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View Diary: Joe Klein, idiot tool of the GOP (114 comments)

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  •  Heh. None of our family, going back for at (6+ / 0-)

    least three generations, has read Time. It was always considered a "Republican" periodical. It reminds me that my folks never bought the Oregonian, instead subscribing to the Portland Journal, for the same reason. Of course, the Oregonian long ago absorbed the Journal.

    "This is not our America and we need to take it back." John Edwards.

    by mcmom on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:05:19 AM PST

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    •  Youngsters don't always remember that (12+ / 0-)

      The whole Luce - Hearst - Pulitzer history of journalism seems to have been forgotten in a lot of the discussions of the media here.  It's as if journalism was frozen in some sort of Woodward-Bernstein Arcadia until recent times.

      Imperialist governments and complicit media have gotten us into wars before the current one:  look back to "Remember the Maine."

      Unfortunately, as Gore Vidal put it, we live in the United States of Amnesia, and thus are condemned to repeat our historical mistakes in endless Sisyphean cycles.

      Rudy Giuliani is a small man in search of a balcony. -- Jimmy Breslin

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:09:11 AM PST

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      •  I agree with you, doc... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandy on Signal, Dallasdoc, dww44

        but with

        The whole Luce - Hearst - Pulitzer history of journalism seems to have been forgotten in a lot of the discussions of the media here.

        Don't you mean 'yellow' journalism, lol?  

        I believe that the majority of MSM has always been to the right of country/majority thought.  Or at least they believe they are, hence their operating from that position.

        And unfortunately, most people think that with the first amendment guaranteeing a free press that it will also guarantee a fair press.  All the first amendment guarantees is that a yellow journalist like Joe Klein will be constitutionally allowed to promote their hackery unfettered.

        I say let him bleat what he wants.  It’s a small price to pay for documents like the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.  I just know we’ll survive this 8 year assault with our rights intact.  Even with a BushCo traitor like Joe Klein doing all he can to ‘protect’ us from the Hun.  And with enough of us already knowing what a disease Klein truely is, we'll keep spreading the word.  We have rights as well.

        "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the Flag carrying a cross"...Sinclair Lewis

        by WSComn on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:34:38 AM PST

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        •  Freedom of speech isn't freedom from criticism (6+ / 0-)

          Sure, Joke Line is shilling for the war party's cause.  Sure, that's his job, while posing as a member of the loyal opposition.

          But the First Amendment also provides for a Markos and a Greenwald to call him out for it.  Unfortunately, neither today's Republican party nor the corporate culture believes in the First Amendment, and they're trying their best to smother it.

          All the more reason to focus on media deconsolidation, so the Time-Warners and GE's don't have a monopoly on the national conversation.  It's nice of Newsweek to give Markos a bigger soapbox, but when they pair him with Rove it just becomes another instance of the MSM "balancing" truth with lies.  Color me unimpressed.

          Rudy Giuliani is a small man in search of a balcony. -- Jimmy Breslin

          by Dallasdoc on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:39:06 AM PST

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          •  Klein has a bigger megaphone (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trog69, Dallasdoc, WSComn

            He's considered a "real" journalist while Markos and Greenwald are considered crazy partisans.  I know things are changing, but it is frustrating that the pace of change is so slow.

            End the Iraq occupation!

            by Unstable Isotope on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:47:01 AM PST

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            •  "Real" journalists are feeling the heat (5+ / 0-)

              Journalism has bent over backward to try to silence the "liberal media" mau-mauing the Right has done for decades -- not that it's done them any good.  The charge isn't based on fact; it's a political pressure tactic, and an extremely successful one at that.

              Now mainstream journalists are getting it from the Left, but for an entirely different reason:  they've gotten lazy and inaccurate, and forgotten their basic job of uncovering and conveying the truth.  They've gotten so used to seeing everything in a partisan political prism that being reminded of their real job is distinctly uncomfortable for them.

              I expect that criticisms from the Left will have a substantial effect on journalism, but the change will seem glacially slow.  That doesn't mean we should stop the criticism.  Instead, we should turn up the heat.  The Joke Lines need to either change or disappear.

              Rudy Giuliani is a small man in search of a balcony. -- Jimmy Breslin

              by Dallasdoc on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:52:44 AM PST

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          •  But Doctor the beauty of our... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, WSComn

            ..."free market system" is that if enough of us true believers, not DINOs simply stop supporting the MSM (which I mostly only watch KO and C-span for the congressional and other debates), that essentially makes them "the boss of nothing". I simply choose not to ruin my beautiful mind with their propaganda.

