Thursday, June 7, 2007

Joe Klein: Nobody Loves Me But My Mother

Joe Klein is feeling a little mopey. The big bad lefty blogosphere has been attacking Joe and he's quite sad. The latest row started when he spoke with Congresswoman Jane Harman about the vote she would be casting on the Iraq War funding bill. Harman was going vote for the bill, but later decided to vote against. Klein spoke with her before she changed her mind and reported she was going to vote for the measure. For that, Klein caught some stick from lefty bloggers.


[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.


TomCat said...

I'm a lefty Blogger. At my place, right wingers are welcome to post their views, which I usually slice and dice, because they lack the factual basis to support their claims, but I treat them with respect. I delete personal attacks against people who comment by either side. I've seen the bullying, about which Klein writes, on a few blogs, but very very few. I have seen less bullying on right wing blogs, but there's a reason for that. When I post a comment, respectfully stating a position with strong factual support, it rarely survives the censor.

It appears that Klien has assumed a yoga position from which he can see his own tonsils from the bottom, and needs a rectal craniectomy. ;-)

Larry said...

Joe Klein can't get off the Republican Party blog long enough to notice a lefty blog.

Christopher said...

What a riot! Poor little thing.

It's good to see someone like Klein from the MSM feel the heat and the power of the blogosphere.

mirth said...

"Stenographer to power" Good one! Exactly describes Klein.
I don't read the Right blogs. My time and patience have limits. But from what others say, TomCat is correct (he always is). Dissenters are more likely to be zapped there than on Lefty ones. And even on good Left blogs, when it gets into name calling and personal attacks, I'm gone. Nothing moves forward in either of those atmospheres.

Ron, thanks for visiting Liberally Mirth. I'm digging it here, excellent writing and analysis, and you need to be on our blogroll. It is our habit to add to it with an introduction, which we do in a Sunday post titled CommunitySpeak. You'll be there this Sunday.

Suzie-Q said...

I don't ready any Right Wing blogs either. I have trouble just staying up to the moment with the Left Blog friends. :)

Ron said...

Hi Mirth,

I'm honored! Thanks much, and I'll be happy to add you to my blogroll (must check - you might already be on it).

Okay, I admit it. I read Drudge every day. I also check in on right wing blogs fairly often - like Iraq the Model, the Washington Times Politics page, NRO's The Corner (that one's a real doozy). Yeah, they tick me off, but I want to know what they're up to; who the next Swift Boat victim will be.

mirth said...

It's good to know the enemy. Dirty work but someone has to do it.

Ok, I admit to Drudge.
But that's it!

*adjusting halo*

LET'S TALK said...

I must say that I visit a few right wing site... I just love to exchange comments with them. They all repeat the talking points with no facts.

"There's a new sheriff in town and his name is Accountability." There you go!

Grest post.

TomCat said...

Mirth is not the only great philosoher who says so.

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win hundred times in hundred battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you win one and lose the next. If you do not know yourself or your enemy, you will always lose.
- Sun Tzu

Mentarch said...

The American (and Canadian) MSM is notorious for being unable (or unwilling) to be accountable to itself (let alone respecting its own ethics, accepting criticism or acknowledging its mistakes), and all about infotainment but certainly not about information.

Facts are not required.

It's all about the bottom line.

Mentarch said...

P.S. I also read right-wing blogs and such.

Great reference to Sun Tzu, tomcat - exactly the point as to why we must submit ourselves to their irrationality, their ignorance and their fear-driven nonesense.


TomCat said...

Bingo, Mentarch. Along with Infotainment (one of my favorite words), don't forget infoganda, the specialty of Faux Noise