From Editor & Publisher
Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Friday night, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O’Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name–and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
Today, O’Donnell went further, writing a brief entry at the Huffington Post blog:
“I revealed in yesterday’s taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine’s e-mails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper’s source. I have known this for months but didn’t want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury.
“McLaughlin is seen in some markets on Friday night, so some websites have picked it up, including Drudge, but I don’t expect it to have much impact because McLaughlin is not considered a news show and it will be pre-empted in the big markets on Sunday because of tennis.
“Since I revealed the big scoop, I have had it reconfirmed by yet another highly authoritative source. Too many people know this. It should break wide open this week. I know Newsweek is working on an ‘It’s Rove!’ story and will probably break it tomorrow.”
According to published reports, Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the case, has interviewed President Bush and Vice President Cheney and called Karl Rove, among others, to testify before the grand jury.
“The breadth of Fitzgerald’s inquiry has led to speculation that it has evolved into an investigation of a conspiracy to leak Plame’s identity,” the Chicago Tribune observed on Friday, “or of an attempt to cover up White House involvement in the leak.”
Yumm. Conspiracy and perjury. And don’t forget the Martha Stewart rule: if Bush or Cheney fibbed to investigators, that’s a felony, despite their not being under oath.
July 14 will be the two-year anniversary of the Novak column. Wouldn’t that be a fine day have Rove frog-marched to some Bastille?
And if it’s true that Rove was the source, and that the threat of contempt citations against Cooper and against Time, Inc. was needed to bring out that fact, then the case for a sweeping “reporter’s-shield” law suddenly looks a great deal wearker than it did.
Digby has some thoughts, and quotes Wonkette, who has more. (Somehow I keep forgetting that, since Ana Marie Cox is extremely pretty and has a wicked sense of humor, she can’t possibly have a razor-sharp mind and pen. Must be an illusion of some sort.)
The enormous reluctance of the press to break the Plame story puzzled me at first, until I understood that the story was about the abuse of the press by officialdom, and therefore couldn’t be covered without embarrassing the members of the journalistic brotherhood. The famed police “blue wall of silence” turns out not to be the only instance of a group of professional truth-seekers preferring guild ties to the truth when the two conflict.
Digby is entirely right: it appears that a large slice of the press corps, including both working reporters and their editors, colluded in systematically concealing from its readers a fact directly relevant to last year’s Presidential campaign: that the President’s chief political adviser had been involved in revealing the identity of an undercover CIA officer, and that the repeated denials of that fact by the White House press spokesman were therefore false.