Singing the Bite Me Song

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July 03, 2005

Karl Rove's goose...

Reading the handwriting on the wall, I'd say it's cooked.

Lawrence O'Donnell does a little analysis of what the info means on the Huffington Post, a follow-up from his breaking the story Friday ahead of Newsweek et al.

The puzzle that continues to pursue me is why the focus is on Matt Cooper and Judith Miller, with so little said about Bob Novak. It seems that Novak had some kind of arrangement or deal with the Grand Jury that left him nowhere near threats of contempt of court.

As much as the Rove information makes me do a little dance (I'd heard on the grapevine the Plame information was being shopped all over at the time, but only a few (Novak and Cooper?) took the leak and ran. This is all conjecture, however, newsroom gossip), I'd prefer that it didn't come at the expense of Time Warner corporate decision-makers caving on an issue of journalism ethics that compromises journalists, sources, and perhaps other necessary whistleblowers whom journalists would also protect.

I know that reporters don't have the legal protection of lawyers or doctors or spiritual ministers, and I'm not suggesting they should. Rather, I like that it is an issue of ethics and honor. I do find it peculiar that a grand jury should be so willing to violate that ethical issue with a court order and threat of contempt, and it makes me question the motives, as it also did in the case of Susan McDougal, who held to her truth and honor in the face of Ken Starr's witchhunt and utter lack of ethics.

I have a feeling Matt Cooper and Judith Miller would have treated their contempt incarceration with the same honor and ethics as McDougal did, but that the mega-corporation masquerading as a journalism entity has so little of the same ethics and caved in the face of a financial loss in the form of a fine. Reporters would give up their FREEDOM, but heaven forbid a corporation loses a lousy buck.

Makes you wonder what Katherine Graham would have done in the same instance, doesn't it?

As the ACLU does defending free speech for groups most of us find truly abhorrent, I'd advocate protecting someone as odious as Rove as a source, on principle, regardless of how much I enjoy watching his goose cook.

Perhaps that's why the radical right is so effective in taking potshots at "liberals." No one would ever accuse the nutjob right of letting a silly thing like a principle stand in their way. They wave the religious flag, but their actual ACTIONS are far more consistent with a situation ethic or even pure relativism than the liberals they accuse of relativism.

By their works shall ye know them.


Link: The Huffington Post | The Blog.

On Friday, I broke the story that the e-mails that Time turned over to the prosecutor that day reveal that Karl Rove is the source Matt Cooper is protecting. That provoked Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, to interrupt his holiday weekend to do a little defense work with Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. On Saturday, Luskin decided to reveal that Rove did have at least one conversation with Cooper, but Luskin told the Times he would not “characterize the substance of the conversation.”

Luskin claimed that the prosecutor “asked us not to talk about what Karl has had to say.” This is highly unlikely. Prosecutors have absolutely no control over what witnesses say when they leave the grand jury room. Rove can tell us word-for-word what he said to the grand jury and would if he thought it would help him. And notice that Luskin just did reveal part of Rove’s grand jury testimony, the fact that he had a conversation with Cooper. Rove would not let me get one day of traction on this story if he could stop me. If what I have reported is not true, if Karl Rove is not Matt Cooper’s source, Rove could prove that instantly by telling us what he told the grand jury. Nothing prevents him from doing that, except a good lawyer who is trying to keep him out of jail.

Lawrence O\'Donnell bio:

Executive Producer "The West Wing," Panelist "The McLaughlin Group," Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

July 3, 2005 at 08:44 PM in Democracy, Favorite Links, Intellectual Property, Media & Journalism, News to Note, Politics, Privacy & Free Speech, Rhetoric, Singing the Bite Me Song | Permalink


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