The Tar Pit

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Howie Kurtz pimps lefty bloggers' "passion" for Woodwardgate

Readers of the Washington Post didn't get the whole story from Bob Woodward, and now they aren't getting it from Howard Kurtz.

Kurtz has a long Media Notes column, Woodward Bombshell, in this morning's Washinton Post about the revelation that Bob Woodward withheld information about the Valerie Plame case. It's a round up of what's been covered elsewhere, and toward the end Kurtz writes that the "passion on the blogs is mainly on the left," and links excerpts from Arianna Huffington, Slate's Jack Shafer, Atrios, Steven Clemons, John Aravosis, Josh Marshall, and Matthew Yglesias.

That's it? The passion in the blogoshpere is "mainly on the left?" How was that survey conducted? Kurtz's excerpts are exclusively on the left. Why? Is there no noteworthy passion from blogs and the right? In any case, why is blogger "passion" the determining factor for inclusion in the round-up and how does Kurtz qualify "passion" in the first place?

Kurtz' heavily slanted blog round up follows an oldstream media collection on "how the papers are playing it," which posts excerpts from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal (no link), and the Baltimore Sun.

So Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, reporting to Washington Post readers about a legal and journalism scandal involving Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, shines a little light on the matter with reactions from six lefty blogs, three lefty newspapers, and one newspaper on the right.

Way to present the big picure, Howie!

Nine on the left vs. one on the right, and only one of the ten blogposts and newspaper stories didn't have an active link. Guess which one.

You can judge the passion levels for yourselves, but here's some balance from blogs on the right, something Washington Post Media Reporter Kurtz neglected to cover in his coverage of the media's reactions to Woodwardgate:

Hugh Hewitt:

First Rather, now Woodward: Guilty of the very sort of cover-ups for which they pursued Nixon relentlessly.

How long until Woodward declares "Your assistant managing editor is not a crook?"

Scott Johnson at Powerline

Those of us who feel that we have not begun to get to the bottom of the Wilson/Plame affair will have to chew over today's Washington Post story by Jim VandeHei and Carol Leonig: "Woodward was told of Plame more than two years ago."

John Hinderacker at Powerline:

...I don't understand the position of those, like Deborah Orin in today's New York Post, that Woodward's testimony is a bombshell that imperils Fitzgerald's case against Libby...

-snip- The problem with this theory is that Libby is charged with perjury, not "outing" Ms. Plame. The indictment alleges that he lied to the grand jury about his conversations wih Tim Russert and Judy Miller. The subject matter of the alleged lie is how he learned about Plame's relationship with Joe Wilson and her role at the CIA. I don't see how anything he did or didn't say to Woodward, or any conversation Woodward had with a third party, can help Libby. If anything, Woodward's testimony reinforces what a needless tragedy it was if Libby really did lie to the grand jury.

Powerline links to Bob Woodward: The Grinch Who Stole Fitzmas, a Woodwardgate round-up at Decision '08. Elsewhere:

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters:

Woodward also testified that he never discussed Plame with Libby or Karl Rove. That answers the question that would have come up, which is whether the two officials may have heard Plame's status from Woodward instead of other government officials. It doesn't exactly excuplate either, especially Libby of perjury and obstruction, but it does make the indictment look even more foolish if the CIA itself outed Plame to Woodward, one of the most famous journalists in America. Woodward's story shows that the leak did not come from some back-door effort to punish Wilson or his wife for their efforts to discredit Bush and the war effort.

Tapscott's Copy Desk:

For two years we've heard the MSM obsessing that outing covert CIA operative Valerie Plame via conservative columnist Robert Novak was part of the "Bush Lied/Kids Died" fraud that got the U.S. into the war in Iraq and that anybody who leaked Plame's status to the media should go to jail, as well as the journalists who published the information.


And now along comes Bob Woodward of The Washington Post revealing that he was told of Plame a month before the Novak column appeared. As Captain's Quarters' Ed Morrissey puts it, the Woodward revelation means Plamegate is essentially all over

Just One Minute:

As noted by Libby's counsel, that does not jibe well with the assertion made by Mr. Fitzgerald at his press conference that "In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson."  (Give Fitzgerald props for qualifying this with "known to", but check (f) in the ERRATA). This disclosure by Woodward raises many questions, starting with, why is he only coming forward now, and why is the "senior Administration official" only coming forward now [Note - it seems to be an "Administration official" in Woodward's statement].

Hat tip: Right Nation.

Other posts on this subject from The Tar Pit:

Woodward's LKL gaffe reveals source was a man
Woodwardgate scorecard: Armitage is #1!
WP Woodwardgate editorial spams red herrings
Woodwardgate: cuckolded Downie stands by his man
Woodward and source: chum for the sharks

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