Thursday, November 17, 2005

Inside Out Journalism

I can't think of anything more PECULIAR AND JARRING than reading journalists on the subject of other journalists. It's hard not to question their objectivity.

Recent reports by fellow New York Times reporters on the subject of their former colleague Judith Miller were weird enough, but now reading journalists wielding their investigative reporting skills on the subject of Bob Woodward -- well, it's all beginning to sound a little surreal:
Mr. Woodward's fame has given him a unique access to the corridors of power. In the first two books in a three-part series on the Bush administration, he gained unprecedented access to top White House figures, including the president himself. The second book, "Bush At War," was highlighted on the Web site of Mr. Bush's campaign for President in 2004. A former White House official who worked with Mr. Woodward during the reporting for the first effort, "Plan of Attack," says the president considers Mr. Woodward among a small handful of reporters he trusts. The third book, to be published by Simon & Schuster, is due out in 2006.

In an interview Mr. Woodward acknowledged that his knowledge of the case informed comments he made during appearances on TV. Mr. Woodward has stated repeatedly on news programs that he didn't believe a crime was committed in the CIA leak case. He argued that the entire leak case had been overblown, that there was no criminal White House effort to "out" the CIA agent and that Mr. Fitzgerald was overzealous, "a junkyard dog prosecutor."

-- Wall Street Journal reporter, Joe Hagen
Talk about inside baseball and echo chambers ...