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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Friday, July 25, 2003



The Valerie Plame Affair - July 25

Newsday [Schumer Seeks CIA Leak Probe, By Anne Q. Hoy, July 25] tells us that Sen Charles Scumer is calling for a criminal probe, and adds this:

Susan Whitson, an FBI spokeswoman, said the agency would "look at the issue and make determinations about whether there is an investigation that is warranted."

And, night owl Demosthenes watched Ambassador Wilson appear on the Daily Show. Darn my TiVo, anyway. Thanks to my kids, it is "All Degrassi, all the time". Anyway, this was the key bit:

The second segment, though, was the one where I expected the CIA outing story to be addressed. Jon was certainly leaning in that direction, asking "so what was the White House's reaction". Wilson, however, was extremely circumspect, saying only that "people are looking into allegations that were made about my family" and not going any further than that. Jon didn't press the issue, and although it somewhat frustrated me at first, I can respect that decision... he didn't want to alienate his guest, and Wilson had clearly made his choice.

It did, however, lead to what is, for me, perhaps the defining moment of this entire scandal . Wilson said that things were probably going to be patched up, and mentioned a letter Dick Cheney had sent him asking for his support to the tune of a cool grand. He then produced the letter, to Jon's amazement and delight, and showed Dick Cheney's hand-written signature on the letter. Funniest thing I'd seen all week.


That is pretty funny - Wilson was showing off one of the Bush-Cheney fund-raising appeals I pitch in the trash unless the lefty cocktail party circuit I inhabit is really annoying me.

Anyway, it reminds me of my own Republican fund-rasising story, which is not as funny. Well, scary might be a better word, actually, depending on your politics.

It was during the Trent Lott debacle that I got one of those phone calls: "Mr. Minuteman, the Republican party needs your support...". I told the chap that I could not even consider giving the party a dime while Trent Lott was disgracing it as Senate Majority leader, and said good-bye.

A few days or weeks later, Trent Lott also said good-bye, in the best "announce bad news on Friday" manner. Well, Saturday morning I get a phone call: "Mr. Minuteman, the Republican Party needs your support...".

I made up new excuses, but it was an impressive display of organization and follow-up.

Be very afraid.


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