Was McClellan Book Excerpt Really About Valerie Plame Wilson?

November 23rd, 2007 6:01 PM

Without peeking, do you think the now infamous excerpt from White House press secretary Scott McClellan's not yet written book specifically referred to Valerie Plame Wilson, or anything to do with that scandal?

While you ponder, it is quite conceivable that this entire media frenzy is not only much ado about nothing, but an example of what happens when today's so-called journalists see what they believe to be Republican blood in the water despite the presence of red dye #2.

As cleverly pointed out by Lee Hempfling Thursday (emphasis added):

Like a pack of starving banshees, jumping at the first odor of raw flesh, the liberal and foreign press have fallen all over themselves to write about a short excerpt of a book by Scott McClellan. The problem is, the quote offered says nothing about the topic the lunatics have attributed it to.

Let's take a close look at the actual excerpt and see what the real subject was (emphasis added to point you in the right direction):

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the President himself.

Do you see Valerie Plame Wilson's name anywhere in this excerpt?


So, why were media outlets - in particular, MSNBC - so quick to conclude that this had anything to do with her?

When you read that excerpt without the preconceived notion that it's about Plame, isn't it actually about the failure to find WMD?

As such, isn't it likely that the "false information" McClellan "unknowingly passed along" dealt with weapons in Iraq, and that this is what "Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the President himself" were involved in?

Honestly, where in these 121 words can one deduce this has anything to do with Plame without stretching to spine-breaking conclusions?

In the end, the reading comprehensions skills of the media appear quite abysmal, and we should all be ashamed for not recognizing it sooner.

Bravo, Lee.