Thursday, June 30, 2005

Caving in

Time magazine has decided to submit to a grand jury its source information and notes for Matthew Cooper's story on the outing of former CIA operative Valerie Plame. That action comes on the heels of Monday's Supreme Court decision to let a lower court ruling stand, leaving Cooper (and Judith Miller of The New York Times) in contempt of court for not divulging their source(s). Naturally, the one journalist involved who published the initial story leaking Plume's name, Robert Novak, has not been punished and does not face any charges. At least not that we know of. So let me get this straight:

Novak outs a CIA operative, ending her career. No problem.

Cooper writes a story after Novak's story and is grilled to reveal his source.

Miller does not write a story but will probably be the only one going to jail.

Anyone else see something wrong here? William Safire does here in the Times. So does Carol Marin in the Chicago Sun-Times. For a different view, the All-Spin Zone argues that the Supreme Court decision is correct, but the government official who leaked Plume's name is the real criminal here and is just as much a traitor as John Walker, who sold our Naval secrets to the Soviets for profit.

I'm sure Novak is silent throughout this whole sordid affair on the advice of his legal counsel. But he just strikes me as a seagull journalist - he screeches a lot, shits on everybody, then hightails it out of there. It just burns me up that he faces no consequences for this, yet demands full cooperation from others when he's asking the questions


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