Klein: Pwned



Howard* Joe Klein, pundit and gadfly, gets pwned by Eric Alterman. The saddest part is that Klein doesn't even realized how childish and petulant he looks in all this, especially compared to Dr. Alterman's measured tone.

Media Matters - Altercation: Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be pundits ... :
A few larger points:

1) What you see with Klein, I think, is the panic of the pundit seeing his prestige destroyed by a blogosphere that can do for pundits what academics have always done for one another (and demonstrating why few pundits' work could survive this kind of scrutiny). This includes the ability to:

a) fact-check his unsupported assertions;

b) hold him accountable for his abusive language toward those with whom he disagrees; and

c) demand some transparency with regard to his methods.

Have you noticed that every time Klein is asked to defend something he has written, he responds with a personal attack against the person making the charge? It's not just me; it's anyone. Look at the names he calls Media Matters and the bloggers generally. Note that Tom Friedman and Howard Kurtz, among others, react similarly. Pundits are used to making Olympian pronouncements and then having everyone praise their wisdom and courage, the way Walter Lippmann defined the job. Asking people whatever happened to the last 10 times you said Iraq has only six more months, or that Bush is sure to be a centrist, and they flip out and call you an ideologue or an “obsessive.”

Which reminds me: The point about Klein's prediction about Bush is not so much that it was wrong -- as were almost all MSM pundits not merely about Bush but also about Gore, whom Joe Klein called “harsh and stupid,” for his 2000 convention speech and who he said “looked like a madman” when he gave his now famously prophetic Commonwealth Club speech opposing Bush's war, about which Klein's fellow Time columnist Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, said the vice president had “gone off his lithium” -- but that he insisted his prediction for Bush's future was the “only” conceivable course. In the same piece he insisted: “There will be no $1.3 trillion tax cut,” Klein promised the readers of The New Yorker. MSM pundits are always saying something is the “only” possible conclusion -- Iraq, for instance, has weapons of mass destruction -- in order to delegitimize the questions and critiques of those who would disagree. They don't usually add the personal vituperation that accompanies Klein's columns, unless they also happen to work for Time and The Weekly Standard, as both William Kristol and Krauthammer do, or Time and The New Republic, as Andrew Sullivan did.

More in this vein

My money is on Dr. Alterman.

*[corrected thanks to skippy. I was even picturing Joe Klein's smirk as I typed this entry in the morning, isn't that a lovely thought. Shudder.]

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eric is discussing joe klein's blog, swampland at time.com.

howie klein's blog is down with tyranny, a completely different klein.

Doh! you are right - thanks for the correction. I should know better than to post sans coffee.

glad to be of service!

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on March 24, 2007 7:57 AM.

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