What is it with "journalists" named Bob who don’t understand what it means to BE a journalist? According to the NYTimes, the AP, CNN, and Bob Novak himself, Karl Rove and Bill Harlow were two people with whom he spoke about Valerie Plame Wilson.
How long have we known both those breaking news facts? For-ev-ah! But the real news nugget — his initial source for the information? Nada, zip, zero. Guess he’s been taking lessons from the Booby Woodward School of Journamalismnessdom (via Jane):
So the list of suspects becomes much longer now that we know the date that Woodward first talked to his source, and stretches from Cheney’s office to Rove, WHIG and the rest of the Bushbots.
KING: What would you have done if the source had said, "Don’t tell him," and you were subpoenaed to deposition? Would you refuse?
WOODWARD: That is a situation I have not had to deal with in this case. But of course, when I went into my aggressive reporting mode, I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen.
Now, if I hadn’t done that, and the source had said, "Keep quiet; it’s confidential," then the special counsel in this case, Fitzgerald, wouldn’t have known, I guess, and I would have stayed out of it.
Right, Bob. Scooter Libby’s being charged with perjury because he said he thought he told reporters he had heard it from other reporters, even though the reporter he says he thought he heard it from (Russert) says he didn’t. So Woodward’s notes say that he might have asked Libby about Plame, and this on June 23, possibly before he talked to any reporter and certainly any other than Judy Miller that we know of.
What, exactly, are the chances that Libby’s lawyers are not gonna subpoena the only journalist who potentially told him about Plame’s identity? Bobby’s secret would have come out one way or the other, if Scooter is planning any sort of defense short of insanity. And I’ll bet that’s how Bob twisted Mr. "X’s" arm, which it sounds like he most assuredly did, journalistic privilege be damned.
So, what we have here is Bob Novak, doing the same damn thing. Willing to spill all the beans to Pat Fitzgerald, journalistic privilege be damned, and from what sounds like pretty early on in the case — with Fitzgerald already knowing who his sources were from the get go (Hmmm…anyone else having a moment of respect for the FBI agents that did the digging on this…very impressive.).
But trying to spin this as something else entirely: in Novak’s case, he’s trying to cover some Administration ass by going back to their "it was about the trip being a boondoggle" malarky. (And where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, on that annotated article in Dick Cheney’s handwriting…) Hello, Bob, you don’t just casually drop the CIA into conversation with a partisan journalist, no matter what Booby Woodward may have told you at a cocktail weenie party.
And remember that whole weird "my source and Woodward’s source are the same" stuff?
But does Novak actually report any of this information on original sources or what his testimony was or anything remotely new or useful to the public, after already having spoken with Fitzgerald, the FBI, Fitz’s team, and the grand jury? Hell no!
And since Novak thinks it was all about a trip and all, oughtn’t he just report everything, sinc it’s no big deal? And haven’t we already been down this tedious lack of logic road with Woodward? Yeah, I thought so. This almost makes one long for the Judy Martyrdom Road Show — at least she was a little more dramatic and inventive and there was that odd, tete-a-tete with Scoots for breakky. (Almost, but not really. Now I’m queasy.)
Emptywheel has a fantastic piece of analysis on the he said, he said aspects of all of this. And Swopa asks what may be the most important questions of all — one that I would LUV to see someone ask Novak with the microphones on: "Who was the first person to tell him that Joe Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA? Did he know this when he spoke to his supposed "primary source"?"
Oh yeah, baby — now THAT would be some juicy news. If you could get an answer before he stormed off the set, that is.