Defining "News" For the Mainstream Media

In just the few hours the Novak column has been available, the media spin has been stunning. If you read the column there are basically 5 pieces of information worth discussing.

  1. Novak inadvertently learned Wilson’s wife sent him to Africa from a still unnamed source.
  2. Novak learned Plame’s name from Joe Wilson’s own entry in Who’s Who.
  3. When Novak asked Rove, he obliquely confirmed Plame’s identity.
  4. Bill Harlow of the CIA also confirmed Plame’s identity when asked.
  5. We learned various bits and pieces about Novak’s legal entanglements that don’t add to the bigger story.

Of these 5 things which are news?

  1. We first learned tidbit #1 back in October of 2003. This is hardly news.
  2. We learned that today. This is officially news. And big news, people have been speculating for 3 years about where Novak got Plame’s name.
  3. We “knew” this earlier but a year ago the Washington Post ran this story:
  4. Rove Confirmed Plame Indirectly,
    Lawyer Says Bush Aide Said Columnist Told Him Name
    By Mike Allen
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, July 15, 2005; Page A01

    White House senior adviser Karl Rove indirectly confirmed the CIA affiliation of an administration critic’s wife for Robert D. Novak the week before the columnist named her and revealed her position, a lawyer involved in the case said last night.

    The fact Rove indirectly confirmed Plame’s name was news a year ago. His lawyer said so. The Washington (and others) reported it at the time. So this is not news.

  5. We learned this a year ago too. Not news.
  6. To the extent Novak’s previously undisclosed legal wranglings are news, then this is new information.

To sum it up, the only news in this column is where Novak got Plame’s name.

But you’d never know that from the media. Consider these google news searches:

Novak Rove Source Plame 618 hits and counting

Novak Plame “Who’s Who” 23 hits and most of those were either his column or something here on Wizbang.

Do you think the media is a little obsessed?

The only news we got from the Novak column is that he got Plame’s name form Who’s Who and the only thing the media wants to talk about is Rove.

Whatever you call the mainstream medias coverage of Novak’s column… Please don’t call it news.

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