            "I am convinced that Hillary Clinton is the candidate best equipped to pass laws" Rep. Barney Frank

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 12:15:39 PM PST

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            •  I have been informed by my youngest (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc, ImpeachKingBushII, WSComn

              daughter that MSM is used by the wingnuts and that the preferred term for progressives is Traditional Media. My daughter, fount of knowledge for her mother, who, I am sure she feels, is always stuck in the 60-70's.

              "This is not our America and we need to take it back." John Edwards.

              by mcmom on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 03:01:25 PM PST

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              •  Oh yes, you are not alone on that one! ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mcmom, dww44

                ...I long for those days my friend! The older folks in my day used to say, "What this nation needs is a good 5 cent cigar". I'd just settle for a good five cent nickel. We kids never had a color TV for years after they first came out. We never had computers, or video games, yet we always seemed to entertain ourselves. I had hundreds of books and my university-grade microscope! We had the old 45s and 78s records until the 8 tracks came out. Gas was a quarter a gallon or less during the many gas wars between the (now extinct) independents. A loaf of bread was 15 cents and came in a wax paper wrapped bag. Cigarettes were 15 cents a pack or cheaper. Milk came via the milk man in quart bottles with an inch of cream on top, and the old cardboard containers. I never knew what a steak or orange juice was until the army. We were poor but we never knew it. My mom and dad split up because he loved his life flying in the USAF better than his family life. He retired 0-9 after Gulf War I. My mom died from emphysema in 1990 after working her tail off as a hairdresser raising us.

                Yep, I would give just about anything for a good five cent nickel! And Drive-in theatres! And 50 cent whoppers with cheese! And I miss watching the Three Stooges every day after school! Those were the good old days!

                "I am convinced that Hillary Clinton is the candidate best equipped to pass laws" Rep. Barney Frank

                by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:04:00 PM PST

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        •  A constant drumbeat of pressure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, WSComn

          showing Klein to be a useless tool could, at some point, conceivably embarrass even Time into dumping him.  At the very least, others will know what a journalistic joke Klein is.

          Florida Kossacks Rock

          Blog Florida Blue

          You can't govern if you can't win.

          by gatordem on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 12:30:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Joe Klein = the new Whittaker Chambers? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, Akonitum


        Theodore White posted the following sign in the shack that served as the Time office in Chungking: "Any resemblance to what is written here and what is printed in Time Magazine is purely coincidental."

        This reflected his increasingly pessimistic attitude about his ability, if not to change the course of China's destiny, at least to keep the American public informed of the events as he and observers like Stilwell . . . saw them.

        .... Harry Luce had actually stood up for him when the outraged Madame Chaing demanded that White be fired.
        ... ...

        When he went back to China that summer White was heartened by Luce's willingness to publish his frank account of Chungking's politics. But in no time at all he had reason to wonder if he had been right in his doubts about Luce all along. It began to look as though  Luce had published "Life Looks at China" [by White] just to score a point with his New York staff. White wrote a hard-hitting report setting forth some of the real circumstances behind the Stilwell crisis. The report was turned over by Luce to the new foreign editor at Time, Whittaker Chambers, to be ground into oatmeal and "edited into a lie." Chambers had no difficulty in using doublespeak and triplethink to turn the whole Stilwell crucifixion upside down, so that the issues at stake were all presented from the point of view of Chaing and Chennault. --Sterling Seagrave, The Soong Dynasty (New York: Harper and Row [1985] 1986), pp. 417-418.

        •  Who Lost China? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Claire Booth Luce was thick with Madame Chaing Kai Shek in the late 40's and early 50's, agitating to get the US to intervene in the Chinese Civil War.  After Truman refused and Mao won, they headed the conservative backlash which worked with the proto-McCarthyites to demonize Truman's foreign policy team (Acheson, Marshall, etc) for "losing China."  

          It was an early manifestation of extreme anti-Communism on the American Right, and the Luce press empire was at the center of it.  Bill Kristol only wishes he had so much influence.

          Rudy Giuliani is a small man in search of a balcony. -- Jimmy Breslin

          by Dallasdoc on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 11:16:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wittaker Chambers, operative (1+ / 0-)
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            Luce's operative, Whittaker Chambers, also worked to bring down Alger Hiss, who was instrumental in founding the United Nations.

