I’ve been away from the television and computer most of the day, although I gather the WaPo piece alleging that administration officials “outed” a covert CIA operative in a clumsy attempt to score a minor political point has excited the blogosphere–as well it should. What’s puzzling to me is that I’ve yet to see any follow up on the other major news sites, or even so much as a denial from the White House beyond what was in the original piece.

I know Sundays can be slow news days, but that would ordinarily mean that this would be all anyone would be talking about. Again, when the Lewinsky thing broke (with Matt Drudge leaking a piece Newsweek was keeping under wraps), it took off like wildfire. Which isn’t this causing more of a firestorm?

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. doug says:

    Because the Bush White House isn’t a corrupt house of cards.

  2. JohnC says:

    What? Are you starting to have liberal style conspiracy theories? 🙂

  3. Paul says:

    I dunno, I think Doug is part right… By the time “Monicagate” hit, it was the 19th or 20th “gate” during the Clinton administration.

    But what I find interesting is that the Whitehouse press corps are notorious blabber mouthes. They all know who told what to whom. My sense is that if their were anything to this, they would all be running with ball.

    But I guess we will see.


  4. James Joyner says:


    Not so much a conspiracy theory as thinking that, maybe, the WaPo piece is being overblown and not given much credibility. There was more of a flap over the “yellowcake” thing than this. Ironic since the two appear directly related, if this one is true.

  5. Steven says:

    I was in slow-news mode over the weekend myself (note the light blogging), but have noted this as well. I listened to NPR on the way to work this morning (although I admit to some channel flipping) and didn’t here anything–and I expected it to be part of the headlines section. In flippinf TV channels last night I saw Geraldo, Gertz and some other guy (an ex-CIA type) talking about it. I don’t think it was on the front page of the local paper, nor has it been tops on a lot of news websites. Rather, it has been big in the Blogosphere, WaPo, and Drudge.

  6. Kathy K says:

    We have anonymous sources accusing anonymous sources. I suspect most people, like me, are keeping an eye on it but witholding judgement until there’s something a bit more solid.

  7. Ross Judson says:

    It made each of the Sunday morning news shows…Snow and Hume asked about it, and so did Russert. Rice gave a simple “The DoJ is looking into it” answer. Snow and Hume went after her a little bit on that one.

    I think the consensus out there is that this is a pretty serious offense, and somebody is going to be charged. It just sucks all around — it’s hard to believe that someone in the White House would have judgement this poor, but I guess it has happened. The Right is wondering if it’s true, and the Left is wondering if Ashcroft is going to really investigate it.

    The RBlog scene hasn’t touched this with a ten foot pole…doesn’t fit with the viewpoint, I guess.

    Dan Drezner had this to say:

  8. Paul says:

    I think the consensus out there is that this is a pretty serious offense, and somebody is going to be charged

    WOW! You do have high hopes…. (I’m within inches of putting you in the delusional crowd.)

    Maybe you sould actually READ what is being wrtten!

    From the WaPo:
    If recent history is any guide, federal investigators are unlikely to discover who the leakers are. In 1999, a federal appeals court ruled that independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr and his staff did not have to face contempt proceedings for allegedly leaking damaging information about President Bill Clinton because no grand jury secrets were disclosed. The next year, a former Starr spokesman, Charles G. Bakaly III, was acquitted of making false statements about his role in providing information to the New York Times.

    Maybe you missed the whole theme of this discussion which is “Why does nobody in the media care?”

    How on earth can you claim a “consensus … [that] somebody is going to be charged.”


  9. Paul says:

    On a more sane and rational note… I wonder why the WaPo is pushing this so hard. (If I have my facts right) They have run 3 stories in 3 days with at least 2 on the front page. ( I think that is right)

    That kinda coverage is pretty strong especially when contrasted to the rest of the media.

    Also in the 3 stories they have not presented any real new info, they are basically just repeating the same set of vague claims.

    Sorta makes me think either they know something nobody else does but they can’t say it or they have an agenda of some flavor on this one.

    It is interesting.

  10. James Joyner says:

    WaPo really made a name for itself as a newspaper with Watergate. They did the same thing in that case: Kept beating a story everyone else was largely ignoring.

  11. Paul says:

    I started to mention that exact point but I figured I hinted at it enough. In Watergate we had a President resign for what would hardly be a scandal by today’s standard.

    I’m wondering if they think there is a repeat.

    A Funny thing happened on the way to this being ignored, put it on the front cover of the WaPo 2 or 3 times and suddenly the other news outlets are covering it.

    Of course someone in the blogosphere will claim credit for the rest of the media picking it up.