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July 08, 2007


for some reason I don't believe a word of Mikey's report.

I just came from Kevin Drum's place, where he links to the story about how Bush just ignored the facts. My thought was: how is it possible Bush did any of this himself? I had just read the Hertzberg piece linked by Digby a few minutes before. Bush is never focused on anything, nothing is done without The Dark One. This filled out what I initially suspected, thank you.

I don't get to used analogy like this in my text, as a male I'd get hit for it pretty hard, it's not something we can use. Pretty powerful stuff.


But no one knows you're a man when your name is paradox...

WTF does it mean that "Bush respects the jury verdict"? He has essentially overturned the verdict, and has indicated that he is open to completely overturning it in the future.

If Bush truly respected the verdict he would have left it alone. When will our MSM learn to call a spade a spade?

Bush had been saying all along that he would not intervene in the case while it was being appealed. It is still being appealed, and then without any kind of justification, Bush interevened anyway citing his previous committment to not intervene while it is being appealed! Could it get any more bizarre?

Anonlymous Liberal had a scathing dissection of Bush's statement here

Oops link to Annonymous Liberal is:

The Referee trots away from the officials' huddle to the center of the field and turns on his mic:

"Round-mouthing by Isikoff. That'll be 15 yards against the Goopers. First down for the Blogosphere!"

Marcy, does either MSNBC or Newsweek [wherever Isikoff's crap is posted] have a "comment" section in which you can tear Mikey a new one re this? It would be worth it.

And a nice "hard copy" to the Dead Tree version of Newsweek wouldn't hurt either, if his tripe appears there.

Advantage to the non-Dead Tree forums [fora? fori?] is that no "editor" gets to choose whether your comment appears.

You tell him, EW. Great job!


Oh, I expect between Isikoff's drop jaw at my appearance on Hardball the other day and my reaming him on Seder ... he'll hear about it.

Isikoff's dropped jaw moment was a long time coming and certainly worth the wait. Here's to more of the same! Great job EW

But no one knows you're a man when your name is paradox...

it's actually twin physicians commenting :~)

The unintended hilariousness of the phrase "intensely focused" coupled with "Bush" has me stumped. On the one hand, the idea of Bush intensely focused on anything whatsoever is ludicrous. On the other hand, he would certainly be intensely focused on his own criminal activity and whether Libby revealed it at trial.

But "delved into the details?" I don't think so, Mikey.

Ah but we know Bush DID delve into the details on this story--his "secret mission" with Scooter Libby.

"Intensely focused"? Well, there was the pig roast when he visited Angela Merkel...

Well, see, if you say something loud enough and for a long enough time, everyone will think it's true. [/snark]

I wish the Senate Judiciary Committee would call Harriet Grant and let Senator Whitehouse ask her (in proper legal ways) what she knows about the change in strategy at the Libby trial. She is a third party, and has no privilege that I can think of.

Oh, SNAP, EW - you said it, but GOOD! Your work is tops. Hope to see more of you and your work on the teevee.

Ouch!!!! A piss smart slap down to six nines! Whew, EW. Ol' mikey got your dander up! Attention all rove knob jobbers - Do not get on the wrong side of the wheel! Crunch - like a bug. Damn.

Oh, and all who think Mikey's COA sources weren't carrying the message for the flag, shoot yourself now. You're too dumb to live.

You wonder whether for Isikoff there is that moment in front of the mirror in the morning, catching his own eyes, thinking, "Yes, that was pure stenography, it was my turn to put out the White House bullshit in undiluted form, and it compromises everything I learned when I went to journalism school but I have made my choices in this life and this is one and I am proud to stand my ground in front of God on this."

Or is he like, a closet drinker, beating his wife and just another turd like all the GOPers, who puts on one face in public and another when there's no one else there, with no sense at all of what he is doing?

So far, there are only 15 comments, but most are worth reading. Anyone here feeling it worth their time to chime in, right under Newsweek's nose, please consider themselves very much appreciated by at least one of us out here in the woods.

