NYT: Rove Is "Misleading" and Needs to Apologize

June 15th, 2006 8:33 AM

After reading the Rove non-indictment round-up by Jim Rutenberg and Neil Lewis, it would appear that that White House reporters still have Rove in their crosshairs (as one would expect, since the media is the entity who pushed for an investigation).

Mr. Bush “faced tough questions” in the press conference yesterday:

One journalist asked if the president believed that Mr. Rove owed any apologies for providing "misleading" statements about his role in the case.

…questions remain about how straightforward Mr. Rove, a deputy chief of staff, was about his own role in administration efforts to rebut a war critic — even with his own White House colleagues.

Tell it to Fitzgerald. The only questions remaining are from the press pool who just had their collective heads spun with the news of Rove’s clearing.

Apparently, the Special Prosecutor and the NYT have a different interpretation of the facts. Rove was cleared, and this is an indication that these “misleading” statements are the stuff of fantasy (while the conflicting and contradictory assertions of Joe Wilson are somehow above scrutiny or reproach).

The example the NYT provides of “misleading?” A 2003 Scott McClellan press briefing in which hot and bothered reporters got McClellan to say that Rove was not involved with the White House push back. He technically wasn’t – he was responding to Matt Cooper’s questions, whom he warned “not to get too far out on Wilson” for Cooper’s own sake.  Here’s the NYT:

In 2003 Scott McClellan, who was then White House press secretary, told reporters, based on information from Mr. Rove, that Mr. Rove had played no role in disclosing Ms. Wilson's name.

…Mr. Rove later admitted to speaking with two reporters, the columnist Robert Novak and Matt Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine, about Ms. Wilson, though associates say he did not know her name.

The NYT just proved Rove’s innocence all by itself with these two passages. That’s also consistent with what the prosecutor found. What exactly does the NYT find this so implausible about this? Could they have been advocating for a Rove indictment? Perish the thought.

The NYT also doesn’t seem interested in publishing the findings of the Select Senate Intel Committee and how those findings refuted and exposed the outright lies of  Joe Wilson’s Op-Ed in 2003. They instead choose to rehash what Joe Wilson “reported” in an Op-Ed in their paper in 2003:

In a New York Times Op-Ed article in 2003, Mr. Wilson reported that during a fact-finding mission for the C.I.A. he could not verify claims that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa, a major administration claim in justifying the invasion of Iraq.

Despite the obvious fact that Wilson was not reporting but was opining in his Op-Ed, the article continues the seemingly willful mischaracterization that has become an article of faith to some that Wilson was in fact sent by VP Cheney’s office to get the facts on yellowcake, Iraq and Niger. Despite the dubious omission of the fact that Wilson had been shown to be inconsistent about what he filed in his reports and briefings, what he wrote in the Op-Ed, and how he was “selected” to take the trip in the first place, the NYT continues on as if the SSCI hearings had never taken place. They are not mentioned once in the article.

Color me unimpressed with the NYT’s dismal (almost bitter) assessment of the Rove non-indictment, and equally unimpressed with the paper’s unwillingness to report the full story on Joe Wilson.

Cross-posted at Mein Blogovault.