Still ahead of the news cycle?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on June 13, 2006

White House adviser Karl Rove's lawyer says that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has told him that Rove will not be indicted in the CIA leak case.

"In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation," Luskin said in a written statement Tuesday. "We believe that the special counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct."

A grand jury has heard testimony from Rove in five appearances, most recently April 26.

After that appearance, Luskin issued a statement saying, "In connection with this appearance, the special counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he is not a target of the investigation."

This news caused me to wonder what the response would be over at Truthout.org, the liberal Web site that reported last month that Rove had been indicted and the reason that no one else was reporting the fact was that Truthout.org was "ahead of the news cycle."

The first response is this article by Jason Leopold, the reporter who "broke" the Rove indictment story. Leopold's latest doesn't really answer any questions, it just points to an indictment (06 cr 128 Sealed v. Sealed) and hints that that one is about Rove and Truthout.org is still ahead of the news cycle.

The second interesting piece is by Truthout.org's executive director, Marc Ash.

Now for what we believe: We believe that federal criminal indictment "06 cr 128" (Sealed vs. Sealed) is directly related to the Fitzgerald/Plame investigation. That's based on a single credible source and the information discussed above. We believe that Karl Rove is cooperating with federal investigators, and for that reason Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is not willing to comment on his status. That is based, again, on a single credible source, and background information provided by experts in federal criminal law. We believe that the indictment was returned and filed "on May 10 2006." Same single credible source, and details from the filing records. We believe that if any of the key facts that we have reported were materially false or inaccurate some statement to that effect would be forthcoming from Fitzgerald's staff. That is based on the same single credible source. [emphasis added]

So, truthout.org is basing the truth of its report on the fact that Fitzgerald himself has not bothered to give them a call and tell them they're all wet. This is an ... unconventional ... journalistic method for determing the truth of a report. Let me paint this in a more realistic light: Truthout.org is standing behind its report because Fitzgerald hasn't bothered to publicly state that a left-wing conspiracy Web site that he's probably never heard of and certainly never reads is wrong.

Following this same "journalistic" logic, the reports today by every major journalistic organization that Rove has been cleared are true because Fitzgerald hasn't bothered to state that they are false.

Look at this from Fitzgerald's view. Which false report is he more likely to come out in public and respond to? A lone report by a left-wing conspiracy Web site? Or a series of reports by every major media outlet in the United States?

The fact that people still believe truthout.org's reporting just demonstrates the power of political beliefs over reality.

I have a feeling that 30-40 years from now when Karl Rove dies that truthout.org will reference his May 2006 "indictment." Better to be "ahead of the news cycle" than "wrong."

Tags

I continue to be annoyed by online media companies skimping on the copy editors.

If you disagree, we may feud over the issue.

Is it true that Adam Schiff used his official position as House Intelligence Chair to subpoena the phone records of a journalist?

#PolitiFactThis #FactCheckThis @GlennKesslerWP @ddale8 @asharock @YLindaQiu @factcheckdotorg @ReutersFacts

Sounds dangerous, right @Acosta? https://twitter.com/MarshaBlackburn/status/1618576092159410178

Sen. Marsha Blackburn @MarshaBlackburn

Adam Schiff used his official position as House Intelligence Chair to subpoena the phone records of a journalist and the top Republican on his committee.

Then he released the records to intimidate his opponents.

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