Howard Kurtz Misses Point in Novak Column

I know Howard Kurtz usually writes about the people in his business but in writing about the Novak revelations he failed his primary job as a journalist. So wrapped up was he in telling the story of Novak and how Novak did his job that Kurtz ends up misleading the reader as to how Novak’s column fits into the big picture of the Plame Game.

Novak Says He Named 3 Sources in Leak Case
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer

Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak acknowledged for the first time yesterday that he identified three confidential administration sources during testimony in the CIA leak investigation, saying he did so because they had granted him legal waivers to testify and because Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald already knew of their role.

I gotta tell ya. If I’m a liberal at this point I’m dancing. So far it looks like there will be some frog-marching going on.

In a column to be published today, Novak said he told Fitzgerald in early 2004 that White House senior adviser Karl Rove and then-CIA spokesman Bill Harlow had confirmed for him, at his request, information about CIA operative Valerie Plame. Novak said he also told Fitzgerald about another senior administration official who originally provided him with the information about Plame, and whose identity he says he cannot reveal even now.

While (almost) everything he types is true, it paints an inaccurate picture. He puts it in reverse chronological order (and leaves out big hunks) distorting the whole thing.

Further, while it is good to hear this from Novak’s mouth, we’ve known for over a year that Rove obliquely confirmed Plame’s identity. This is only news if you forgot.

Novak triggered one of the capital’s most tangled investigations with a July 2003 column reporting that Plame had suggested sending her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, to Niger to investigate whether Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain nuclear material from that country — an unsupported claim that was included in President Bush’s State of the Union speech.

Does Howard Kutrz read his own paper? Ever?

That claim has been supported 15 different ways including by Joe Wilson himself. If I could give Kurtz the benefit of the doubt on the rest of the piece, he blows that here.

Critics say that Novak helped the administration retaliate against Wilson, who had become a prominent critic of Bush’s conduct in the run-up to the Iraq war, by revealing that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. Novak said yesterday he does not feel that he was used.

Kurtz ignores that Novak’s column COMPLETELY debunks this myth. As did his own paper earlier. The original “source” gave out the information inadvertantly and in response to a Novak question and everyone involved -including apparently Fitzgerald- says the administration official did not leak Plame’s name. The myth that the administration called 3 reporters trying to get them to out Plame was killed (again) today. Kurtz didn’t get that apparently.

I didn’t clip the whole article (you can go read it) but did you notice something missing?

For 3 years now we’ve been wondering where Novak got Plame’s name and Howie didn’t even bother put that in his article. The absolute biggest hunk of news in the story and he didn’t even mention it.

How could Kurtz miss this?

Novak’s newest column debunks so many of the loony left’s bizarre theories that they should be on suicide watch. Instead, if they only read Howard Kurtz they’ll probably think they got good news.

With all due respect to Kurtz, he really dropped the ball on this one.


Heh- The AP’s Pete Yost went moonbat with the story. Again missing the fact that the administration clearly was not out to harm Wilson and that Novak got Plame’s name not from an administration official but from Joe Wilson’s own entry in Who’s Who. Instead it’s “All Rove All the Time.”

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