The story so far

In news, I’m no fan of scandal journalism because I tend to get lost in the games of he-spat-she-spat and I think that most scandals ultimately have very little to do with our lives and distract from issues and stories that do matter.

In the far less momentous word of so-called personality reporting, I also was no fan of the equivilant, what I came to call bodily fluids journalism: the emphasis on personal scandal over professional products. That is one essential reason why I created Entertainment Weekly: Because of a number of factors in the mid ’80s (the remote control and cable and the resultant fragmentation of the audience; the rise of personality and the value of celebrity to market media; the increasing power of flacks as the new gatekeepers to the famous and what came to pass for news…), the stars’ movie or TV show or album became far less important in media than the stars’ sex scandal or baby or disease or death. So I started a magazine about product over personality, that helped you decide where to spend your money and time.

I don’t mean to stand up above the scandal mongers, all haughty. That’s pretty hard for a former gossip columnist and People writer to do. It’s just the way I look at things.

And that’s why I tend to pay little attention to scandals until I have to… which means I’m often behind the times. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a good thing for a newsman. I was behind on l’affaire Rather until you, my readers, made me catch up and you were right to do so.

Yesterday, I got email from a blog friend asking why I haven’t been on top of l’affaire Rove (formerly known as l’affaire Plame) and the truth is that I just didn’t keep up with all the ins and outs. The implication when people ask a blogger why he’s not writing about a story is that there’s a political motive: Why are you and Reynolds ignoring Rove? Confess! Apologize! Blog! But, in fact, it’s usually just the case that the blogger simply doesn’t care about the story and since a blog isn’t a newspaper of record — a blog is personal — that’s perfectly fine. I have not been a devotee of the Niger-Wilson-Plame-Miller-Cooper-Rove game of hot potato from the start. It’s a pretty sleazy story of overlapping hidden agendas. I don’t get my rocks off digging into scandals. And so I have not written about it. I haven’t had anything worthwile to add.

Still, I will admit it’s time to catch up. But I look at the mountain of charges and countercharges with exhaustion. Just today, I read the NY Times story about White House silence (what we used to call stonewalling) on the hit reality show Rove and the Reporters past the jump without getting a summary of what exactly is now known or acknowledged about Rove’s involvement. The Times assumes that we’re all keeping up on every back-and-forth like good Sisyphusean scandalmongers. I haven’t been. But The Times can’t edit every story for ignorant dolts like me who haven’t been keeping track of a story. Newspapers try; they add background graphs into the middle of tales but in the case of a saga like Rove/Plame, it’s impossible to sum it all up in a graph or two.

About a year ago, I wrote a post (which I can’t find right now, being bandwidth challenged in the mountains but here‘s the same material in a Powerpoint on how technology changes news) arguing that if you created a news product from scratch today, you wouldn’t include those background graphs. You’d link to the background instead. News would fork into ‘now’ and ‘then.’ The only problem is that news organizations aren’t structured to give the news that way. Newspapers especially don’t tell you what’s happening right now; they tell you what happened a few hours ago, when they’re good and ready. Apart from the scattered background graphs, they also aren’t good at getting you up to speed on a story you’ve missed; they don’t gather collected wisdom. Newspapers and newsrooms just aren’t structured to do that.

But the web is structured to do just that: to tell you what’s happening right now and to gather collected wisdom.

So I need someone to give me the story so far. Or the scandal so far.

I went to Wikipedia’s entry on Karl Rove and it was pretty good, though this triple negative took me 5 minutes to parse:

It would not have been illegal if Rove was unaware that Plame’s CIA employment was classified information.

[The only way to make that sentence more befuddling would be to put it this way: "It would not have been illegal if Rove was unaware that Plame's CIA employment was not public information." A quadruple negative. But I digress.]

Now you can the argument about whether Wikipedia is factual and edited and journalistic and all that. But at least it did help me get up to speed.

Now the question remains whether I care. Sorry, but if I went to a party and heard one group dissecting Plame/Rove and another group dissecting War of the Worlds, I’d join the latter conversation. In a blog, it’s hard to feign interest.

: LATER: If you subscribe to the content analysis school of you-are-what-you-don’t-write-about then Dave Winer finds evidence that NPR is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

The story so far

The story so far

: In news, I’m no fan of scandal journalism because I tend to get lost in the games of he-spat-she-spat and I think that most scandals ultimately have very little to do with our lives and distract from issues and stories that do matter.

In the far less momentous word of so-called personality reporting, I also was no fan of the equivilant, what I came to call bodily fluids journalism: the emphasis on personal scandal over professional products. That is one essential reason why I created Entertainment Weekly: Because of a number of factors in the mid ’80s (the remote control and cable and the resultant fragmentation of the audience; the rise of personality and the value of celebrity to market media; the increasing power of flacks as the new gatekeepers to the famous and what came to pass for news…), the stars’ movie or TV show or album became far less important in media than the stars’ sex scandal or baby or disease or death. So I started a magazine about product over personality, that helped you decide where to spend your money and time.

I don’t mean to stand up above the scandal mongers, all haughty. That’s pretty hard for a former gossip columnist and People writer to do. It’s just the way I look at things.

And that’s why I tend to pay little attention to scandals until I have to… which means I’m often behind the times. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a good thing for a newsman. I was behind on l’affaire Rather until you, my readers, made me catch up and you were right to do so.

