Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Press Arrogance

Robert Novak discusses his obviously-starring role in Plamegate, and in the process reveals (yet again) how journalists view themselves as some sort of specially-protected class of high priests.

I have cooperated in the investigation while trying to protect journalistic privileges under the First Amendment and shield sources who have not revealed themselves.

My attorneys advised me that I had no certain constitutional basis to refuse cooperation if subpoenaed by a grand jury. To do so would make me subject to imprisonment and inevitably result in court decisions that would diminish press freedom, all at heavy personal legal costs...I had not identified my sources to my attorneys, and I told them I would not reveal them to the FBI. (emphasis mine--Darren)

The problem facing me was that the special prosecutor had obtained signed waivers from every official who might have given me information about Wilson's wife.

That created a dilemma. I did not believe blanket waivers in any way relieved me of my journalistic responsibility to protect a source. Hamilton told me that I was sure to lose a case in the courts at great expense. Nevertheless, I still felt I could not reveal their names.


When I testified before the grand jury, I was permitted to read a statement that I had written expressing my discomfort at disclosing confidential conversations with news sources. (So-called shield laws are a travesty of justice--Darren.)


How did Novak get Plame's name and why did he publish it?

Joe Wilson's wife's role in instituting her husband's mission was revealed to me in the middle of a long interview with an official who I have previously said was not a political gunslinger. After the federal investigation was announced, he told me through a third party that the disclosure was inadvertent on his part. (emphasis mine--Darren)

Following my interview with the primary source, I sought out the second administration official and the CIA spokesman for confirmation. I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in "Who's Who in America."


I considered his wife's role in initiating Wilson's mission, later confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to be a previously undisclosed part of an important news story. I reported it on that basis.



Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of the press. That doesn't mean that anything that might somehow possibly inhibit the press must be forbidden; if it did, then how could we tax news organizations? Don't OSHA regulations cost the press some money, and hence abridge their freedom? I don't think anyone is ready to go there, but journalists will ignore that inconvenient fact and still assert that they're somehow immune to grand juries and to the very judiciary whose activism they so love.

These high priests need to be brought back to earth.


And now, the political commentary. Lefties, I'm sure you'll be disappointed by this statement by Mr. Novak:

I have revealed Rove's name because his attorney has divulged the substance of our conversation, though in a form different from my recollection. I have revealed Harlow's name because he has publicly disclosed his version of our conversation, which also differs from my recollection. My primary source has not come forward to identify himself.


Did you get that? Karl Rove was not the primary source. His role is explained in the article.

Also, Novak states that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald knew the identity of the leaker(s) of Plame's identity.

In other words, the special prosecutor knew the names of my sources.


When I testified before the grand jury, I was permitted to read a statement that I had written expressing my discomfort at disclosing confidential conversations with news sources. It should be remembered that the special prosecutor knew their identities and did not learn them from me.


Why, then, did Fitzgerald drag out his interviews and allow speculations regarding the President and Karl Rove? Might it have been, dare I say it, political?

So, let's close here. "Outing" Plame was not, according to Novak, done to embarrass Joe Wilson. It was not done intentionally. All your leftie machinations seem to be nothing more than projection--reading your own fears and other psychoses onto members of the Bush Administration. Even if the original/primary source was President Bush himself, it's clear that there was no harmful intent (althought it would still be a mistake). And the person who first identified Plame by name was--Robert Novak himself.

OK, lefties. Where do you go from here? Do you keep digging that hole you're in? Or do you admit you were wrong? I'm dying to find out.

2 comments:

EllenK said...

It's a page out of the communist handbook in the bad old Cold War Era. The Big Lie has been a great technique used for toppling the powerful without evidence. Say, or imply something long enough and loud enough and the patsies that want to believe will come running like cockroaches after a Dorito.

Darren said...

Now that the Wilson-Plames are filing a lawsuit on this topic, I guess the answer is "keep on digging".