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“Karl Rove’s Area Of Expertise”: The Guy Responsible For More Than His Share Of Meaningful Scandals

The controversy surrounding Justice Department leak investigations, and surveillance of journalists and phone logs, is clearly a serious matter. But is Karl Rove is the best person to be discussing this?

Appearing Monday on Fox News, Karl Rove attacked the Obama administration’s surveilling of Fox reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation as “chilling” and its rationale for doing so “beyond the pale.”

“We had to confront this question during the Bush administration,” he said. “There were leaks of classified information and in each and every instance, the focus was on the potential leak, not the reporter who received it.”

Rove defended the need to prosecute leaks but said the media shouldn’t be targeted. “This is really chilling,” he said.

If we remove Rove from the equation, I’m sympathetic to concerns about the chilling effect the leak investigations will have on journalists and their sources. It’s a point Rachel will probably explore on tonight’s show in more detail.

But if we keep Rove in the equation, there are some noteworthy angles to keep in mind. First, like Dave Roberts, I’m not sure how we arrived at the point at which Karl Rove can appear on national television to scrutinize White House controversies. The guy was, after all, responsible for more than his share of meaningful scandals.

Second, I’m even less sure how we arrived at the point at which Karl Rove can appear on national television to discuss and scrutinize White House controversies involving leaks of classified information. It was Rove, after all, who was very nearly indicted for his role in the White House outing an undercover CIA official as part of a larger political strategy.

Third, the focus during the Bush/Cheney era was “on the potential leak, not the reporter who received it”? I don’t mean to sound picky, but during Bush/Cheney era, the Justice Department “improperly gained access to reporters’ calling records as part of leak investigations.” Indeed, it happened quite a bit. One reporter went to jail to protect a White House source during a leak investigation, and another reporter very nearly met the same fate.

Does Rove not remember any of this?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, May 20, 2013

May 22, 2013 - Posted by | Journalists, National Security | , , , , , , ,

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