Yesterday, I got email from a blog friend asking why I haven’t been on top of l’affaire Rove (formerly known as l’affaire Plame) and the truth is that I just didn’t keep up with all the ins and outs. The implication when people ask a blogger why he’s not writing about a story is that there’s a political motive: Why are you and Reynolds ignoring Rove? Confess! Apologize! Blog! But, in fact, it’s usually just the case that the blogger simply doesn’t care about the story and since a blog isn’t a newspaper of record — a blog is personal — that’s perfectly fine. I have not been a devotee of the Niger-Wilson-Plame-Miller-Cooper-Rove game of hot potato from the start. It’s a pretty sleazy story of overlapping hidden agendas. I don’t get my rocks off digging into scandals. And so I have not written about it. I haven’t had anything worthwile to add.

Still, I will admit it’s time to catch up. But I look at the mountain of charges and countercharges with exhaustion. Just today, I read the NY Times story about White House silence (what we used to call stonewalling) on the hit reality show Rove and the Reporters past the jump without getting a summary of what exactly is now known or acknowledged about Rove’s involvement. The Times assumes that we’re all keeping up on every back-and-forth like good Sisyphusean scandalmongers. I haven’t been. But The Times can’t edit every story for ignorant dolts like me who haven’t been keeping track of a story. Newspapers try; they add background graphs into the middle of tales but in the case of a saga like Rove/Plame, it’s impossible to sum it all up in a graph or two.

About a year ago, I wrote a post (which I can’t find right now, being bandwidth challenged in the mountains but here‘s the same material in a Powerpoint on how technology changes news) arguing that if you created a news product from scratch today, you wouldn’t include those background graphs. You’d link to the background instead. News would fork into ‘now’ and ‘then.’ The only problem is that news organizations aren’t structured to give the news that way. Newspapers especially don’t tell you what’s happening right now; they tell you what happened a few hours ago, when they’re good and ready. Apart from the scattered background graphs, they also aren’t good at getting you up to speed on a story you’ve missed; they don’t gather collected wisdom. Newspapers and newsrooms just aren’t structured to do that.

But the web is structured to do just that: to tell you what’s happening right now and to gather collected wisdom.

So I need someone to give me the story so far. Or the scandal so far.

I went to Wikipedia’s entry on Karl Rove and it was pretty good, though this triple negative took me 5 minutes to parse:

It would not have been illegal if Rove was unaware that Plame’s CIA employment was classified information.

[The only way to make that sentence more befuddling would be to put it this way: "It would not have been illegal if Rove was unaware that Plame's CIA employment was not public information." A quadruple negative. But I digress.]

Now you can the argument about whether Wikipedia is factual and edited and journalistic and all that. But at least it did help me get up to speed.

Now the question remains whether I care. Sorry, but if I went to a party and heard one group dissecting Plame/Rove and another group dissecting War of the Worlds, I’d join the latter conversation. In a blog, it’s hard to feign interest.

: LATER: If you subscribe to the content analysis school of you-are-what-you-don’t-write-about then Dave Winer finds evidence that NPR is part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

  • http://myblahg.blogspot.com Robert McClelland

    You always have an excuse for why you’re not blogging about Republican scandals.

  • http://ross.typepad.com Ross Mayfield

    Now the question is if you edited the triple negative ;-)

  • http://www.workingwithwords.blogspot.com John Ettorre

    Jarvis always hangs himself with his own words. Yes, his excuses about not delving into Republican muck are increasingly laughable. Gee, the whole Rove thing is SO complicated. He needs help understanding it. And this “scandal journalism” is so tiring and taxing on his poor mental faculties. The intellectual journalism roots (TV Guide) are showing.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    John:
    Where is the rule book that says what I do and do not HAVE TO delve into? Can you show me that blogging statute?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Robert: Or Democratic. I never gave a shit about Whitewater or Kerry’s military history kerfluffle. Just because you care doesn’t mean I have to.

  • http://www.thisisberry.com Berry

    Bodily fluids journalism – I hope you haven’t copyrighted that one, I intend to use it.

  • kl

    You’re out of the club, Jarvis! You’ve failed the loyalty test.

  • nick

    Jeff,
    “The implication when people ask a blogger why he’s not writing about a story is that there’s a political motive: Why are you and Reynolds ignoring Rove? Confess! Apologize! Blog! But, in fact, it’s usually just the case that the blogger simply doesn’t care about the story…”
    Doesn’t that weakness undercut your contention that Blogs are somehow a replacement for newspapers? If one gets their news from Glenn Reynolds or Mikey Kaus or even BuzzMachine, aren’t
    they, by your own admission, only hearing a distorted view of what’s happening in the world? I wonder if Glenn and Mickey would have been so disinterested in if the facts were the same and but instead of Carl Rove it was Lanny Davis and instead GWB, it was Bill Clinton. Like it or not, blogs are moving beyond their simple orgins and are now a source of information for many. You like the rewards of this newfound interest but you avoid the responsibility. Please remind yourself of this abdication the next time you criticize the NYTimes or some other MSM outlet.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    I liked the disclaimer Reynolds put up in response to former criticism from Tony Pierce (hi Tony if you’re reading this)
    1. InstaPundit is not an unbiased news service. It consists entirely of my opinions and such links to factual items as I find interesting. Its whole purpose is as a vehicle for my biases, in fact. It is not unbiased and objective in any fashion, but rather is opinionated and slanted, much like other, more respectable, outlets such as The New York Times and TonyPierce.com.
    This type of criticism seems to be a running theme.
    I never understand the “why-aren’t-you-blogging-about-X” attack, no matter what the subject is.

