Sunday, December 11


Time has posted reporter Viveca Novak's story of what she told Fitzgerald.

Novak didn't take notes of her conversations with Karl Rove attorney Robert Luskin and has a very fuzzy memory about when she told him that the buzz around Time was that Rove was a source for reporter Matt Cooper on Valerie Plame's CIA status. So I don't think this will have any more effect on the case than to cancel out Luskin's argument that it was their conversation that was the catalyst for the Rove side to comb records and discover the Stephen Hadley e-mail confirming the Rove-Cooper conversation. It was that discovery, the Rovians claim, that caused Rove, very late in the game, to correct his earlier testimony that he was not a source for Cooper. Novak's account, in my view, does nothing to persuade anyone that Rove didn't lie until he couldn't make it plausible any more. If she alerted Luskin in January, March or May 2004 that Rove was Cooper's source, why did it take Rove so long to bring that fact to Fitzgerald's attention? Seems to me he spent the interim trying to cover his butt and when all seemed lost, finally came clean. That's not a scenario likely to persuade Fitzgerald that Rove, famously of the "photographic memory," suddenly was persuaded of a conversation he'd long forgotten.

One other troubling aspect of this is that Viveca Novak so closely resembles, in her actions, the behavior of Bob Woodward. She, like Bobo, failed to advise her editorial supervisors that she was part of the story, and seems in her report to bemoan Luskin's disfavor more than her journalistic ethics.

An aside: as a business communicator, I am never without a notepad or, in its absence, go immediately to my Blackberry to record my recollections of any meeting. Should we expect less of a prominent journalist?

Time noted that "by mutual agreement" Viveca Novak is on a leave of absence. Interesting that the Washington Post seems to have never considered a similar hiatus with Bob Woodward.


Blogger mikevotes said...

Yeah, this Plame case really has pulled the cover off the BS that is inside the beltway journalism. It makes me wonder how many other stories have been affected by this journalistic ethos.

And, I agree, I don't think this is as exculpatory as it was painted before we knew the testimony. I think this was Luskin's last shot defense that he only pulled out when it looked hopeless, because, well, you identify the risk.

It's a compelling story if you completely ignore the time gap of months and months.

The one curious thing is that in some pretty credible reporting, there are claims that Luskin was citing the meeting as far earlier rather than later in the timeline.


(love the blog as always.)

8:03 AM  

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