Oops, here's the URL: http://politics.talk.newsweek.com/default.asp?item=645652#comments

The really sad thing about this is that Isikoff is congratulating himself right now on what a great scoop he got and, if he reads this post, he'll be even more convinced he's doing it right. In the world of pressthink, that story is what a good reporter is supposed to do. In Isikoff's mind, he's giving us a rare, inside look at the White House deliberations over a politically-charged decision. He can't see, because his worldview prevents him from seeing, that he's been completely conned. Criticism like ew's reinforces his confidence because a mainstream reporter's not doing his job if he's not pissing off the DFH bloggers.

Bill Kristol has a different tune:

“Here’s why the president acted the way he did. He knew Bill Clinton was joining Hillary in Iowa on July 4th. No, I’m serious,” Kristol said. “So on July 2d, Ed Gillespie, who’s a very canny Republican operator, said, Let’s pardon Libby. Clinton will rise to the bait, and we could spend the last half of the week debating the unbelievable Clinton pardons against the defensible Bush pardon.”

That's sounds more like Bushco.


what kristol says sounds straight up, but he is a tool, so why would he be saying that?
and mercymercyMARCY! you is one nasty gal.

Bush justice is a national disgrace


As a longtime attorney at the US Department of Justice, I can honestly say that I have never been as ashamed of the department and government that I serve as I am at this time.

The public record now plainly demonstrates that both the DOJ and the government as a whole have been thoroughly politicized in a manner that is inappropriate, unethical and indeed unlawful. The unconscionable commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence, the misuse of warrantless investigative powers under the Patriot Act and the deplorable treatment of U.S. attorneys all point to an unmistakable pattern of abuse.

< snip >

The sweeping, judicially unchecked powers granted under the Patriot Act should neither have been created in the first place nor permanently renewed thereafter, and the Act - which also contributed to the ongoing contretemps regarding the replacement of US attorneys, by changing the appointment process to invite political abuse - should be substantially modified, if not scrapped outright. And real, rather than symbolic, responsibility should be assigned for the manifold abuses. The public trust has been flagrantly violated, and meaningful accountability is long overdue. Officials who have brought into disrepute both the Department of Justice and the administration of justice as a whole should finally have to answer for it - and the misdeeds at issue involve not merely garden-variety misconduct, but multiple "high crimes and misdemeanors," including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I realize that this constitutionally protected statement subjects me to a substantial risk of unlawful reprisal from extremely ruthless people who have repeatedly taken such action in the past. But I am confident that I am speaking on behalf of countless thousands of honorable public servants, at Justice and elsewhere, who take their responsibilities seriously and share these views. And some things must be said, whatever the risk.

I thought I clicked The Next Hurrah but I must have hit The Rude Pundit. Great post Rude!

OT: I'm watching a rebroadcast of Norman Perlstein on C-Span talking about the Plame leak and he's a giant dope. Woodward is there too offering his dopeyness. The highlight so far was a quick cut to a shot of David Ignatius in the audience eating a sandwich. If you didn't see it yet you may want to get the tape. It might add some granular detail to your encyclopedic knowledge of the case.


These guys get paid for our eyeballs. Every post, every visitor, every link gets counted and used to pressure advertisers into paying even more for such scribblings in squid ink. Content isn't as important as controversy in raising the number of readers or viewers.

The media does not serve the public, or the public's interest. It serves advertisers... and stockholders watching the profit line as those advertising dollars drop like rose petals.

Individual writers and editors might feel some compunction to serve the truth in their reporting. However, in a culture where money is the standard of worth, the anointed reporters are the ones who prostitute themselves in the corporate temples.

Thanks, John Koppel. You're a great American. I just read your full article and hope it inspires others.

John S. Koppel, thank you and all of the wonderful US attorneys who care about justice for the people! We sorely need government employees who know that they are public servants and who care about true justice. Between Gonzalez and the White House, many of us have lost all faith in our system. Thank you for speaking out for the people...

Marcy -- thank you for expressing our outrage at Mikey's contrived piece of disinformation charading as journalism...he is just one more bought-and-paid-for journalist hack employed by our corporate-media. Thank God we still have you -- someone who sees and reports the truth!
Reading your blog is always a breath of fresh air.