  • http://www.workingwithwords.blogspot.com John Ettorre

    Jeff,
    Of course, you get to choose. All I’m saying is that by your cumulative choices you have betrayed an obvious bias against going after certain people with certain philosophies. And through your not-so-subtle nomenclature–”scandal journalism”–you are editorializing against seriously delving into serious things. Karl Rove has committed egregious Nixonian acts over many decades (for an excellent overview, see Joshua Green’s piece in last November’s Atlantic Monthly) and now he’s apparently been caught, with the kind of documentary evidence that even he will have trouble slipping away from. Is that really so difficult to understand for such a smart guy like you? And yes, I do hold you to a higher standard of fairness and intelligence than others, because you have often put yourself in the position of speaking on behalf of millions of bloggers (in your debate with Bill Keller and lots of other venues).

  • nick

    Hubris,
    Fine, I understand that defense but what I don’t buy is this “citizen journalists” bs. The top bloggers like to bite at the ankles of bigger media outlets and pretend they are better or more accurate at getting at a story. The above argument reveals alot about how bloggers really feel. They love the attention, the going to conferences, being interviewed on TV, ect. But they don’t want the accompanying responsibility. In otherwords, they want to play dress up.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Eh, I think one can appreciate the advantages of blogs (the capacity for easy, public, real-time factual corrections, the ability for anyone to easily publish their views) without engaging in blogger triumphalism (and acknowledge the pitfalls, such as the rapid dissemination of complete bullshit).
    I like the shark-remora perspective on the relationship between the traditional press and blogs (however, this being a blog, someone will probably pop by to argue that the shark-remora relationship is actually commensalist rather than symbiotic).

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    I read this blog because of its author’s take on the media. I hope to god that the hoardes of Daily Kos readers don’t try to turn this into a political tabliod. Judging by Jarvis’ replies I’m not afraid of that happening.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    I read this blog because of its author’s take on the media. I hope to god that the hoardes of Daily Kos readers don’t try to turn this into a political tabloid. Judging by Jarvis’ replies I’m not afraid of that happening.

  • nick

    Well said Hubris. But Jeff has been a proponent of the newspapers are dead meme. My point is that before we write the obituary of the traditional press, we had better find something to replace it.
    Blogs aren’t it.

  • kl

    This type of criticism seems to be a running theme.

    I found this more interesting:
    “for the last ten years i have been a daily pot smoker…”
    Ya don’t say.

  • http://www.thelooneys.com/blogs/jason Jason Looney

    Matthew Baldwin just published a summary of the affair, which I found helpful: http://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/001356.html

  • http://www.workingwithwords.blogspot.com John Ettorre

    Nick is so very right. Unlike a flock of his more serious counterparts (Gillmor, Rosen, Josh Marshall, etc.) Jarvis is more into the attention than the responsibility that comes with journalism.

  • tonynoboloney

    As one who frequently gets his news and opinions from blog sites I have to agree with Jeff this story is a bit confusing. It is difficult to tell who the players are without a program.
    Being a true “blog monkey”, who only reads and occasionally jumps in with a comment or two I have the luxury of standing on the sidelines taking that wait and see attitude until a story either makes itself clear or goes away. But I also believe Jeff is under no obligation to write on ANY story he does not deem worthy or interesting enough for buzzmachine. Heaven knows I am under no obligation to read it (say Dell hell).

  • Linda Edwards

    An excellent timeline of the story:
    http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Plame_Leak_timeline
    Should clear up the confusion.

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    The Rove/Plame thing is, if you’ll pardon my French:
    Fucking.
    BORING.
    I’m supposed to pick a side? Oh, you mean they’re not BOTH liars? Well, just yell at me for not giving a tinker’s damn, then. Yeesh. But hey, anybody who doesn’t see Rove around every corner is a Republican operative anyway, so don’t worry about it.

  • http://www.oliverwillis.com Oliver

    Yes, Jeff, you totally ignored the Kerry/Vietnam story.

  • http://www.democracyguy.com Tim Russo

    I’m a Democrat. I hat Karl Rove. I will thoroughly enjoy seeing him indicted, if that happens. That said…I agree with Jeff on this. Blogged on it at http://www.democracyguy.com.
    I am still suffering from scandal fatigue from the Clinton years. I can’t be bothered. Good for you, Jeff.

  • http://www.democracyguy.com Tim Russo

    that would be “I hatE Karl Rove.” To “hat” Karl Rove is not something I am aware exists.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Wow Oliver, that was not only totally disingenuous, it was–dare I say it–positively Roveian of you.
    Here are excerpts from the first 5 posts of Jeff’s in your linked Google search:
    I would hate to think that mudslinging — whether the mud is the Swifties’ snipes or Moore’s or those who went after Bush’s military record — is our proudest moment in this new medium. It’s not.
    In that same spirit, I’d say that Glenn is going overboard — pun a fringe benefit — on the Kerry swift boat/Cambodia hooha.
    : Todd Purdum on Sunday gives us an incredibly condescending, insulting, snotty analysis of the dirty, rancorous campaign we’ve had: He says that all the vile bile must be OK because voter registration is high.
    : NPR send a reporter to the riverfront in Vietnam where Kerry served in his swift boat to discover that — surprise, surprise, surprise — the Vietnamese neither know nor care about the alleged controversy here. Somebody has too much time or money.
    : The ever-impressive Bryan Keefer of Spinsanity writes a smart, direct, and insightful open letter to big media about how it should be changing for newer, younger audiences in the Washington Post. [Keefer was criticizing coverage of the swift Boat story]
    I scanned through the rest of of the pages, and it looks like many of the mentions are from the comments, not Jeff’s posts. But here’s a choice nugget from Jeff:
    And I dismiss these attacks-for-attacks’-sake on Kerry. Shut up already. Stop wasting my time. Stop sputtering. Stop yelling at me to care about something I don’t care about.
    Oliver, do you ever get tired of trying to make everything fit a perspective that is warped by anger? Free your mind, dude.

