That “he-said/she-said” so-called “correction” suffers from the same obvious, severe infirmities as the second version of Time‘s “correction”, which I noted here. Worse, the FISA page to which Klein directs Time readers is completely misleading, as it does not even contain the dispositive paragraph, excerpted above, which gives the lie to Klein and Hoekstra’s claim.
I am a compulsive Klein-reader, and I read this [column] when it went up at the Time website. I winced immediately. Not only was the substance of [Klein's] description factually inaccurate in almost every respect, it was the very core of the piece. Moreover, what Time ran was a shameless mouthing of talking points that had been circulating on Capitol Hill by Republican spinmeisters through the prior week. . . .
But when Joe’s bad, he’s awful. And this was the worst thing I’ve seen emerge from the Klein pen in quite sometime. And the worst thing about it — the unforgivable sin, and the one to which all writers-facing-imminent-deadline are vulnerable, is its lack of originality. It’s always so tempting to take some pre-packaged product from the partisan PR masters of Washington and print it. And that’s just what Joe did, to the great chagrin of his faithful readers. . . .
And disappointing as that discovery was, what followed was even worse. Time’s follow-up to the well-deserved criticism has been defensive and its concessions of factual error grudging. And all of this reflects not so much an error on the part of Klein as the Time editors.
This has been an extremely bad week for Joe Klein.
And now we learn that Time was fed this smear not even by one of the fake GOP “moderate” types (such as Chris Shays), but by Pete Hoekstra, as much of a GOP hack as it gets in Washington. And Hoekstra, National Review, and Time all join together to defend Klein, a member in good standing of our “liberal media.”
UPDATE III: Wired‘s Ryan Singel:
Time Edits Wiretapping Correction, Still Wrong
[T]he second correction fails to correct the central premise of Klein’s column, turning what might have been unintentional, but dangerous misstatements in the original into a lie supported by Time’s top editors. . . .
[S]uffice it to say that no one, Republican or Democrat, who is familiar with FISA could argue in good faith that the bill would “require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target’s calls to be approved by the FISA court” . . . .
For Time to continue to allow people to believe that that’s possibly what this bill would do means after all the detailed criticism it has gotten is clear proof the original column is no longer a dangerous misunderstanding of a complex issue by a two-bit political columnist.
Instead, it’s now an institutional lie.
As I’ve noted before, Singel is one of the most knowledgable commentators on surveillance/FISA issues in the country and also typically quite restrained with his rhetoric. But Time‘s conduct simply permits no conclusions other than the ones he has reached.
On a different note, Josh Marshall notes that Hoekstra is one of the most extreme and unreliable GOP sources anywhere in Congress. In addition to finding WMD with Rick Santorum last year in Iraq, Hoekstra also previously speculated that Al Qaeda and other foreign sources infiltrated the CIA and were responsible for leaks such as the NSA eavesdropping story. That is who Time allows to ghost-write its description of the House Democratic FISA bill with no fact-checking.