Joe Wilson's 15 minuites

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The Mediacrats are fearful that the Valerie Plame story may not have legs. Karl Rove has not been indicted, and may never be, and other than a few Washington insiders, nobody has ever heard of Lewis (Scooter) Libby before.

The solution is to push two themes: 1) this is really Cheney's treachery and a White House hatched conspiracy, and 2) Americans are and should be very upset about it. 

Tonight Joe Wilson will be on 60 Minutes to tell about threats his wife has supposedly received, and about all the agents supposedly endangered by the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. The New York Times is running several stories on its front page, two days after the indictment (apparently Plamegate is a bigger continuing  story than the Iraqi elections or Iran's expressed desire to wipe out Israel). Virtually every major media outlet headlined the indictment against Libby without use of his name, but as "Top Cheney Aide Indicted". The Washington Post and ABC are out with an instant poll showing Americans think this "scandal" is a very bad thing.

Try as they might, the left , which is represented far more forcefully by the mainstream media than by pathetically inept Democrats in Congress these days, did not get the big Kahuna as a scandal prize — Karl Rove. Since the left fears Rove's abilities, bringing him down would have accomplished two things: weakening the White House by removing its best political strategist, and also damaging Bush by putting somebody very close  to him in the klieg lights of the scandal industry in Washington. There are many who attribute the Bush administration's problems with dealing with Hurricane Katrina and making and  selling the Miers appointment  to the fact that  Karl Rove was distracted with his legal defense the last few months.

Try finding in the New York Times or Washington Post any mention of how badly Joe Wilson has already been discredited. Rather than the serial liar he has proven to be, he is presented as an innocent  victim of a smear campaign, as is his wife. In reality, this story has remade his career. He is now a well—paid speaker on the lecture circuit, appears on 60 Minutes, peddles a decent selling bad book, and played a prominent role in a presidential campaign. Wilson and his wife are central to the media continuing to hammer their broader themes against the Administration: 1) the Iraq war was a mistake, and was sold to the public through ginned up intelligence on WMD; 2) the White House hatched a conspiracy to destroy Wilson, the brave truth teller about pre—war intelligence on WMD.

The constant pounding on the Wilson story has had some impact on the White House. Mainly this is due to the cumulative pounding Bush is receiving on many fronts at the moment.  But better days may be ahead.

A solid conservative pick for the Court (Alito and Luttig are being whispered as finalists this weekend) will focus conservative attention on defending, rather than piling on the Administration. Syria and Iran are now more in the crosshairs of not only the US, but much of the civilized world. This strengthens the President on Iraq and the war on terrorism. The Plamegate kerfuffle will fade, as it should. Libby may or may not be found guilty for providing misinformation or inconsistent information to a grand jury and the FBI, far less weighty charges, than exposing a covert agent's identity, which Wilson will argue is what occurred tonight on 60 Minutes.

But Patrick Fitgerald did not pursue that charge against Libby, and has so far presented no charges against Rove, who has been Wilson's real target for two years.  The story  and the investigation have moved on, but Wilson has not.
And soon enough , the counry will move on. Joe Wilson will have had his 15 minutes.

Richard Baehr   10 30 05

The Mediacrats are fearful that the Valerie Plame story may not have legs. Karl Rove has not been indicted, and may never be, and other than a few Washington insiders, nobody has ever heard of Lewis (Scooter) Libby before.

The solution is to push two themes: 1) this is really Cheney's treachery and a White House hatched conspiracy, and 2) Americans are and should be very upset about it. 

Tonight Joe Wilson will be on 60 Minutes to tell about threats his wife has supposedly received, and about all the agents supposedly endangered by the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. The New York Times is running several stories on its front page, two days after the indictment (apparently Plamegate is a bigger continuing  story than the Iraqi elections or Iran's expressed desire to wipe out Israel). Virtually every major media outlet headlined the indictment against Libby without use of his name, but as "Top Cheney Aide Indicted". The Washington Post and ABC are out with an instant poll showing Americans think this "scandal" is a very bad thing.

Try as they might, the left , which is represented far more forcefully by the mainstream media than by pathetically inept Democrats in Congress these days, did not get the big Kahuna as a scandal prize — Karl Rove. Since the left fears Rove's abilities, bringing him down would have accomplished two things: weakening the White House by removing its best political strategist, and also damaging Bush by putting somebody very close  to him in the klieg lights of the scandal industry in Washington. There are many who attribute the Bush administration's problems with dealing with Hurricane Katrina and making and  selling the Miers appointment  to the fact that  Karl Rove was distracted with his legal defense the last few months.

Try finding in the New York Times or Washington Post any mention of how badly Joe Wilson has already been discredited. Rather than the serial liar he has proven to be, he is presented as an innocent  victim of a smear campaign, as is his wife. In reality, this story has remade his career. He is now a well—paid speaker on the lecture circuit, appears on 60 Minutes, peddles a decent selling bad book, and played a prominent role in a presidential campaign. Wilson and his wife are central to the media continuing to hammer their broader themes against the Administration: 1) the Iraq war was a mistake, and was sold to the public through ginned up intelligence on WMD; 2) the White House hatched a conspiracy to destroy Wilson, the brave truth teller about pre—war intelligence on WMD.

The constant pounding on the Wilson story has had some impact on the White House. Mainly this is due to the cumulative pounding Bush is receiving on many fronts at the moment.  But better days may be ahead.

A solid conservative pick for the Court (Alito and Luttig are being whispered as finalists this weekend) will focus conservative attention on defending, rather than piling on the Administration. Syria and Iran are now more in the crosshairs of not only the US, but much of the civilized world. This strengthens the President on Iraq and the war on terrorism. The Plamegate kerfuffle will fade, as it should. Libby may or may not be found guilty for providing misinformation or inconsistent information to a grand jury and the FBI, far less weighty charges, than exposing a covert agent's identity, which Wilson will argue is what occurred tonight on 60 Minutes.

But Patrick Fitgerald did not pursue that charge against Libby, and has so far presented no charges against Rove, who has been Wilson's real target for two years.  The story  and the investigation have moved on, but Wilson has not.
And soon enough , the counry will move on. Joe Wilson will have had his 15 minutes.

Richard Baehr   10 30 05