the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

July 27, 2005

Somerby Savages Marshall


Maybe Bob Somerby just finds it hard to dig up real errors by the left when he’s looking for balance. Maybe he’s jealous of Democratic bloggers and lashes out from time to time with criticisms based on ludicrously hyperliteral interpretations of sentences. Who knows? In any case, yesterday Somerby devoted most of his Daily Howler to a long rant about Josh Marshall and what he’s written in Talking Points Memo about Rep. Pat Roberts.

The statement from Marshall that sets him off is this: “On CNN today, Sen. Roberts (R) said Valerie Plame couldn’t be covert since she was working at CIA headquarters at the time her identity was exposed.” Somerby claims that is “baldly inaccurate” and “flat-out wrong”. He then quotes what Roberts actually said (emphasis is Somerby’s):

BLITZER: I ask the question because some are suggesting she really wasn’t under cover any more. She had been working at the CIA in nonproliferation. She really wasn’t a technical—

ROBERTS: There’s a five-year period, OK? And whether or not that five-year period had been reached or not is still questionable. And I must say, from a common sense standpoint, driving back and forth to work to the CIA headquarters, I don’t know if that really qualifies as being, you know, covert.

What is Roberts saying there? Is Marshall’s summary really unfair? Somerby says that Roberts is “plainly” only saying he doesn’t know. Try to believe that Somerby is actually so ignorant of how people use the English language to communicate.

I must say, I don’t know if Somerby really qualifies as being, you know, competent.


  1. Oh, I think Sommerby’s competent. That’s why I don’t think he casually misread Josh Marshall’s post.

    It comes off more like a personal, political, or perhaps retributive attack to me.

    —AltHippo • 2:03 pm

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