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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Klein's tangled web.

The blogfather links to a Times piece by Joe Klein which I find genuinely, not Morissettishly, ironic. The longish excerpt:

A strange thing happened to me the day the House of Representatives voted to pass the Iraq-war-funding bill. Congresswoman Jane Harman of California called as the debate was taking place. "Look, I would love to have cast a vote against Bush on this," she told me. "We need a new strategy, and I hope we can force one in September. But I flew into Baghdad [with 150 young soldiers recently]. To vote against this bill was to vote against giving them the equipment... they need. I couldn't do that." I posted what Harman said on Swampland, the political blog at Time.com, along with my opinion that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had changed their positions and voted against the funding for the worst possible reason: presidential politics.

And then Harman changed her position. After we spoke, she voted against the funding. The next day, I was blasted by a number of left-wing bloggers: Klein screwed up! I had quoted Harman in the past tense—common usage for politicians who know their words will appear after a vote takes place. That was sloppy and... suspicious! Proof that you just can't trust the mainstream media. On Eschaton, a blog that specializes in media bashing, I was given the coveted "Wanker of the Day" award. Eventually, Harman got wind of this and called, unbidden, to apologize for misleading me, saying I had quoted her correctly but she had changed her mind to reflect the sentiments of her constituents. I published her statement and still got hammered by bloggers and Swampland commenters for "stalking" Harman into an apology, for not checking her vote in the Congressional Record, for being a "water boy for the right wing" and many other riffs unfit to print.

Klein says "I had quoted Harman in the past tense—common usage for politicians who know their words will appear after a vote takes place." But he didn't inform his readers of this. Readers rightly believed Harman's quote was taken after she voted. While such lies of convenience may be SOP for MSM reporters, they are still lies. The reader is intentionally deceived. Klein's insouciance makes his article ironic. While trying to explain that he didn't deserve to be condemned as a sloppy, lazy, dishonest writer, he provides an example of sloppy, lazy, dishonest writing, and he doesn't even know it.

Katie Couric did something similar. CBS fired a producer for plagiarizing a post, which stated it was "posted by Katie Couric" that began "Hi everyone, I still remember when I got my first library card." She went on to present a plagiarized version of an essay originally written by Jeffrey Zaslow, that was plagiarized by her soon to be fired producer, as though Couric herself had written it. When the plagiarism was discovered the producer was fired. But I don't recall Couric apologizing for presenting that producer's work as though she had written it herself. Talk about tangled webs.

UPDATE: INSTALANCHED! Welcome Instapundit readers. I don't really blog much nowadays so don't bother bookmarking. You might buy my 2nd novel, CLOWN, though. If you're familiar with Eric over at Classical Values, he read it and said it is HIGHLY recommended. HIGHLY, dammit. So never mind that sumbitch Sam Rhetin, who wouldn't know a good book if I slapped him around with one until his eyes bled.