  • http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/000214.htm AvengingAngel

    The Rove affair presents President Bush with an ethical, as well as legal and political, quandary.
    Now would be a good time for George Bush to ask:
    “What Would Jesus Do?”

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Jon Podhoretz covers this all very well. In reference to the magazine account of the convo between Rove and Cooper:
    There’s no mistaking the purpose of this conversation between Cooper and Rove. It wasn’t intended to discredit, defame or injure Wilson’s wife. It was intended to throw cold water on the import, seriousness and supposedly high level of Wilson’s findings.
    While some may differ on the fairness of discrediting Joseph Wilson, it sure isn’t any kind of crime.
    And on the “crime”:
    But Plame’s undercover status at the time was and is a little questionable in any case. How undercover could she have been when her name was published at the time as part of Joseph Wilson’s own biography online (see cpsag.com/our_team/wilson.html)?
    So if the offense wasn’t against Plame, what of the offense against Wilson? There was no offense. As many of Joe Wilson’s own hottest defenders would no doubt argue in relation to President Bush, exposing a liar is not only not a crime, it’s a public service.
    And Wilson lied. Repeatedly.
    And as Taranto at the Wall Street journal points out today, while Wilson and his mammoth ego have been telling fibs left and right, Rove and McLellan are being hounded by the press essentially for telling them the truth.
    Happy hunting, scandalmongers!

  • Franky

    “But Plame’s undercover status at the time was and is a little questionable in any case. How undercover could she have been when her name was published at the time as part of Joseph Wilson’s own biography online”
    This is typical right-wing bullshit these days – just put forward absolute illogical crap. I’ve felt this way for sometime, but I’ll ask again: are you guys not even trying anymore?
    It was not a secret that she was married to Joe Wilson – I think the neighbors might have figured that one out. What was a secret was that she worked for the CIA and worked for the CIA as an undercover operative.

  • Franky

    What annoys people about omission of blogging is when the bloggers do write about party x doing something and get outraged about such ehtical lapeses, but then ignore a similar story if the culprits are of their own party.
    That’s hypocrisy and as free as everyone is to be a hypocrite the rest are equally free to call them on being such a hack.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    This is the left’s big leap, Franky: that Rove outed a covert agent, and that still has yet to be established. While it may come out that this is the case, it’s still entirely gauzy and wishful speculation. Back to the the misleadingly linked Rove = Leak article:
    Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame’s name or knew she was a covert operative.
    The point of the administration even discussing Wilson’s published article was to dispute it — and it deserved disputing, because Wilson’s methodology was wholly suspect, as was the very reason he was assigned to the case.
    This isn’t a matter of a big, bad administration seeking to destroy any and all that oppose it; this is the administration exercising the right to speak on true matters.
    The case by leftist bloggers is so flimsy that I see they are now trying to explain away the one daming aspect that Rove OK’d Cooper to speak; it’s difficult to follow, because it is so fanciful, but it involves some kind of special deal between Cooper and Miller for Miller to go to jail for the Rove info so Cooper remains free to — what? Operate the batcomputers in the batcave to find the *real* dirt behind Rove, I guess.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    And it still has not been conclusively shown that Plame was a covert agent at the time this story broke. From what I have read, she was already making the move to management — and why else would she be deigning to make assignment recommendations? And if her husband weren’t an egomaniacal publicity seeker, why would else would he be “outing” her himself so often and so furiously after the fact in magazines and TV?
    The ommission from leftist bloggers being, more precisely, that they have here a murder with not only no body, but no missing person, and an investigation based on the old standby, “the seriousness of the charge”.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com tony

    hi Hubris,
    yes i liked Glenn’s disclaimer too. however it’s sorta disingenious to have a disclaimer that one has to search for.
    for example mine is right below the mast head and above the main post. by burying it in the archives gives one the impression that youre hiding something.
    as for my most recent analyis of the professor’s blogging behavoir, i stand by it. anyone who makes 40+ posts in 40+ days a year ago about Wilson and then buries his head in the sand about Rove is begging to be laughed at.
    i like glenn. i just want him to be better.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    The Wiki article reminds me that Novak never even “outed” Plame as *covert*, but simply referred to her as an “operative”. An operative is not automatically covert, and, as has been demonstrated before, Wilson himself had identified his wife as CIA prior to the Novak article.
    My sense is that Wilson blew up at the connotation of “operative” — which sometimes *does* mean covert — and blew up over something that had not actually happened. Thus, he made charges that his wife’s cover had been blown; but since Novak never said she was a covert agent, he is of course free and unimplicated, except by the ongoing rantings of the tinfoil hat brigade; but since it *is* a serious charge, we have an investigation in the matter that has put Miller into jail, although it seems to me that in the end there will be a determination that the first and most vocal “outer” of Plame as a covert agent will be Wilson himself.
    More on selective outrage: we have had lots of damaging security leaks from Democratic senators in the last few years that more directly put US troops in danger. Of course, the left finds nothing treasonous about that, because there’s no way to spin that into a Republican scandal.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    tony,
    Thanks for the reply. Agree to disagree.
    Let’s find some unity.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Oliver:
    Can you read?

