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View Diary: Joe Klein update: TIME has no meaning. (135 comments)

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  •  Except that in this case Markos was wrong (0+ / 0-)

    And at the time in question, many of us here called Markos out for his, at the time, poorly informed misrepresentation of Obama's "quote" that was never actually a quote.

    Perhaps there was an element to discrediting Markos, though that strikes me as a bit cynical, certainly there was a little resentment of the reactionary nature of the blogosphere ... although in this case at least I don't really think Joe Klein was wrong.  It was reactionary, it was poorly sourced and it was ultimately an irresponsible critique of a leading Democratic candidate.

    •  Klein (0+ / 0-)

      has been roundly and rightly criticized on this blog any number of times. He is going to hit back, even if he has to stretch to do it. As it is, most of the criticism of him is based on his habitual stretching.

    •  "Wrong" (0+ / 0-)

      Wrong only in that he was foolish enough to give credence to an AP report which appeared in USA Today.

      Yes, they didn't put quotation marks around it as a direct quote.  But still it was a clear misrepresentation.  Maybe Markos should know better by now than to believe anything that appears in the mainstream media.  But that was hardly Mr. Klein's take on it.

      The lead from the AP story:

      If President Bush vetoes an Iraq war spending bill as promised, Congress quickly will provide the money without the withdrawal timeline the White House objects to because no lawmaker "wants to play chicken with our troops," Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday.

      This says congress should "quickly" provide "the" money--not a portion of it.  If that's not what Obama said, the AP should run a correction.

      I see no evidence anywhere that Markos even disagreed anywhere with a clean bill of short duration.  Maybe he has, but I'd like to know where.  For all I know Klein just made that up as well.  

      If the AP report is really inaccurate, then it's not clear that there was any actual disagreement with Obama at all from the April 1 post.  The real story is that either Obama changed his position or the AP misreported it.  And that's what Klein should have reported.

      •  You could be entirely right ... (0+ / 0-)

        in basically everything you wrote, however in addressing the final thing you said, it isn't Joe Klein's responsibility to monitor and correct every instance of journalistic irresponsibility ... hell, we're just trying to get him to clean up his own shit.  The AP should be taking care of their own business and their failure to issue a correction is irrelevant to this debate.

        As for Markos only being wrong insofar as he "foolishly gave credence to the AP report", isn't that what this whole issue is about ... the irresponsibility of the media in misrepresenting the positions of our elected officials.  If bloggers like Markos and many others here want to be taken seriously then they need to adhere to the same regimen of responsible reporting and opining that we continually castigate the MSM folks over.

        Look, I love what Markos has created here at dKos and I have a ton of respect for him personally, my real beef here is that I am sick of diarists employing this particular issue to attack a MSM reporter, it smacks of  overreach and, in my opinion, does not paint the progressive blogosphere in the most rational of lights.

        •  Well, the other choice is write nothing.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oklacoma dem

          Klein doesn't have to clean up after the AP.  But neither does Markos.  But by the time Klein wrote his piece, it was clear that the AP version was disputed--by Obama.  Maybe they didn't actually misrepresent him.  Maybe Obama misspoke and the AP reported accurately.  Or maybe Obama changed his mind.  But Obama clearly was issuing his clarification in response to the original story and the reaction from many Democrats, including Markos.

          At that point, if you are going to cover it, that's the story that's there to cover.  Klein totally missed it and reported something that never happened.

          I fail to see where Markos was wrong here.  At the time he relied on the AP story, it was not known to be in dispute.  Did you want him to call the Obama campaign and verify the quote?  

          If you're holding Markos responsible for that you're holding him to a far higher standard than Joe Klein.

          I'm still not sure what Obama's position actually is.  The Chicago Sun Times article by Lynn Sweet has a completely different version:

          White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama told the Sun-Times Thursday he never suggested that Democrats should send President Bush an Iraq war funding bill without a timeline for withdrawing troops if Bush vetoes legislation with deadlines.

          That not only disputes the AP article, it's directly contrary to what Joe Klein is still reporting as his "corrected" version of the story.  

          •  Markos was wrong ... (0+ / 0-)

            for failing to recognize that the AP report he cited was not a direct quote.  In his original lash out at Obama he misrepresented the AP report as if it were in fact a direct quote, a fact which many of us here at dKos picked up on and grilled him for ourselves.  I'm sorry, no matter how you want to spin it, that particular moment was not one of Markos' finest.

            Joe Klein seems to have picked up on the story insofar as he believes the reaction from Markos illustrated a somewhat "typical, extremist, even angry, far-left attack" against the operations of the establishment ... and I happen to agree with him on this one.  Now, the quotes above are me paraphrasing what I believe Joe Klein was reacting to but personally, when this issue was originally being discussed that is more or less how I saw it as well.

            I think that those of us who wish to advocate on behalf of positions that fall far outside the mainstream, or which can be easily spun to appear as if they fall far outside the mainstream, must be exceptionally careful about the battles we choose to fight and the rhetoric we employ to fight them.  I think Markos messed up big time on this particular issue ... it bothered quite a number of us at the time and it has apparently now become something of a tool for the Klein's of the world to battle back against our continuous critique.

            •  That's not correct. (0+ / 0-)

              Markos never said it was a direct quote.  In fact he clearly blockwuoted the relevant section of the AP article.  Noone could have possibly misinterpreted it as claiming there was a direct quote.

              But if Obama said he wanted to quickly approve the funds without a timeline, what does it matter if it's a direct quote?  Either way the headline is still:

              Congress will fund Iraq war if Bush uses veto, Obama says

              Nearly two weeks later Obama denied ever saying he supported funding without a timeline.

              Klein picked up the story and said Obama approved funding without a timeline, and falsely claimed there was a dispute over a "short leash" approach, which there never was.

              So Klein is completely misrepresenting both Obama's position and Markos's position, as well as what the disagreement was about.  If you think it was about being "extremist" and  "angry", then that must be your interpretation of Markos view that this ammounted to "surrender".

              But, as initially reported, Obama's position was "surrender".  Moreover, if this report was inaccurate, then Barack should not have waited twelve days to correct it.  Barack on this issue, at a critical jucture, allowd himself to essential be the spokesman of the White House.  Whether   he did this willfully or he was merely negligent in his handling of the media is open to debate.

              •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

                I hope I don't sound dismissive, you might be right in all your timelines and your statement of facts ... that doesn't change the fact that I remember when this was addressed at the time it happened and I remember being very disappointed in Markos ... and hence I can't help finding these particular attacks on Joe Klein a little ridiculous.

                There IS an "angry progressive blogger" syndrome that occurs with the best of us, in which we rush to judgment and rally the full power of the blogosphere against a perceived enemy that really isn't.  Maybe you don't see that, I've noticed that a lot of people IN the progressive blogosphere seem almost oblivious to the extreme reactions they sometimes parrot.  

                The MSM, even the bad ones, aren't always wrong nor are they always the devil and progressive bloggers aren't always right and they certainly aren't always saints ... and yet people here will bend over backwards to prove that either is in fact precisely the case.  That bothers me sometimes, the lack of critical objectivity and the rush to indignation.  I understand the need for vigilance, even hyper-vigilance I just wish that there was a little more tempered reflection to go with it.

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