Joke Line — Still the King
I’m trying to figure out the process here. Somebody calls up Joe Klein and tells him the storyline that the administration is floating about the FISA bill — completely and utterly wrong, but somehow in those whispered tones of hush-hush top-secret information confidentially imparted, Klein thinks it’s all true. Remember the Klein comment that not long ago won the FDL contest for the stupidest thing he ever said (a heated competition if ever there was one):
“People like me who favor this [NSA wiretapping] program don’t yet know enough about it yet. Those opposed to it know even less — and certainly less than I do.”
Which loosely translated seems to mean — I only know what I’m told, which isn’t much, but it’s more than you know, so just trust me. I don’t now how a thinking person would trust someone so openly credulous — Klein is possessed of a charmless naivite which led to the almost painful yet oh-so-delightful-to-watch shredding he got from Glenn Greenwald today. He should, however, be barred from ever writing about FISA again. (I spoke with Glenn earlier, and we agreed that Joe would only make it worse by responding, which he did, in a “Glenn who?” piece that’s as compulsive as it is hapless).
I can only conclude that people like Klein got along for so very long by churning out nonsense that nobody challenged and now they can’t come to terms with the fact that they are being fed bullshit by people with an agenda, even when they’re called on it. The twisted logic and rationalizations he has to indulge in to justify his position are almost sad.
Wired’s Ryan Singel:
Klein can’t even figure out that the House bill that passed last week IS the House Intelligence Committee’s bill, not some Democratic substitute masterminded by Pelosi.
What the Administration wants (and which Congress gave them this summer) is the power to order Hotmail or Verizon to turn over ALL communications that involve one person outside the United States, without ever seeing a judge.
The whole debate is about how the NSA wiretaps INSIDE the United States, but Klein can’t grasp that simple concept. That makes it impossible for him to also understand that there are good reasons to be wary of giving intelligence agencies free access to the nation’s communication infrastructure.
It was Charles P. Pierce who wrote the canonical Joe Klein piece not long ago. It’s worth resurrecting now, if only for his own good:
Joe Klein and the rest of the cats ‘n kittens in the political press corps, are more charming in their delightful naïveté. George Bush is a cowboy! Condi Rice is a genius! Dick Cheney has a soul to search!
Why aren’t any of these people ever at my poker table?
For the love of God stop him, Time Magazine. Before he writes again.