Rove and Truthout

I've been reading Truthout.org since around 2002 when someone sent me a link and with a note saying "check it out!" or something like that. This was around the time I starting hosting a public affairs show and needed some interesting political commentators for the program. One such guest was William Rivers Pitt who became a semi-regular guest on the program and provided some lively insights into the current political climate.

So that, in a nutshell, is my connection to Truthout.

Well, now comes word that this clearinghouse for the news that gets reported, but sometimes get buried in the bowels of newspapers, has come up from the underground and is pinging on the Right's radar (I guess when Matt Drudge links to you, get ready for your sever to overload). At issue is a story written by Jason Leopold that says Patrick Fitzgerald issued an indictment against Karl Rove. The lead 'graph was this:

"Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 business hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning."

Here's the problem: no indictment has been announced, but accusations of "You're a liar! No, you're a liar!" have been flying back and forth between Rove's "people" (i.e., lawyers) and Truthout's editor, Marc Ash. Until now, that is.

Tim Grieve over at Salon was able to interview Ash about the indictment story and Ash sort of apologized about rushing the story and getting out in front of the news cycle. Maybe Truthout was punk'd, maybe they did rush the story, or maybe the hammer was coming down and Rove's people cut a deal. Too many "maybes" in this story to have credible legs. So for now, Rove gets to keep his day job.

I'm not sure this is going to hurt Truthout's credibility since they have been pretty accurate in terms of reporting stories first that later get picked up by the corporate press. If this is an elaborate scheme to discredit Truthout, I think the folks who run Truthout are better fighters than some folks at CBS.

–PK

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