Sunday, October 30, 2005

Libby's import

Obviously the scalp that most of the media was hoping for in the whole Plame imbroglio was that of Karl Rove. In their almost certain disappointment that Rove remains unindicted, reporters have been left to focus on the man who was indicted, Scooter Libby.

The BBC has described Libby in one article as "much more important than his bland title of chief of staff to the vice-president suggests."

In its profile of Libby, the Beeb said that in addition to being an "arch conservative" (has the BBC ever used the phrase "arch liberal"?) he has "been involved in almost every major decision made by the Bush administration."

In Paul Reynolds' piece Libby was a "key official" who "has been an integral part of a central core of officials who drove the policy toward Iraq."

Indeed, Libby was such a "key official" and so important in driving Bush policy that in the 5 years of Bush's presidency, BBC online has mentioned his name, well, um, exactly zero times prior to September 30, at which point his role in the Plame affair became public.

9 Comments:

Anonymous avaroo said...

"In Paul Reynolds' piece Libby was a "key official" who "has been an integral part of a central core of officials who drove the policy toward Iraq."

Indeed, Libby was such a "key official" and so important in driving Bush policy that in the 5 years of Bush's presidency, BBC online has mentioned his name, well, um, exactly zero times prior to September 30, at which point his role in the Plame affair became public."

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Really, really great journalism there, Mr. Reynolds.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course he was key, just as key and important as wossname, Gore's chief of staff, and the chief of staff of the vice-president before Gore, whose name escapes me, and then of course who could ever forget... well, I can't remember, just now...

11:08 AM  
Anonymous BC10 said...

Just because the BBC didn't mention his name prior to the investigation doesn't mean he wasn't a key official. That's a fairly weak argument. There are probably many important decision-makers in Washington who aren't mentioned on BBC online very often, if at all. Oh, and according to my search, BBC news has 26 hits for "arch-conservative" and 1 for "arch-liberal" (which was in reference to Ted Kennedy)

5:04 PM  
Anonymous bc10 said...

This is slightly off-topic but perhaps someone here can answer these questions.

1) Why did Libby allegedly perjure himself over a crime that wasn't committed in the first place? Fitzgerald didn't find the outing of Plame's name against the law so what was the point of Libby saying what he said to the Grand Jury which in turn was contradicted by Tim Russert et al?

2) Why is political debate in America so ridiculously partisan? I was watching Meet the Press on Sky yesterday and the guests were all former Chiefs of Staff for Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Carter. They all concurred that political debate in America was becoming extreme. I've read many articles about this too, an interesting Economist one recently (I'll try and dig out the link.)

5:18 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...

BC10,

It wasn't so much an argument as an observation.

If Rove had been indicted as well, we probably wouldn't have heard much at all about Libby's importance. But since the Fitzgerald didn't provide the media with the scalp they wanted, they had to go with what they had. The media tends to hype and overdramatize the news they've got.

I don't doubt that Libby was just about as important to the admin as any other VP chief of staff. I do doubt the "keyness" of his presence on Bush policy. I kind of doubt that, with Cheney himself around, any influence that Libby might otherwise have wielded with the President was all that important.

And, BTW, I doubt Libby was much of a "decision-maker", whatever his importance to the admin.

Good stats on the arch conservative. Thanks.

SC

5:25 PM  
Anonymous BC10 said...

Hi SC,

I take your point about observation/argument.

According to everyone's favourite BBC journo Justin Webb, Libby is "the fourth most powerful man in the world". Apparantly, it's "Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby".

I doubt Webb would put Libby in fourth had Libby not been indicted.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4388152.stm

Surely someone like Greenspan is more powerful than Libby? Although I'd bet any money that if Greenspan had been indicted in a similar vein, Webb would be banging on about "Bush, Cheney, Rove, Greenspan". I get the feeling Webb just makes it up as he goes along.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous avaroo said...

So it's not Bush, Cheney, Rove Rumsfeld?

Sloppy, very sloppy of Mr. Webb. He forgot the BBC talking points.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott, your observations (the (lack of) importance of Libby, the disappointment of the liberals) are very similar to what you criticise the liberal wing of US politics of doing. In partisan politics everybody will "observe" what suits their viewpoint. Please bear that in mind.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous avaroo said...

Scott, this hits the nail on the head.

"I don't doubt that Libby was just about as important to the admin as any other VP chief of staff. I do doubt the "keyness" of his presence on Bush policy."

Although it appears that not everyone understood your point. Had Rove been indicted (for anything) no one would have heard (or cared) a thing about Scooter.

2:48 AM  

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