Here's Alterman's response:
Klein may or may not be right about his use of “left” vs. “liberal,” though I showed the item before it ran to someone who was sitting at his table, and received a note about it from another attendee who was sitting at my table and nobody noticed any inaccuracies. This may be because it was accurate, or it may be because Klein is playing cutesy by making a distinction without a difference that nobody but him noticed. In case he really does not know why this is the case, I’ll clarify it for him: “Michael Moore and many writers at The Nation” are not a “wing” of the Democratic Party: They are not even in the Democratic Party, as far as I know. (I also don’t accept that they “hate America,” well, except Alexander Cockburn.) I know Moore was a vocal supporter of Ralph Nader in 2000 as were the people at The Nation to whom—I assume—Klein refers. When one speaks of the “left wing” of the party—that is, people who are running for office which was the clear context of the discussion—one is clearly referring to the likes of Ted Kennedy, Russell Feingold, Barney Frank, and the late Paul Wellstone. Those are the people whom everyone at the assembled breakfast understood Klein to be smearing, as he has done repeatedly in Time and elsewhere. Go to my column here and Media Matters here for more examples.