For a scandal that's clearly consuming Washington, D.C. and might soon dismantle parts of the West Wing, right-wing blogs remain surprisingly quiet about the Karl Rove/Scooter Libby/Valarie Plame mess. Usually cocky and eager for a fight, instead many of the most-read sites, including the Wall Street Journal's conservative OpinionJournal, have in recent days opted to simply ignore the whole sordid story. The see-no-evil approach is odd because just a few months ago OpinionJournal, and specifically its Best of the Web daily column, written by James Taranto, was openly mocking anyone who suggested the scandal had legs or that Rove might face political peril.
In an April 7 post about the Plame investigation headlined, "The Fat Lady Warms Up," Taranto announced triumphantly, "It's almost over." And it was clear how Taranto thought it would end—with a dud. He attacked news organizations for "hyping" the story, and even mocked some liberal writers by name, wondering why they had fallen "silent" about the Plame story in April, a question that Taranto might want to address himself today.
Last summer when it was revealed Rove was caught up as a central player in the investigation, Taranto remained unmoved. Appearing on the July 15, episode of the weekly public policy show, "The Journal Editorial Report," aired on PBS, Taranto was asked by host Paul Gigot to give a briefing on the Plame investigation, and specifically Rove's possible legal woes. "On a scale of one to 10, Paul, I would say roughly a zero," said the certain pundit.
And just last month in a "Blogger Spotlight" interview with Hotline, Taranto was bragging about leading the way on the Plame/Rove story: "I'm proud of having been ahead of the curve in identifying such trends as…the insubstantiality of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle."
Is it time for an update?