HE HELD US DOWN AND FORCED US TO INTERVIEW HIM EVERY FEW WEEKS FOR SEVERAL DECADES
Joe Klein, in response to Reverend Jeremiah Wright's appearance at the National Press Club (emphasis mine):
...worse, Wright's purpose now seems quite clear: to aggrandize himself--the guy is going to be a go-to mainstream media source for racial extremist spew, the next iteration of Al Sharpton--and destroy Barack Obama.
I love the way Klein says this, as if the media has absolutely no choice in this matter -- as if, even long after Barack Obama (in all likelihood) loses this election, the press will just have to put Wright's bloviations in print and on the air every few weeks or months.
The press doesn't need a go-to racial provocateur any more than it needs a go-to believer in the flat-earth theory; the only reason the press even wants one is that Two Minutes' Hates are exciting television (and/or are useful to right-wing moguls who use their media properties to advance their political agendas).
Maybe Klein would acknowledge all this if you pressed him on it, but he had a chance in this post to make the point that giving provocateurs the floor regardless of whether they contribute to the debate is bad for America, and he blew that chance.