11.25.2007

Time Magazine's FISA Fiasco shows how Beltway reporters mislead the country

The Joe Klein's of the world are worse than any left winger or a right winger could ever be. At least left or right wingers knows who they are and don't try to play both sides of an issue (while claiming they are above the fray) when in reality they mislead and lie in order to maintain their holier-than-thou stances in life. .

From Glenn Greenwald:

Joe Klein passed on outright GOP lies about the House Democratic FISA bill to 4 million Time readers and now obscures what happened.

On Wednesday, I documented that Joe Klein's column in this week's Time Magazine contained multiple false statements about the new FISA bill -- The RESTORE Act -- passed by House Democrats last week. The most obvious and harmful inaccuracy was his claim that that bill "would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target's calls to be approved by the FISA court" and that it therefore "would give terrorists the same legal protections as Americans." Based on those outright falsehoods, Klein called the House Democrats' bill "well beyond stupid."

That day, Klein responded on his blog to what I wrote without acknowledging that he was doing so and without even telling his readers what the criticisms were. He insisted that everything he wrote was accurate ("as I reported, [the bill] obliquely gives foreign terrorists the same procedures as American citizens, if not the same rights"). He also said that the RESTORE Act was just "a partisan waste of time, fodder for lawyers and civil liberties extremists."

Yesterday -- Saturday night on Thanksgiving weekend -- Klein returned to the Time blog to write an extremely conditional, weaselly, self-justifying and partial "correction" to what he wrote in the print magazine. There's no indication whether any correction will appear in the print magazine, but the online version of Klein's article contains no such correction and still contains all of his grave misstatements.

[snip]

Yet look at Klein's first statement in his "correction":
I may have made a mistake in my column this week about the FISA legislation passed by the House, although it's difficult to tell for sure given the technical nature of the bill's language and fierce disagreements between even moderate Republicans and Democrats on the Committee about what the bill actually does contain.
One can debate whether Klein's original, inaccurate claims about the House FISA bill in his Time article can fairly be called "lies" (as opposed to inexcusably reckless inaccuracies). But this statement by Klein in his "correction" unquestionably is a lie.

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