Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Kaus Hackula Halloween

SoCal's tiniest media critic demonstrates his inferior NYT bashing skills:

"Doubts have been expressed about the big front page NYT scoop of yesterday -- the one that said George Tenet told Cheney about Plame's status, and that Cheney then told Libby. Obvious Problem #1: If Tenet was such a key figure, wouldn't he have testified before the actual grand jury? Obvious problem #2: Would Libby really have been dumb enough to contradict his own notes (which the prosecutor has had from the start) under oath? ... If the Times story falls apart, will reporters Johnston, Stevenson and Jehl get fired like so many people think Judtih Miller should be fired (given that her WMD stories fell apart)? What if Jehl's big front-page Able Danger scoop turns out to be a crock too? That would be two big strikes against Jehl! Hey,what do you have to do to get fired at the New York Times? ... This principle of actually holding reporters accountable for the accuracy of their stories could get out of hand. ..." (Links from original; some links omitted.)

Doubts have been expressed -- if I may use the passive-aggressive voice -- about Kaus's ability to read.

Kaus misstates the Times story to make his point. You're just as shocked as I am, I know.

The authors of the Times piece don't claim that "George Tenet told Cheney about Plame's status." They wrote that sources told them that Libby produced allegedly contemporaneous notes which reflect that Cheney told Libby that Cheney got that information from Tenet. There's a big difference, as even a dolt would understand.

And Kaus's link at "prosecutor has had from the start" does not state that Fitzgerald has had this particular note, or all of Libby's notes, from the start. It doesn't address the subject. (Does Kaus really believe that the assertion "They [grand jurors] have sifted through the day planners of White House aides" confirms that Fitzgerald had all of Libby's documents from the start?) The Times article says that Libby's notes are "now in Mr. Fitzgerald's possession." (Emphasis added.)

As to whether the Times account of the note is accurate, read paragraph 9 of the indictment. It states that on June 12, 2003, Cheney told Libby he got the information on Plame from the CIA. Since Libby testified he didn't get the information from Biggus Dickus, according to the indictment, that means Fitzgerald got the information from either (1) Libby's notes of the meeting or (2) Cheney himself, during the unsworn interview. So the Times report is consistent with the allegations of the indictment.

No wonder Kaus is terrified by the concepts of accountability and accuracy. The real question is, what do you have to do to keep your job at Slate?

No comments: