Joe Klein is shocked at the vitriol that spews from the left side of the blogosphere

Joe was on the receiving end of some of that vitriol and was so shocked by it he felt the need to warn everyone about it.

But the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn’t move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed–especially people like me who often agree with the liberal position but sometimes disagree and are therefore considered traitorously unreliable. Some of this is understandable: the left-liberals in the blogosphere are merely aping the odious, disdainful–and politically successful–tone that right-wing radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh pioneered. They are also justifiably furious at a Bush White House that has specialized in big lies and smear tactics.

It’s Rush Limbaugh’s and George Bush’s fault? You can’t be serious, Joe. You’re trying to get back on the leftist bloggers’ good side, aren’t you.

Charles Johnson at LGF adds: “You and your magazine helped build this constituency, Joe. Own it. Be proud of it.”

Update: Rick Moran notes that Joe is already feeling the heat from the nutroots for his criticism:

Klein is already hearing it today for daring to call the liberal blogs what they are; raving lunatics who cannot tolerate an iota of dissent from their worldview. Will Joe Klein do as most other liberals do who find themselves in the crosshairs of lefty blogs and go before them with bended knee and abjectly apologize for his heresy? Or is he enough of an independent thinker to tell them to take a hike?

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  • Dirk

    I thought the 2006 election results would chill the Nutroots out a bit, but I think it has actually made them more insane.

  • kim

    Google ‘Star Chamber’, Leo.
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  • kim

    And what is ‘nearly unfathomable’ is your belief in authority.
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  • jim

    And that is an valid excuse for bad language and invective how?

    Pardon me if I smile while I type this, having been called a pretty wide manner of thigns on this very site…:)

    As I said, Klein would generate a lot less vitriol if he were a bit better about writing facts.

    How does any perceived or real misinformation call for anything but using correct respectful civil discourse to correct the errors?

    Well, ask yourself – how much respectful, civil discourse have I myself received here, when I’ve been contrarian? I’ve been glad to get all i could, and engage in civil discussion and debate; that’s far from always been the case, tho.

  • Jim:

    Pardon me if I smile while I type this, having been called a pretty wide manner of thigns on this very site…:)

    As I said, Klein would generate a lot less vitriol if he were a bit better about writing facts.

    You can giggle and smirk all you want, you can even play the poor little victim like you have with this response.

    But after at minimum 2 times asking directly the same question and having you divert to something else tells me all I need to know.

    You agree with my point but lack the intellectual honestly to do so.

    In other words… your partisanship is more important than putting on a display nuts of any size to admit it.

  • groucho

    Incivility seems have become the official language of not only the blogosphere but much of mainstream political discourse as well. Maybe the final signal that anything goes was Cheney’s shining “Go fuck yourself” moment in the Senate, but who knows.

    The popularity of radio talkers like Limbaugh and Savage is a curious thing to me and doesn’t say much for us as consumers, but then again there’s always been a place reserved in our culture for hucksters, charlatans, and snake oil peddlers. But I digress.

    There’s plenty of witless intolerance to go around on both sides. I find the left’s variety a bit more tolerable because I tend to agree with much, but not all, of what they’re saying. The left also has many of its own shrill voices. I think the number of those truly in “lockstep” with either side represents a minority of the entire spectrum, with most folks somewhere in between. There are certainly factions on both sides who think it is their duty to inject a more rabid, exclusionary tone into their party. Dobson and his Christo-fascist brigade on the right fills that bill , perhaps with even more sway, than anyone on the left. Witness how well-received dissent is on this site. Angry bloggers, foul-mouthed politicians, demagoguing radio hosts mirror our general anger, intolerance and fears. It’s us that we complain about so loudly.

    (OK Kim=====, you can get back to your Schumer/Plame/Libby stuff now.)

  • WildWillie

    Notice how the lefty Groucho says “witness how well-received dissent is on this site.” Yeah, there is decents. Just before the meat of the argument the lefty starts with: Christo-Fascist,Hucksters, charlatans, snake oil peddlers and such. That was in just one comment. Yeah! Conservatives don’t like dissent? How about giving it without the invectives? Some lefties do, but they are few. ww

  • Excuse me Groucho, but blaming anyone, however selective you are in your blamestorming, for the behavior of others is just plain lame.

  • kim

    Ho, ho, see what Snow said about Gonzales, today? That Chuckie-Poo is pulling taffy, trying to make something out of the US Attorney mess that isn’t there. I told you this was McNulty’s gig.
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  • groucho

    Thanks for helping prove my point, ww. Why is your fur so ruffled about people like Limbaugh and Savage being called hucksters and charlatans? Invective is their stock in trade, their poisoned golden goose. They certainly give at least as good as they get and are chuckling all the way to the bank. Defend them all you like. I dissent, you deride.

  • jim

    But after at minimum 2 times asking directly the same question and having you divert to something else tells me all I need to know.

    Whaat??

