Sunday, December 9, 2007

Greenwald on Joe Klein and FISA

image credit: Parody cover by Cujo359

Glenn Greenwald refuses to let go of the disgraceful performance of Time magazine in the issue of Howie Klein and FISA. I can't say I blame him. Even by the pitiful standards of today's press, this is shameful. He wrote this from behind the curtain at Salon:

Sen. Russ Feingold submitted a letter to Time protesting the false statements in Klein's article. But Time refused to publish it. Sen. Feingold's spokesman said that the letter "was submitted to TIME very shortly after Klein's column ran but the letters department was about as responsive as the column was accurate."

Just to reveal how corrupt that behavior is, The Chicago Tribune -- which previously published the factually false excerpts of Klein's column and then clearly retracted them -- yesterday published Feingold's letter. As Feingold details -- but had to go to the Chicago Tribune's Letter section to do it -- "Klein calls the Democrats' position on reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act 'well beyond stupid' but without getting his facts straight." Feingold also said that "Klein is also flat out wrong" in his false claims that there was some "bipartisan agreement" on a bill to vest "new surveillance powers" that House Democrats ignored.

Time magazine refused to publish responses to Klein's false smears

[emphasis and links from original]

It's difficult to imagine more boorish behavior than Time has already exhibited on this issue, but they seem determined to outdo themselves. As it turns out, not only had Sen. Feingold written them a letter, but so had Sen. Chris Dodd, as well as Reps. Rush Holt, John Conyers, and Sylvestre Reyes. Conyers and Reyes are chairmen of the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, respectively. All of them helped draft the legislation now before both chambers. Yet Time did not see fit to publish the letters of any of them.

As Greenwald relates, they also ignored the letters of a few other people:

at least 100 individuals wrote letters to Time's editors protesting Klein's article and responding to its claims. I know this because that's how many people (at least) cc'd me on their letters, forwarded them to me, and/or copied their Letters to the Editor in the Comment section here. Managing Editor Rick Stengel's voice mail and email box overflowed with responses.

Nonetheless, Time -- while publishing 15 separate letters on a whole array of topics in its print edition this week -- did not see fit to publish a single letter about the Klein falsehoods. At every step, they sought to hide from their readers -- and continue to hide from their readers -- just how outrageous and severe were Klein's false statements by suppressing all responses.

Time magazine refused to publish responses to Klein's false smears

[link from original]

Not to be outdone as a Republican shill, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz also refused to answer any questions about le Affaire Jokeline:

Yesterday, at least 15 people submitted questions to Kurtz on the Time/Klein scandal -- again, I know this because that's how many people emailed me their questions or left them in comments -- and not a single one was chosen. Kurtz, however, found time to address multiple questions on such pressing matters as the new Don Imus Show and football.

Time magazine refused to publish responses to Klein's false smears

Glenn then posits that the content of this graphic may have something to do with it. As if CNN wasn't already doing its best to rid itself of all vestiges of journalism.

If there's any good news in all of this, it's that if you were under the impression that CNN was trying to imitate Fox "News", you can tell yourself you're not crazy. The alliance with the Republican propaganda organ Time, together with their behavior here, is certainly further evidence of that shift.

Since Greenwald's contributed quite a bit of verbiage to this article, I suppose he should get the last word on why all this matters:

Time published blatantly false statements from Klein, refused (and refuses) to retract them, and then bolstered those false claims with a further false claim that Klein had a solid basis for making them. Worse still, they refused to allow even a Senator and a Congressman on the Intelligence Committees -- who were the targets of Klein's smears -- to defend themselves and explain in Time why Klein's accusations were false.

And they (and their corporate minions such as Kurtz) are taking every step possible to ensure that their readers never become aware of what happened. Is it time yet to hear more about how dangerous bloggers are because they operate with no standards?

Time magazine refused to publish responses to Klein's false smears

I can't help but agree.

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