11 January 2011

Mr. e-mail to Joe Klein after he called Ed Schultz "stupid"

 I saw on Huffington Post where the Time Magazine's rather self-important pundit Joe Klein (speaking on CNN) called Ed Schultz "stupid," after Schultz was extremely deferential and respectful to him in allowing him to "state the case" for continued involvement in Afghanistan on his show not long ago. (As I say in my e-mail to Klein quoted below, I saw the show). In reality, Klein gave the usual doublespeak circular argument that made no sense as to why the hell we are spending so much blood and treasure on a country where the military itself admits (1) Al Qaida may have 200 agents tops in country; (2) the Taliban is a domestic insurgency, not a threat to the United States; and (3) the GDP of the entire country in a year is only about what we spend there in a month. None of this makes any sense, and Klein didn't make any sense of it, to my mind, certainly.

My e-mail to Klein:

Mr. Klein,
I am disappointed that you choose to stoop to calling Ed Schultz "stupid," as you were quoted recently in Huffington Post as having said. I saw that particular episode of the Ed Show, and, while Schultz was using the rhetorical device of condensing his argument to a bumpersticker slogan "get out now," it is simply not true that his approach was simplistic. In fact, I thought he was more than fair to you, allowing you to explain your point of view and showing you considerable respect. Had I been he, I would have asked you to enumerate in detail just exactly what are the American people getting for the $1 trillion dollars and 9 years of war in Afghanistan that is worth such a huge investment, not to mention the adverse consequences of loss of life, both American and Afghan, and potential for unanticipated negative consequences (aka "blowback"). 
Of course the issues are complicated, but, frankly, beltway pundits like you have failed to make the case that this war is anywhere near worth it, and, complicated or not, Ed Schultz's tag line IS the opinion of the majority of Americans. You may disagree, and may have what you think of as wonderfully well thought out reasons for your positions, but it serves no useful purpose, and is rather uncivil and even loutish of you, to call Mr. Schultz stupid for expressing a view shared by most Americans.

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