    Marc, according to this page here, you asked me this question:

    Assuming that’s true how does that excuse being awarded the “Wanker of the Day” by Atrios for nothing more than printing a FACT?

    And I showed you that what Joe Klein printed was **not** a fact. Then you asked this question:

    And that is an valid excuse for bad language and invective how? How does any perceived or real misinformation call for anything but using correct respectful civil discourse to correct the errors?

    Ooooh. The terribleness of incivility. Moan, moan.

    I answered your question here:

    Well, ask yourself – how much respectful, civil discourse have I myself received here, when I’ve been contrarian? I’ve been glad to get all i could, and engage in civil discussion and debate; that’s far from always been the case, tho.

    But I’m sorry if you didn’t get the connection. Here’s what I’m saying:

    As evidenced by my own treatment here, on this very website, to say or imply that the “liberal left” is the sole owner of blame for invective and bad language, is simply not factual in any, way, shape or form.

    At all.

    I personally try not to ever use invective, and never use it first, and usually not 5th or even 10th. I think it’s childish, makes no sense and is worse than useless towards having a discussion.

    So if you want to agree that those on both the Left and Right who sink to cursing and ad hominem attacks are wrong when they do it, I agree.

    BUt if you want me to agree that because some get mad at Joe Klein for being at best an awful reporter, proves that the Left is bad and evil, well that just conveniently ignores the Right doing the same thing, don’t you think?

    How do you excuse the bad language shown towards me, here, by the Right?

  • tas

    Kim quotes Rick Moran’s reporting of the liberal reaction to Klein’s article, “Klein is already hearing it today for daring to call the liberal blogs what they are…” “Already hearing it today” of Moran’s is linked to a David Corn article on Salon about Joe Klein being nuts. I read through Corn’s article and thought, “Hmmm, this all seems rather stale,” since Corn talked about encounters with Klein before he was revealed to be the anonymous author of an anti-Clinton diatribe called Primary Colors. So I looked for a date when Corn’s article was written, and after clicking on
    “Articles by Date” at the Salon link, I found this:

    “## Created by WebMap 1.0.1# Thursday, April 18, 1996 at 5:40 PM”

    So to prove that the liberal blogosphere is full of anger and vitriol in it’s reaction to Klein’s column, Rick (and hence Kim) link to a column about Klein written 11 years ago when, ironically enough, there was no such thing as a “blog,” nevermind a whole sphere of bloggers.

    I think a retraction, correction, and apology is necessary here.

  • Jim:

    How do you excuse the bad language shown towards me, here, by the Right?

    I haven’t and never will.

    BUt if you want me to agree that because some get mad at Joe Klein for being at best an awful reporter, proves that the Left is bad and evil, well that just conveniently ignores the Right doing the same thing, don’t you think?

    Never said the left is “bad and evil” (like stuffing straw do you?) and while we’re “conveniently ignoring” things you still ignore whatever words and actions directed at Klein weren’t justified regardless of his reporting abilities.

  • jim

    How do you excuse the bad language shown towards me, here, by the Right?

    I haven’t and never will.

    Excellent. So we’re agreed there. Wonderful.

    Never said the left is “bad and evil” (like stuffing straw do you?)

    OK, good.

    It’s just that, to me, this sudden concern for how mean people are being to Joe Klein, appears to me to be an attempt to imply that liberals are bad and uncivil in ways that conservatives are not.

    If that is not what you’re saying, then that’s great. This means we agree that both conservatives and liberals can be mean and uncivil, and that this behavior is counter-productive to what’s best for America.

    and while we’re “conveniently ignoring” things you still ignore whatever words and actions directed at Klein weren’t justified regardless of his reporting abilities.

    Nope. Not ignoring it at all.

    You did read this part of my statement, right?

    So if you want to agree that those on both the Left and Right who sink to cursing and ad hominem attacks are wrong when they do it, I agree.

    So there’s your answer.

    So, it appears we stand in agreement that all foul and uncivil words and actions towards anyone who is simply speaking in a public space are uncalled for, besides the point, and rude wrong behavior, no matter what the political outlook of the speaker or those who are criticizing them.

    Sound good to you?

  • jim

    Here, I’ll even be more explicit:

    Those liberals who use foul language and angry attacks against Joe Klein or anyone else who’s just speaking, and those conservatives who use foul language and angry attacks against liberals or anyone else who’s just speaking, are wrong to do so.

    Sound good?

  • kim

    Read Bill Whittle and the Iterated Prisoners’ Dilemma.

    Be:

    Nice

    Retaliatory

    Forgiving

    Unenvious
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  • kim

    But Bill, what conditions reveal the truth, not just max pris benes?
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  • kim

    David Corn thought Joe Klein was nuts eleven years ago? This is why I read through threads, sometimes, for unexpected nuggets of hilarity and breakthrough insights.
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  • tas

    So Kim, you’re telling me that you don’t read or check the dates on items that you link to?