Joe Klein, who should be henceforth known as Swamp Thing, has always been one of those "fair and balanced" news people we keep hearing about. You know, truth, justice, and the American way. Of course, he has spun this for so long that he actually believed it.
Yesterday he wrote this on his Time blog (called Swampland, get it? Sorry.):
I heard about Jerome Corsi's book a few weeks ago from my mother, who said that her great fear--that Barack Obama has covert Islamic associations--had been confirmed by a new book. I told her not to worry, that many reputable people had looked into the matter and Obama was more likely to be spotted in Whole Foods than praying in a mosque. (Since my mother has never been to Whole Foods, so she didn't quite get my wry allusion.) "I hope so," she said, dubiously.
So we know the market for trash is there, and not so far from home. And we know, that Mary Matalin, who appears regularly on mainstream media programs like Meet the Press called the Corsi book in the New York Times today:“a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that.”
But hey, Mary stands to make big bucks off this scholarship, which I'm sure was submitted for peer review and otherwise held to the highest editorial standards--and I'm sure her reputation and mediagenicity won't be damaged by this poisonous crap, and we're all friends here, aren't we? And, yknow, they say politics ain't beanbag...and it's all in the game to tell innocent, well-intentioned people that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim or that John Kerry wasn't really a hero in Vietnam. Or, as George W. Bush, once told a rightly outraged John McCain--whose wife and daughter Bush's minions had smeared--"It's just politics."
Back in the day, John McCain was the sort of politician who would stand first in line to call out this sort of swill. (As, I'm sure Barack Obama or John Kerry would do, if some hate-crazed, money-grubbing left-winger published a book claiming that McCain had been successfully brainwashed in Vietnam--as Kerry did indeed do when a group of spurious Bush-backing Vietnam vets tried to claim exactly that about McCain during the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina.)
When 'back in the day' was that, Joe? When McCain rolled over and played dead when the So. Carolina attack took place?
The man, the myth, the legend: McCain, the Maverick. But it's based on nothing, yet Klein still buys into it, else he wouldn't have stated it this way. Simply means to me that he may have come to an epiphany, but it hasn't given him the ability to look backwards and see what went wrong.
What do I mean by that? This, from the same piece:
I know that people like me are supposed to try to be fair...and balanced. (The Fox mockery of our sappy professional standards seems more brutally appropriate with each passing year.) In the past, I would achieve a semblance--or an illusion--of balance by criticizing Democrats for not responding effectively when right-wing sludge merchants poisoned our national elections with their filth and lies. And it is true, as John Kerry knows, that a more effective response--and a bolder campaign--might have neutralized the Swiftboat assault four years ago. It is also true that Corsi's book this time is far less effective than his Swiftboat venture, since it doesn't come equipped with veterans willing to defile their service by telling lies to camera.
Really? I don't remember you telling us in '04 that the Swiftboaters were "telling lies to camera".
No, I remember you as, as you point out, "fair...and balanced". Here's the thing, Joe. Name me one time, Joe, that you called out the "right-wing sludge merchants" for their "filth and lies". Yeah, that's what I thought. Believing in your own mythology much, Joe?
Well, Joe, thanks for coming around finally. I just wish it could have happened when it would have made a difference, like in 2000 when Al Gore "invented the internet". When GWBush was going to have a "humble foreign policy".
Or in 2004 when the Swiftboaters and Malkin said that Kerry had shot himself for a purple heart.
Because now it won't make any difference. You've gotten in and out of the clown car one too many times. Just because you've seen the light and gotten a new Prius doesn't matter. Because the courage of your convictions comes about because you now have cover. The American public is less moved by the lies and filth from the Right, and the Obama movement is gathering strength.
Had you been a maverick back in 2000 or 2004, when it might have helped, well, you might be taken more seriously now.