Joe Klein Interrupts Vacation to Enter Fray

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Dave Weigel's resignation from The Washington Post sparked intense, immediate debate. One particularly heated exchange erupted between Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald and The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg. Taking exception to Goldberg's response to the Weigel affair, Greenwald began fiercely attacking Goldberg over his support for the Iraq war and his writing prior to the invasion. It all went to show, argued Greenwald, that Goldberg was a reporter "who spouts establishment-serving falsehoods."

Goldberg, in response, pointed to the gains of Kurds since the invasion of Iraq and invited Greenwald to visit the region. The Salon writer refused, saying

No matter how many of Goldberg's Kurdish friends tell him how grateful they are, there are hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead, millions who were displaced, tens of thousands of American troops who are dead or wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars incinerated, and intense and enduring hatred of Americans in that part of the world--all provoked by a heap of false pretenses.

At this point, Time's Joe Klein interrupted his vacation to hurtle into the fray. "Sorry, but I can't let this pass," he begins. "Glenn Greenwald has been conducting one of his patented vile, intellectually dishonest jihads against the Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg and he has now truly gone berserk." He says that Greenwald just "used the opportunity to launch another of his litigious, ambulance-chasing forays ... in which he posited Jeff as an arch-villain, practicing a form of dishonest journalism that Greenwald believes is corrupting the Republic." Greenwald's dismissal of Kurdish gains, comparing the Iraq war to "the Nazi seizure of the Sudentenland," Klein finds ridiculous. His conclusion:

Greenwald will probably come after me now, armed with the same three or four quotes he routinely uses as evidence of my moral and professional dishonesty and dissipation. For Greenwald, it seems, any honest political disagreement always winds up with charges of corruption and decadence.

Greenwald responded by saying that Klein "attributes" to him arguments he never made and dubbing Klein's post a "screed."

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