Joe Klein is calling the McCain campaign's assault on the media "insidious", "bullying" and "not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme."
The story of the day out here in Minneapolis is the McCain campaign's war against the press ... So what's going on here? Two things. McCain is just plain angry at us. By the evidence presented in the utterly revealing Time interview, he's ballistic. This is a politician who needs to see himself as the man on the white horse, boldly traversing a muddy field...any intimations that he's gotten muddied in the process, or has decided to throw mud, are intolerable. The second thing is more insidious: Steve Schmidt has decided, for tactical reasons, to slime the press. He wants the public to believe that there is an unfair--sexist (you gotta love it)--personal assault going on against Palin and her family. This is a smokescreen, intended to divert attention from the fact the very real and responsible vetting that is taking place in the media--about the substance of Palin's record as mayor and governor. ...There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is "a task from God." The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.
That's straight talk, the clear-quill real deal.
Klein comes in for a lot of grief from liberal blogs because he was originally a vocal supporter of the Iraq invasion. It's been a goodly while now since Joe said that was a mistake he regrets and that's good enough for me. Liberals really should be cutting Joe some slack - he's a well-connected, establishment journalist who has worked out that he was fooled once and is determined not to have it happen again.