By: Greg Mitchell
In an article in the September issue of Vanity Fair (not yet online), Michael Wolff, in probing the Plame/CIA leak scandal, rips those in the news media — principally Time magazine and The New York Times — who knew that Karl Rove was one of the leakers but refused to expose what would have been ?one of the biggest stories of the Bush years.? Not only that, ?they helped cover it up.? You might say, he adds, they ?became part of a conspiracy.?
If they had burned this unworthy source and exposed his ?crime,? he adds, it would have been ?of such consequences that it might, reasonably, have presaged the defeat of the president, might have even — to be slightly melodramatic — altered the course of the war in Iraq.? In doing so they showed they owed their greatest allegiance to the source, not their readers.
And their source was no Deep Throat, not someone with dirt on the government — the source ?was the government.?
So in the end, he concludes, ?the greatest news organizations in the land had a story about a potential crime that reached as close as you can get to the president himself and they punted, they swallowed it, they self-dealt.? And why did they do it? Well, ?a source is a source who, unrevealed, will continue to be a source.?
Even after the news first emerged last month that Rove had leaked to Cooper, the media still waited days to even ask the White House press secretary about it. It was a story, “in full view, the media just ignored.”
The title of the Wolff article is “All Roads Lead to Rove.”
Wolff mocks Time?s Matt Cooper and Norman Pearlstine and can?t seem to make heads or tails of ?genuinely spooky? Robert Novak. He holds off full judgment on the Times? jailed reporter Judith Miller, while noting the “baloney” she retailed for the White House. But he pointedly notes, concerning Miller, that reporters are born ?blabbermouths? and even when they don?t write or print a certain story they are prone to ?serve it up to everybody they know.?
He closes with a frontal blast at the media, many members of which will soon be exposed, he predicts, for having ?lined up for these lies? spun by the White House.