Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Delay et al.

I'm trying not to get too excited before people start actually getting convicted, but this is a headline that I've been waiting to see for a long time: Arrest Warrant Issued, Bail Set for Delay.

I can't wait to get my hands on that mugshot!

On another note, the media is awash in rumor and innuendo surrounding the Valerie Plame scandal. On the one hand, I like that, because it's keeping this matter in the forefront of current events, and I think the American people really do need to be forced to take this seriously. "Plamegate," as some are now calling it, deals with a number of serious problems facing the nation today, from the Administration's handling of dissent to the dubious nature of the case for Iraq to the level of duplicity and misinformation emanating from places that should be telling us the truth, nay, must be telling us the truth for our democracy to function correctly. When the government is "fixing intelligence," as the Downing Street Memos stated, to make its case for war, and some of our flagship news organizations like the New York Times are taking part in political reprisals against whistleblowers, the citizenry is ill-equipped to accurately assess what the hell is going on. And if the rumors are correct, then Judith Miller has done this country a great disservice, not just in blowing an agent's cover but also in engaging in selective reporting.

And just to clear things up, Judith Miller is not a whistleblower. Whistleblowers go public with an organization's misdeeds, jeopardizing their careers in the process. Joe Wilson, Plame's husband, qualifies as such. Miller took part in the retribution against him by blowing his wife's cover. Outing a CIA agent as part of the Administration's attempt to silence those trying to tell the truth makes her at best an irresponsible journalist, at worst a traitor. Nor was her career in jeopardy; it seems to me, at least, that newspapers don't fire journalists for protecting their sources.

The downside to all this media coverage is that there's an awful lot of rumor and faux information making its way into the media. The Fitzgerald team is keeping its lips zipped much better than Kenneth Starr did, so everyone's forced to rely on relatively distant sources, or just speculate (that's journalese for "guess") on who they're gonna indict and how far up it goes and whatever. So much is coming out that's difficult or impossible to substantiate, and there are other sources out there trying to obfuscate matters. My modus operandi right now is stick to credible media outlets (no Fox News, no Scott McClellan, no blog stories that don't link to reputable newspapers), and be skeptical. Make them prove it to me. I'd recommend you do the same.

1 comment:

TioChuy said... not there yet but maybe soon. I'm tired of everything ending with "gate" can't it end with "suck" or "screwup?" "Gate" is tired and so am I, I'm on cold dope and it's whipping my butt. Anyway thats beside the point. This whole mess makes me feel like Tech's football game this week I don't want to be so quick to say anything to anyone cause I don't want it rubbed in my face later.