Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Howie the Putz, Apologist For Power

Administration apologist Howie "the Putz" Kurtz is bashing United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald for his efforts to prosecute suspected criminals:

New York, N.Y.: Can you please help me understand why reporters on the periphery of the investigation into the release of the CIA agent's name have been forced to testify but Bob Novak, the releaser of the name, has not? Haven't the courts ruled that, in cases involving violations of the law, reporters do not have a right to withhold their sources?

Howard Kurtz: We don't even know whether Novak has been subpoenaed, because he won't say. It is distressing, from a First Amendment point of view, to see other journalists who didn't out Valerie Plame as a CIA operative dragged into this, but we seem to have an activist prosecutor who is not taking a last-resort approach to demanding reporters' testimony with the threat of jail if they don't comply.
Where to begin?

"Activist prosecutor?" Fitzgerald was charged by the Justice Department to investigate the Plame leak, after the CIA requested an investigation. Fitzgerald didn't define the scope of his authority, nor has he sought to expand it.

I don't recall the Putz ever using the term activist prosecutor to describe Ken Starr, to whom the term could be properly applied.

"Not taking a last-resort approach"? Howie doesn't (and can't) name a single person with relevant knowledge who Fitzgerald has failed to interview before subpoenaing journalists.

Is the Putz criticizing Fitzgerald for subpoenaing Novak before others? But Howie claims he doesn't know whether Novak has been subpoenaed. Surely the Putz wouldn't accuse Fitzgerald of misconduct without a factual basis for such an assertion. That would run counter to everything he pretends to stand for.

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