegal to do so didn't increase anyone's privacy.

    If Klein or anyone thinks there is such a thing as a private listserv they are idiots.

    It doesn't matter if someone leaked it maliciously, or in ignorance.  It could as easily have been leaked by having a bad or broken webserver.

    Folks used to be able to google for /etc/passwd and find passwd files.

    Telling people that the listserv is private is silly.

    Similarly, Klein complained that Aimai leaked their private conversation.  I thought Aimai's account of the conversation was ridiculous and unbelievable in many aspects, until Klein basically confirmed it, and I thought Aimai was rude to her host at the least, and I thought her account made her out to be an east coast name dropper know nothing who seems to get far on her famous connection but a conversation at a cocktail party with other people is not private, and Klein is barking mad to think it is.


    Here's a better version (none / 0) (#40)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 04:00:22 PM EST
    of what you said
    [MediaActive link]

    Thank you, Gillmor's take on it was interesting... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 04:35:40 PM EST
    I'm a serious liberal (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:43:21 AM EST
    I'm so serious my spouse leaves for Afghanistan in a few weeks.  He goes to fight for the reality that these fools desire to morph and distort.  Count me as completely unhappy with JournoList (and that's me focusing sharply on using my words right now).  Bunch of manipulators.  Anybody have a link to who is on the list?  Can't help noticing that the two most profound bloggers in my life of reading and participating aren't on the list.  And now I know why so many others read like regurgitation, and why certain topics on the left blogs came forward out of the mist for seemingly no reason and then were blogged to death.  Just what I've always wanted.  A bunch of egos calling themselves the grassroots anything ignoring real daily issues because they can't stop staring at each other's navels.

    Well (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:48:30 AM EST
    Krugman used to be on the list if I recall correctly.

    I was on a list for the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. so were other people I have been extremely critical of.

    Generally, I shy away from these lists because I think they do in fact make it harder for folks to be substantively critical of their new list friends.

    I have had less of a problem with that.

    Hell, there are very few people I have not criticized (and certainly I have been criticized by everyone you can imagine.)

    Full Disclosure: You know I support the President's policy on Afghanistan. I wish your husband godspeed and a safe return.

    His service honors us all.


    Your work is never stale (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:19:24 AM EST
    I'll say that.  And you tend to focus on what is going on during the day and apply a Democratic platform appraisal of situations when you call for the fight to be on.  I took one of those personality tests that someone used to post at DKos once and I was surprised at how many people with critical personalities love to blog.  They analyze by the minute, not very good at the action end of the spectrum though.  Most people who are big analyzers actually fear action, they'd rather just keep analyzing, it is what they are comfortable doing.  A few don't, and they lead after analysis.  I appreciate your disclosure, and thank you for that.  Some people can become part of such networks and stay on task, not just get caught up in the analyzing.  I did read that Krugman was on the JournoList but he's ticked off so many of them that seem to be on that list as well because he just won't herd into the group and make his expertise part of their mostly fearful actions.  Online media is new, like anything those who do better than others at navigating it and actually producing with it will shake out.  It's just my opinion but people who cling to JournoList or listserve fear standing on their own two feet and making their own case about a new development taking place in our democracy.  I thank you for your support too as we go into this Afghanistan thing.  I'm less than crazy about it all.  I'm torn because I don't like the command, I don't think we have our legal issues straightened out, I don't trust who is running things....but whatcha gonna do?  I married an American soldier.  He goes where we tell him.  He does what we tell him to do to the best of his abilities.  And this is a career maker for him....this deployment.  He has already had a pretty stellar career for a warrant officer but this completely ices the cake.

    You are doing fine (none / 0) (#17)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:49:30 AM EST
    with your words.  I'm having a problem not calling Klein every name I can think of.  I can't understand how anyone can be that obtuse!  

    Well, I wouldn't want Jeralyn to have to (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:21:08 AM EST
    suspend us for the day because you or I are exploding pron filters out there :)  So I'm deep breathing, a lot.

    I just read the comments (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:39:05 AM EST
    at Time.

    I feel better now.  I think my favorite invoked an editor and a five year old's tantrum.   There were more substantive, reasoned comments than that one! ;-)


    The comments are hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by shoephone on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:56:34 AM EST
    Every single one of the commenters there magnificently skewers Klein for his school-girl pettiness. It's been a LOL read for me.

    His stupidity about the way the blog world works is legendary now. How could not know all that blue smoke would blowback onto him?  


    A: Because he is a Villager. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:11:46 PM EST
    We aren't real to him.  We are just phantoms, ghosts, mirages, insubstantial, irrelevant - except for our magazine subscriptions, page views and ad clicks.  Only the Villagers matter.  Only what the Villagers think is important.

