Sunday, October 30, 2005

Editorial: Scooter and the Press

When Judy goes scoop . . . nothing goes right.

It's like we said
You're better off dead
When Judy goes scoop
Nothing goes right.

The sun don't beam
The moon don't shine
The tide don't ebb and flow
A clock won't strike
A match won't light
When Judy goes scoop
Nothing goes right.

Karl Rove's still waiting to see if he'll be indicted, but Scooter Libby got indicted.

It's like we said
You're better off dead
When Matt clams up
Nothing goes right.

In all the focus on Judith Miller another creepy crawly has been able to slither under a rock: Matthew Cooper. The Common Ills has long been critical of Cooper. And from last night's The Laura Flanders Show, we understand Arianna Huffington's also the question of what might have been different in election 2004 had Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller testified in 2004?

From a journalistic point of view, we're more inclined to favor Miller with regards to her legal stance. She and Matthew Cooper jointly argued that an initial release, singed at the behest of the Oval Office, wasn't a release. Miller waited for a release from Scooter Libby. Cooper was fine with the initial release that Libby was ordered to sign. With regards to Libby. He just wasn't willing to apply the same standard to Karl Rove.

Then, prior to being sent to jail, Cooper announces a new release that wasn't so new. We're having a hard time figuring out what Cooper's legal stance was because there was one strategy for Libby and at least four for Karl Rove.

1) I will not testify based on a release people were compelled to sign. (Unless the person's name is Scooter Libby.)

2) Time has handed over my notes so I shouldn't have to testify.

3) I got a release just this morning! I'm so excited I'm panting. That's not from climbing the steps!

4) I won't address the new release and don't ask me about it.

Brave Matt Cooper or "brave" Matt Cooper?

The ever inventive Judith Miller who mistook reporting for creative writing was equally free-form in her testimony. Valerie Flame? No idea, she responded. Now were Judy and Libby having a little joke about how they were going to burn Valerie Plame to get to Joe Wilson? Valerie Plame burned. Valerie Flame! Oh how the jokes must have flown when two of America's lesser wits met up. Which one chortled "Burn, baby, burn"? Which one shot back, "Disco Inferno"?

Now Libby's headed for trial and playing the Reagan card so we can expect a lot of "To the best of my recollection" and "Not that I recall" answers. Unless Patrick Fitzgerald is an idiot, we're betting he's prepared for that. Reading through the indictment, there doesn't seem to be as much wiggle room for an "I mispoke that time" since, as it's laid out, it's pretty clear that a pattern of planned deception is going on.

So will we see a plea bargain? Will Scooter do the Roly Poly? Will Matthew Cooper teach it to him? Will Cooper sing "Ya ya Roly, Ya ya Poly . . ."?

We hope it's not over. We hope there's more to come on Rove and that information made public demonstrates this was an orchestrated smear to discredit critics. The way they've done all along. With the help of a compliant press. In Watergate, the press didn't always play along. The trashing of Jean Seberg depended upon Joyce Harber getting reassurance from her editor (who passed the smear along) that the "source" was reliable before it found its way into The LA Times. These days, the press runs with anything. Pearl Jam audience stages mass walk out. (Didn't happen, AP.) Linda Ronstadt booed from stage. (Didn't happen.) Possibly, of the overt moments, nothing will ever match Diane Sawyer's repeated attempts at public shaming the Dixie Chicks. "Aren't you ashamed?" she repeated over and over while identify the Bully Boy as the commander-in-chief. We missed the part where Diane Sawyer signed up for the military but she obviously signed up to do her part for the Bully Boy. (Don't give her credit for correcting the Howard Dean non-scream. That took lobbying behind the scenes.)

Speak out and be smeared with the help of a willing press. Speak out with information on the lies that led us into war, as Joseph Wilson did, and be smeared even worse. While the press stands around, yawns, picks their noses and generally covers for the Bully Boy.

If the press wants to get active, they might remember the Bully Boy promise that those involved would not continue to serve in the administration, that he would dismiss them. Scooter's gone. Gone because he's indicted. That wasn't Bully Boy dismissing him. Karl Rove remains. Whether he goes to jail or not, is indicted or not, he shouldn't be serving in the administration based upon what is known about his involvement with the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

If the press wants to show some life (the mainstream press), they could come alive on that topic. They could also refuse to let the story fade to black with the exception of the occassional editorial. In the much a do about nothing Whitewater investigation, Jeff Gerth and others at the paper were digging (and distorting, and later on going with grand jury leaks). The press should be following up on leads, the real press, not waiting for the moment when they can breathlessly play the print version of Court TV.

["Roly Poly," from the film Pillow Talk, was written by Elsa Doran and Sol Lake. "When Judy goes scoop, nothing goes right" is based on Harold Adamson and Hoagy Carmichael song "When Loves Goes Wrong" featured in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. This editorial was written by Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava of The Third Estate Sunday Review, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Wally of The Daily Jot and C.I. of both The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review.]
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }