Remember that day when the space-time continuum collapsed, and Joe Klein thought it was OK to invent a fake chronology so that he could attack those nutty, nutty leftists who call themselves... (cover the children's ears!)... bloggers?
If not, here's the run down. Klein wrote:
Only 9% of Americans say they are in favor of cutting off funds for the war, according to an April 13 cbs News poll. Unfortunately for the Democrats, that 9% includes the noisier elements of the party's base. Senator Barack Obama found this out the hard way recently, when he said in an Associated Press interview that perhaps the best course of action was to "keep the President on a shorter leash"-that is, approve funding but limit the funds, forcing Bush to keep coming back for money. This unleashed the ire of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, proprietor of the Daily Kos blog, who wrote with typical restraint, "What a ridiculous thing to say. Not only is it bad policy, not only is it bad politics, it's also a terrible negotiating approach. Instead of threatening Bush with even more restrictions and daring him to veto funding for the troops out of pique, Barack just surrendered to him."
Problem was, Markos wasn't responding to the "shorter leash" comment, because that comment hadn't even been made yet. In fact, the "shorter leash" comment was a clarification offered in response to concerns like those Markos expressed.
Klein, challenged on the call, came up with this beaut:
It was chronologically incorrent [sic] for me to make it seem that Kos was responding to the "shorter leash" comment, but substantively correct. My description of the difference between Obama and Kos was accurate. Let me repeat the main point: Obama favors a "clean" bill, perhaps of shorter duration. Kos is opposed, vehemently, to that position--he wants the Democrats to dig in their heels and send the President another bill with a timetable and end date.
The whole substance of Klein's assertion depended on the chronology, and the chronology was incorrect. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...
So what do you do? This got printed in the actual dead tree edition of Time. So you get a correction, right?
Wrong, says Time editor Priscilla Painton. Priscilla, by the way, finally got into the act when we actually had the gall to pursue that correction. In an e-mail exchange with Markos, she first said that Joe's "correction" -- issued on the blog and not in the magazine -- was sufficient. And when pressed, said instead:
Date: May 10, 2007 11:18:57 AM PDT
Subject: RE: Correction
Dear Markos:After reviewing the facts, I don't believe Joe's
column was incorrect.
Got that? The online correction to the print piece is sufficient. And not only that, but what I just said wasn't even necessary, because there's nothing to correct.
Now how could you look at those facts and say they're not incorrect? Well, first of all, you have to ignore what Joe Klein said, which is, of course, that he was incorrect. But Klein still insists he's "substantively" correct, because Markos is "vehemently" opposed to the "short leash" approach.
Has anyone seen this "vehement" opposition? They're going to vote on the "short leash" tonight, so make your search quick. (Although if you're Time magazine, I guess you can wait, since the chronology doesn't really matter, nor does the word "oppose." You can just fill that in later.)
But looking for that "vehemence" won't help you with the ridiculous temporal distortions. They're so incorrect, they've exploded relativity and fucked up the very fabric of the universe with this one.
So I'm gonna take my cues from Priscilla and Joe and follow them into the wormhole here. I'm gonna declare this a victory. Joe has humbly apologized, and Priscilla has offered her resignation. No, that hasn't actually occurred yet, but when it does, I'm gonna match it all up and call it "substantively" correct.
You can e-mail Priscilla, and thank her for having the honor and good sense to step down. Whenever.
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