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If A Reporter Wanted To Tell A Really Interesting Story...

They could tell the story of how Joe Wilson's tall tale was spun, produced and mass distributed.

I have been perusing past posts on the Plame matter in light of Robert Novak's revelations. One thing I found was posted fairly recently (April 10) in response to the Washington Post editorial which held that Joe Wilson had lied and that Bush was justified in trying to correct those lies. This is what I wrote in April:

Just think back on all those 60 Minutes pieces, as well as all those other network profiles, portraying Wilson as the brave whisleblower trying to protect his victim wife. The media coverage of Wilson was lengthy and fawning. The reporters never pointed to any of the many inconsistencies in Wilson's stories. They fed him softballs and pointed to a scary government that would out a CIA agent, putting her very life in danger, in order to discredit and get revenge on a critic of the President's war policy. Where are all the network news anchors rushing to report what the Washington Post has determined? Katie Couric could set the record straight and correct all the misleading reporting done on 60 Minutes. She could make that her first big story in her new gig at CBS News. Maybe she will get around to it right after she finishes her investigative piece on who forged the Bill Burkett documents.
Obviously when I wrote that I did not realize Katie's start date at CBS would not be until the fall. Maybe Charlie Gibson could run with this one.

What I asked following that Washington Post editorial could be asked in light of this Novak revelation. The Novak story will get some television coverage, and even more print, but I will be really surprised if there is any attempt, especially in network television coverage, to expose the lies that Joe Wilson told and, more importantly, to explain how those at the networks bought his story hook, line and sinker. Remember that the entire time so many at the networks and elsewhere were telling a story of an innocent falling victim to vicious political retribution, Bob Novak was arguing (obviously without specifics) that it just didn't go down that way.

The Novak revelation is just a piece of the original puzzle (admittedly the great big fat piece that the entire puzzles rests upon) that started the Democrat spinmeisters and the mainstream media machine churning. The rest of the story is of the media all too eager to regurgitate the Wilson/Democrat talking points by repeatedly stating as fact things that simply were not. I know we will hear the Novak story in the coming days. I wonder if we will hear the rest of the story.

Update: I guess it really will be sometime afer the origin of those Burkett documents is discovered before we get a true and accurate piece on the Plame story. As if I needed any proof of that... Ian Schwartz has posted video of Mary Matalin on Hannity & Colmes last night. The segment includes Alan Colmes repeating the "retribution" meme, which should have been long retired, and then also trots out the "Wilson proved Bush was wrong about uranium" one as well. Mary rolls her eyes at least a couple of times in this one. I don't blame her.


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Comments (8)

That Wilson is a liar was c... (Below threshold)

That Wilson is a liar was conclusively established by the 9/11 Commission, yet that has not stopped the fawning coverage of him or the misleading coverage of the entire "Plame affair" for one second.

For some, in media and without it, the truth is secondary to a lie which promotes the agenda.

What is with Bob Novak? Sin... (Below threshold)
jd watson:

What is with Bob Novak? Since he is not revealing his primary source, he could have said all this long ago.

The real problem here is th... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

The real problem here is the amount of time wasted by the administration defending itself from attacks on this matter, when they could have been attending to the countries business. Just immagine all of the hours that the president spent in discussions with senior staff planning how to handle this problem. I know that it was the oppositions intention, but it still seems that the presidents time could be better spent durring the middle of a war.

USMC Pilot: true, but the ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

USMC Pilot: true, but the Press/Libs don't think this is a war, and really find national security secondary to roughing up Bush.

Think of the successes we'd have if 1/2 the country and the press weren't distracted with their unproductive fear/loathing of Bush, or of success, for that matter.

jd watson ~ Novak said he k... (Below threshold)

jd watson ~ Novak said he kept quiet at the request of the prosecutor, but has now been advised that all investigations related to his column and testimony have been concluded.


To me, the remaining mysteries all concern Wilson and his CIA trip. WHY was someone without security clearance handed this task? WHY wasn't he asked to sign the standard secrecy agreement for non-agency personnel? WHY was he allowed to publish an op-ed after his return that directly contradicted his report?

