Wednesday, August 30, 2006

MSM knew there was no Plame crime, but didn't care

The damage from the Plamegate non-affair has been done, thanks to the willing accomplices of the left...aka the MSM. As the Godfather notes:
Real damage to real people, to a real country, during time of war, and it was done on purpose, and I cannot stress this enough. The whole thing is scandalous to me. It reeks of a purposeful fraud because these people that are reporting all of this about Bush and Cheney and Rove and Scooter Libby had to know that it was Armitage, they had to know.

They couldn't possibly not know, not during the whole two-year period. They might not have known during the first four months, but at some point during this they had to know that it was Armitage and yet it didn't matter, didn't fit the template. So cast it aside. Armitage isn't talking so what do we got to lose by reporting that it's Rove or that Fitzgerald thinks it's Rove or that Fitzgerald is going to indict Rove?
But there is an interesting story here by our old buddy Nedra Pickler in the Associated Press. This is the last little bit here on the Plamegate story. "Karl Rove was not 'frog-marched' out of the White House in handcuffs as his detractors had hoped, but the past year was certainly a low point for President Bush's close friend and chief political strategist." Why? Why was it a low point? Nothing Rove did made it a low point. Not one darn thing that Rove did made it a low point, Nedra. You had a bona fide media scandal here that targeted people who had nothing to do with it, and most of you in the Drive-By Media knew it all along.

"A criminal investigation put Rove under scrutiny for months, then he was forced to surrender a key policy role in a move that raised questions about his authority in the White House. Rove fell under a legal cloud after a grand jury began investigating the leak." That just infuriates me. The investigation was pointless as well! The investigation -- you know what? There would not have been a crime were it not for the investigation! The only crime in this whole thing, unless you want to say Armitage committed one. (laughing) The only crime occurred as a result of the investigation which should not have happened in the first place once the justice department found out it was Armitage. What's the point? Why go any further with it?

The whole thing was who leaked her name to Novak. Answer: Richard Armitage and his buddy, Colin Powell. I would love to know his involvement in this, too. I really would. You know, Armitage is the kind of guy that would take a bullet. But I, ladies and gentlemen, am not going to speculate about things I don't know. I'm sharing my curiosity with you, but I am making no claims. This whole thing is ridiculous. It is worse than an example of how the media can poison the minds of the population. Staking out Karl Rove at his home, following him home from the White House, seeing if he stopped off at a phone booth, you know, change into the Superman suit and go destroy somebody else at the CIA or what have you, all the while the people doing the investigation knew it was Armitage!
How soon until the MSM and the left (pardon the redundancy) demand that Armitage be "frog-marched" out in handcuffs, hmm?

Ray Robison illustrates how the damage had been done:
But what was the real damage and is it calculable? Interestingly enough, there are numbers that show what the damage was to the President’s credibility. Polling Report has a page devoted to the Plame leak case. Let’s review:

ABC/Washington Post asked in September of 2003:
"The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into whether someone in the White House broke the law by identifying a former diplomat's wife as an undercover CIA agent. The former diplomat claims this was done to punish him for criticizing U.S. policy on Iraq. Have you heard or read anything about this situation, or not?"

09/03 Yes- 68% No - 32%
So over two-thirds of American’s had heard the allegation. Now compare that to the recent survey that indicated how few people could name two SCOTUS justices at only 24%. I bet Ford and Coca-Cola would love that kind of market exposure.

So how effective was the marketing of this lie? The same poll asked:
"Just your best guess, how likely or unlikely do you think it is that someone in the White House leaked this classified information: very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely or very unlikely?"
Very Likely - 34%
Somewhat Likely - 38%
Somewhat Unlikely - 13%
Very Unlikely - 10%
No Opinion - 5%
That’s right, the reporting was so damning that 72% of American’s indicated they believed the White House did it. Close to three-quarters of the United States populace were duped by the media reporting that the Bush Administration had done it in retaliation.
So 78% of Americans heard that George Bush personally leaked documents to undermine war critics. Of course, the fact that it is not a leak since the President has de-classification authority was not included in the question. The really interesting part is now that we know for sure that the administration didn’t go after Plame, how did people determine that these documents indicated the President did it? In other words, they were all just going off media reports that were wrong.
A phenomenal 63% of the public believed the President acted at least unethically based on mainstream media reporting.
...Another CNN poll reported that only a staggering 10% of the public believed the Bush administration was innocent on this matter.

Now contrast this to coverage of the Lewinski scandel in which President Clinton actually admitted to committing wrongdoing (eventually). Polling report
"As a result of his actions in the Monica Lewinsky investigation, do you think Bill Clinton should lose his license to practice law, or should he keep his license to practice law?"
58% of respondents indicated in May of 2000 that a lawyer should keep his law license even after committing perjury.

This is a phenomenal indicator of the power of the media to create a news story, form the reporting template, and hammer it in until it becomes ingrained as fact. Of course, it goes without saying the media owes some balanced coverage to offset the political damage the Plame affair created. Riiiiggghhhtttt.
Not holding my breath for that kind of balance, Ray. liberal media bias!