Friday, July 15, 2005

These People Aren't Friends

This is the saddest part of the chumminess in Washington between journalists and the Bush Administration. When the pressure's on, Bush and co. will turn on you like that.

As Billmon ably demonstrates, now that someone in the White House is facing a possible indictment, the White House's strategy has gone from being "no comment" to anonymously - oh, lord, more of that! - claiming that Rove never leaked it - the Press did! I'm sure we're a half-step away from this all being blamed on Liberals. Can the scene of Bush holding a list of 57 known CIA agents be far behind?

A memo to the press: These people are not your friends. You may have drinks with them, tell bawdy jokes, whatever. I'm sure you're all chummy. But your job as reporters is to, if necessary, destroy their careers. You almost did it with Clinton. Think you can do it again? For their part, their job isn't to tell you everything - their job is actually to keep it from you. Your job is to find it out.

I would have thought most of this would be covered in Journalism 101, somewhere shortly after "Stand up and tell us your name." Apparently, most of the Washington Press Corps could use a refresher course. Having seen how reporters act around Ottawa and Toronto, I'm relatively certain we could use some up north, too.

Billmon also brings up another theory that I've been chewing on - that maybe Rove is actually telling the truth, and Judith Miller told him who Wilson's wife was. I was just saying yesterday (in a disagreement with my father) that if Miller wasn't claiming protections of the First Ammendment, she'd be claiming the protections of the Fifth. Of course, when you're protecting yourself with the same part of the Constitution recently used by Ken Lay of Enron, you don't get glowing articles in Salon about how noble a martyr you are.

No comments: