[B]logging ... [is] a brilliant format for keeping readers up to date on the things I care about—and for exchanging information with them. ... But the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. ...
[Politicians like Jane Harmon, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] allowed themselves to be bullied into a more simplistic, more extreme position. Why? Partly because they fear the power of the bloggers to set the debate and raise money against them. They may be right—in the short (primary election) term; Harman faced a challenge from the left in 2006. In the long term, however, kowtowing to extremists is exactly the opposite of what this country is looking for after the lethal radicalism of the Bush Administration.
Klein also equated left wing bloggers with Rush Limbaugh and right-wing hate-talk radio. One one hand, it's a reasonable admonishment; We surely don't want to debase ourselves to the level of our enemies. And Joe does have a point on his writing on Harmon; he probably didn't deserve to be intensely attacked.
For the most part however, the lefty blogs I visit are long on reason and facts - with large dollops of sarcasm and anger. There is an essential difference between the lefty blogs and dolts like Limbaugh - we are infuriated by the lies and manipulations of the Bush Administration and idiot neocons, theocons, paleocons, racists, money-grubbing rip-off artists and all-around protectors of the rich and powerful. Limbaugh, OTOH, asks what color toilet paper and wipes their asses.
Klein knows this difference, or he should know it. I will give Klein the point that we bloggers can be too angry at times (myself included). And with the power of the blogosphere, it may seem like an angry wasp attack.
The rest of Klein's sad story is one big glass of red whine; alas, poor Joe Klein. Klein's problem is his first instinct is to be a stenographer to power. That's okay, except when you are a key writer for a major news weekly. We want facts and investigative reporting, not cocktail party chatter.
Okay, that's maybe too hard on Klein. In some ways, his heart is in the right place. He has come out recently smoking on BushCo. But you know what? So has Limbaugh. So has Peggy Noonan. So has anyone with an IQ north of 50. Klein joined the Bush-bashing party at the same time as the rest of the MSM - and many right wingers, too.
Joe, you are going to continue to take the slings and arrows from the left. You should have been doing gumshoe journalism not cocktail party stenography all along. And I don't give a rat's ass if that offends you. Feel free to hit the ignore button on me and my ilk all the time. The fact of the matter is the elephant in the living room is the MSM's stenography to power.
The elites of MSM are shocked and chagrined to get heaps of criticism from the wasps of the blogosphere. Y''all are simply going to have to get used to it. There's a new sheriff in town and his name is Accountability.
See my post two months ago on Klein.