"John S. Koppel, thank you....!"


Bullseye, as per usual emptywheel. If you ever get the chance to speculate, do you think Barbara Comstock delivered Scooter's "no jail" ultimatum to Cheney, who then delivered it to Bush? Also, do you think Cheney made Scooter's blackmail threat seem even stronger than it actually was?

OT, Democrats are missing a huge talking point, iirc, even Libby's lawyers agreed that under the guidelines he deserved in the neighborhood of 16-17 months?

EW YOU ARE THE DEAL! Way to go let'em have it with both barrels.Thanks for the tidbit about Libby being Rich's attny. I did read that right did i not?

Marc Rich
See the "Scandal" section for confirmation of Scooter's involvement.

Thanks Boo Can't believe I missed that, Duh


thank you.

This scumbag has been smirkingly carrying water since monica. his collusion is a parallel universe to judith miller. they are both quislings and are as reprehensible as the crooks they cover for.....
it IS sad that people savvy enough to know of this website and your work wouldn't have know that libby chased rich's ambulance.

Mike is being stenographer to his White House sources again Cheney did not weigh in directly fot his righthand man yah right pull my finger did he even interview Cheney? If not its hearsay.

No underlying crime! no harm was done in the outing of Valerie Palme hmm? I wonder what Mike will say if in 5 years one of the countries that Valerie was investigating for nuclear prolifiration get an Atom bomb all because Valerie and all her fellow agents at her CIA front company were exposed by Scooter.

I remember when Hubris [co-authored by Isikoff] came out. I read it & thought it was good. What happened?

I also remember his "participation" [gleeful participation] in Monicagate. So when I read Hubris I had trouble reconciling the two. And every time I've read him in Newsweek, he's swung more to the Monicagate level.

And March, is there a link to your time on Sam Seder? I went to the site last night when this first came up but couldn't find an;ything.

Ditto mighty mouse above: the only thing Bush could "focus [on] intently" is a pork sandwich or a new bike. Or a beer.

Is it because of Hubris, that Isikoff keeps being brought in as the "expert" on the Libby trial, instead of marcy or his co-writer, david corn? This Newsweek piece sounds like something Deborah Howell would write for the lucky Washington Post readers. Anyone who's been following the trial knows that Bush has been up to speed on the details all along. He was just trying to find the best solution to silence Libby. The ebb and flow of the Libby trial can be read as negotiations between Libby's team and the White House.

We have a President who with this commutation has successfully obstructed justice in a case involving his own guilt - where is the outrage? Where is the press making the distinction between Clinton's pardons, terrible as they were, they did not have anything to do with the many investigations during his Administration.

btw, Harriet works for Joe Biden on the Judiciary Committee.

The Bad Typing Fairy has taken over my keyboard.

"March" = Marcy

"an;ything" - anything

The Bad Typing Fairy is the first cousin of the Laundry Fairy, who, I've been trying to convince my kids for 15+ years, does not make stops at our house. Also a close relative of the Good Grades Fairy, who similarly shuns us.

Always remember: "Spikey" Isikoff worked hand-in-hand with Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter (on whose state-of-the-art home audio system the Tripp tapes were most likely copied for blast-spamming to various ConMedia outlets) and Lucianne Goldberg, Tripp's mentor (and who gave Isikoff his "Spikey" nickname". He is a whore, always has been a whore, and always will be a whore, to the point where between his orally pleasuring Karl Rove and other parts of the permanent GOP infrastructure in DC and Big Media, and his openmouthed surprise that somebody like Marcy would be allowed to dope-slap him on national TV, I'm really surprised he hasn't permanently dislocated his jaw.

Interesting. Isikoff is basically peddling the same spin that showed up in the NYTimes last week under Jim Rutenberg's and Sheryl Stohlberg's bylines. Very similar language--they actually used the phrase "clinical decision making" or something like that.
See Digby for the gorey details; believe it was about a week ago.

'Give it to Mikey...he LIKES it!" Get up off your knees, you idiot.

Found it:

"Bush Is Said to Have Long Debate on Decision." July 4.

