Thursday, February 01, 2007
Richard Cohen echoes Fox News Channel talking point:
In a radio interview
on 30 January, Richard Cohen spoke about the administration's attack on Joe Wilson and the resulting Libby trial. Speaking about the court case, Cohen said:
What bothers me most about this whole case is, one, it really does represent the criminalization of politics. I mean, nobody thought they were doing anything criminal here. They were just playing politics.
"the criminalization of politics
" - does that sound familiar? It's been used by Tom DeLay and other Republicans to dismiss legal problems they find themselves in, but the notion was very much a slogan used by Fox News and other defenders of the administration when Fitzgerald was looking into the Plame outing. From Think Progress
(2005 October 18)
Fox News Pushing "Criminalization of Politics Talking Point
Conservative defenders of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have settled on their No. 1 talking point: the grand jury investigation into the CIA leak scandal represents the "criminalization of politics."
In other words, they say, the outing of a covert CIA agent in a time of war to punish a whistleblower is just everyday "politics" — nothing out of the ordinary, certainly nothing criminal. In fact, according to conservatives (as articulated by the National Review), the "criminalizing of politics" is actually the most dangerous fire of this ordeal."
To spread this talking point across the nation, the right has received a major assist from Fox News. According to a database search, every single television reference to the CIA leak scandal as the "criminalization of politics" in the last 30 days has been on Fox. Even more stunning: on every occassion, the phrase was introduced into the segment by a Fox News anchor or correspondent, never by a guest.
(In the Think Progress post, there is a link
to NRO's The Corner - but the link is now broken and searching NRO has failed to find the relevant post.)
Does "playing politics" negate open and honest government? If so, then the criminal approach can be appropriate.
This was also the phrase used by Reagan apologists during the Iran-Contra investigation.
But Whitewater was a honest investigation of a real scandal. Yeah, right.
Well, when you have criminal politicians committing criminal acts in the service of politics, then yes, that is the criminalization of politics. It's like killing your parents and then playing the orphan card.
There's another "talking point" regarding the Plame affair that everyone uses and perplexes me. Perhaps, one of you can explain it.
It is this: Libby/Rove leaked the fact that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent to "discredit him." I don't thing they were trying to discredit him. I think they were trying to ruin his wife's career for revenge.
When I first heard about Wilson and his Niger investigation; my thought was, well he's a career diplomat, I suppose he knows what he is doing. When I heard his wife was a CIA agent who workied in the area of nonproliferation; my thought was, well he probably knows what he's talking about.
The leak increase his credibility in my eyes not deminish it.
Am I just totally off on this?
They probably would claim they mean the politicization of the justice system.