These are extremely irregular circumstances which came together on a mission for which Wilson was nominated and pushed by his wife, an Agency employee.

If there was ever anything significant for Fitzpatrick to investigate, these things should have been among them.

So the Washington Post writ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

So the Washington Post writes and editorial repeating all of the right wing talking points about the Wilson case, and the media is supposed to report this as news? The Post editorial is incredibly sloppy (Wilson never claimed that Cheney sent him to Niger; read the op-ed, for Christ's sake. And the Senate Intelligence Report did not establish that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger.) And now Novak, who is a long time water carrier for the Right, and has been less than forthright in this affair, gives his version of events, and it's case closed, as if he's the voice of God? It's amazing how many times you guys keep repeating the same tired bullshit, no matter how many times it's pointed out to you that it's wrong (considering that "everyone in Washington" knew that Plame worked for the CIA, it's curious that two right wing journalists are the only ones on record to claim they actually knew that fact.) Once again, you guys on the right ready to declare "case closed, we won" on the basis of no evidence at all. By the way, how's it coming with the 20 year old depleted WMDs? As I recall that was the most recent example of the big story that was going to finally prove the Left wrong. Oh, wait, I forgot, the evil MSM refuses to report it. The victimized Right comes up with another excuse.

Wilson never claimed tha... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Wilson never claimed that Cheney sent him to Niger; read the op-ed, for Christ's sake.

He said he did in speeches. I included the link to the audio in one of my posts here.

And the Senate Intelligence Report did not establish that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger.

Actually, they did, as they said Bush's statement in SOTU was factually correct.

And now Novak, who is a long time water carrier for the Right, and has been less than forthright in this affair, gives his version of events, and it's case closed, as if he's the voice of God?

When was he less than forthright? Can you name the statements he made about this that have proven to be false?

Any of them?

I bet not, as he has pretty meticulously avoided discussing it at all due to the investigation.

It's amazing how many times you guys keep repeating the same tired bullshit, no matter how many times it's pointed out to you that it's wrong (considering that "everyone in Washington" knew that Plame worked for the CIA

Andrea Mitchell said she knew.

Once again, you guys on the right ready to declare "case closed, we won" on the basis of no evidence at all.

All you have is a man in Joe Wilson who hasn't told the truth about a thing to date about this affair.

Novak has been pretty accurate.

Wilson? Not so much.
-=Mike

Wilson never said in his op... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Wilson never said in his op-ed that Cheney sent him to Niger, as so many claim. The fact that you claim to have posted audio links at some time in the past isn't exactly persuasive. I've seen enough misrepresentations and outright falsehoods concerning statements Wilson allegedly made that a statement like that has no meaning to me.

The Senate Intelligence Report said that the former Prime Minister of Niger told Wilson about a meeting that he expected to be about uranium, but the subject never came up. The Right has managed to conform the PM's expectations of what the meeting would be about into a report on what the meeting actually was about. It wasn't about uranium.

Andrea Mitchell said on Imus that "a lot of us knew" Plame's identity, but when asked for details she backtracked and retracted the statement. There are still only two people who say they knew that Plame was with the CIA, and they're both right wingers. Funny how Wilson confided in them, but not in his neighbors.

As for the whole Who's Who thing, why is it that the simple logic of the situation continues to elude you people? I can only presume that it's willful ignorance. The fact that Joe Wilson's wife was named Valerie Plame was not a secret. Everyone who attended their wedding knew that. Everyone they both knew before being married knew that. IT WASN'T A SECRET! What was a secret was the fact that she worked for the CIA. Novak didn't get that from Who's Who.

By the way, Novak claims Bill Harlow as one of his sources. The day after his column appeared, Bill Harlow repeated what he has said all along, which was that he told Novak he shouldn't publish her name, but that he didn't confirm any facts. If you choose to believe Novak, fine. But when a reporter claims a source told him something, and the source flatly denies it, it's hard to say that the reporter is unquestionably right. Funny how the MSM has no credibility with you guys until they're saying what you want to hear.




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