Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Saying what I feel like

Since I've just done my blogostic duty and posted something long, in-depth, and on-topic, let me take a moment to say that I have been following with interest and befuddlement the weird drama of the Jason Leopold "Rove has been indicted story." I presume that anyone who visits here already knows all about this, but on May 13, Jason Leopold, a reporter with a checkered past who is now working for the Internet magazine Truthout, appeared to have gotten the biggest scoop since, uhh, well, since Dan Rather got the goods on GW Bush being AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. Supposedly Fitzgerald had gotten an indictment of Karl Rove on Friday, May 12, and was going to announce it publicly by last Wednesday.

This is starting to look suspiciously like another one of Rove's favorite ju jitsu's -- planting a negative story about a client, or in this case himself, just to discredit the story and those who report it. That may be what happened to Dan Rather, and Rove has been caught doing it in the past. Rove engineered a miraculous last-minute comeback for Texas gubernatorial candidate Bill Clements in 1986 by finding a bugging device in his office and claiming it had been put there by the Democratic candidate. It turned out Rove had put it there himself.

Fortunately, hardly anyone bit hard on the Leopold story. People noted it with appropriate skepticism and reservations. If Rove really did plant the story, hoping to engineer a meltdown of the liberal blogosphere, he has largely failed. It could pretty much do in Truthout, but that's not going to rearrange any tectonic plates. Meanwhile, Truthout is standing by it, which either means they really have something, or they are suicidal. We'll see.

However, what is really interesting about all this is that the corporate media views the whole thing with a yawn. They didn't make any serious effort to find out what happened in the CBS/TANG debacle, they haven't held Rove to account for his previous dirty tricks, and they are determined to see this as nothing but a screwup by a marginal news operation. The campaign tactics used by Rove against John McCain in the 2000 Republican Primary, against John Kerry (Rove was clearly behind the Swiftboating smears), and throughout his career, ought to have made him a pariah. But for the corporate media to really investigate his past and present, and to make an issue of his consistent use of dishonest tactics, would only be to embarass themselves, because they have been duped by him repeatedly. Rather than admit that, they just let him get away with it.

Here's a link with more of the emetic biography of Karl Rove.

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