the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

November 16, 2005

The Cancer on Journalism


The Plame Affair has eroded the credibility of many journalists and commentators, and it remains to be seen whether the New York Times can recover from the severe self-inflicted wounds it suffered because of its special treatment and lax supervision of Judith Miller (who is finally leaving the paper — no doubt for a lucrative new career as a right-wing commentator). Tim Russert has put himself in the position of interviewing people about events in which he is himself involved while acting as if he knows nothing. Bob Novak has become even more obviously a Republican hack than he was already.

Now the cancer is touching Washington Post celebrity reporter Bob Woodward, who testified Monday before Patrick Fitzgerald. Woodward has been a constant commentator on the case, always playing down its significance and defending the administration. Now he’s saying that he was a very early recipient of the leak of Plame’s identity, and that it came from someone other than Scooter Libby, someone he won’t name:

Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive, according to a statement Woodward released yesterday.

Why is this coming out only now? One thing that’s certain is that the Plame investigation isn’t over yet, despite the hopes of Republicans.

Let’s hope for the sake of our hometown paper (flawed though it is) that the Post does a better job of handling the Woodward situation than the New York Times did with Miller.


  1. Post Carrying Republican Spin, Again

    The Washington Post is already letting me down in my (admittedly faint) hope that it would handle Woodward’s involvement with the Plame Affair properly. Today’s edition has a story headlined “Woodward Could Be a Boon to Libby” …

    DCDL12:46 am, November 17

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DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

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