THE BLOG
12/18/2005 10:37 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Joe Klein ... Sucks!

“The Patriot Act is…awesome.”

“We should…cut special education funding.”

“Blue Oyster Cult is most definitely…the greatest rock band in history…”

Little noticed by many, including me, my friend Greg Sargent found an interesting use of ellipses (those dot…dot…dots) in Joe Klein’s column last week. Klein, quoting the much maligned interview DNC Chair Howard Dean gave on radio, writes:

“The party chairman, Howard Dean, was not inaccurate when he said, "The idea that we are going to win this war ... is just plain wrong." If Dean had added the word militarily, most generals would agree with him. The trouble is, Dean—as always—seemed downright gleeful about the bad news. He seemed to be rooting for defeat."

Gleeful? It certainly looks like it. Stop the presses, Howard Dean was happy that we can’t win in Iraq! But wait, what was in the quote, where Klein uses the ellipses?

“Unfortunately.”

“The idea that we are going to win this war is, unfortunately, just plain wrong.”

Now, criticize Dean for saying he thought the idea we can win is wrong, but don’t call him gleeful about it, when he made it clear that he sees that as "unfortunate." You can also listen to the interview , and I don’t hear him going “We’re going to go to Fallujah and to Sadr City and then to Baghdad! YEEEARRGGH!!!” He didn’t seem too gleeful.

So why did Klein not include the word “unfortunately?” Because, much like the Administration, when the evidence didn’t provide support for his thesis, Klein manipulated the evidence. It wasn’t enough for Klein to have Dean on the record saying something politically unwise, Klein had to show that Dean was downright giddy about it. So he obfuscated the quote.

I invite Joe Klein to come on here and explain his thinking, because there’s a definitely possibility that I am missing something. But in the meantime, there’s only one recourse readers like us have to make sure TIME is more careful in the future. Write to them. Send a letter to the editor (letters@time.com) letting them know that even if their editors don’t care about accuracy, we do.

Oh, by the way, the quotes at the beginning were Klein-eque quoting of some thoughts in my head. The full quotes are:

The Patriot Act is MOST DEFINITELY NOT awesome.

We should STRIVE NOT TO cut special education funding.

Blue Oyster Cult is most definitely AND UNDEBATEABLY the greatest rock band in history. PSYCH!!!