News Flash: The Press Omits, Distorts

Written by Thomas E. Brewton


June 10, 2008
By Thomas E. Brewton

No surprise, here’s another example of left-wing liberal media presenting only a selected part of the facts in order to mislead readers, when all of the facts are a matter of public record.

An Associated Press article headlined McClellan to testify before House in CIA leak case includes the following sentence:

Plame’s CIA identity was leaked to the news media by several top Bush administration officials in 2003, including Libby and former top White House political adviser Karl Rove. [emphasis added]

In as much as the story first was published by Robert Novak, who had first hand knowledge about the supposed revelation of Valerie Plame’s involvement, let’s let him tell the full story.

The background is that CIA agent Valerie Plame recommended her husband Joe wilson for an intelligence gathering mission.  Mr. Wilson used his mission to write a New York Times op-ed piece asserting that the Bush administration had lied about Saddam Hussein’s efforts to obtain materials for nuclear weapons. 

Later Congressional investigations demonstrated that both Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson had lied about the story in several critical particulars. 

Here’s what Mr. Novak has to say about the affair and about Scott McClellan’s best-selling work of fiction:

In Scott McClellan’s purported tell-all memoir of his trials as President Bush’s press secretary, he virtually ignores Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage’s role leaking to me Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA employee. That fits the partisan Democratic version of the Plame affair, in keeping with the overall tenor of the book, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.”

Although the media response has dwelled on McClellan’s criticism of Bush’s road to war, the CIA leak case is the heart of this book. On July 14, 2003, one day before McClellan took a press secretary’s job for which many colleagues felt he was unqualified, I wrote a column asserting that while at the CIA Plame had suggested her Democratic partisan husband, retired diplomat Joseph Wilson, for a sensitive intelligence mission. That story would make McClellan’s three years at the briefing room podium a misery, leading to his dismissal and now his bitter retort.

In claiming he was misled about the Plame affair, McClellan mentions Armitage only twice. Armitage being the leaker undermines the Democratic theory, now accepted by McClellan, that Bush, Vice President Cheney and political adviser Karl Rove aimed to delegitimize Wilson as a war critic. The way that McClellan handles the leak leads former colleagues to suggest he could not have written this book by himself.
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776  Email comments to
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