"Now wipe your chin, Mikey."


Totally uncalled for. A fellator of Isikoff's experience will never have to wipe.

When you look at all the bad ponies in the Newsweek/MSNBC corral, you realize it's a wonder that Keith can ever get ANYONE on of any substance on his show. It appears he's forced to pick among Richard Wolffe, Isikoff, Jonathan Alter, etc. before he can scream "enough" and get someone good.

Thank God for Jonathan Turley, Shuster, Rachel Maddow, the occasional IAVA person and Marcy-by-phone. I think an anti-trust action is brewing in there somewhere.

[Apologies to ponies everywhere. I love 'em. But "snakes" + "corral" -- just wouldn't work.]

Emptywheel, even if Scooter's sentence is commuted, couldn't a future Democratic president remand him (and the rest of those who lied us into this war) to The Hague for war crimes trial? After all, we hanged Nazi Admiral Raeder for planning a war against countries that did not attack Germany; he had little direct involvement with concentration camps or crimes against humanity.

I heard your take on Isikoff's coverage on Sam's show yesterday and couldn't agree more. I wonder if you are aware that another Air America host, Rachel Maddow, someone I usually respect completely, has Isikoff on her program on a regular basis, and seems quite chummy with him. I'm wondering if you could call in to her, and bring up these questions and objections to 'Mikey's' coverage. I think Rachel would definitely ask him the follow up questions that highlight the more toadiesque qualities of his reporting. Just a thought, Rachel is usually spot on when in comes to such things.

Re: Isikoff's Worst ...............pardon the pun but he had it coming.

we hanged Nazi Admiral Raeder for planning a war against countries that did not attack Germany; he had little direct involvement with concentration camps or crimes against humanity.

Erich Raeder wasn't hanged. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released in 1955 because of ill-health. He died in 1960.

"In part, Bush may have stopped short of a full pardon precisely to keep Libby and other White House aides away from Democrats on Capitol Hill."

I have read this sentence several times and to me the meaning appears to remain the same. Isikoff seems to be explaining to any reader who suspects that Bush/Cheney were involved in the CIA leak case, that the commutation of Libby's prison time is an obstruction of justice, since the imprisonment was imposed by the judge to induce Libby to tell the truth, or at least part of it.

Why this sentence which contradicts just about everything else in the article? Is it just carelessness on Isikoff’s part? Or does he think his readers are too lazy to get that far in the article, or too stupid to suspect Bush/Cheney (pronounced “Bush-chney”) I don’t think it’s any of these – I believe that Isikoff is keeping an “out” for himself. Should the truthiness gods fall, he would be able to point to this sentence and say, Look, the editors were pressuring me, but I knew perfectly well what the truth was, and any alert reader would have seen it.

I suspect that careful reading of other Isikoff articles, and perhaps articles by other practitioners of truthiness, might show similar evidence – that they knew the truth but were too cowardly to testify to it openly.

When such a statement is found, it could be used productively by writing a comment to the author, congratulating him/her for finally seeing the light. In this way even an article like Isikoff's most recent, might be put to some good use.

Michael Isikoff, Howie Kurtz, Fred Hiatt...all refugees from the Washington Star, given a home at Donald Grahams increasingly neocon paper.

For shame, Donald. What would your mother say?

Good lord have mercy, lots of newbies on the blog. Seems like a good sign to me. Anybody know are these all transplants from Dailykos, or are we picking up steam due to EW's appearances of late?

Scooter's already paid his "huge" fine, right? So does he get a refund (with interest) when Bush pardons him outright?

Blame FDL for this newb...

Thank you, John Koppel, for writing that piece and bringing to our attention.

It takes courage to speak out, from within the government, against this administration -- especially given it's record of frequent and extreme vindictiveness. Good luck.

EW does both play by play AND color commentary of Michael Isakoff's blow by blow of George Bush's deliberative obstruction of justice in pardoning Libby.

Poetically, Bush's pardon/communtation in itself, is a poorly disguised but recognizable form of self-gratification: Bush gives self Blow JoB. Isakoff watches and describes Bush as making love to beautiful woman.

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