            In 1953, Claire Booth Luce was appointed ambassador to Italy, as I recall. She was a Catholic convert and Dame of the Order of Malta, which considers itself the military arm  of the Roman Catholic Church.

            There was a story going around Rome in the early fifties that so enthusiastic was she in her praise of the Catholic religion that during an audience with Pope Pius XII, he was supposed to have gently remonstrated, "But Mrs. Luce, I am a Catholic."

            •  "Greed is Good," Henry Luce (0+ / 0-)

              According to David Halberstam, Luce called the Republican party his "second church". Unlike most Republicans of his time, however, he was an interventionist rather than an isolationist and thus passed as a centrist.

              In his biography of the Soongs, Sterling Seagrave writes:

              "Luce had a soft spot for superheroes that enabled him practically to venerate Chaing Kai-shek.
              "The hero-worshiper in him, said his biographer, W. A. Swanberg.

              responded to the Fascist superman who could inspire the allegianc and cooperation of the masses  . . . . He pointed to the success of Mussolini in revitalizing the aristocratic principle in Italy, "a state reborn by virtue of Fascist symbols, Fascist rank, and hence Fascist enterprise."  ... Luce admired strong regimes in which "the best people" ruled for the good of all. ... Communism, in his view, was the deliberate elimination of the best to permit government by the worst. In Mussolini he saw such greatness and in Fascism such dramatic political innovations that he could not contain his excitement.

              The business tycoon, Luce believed, was America's answer to the need for Fascism. If the good were successful, it followed that the unsuccessful were not good. He found justice in the survival of the fittest, saw quite clearly that a society built on greed was more dynamic than one built on charity. "The moral force of Fascism," Luce pronounced, "appearing in totally different forms in different nations, may be the inspiration of the next general march of mankind."
              --Sterling Seagrave, The Soong Dynasty (1985) p. 313

        •  W. Chambers: "Truth doesn't matter" (0+ / 0-)

          March 11, 1984
          Following is a letter to NYT from 1984:

          Whittaker Chambers: Odd Choice for the Medal of Freedom
          Wellfleet, Mass., Feb. 28, 1984
          To the Editor:

          Many of my former colleagues at Time Inc. will share my feeling of consternation at the news that the Medal of Freedom is to be awarded to Whittaker Chambers posthumously.

          We still remember his reign as Time�s foreign news editor, which began in the hopeful summer of 1944, when Allied armies were marching across Europe. Time's foreign correspondents, men like Charles Wertenbaker, John Hersey, Richard Lauterbach, Stoyan Pribichevich and Percy Knauth, reported the emergence of popular governments backed by partisans who had been fighting Hitler.

          The readers of Time never saw these dispatches. Whittaker Chambers suppressed them, rewrote them, distorted them, tailoring the news to make it conform to his own rightwing view of world affairs.

          From Paris, Charles Wertenbaker protested Time's story of 'Red riots' which had been substituted for his cable describing France's orderly new local governments. Pribichevich's reports from Yugoslavia telling of the slaughter of partisans by Mihailovich never saw print. So many of John Hersey's stories from Moscow were suppressed that he stopped sending political news and confined his cables to accounts of Shostakovich's newest symphony and other cultural events.

          Reporting from China, Theodore H. White saw his criticisms of Chiang Kai-shek�s autocratic regime replaced with encomiums of Chiang as a defender of democratic principles.

          When researchers in Time's New York office protested the inaccuracy of the foreign news stories, Chambers habitually replied, "Truth doesn't matter." The facts had to be altered to fit his anti-Communist crusade.

          Eventually, the correspondents' protests resulted in an investigation, and Chambers was made an editor of special projects, a position he held until 1948, when he named Alger Hiss as a Communist.

          Whatever views one may hold about the Hiss case, there is no doubt that Whittaker Chambers perjured himself during a grand jury investigation and changed his testimony repeatedly. During the first trial, when Lloyd Paul Stryker said to him, "Lying comes easy to you," Chambers replied, "I believe so."

          With all due respect to the dead, is this man, who has left behind him so many doubts about his own role, an appropriate recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award?

          Dorothy Sterling

          The writer, a Time Inc. employee from 1936 to 1949, was assistant bureau chief in Life's news bureau from 1944 to 1949.

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