  • Linda Edwards

    Looks like some of us got our “talking points” memo this morning. I guess in the end, it doesn’t matter what any of us think.
    We’ll all know soon enough what Fitzgerald and the grand jury think.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    hey jeff
    the daily show today (7/12) did a super funny recap of the history of this soap opera far better than any dry newspaper or boring blog ever could.
    if youre in a place where you can find it, i highly recommend it
    and yes, all sides get spanked

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Interestingly, the administration evidently considered the ‘leak’ (of the identity of a covert US public servant to discredit her husband’s denial of a grounds for going to war) enough of an offense to launch an investigation, with special investigator, to get to the bottom of it. Such behavior isn’t a sign of great character. Whether or not it’s a crime may or may not be concluded by the investigation.
    For Daily Show: http://www.contemporaryinsanity.org/content/view/113/2/

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Looks like some of us got our “talking points” memo this morning
    Oh, brother. My opinion on a Wiki article is a “talking point”.
    Well, OK, if we want talking points, *this* morning’s Wall Street Journal echoes my opinion:
    …Mr. Rove is turning out to be the real “whistleblower” in this whole sorry pseudo-scandal. He’s the one who warned Time’s Matthew Cooper and other reporters to be wary of Mr. Wilson’s credibility. He’s the one who told the press the truth that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife, not by Vice President Dick Cheney as Mr. Wilson was asserting on the airwaves. In short, Mr. Rove provided important background so Americans could understand that Mr. Wilson wasn’t a whistleblower but was a partisan trying to discredit the Iraq War in an election campaign. Thank you, Mr. Rove.

    On the “no underlying crime” point, moreover, no less than the New York Times and Washington Post now agree. So do the 36 major news organizations that filed a legal brief in March aimed at keeping Mr. Cooper and the New York Times’s Judith Miller out of jail.
    “While an investigation of the leak was justified, it is far from clear–at least on the public record–that a crime took place,” the Post noted the other day. Granted the media have come a bit late to this understanding, and then only to protect their own, but the logic of their argument is that Mr. Rove did nothing wrong either.

    And, finally, on Ruth’s last point that there *must* be a crime because there’s an investigation:
    If there’s any scandal at all here, it is that this entire episode has been allowed to waste so much government time and media attention, not to mention inspire a “special counsel” probe. The Bush Administration is also guilty on this count, since it went along with the appointment of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in an election year in order to punt the issue down the road.
    Etc. Thing is, the more you learn about this story, the more you find that there’s nothing there except for the usual leftist political rage. Much of this, after all, is rooted in rage over Bush’s “16 words” — and you don’t hear anybody talking about the “16 words” anymore, for the very reason that Wilson and this line of argument has been so thoroughly discredited. After all of the other nonsense fell away, all the pro-Wilson forces are left with is the specious accusation of something that still never really quite happened.
    And apparently the only way to salvage it now is to start pointing to comedy skits that offer comforting “balance” to yet another wild, partisan stumble.

  • Linda Edwards

    Carsonfire, you’re quoting the neo-con editorial page of the WSJ as if it has some kind of merit? You think what Rove did was honorable? Thank you Mr. Rove?? You’re thanking this low-life, bottom-sucking pond scum? For bringing integrity (yuk, yuk) back to the White House?
    You talk about partisan! I’ve never seen such unabashed spinning in my life. My gosh, you must be incredibly dizzy!
    Ruth didn’t say there *must* be a crime if there’s an investigation, you’re spinning again. But one thing’s for sure. The White House previously said Rove wasn’t involved in the leak, but now all the world (except you, of course) has seen that was a lie. THAT is worthy of an investigation. That you don’t seem to think the *possible* outing of a CIA operative is worthly of an investigation speaks volumes about whether you’re truly interesting in our country’s national security, or if you’re only interested in advancing this administration’s own corrupt political agenda.
    You really ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Linda, it’s considerate of you to point out for me that carsonfire again is making up words and attributing them to me so he can have something to refute. It’s such a tired tactic that I fear it must take a lot of desperation to fool even the perpetrator, but some of the posters here seem to have no other way of ‘reasoning’.
    The most telling ‘point’ I have heard in the several degrees of coverage of this sad new proof of the administration’s disregard for the truth, is that the administration seems determined to ride this one out, too. Reminds me of the famous Herblock cartoon of the brick wall that began building outside the White House as Nixon hid and dug in, evaded, and dug in some more.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Ruth, I can’t put words in your mouth when your words are in this same thread.
    Interestingly, the administration evidently considered the ‘leak’ (of the identity of a covert US public servant to discredit her husband’s denial of a grounds for going to war) enough of an offense to launch an investigation, with special investigator, to get to the bottom of it.
    My understanding of that is “if there’s an investigation, there must have been a crime”. I believe that is the argument you are building, and that is *my opinion*, and not putting words in your mouth.
    In any case, I think we’ve demonstrated that it is not possible to take the side of Rove in this and not be labelled blindly partisan by blind partisans. WSJ is “neo-con”; Rove, before being indicted or tried for *anything* is “low-life, bottom-sucking pond scum”; and my thoughts upon reading a Wiki article is “talking points”. And shame shame shame for not blindly falling in line with today’s scandalmongering!
    No, this is indeed scandalmongering, and its genesis is an extreme, extremist political hate. When reciting facts are met with bulging forehead veins and Fingers of Accusation, you know something’s just not kosher.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    carsonfire,
    You read ‘enough of an offense’, and interpret ‘crime’, from the preceding post.
    Styling any argument against an offense as ‘scandalmongering’ is begging the argument, and as you are well aware I just don’t have time to educate you in the English language. But try the definition of ‘obfuscation’, and you will know what your constant accusations against the side not agreeing with you appear to me to be.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    I don’t use the word scandalmongering lightly. If I were to accuse Betty’s husband of adultery when there was no evidence that Betty’s husband has been unfaithful, that’s scandalmongering. Similarly, when a political party on the outs expends so much of its will to smear a man for “outing a covert agent” when it is still an open question whether “outing a covert agent” even took place, that’s scandalmongering.
    Sure, have an investigation. Get to the bottom of it. But that’s not what this is about for some. This is all about a “low-life, bottom-sucking pond scum” — who is a low-life, bottom-sucking pond scum because he is an effective politico that has thwarted an opposing party, which is not a criminal offense (although I’m sure some would like it to be).
    I’ve been trying to cite actual reports, such as the earlier “rove = leak” article (which says no such thing). But the use of pejoratives like “neocons”, “low-life, bottom-sucking pond scum”, and the attempt at shaming, in my opinion do not bring great clarity to the situation.

