Battlepanda: "Pittsbourg used to do steel. Washington does character assasination"


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Pittsbourg used to do steel. Washington does character assasination"

Digby at Hullabaloo also picked up on the astonishing gall of Richard Cohen on Hardball, still taking at this late stage the disingenuous tack of trying to minimize the outing of Valerie Plame as a "silly case about nothing", as if any bona fide Washington insider thinks nothing of outing six CIA agents before breakfast.
COHEN: But no matter what, it‘s a silly case—it‘s a silly case about nothing much and it‘s doing a lot of damage. I mean, you now have to worry about getting subpoenaed for doing routine reporting, you have to worry about your sources worrying that they‘re going to be revealed. It‘s done nobody any good.

The prosecutor didn‘t bring an indictment relating to the original underlying crime. It‘s an indictment about a cover-up. I mean, it‘s the Martha Stewart thing all over again. It‘s not the crime itself, it‘s not admitting to the crime or the alleged crime or whatever it is...

think in this case—I mean, maybe then I‘m as ignorant as the next guy, but I read that original Novak column and I said so. I didn‘t think a big deal about it. So she was a CIA operative. It didn‘t jump out at me that there was a possible violation of the law.

I think there were a lot of people in Washington, clearly there were a lot of people in Washington and at the White House who were saying, “Hey, if you really want to know why Wilson went to Africa, it was because his wife sent him.”

It seems to me routine dirty politics. It is what Washington does all the time.

Pittsburgh used to do steel; Washington does character assassination.
This could be the most perfect parody of everything that is wrong about attitudes in the Washington presswhore community. Except it's not. Here's Digby:
Not since Leona Helmsley have we seen such bored contempt for bourgeois notions like open government and honest political discourse

Bob Woodward and Richard Cohen think that Fitzgerald is some sort of obsessed Javert chasing down the poor journalists and their sources over a little loaf of DC's staff of life --- the politics of personal destruction. To the rest of us, it's clear that the law is the only institution left capable of sorting out the truth now that the press and the politicians are so cozy that it literally takes a threat of jail to get journalists to report important stories about our most powerful leaders.

Bob Woodward very likely knew on the day that Novak revealed that Wilson's wife was CIA that this was a coordinated leak, not idle gossip. He most certainly knew that it was a coordinated leak when he found out that Libby and Rove had both "idly gossipped" about this to other reporters. Yet in his media appearances he made it quite clear that he believes that it was a trivial matter. I think we must take him at his word.

Lance Mannion has more
on how the coziness between Woodward and his sources compromised his journalism. Good stuff.