The story so far: A few days ago, Time Magazine's Joe Klein wrote a bunch of stuff about the Democrats and the FISA bill that managed to confuse and depress everyone with a brain. Salon's Glenn Greenwald staged his own version of the Night of the Long Knives, devoting a week's worth of writing to leading the charge of outrage. Klein later took to the Swampland blog to explain that all the issues were, like, totally complicated, and that he didn't have the time or the desire to learn anything about the topic. Time ended up having to write a correction, which was later followed by a correction to the correction, neither of which were technically corrective. And then, presumably, they handed Joe Klein a big fat paycheck anyway.
Well, whatever part of Klein that remained untrammeled by the Dresden-like firestorm of last week has been filleted anew by Radar today. And, admirably, Radar's John Cook takes in the fullness of Klein's online oeuvre, and discovers a man with bottomless vanity and who is both "preposterously arrogant and ham-fisted," and "insufferably cloying." In one of many, many serrated lines of analysis, Cook says: "Combine that posturing style with a vanishingly thin skin, put it online, and you get the periodic hissy fits that have seized Klein since he started blogging." Frankly, it makes Greenwald's attacks seem respectful by comparison. And maybe no respect is deserved. As Cook relates:
In a bizarre and revealing podcast that Time posted on Swampland as a companion to the column, Klein railed wildly against the insolence of those who dared to criticize his reporting, repeating four times that he'd been doing this for 38 years, which is apparently long enough to have earned the right to be wrong without people hassling you about it.
Indeed, it's pretty fatuous of Klein to fall back on thirty-eight years of experience when a few additional hours spent actually learning something about what the hell he was writing about would have spared him a trip to the iron maiden. But hey, act in dumbass haste, repent in dumbass leisure.
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