  • Linda Edwards

    Clarity can only occur when all the facts are in, and when all sides have had their say:
    http://www.yuricareport.com/Impeachment/WilsonDefendsHimselfInLtrToSenate.html
    More phony outrage.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    carson you realize that Everyone agrees that rove = leak except you.
    Everyone including the WH who now wont even talk about the matter because theyre as embarrassed about it as you are.
    if you go back to the link that i provided, the newsweek article of earlier this week and click to page two Coopers email clearly states that Rove told the reporter that Wilson’s wife was CIA.
    now what part of that dont you understand?
    you would have a better chance trying to convince us that the earth is flat… or in your case that you just did shots with elves… than try to argue that Rove wasnt A leak if not THE leak.
    my advice to you is to follow your party’s line which is to pretend that what Rove leaked wasnt illegal or important.
    either way, because Bushie said that he’d fire whoever was the leak, even with your bizzarre defense, Rove is going to be fired… for leaking.
    when that happens will you then admit that youre wrong?

  • Linda Edwards
  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Actually, the ‘outing’ occurred when Robert Novak published the info on Ms. Plame that he admitted he got from the WH. Cooper didn’t act like llbsps and publish an article outing her.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Clarity can only occur when all the facts are in
    So who’s stopping you, Linda? All I’ve done is venture my opinion, and several of you seem to be trembling with delicious excitement and righteous anger. If throwing links at me makes you feel better, that’s OK with me. ;)
    Tony, making demonstrably untrue statements like Everyone agrees that rove = leak except you damages one’s credibility. Be a bit more careful; you’re more persuasive when avoiding wild hyperbole. You should know that we could find any number of wingnut extremist pinheads like me who don’t agree with your interpretation of that information. That alone invalidates your statement.
    Ruth: I have to ask again, why did Novak change his name to Miller, and how did he pull off such a convincing sex change operation?
    However, please note one thing: when that happens will you then admit that youre wrong? I thought I already acknowledged that I could be wrong. Rove could be arrested and “frog marched” out of the White House tomorrow, but that doesn’t change my opinion *today* that the case made by the left is weak and lacking. But that does not mean that the courts will not have access to more convincing information that will send Rove to the guillotine, or wherever it is leftist enemies are executed these days. I do not defend Rove so much as critique leftist scandalmongering and tin foil hattery.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    …and I should add, I don’t need to ask if any of you will admit to being wrong if Rove is cleared completely. Not only am I not interested, we know that Rove will continue to be satan’s spawn regardless.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    BTW, I am unimpressed with the links thrown at me. Wilson is not credible; and the news “story” is just an exercise in surrounding the same raw, incomplete information with the same old slanted extrapolations… characterizing partisan activity as somehow especially evil when committed by Republicans (as contrasted with Democratic partisan activity which is presumably always saintly); characterizing discrediting partisan Wilson as evil (while, again, countless attempts at discrediting partisans by Democrats gets the Mother Theresa thumbs up).
    I’m not asking anyone to care, or to make wagers based on my opinion; I just simply remain unconvinced.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Heh… but thanks for the links, anyway. Stuff like this is *so* precious.
    Keep fighting the good fight!

  • http://tonypierce.com tony

    carson,
    please provide us with some of the wingnuts who share your opinion that the Newsweek article followed by the WaPo article do not state that Rove leaked info about Plame being CIA.
    currently youre the only member of the flat earth society that ive run across on my journey around the blogosphere.
    there are those like the Instapundit who now refuse to even discuss the topic, but so far you are the only one that ive seen who belongs to the fantasyland that Rove didnt leak anything.
    and yes, links would be great. thanks.

  • Linda Edwards

    Carsonfire, your first comment posted 7/12 4:23 was not stated as opinion and you know it.
    And if you’re not impressed by links, then why do you do it? I mean, linking to the NY Post? I do believe that the NY Post is a Rupert Murdock (Fox News) newpaper. And linking to the neo-con Editorial page of the WSJ link?
    Also, both Ruth and I stated the *possibility* of a crime, was worthy of an investigation. And he may not be guilty of breaking the law. But he certainly is guilty of betraying his high position simply by talking smack to reporters about a person who performed a lifetime of vital service for the benefit of our country’s national security. I’ll apologize to Rove when Hell freezes over.
    ” …we know that Rove will continue to be satan’s spawn regardless”
    Why yes, because we can’t change an accident of birth.

  • Aurora

    I am, at this point, entirely convinced that “carsonfire” is some intern at the RNC comm shop this summer…remind daddy to pay the rent before you head back to Trinity!

  • Eileen

    Jeff’s title to this thread says it best.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    remind daddy to pay the rent before you head back to Trinity!
    Class warfare, even! Sorry, but you’re way, way, waaay off.
    please provide us with some of the wingnuts
    You’re just not looking, Tony. It doesn’t matter, though, because I’m not responsible for anybody else’s opinion; I’ve formed my opinion based on what I’ve read, core beliefs, etc, and I don’t need confirmation or flattery from like-minded people.

  • http://blogebrity.com/blog Nick Douglas

    In case you’re still reading, Jarvis, Kuro5hin posted a biased but cohesive summary of the scandal.

