Thursday, July 14, 2005

Deconstructing the Rove Spin

Salon's War Room does a great job of identifying and demystifying some of the Republicans' misleading statements in their attempts to defend Karl Rove:

Two years ago, the White House told the American public that "the president knows" that Rove wasn't involved with the Plame leak and that he would fire anyone who was. Now we know that Rove was involved and that Bush hasn't fired him yet. That's the reality unless the Republicans can create a new one, which explains just a little about why they're trying so hard to do so.

It explains why you're hearing claims that Rove
didn't really leak anything because he didn't use Plame's name, despite the fact that Rove's lawyer acknowledges that that's a difference without a distinction.

It explains why you're hearing claims that Plame was just some kind of glorified secretary at the CIA at the same time that the Republicans are arguing that she had the authority to send Wilson off to Niger to investigate claims about uranium and Iraq.

It explains why you're hearing that Plame
wasn't really undercover -- she drove her car to Langley! -- when the CIA, as an agency official once acknowledged, would never have referred the case to the Justice Department if she weren't.

It explains why you're hearing claims that this whole thing is a
"tempest in a teapot" and a "partisan attack" despite the fact that a federal prosecutor appointed by George W. Bush and a slew of federal judges apparently consider the leak of Plame's identity important enough to warrant the jailing of a reporter.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read all this with a great deal of amusement. If Dems and Libs were consistant on this, they would be also be calling for the resignations of Senator Pat Leahy (Democrat, NH, who got US intelligence agents killed with his 1980s leaks), Senator John Kerry (Democrat, MA, who outed a covered CIA officer during the Bolton hearings) and Sen Dick Durbin who released confidential FBI information during a speech on the Senate floor.

When it comes down to it, TB, your side of the aisle is being both hypocritical and duplicitous. Lets face it, you really don't care about the specifics of this case ... you don’t want to destroy Karl Rove because he told a reporter that Joe Wilson’s wife who worked at the CIA was the person who authorized her husband’s Nigerian trip.

You all want to destroy Rove because you believe he is the ‘evil genius’ who has single-handedly destroyed the Democrat party and is the person solely responsible for hindering them from a resurgent movement back to power and prominence.

It's all quite comical, in a Keystone Kops sense.

Oh, one more quick point ... when you can provide credible explanations for CBS running those forged Bush National Guard memos, NBC News doctoring a John Kerry interview to cover up his lies about his military files, the New York Times doctoring a Hillary Clinton interview to cover up her claiming contempt for illegal immigrants, the LA Times deliberately oversampling polls to produce results favorable to Democrats and the ABC/Halperin Memo, you might, just might, have the credibility to point out the political bias of FOXNews.

4:41 PM  
Blogger TWB said...

Umm, last time I checked, a federal prosecutor that George W. Bush appointed was investigating a particular leak that it appears Karl Rove was involved in. Is there a federal prosecutor investigating any of those other leaks? I don't know the details.

Of course Dems are jumping on this as a chance to take down the evil genius. Duh. But don't act like it doesn't go both ways. All that outrage on the right about Durbin's Nazi comments, give me a break. Santorum called Democratic Senators akin to Nazis during the Nuclear Option debate.

So you think the Dems are comical? What about McClellan at the press briefings? Rove laying down under a plane's wheels? Peter King and John Gibson saying Karl Rove should get a medal? Republicans are running around like chickens with their heads cut off and Dems are absolutely pouncing because it's happened so seldom in the last 5 years. But seriously, how you can defend these guys is really a mystery to me.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little something well worth reading, but which TB/WR would never even think of putting up on his own ...

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Civil War, D.C.-style
Michael Goodwin
Wednesday, July 13th, 2005

It's a civil war in Washington. The combatants have an eye-for-an-eye mentality. The partisanship is heated and nasty.
Republicans versus Democrats? Nah. This one pits the media against the White House.

It's a war the media can't win, and shouldn't wage.

The intense grilling that White House reporters inflicted on presidential spokesman Scott McClellan Monday over whether political guru Karl Rove leaked the name of a CIA operative was no ordinary give-and-take. It was a hostile hectoring that revealed much of the mainstream press for what it has become: the opposition party.

Forget fairness, or even the pretense of it. With one of its own locked up - Judith Miller of The New York Times - much of the Beltway gang has declared war on the White House.

Reporters apparently have decided Democrats aren't up to the job. Can't blame them. With Dems reduced to Howard Dean's rants and Hillary Clinton's juvenile jab that President Bush looks like Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman, somebody has to offer a substantive alternative. The press has volunteered.

That the mainstream media are basically liberals with press passes has been documented by virtually every study that measures reporters' political identification and issue positions. But bias has now slopped over into blatant opposition, a stance the media will regret. Instead of providing unvarnished facts obtained by aggressive but fair-minded reporting, the media will be reduced to providing comfort food to ideological comrades.

