As you read news stories like “E-Mail Reveals Rove’s Key Role in ’06 Dismissals” you should keep a few things in mind. Here’s what we’re learning:
Aides to former President George W. Bush have asserted that the Justice Department took the lead in the dismissals, which set off a political firestorm that lasted months. Mr. Rove played down his role in the firings in a recent interview and in closed testimony last month before Congressional investigators.
But the documents, released by the House Judiciary Committee after a protracted fight over access to White House records and testimony, offer a detailed portrait of a nearly two-year effort, from early 2005 to 2007, by senior White House officials, including Mr. Rove, to dismiss some prosecutors for what appear to be political reasons.
This, of course, is why we investigate things. And investigating things, according to most people, is one of the important functions of the national media. But the bulk of the national media actually reacted to the outbreak of the US Attorney firing scandal by insisting that there was no need to look into it. The Washington Post editorial page tutted that Alberto Gonzales appeared “to have tried to cover up something that, as far as we yet know, didn’t need covering.” And as Glenn Greenwald pointed out many pundits seemed to find the whole idea of pursuing an inquiry into Karl Rove’s role to be hilarious and absurd:
And what is most notable is that they express outrage at one part, and one part only, of this whole story — namely, they are furious over the fact that the foolish, unfair Democrats would even dare to try to force Karl Rove to testify. Why, firing U.S. attorneys and lying to Congress and the country about it is all fair game, but that — trying to get Rove to answer questions — is really beyond the pale. Just watch how the people who have done so much damage to our country think and behave:
Really, is it any wonder at all that our government is so fundamentally corrupt and broken when we have a press like this? Why wouldn’t top government officials lie continuously when our national press corps finds such lying to be such a source of merriment and humor, and can summon the energy only to attack, mock and condemn those who find the lying objectionable, rather than the liars themselves?
Fortunately, blogs and shrill partisan congressional Democrats kept driving this forward and now we know the truth.