Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Howard Fineman explains why the White House press corps has suddenly shown signs of life.

"Take my word, there has been a lot of soul searching in the so-called Main Stream Media (MSM) over its performance, or lack of performance, in the months leading up to the American-led ouster of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Specifically, did we replace what should have been professional skepticism with a certain mindless credulousness in assessing the reality of the Bush administration's claims of imminent danger to the country and the world from Saddam's supposedly vast stash of weapons of mass destruction, including--only months away, it was said--the nuclear kind?

If we failed, was it out of a misplaced sense of patriotic duty, or political cowardice or sheer incompetence--or all three? The press corps was spring-loaded with self-doubt over the WMD issue, and ready to snap over any story that would allow it to revisit what now looks to have been a massive--and embarrassingly successful, from the press's point of view--propaganda campaign.

So Rove was a spinner on the WMD front? After him!"

The outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame is part of much larger story about the lead-up to the Iraq war and fixed intelligence. Former US Ambassador to Iraq, Gabon and envoy to Niger Joseph Wilson wrote a column disputing the White House's false claims about Iraq's WMD program which led to Robert Novak's column exposing Plame's identity.

The story continues to unravel, and for a change the press appears determined to get to the bottom of the cover-up if this portion of Wednesday's gaggle is of any indication:

McCLELLAN: I think we've exhausted discussion on this the last couple of days.

Q You haven't even scratched the surface.

Q It hasn't started.


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