There is something singularly appropriate about the fact that the Plame affair should involve Woodward, whose skillful and courageous use of the ur-voice among confidential sources virtually created a whole genre of Washington reporting. It's a journalistic strategy style dependent on the cultivation of access to well-placed officials greased by promises of "confidentiality." It's a way of doing journalism that still serves its practitioners' career interests, but less and less often their readers or viewers because it's a game the powerful and well-connected have learned to play to their own advantage.Read the whole thing...
Whatever its self-righteous pretensions, it's a style of journalism whose signature sound is less the blowing of whistles than it is the spinning of tops.
That's why the Washington press corps, whose ranks include so many alleged commentators that you can't spit without hitting one, steadfastly refuses to put the Plame affair and its participants in the context that explains the event. That context is the Bush administration's unprecedented — and largely successful — effort to bend Washington-based news coverage to its ends. The Washington press corps doesn't want to talk about this because it basically puts some of its most admired members in a line of venal patsies.
4 years ago