  • http://tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    You should know that we could find any number of wingnut extremist pinheads like me who don’t agree with your interpretation of that information. That alone invalidates your statement.
    carson i called your bluff and all you have to say is “you’re not looking hard enough?”
    sounds like you’ve looked everywhere and have come up with zip-ola.
    i was sincere when i said that youre the only one saying the earth is flat. and you say there are others like you. i called bs and you’re still standing there alone.
    so either fess up and admit that youre the only one who says that those articles indeed state that Rove leaked info to Cooper, or provide some links.
    unless you want to chicken out and say that 0 is a number, and therefore “any number of wingnuts” could include zero wingnuts.
    ive given you lots of time and the entire internet. so go ahead, fetch me your proof.
    good luck though because like i said either you have dudes like Insta who wants to pretend that this isnt blogworthy or you have the rest who say that it was a leak but not a crime.
    i read about 200 blogs a day and tons of comment threads, and i stand by my claim that youre the only person ive seen who doesnt think that rove=leak. congratulations.
    maybe you can take a cue from Jeff and just keep quiet next time.
    and no, i wont expect an apology for claiming that i have made “untrue” statements. i dont mind being called a liar by someone in fantasyland.

  • http://tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    corrections:
    so either fess up and admit that youre the only one who says that those articles indeed *dont* state that Rove leaked info to Cooper, or provide some links *to others who also say that Rove didnt leak to Cooper*.

  • Eileen

    tony,
    Truly you insult better than most. But take a moment out of your blog day and watch, e.g., Chris Matthews’ Hardball. Was it only yesterday? Google away.
    Yes, Chris Matthews, that paradigm of neo-conservatism??!! The focus was upon an hour of Wilson’s lies to Russert re the V.P. supposedly sending him off on his little ‘foray’ instead of his wife, the truth regarding GWB’s statements regarding yellowcake regardless of Wilson’s claims, the attempt by Rove to set the journalistic record straight without ‘outing’ anyone in the process (please see Carsonfire’s comments in this regard) the fact that…
    Ah, well. You don’t want to wait for actual ‘facts’ to be established via any investigation, eh?
    I believe Linda when she says she’ll apologize to Rove when hell freezes over. *Truly* I do. You’re apparently a member of the same club.
    To reiterate: Jeff’s title says it best. If you can’t wait for the facts, find something better to do.

  • http://tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    thanks for the compliment Eileen,
    i think i saw the hardball you are referencing, but perhaps i saw Monday’s and not Tuesday’s.
    unfortunately 2004 was the year to call Wilson a liar, and to be honest even if Wilson is a liar it doesnt mean that Rove isnt a leaker and that Bush isn’t in a quandry about his press conference on 6/10/2004 where he said he’d fire the leaker.
    the two (the alleged lie and alleged leak) are not mutually exclusive.
    although i have great respect for Jeff, which is why i frequent his blog and attempt to be a good commentor, i disagree with his “wait for the facts” advice because i believe there are some facts in front of us worth analyzing.
    in fact the conversation that im having with carson is that im suggesting that we do have some facts. we have the email which nobody is denying to be false.
    while most rational people are trying to speculate whether rove’s leak was criminal, carson has the intriguing opinion that the newsweek and time articles dont state that it was a leak at all.
    btw, carson, i am still looking (are you?) and look what i found: even Fox News yesterday (7/13) called it a leak
    “Cooper spoke after a two-and-a-half hour appearance before the grand jury investigating the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s (search) identity. He was one of several journalists to whom Plame’s identity was leaked following the publication of an editorial written by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson (search), in which Wilson criticized the Bush administration.

    Cooper confirmed that his source on the leak was Deputy Chief of Staff Rove, one of President Bush’s most trusted advisers and the man credited with Bush’s four consecutive campaign victories.”
    so carson, please show me the wingnuts so nutty to disagree with the fair and balanced Fox News.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    carsonfire:
    You state ‘I’ve formed my opinion based on what I’ve read, core beliefs, etc, and I don’t need confirmation or flattery from like-minded people.’ Thanks for the admission of the fact that ‘core beliefs’ are an equal part of your basis for your opinion. We can all only hope that we allow facts to dominate over ‘core beliefs’ in order to come to solid conclusions.
    I refer you to a statement by a minister of my acquaintance who often deals with people who are confused about decision-making (let the Bible fall open and take whatever appears first as God’s word on whatever, etc.) – who reminds those of such persuasion that God gave them a mind, evidence enough that we are intended to use it.
    And your post addressed to me about Novak’s name- and sex- change kind of mystifies. Is this some oblique effort to remove the onus of his acts from Novak’s ‘outing’ of Ms. Plame? Or were we just up past our bedtime?

