WSJ Woes

07/13/2005 11:03 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's always amusing when the RNC says jump, to see how high the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page will elevate. This morning's lead editorial, typed right from RNC talking points, rushes to Karl Rove's defense. Turns out he was not acting as a partisan when spreading classified gossip about Joseph Wilson's wife. Instead, he was a hero for speaking the truth, the real "whistleblower" in this saga. It's a classic example of the Journal leaping on demand.

Here's the paper's rationale: "[Rove's] the one who warned Time's Matthew Cooper and other reporters to be wary of Mr. Wilson's credibility. He's the one who told the press the truth that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the CIA consulting gig by his wife." [Emphasis added.]

Slight problem--that's not what Rove told Cooper. According to Cooper's now famous July 11, 2003 email, written after speaking with Rove, Bush's closest aide told Cooper that Wilson's wife at the CIA had "authorized" the trip to Niger, not the Journal's gentler "recommended." There's a big difference. Even a Senate Intelligence Committee report released last summer, which the Journal quotes as gospel on the subject, concluded that at best Wilson's wife "suggested" him for the diplomatic trip. She had no authorizing power over the mission. So why did Rove tell Cooper the opposite, and shouldn't the Journal acknowledge the misinformation Rove was spreading, rather than trying to cover it up?

As for the glaring contradiction of White House spokesman Scott McClellan in 2003 stating categorically that Rove had absolutely nothing to do with the Wilson controversy, and that the mere suggestion he did was "ridiculous," the Journal couldn't care less, ignoring the matter all together.

Instead, the same editorial page that for eight years thundered about Democratic administration obfuscations now sheepishly looks the other way when Republicans in the White House are caught unleashing whoppers.

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