Monday, October 31, 2005

Memoirs of a (White House Press) Geisha

Ugh. Now this is inbedded journalism. We know from the indictment that Judy Miller was only the first in line to lap-up the leak (yecch). I really had no idea of the extent that the U.S. press had compromised themselves in the case. Nor did I understand how much of "Scooter's" activities were actively hidden from the public in the months leading up to the 2004 Presidential election:

Non-Miller Geisha #1: Tim Russert. Salon's Eric Boehlert tells us that Tim Russert (and NBC) witheld crucial information from the public; he knew Libby had lied in 2004 and did not inform Americans before they went to the polls. HuffPo's Steve Kaus explains that the deal Russert cut with prosecutor Fitzgerald was to discuss only what Russert told Libby; not what Libby told him!

Non-Miller Geisha #2: Pete Williams?! Who the hell is that? I barely recognized this name. Turns out that, like Russert, Williams is on NBC; he's a WH correspondent. Oh, yeah, and it turns out he used to work for Dick Cheney! Center for American Progress guy, David Sirota, complained to NBC about this and they took great umbrage (a la "how dare you"):
I received a hysterical, breathless email from a well-known NBC reporter complaining about the fact that I raised questions about Williams' objectivity. He whined that I am overlooking "14 years of spotless, impartial work for NBC News" by Williams.
Non-Miller Geisha #3: the "head" geisha, if you will. Of course I'm talking about Bob Woodward. Ex-spook and former CIA-classmate of "Valerie P", Larry Johnson, counters that the leak was neither "innocent" nor just "gossip," and speculates how Woodward may have sold his soul for access and sweet book deals. Johnson says Woodward has no (legal) way of knowing that the damage was "just some embarassment." In fact, you may have seen that 60 Minutes piece last night on the damage caused by exposing Plame's identity (Dissent has the video).

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