[lit-ideas] Re: NYT in the news again

  • From: Robert Paul <robert.paul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 12:53:49 -0700

Andreas wrote:

It wasn't some low-level staffer, such as Rice, who leaked this. This comes from the very top: Bush, Cheney, Rove, & Libby. The NYT published the news without identifying the source, and especially without explaining what was happening (that this was a pre-emptive leak to draw attention away).

I'm not clear how you know that it was not a low-level staffer who actually passed on the tip. It surely didn't come from Bush, who probably couldn't make the connection between dot A and dot B in order to get the idea of 'outing' started. (Bush is proud that he never reads newspapers, in any case.) You keep saying the NYT published the news without identifying the source, even though they knew it. But you keep not offering any verification of that, and simply repeat what you said yesterday—that 'of course [they know it]. My guess would be it would be Cheney/Rove, via a functionary, and shielded by 'plausible denial.'

Of course the NYT knows who leaked this. They don't print anonymous tips from the phone. A senior NYT reporter is called by the White House. The info is to be published as "an undisclosed source". The reporter runs it by the editors. They discuss it. They print it.

They know who leaked it because they wouldn't print anonymous phone tips. So far they haven't printed any 'tips.' What they did print was that someone had leaked Plame's name, probably in response to Wilson's op ed piece (in the Times), to Robert Novak. R-o-b-e-r-t N-o-v-a-k. At that time he was working for CNN. I believe he still writes a syndicated column. Then it came out that some Times reporter (later identified as Miller) might have been given the same information. Not long after that, at least a dozen or so newspeople, mostly around Washington, revealed that they too had been contacted by sources which seemed to be traceable to someone in the Administration, via intermediate links. Miller did not break the story, nor did the Times. Novak was the one sought out, immediately, and directly, because of his big name and neo-con connections. In the Miller/Times hysteria, he has gone untouched.

It could conceivably have happened that a 'senior NYT reporter was called by the White House, etc., but with this Administration and this newspaper, it seems unlikely, _unless_ the first part of your conspiracy theory is true; but as this is supposed to back up that theory, the theory cannot back up it, except at a certain price.

And a story like this gets the total treatment. The NYT is under immense scrutiny this week.

It's been under a fair amount of self-scrutiny, too, although not enough to satisfy many bloggers and jealous columnists elsewhere. The Times has really fucked up: about the Iraq run-up; about Miller's reliability, etc. But I'll fly down there with a live fish if they're in cahoots with this administration.

You haven't yet let us know how Loper's article supports some of the claims you made yesterday.

The latest news is that Miller is already discussing her severance package and is talking with other newspapers.

That might now be old news lots of places. I don't usually enjoy Dowd's columns, but her one on Miller was right on.

Robert Paul
Reed College
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