Frog-Marching: Miller, Cooper, Rove.

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Can someone please translate Washington into English for us? Let’s say Karl Rove — or whoever leaked to Robert Novak — did just want to discredit Joe Wilson. Let’s say he didn’t know Wilson’s wife was undercover.

What effect, exactly was this intended to have upon those of us who read the newspaper? Were we supposed to say “Aha, she wears the pants and he is thus incapable of rendering judgment on Niger.” We’re sitting here in a story meeting right now, and all we can do is ask questions that no one can answer.


Chris’s Billboard
In this Beltway obsession called Rove-gate, which they’re calling the biggest press-and-politics trainwreck since the Pentagon Papers three decades ago, there are more ironies now than are fit to print. Judith Miller of the New York Times sits in jail to protect the source of a story she didn’t write. You protect sources, the theory goes, to keep the flow of information open. But the story being protected here was an outing and a smear to stop the flow of good information about nuclear fuels for Saddam Hussein. The press is constitutionally free, the theory goes, to protect our right to know such things as the truth about weapons of mass destruction, but Karl Rove’s leaks to Bob Novak could seem to be about the government’s power to spin us all unto eternity. What is the dividend of wisdom that we the people hope to get for Judy Miller’s time behind bars?

Mickey Kaus

Journalist; author of the Kaus Files on Slate.

David Corn

Washington editor of The Nation; author of The Lies of George W. Bush.

Lewis Lapham

Editor of Harper’s Magazine.

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