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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Joe Klein just made my day writing

But he [Glenn Greenwald] is a thoroughly dishonorable person--as he proved by releasing my private emails--and, when it comes to his oft-trumpeted belief in the right to privacy, a stone hypocrite as well.

Good thing that Klein admitted that he doesn't read Greenwald "religiously." All I can say is that he was warned. Greenwald made it perfectly clear on his blog which is available to the public including Klein, that all communications with Greenwald are on the record unless he agrees that they are off the record.

In response to media criticism I wrote, a well-known journalist emailed me out of the blue, unsolicited, with very petulant, whiny objections to what I had written. At the top of his email, he wrote "OFF THE RECORD," and he did the same with a subsequent exchange. I had never communicated with him before and never agreed to any such arrangement. But that's a common practice among journalists and many political figures; they think that they can unilaterally slap an "off the record" label on whatever they say and expect that it will be honored.

I ended up not publishing that exchange solely because the probative value was minimal

If Klein genuinely doesn't understand the difference between quoting an e-mail addressed to oneself and tapping a phone then his level of understanding of FISA is even lower than I imagined. Also he is an idiot.

A letter sent to Greenwald belongs to Greenwald and he is perfectly free to post quotes if he wants. He has no obligation to warn his correspondents in advance that all communications will be considered to be on the record. Nonetheless he did make exactly that warning. Now Klein thinks Greenwald is "dishonorable" and a "stone hypocrite" because Greenwald actually did what he had previously publicly written that he felt free to do.

When I read Klein's post, I vaguely recalled and immediately looked for the Greenwald post which I am stone hypocritical enough to quote without Greenwald's permissoin. It was second hit of first google search and I did not need to click the first hit, because the identifying phrase was visible in the google results (you do know what google is Joe don't you ?).

Reading Greenwald's post, I couldn't help but wonder if the "well-known journalist" "with very petulant, whiny objections" might by any chance be named Joe Klein. Probably not. I'm sure there are lots of petulant whiny journalists, but I just can't get the thought out of my mind.

update: Greenwald's position is perfectly consistent. He feels that communications from public figures including a "well-known journalist" are on the record and may be quoted unless there is an explicit prior agreement that they are off the record. He also feels that it is wrong, not to mention illegal, to wiretap without warrants.

Klein's views are less coherent. He feels it is OK to wiretap without warrants and that it is wrong for the intended recipient to quote an e-mail without permission. How does he reconcile these views ? I think the true explanation of his statements is that he finds if fine to do things to people who aren't Joe Klein and unacceptable to do them to Joe Klein. I'm sure that he will be asked if this is the cause of his statements and that he will try to come up with another explanation. I can't imagine what he'll come up with, and I can't wait to read it.

update: Aimai replies to klein devastatingly here.

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