Ed Driscoll

Joe Klein, Time Magazine's Man on the JournoList

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes that “Time magazine may have some explaining to do:”

Jonathan Strong saves the real story for last, however:

Time’s Joe Klein then linked to his own piece, parts of which he acknowledged came from strategy sessions on Journolist. “Here’s my attempt to incorporate the accumulated wisdom of this august list-serve community,” he wrote. And indeed Klein’s article contained arguments developed by his fellow Journolisters. Klein praised Palin personally, calling her “fresh” and “delightful,” but questioned her “militant” ideology. He noted Palin had endorsed parts of Obama’s energy proposal.

This piece makes the argument that JournoListers attempted to shape coverage through their debates.  Klein wrote this article in the first person, attributing these ideas to himself. He could just as easily have written, “Political activists are wondering about the following” in his list of issues in this first reaction to the Palin announcement.  Instead, Klein wrote, “I wonder about the following,” which misleads readers into believing that these points sprang from his own forehead as Athena from Zeus.  While Klein is very clearly an opinion journalist at Time, he represented those opinions as his own — and one has to wonder how many other talking points from JournoList Klein passed off as his own over the years at Time.  The magazine needs to address that issue immediately.

Update: Added a [sic] after “sad” in the above quote; that’s how the article quotes Adler, although the context is clearly “said”.  Also, to respond to some in the comments protesting that I’m downplaying this, it’s because there’s nothing wrong or unethical for journalists to converse with each other about current events and politics.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with opinion journalists having opinions, either.  Nothing said in this exchange was particularly noteworthy, and all of it was considerably milder than what some of the participants said publicly about Palin.  It’s pretty clear, after all, that no one took Ezra Klein’s advice to ignore Palin and focus on McCain, or multiple suggestions not to attack her lack of experience.  The one exception is Klein’s regurgitation of the suggested points of attack from Journolisters as his own thoughts and his reporting back to Journolist of having done so.

Update II: Jim Geraghty also focuses on Klein.

Hey, Joe’s Number #2. Like Avis, he has to try harder.

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