    I sooooo wish that I could listen in or read the conversation that he is going to have with his editor.  I hope it is a woman and I hope she is younger than he is by decades just so it stings that much more.


    The comments at Time are great (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 03:04:49 PM EST
    did you follow any links to the others who are enjoying participation in this?

    Klein is psychologically damaged (none / 0) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:01:57 AM EST
    Seriously.  It's not a policy thing with him that he's obtuse, it's a desperately imbalanced psyche.

    No idea, obviously, where that originated, but it sure got intensified and deepened when he was an undergraduate at Harvard during the ugliness and uproar of the late '60s.  He clings frantically to the "center" politically and is terrified in a very odd and personal way by anything that veers more than a few degrees away from that.


    Journolist is a very important resource for us (none / 0) (#37)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:13:01 PM EST
    Every six months or so, it creates some village/pundit/media/blogger scandal.

    It's such a stupid idea, in an age of blogging and frequent calls for transparency, let's have a private list to connect us elite to, we'll pretend it doesn't exist, and we'll act all shocked when people say we use it to organize talking points or otherwise divulge it.

    I say they should keep it.  It creates many lulz.


    Of course I had to read Glenn (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:30:14 AM EST
    and the background story is even funnier!
    I then posted some of those emails on a site I use to post documents, and briefly mentioned it on Twitter.  That -- a political rant in front of strangers on a beach and an insult fest sent to hundreds of journalists -- are the ostensibly "private communications" to which Klein is referring.

    I think it's time to advise Mister Klein to "Step away from the keyboard, sir.".  

    Joe Klein or Colonel Jessup? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by jerry on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 01:24:12 PM EST
    Joe Klein or Colonel Jessup, you decide:

    Joe Klein:

    For the past several years, Greenwald has conducted a persistent, malicious campaign to distort who I am and where I stand. He is a mean-spirited, graceless bully. During that time, I have never seen him write a positive sentence about the US military, which has transformed itself dramatically for the better since Rumsfeld's departure (indeed, he ridiculed me when I reported that the situation in Anbar Province was turning around in 2007). I have never seen him acknowledge that the work of the clandestine service--performed disgracefully by the CIA during the early Bush years--is an absolute necessity in a world where terrorists have the capability to attack us at any time, in almost any place. Nor have I seen [him] acknowledge that such a threat exists, nor make a single positive suggestion about how to confront that threat in ways that might conform to his views. Therefore, I have seen no evidence that he cares one whit about the national security of the United States. It is not hyperbole, it is a fact.

    Colonel Jessup:

    Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

    that was awesome (none / 0) (#1)
    by addy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 08:43:55 AM EST
    Thanks for the hearty laugh this morning.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 08:44:03 AM EST
    That is funny.  Nice job.

    I guess Joe Klein misses Greenwald's basic thesis that if we do not follow our own laws and international laws we lose our identity and thus trade away a very valuable asset in defending our country's security.  I mean it doesn't even take a lot of research to understand that point.

    I don't believe Joe Klein misses anything (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 08:50:57 AM EST
    on this.  He thought he was going to live in a special club that made being an actual journalist with standards not necessary.  He has been without integrity for so long though he can't fathom how he gets back there. He is in high speed CYA mode, but it's a little late in the career for that.

    I think you understand (none / 0) (#13)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 09:39:22 AM EST
    that the Village is the problem.  Incredibly sloppy media coverage (I refuse to use "journalism") is SOP.

    I keep wondering what Jeff Gannon did that was so wrong, except to be an embarrassment to the Bush administration.  Otherwise, he'd fit right in - then and now.

    I've never read more than 8 column inches (none / 0) (#23)
    by The Last Whimzy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:42:52 AM EST
    Of Joe Klein.

    This one (none / 0) (#24)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:54:26 AM EST
    could have been written by Jesus' General or The Onion.

    I'm serious (none / 0) (#28)
    by The Last Whimzy on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:02:59 AM EST
    Half an article in time 5 years ago.  I don't even remember what he was talking about.

    You haven't missed anything. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:13:48 AM EST
    Just another wind sock pundit who curries favor with who ever is in power.  

    By the way (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 10:55:54 AM EST
    this post definitely calls for an appropriate video link.

    Joe Klein (none / 0) (#30)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:40:05 AM EST
    Shandeh fur de Goyim

    A perfect fit! (none / 0) (#35)
    by Fabian on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 12:25:44 PM EST
    I did have to look it up first.

    Donald - You just wrote my post (none / 0) (#31)
    by mogal on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:41:06 AM EST

    Should have added guess it was OK (none / 0) (#32)
    by mogal on Tue Sep 01, 2009 at 11:46:12 AM EST
    because they made a movie of Primary Colors.