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    carson i called your bluff and all you have to say is “you’re not looking hard enough?”
    Oh! Oh! *Has tremors upon being misquoted* (parody)
    Sorry, Tony, my world doesn’t revolve around your capability of finding right wing editorials. I didn’t know of many before (apart from the ones that I had *already linked* in *this very thread*), because I had only read some news accounts. Now I *do* know of a few more that seem to share my general take on the known information, but I couldn’t really care less if you had links to them or not. Your “bluff calling” is a red herring, a complete irrelevancy to my holding an independent opinion.
    And what happened to the constant badgering about talking points, the charge that the right are a bunch of brain-dead robots? So when there is clearly independent thought: “bwah! Nobody else thinks like you! bwah!”
    This is why this stuff keeps blowing up in the left’s collective face. Complain if they’re standing; complain if they’re sitting down; complain if they’re taking a walk. Never satisfied, never happy, never reasonable. Please, take a break from being pissed off 24/7.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Whee! I love it… I just heard Wilson on the radio torturously explaining that while Rove apparently did not indeed name his wife as a covert agent, he did refer to his “wife” who is obviously named *Wilson* since that is his name, as well (even though this story has revolved around outing “Valerie Plame” from day one). As far as I can tell from this version, it is illegal to even acknowledge that Wilson is married.
    This is already falling apart, as far as I can tell.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Something else I’m noticing, listening and reading… there’s a heightened tone in all of this. I dismissed the hysterical attacks against me for simply having an opinion in this thread as people with nothing better to do — but I’m seeing it elsewhere, too… an aggressive, desperate bullying of anybody and everybody who isn’t in lockstep with the extreme partisan Democratic account of the Plame “scandal”.
    Whether this pans out or not (that is, whether Rove is convicted of something or not), there is definitely something pathological going on, here… perhaps bordering on religious fervor. It’s as if there’s a fear that allowing “infidels” to speak contrary to the holy word will cause the magic to evaporate, and the desired reality will be unfairly denied to the chosen ones.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Something else I’m noticing, listening and reading… there’s a heightened tone in all of this. I dismissed the hysterical attacks against me for simply having an opinion in this thread as people with nothing better to do — but I’m seeing it elsewhere, too… an aggressive, desperate bullying of anybody and everybody who isn’t in lockstep with the extreme partisan Democratic account of the Plame “scandal”.
    Whether this pans out or not (that is, whether Rove is convicted of something or not), there is definitely something pathological going on, here… perhaps bordering on religious fervor. It’s as if there’s a fear that allowing “infidels” to speak contrary to the holy word will cause the magic to evaporate, and the desired reality will be unfairly denied to the chosen ones.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Oops, hit that post button twice. Sorry about that!

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    carson,
    you having an opinion has never been in question.
    once again, because either youre being coy, obstinate, stoned, retarded, or brain damaged.
    you claimed that i was making proveable “untrue statements” when i wrote that “Everyone” agreed that Rove leaked info:
    this is what you said, “Tony, making demonstrably untrue statements like Everyone agrees that rove = leak except you”
    the links that you provided in this thread debate the leak but certainly do not deny Rove being the leak. you know that. clearly you know that. you know that so well that you said:
    “You should know that we could find any number of wingnut extremist pinheads like me who don’t agree with your interpretation of that information.”
    so i invited you to find those pinheads (as you described them).
    but alas, you discovered that you were the only pinhead claiming that rove did not leak, and now you want to change the subject.
    so yes, please change the subject because you’ve perfectly proved my point that you and you alone are the only wingnut pinhead who is claiming that the chief of staff did not leak info to reporters.
    but if you want to lecture people about how to do things, before you change the subject either apologize for calling a liar (“untrue statements”) or admit that youre the only person who thinks that rove is not a leaker.
    it’s only fair.
    … or link us to others who are saying that rove was not a leak.
    so i asked you
    you said that

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    the links that you provided in this thread debate the leak but certainly do not deny Rove being the leak. you know that. clearly you know that. you know that so well that you said:
    The “leak” of what, Tony? It’s fairly clear that Rove did indeed “leak” that Wilson’s wife got him the job that he “outed” himself over in print. That makes Rove a whistleblower and Wilson a liar.
    Rove has *not* been shown to “leak” that one Valerie Plame was a covert CIA agent. That continues to be in contention, and there is no proof yet that such is the case. In fact, evidence seems to run to the contrary.
    The following is from James Taranto, who I have now cited *twice*, and is *clearly* one of those people who pop your hyperbolic and childish “everyone agrees with this but you” statement that you insist on defending. Taranto doesn’t have to be right to prove that silly statement wrong; but he quite clearly disagrees with the fantasy that Rove outed a covert CIA agent. And as he points out today, USAToday is reporting as much, too:
    —-
    Unless we’re missing something, Joe Wilson has disproved his own accusation that someone in the Bush administration violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, USA Today reports:
    *** QUOTE ***
    The alleged crime at the heart of a controversy that has consumed official Washington–the “outing” of a CIA officer–may not have been a crime at all under federal law, little-noticed details in a book by the agent’s husband suggest.
    In The Politics of Truth, former ambassador Joseph Wilson writes that he and his future wife both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997. Neither spouse, a reading of the book indicates, was again stationed overseas. They appear to have remained in Washington, D.C., where they married and became parents of twins.
    *** END QUOTE ***
    This meant that Plame would have been stationed in the U.S. for six years before Bob Novak published his column citing her two years ago today. As USA Today notes:
    *** QUOTE ***
    The column’s date is important because the law against unmasking the identities of U.S. spies says a “covert agent” must have been on an overseas assignment “within the last five years.” The assignment also must be long-term, not a short trip or temporary post, two experts on the law say.
    *** END QUOTE ***
    All the Democrats who are braying for Karl Rove’s head can’t be very confident that he’s committed a crime. If they were, they would wait for an indictment, which would be a genuine embarrassment to the administration.
    —-

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    youve changed your tune carson, which isnt unexpected
    the debate was never is rove a criminal, or did he mention her name. it was that rove leaked classified info to a reporter.
    thus my original link of rove=leak
    and if rove wasnt leaking anything then why the “double super secret”? then why all the zipped lips in the wh? then why is rove’s lawyer doing all the talking all of a sudden?
    youre in a bad place elf
    and btw
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0722-04.htm
    that article quotes novak as saying that his sourceS named names, so when this investigation is over and novak reveals his sources we will certainly see if rove lied about not naming names.
    and quit assumming that just because im anti-bush and pro-cia means that im a democrat. ive voted for just as many republican presidents as ive voted for dems.
    you back away from your stances, you believe the world is flat, and you assume far too much.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    the debate was never is rove a criminal
    Gaaaah! *thump*
    Go away. Just go away. If the debate isn’t about that, Tony, it’s about *nothing* and is a complete waste of everybody’s time.