Libby Charges and the New York Times Obsession with Rove

Harlingen, Texas, October 28,2005: The New York Times appears to be unhappy that Karl Rove was not indicted, when the charges of perjury, making false statements and obstruction where made against I. Lewis Libby. The newspaper’s headline grudgingly stated “Rove Apparently Is Not Indicted Today…” Today’s Times lead story also strongly reflects the newspaper’s displeasure that charges were not brought against Rove. Though the news was all about the Libby indictment, Rove’s name is mentioned repeatedly throughout the lengthy article. Such as, “Karl Rove, President Bush’s senior advisor and deputy chief of staff was not charged today, but will remain under investigation.” Or, Mr. Rove, as the president’s alter ego…” and “...the investigation of Mr. Rove offer(s) abundant grist, at least for now, to critics who question the administration’s commitment to truth and candor.” It should be noted that the New York Times is not alone in its attention to the CIA leak case. You can pick your news service. The headlines will have little variance. In fact, most of them had been written and waiting for the announcement. It has been CIA, Libby, Rowe, Leaks and Lying 24-7 for days on end. It is hard to call this media bias, but very easy to call it media obsession. It is also easy to see those things, which are of major concern to the public, are ignored or overshadowed by the mainstream media obsession with the CIA leak investigation. Try to find items of interest to the American public on the front pages of leading newspapers or at the top of the news on television broadcasts. It will be quite difficult. Antidotal evidence shows the average citizen is concerned about those bread and butter issues, which have direct impact on his or her life. The price of gas at the pump…the local tax burden…the war in Iraq…the standings of their favorite team…and are there more hurricanes brewing in the Gulf of Mexico? These are the topics of the day in small town barbershops and around the lunch table at the weekly Rotary meeting. Who said what to whom about Valerie Plame and why? That doesn’t even appear on their radar. But, the press continues to obsess on the issue. The Washington Post said it best in yesterday’s column by Howard Kurtz…”Buzz on CIA Leak is part of a D.C. Ritual.” According to Kurtz, everywhere in Washington the chatter is about the grand jury, about who lied and who told the truth. Rumors and misinformation abound. Statements today conflict with statements made yesterday.