Thursday, April 06, 2006

How Bush Will Finesse the Libby Leak

The media went nuts today over the Sun's report that Bush authorized Libby to leak information to the New York Times. How will Bush parry this? Very easily.

Bush will admit it. He did nothing illegal. It’s within his right to declassify information however he wants. So what?

Remember that Tom Clancy/Harrison Ford movie (I'm thinking it was "Clear and Present Danger") where the White House wrestles with how to explain the president’s friendship with a man killed in a drug war? The president’s aides suggest downplaying the friendship, saying the two men had met, but weren’t friends.

Harrison Ford says, no, “If they ask you whether you were friends, say, ‘No, we weren’t friends. We were good friends.’ Give them nowhere to go.” That’s what this administration does, and very well. They give the media nowhere to go, because the media are going for the gotcha, rather than the meaning of the gotcha. If the gotcha moment is undercut from the media, they don’t know how to proceed to the meaning of the gotcha, because they view that as “subjective” territory.

And once the media have to deal with something that can be construed as subjective, whether it is or not, they're lost.

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