CNN just offered a sneak preview of Bob Woodward’s interview with Larry King tonight on CNN. This is what Woodward says:
The day of the indictment, I read the charges against Libby, and looked at the press conference by the special counsel and he said the first disclosure on all of this was on June 23rd, 2003 by Scooter Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff to New York Times reporter Judy Miller. I went whoa whoa, because I knew I learned about this in mid-June, a week, ten days before. Then I say something’s up. There’s a piece that the special counsel does not have in all of this. Then I went into incredibly aggressive reporting mode…
There’s an easy explanation for why Fitzgerald didn’t know about this vital piece of information – because Woodward intentionally sought to keep it from him. The only person known to have had information regarding Woodward’s knowledge about Plame was Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus. And Woodward specifically told Pincus not to reveal that information to anyone:
[Pincus] believed as far back as 2003 that Bob Woodward had some involvement in the case but he did not pursue the information because Woodward asked him not to. “He asked me to keep him out of the reporting and I agreed to do that,” Pincus said today.
Let’s recap. First, Woodward told a fellow colleague about his information on Plame but instructed him not to share; then, he failed to disclose this information to his editors at the Post in order to — in his words — avoid a subpoena; then, he criticized Fitzgerald’s investigation; and finally, after failing to disclose his knowledge and realizing Fitzgerald was not aware of it, he sniffed a great story and went into “aggressive reporting mode.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you commit a “journalistic sin.”