Already held in lower esteem by the public than lawyers and Congress, the press risks looking like a special interest group. Its claims to represent "the American people," as one McClellan inquisitor did, are easily ignored when it serves as an echo chamber for the anti-Bush.

Indeed, as soon as Monday's bash-by-press session ended, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) called on Rove to resign. If everybody resigned when Kerry demanded it, Washington would be empty.

In fairness, the media have many reasons to feel frustrated. The Bush White House has not only restricted information, but has aggressively moved against traditional press privileges. In the past year, about 25 reporters have been subpoenaed or questioned in courts about their sources, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The most famous case has seen The Times' Miller sent to prison for up to four months after she refused to disclose who in the government talked to her about CIA agent Valerie Plame.

A federal prosecutor is probing whether a crime was committed by someone who blew Plame's secret status. Rove has emerged as the latest press suspect; his lawyer denies any wrongdoing.

Miller - a former colleague of mine - has taken her punishment with grace. Her husband, book editor Jason Epstein, told Editor & Publisher magazine, "She was quite prepared to take the consequences and the judge had no choice, she understood that." Epstein said Miller believed she had to protect her source, even if that meant jail.

"I don't see how it could have been avoided because the law is the law," he said. "She exhausted her appeals and had no place left to go."

What a refreshing, adult point of view. Here's hoping it spreads. Then the press can get back to reporting on the President instead of fighting him.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then there's this:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/07/15/cia.leak.rove.ap/index.html

Key phrase is right here, TB:

But at the same time, Wilson acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job at the time Novak's column first identified her. "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity," he said.

If she wasn't clandestine, there was no crime. Why is it again that you are making the assumption that Rove, or anyone within the Bush team, is the target of this investigation? Why is Judy Miller sitting in jail if Rove was her source?

Here's another alternative that you might want to consider ... Fitzgerald is a solid career prosecutor with a professional reputation to maintain. As such, if he does anything OTHER than a full and thorough job and ends up exonerating people, people like you will, just to score cheap political points, be screaming bloody murder about him having whitewashed the matter at the behest of the Administration.

So it's in his interest to have all his I's dotted and T's crossed.

One final thing that stands mentioning. Valerie Plame was, by all indications, a political animal (even making donations to Al Gore's 2000 campaign using her "covered" name and listing a CIA dummy corporation as her employer). She was also a fixture on the DC cocktail circuit (Andrea Mitchell of NBC News has apparently stated that her true employer was well know in such circles well before the Novak column came out). Plame worked the WMD desk at the CIA, the specific area that Judy Miller had a specialty in.

Care to take a stab at connecting the dots there, TB?

6:36 AM  
Blogger TWB said...

That's hilarious. The press has sat idly by for 5 years not challenging this administration on anything. They've been so concerned with not appearing biased that they've erred on the side of bias toward power -- whether it be for access, whether it be laziness, come on, dude. As far as the war was concerned, they hardly acknowledged the presence of an anti-war point of view. And how you can say that the press is liberal when it ignored Bush's evasion of service in Vietnam for years but jumped at the slightest suggestion that Kerry's service was called into question. Or another example, look at the Sunday LA Times front page, which had a "news analysis" claiming that the terror bombings in London would give Bush a "second wind" without citing any new poll --- just a pro Bush propaganda piece. If the press were so liberal, wouldn't I be happy with the press? Wouldn't the Left be just thrilled with an ally as powerful? Give me a break. Look, come up with a new paradigm because the "media is liberal" thing is just a pathetic self-fulfilling prophecy used by intellectually lazy right wingers. If something negative is said about a Republican in the media, it's because of a liberal bias; but if something positive is said, it MUST be true if even the liberal press is saying it. I asked a conservative friend last year if she'd seen the long list of Bush flip flops and she actually said that such a list clearly didn't exist because otherwise the liberal media would have reported it. Oh, OK. Look, there's another explanation as to why the press is so exercised about this story lately -- they are mad. They've been duped by this administration into buying into a war on false pretenses and this story gives them an opportunity to perhaps get redemption and revenge in one fell swoop. But even so, look at David Gregory. As member of the press corps, he rightfully called McClellan out on inconsistencies in what he's said, and he was extremely hard on Scott; as host of Hardball last night, he seemed to be making the case that no crime has been committed by Rove and giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don't doubt that Gregory leans left, but, unlike the blatantly right wing anchors of shows on Fox & MSNBC, when he's in anchor mode, he's actually quitre even handed.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I think all I need to do here is wonder whether your definition of the press "ignor(ing) Bush's evasion of service in Vietnam for years" includes the little incident at CBS (something about forged documents) that resulted in five people being forced to resign and Dan Rather being put out to pasture.

If you want a decent history of what Bush was doing when he was "evading service", here's a good link to look at:

AeroSpaceWeb

You should stand warned, however, that it contains a lot of little, inconvienient things ... like facts.

11:13 AM  

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