Karl Rove in GQ

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GQ of all places has an excellent interview with Bush confidante and adviser Karl Rove.

I want to highlight two sections. First there’s this on Rove’s meeting with Barack Obama.

Have you gotten to know Hillary or Barack to any degree?
Yes, I have.

What have been your dealings with them?
Well, you know, I used to have her office at the White House. And I got to know [Obama] because we have a mutual friend, Ken Mehlman, who was his law-school classmate at Harvard. And so as a result, whenever in the last three years he’s been around at the White House, I’ve gotten to see him, and we sort of would hang around and chitchat about things. I’m actually in his book. He wrote that “people like Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Ralph Reed, and Karl Rove say we are a Christian nation.” And I did not say that. I confronted him about it. At the White House.

And what did he say?

Well, first he denied that I was in the book! And then he denied that it said that I said that it was a Christian nation. And then when I pulled out the thing [he had a copy of the offensive page with him] and showed it to him, he sort of blah-blah-blah-blah-blah- blah-blah. And I thought, That’s who he is. I mean, look, he may claim that he’s for a different kind of politics, but that was a cheap shot. And I’m not certain if any of the four said it either. But it was like, you know, Let’s just strap it in there and see if it goes someplace.

This, along with Obama’s repeated and unapologetic mischaracterization of Sen. John McCain’s statement that we might be in Iraq for 100 years, are good indications that Obama’s just another politician.

The second interesting part of the interview is this bit on the recent “60 Minutes” hit job alleging that Karl Rove was involved in a dirty tricks campaign against Alabama Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman.

Let’s talk about the last couple of scandals you’ve been involved in. Don Siegelman in Alabama [the Democratic governor whom Rove was recently accused of trying to sabotage by forcing U.S. attorneys to bring corruption charges against him prior to an election]. What happened?
[rolls his eyes] Will you do me a favor and go on Power Line and Google “Dana Jill Simpson” [the Republican lawyer who told 60 Minutes that Rove asked her to take a picture of Governor Siegelman cheating on his wife]? She’s a complete lunatic. I’ve never met this woman. This woman was not involved in any campaign in which I was involved. I have yet to find anybody who knows her. And what the media has done on this… No one has read the 143-page deposition that she gave congressional investigators—143 pages. When she shows up to give her explanation of all this, do you know how many times my name appears? Zero times. Nobody checked!

Then how did this happen?
Because CBS is a shoddy operation. They said, “Hey, if we can say ‘Karl Rove,’ ‘Siegelman,’ that’ll be good for ratings. Let’s hype it. We’ll put out a news release on Thursday and then promo the hell out of it on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.” And Scott Pelley—the question is, Did [60 Minutes correspondent] Scott Pelley say to this woman, “You say you met with him. Where? And you say that he gave you other assignments earlier. When did he begin giving you assignments, and what campaigns did you work with him in? What evidence? I mean, this woman, she said she met with him: Okay, you met with him—where? Did you fly to Washington?” Now she says that she talked to me on the phone and she’s got phone records. Of calls to Washington and Virginia. But what’s Virginia? I don’t live in Virginia. And it’s 2001. What is in Virginia? It’s not the Bush headquarters; that was in Austin, Texas. What is in Virginia? So—but look, she’s a loon.

The most troubling thing about the outrageous “60 Minutes” report that Rove refers to is that there appears to be zero accountability, fact-checking or push back on this story from the rest of the mainstream media.

Back in 2004 when Dan Rather and Mary Mapes ran with the bogus Bush National Guard memos it didn’t take long for the blogosphere to sniff out something was amiss and for the mainstream media to start investigating. Within a week it was apparent to everyone whose last name wasn’t “Mapes” or “Rather” that the documents were fabrications and CBS had a black eye.

It’s been more than a month since Scott Pelley ran his “60 Minutes” story on Rove. It’s been more than a month since the Alabama GOP asked for something other than hearsay or a retraction.

All we’ve heard in the intevening time is silence. The vaunted right-wing media conspiracy that starts with the blogosphere has produced little.

Interestingly, it appears that CBS may double-down on stupid.

Kevin Tedesco, a CBS spokesman, said “60 Minutes” will report on it further Sunday with an interview with Siegelman, who was recently released from prison while his corruption conviction is on appeal. Tedesco said Siegelman would challenge Rove to testify under oath.

That will be interesting, but that does little to answer why CBS would give such creedence to the likes of Jill Simpson who has produced not one iota of evidence to support her claims.

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